March Madness

Some definitions of madness include: all rational considerations are forgotten, being mentally ill, and a state of frenzied or chaotic activity. All three applied for the past month of March. Below are a few examples. Fortunately March is over and hopefully April will bring not only fresh flowers but also more sanity.

IN NEW JERSEY: There was reefer madness, but after protracted maneuvering between the legislature and the governor the marijuana bill went up in smoke. The Record takes a hard look at charter schools. The EDA under fire for tax incentives. The murky story about Alvarez. New Jersey job growth in 2018 was slowest since 2011. Murphy’s more austere budget signals course correction, and includes a new new millionaire tax. The beleaguered NJ Transit’s agency’s spending will rise just 1.6 percent under Murphy’s new budget.

IN TEANECK NJ (my hometown) residents were up in arms against hyper-development plans, they won a victory against placing a fake animatronic dinosaur exhibit in their park (crazy as it must sound), and seniors come in droves to speak out at a council meeting. Even if the state bill is passed it appears the council sees only madness in selling pot here.

IN THE USA Our Mad Hatter Trump (“Over the bend, entirely bonkers. You like me best when I’m off my rocker”) takes a dubious victory lap in spite of the fact that AG Barr says the Mueller’s report does not exonerate him from having committed a crime. Afterward the Mad Hatter (“I’m peeling the skin off my face ‘ause I really hate being safe”) seeks to completely end ACA, close the border to immigrants, and vilifies congressmen who insist on more investigations.  In the meantime the number of Democratic presidential candidates continues escalating.  In the past week Mayor Pete Buttigieg moved up four spots in a poll – the highest increase of any candidate. At the same time our Senator Cory Booker moved down 2 points in spite of a CNN interview. How to choose one amongst so many? Well there is plenty of time until the first primary in the Iowa Caucus on Feb 3, 2020.

NCAA basketball: (The REAL MARCH MADNESS) It’s exemplified by so much betting and over-enthusiasm. Neither NY nor NJ qualified for the tournament, but my alma mater University of Virginia is in the Elilte Eight. Go Cavaliers! My brother’s Duke just dropped out. Sorry bro.

Our very own President Mad Hatter

Comments (4)

  1. Rosi Efthim

    Bill, The breadth of your cultural references just amaze me. Bertolt Brecht, poetry, obscure song titles … and 23-year-old songwriters from Queens I wouyld never in a million years expect you to have heard of.

    Mad Hatter – Melanie Martinez (2017)

    Reply
    1. Bill Orr (Post author)

      Thanks, I enjoyed watching your Mad Hatter – cuter and friendlier.

      Reply
  2. Sharon Ransavage

    If we want to have money to fund progressive policies let’s bring back the estate tax. It was abolished at the end of Christie’s term while the gasoline tax was increased. This was done with the support of many Dems.

    Reply
    1. Bill Orr (Post author)

      Yes. The estate tax could be reinstated and the NJ Inheritance tax could be increased. Although not progressive, the sales tax could be increased by a fraction. I suspect Murphy considered all these options.

      Reply

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