I see nothing on the “Montclair Republicans” website denouncing Trump for calling majority-black nations “shithole countries” on Jan. 11, for signing tax “reform” last month that hurts our town, for bragging about sexually assaulting women, for lying repeatedly, etc. Comment?

Dee Cency

Just goes to show that too many Republicans continue to support party over country no matter what horrendous thing Trump says or does. Or should I say “Republcans” — minus the “i” for “integrity.”

And the “Montclair Republicans” organization is scheduled to host a pro-Trump speaker tonight, Jan. 18. But did it occur to you that the group, whose members include nice people, might not support the Predator-in-Chief on everything?

Query from Merrie and Jerry

I should have written “sic” after “Republcans,” because “sic” is also the initials of “silence implies consent.”

A far cry from the 1970s, when some principled Republicans helped end a Nixon presidency that was VERY problematic but still better than Trump’s. Guts gone with the wind?

I.M. Notacrook

Seems so. Thankfully, thousands of our town’s progressives and mainstream Democrats are energetically opposing Trump. Unlike the avenue bordering Montclair State, his behavior is not Normal.

Phil Murphy, the Democrat who became governor Jan. 16, has said progressive things he’ll hopefully follow through on. When might he keep his promise to end the time-wasting PARCCs in high-opt-out (yay!) Montclair and elsewhere in New Jersey?

I.M. Notta-Pearsonpawn

Before next month’s Groundhog Day would be nice. I’m tired of another Phil — the Punxsutawney rodent — predicting six more weeks of standardized testing each year.

Getting back to racial matters, the Jan. 10 Board of Education meeting at Montclair High’s George Inness Annex included discussion of suspension rates being higher for black males than for other students. Thoughts?

Pried and Prejudice

Awful. Some racism involved? Undoubtedly, though most Montclair teachers and administrators struck me as unbiased when I met them during my time with one child in the school system from 1993 to 2007 and another from 2012 on. Things were worse in 1885, when Inness got annoyed with people showing up at his house for BOE meetings.

Don’t forget socioeconomic issues — many African-American families are hugely affected by living in a racist country with atrocious income inequality.

Unfair Is Foul

True. At least our school district is doing some things to help less-affluent students, but it can do even more. A shame Montclair’s public pre-K was ditched in the 1990s — a decade I recently revisited via time machine. Hearing Alanis Morissette songs again was a shock.

Another meeting, of the Township Council on Jan. 9, included discussion of the parking deck planned for the coming “arts district” that will cram downtown. Can you believe that Montclair — indirectly, we the taxpayers — might have to pay some of the deck’s construction costs?

A Bushel and a Deck

Not good. Even with Montclair receiving future fees from that parking facility, our town didn’t get enough in return for giving the developer land that helped make the “arts district” project possible. Developers 1, Montclair 0. The winners’ slogan: “Deal now closed. You got hosed.”

With the “arts district” cramming downtown along with other too-big complexes such as Valley & Bloom and Lackawanna Plaza, how will all the new traffic fit?

Gridlockness Monster

Orthodontists tell me Bloomfield Avenue can be widened with a palatal expander.

Trump made the latest of his many racist remarks just four days before places such as Montclair marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day in various wonderful ways. Sickening, eh?

Donald Ducks Tolerance

Yes. I once interviewed MLK’s widow, Coretta Scott King, and she had infinitely more integrity than the current White House occupant. Heck, Ms. King’s last name had an “i” in it and Trump’s does not.



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.





58 replies on “MontClairVoyant: Will the ‘Montclair Republicans’ Organization Ever Denounce Trump?”

  1. More liberal whining. Keep watching CNN. Again, no proof that the President made those remarks about Haiti and Africa. How about all the good he has done, nothing is good enough for you people. To start, the economy? Dow closing over 26k yesterday? Countless companies moving operations back to the US. Latest being apple, moving 350 Billion back to the US. And NAFTA is being re negotiated. And thousands of regulations having been rescinded. ISIS is finally defeated. Businesses sending bonuses to employees. Less ILLEGAL immigrants crossing the border. Black and Spanish unemployment rate hitting record lows. That is just in 1 year.

  2. Thank you for commenting, jimbo08!

    Given Trump’s history of lying, I’m afraid I can’t believe his denial of what he said about African countries. And even if I could believe it, he has a long history of racism — slamming black NFL players for their National Anthem protests against police brutality, falsely spreading the “birther” lie about Barack Obama being born in Kenya, slamming the African-American “Central Park Five” who turned out to be innocent, not renting to black people in his early days as a real-estate developer, etc.

    The Dow IS up, but that mostly benefits people with a stake in the stock market, not lower-income people. And the stock market started going up long before Obama left office. Trump does deserve some credit for the Dow rise in that corporations love it that he’s cutting their taxes and cutting various regulations — both of which harm the vast majority of people.

    I never watch CNN. 🙂

  3. All PR is GOOD PR…thank you Dave. Open-minded Baristavillians who are to the right of communist can look into associating with the folks who support limited government, liberty, privacy, and economic opportunity. We don’t tell others what their words — or lack of words — means. ‘LIKE’ Montclair Republicans on Facebook and sign up for our next event, ‘Victims of Communism’ on February 22 at 7 pm: (youth rates available).

  4. Thank you, montclairrepublican, for your gracious response to my column’s criticism of your organization. 🙂

    I totally get that many Republicans share opinions on such matters as “limited government, liberty, privacy, and economic opportunity.” But there are so many contradictions going on these days. For instance, Republicans always push for a balanced budget when a Democrat is in the White House, yet objective observers who studied the GOP’s new tax “reform” law before it was enacted said it will hugely increase the deficit.

    And why don’t local Republicans at least criticize Trump’s personal behavior more? I remember when the GOP blasted Bill Clinton for his immoral behavior in the 1990s — and, I, a liberal, agreed with that and blasted Clinton, too (in various pieces I wrote pre-“Montclairvoyant”). Family values and all that. Now, “crickets” from most Republicans about Trump, whose words and actions are almost all the opposite of “family values.”

    That said, thanks again for commenting!

  5. Dave, thou protest too much. The stock market rose under Obama because he recklessly printed money. His billionaire donors loved him for it. Not the case now. Let things play out. Maybe, just maybe things will turn out for the better. North and South Korea are sending athletes together to the Olympics. That might thaw relations. Saudi Arabia is becoming more moderate. Black and Hispanic unemployment are at all time lows. Money is coming home. Yea, Trump maybe a buffoon but if his plan works for most Americans is that so bad? Liberal Montclair loves to be taxed…they are getting their wish. The average American will benefit. Isn’t that a good thing? ..or does benevolence end at the Montclair border? As far as his unfortunate private remark that was just as wrongfully made public…well, who hasn’t heard a blowhard spout off in private? I have overheard some pretty crude private women’s conversations….and Durbin…really? That guy is a bit too slimey for my liking. Don’t let all that resentment eat at you. It will turn your hair white…wink, wink. Just go along for the ride, be kind to your family, friends, and neighbors and smile a little. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry, pot will be legal soon.

  6. I appreciate the comment, flipside. Might have to dye my hair. 🙂 And I’ve never used pot even once in my entire life. Unlike many of the things Trump says, that’s not a lie!

    The stock market rose under Obama — who I had mixed feelings about — partly because of some positive actions of his. Helping to save two major auto companies, among other things. North Korea and South Korea are having a bit of a thaw in their relations to help protect themselves against Trump’s recklessness. I don’t think Trump is smart enough to have been reckless as a strategy; he just spouts off without thinking. Etc.

    Sure, some people speak crudely in private, but Trump — whether he’s talking about Africa, women, or other topics — is cruder than most. I’ve been in plenty of meetings and locker rooms, and have rarely heard stuff quite as disgusting as what comes out of Trump’s mouth.

    Durbin slimy for telling the truth? That almost sounds Orwellian! 🙂

  7. So Trump inherited a bull market, but only he is doing the bull market “correctly”? Do you hear how you sound? The tax reform legislation does nothing for half of poor and middle class families right now, while offering massive giveaways to the rich. All to blow up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Remember the deficit? Why was it bad that Obama increased it but its ok now? Growing out the deficit is great, unless you care about your savings account. The black and Hispanic unemployment rates are ‘historically low,’ but still too high. And what policies, exactly, affected these rates? And this says nothing about his gutting of the EPA, and his obvious distain for any environmental regulations in general. Short sited and dumb. But what do you expect? We have a president who knows next to nothing about policy, who governs by what he last saw on Fox News.

    Durbin is “slimey,” but a guy who paid off a porn star right before the election and was caught on tape talking about assaulting women, he’s OK? HA HA HA HA HA!

    I also love how the Montclair Republicans have to revisit that old bugaboo, the Communists, in order to not talk about Trump. Stalin died 60 years ago guys. While you are conducting your Two Minutes Hate, the elephant in the room is eating all the donuts.

  8. Dave, tried to stir up some comments for you but its more of the same old same old….MSNBC, CNN, pitter patter….boy, the internet and 24 hour news has sure taken it’s toll on mental health. I must apologize. I wasn’t being kind. I’m done….it’s not nice to upset people. I will leave the divisive talk to the Colberts, Mahers, Hannitys, and O’Reilly’s of the world. Let them own the discord they sow.

  9. You made excellent points, mike 91! Thank you!

    Yes, the market was already going strong under Obama — not that Republicans gave him any credit for that. The tax bill, while giving some of the non-rich a small/temporary tax cut, is definitely 99% weighted to the rich and corporations — as if they need more money. And the bill will hurt Montclair. Republicans only care about the deficit when money is used for social benefits. When used for tax cuts for the rich and the military? Spend away! Unemployment is indeed down for various demographics, but wages are still far too low for many people. Trashing environmental regulations and dismissing climate change? We’re all going to pay dearly for that — and are already paying with worse hurricanes, worse flooding, worse wildfires, etc. And Trump’s words and actions are indeed the very definition of slimy, including the two examples you cited. And what Sen. Tom Cotton did — lying to protect Trump — is slimy.

    I know I’m repeating/stating what you already know. 🙂

    “…the elephant in the room is eating all the donuts” — great line!

  10. flipside, thanks for trying to stir up more comments!

    Obviously, the people you mentioned — Colbert, Maher, Hannity, and deposed sexual predator O’Reilly (who I once interviewed, and he liked the story!) — are partisan. I of course prefer the first two for ideological reasons, but I also happen to think they’re more “fact-based.” And it certainly helps that Colbert and Maher use humor.

    As for your lament about “the same old same old,” we’re unlikely to change each other’s minds here. But it’s interesting to debate, and commenters on the right make some points that get me thinking.

  11. montclairrepublican didn’t answer your question. Instead, she promoted a FB page. Beyond all the made up Trumpisms here, it would be easier Mr. Astor if you simply asked the Montclair Republicans if they are happy with their own pending tax bill under their president. With that, you will get crickets. Or they will blame Murphy, who hasn’t even done anything yet.

  12. Thanks for the comment, Jon!

    You’re right that montclairrepublican’s comment was partly a promo, but I didn’t mind after I had criticized the organization. 🙂

    And you made a great point about how the new tax bill will hurt Montclair homeowners — something I should have given more than a passing mention in my column. Many Republicans (among others) are going to be slammed by that $10,000 limit on property-tax deductions in high-tax Montclair. One of the GOP’s aims with its tax bill was to punish blue states, yet many blue-state Republicans still supported it. They put party over many of their own constituents. 🙁

  13. If you must bring Obama into conversation- Sorry but economists almost unanimously agree that Trump would help more credit for current economic gains than Obama, and after another year with the tax bill it will be even better. Trump started from a better economic position than Obama did, and it can be argued that he had Obama partially to thank for that, but after a recession, the economy is always bound to come back. Historically always has, so was it really Obama? Did he do anything to grow the GDP? When asked about how Trump would grow the GDP by 3%, he stated “yea how, wave his magic wand?” He has done all of this within his first year, yet he still received a 96% negative coverage rate throughout CNN, ABC, MSNBC, CBS, that’s ludicrous. The investor confidence that began as soon as Trump took office is very strongly correlated to his business friendly rhetoric. The day it was in the press that Michael Flynn would testify against Trump (which turned out to be a lie based on when he was instructed to contact the Russians) the stock market took a dive because investors thought Trump might be in trouble. Now that the tax bill has passed they aren’t only confident because of his rhetoric, he has actions to back it up. Check the article by Wall Street Journal where they surveyed 68 economists; they almost unanimously agree that Trump gets more credit for the economic situation of this exact moment than Obama does. You are just trying to discredit him at all costs. You know that if we entered recession the day before Trump took office you would blame him for that over Obama. And if the economy were tanking right now, the blame would fall solely on Trump, NOT Obama. Lot of one way streets in Montclair.

  14. “Sorry but economists almost unanimously agree that Trump would help more credit for current economic gains than Obama, and after another year with the tax bill it will be even better. ”

    This is NOT true.

    “Check the article by Wall Street Journal where they surveyed 68 economists; they almost unanimously agree that Trump gets more credit for the economic situation of this exact moment than Obama does. ”

    Neither is this.

    Making shit up is not a way to win hearts and minds.

    The Trump tax cuts simply pour gasoline on an already burning fire (the economy). It will flame out quickly, and wise investors will take their profits at the right time.


  15. Thank you for the follow-up comment, jimbo08! You make some persuasive points.

    I find the issue of credit for the economy complicated. Obama does deserve some credit — via such things as the bailout of the auto industry (which I mentioned in an earlier comment) and his stimulus package. It’s also clear that there has been improvement in some economic areas under Trump.

    But…Trump’s method — the whole “trickle-down” thing of tax cuts for the rich and giving corporations almost everything they want — tends to truly help fewer people than a more social-democratic approach. And his method increases income inequality, as was the case under previous “trickle-down” champions Reagan and George W. Bush. With all their newfound money in this time of Trump, corporations might hire a few more people and throw a bone to their lower-wage workers (minor increases in pay) but most of the $$ goes to shareholders (who tend to be more affluent anyway), executive salaries and bonuses, company reserve stashes, etc.

    And, yes, there is a tendency to discredit Trump on almost everything because the guy is so cruel, immoral, incurious, narcissistic, and more.

  16. Dave, You seem very enamored by the auto industry bailout. The bailout didn’t save the auto industry it saved the shareholders. The auto companies would have restructured and blown out bad management. The risk takers would have lost out but it could be argued that the companies and taxpayers would have been better off to let them fail and restructure. Also, you detest the thought of trickle down. You do realize that that quantitative easing coupled with keeping interest rates artificially low enabled the stock market to recover and triple on thin air. (companies issuing debt to do buybacks, etc.). This was great for the Warren Buffets of the world but didn’t help Main St. It did put plenty of dough into the pockets of the ultra rich that you have no affection for. Why do think Obama was a darling to the billionaires? Trickle UP economics!
    Jon is probably right…things are a little frothy here. Interest rates are due to rise and stock prices and fixed income will work there way back to normal. The adjustment will be painful for some and it doesn’t bode well for Montclair real estate. We forget sometimes that Montclair is just a speck and once you get over first mountain we lose all relevance.

  17. From what I believe the article you mentioned (

    “We have to be cautious about giving Trump too much credit for the economy’s strength,” said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group. “Job creation and business capital spending were on the rise prior to his presidency. The jury is still out how much more his actions moved the economy forward.”

    A ringing endorsement! But also:

    “Roughly three in four economists surveyed by the Journal said shareholders, not employees, would see the larger benefit from the corporate-tax cut. “We’ll still see much of the earnings go to stock buybacks, raise dividends or help finance” mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Baumohl said.”

    The average American will benefit!

  18. Jon, thanks for the follow-up comment.

    I guess a newspaper, a political party, or whatever can always find some “experts” to support a certain point of view — whether those “experts” are economists, the rare scientists who deny climate change, etc.

    Given who owns The Wall Street Journal (far-right Rupert Murdoch of Fox News infamy), I’m very skeptical of that paper’s objectivity — even in its news pages.

  19. Without government money, the auto companies would not have been able to go through Chapter 11 (which they eventually did), and would have collapsed (taking their suppliers along with them), potentially taking millions of jobs with them. At the time, the argument was that shareholders got the short end of the stick, since the “new” companies (with government ownership) replaced the old companies, and stock in the old company was worthless. So, not so much.

  20. Last night the Montclair Republican Club held a productive and informative meeting which focused on policy, and during which many voices and divergent opinions were heard regarding the initiatives of the Trump administration on taxes, immigration, regulatory reform, terrorism, entitlements, infrastructure, health care, and education. Republicans, like people anywhere, don’t think as a block and often disagree, more about the tactics for achieving a freer society rather than the goal itself. But though we can and do debate in a spirited and civilized way about the direction we wish the president and the nation to take, we are united in our resolve to resist those who would silence our voices. .

    Upon our publicizing the January 18 event, The Greek Taverna, which hosted us, was besieged by phone calls from a ‘resistance’ group threatening Facebook and other boycotts to undermine their business if they didn’t cancel the meeting. The proprietors, like us, were appalled by the brazen lack of respect for even the most basic of civic rights, that of free speech, evinced by these celebrants of ‘diversity and inclusion’ in Montclair. In the event, eight members of this group made a reservation in the restaurant, ostensibly to dine nearby and cow us into some kind of recognition of their ideological hold over the town.

    But they never showed up. Their table sat empty, though the restaurant, courteous to a fault, held it for them through the evening. The whole episode exposed both their rudeness and their cowardice.

    So the short answer is no. We will not denounce the President to bow to the demands of a tyrannical majority. We welcome open expression and debate both on the direction of Trump administration and the political life of the nation as a whole, and our doors are wide open to anyone who wants to show up and engage in good faith on the crucial issues that impact the lives of all American citizens.

    John Van Wagner, President, Montclair Republican Club

  21. Thanks for commenting again, flipside!

    I’m not sure I’d call myself enamored — 🙂 — of the auto-industry bailout, but I do think helping that industry was necessary at the time. I’m no economics expert, but if, as you say, the bailout mostly saved the shareholders, that saving of the shareholders in essence helped also save the auto companies themselves. Without that bailout, I’m not sure GM and Chrysler could have successfully restructured. I totally agree that American auto companies have been badly managed (especially compared to a number of their foreign competitors), but those companies directly and indirectly comprise a big share of the U.S. economy.

    I also totally agree that many billionaires and millionaires were fans of Obama. Heck, he didn’t mess very much with the status quo that makes much of America’s ultra-rich happy. He nibbled at the edges here and there.

    Yes, Montclair is just a speck in the great scheme of things, but it’s our speck. Trump and his policies are hurting our speck.

  22. Thanks for your two additional comments, Mike! Each well said.

    “The average American will benefit!” — nice sarcasm. 🙂 Yes, when it comes to corporate tax cuts, the average American/average employee always benefits very little, at best.

    And I agree (as stated in a comment I posted before seeing yours) that the auto bailout was necessary. And, from a practical/public-relations perspective, how could the U.S. government not bail out the auto companies after it had bailed out the banks not long before? Both bailouts were pitched as necessary to save the U.S economy. (Of course, I would have loved to see a bunch of bankers deservedly jailed for their economy-wrecking shenanigans.)

  23. Thank you for your eloquent comment, John. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner.

    I totally understand that Republicans in Montclair have certain philosophical/ideological views about things. I respect that, even while disagreeing with many of those views. I guess what I’m most puzzled by — and maybe I didn’t make it clear enough in my column — is that your organization has seemingly remained silent about Trump’s very troublesome PERSONAL qualities. The lying, the vulgar language, the racism, the many credible accusations of sexual assault, and so on.

    Some people (not me) might argue that those personal qualities are not very relevant; it’s a politician’s policies that alone should count. Yet the GOP blasted Bill Clinton back in the 1990s for his (abhorrent) personal behavior — and argued again and again that “family values” were crucially important. That attitude has continued to this day — for example, with the GOP’s slams of Al Franken. Franken did the right thing and resigned. So why is Trump, who has done much worse things, exempt from public “family values” criticism from your organization and other Republicans? I deliberately used the word “public” because undoubtedly many Republicans have privately expressed disgust with Trump’s personal behavior.

    I believe in boycotts in some situations, but a restaurant of course has the right to be the site of a Trump-related event.

  24. John,

    Montclair Republican Club held a productive and informative meeting…in Bloomfield. And then you assume Montclair residents tried to sabotage it?

    These Montclair Republicans are appalled by a brazen lack of respect for core values?
    You had a meeting about tactical aspects of governance, but didn’t venture into a values discussion?

    As one Republican Party policymaker said of the party, “we broke it, now we have to own it.” Bask in the economic stimulus program, but I’m hard pressed to see your club’s argument for trying to take the moral high ground.

  25. No one is asking Montclair Republicans to denounce Trump in order to ‘bow to the demands of a tyrannical majority.’ The question is, do you denounce his comments about Haiti and countries in Africa? Why not?

    Also, what do you think of the tax plan, which seems specifically designed to punish states that didn’t vote for him? On a similar note, what do you think of the plan to open leases to offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific and give Florida (a state that voted for him) a pass? This must have come up in your ‘policy’ discussions, didn’t it? Or was it just a victory lap?

  26. Frank, an EXCELLENT point. It is difficult for Republicans who are publicly silent about Trump’s appalling personal behavior to credibly take the moral high ground…on anything.

  27. Forget Trump for the moment. Let’s go to the new Lackawanna plan.. I like to call the new plan for Lackawanna’s West parcel (the Pathmark parcel) the anti-development plan.

    In its essence , it reduces the commercial footprint of the 1-story building (reducing tax ratables), expands surface parking, inserts a prohibited office use on the ground floor, requires reconfiguring traffic flows for Bloomfield Av and Grove St, and requires relief from the Bloomfield Ave roadway reservation. For this, the developer will provide and additional 1,200 sf of open space. 1,200 sf is equivalent to 4 ½ parking spaces.

    There should be no doubt that, in the long-term, the 1 story building and surface lot will be developed again to the full potential zoning allows. So, to me, this is a short-term plan that keeps the owner’s development potential options open. As such, I similarly view the requested variances & waivers. They’re mostly temporary.

    The only item that is not temporary is the County’s 10’ wide roadway reservation that runs the length of the Bloomfield Ave boundary for this parcel and the East parcel (the TD Bank). A roadway reservation is essentially an easement right to widen Bloomfield Avenue for future public transportation uses. Once released, it can never be reinstated.

    The release is not a Planning Board decision. It is the County’s – and something for the Council to support or not. The justification is poor. Both parcels have opted out of proceeding under a redevelopment plan. As I said, the West parcel proposal is actually a reduction in development. We would be giving up a valuable right in exchange for….wait for it…allowing the developer to marginally reduce their parking variance request.

    The developer’s plan is a pragmatic plan. Most of it is allowed by right. I have only 2 issues with the proposal. This is one of them. It makes no sense for us to support releasing the roadway reservation.

  28. Thank you for that information, Frank!

    The early part of your comment mentioned something important I hadn’t thought of — the possibility of a smaller Lackawanna Plaza later being expanded into a bigger Lackawanna Plaza. A depressing thought.

    I’m not sure what to think of the Bloomfield Avenue widening you don’t seem to like. Any positives to that, or all negatives? I certainly wouldn’t want anyone “eminent domained” out of a home or business because of a widening.

  29. Don’t think of widening as necessarily adding more traffic lanes, but of taking a whole right-of-way and reallocating space to fit what we seem to value.

    For example, both Bloomfield & Grove are marked with double yellow lines. To enter the West parcel’s 226 car lot, we would have to add left turn lanes. Shoulders and parking would be the first to go. And if it turns out to be a supermarket, then there is going to be a highest level of hourly turnover. It’s not like the Wellmont where we expect people to eat and be entertained for the evening.

    The Master Plan also recognized the need for enhanced bus stops. Maybe there will be even more mass transit. Maybe even more Ubers. Everybody has to be picked up and dropped off somewhere…and it seems we don’t want hired cars, shuttles, etc driving into an already crazy supermarket parking lot. Look at all the points of conflict with the layout. Well, more space for that.

    Pedestrians! Bloomfield Ave’s 70+’ width is not exactly pedestrian friendly. As you have noted, all the development is only going to add a ton of pedestrians. One way to clam traffic & make it safer for pedestrians is to shorten the crossing distances by adding a median/island at that mobility nexus.

    Lastly, while I don’t support the idea, some do support adding bicycle lanes to Bloomfield Ave & Grove St.

    I have no idea what our needs & wants will be in 5 years and because we are getting nothing for giving it up, they seem reasons enough not to give it up. I do know our population is going up by thousands and the Township has directed the vast majority of it to be along this corridor.

  30. I appreciate the detailed explanation and possible scenarios, Frank. I can see that the potential changes to Bloomfield Avenue could mean many possible things.

    Getting nothing for giving up something? Not good. It almost sounds like Montclair giving up town land for the parking deck that’ll be part of the Seymour Street redevelopment. Some parking fees from that, at least.

    And, yes, there will be a LOT more pedestrians and vehicles on Bloomfield Avenue. Will congestion pricing be needed? Just kidding. 🙂

  31. Yes, the Township Council really needs to give up on their “Masters of Development” mindset. This administration is more competent, but the results are eerily similar. Just look at the Council’s agenda for next weeks meeting regarding the Seymour redevelopment projects. Seriously? a regular street corner 3-card monte is more legit.

    Anyway, between that and the developers bailing on the Lackawanna “Area In Need of Something”, I think I can confidently say local government led redevelopment is done for a good, long while. A note of appreciation to the 3rd & 4th Wards for absorbing the full brunt of this. Of course you asked for it, so you should be happy.

  32. I agree, Frank — a competent Township Council with too much of a development bent.

    “Area In Need of Something” — ha! Funnily put!

    I know we discussed this before, but I think there are many 3rd and 4th Ward residents who didn’t ask for/don’t want all this overbuilding. Seems to be more a developer/Township Council/Planning Board-driven thing. And with all the extra vehicle traffic coming to downtown, “driven” is an appropriate word.

  33. Yes, there are many 3rd and 4th Ward residents who didn’t ask for/don’t want all this overbuilding. I should have said “…for those that asked for it, you should be happy.”

  34. Thanks, Frank! Very true that some people — including a number of people not in Montclair (yet) — want upscale stores, faux-fancy apartments, and other elements of the new downtown development. I’m not one of them. 🙂

  35. Well, I suppose the prevailing view amongst my Republican friends is “let he who hasn’t raw-dogged a porn star just after the birth of his fifth child to his third wife cast the first stone.” ?

  36. But seriously, Trumpistas: Why did you allow yourselves to become seduced to elect this decerebrate orangutan as your President, and why are you not making a public repudiation of and penance for that vote? It’s time – past time actually – for Trump voters and supporters to “grow the ‘f’ up” and own up to their embarrassment, admitting that they’ve made a horrible mistake with “Deficient Donny”

  37. Thank you for your comments, Bill!

    Trump seems to have lucked into the perfect Teflon strategy. He has done and said so many awful things that any one awful thing seems to have little impact. For instance, Trump having an affair with a woman early in his current marriage, and then paying off that woman to keep silent before Election Day, is something that would doom most other politicians. But for Trump, just another vile event in his disgusting life history.

  38. My experience with the Montclair Republican Club has made me very confident that they will not denounce Trump anytime soon, nor will they distance themselves from abhorrent views expressed by their own local members. This is unfortunate, because I suspect that in the age of Trump they would likely find their Montclair neighbors more open to a message of local autonomy and limited federal power than any time in recent memory, which many claim as a priority.

    Unfortunately, as much as they make fun of “liberal safe spaces,” the online forums in which club members participate seem to serve more as a safe space to complain about marginalized groups, and to complain about those doggone social justice warriors suggesting that Good People such as themselves might be pushing racist or other problematic ideas. It often seems as though they think that calling someone racist (which is how they view the mildest suggestion that they said or endorsed something racist) is worse than actually being racist.

    It is all the more frustrating because I have much respect for John Van Wagner and I know that there are plenty of individual members of the club who privately object to much of Trump’s behavior. It seems most of the club has internalized the Reagan rule of not saying anything bad about a fellow Republican, without questioning who they are letting call themselves Republican these days, or whether that was one of the stupidest rules an informed citizen could internalize to begin with.

  39. You’re absolutely right, Frank, and how depressing is that? 🙁 As right-wing as Reagan was, he was not as far right as Trump, Pence, Paul Ryan, etc., are. And the also-right-wing Nixon was to the left of Reagan. The GOP the past few decades has been on an ever-downward slide into the ideological muck. 🙁

  40. Definitely not, Frank! I just wish the GOP hadn’t become so far right and that more of the Democratic Party leadership was truly progressive. Also, it would be nice if third parties (on the left and right) had more of a fair shot in elections (including fewer ballot obstacles, more inclusion in debates, and better media coverage).

  41. You really want to be depressed. Think Teapot Dome. Think of that decade in our history.
    I think maybe 80% of people reading this will have to google both.

  42. Warren Harding’s presidency! Yes, not good. Nor was Coolidge’s or Hoover’s, or the start of The Great Depression. But, in various ways, Trump’s presidency might be the worst ever.

  43. Comparatively, I disagree. Aside from the fact our Democracy has not been overly blessed with great presidents, our really bad presidencies have been when our system of government failed, not the position. Typically, there are a string of lesser failures preceding and subsequent to the “event”

    Further, the Trump Presidency closely embodies his campaign run. Much of electorate continues to support this “ignore the man, embrace the fruits” and (I’m sorry to scare you), their numbers are clearly growing. If you want your bellwether, look at the Blue Senators from Red States up for reelection.

  44. You’re right that many of the bad U.S. presidencies didn’t happen in a vacuum.

    As for Trump’s support, it seems roughly a third of the electorate is standing by him no matter how ignorantly and destructively he acts. I haven’t seen numbers indicating this support is growing. Republicans might still do well in the 2018 midterm elections and Trump may win reelection in 2020, but those I-hope-don’t happen events would owe more to things like gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the unfair Electoral College than to any majority love for the current GOP.

  45. Thank you for your comment, Sean! VERY well said! My apologies for not replying sooner; I didn’t see your comment until now.

    Interesting that there are a number of Montclair Republicans who privately criticize Trump. I suspected as much. After all, there are plenty of decent local GOPers, while Trump is the opposite of decent in every way. A shame there’s that “rule” of not criticizing other Republicans, because being complicit with Trump is a very, very bad approach on a human level. And, as you allude to, the current White House occupant is barely a Republican in any traditional sense. He’s the party of Trump.

    Last but not least, you nailed it with this great line of yours: “It often seems as though they think that calling someone racist (which is how they view the mildest suggestion that they said or endorsed something racist) is worse than actually being racist.” I have definitely noticed that, locally and non-locally. Obviously, being racist is the problem; calling someone racist is NOT the problem.

  46. Of course Frank is entirely right when he writes, “Much of electorate continues to support this ‘ignore the man, embrace the fruits.”
    But I wonder how many of the faithful will be lost to Deficient Donny when it is realized that – owing to the Administration’s manipulation of the tax code – their homes (if they are living in the southern Connecticut/northern NJ/NYC area) will have lost about 10.4% of their sale value (which is not even to mention heightened taxes being spent on corporate welfare).
    Your $690,000 home? Guess what? It’s not a $690,000 home anymore, it’s a $618,000 home. I suspect that when the dew is off the rose and grim reality sets in there will be an ample defection from the Trumpista camp.
    Is the economy bouncing along merrily and markets booming? Sure, for now. But it’s a ”sugar high.”
    The overwhelming majority of professional economists have cautioned that the tax cuts – such as they are – are a “short-term growth boost” which will widen the US current account deficit and strengthen the dollar, both outcomes which even Donald Trump has said harms the US by making manufacturers less competitive.
    Indeed, the benefits of the tax cut will be paid back later in the form of lower growth.
    Make America Great Again? Right. Assuming that we ‘touch bottom’ by then, I suspect 2018 will be a very good year to be a progressive Democrat.

  47. A great question, Bill, about how Trump diehards will feel when the new tax law slams them. Or when they lose medical insurance as Obamacare continues to get battered. Etc. You laid out the specifics very well, and I loved your “sugar high” phrase.

    Of course, some voters — because of reasons such as racism or being too embarrassed to admit they supported a truly despicable man — might continue to back Trump no matter what. 🙁 Even as almost everything Trump does helps mostly the ultra-rich.

    As for the 2018 midterm elections, I agree there is reason to be optimistic. But I still fear Republican voter suppression, the results of GOP gerrymandering, the evil influence of right-wing “big money,” and the huge bias of far-right media.

  48. While your concepts are viable, I’m not sure of the application to/impact on short-term, consumer thinking.

    Let’s assume a homeowner has two major assets. Their house and their savings/retirement. Let’s assume, in easy round numbers, that homeowner also had $310K valuation on the retirement asset and mostly in the market. $1MM total.

    Take the home value decrease of $72K as a given, but also say their market investment valuation grew this year $100K to $410K. A Y/Y net increase of $28K to $1.028MM total. Not bad.

    Now take Montclair where the upper end of the housing market has been under a lot of pressure. Let’s assume the upper end consumer has seen a similar growth in their investments – a consumer that likely has a generally higher % of their asset mix in this bull market. They likely assume an adjustment is coming. Without getting into the taxation gymnastics, it could also suggest this segment will move some of their windfall into assets like a house and alleviate, to some degree, the market’s downward price pressure. Tax ratables go up. More revenue for the town. Tax rate increase goes down.

    Or take the homeowner that wants to trade up. They lose money on the sale, but if they stay in town, the new home should be similarly discounted.

    Yes, admittedly, a whole lot of voodoo economics. But, it might cause enough churning to cloud the impact until after the mid-terms.

  49. My use of “evil” in the last line of my previous comment was too strong. I’d like to walk that back to “negative.”

    Frank, I see what you’re saying, and would be interested in reading Bill’s response. But I wonder if a market rise would be sustainable. With Trump and the Republican Congress trying to remove restraints on the big banks, the banks’ greedy actions to come might eventually lead to another serious recession with taxpayers bailing out the rich guys once again. We know what happened to the market back in 2008. (My 401k certainly plummeted.)

    You make an excellent point about how short-term thinking can muddy things. Heck, the GOP last month front-loaded a temporary tax-cut pittance to the non-rich that will end well after the 2018 elections. The tax cut for the very rich, of course, was made permanent.

  50. But I wonder if a market rise would be sustainable.

    History says it isn’t and considering Congress’s penchant for the short term fixes and kicking the rest down the road, it only needs to carry – to your point – the party through the mid-terms. In that regard, their plan has a good chance. While markets are a inherently flawed human construct, they, like Mother Nature, move with a force, speed and unpredictability that the pace of governments can usually only react to.

  51. I agree, Frank. The market will eventually tumble — at least partly due to awful GOP policies — but that’s very unlikely to happen before the midterm elections less than than 10 months away. That will help Republicans in November. I’m hoping it won’t help enough…

  52. You’re right, John. No much (public) doubt from Montclair Republicans that I can see. They appear to (publicly) think that since Trump is a Republican and occupies the White House, he can say and do any awful thing he wants and still have their support.

    Thanks for commenting!

  53. Dave, thank you for saying that “a restaurant of course has the right to be the site of a Trump-related event.” Not everyone here believes that.
    I found these comments to be very inspiring. I am joining the Montclair Republican Club and sending a small contribution as well. I hope to be at the dinner on Feb 22.

  54. Thank you for the comment, essen!

    Everybody’s entitled to make their own decisions about their political affiliation, and I wish you luck. There are good people in the Montclair Republican Club, though I disagree with them on most issues. I hope there comes a time when the GOP has kinder leaders than Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell.

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