WASHINGTON – Congratulations to our 46th President – Joseph R. Biden, Jr. 

TRENTON – While President Biden is calling for 100 million vaccinations in 100 days, Gov. Phil Murphy is a little more down to Earth. There were high hopes that the state will have vaccinated 70% of the public by May – 4.7 million adults. But now the governor’s language is getting a little weaker. Politico reports the feds have been slow to roll out all the doses, prompting Murphy to now only promise that the state will be in “a dramatically different place on Memorial Day.” Finger-pointing can be an effective excuse – heck, it is a key part of a politician’s playbook – but with a Democrat entering the White House, and Democrats taking over Congress – the blame can only go so far for our incumbent Democratic governor seeking re-election in November.

TRENTON – Getting permits, licenses, even photocopies from that grand bureaucracy we call the State of New Jersey often means filling out forms in triplicate and awaiting approvals from people who seem structurally incapable of returning a phone call. That red tape is even worse for businesses, big or small, navigating a rigmarole of rules and regs that authorities, boards and commissions require. To streamline the process, some lawmakers want to revive the defunct Christie-era Red Tape Review Commission. NJ 101.5 says the new nine-member panel would aspire to conquer burdensome hurdles. Here’s the hitch: This commission has no teeth; its findings only advisory. No action required or expected. So, it sounds like, perhaps, more red tape?

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Newborns don’t shed tears.

TRENTON – A prosecutor was a bit overzealous in showing a jury a photo from the movie “The Shining,” at that classic “Here’s Johnny!” moment when Jack Nicholson breaks through a door with an axe. In granting a new trial, the state Supreme Court says the closing argument was so far-fetched and beyond scope that it decided to overturn the defendant’s bank robbery conviction, the AP reports. The prosecutor used the photo to show the defendant should have been convicted of a more serious offense, even though no threats were made to the bank teller in Camden County in 2014. Still, the image was buried in the minds of jurors, convicting the guy of second-degree robbery, even though there was zero threat of force. A unanimous Supreme Court now urges prosecutors not to compare defendants to deranged lunatics “whom the jury associates with violence or guilt.”

CLARK – First, there were egg whites. And now this? Three Dunkin stores in Union County are jumping on the health bandwagon. Now, next to your jelly donuts, six-sugar coffees and apple fritters are….salads?! And, once you spit out your Dunkaccino in absolute shock, get this: There will also be Greek yogurt with berries and granola, pineapple coconut chia pudding and other items that won’t actually contribute to your love handles. Yep, these Dunkin stores in Union, Garwood and Clark are giving the healthy stuff a go, to go, as part of a three-month pilot. Well, knock us over with a 460-calorie Maple Cream Stick. But no worries: you can still get your fill of fillings at Krispy Kreme.

NEW BRUNSWICK – Johnson & Johnson has been around here since 1886, and wants to make sure everyone knows its story. The city granted the pharma giant’s plan to erect wayfinding and storytelling signs that highlight its local history, as part of aesthetic improvements to its 15-acre campus in the heart of the downtown. TAPInto New Brunswick reports upgrades are sweeping, with the construction of a bocce ball court, lawn furniture, fitness pylons, an outdoor cafe and other attractions to woe the next generation of young talent away from Silicon Valley. 

(Fun Bonus: Here’s the original application for Johnson & Johnson appearing the New Brunswick Times on March 16, 1886: “A building 20 x 30 feet and one story high is being erected in the rear of the factory of Mr. Parsons, above the railroad bridge. It will be used for a drying room by the Johnson Bros., who have leased the factory and will move into it about the 1st of May, or as soon as the present occupants vacate the premises. Mr. Johnson is staying in this city, and hopes to get in the factory before May. Already $10,000 worth of machinery has been contracted for and will arrive in this city in a few weeks.”)

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LONDON – While Trump may be gone in a few short hours, the Trump Baby will live on forever. The Museum of London has secured the infamous balloon showing the 45th President in a diaper, in standard mid-tantrum. The 20-foot-tall "Trump Baby" balloon, created by British artist Matthew Bonner, was proudly flown over the city during Trump's first visit as president three years ago. The baby blimp would return again and again, anytime Trump would visit. Museum officials say the baby blimp will be proudly displayed along with other items that celebrate public protest and, perhaps, any special displays on outrageous buffoonery.

BAR GRAMMAR

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1949 that J. Edgar Hoover presented the perfect gift to Shirley Temple: a tear gas fountain pen.

WORD OF THE DAY

Conjecture – [kun-JEK-cher] - verb

Definition: To guess

Example: Did he conjecture that 100 million vaccinations in 100 days is “absolutely a doable” thing?

WIT OF THE DAY

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

-Ronald Reagan

BIDEN BLURB

“Tune in."

-Joe Biden

WEATHER IN A WORD

Inaugural