Ice and Fire – Friday’s Roundup!

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Boy that was some blizzard! Route 40 is happy to report the beach house is somewhat less drafty now that it’s encased in ice.

In actual news, the decision to hold up that $300 million subsidy bill for PSE&G prompted a cat fight yesterday between Vince Prieto and his wider, more southerly colleague Steve Sweeney, who said he was “downright angry” the bill wasn’t posted.

Nothing weird about that, right? Sweeney just really, really feels very strongly that a bill to give a profitable company $300 million in subsidies should be signed during lame-duck/iceberg season so we can “stabilize” nuclear. He’s just super passionate about this stabilization, specifically that it should happen right now.

Meanwhile Tom Kean wrote an op-ed in the Star-Ledger on the PSE&G “bail out” (his words), making that two former governors who have weighed in in the last two days on the debate Sweeney seems to think we should have stopped having yesterday.

This is what happens when you fart around: People start expressing opinions that get in the way of the democratic process.

For the record, I think Kean was a no on the $300 million, calling it a “reverse Robin Hood on the backs of New Jersey families.”

“Did someone say ‘Reverse Robin Hood?’ Count me in!” Tom MacArthur was overheard remarking.

Fire During Blizzard 
A fire at Jeffries Towers on Vermont Avenue forced residents from their homes, many of them elderly and disabled, Lynda Cohen reports. Residents were taken to Uptown Complex to keep warm.

A plan to allow drilling off the coast of New Jersey (among other places) was unveiled by the Trump administration yesterday.

That is drilling. As in for oil. As in, off the coast of Longport. What could go wrong?

Have you heard about the health benefits of oil? Cool, clear oil? It’s the future!

State’s Rights
The governor-elect seems to have heard Jeff Sessions announcement on marijuana enforcement yesterday and more or less disregarded it for the moment, Katie Jennings at Politico reports. Murphy’s spokesperson (or “spox” as we say here in our 57-degree newsroom) said the former Goldman Sachs executive “believes strongly in New Jersey’s right to chart its own course on legalizing marijuana, which will allow for law enforcement to focus their time and resources on prosecuting violent crimes rather than non-violent drug offenders.”

Maybe they think Sessions won’t be in that job much longer. Speaking of which, did you see local boy Don McGahn was in the news yesterday? Cable TV anchors were hilariously deciding how to pronounce his name in real-time. Back in May, John DeRosier at the Press of AC reported that McGahn went to Our Lady Star of the Sea and Holy Spirit, where he played football. Yesterday, a report alleged McGahn lobbied Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Russian election-meddling probe, prompting the former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to accuse McGahn of “undermining the rule of law in the country I love.” Sister Shamus would be so proud!

Former Governor Brendan Byrne, who signed the Pine Barrens legislation and legalized gambling in Atlantic City in between tennis matches with John McPhee, died yesterday at age 93. Ted Sherman’s obit notes that when Byrne was asked what he wanted to be remembered for he said: “Pinelands.” Kind of a shame those things are under attack these days.

Pageant Modernization Initiative
Gretchen Carlson says she wants to modernize the Miss America Pageant, Amy Kuperinsky reports, citing Carlson’s interview this a.m. on Good Morning America.

“Please stay tuned because I plan to make this organization 100 percent about empowering women.”

We’re Number #1
In annoying phone calls.

New Jersey “made more complaints, per capita, than any other state about robocalls last year” reports, citing FTC data.

“Do Not Call Registry”? More like “Does Not Work Registry,” Bob Mendendez said in a Tweet.

For the rest of the news in your region, see our Route 40 Roundup:


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