News Roundup & Open Thread for Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 [LATE EDITION]

Good morning, Blue Jersey fam! The nice thing about being late on the roundup is that we can report on some more timely matters of the day. Anyway, work/life balance continues.

Guns

What are you willing to die for? There are things worthy of sacrifice. Fighting for humanitarian purposes, fighting for social justice, fighting for equity, fighting for our climate, and fighting tyranny and oppression. But if the cost of freedom is to die at the hands of anyone who can buy a gun, then something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Preventing more horrible, random bloodshed is worth fighting for. We need to act.

Our lame duck Gov. Chris Christie, of course, has no such plans. In light of the massacre that took place in Las Vegas Sunday night, appearing on 101.5-FM’s “Ask the Governor” program, he said: “Sometimes bad things happen and sometimes there’s nothing we can do to stop it.” And he also said: “I just don’t believe that a whole bunch of new gun laws are going to change that reality.”

Fortunately, Phil Murphy, the gubernatorial frontrunner in the upcoming election has a different take. “Now has to be the time to talk about sensible gun safety measures…We cannot wait until the next tragedy to have this conversation,” the Murphy campaign said.

A Call to Arms: Protecting NJ Immigrants

Blue Jersey’s own Bill Orr articulates the alarming shift from immigration policy under Obama and under Trump. Obviously, we know the administration is attempting to ethnically cleanse the United States to make it “great again,” but a 38 percent increase in undocumented immigrant arrests is nothing less than horrifying.

Orr calls on the next governor to rescind the 2007 NJ state attorney executive order that requires police to ask one’s immigration status if arrested, but not necessarily convicted, of certain indictable offenses.

End of the Line. Tom Petty, Dead at 66

It’s somehow fitting that Tom Petty, the pioneering American rock n’ roller whose music evoked images of personal freedom, yearning to be personally free, and defying personal challenges, died at 66 — the same number as the storied highway that is emblematic of running down dreams and the often unkept promise of prosperity.

Blue Jersey will miss Tom Petty dearly. NJ.com did a nice tribute by posting photos from his last visit to the Garden State

Excuse me if I have some place in my mind where I go time to time.

Progressive Politics, Meet Progressive Rock, Kinda

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora gave prog rock pioneers Yes the Capital City treatment last weekend, issuing the recent Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees with a joint legislative resolution from his 15th district prog rock compatriots, Sen. Shirley Turner and Assemblywoman Liz Muoio. The resolution honors and congratulates the band for their “extraordinary musical careers.”

One point for the guys at the Office of Legislative Services: the band that Assemblyman Gusciora saw play at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial was not actually “Yes.” It was Yes alumni Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin, performing as “Yes, featuring Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin.” While the resolution recognizes the current members of the actual Yes (the one that tours strictly at “Yes”), it does not name the men who were on the receiving end of the resolution.

Oh well. I’m a prog guy, and prog guys notice these things.

A Greener Garden State No Matter What?

NJSpotlight reports that no matter who is elected governor November 7, it’s likely that New Jersey will re-enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the multistate coalition trying to clamp down on pollution from power plants. You’ll recall that Gov. Chris Christie and his Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno famously pulled New Jersey out of the program six years ago, calling it “ineffective and just a tax on ratepayers,” reports NJSpotlight.

 

Lance a “No” on Trump’s Tax Plan

Rep. Leonard Lance, who finds himself in the middle of a mid-term re-election bid with candidates to his left and right, is playing it safe by announcing his opposition to President Trump’s tax plan.

Speaking at a Newark news conference yesterday with Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell, the two NJ congressmen said that opposing the removal of deduction for state and local taxes, or SALT, “is a matter of fairness for taxpayers across the country, and of course, particularly, for taxpayers here in New Jersey.”

“I do not believe that this will prevail, and it certainly will not prevail with my vote,” Lance said. “I want to make sure that all of my colleagues, Democratic and Republican colleagues, recognize the importance of this because it is important to other states as well.”

Hmm. Maybe they can use their influence to call for a Constitutional Convention to address our regressive tax structure. Maybe?

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