Friday, February 27, 2015

Christie -- the consummate bullshitter -- is hitting his stride

Winter green in Hackensack. Meanwhile, weeks after the first major snowfall, several NJ Transit bus stops on Summit and Prospect avenues still haven't been cleared, forcing riders to stand on the pavement or follow a well-worn path of packed snow to the curb.


Governor Christie explains his obnoxious personality this way:

"I care about fighting for people I represent," he told a questioner at a conservative convention in Maryland on Thursday.

But The Record's Page 1 story today, written by Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson, never identifies those "people" (A-1 and A-6).

The GOP bully must mean all those New Jersey millionaires -- including the Borgs, who own The Record -- he has repeatedly spared from a tax surcharge despite the state' massive financial problems.

Christie must mean real estate mogul Jon F. Hanson, one of his biggest fund-raisers and a close friend of North Jersey Media Group Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg.

And hasn't he screwed -- rather than represent -- the middle class in New Jersey by under-funding the state's public employee pension system, cutting homeowner rebates and killing the Hudson River rail tunnels, among other mean-spirited decisions?

In fact, his travel schedule is keeping Christie out of the state he professes to represent:

"On Thursday night, he was scheduled to hold a fundraiser in Richmond, Va. ... Today, he has fundraisers in Newport Beach, Calif., and San Francisco, followed by several events in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday" (A-6).

Another big lie

In Maryland, Christie also was caught in a lie when he boasted of repeatedly vetoing funding for Planned Parenthood health services, "something he'd previously said was solely for budgetary reasons, because women had other health options available" (A-6).

Also on Page 1 today is more great publicity for Avalon Bay's cheap wood construction at the Edgewater apartment complex hit by a fast-moving fire on Jan. 21.

Staff Writer Linh Tat relates chilling passages from Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson's post-fire report, obtained through a public-records request (A-1).

Ferriero trial

When I glanced at today's lead A-1 story on the federal trial of Joseph A. Ferriero and saw Columnist Mike Kelly's thumbnail photo -- complete with shit-eating grin -- I thought Editor Martin Gottlieb had gone completely off his rocker.

Why play Kelly's overly long, boring column about the trial on Page 1? 

But that was just telling readers his column is on A-6. Confusing.

In the news story from Staff Writer Peter J. Sampson, the first three paragraphs sum up opening statements from the prosecutor and the defense attorney for the former leader of the Bergen County Democratic Party (A-1).

Basically, jurors will have to decide whether Ferriero abused his position and lined his pockets "with hundreds of thousands of dollars through a series of bribery, extortion and fraud schemes," according to the prosecutor (A-1).

Then, readers who bother with Kelly's column will find many of the same quotes duplicated there, and not much else besides a bunch of rhetorical questions, including, "Who is the real Joe Ferriero?"

What a waste of space.

There isn't much suspense here. Ferriero was convicted of a federal mail-fraud charge at a 2009 trial, but that verdict was set aside on a technicality.

Hackensack news?

The Record didn't bother covering this week's Hackensack City Council meeting, but a two hour-plus video is available on YouTube:

Feb. 24 meeting of the Hackensack City Council

I guess Staff Writer Todd South, who was assigned to the city, has gone south.

South covered two fires in Palisades Park for today's paper (L-3).

He also wrote a single paragraph on a Route 287 fatality near Mahwah, but the cause of the crash and name of the victim doesn't appear (L-2).

L-3 also carries two drive-by accident photos with no hint of what caused one car, driven by an elderly man, to sideswipe a parked Porsche and turn over in Dumont, or what led to a van and tractor-trailer to crash on Route 17 north in Upper Saddle River.

Crappy steaks

If you're a steakhouse owner who serves dry aged steaks -- even those raised on harmful antibiotics and growth hormones -- you can charge an arm and a leg, and still have Elisa Ung in your corner.

Prime Steakhouse in Washington Township sounds dreadful, and doesn't deserve the 2 stars she bestows on it in today's review (BL-12).

She claims Prime Steakhouse is "dead serious about its beef."

That doesn't mean the beef was grass fed and raised free of additives. It just means all of the beef is graded "prime."

She defines prime as "most marbled and thus most succulent," but doesn't tell you "marbeled" is a polite way of saying that grade also has the most artery clogging fat.

A porterhouse steak for four is an outrageous $172.95.

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