News Roundup & Open Thread for Friday, March 23, 2018

Kill the Bill Rally sign

For the 8th Anniversary of Obamacare (today), from the Blue Jersey Archives March 2010: Sunscreen, deck chairs, and political illiteracy – the Kill the Bill Rally in D.C. – the tea party does its thing (yes, that’s their “Obama”)

Ex-Congressman / Scientist news: The $1.3 trillion omnibus bill just passed by Congress preserves some scientific initiatives Trump wanted to kill – including a West Coast earthquake warning system, space telescope, protects EPA’s funding, and boosts funding for NASA & health research. And Rush Holt, head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is a happy camper.

The Hamilton-esque Snowball Duel between Cory Booker & Jeff Flake

Pre-emptive war fan John Bolton (above) to replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor. What could possibly go wrong?

AROUND NEW JERSEY

Two old white dudes sniffing and threatening each other: Biden to visit NJ as he & Trump say they could beat each other up

Newark Airport workers are on the way to a $19-per-hour minimum wage by 2023

Why both spans of Delaware Memorial Bridge will shut down

No light at the end of this tunnel: You dislike President Trump? Well, his vehement opposition to the Gateway Trans-Hudson tunnel is just another reason to do so.

TRENTONIA

Murphy had his first Ask Gov. Murphy call-in radio show last night. Talking drugs, taxes, guns, and musical comedy. ICYMI, listen here.

Tracking all 38 of Phil Murphy’s campaign promises

Assemblyman / Doctor Herb Conaway is one of the sponsors of a bill to upgrade NJ’s restrictive medical marijuana program, which would double the amount of marijuana available, including in edible and other forms, increase the number of dispensaries and other changes. But would it be enough to meet demand?

Bill to restart Fisherman’s Energy offshore wind farm advances

AG Gurbir Grewal has filed in federal court to stop PennEast from condemning protected open space and farmland by eminent domain

MIDTERMS

CD5: Hm, I wonder if there are any Jewish voters in Bergen … Bob Yudin, former chair of Bergen Republican Party is slamming GOP candidate John McCann for raising money with Sebastian Gorka,  one-time adviser to Pres. Donald Trump who wore a medal associated with a Hungarian group that collaborated with Nazi Germany. [Matt Friedman’s account of his exchange with Gorka, in today’s Playbookalso worth reading]

CD7: Malinowski wins the line in Millburn, the sole Essex town in the district, following former front-runner Linda Weber’s exit from the race

CD11: Republican Patrick Allocco says he’ll “check his own ideology and convictions at the door” and use American Idol technology to vote like his constituents tell him to.

CD7: Looking at what happens if Leonard Lance loses. What the Lance race means for Tony Bucco

CD12: Bonnie Watson Coleman proudly wears her “F” from the NRA

Menendez slams HUD Secretary Ben Carson for his $31,000 office dining room set (which Carson blames on his wife) Watch. 

EDUCATION

NJ public schools are celebrating arts education this month at a time when nearly every student has access to a range of art classes

Lakewood has 5x as many private school students as public pupils, and by law the district must pay for services like special ed and busing for those children. Quite a lot of money is going to the $97,000-a-year School for Children With Hidden Intelligence, whose founder is facing federal charges alleging he misused public funds and the AG’s office is conducting a probe of funds paid to the district’s attorney. The district is in debt and may require another loan. What a mess.

Lacey high school accused of violating students’ gun rights, and First and Second Amendment protections

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