Sunday, July 31, 2016

Conventions are over, but not mindless political coverage

On a sweltering Thursday, we boarded NJ Transit's No. 165 Express in Hackensack and arrived in midtown Manhattan in about 30 minutes. The regular round-trip fare in $9, but seniors pay only $4.10.


Just when you thought all the shouting at the political conventions was over, The Record continues to waste the front page on boring politics.

If Charles Stile's column on Hillary Clinton's New Jersey supporters doesn't have your eyes rolling, a USA Today story on Donald J. Trump should really put you to sleep (A-1).

The news media keep on trying to make the wacko racist New York businessman sound intelligent, but try as they might, he keeps shooting himself in the foot.

Trump -- who has never served in the military, but wants to ban all Muslims from the U.S. -- complained about the speech at the Democratic National Convention made by the father of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq.

Khizr Khan said Trump has "sacrificed nothing for his country" (A-1).

Trump's rebuttal is that he's "made a lot of sacrifices" by building "great structures" and creating construction jobs.

None of the reporters interviewing Trump asked how putting up buildings is a "sacrifice."

Local news

Editor Deirdre Sykes' front page does have two local stories today.

The main element is a plan to remove a traffic bottleneck on Kinderkamack Road in Emerson, but there are so many other traffic nightmares in Bergen County the paper's so-called Road Warrior columnist has ignored for more than a decade.

The second local story is the obituary for a Clifton woman who was such a big fan of Amelia Earhart that she moved to Atchison, Kan., the aviator's birthplace.

Bergen County readers find five major stories from Passaic and Morris counties in today's Local section, and a column about a "momentous" event in Paterson on the Opinion front.

Hackensack readers looking for news about their city should take a look at what the Hackensack reporter was doing on Saturday -- covering police news in Butler (L-1).

Lying down on job

Readers who wonder whether there is a dress code in the Woodland Park newsroom find the answer today on BL-3, where a photo shows Staff Writer Jim Beckerman lying down or at least semi-reclining on the job.

I guess the veteran feature writer was just taking a load off as he gathered information on "Bergen County's long-awaited dine-in multiplex" in Fort Lee (BL-1).

The Better Living cover is The Record's third and most elaborate plug for iPic, which hasn't even opened yet, so it's no wonder the owner has got a big, fat smile on his face, as readers can see from another photo on BL-3.

Aircraft noise

Saturday's front-page story -- "Flight-path test sputters" -- is the latest in what has to be one of the most bungled and biased reporting jobs in recent memory.

Residents of Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood have been complaining about noise from Teterboro Airport for years, but that was rarely, if ever, reported in The Record.

Then, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a new flight path for business jets that would prevent them from flying over Hackensack high-rises and the nearby medical center to land, starting in April.

The shift of the flight path over Route 17 communities had them howling, and The Record quoted their officials extensively on the front page and elsewhere in the paper.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Now, media must focus on issues -- not polls and popularity

Hillary Clinton making history on Thursday night in Philadelphia, where she accepted the Democratic nomination for president after pledging to work to improve the lives of women and everyone else. (Photo credit: UPI)


With just over three months until the Nov. 8 presidential election, readers can only hope the hysterical news media will focus on the issues that affect our lives.

When will The Record and other news outlets start a serious discussion of the candidates' positions on gun control, immigration, climate change, the minimum wage, taxing the wealthy and so many other compelling issues -- and then take a stand?

In the case of the Woodland Park daily and Editor Deirdre Sykes, readers shouldn't hold their breath.

Partisan politics in New Jersey and the nation have been shoved down their throats by Columnists Charles Stile and Herb Jackson for far too many years.

And Columnist Mike Kelly has taken so many pot shots at President Obama readers have to wonder whether the veteran reporter has been infected by the racial animus apparent in the Republicans who gridlock Congress.

Seeing history made 

At least one of The Record's editorial writers -- commenting on Hillary Clinton making history -- had the good sense to admit:

"We are missing an extraordinary moment. We are so caught up in the pettiness of politics and personalities that we are not seeing the history made in Philadelphia, the city where our history began" (A-18).

"...Before Wednesday is another forgotten moment, savor it not as a partisan, but as an American."

Endless politics

On the front page of The Record today, the lead USA Today story on Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention is filled with partisan politics, and actually includes a rebuttal from wacko racist Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee (A-1 and A-6).

The stark differences between the candidates have been glossed over.

For example, Trump wants to a tax break that would put an extra $1.3 million in his pocket and in the pocket of every other member of the 1%, but backs an increase in the minimum wage to only $10.

Clinton calls on the wealthy to pay higher taxes to help finance social programs for families and to bolster Social Security. 

Holes in coverage

The Record's story is missing most of Clinton's attacks on Trump as a potential leader, but the New York Port reported she "savaged" the businessman:

"He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with a nuclear weapon," she said of Trump, "mocking her ... rival's claim that he knows more about ISIS than American's military leaders."

The Post also reported that Clinton:
  • "Accused Trump of 'being in the pocket of the gun lobby,' while saying she had no intention of repealing the Second Amendment.
  • "Slammed her opponent for having his clothing line and furnishings for his hotels made in other countries while he talks about bringing jobs back to America.
  • "Said large corporations should pay their 'fair share' of taxes, and not accept tax breaks with one hand while handing out pink slips with the other.
  • "Vowed to support police officers while at the same time reforming the criminal-justice system to rebuild trust between cops and the communities."
A horse race

What will likely happen now that the conventions are over, The Record and other news media will go back to publishing polls that purportedly show the closeness of the White House race.

But you won't see the media reflecting on how their endless coverage of partisan politics and conflict has produced one of the world's most apathetic electorates.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Con man Trump is called the 'risky, reckless, radical choice'

"I'm a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one," former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, now an independent, said of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)

Editor's note: I have revised and expanded Michael R. Bloomberg's comments on wacko racist Donald J. Trump, and added other comments about food coverage and duplication of coverage from the Democratic National Convention.


Editor Deirdre Sykes of The Record continues to cheat readers by omitting key moments in her coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, she failed to publish a word of first lady Michelle Obama's stirring call to the voting booth on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

And today's paper contains too few sentences from billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg's scathing attack on his fellow New Yorker, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump (A-6).

In the most forceful take-down of the wacko racist so far, Bloomberg labeled Trump the "risky, reckless and radical choice" in the November election.

An independent

Bloomberg, who served as New York mayor from 2001-13, told the delegates on Wednesday night he has been a Democrat and a Republican, and is now an independent, "because I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership."

"Today, as an independent, an entrepreneur and a former mayor, I believe we need a president who is a problem solver, not a bomb thrower," Bloomberg said.

"Someone who can bring members of Congress together, to get things done. And I know that Hillary Clinton can do that....

"There are times when I disagree with Hillary [Clinton]. But whatever our disagreements may be, I'm here to say: 

"We must put them aside for the good of the country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue," Bloomberg said in a pointed reference to Trump.

Fuzzy reporting

On the Better Living cover today, the Now Open feature reports Hudson Mediterranean Grill in Edgewater serves "Turkish branzino" (BL-1).

Later, Staff Writer Sophia F. Gottfried quotes the Turkish owner as saying he is "passionate about high-quality ingredients ... and he's sourcing all produce and fish from local farms and fishermen."

Branzino or Mediterranean sea bass is a farmed fish that took Manhattan restaurants by storm a decade ago before invading New Jersey years later.

Most branzino is farmed in Italy and Greece. What's "local" about that?

Too much of bad thing

Only a die-hard politician searching for his name in print could possibly wade through the mind-numbing coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

A reader questioned why The Record on Wednesday ran both a political column and a news story on the same delegates breakfast sponsored by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, who is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2017 (A-1 and A-9).

What a waste of valuable space.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In a gun-loving America, news media must get off the fence

Too many lives are being lost while The Record and other news media hem and haw over the need for more gun control. (Photo credit: Sauk River


What exactly is the point of today's front-page column framing the gun-control debate from the warped perspective of a shooting range owner who enabled two suicides?

The Record's Mike Kelly is supposed to be an opinion columnist, but you won't find a single opinion on the slaughter caused by easy accessibility to guns, including military style assault weapons.

Kelly claims the owner of Gun for Hire shooting range finds "himself straddling two powerful currents in the fractious debate over firearms" (A-1).

But the veteran columnist, the newspaper he works for and other news media have themselves sat on the fence for far too long as the blood of innocent Americans runs in the street.

Readers no longer have the time or temperament for Kelly's tedious assemblage of quotes from both sides of the carnage in what amounts to little more than another he said/she said account.

Hillary Clinton

Much of the front page today is devoted to Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is the first woman to lead a major party ticket in a presidential election (A-1).

And the state Supreme Court said another woman, who lost her child in a custody battle, has a right to an attorney, even if she cannot afford one (A-1).

Meanwhile, an email circulating among Democrats contrasts the convention in Philadelphia to the Republicans' attempt to divide and conquer in Cleveland:

"The RNC convention was a hate-fest. The DNC is running an inclusive convention; one that has the most progressive platform ever thanx to Bernie Sanders. As a Jew, I could not be prouder of Bernie. I never thought I would see what he achieved in my lifetime. 
"I have never looked at my life as if it is about me. We live in a country in which we are a part and should contribute. I feel I have a responsibility to bear that in mind, which is why I often go out of my way to give a hand up and pay it forward. I believe a rising tide raises all boats. 
"As long as anyone can buy a gun anywhere and anyhow they choose, this fight isn't over. As long as people are not treated equally, this fight isn't over. As long as obstructionist Republicans control the House and Senate, this fight isn't over. (There are many more reasons why this fight isn't over, but I will stop here.)
"Yes, I am passionate about this. Enough is enough with the failures in DC. This is a moment in time when real change is possible. I hope we do not let it slip by. 
"Yesterday, Bernie Sanders spoke to his supporters about unifying behind Hillary and was booed by many. Bernie told them that if Trump wins, those that are booing will have to be the ones to tell that to their children. I pray I never have to have that conversation."

Governor Christie

In a letter to the editor today, Steve Becker of Wayne refers to the possibility Governor Christie could become the next U.S. attorney general.

Becker says "anyone who thinks that our beloved governor had no knowledge of [the George Washington Bridge lane closures] is more than welcome to make an offer on a bridge over the Hudson River" (A-12).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christie is returning to familiar role of screwing New Jersey

A view of the Navesink River from the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank.


Editor Deirdre Sykes' obsession with partisan politics continues to dominate The Record's front page even as Governor Christie is back at his old job of screwing New Jersey.

A major story about the GOP bully led Saturday's paper, reporting he opposes the latest plan to resolve the crisis over funding statewide road, bridge and rail improvements.

Insider deals

On Monday, another front-page story on politics reported Christie's "national prospects" have improved once again with rumors he could become Donald J. Trump's attorney general, if the wacko racist is elected to the White House.

Christie might be hoping to get the same kind of lucrative contract he steered to John Ashcroft in 2007, when the governor was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey and Ashcroft was his former boss in the U.S. Justice Department.

As the Star-Ledger reported, the former attorney general's D.C. law firm was poised to collect $52 million in 18 months to monitor a $311 million settlement Christie won to end a probe into kickbacks by leading manufacturers of hip and knee replacements.

Christie also handed lucrative contracts to other lawyers who served as monitors:

David Samson, his mentor and "father figure," whom Christie later appointed chairman of the Port Authority; and Debra Yang, one of the lawyers who led the "internal investigation" into the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

That whitewash of his role in the September 2013 lane closures in Fort Lee cost New Jersey taxpayers more than $10 million.

More conflict

Today's lead story emphasizes dissension and protests at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that USA Today compares to last week's meeting of Republicans (A-1).

But Sykes must have gone home early, because readers can't find a word of first lady Michelle Obama's inspiring speech to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton, who will be formally nominated  for president tonight.

Sure, a photo of the first lady appears on Page 1 (where the caption misspells her first name), but the speech must have been given too late for The Record's early deadlines.

The decision over a decade ago to move printing of the paper to Rockaway Township -- more than 30 miles from the heart of the circulation area in Hackensack -- means The Record often misses such late-breaking news while generating clouds of pollution from diesel-powered delivery trucks tearing up Route 80.

Back to Camden

Instead of the first lady's speech, the front page carries two inconsequential columns from Staff Writers John Cichowski and Mike Kelly.

The big news on the first Business page is the expected Aug. 5 opening of a "luxury" movie theater in Fort Lee where tickets will go for $19 to $24 (L-7).

The Better Living section also promoted the theater and its restaurant on Sunday.

I guess the Woodland Park daily is hoping to land big advertising contracts from both.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

To all Democrats: Don't take election of Clinton for granted

Filmmaker Michael Moore (@MMFlint) tweeted five reasons he thinks Republican wacko racist Donald J. Trump will be the next president of the United States.


"Donald J. Trump is going to win in November," filmmaker Michael Moore predicts.

"This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president," Moore said in a call to the voting booth that appears on his website, and on Twitter.

One major problem, Moore noted, is that in poor, black and Hispanic neighborhoods, where Democrat Hillary Clinton has widespread support, "everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot ... so in most elections it's hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote."

But in what Moore calls "the last stand of the angry white man," Trump's "crazed fans are going to be up at 5 a.m. on Election Day, kicking ass all day long ...."

Today's paper

To tens of thousands of Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, agnostic and atheistic readers, the retirement of the Newark archbishop is a non-event, so why does the story take up so much precious space on A-1 of The Record today?

Trump has pledged to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport 11 million illegal aliens, so why is Columnist Michael Kelly wasting our time with a Page 1 piece that has readers' eyes rolling:

"Trump a dilemma for many Hispanics"

Kelly's second column appears today on the Opinion section cover (O-1), where he looks ahead to the Sept. 12 trial of Governor Christie's key allies in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

In the court of public opinion, Christie himself has been found guilty of involvement in the politically motivated traffic jam, but Kelly doesn't seem convinced.

Citing Christie's prosecution of Clinton at the Republican National Convention last week, Kelly fails to remind readers the GOP bully also erased emails, as well as text messages, related to Bridgegate, and "lost" his cellphone for two years, according to reporting by WNYC-FM.

Amateur hour

Don't bother with Better Living's amateurish appraisal of Fort Lee's diverse dining scene or the wildly exaggerated comparison to Manhattan (BL-1).

Staff Writer Elisa Ung has been reviewing North Jersey restaurants and writing about food for about a decade -- yet she still hasn't discovered Hiura, which opened on Main Street about 25 years ago.

Many consider the BYO with fewer than 30 seats the best sushi and Japanese restaurant around.

She also ignores BCD, a Korean restaurant in Fort Lee that serves organic soft-tofu soup and superior side dishes.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Media regurgitate nominee Trump's empty promises, lies

This photo from Getty Images shows Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump delivering his acceptance speech to close the party's national convention on Thursday night in Cleveland. Pretty scary, don't you think?


A big, black headline dominates Page 1 of The Record today, reporting wacko racist Donald J. Trump "promises [a] safer, more prosperous nation."

The Republican presidential nominee's speech was little more than a pack of empty promises and lies from a member of the 1% who is at the root of all of our problems (A-1).

The Daily News fact checked Trump's Republican National Convention speech: Six major things Trump got wrong.

Editor Deirdre Sykes of The Record, on the other hand, was too busy editing a daily update polishing Governor Christie's image from Columnist Charles Stile, the paper's chief apologist for the GOP bully (A-1).

What else would you expect from Woodland Park, home of the only major New Jersey daily that didn't demand Christie's resignation after he endorsed Trump?

Nor does Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin's opinion column on A-17 suggest Christie should be "locked up" for those missing emails and texts related to the Bridgegate scandal.

And shame on Doblin for today's editorial listing Lincoln in the long line of Republican presidential nominees leading up to the disgraceful Trump.

"These are troubling times" is all Doblin can say about today's mean-spirited Republican Party (A-16).

Why four days?

Covering the four-day Republican National Convention seems to have sucked all of the energy out of The Record newsroom, judging from another local-news section dominated by police, fire and court news (L-1, L-2, L-3, L-5 and L-6).

Why all of this blanket coverage of what amounts to little more than a political pep rally, and why are the Republican and upcoming Democratic conventions four days long when only one day is devoted to the actual presidential election?

Seafood pasta 'disaster'

A pricey seafood pasta was "a total disaster" ($22), with watery sauce and "could-have-been-fresher calamari rings," and the spaghetti and meatballs came with "mushy" pasta and a "bland" tomato sauce ($16). 

Yet Della Cucina in Hillsdale gets 2.5 out of 4 stars from Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, who swoons over the "great desserts" (BL-12).

Does the restaurant serve "great" salads or fresh fish besides all of the mystery chicken, veal and pork dishes she liked? 

Readers don't have a clue.

The first two paragraphs of the review are devoted to a history of the year-old restaurant, and a discussion of two Italian-American families that own the place.

If you want to know whether the meat and poultry were raised naturally, you're out of luck.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wacko racist and demagogue set to accept GOP nomination

Republican Ted Cruz refused to endorse wacko racist Donald J. Trump, because the nominee trashed the Texas senator's family during their nasty primary battle, according to the New York Post. You may recall Trump also said Governor Christie is guilty in the George Washington Bridge lane closures, but now the GOP bully is hoping to become the next U.S. attorney general. (Photo credit: New York Post)


One of the few human interest stories in The Record today is the Page 1 interview with Adele Dunlap, a Jersey girl who at 113 holds the title of Oldest American, but remains coy about her age.

Besides that, all Editor Deirdre Sykes can offer is to continue to polish Governor Christie's image as Donald J. Trump's attack dog, and seemingly related coverage of the Just Pups pet store chain (A-1, L-1).

Tonight, the wacko racist New York businessman, who has been compared to Hitler, is set to formally accept the Republican Party's presidential nomination. 

Trump is a true demagogue: a political leader who gains power by appealing to passions, prejudices and ignorance rather than by using rational argument.

Local news?

You won't find much human interest news in Local, where profiles of prominent residents don't appear until after they die.

The only humanizing touch on L-1 is a large photo of Kayden Kinckle of Englewood at Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack. 

Otherwise, L-1 today is filled with court, council and water commission news, plus the gripping account of an environmental cleanup in Ridgefield.

If you miss the Law & Order news you usually find on the Local front, don't worry.

There is plenty of it on L-2, L-3, L-5 and L-6.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clinton has 76% chance of winning election, Times reports

HARD-LUCK ROW: A small American flag flies on this row of long-vacant storefronts on Main Street in Hackensack. Gold Ray Jewelers, the only operating business, closed in June, below. Across the street is C.J. Lombardo Co., where Jerry Lombardo also serves as chairman of the Main Street Business Alliance, which has been trying to polish the image of the city's forlorn downtown.


Despite all the bluster from Governor Christie -- who served as Donald J. Trump's attack dog on Tuesday night -- Democrat Hillary Clinton has a 76% chance of winning the November election.

"Our elections model suggests Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidency, based on the latest state and national polls," The New York Times reports today.

On Tuesday night, wacko racist Trump was formally nominated at the Republican National Convention as the party's presidential candidate, The Record reports on Page 1 today.

Christie called Clinton a "deeply flawed candidate whose use of private email has disqualified her for the presidency" (A-1 and A-8).

But the GOP bully didn't mention his own emails and texts were erased, and his cellphone went missing for about two years in the Bridgegate scandal.

Local news?

Editor Deirdre Sykes again devotes an enormous amount of coverage to the Republican Party's suicide mission in the November presidential election (A-1, A-5, A-7 and A-8) -- much of which will never be read.

Most newsroom workers at the Woodland Park daily haven't seen a raise in years, but Sykes wasted scarce resources to send Columnist Charles Stile to Ohio, where the political reporter proves he is as boring to readers on the road as he is at home (A-7).

If you are looking for local news today, you're out of luck.

The gee-whiz collapse of a crane onto the Tappan Zee Bridge is on A-1 today as Sykes and Road Warrior John Cichowski continue to ignore worsening traffic congestion in North Jersey.

Puppy update

See the front of Local today for the latest update on the puppy mill controversy (L-1).

A feature on the healthy, sustainable food grown on Fresh Roots Farm in Mahwah is welcome (L-1), but readers turning to the Better Living section will find a completely different message.

Jersey blueberries

On BL-4 today, freelancer Shelby Vittek mars the New Jersey blueberry by providing recipes that add artery clogging butter, and cream and ricotta cheeses, as well as cups of sugar, to the glorious fruit.

The headline -- "Birth of the Blues" -- sounds clever, but the blues are all about heartbreak and misery, so the play on words doesn't work here (BL-1).

Unless that's a reference to getting heart disease from a steady diet of sugary Ricotta Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote washed down with a Blueberry Smash Cocktail.

And another feature claims a new Park Ridge restaurant, 103 Prime at Valentino's, has added "more healthful fare," but leaves readers in the dark on whether the pricey restaurant serves grass-fed beef and other naturally raised or grown food (BL-1).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trump compared to Hitler, Joe McCarthy, segregationists

Monday morning rush-hour traffic in Englewood was tied up in knots when police closed Woodland Street for repaving. Detoured drivers encountered delays of 30 minutes or more.


Democrats are pointing to a report by veteran TV newsman Tom Brokaw on Donald J. Trump's promise to ban all Muslims from the United States, if he is elected president.

In the report, Brokaw compares such a step to the internment of Japanese citizens in the United States during World War II, Hitler's attempted extermination of the Jews, anti-communist Sen. Joe MaCarthy, and the brutal segregation of African-Americans in the South. 

See: Why every American should be terrified

And in an interview with People magazine in 1998, Trump called Republicans "the dumbest group of voters in the country.... I could lie and they would still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific."

Today's paper

Editor Deirdre Sykes of The Record publishes thousands upon thousands of words on Page 1 and inside the paper today on the opening of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland -- and the vast majority of the coverage will never be read.

WNYC-FM, on the other hand, needed only a few sentences: 

"The evening started off with a stirring rendition of the national anthem by a blind girl. What followed were three hours of rage, racially polarizing language, calls to put Hillary Clinton in jail, and Rudy Giuliani talking about Syrian refugees coming to kill us. Then Melania Trump took the stage and talked about saving the poor and taking care of women."


Local news?

In another case of Sykes' poor news judgment, the death of Peter G. Banta, one of the most prominent First Amendment lawyers in North Jersey, is being upstaged today by a 24-year-old murder case and a high jumper on A-1, and three stories about animals in the so-called local news section (L-1 and L-3).

The paper's editor continues to mishandle local news, as she did for years when she was head assignment editor, and duck her responsibility to readers who want to know how well or how poorly their towns are being governed.

The obituary for Banta, who represented The Record for many years, is conveniently buried on an obit-local news page (L-5) -- just above a long Dean's List.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Trump ducks AARP questions on plans for Social Security

On his HBO show Friday night, satirist Bill Maher unveiled a mock issue of Us Weekly revealing the "25 Things You Don't Know About" Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party's candidate in the November presidential election.
No. 4. "Mar-a-lago is Spanish for "House of Douche." See more below.

Editor's note: In writing this post, I confused Mike Pence and racing driver Mike Spence, who died in a practice crash leading up to the Indy 500 in the state where Pence is now governor. That doesn't augur well for the Republican Party, which is expected to crash and burn in the presidential election.


You can kiss your Social Security goodbye, if wacko racist Donald J. Trump is elected the next president of the United States.

AARP, the leading advocacy group for Americans who are 50 and over, asked Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for their positions on Social Security, noting, "If our leaders don't act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year."

Trump and Clinton were asked to answer two questions: 

"What will you do to make Social Security financially sound for future generations? What specific plans do you have to ensure that Social Security provide adequate benefits to meet the needs of future retirees?"

In a 600-word statement in the July-August issue of AARP Bulletin, Trump's campaign evaded both questions, and answered in generalities:

"The key to preserving Social Security ... is to have an economy that is robust and growing. For too long, Americans have had a great deal of uncertainty in their lives, and the reforms I will bring to D.C. will ... restore confidence in the American economy." 

Asked for specific plans, Trump repeated his first answer:

"As was stated above, I will work with Congress to ensure we have a pro-growth agenda in place."

Hillary Clinton

Clinton's campaign, on the other hand, didn't pull any punches on how she planned "to guarantee dignity in retirement for future generations"

"Hillary understands that there is no way to accomplish that goal without asking the highest-income Americans to pay more, including options to tax some of their income above the current Social Security cap, and taxing some of their income not currently taken into account by the ... system."

She also pledged to fight Republican attempts "to gamble seniors' retirement security on the stock market through privatization," to reduce annual-cost-of-living adjustments and to raise the retirement age."

Asked for specific plans, the campaign said:

"Hillary will expand Social Security for those who need it most -- including women who are widows and those who took significant time out of the paid workforce to take care of their children, aging parents or ailing family members."

No. 7. "I saved the box Melania arrived in so I can return her when she turns 50."

No. 8. "I never actually believed Obama was born in Kenya. Because I thought the name of the country was Kanye."

No. 22. "I cry at movies. Because they're integrated."

Today's paper

You'll search The Record in vain today for any discussion of the future of Social Security or any other issue at stake in the presidential election.

Thanks to Editor Deirdre Sykes, Columnist Charles Stile and other Trenton reporters, this Sunday edition is a journal of partisan politics, as has been the case so many times before.

Since Governor Christie took office in early 2010, Stile has transformed himself from a hard-nosed Trenton reporter into the GOP bully's personal groomer.

Who needs to read yet another Page 1 column on Christie's "decline" after he dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Trump, but was denied the chance to be the racist's vice presidential running mate (A-1, A-6, A-8)?

Also on A-1 today is a dated story on Trump's selection of Gov. Mike Pence, a crackpot Christian conservative from Indiana, as his plus one in the November election.

Pence has waged war against the LBGT community and food-stamp recipients in his state.

"Exciting, huh?" satirist Bill Maher commented Friday night on HBO. "Nobody knows who this guy [Pence] is. Chris Christie is crushed. Today, his chair said, 'Now you know how I feel.'"

Failed coup

Even given the large number of Turks living in North Jersey, leading the paper with a failed coup in their native country is a huge waste of the front page in a local daily paper (A-1).

Of course, that doesn't mean readers of Local will find any real news of their towns today.

Teterboro Airport -- the source of so much annoying noise for residents of Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood and other towns -- has its image burnished with photos of a 5K run to benefit the Bergen County United Way (L-1).

The larger photo shows runners "cooling down by standing in mist after the race," raising a question:

Is this one of the sprayers used to de-ice business jets in winter, and if so, was any chemical residue sprayed on runners?

Better Living

Don't bother looking for food news in Better Living today.

Elisa Ung, the paper's chief restaurant reviewer, devotes her entire Corner Table column today to a bake shop in Hawthorne that is high on the "not recommended" list of the National Institute of Diabetes (B-1).

Don't complain

In a letter to the editor today, Moshe Schuldinger of Hackensack puts the battle over raising the gasoline tax in perspective (O-3).

Schuldinger says Bergen County residents have only themselves to blame for high taxes, because they resist the kind of consolidation of services found in Virginia and other states.

Residents of Fairfax County, Va., pay much lower property taxes than Bergen residents, because they have one countywide police department, one fire department, one sanitation department and a school system with one board of education.

"Compare that with Bergen County's roughly 70 town boards, police departments and multiple local boards of education and school districts."

"It's their choice," he says of apathetic voters and others who don't want to get involved. "They shouldn't complain."

On the front of the Opinion section, does Columnist Mike Kelly expose one of those do-nothing police chiefs or school superintendents in Bergen County?

No. Instead, he praises the police chief in Dallas (O-1).

9. "I can peel a banana with my feet."

18. "When I get bored around the office, I make Chris Christie dance around a diaper."

24. "The original name for Trump Tower was My Big Shiny Penis Building."