20,000: A Grim COVID-19 Milestone in NJ

By Fred Snowflack | January 13, 2021

Insider NJ

More than 20,000 New Jersey residents have now died from COVID-19.

“Let that sink in,” Gov. Phil Murphy said today.

He called the number “unfathomable,” noting that it exceeds the population of most New Jersey towns.

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Loretta Weinberg, ‘conscience of the Legislature,’ will not seek reelection

01/13/2021

Politico

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Wednesday she will not seek reelection when her current term ends.

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State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a self-proclaimed “feisty Jewish grandmother” who pushed for same-sex marriage, open government reforms and helped expose a sexist culture in Trenton, said Wednesday she will retire when her term ends in 2022.

The 85-year-old Bergen County Democrat, who has been a prominent progressive voice in New Jersey politics for nearly three decades, made the much-anticipated announcement during a tearful Zoom call.

“For the first time in over 30 years, I will not be running for reelection. Maybe this is a bit more than we’re used to for what is a fairly simple statement," Weinberg said. "But then again, this is a very unusual time, and I’ve never been a standard politician.”

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N.J. unemployment: $300 checks arriving late, Labor Department ‘hopes’ payments will arrive this week

Posted Jan 13, 2021

The $300 supplemental checks that the Labor Department expected to arrive in New Jersey claimants’ bank accounts by Tuesday are delayed due to “challenges in processing the payment,” a spokeswoman said.

The complication is due to the new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program running simultaneously with the prior CARES Act program that paid out $600 a week, which some claimants continue to collect, said Angela Delli-Santi, spokeswoman for the department.

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In election year State of the State speech, Murphy touts his record, accomplishments

01/12/2021 

Politico

Gov. Phil Murphy presents his State of the State address, for later broadcast, at the Trenton War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. 

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Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his annual State of the State address on Tuesday, calling for unity as he embarks on his reelection campaign in the midst of a pandemic that continues to rage in New Jersey.

Reflecting on the toll the coronavirus has taken on them, small business owners, a Trenton public school teacher who lost a loved one to Covid-19 and an emergency room nurse were among the state residents who appeared in video clips just before the governor delivered his address to an empty auditorium at the Trenton War Memorial.

“These New Jerseyans reflect the state of our state. Although wounded deeply, we enter 2021 tougher than ever, wiser than before and ready to move forward together,” Murphy said in his pretaped remarks that were delivered virtually because of the pandemic.

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'Clear and present danger to the republic': House readies bipartisan impeachment of Trump

The House intends to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday for inciting a violent insurrection that — just one week earlier — stormed the U.S. Capitol, battered police officers and sent lawmakers fleeing for safety.

The charge, "willful incitement of insurrection," is the gravest ever lodged against a sitting president.

The vote, expected in the afternoon, will be delivered in the same chamber where on Jan. 6 officers drew their guns to protect sheltering lawmakers from insurrectionists pounding at the doors. Five people were killed, including a U.S. Capitol police officer who died of injuries sustained during the riots.

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Patriots’ Bill Belichick rejects Trump’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick just made perhaps the toughest call of his professional career. Belichick has decided to pass on accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump.

Belichick made his decision known by releasing a statement Monday evening. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”

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Murphy lifts exit-exam graduation requirement, keeps mum on other plans

JOHN MOONEY, EDUCATION WRITER | JANUARY 12, 2021

NJ Spotlight News

 

The day before he gives the State of the State address, Gov. Phil Murphy used his regular press briefing Monday to give a short version of the state of New Jersey’s schools. And for all the pronouncements of progress, the comments left nearly as many questions and uncertainties.

In something of a surprise, Murphy announced several school-related executive orders, led by the suspension for the second straight year of the state’s exit-exam requirements for graduation.

He also suspended the use of certain student performance measures in mandated teacher evaluations and loosened some of the state’s rules for incoming teachers.

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New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman tests positive for Covid after insurrection

01/11/2021

Politico

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, pictured in a Dec. 1, 2015 file photo, said she received a positive Covid-19 test result.

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New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced Monday that she had tested positive for Covid-19 after she and other members of Congress were kept in a secret location during last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Watson Coleman said she tested positive after receiving a rapid antigen test.

“While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” said Watson Coleman, who has represented New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District since 2015, in a statement.

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Christie says Trump committed an impeachable offense in ‘inciting to insurrection’

Posted Jan 10, 2021

Former Gov. Chris Christie, a long-time supporter of Donald Trump, said Sunday that the president committed an impeachable offense when he urged his followers to march on the U.S. Capitol and fight to overturn the 2020 election that Joe Biden won.

“If inciting to insurrection isn’t, then I don’t really know what is,” Christie said when asked whether Trump’s actions were impeachable on ABC’s “This Week,” where he is a regular contributor.

Christie endorsed Trump for president after his own campaign fizzled in 2016, advised him in the White House and supported his re-election but in November acknowledged that Joe Biden had won the presidency. He called Trump’s legal team a “national embarrassment” for continuing to pursue baseless claims of voter fraud.

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Now comes Socialism. Oh, the humanity | Editorial

Posted Jan 10, 2021

Trump devotees may think the failed coup was their nadir, but they should prepare themselves for the next grand mal freak-out: The Socialist Takeover.

The Democrats are poised to seize control of the Senate, and everyone knows what that means: We’ll be a veritable Venezuela, a quasi-Cuba. Let the pearl-clutching begin: Expect a $2,000 stimulus check in the mailbox for all those desperate slackers, because suddenly their kids don’t want Cheerios for supper three times a week. Expect billions in funding for states to distribute coronavirus vaccine — what’s the rush on that, anyway?

Then there will probably will be a flood of bleeding-heart bailouts to deal with evictions and child care and small businesses.

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