Anything to say about New Jersey’s July 7 primary as mail ballots have continued to be counted this week?

Long Tall Tally

Pinocchio first appeared in a story published on July 7, 1881; that puppet’s nose grew when he lied; many politicians lie; so, if Pinocchio and politicians connect via Zoom, beware of their noses cracking the computer screens.

Appreciate the warning. Admirable Montclair progressive Lawrence Hamm received a good number of votes, but many less than centrist Cory Booker in the U.S. Senate race. What are we to make of that?

CB or Not CB

Booker had lots of name recognition, the support of New Jersey’s powerful Democratic establishment, and the benefit of finishing in the top 100 of the 29 Dems who sought the 2020 presidential nomination.

Seems Jersey is less hospitable to progressive candidates than New York, where impressive people such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman have done well in House elections. The results of the two congressional primaries that directly involved Montclair?

On the House

Democrats Donald Payne and Mikie Sherrill handily won the 10th and 11th districts, respectively, with Sherrill running unopposed. Both are also essentially centrists — not nickel-ists or dime-ists.

Have you recovered from Sherrill’s winter endorsement of billionaire/then-presidential-candidate Michael Bloomberg, champion of the racist “stop and frisk” program when New York City mayor and a man with a history of blatant sexism?

Quid Pro D’oh

Online therapy helped immensely.

“Via Zoom, I assume” — Emily Dickinson, 1862. Your mention of “stop and frisk” reminds me that there was another well-attended march in Montclair, on July 12, against racism and police violence in the U.S. Where was part of the route?

Black Lives Matter

Under the railroad bridge at Valley Road near Bruce Road — which, given all the heartache faced by so many African-Americans, evoked Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks of My Tears.”

Speaking of racism, there’s a plan to change county “freeholders” to “commissioners” because the name originated from when only white landowners could hold public office. Good idea?

Francine from Freehold

Sure, but it’s only a symbolic move until Essex County freeholders vote to eliminate the immigrant jail funded by the racist Trump administration. The Beatles sang “PS I Love You”; I sing “VS I Hate You” — unless VS (Virtue Signaling) is combined with real, consequential action.

Speaking of action, Montclair’s downtown Business Improvement District announced it’ll shoulder the costs of closing two streets to cars for parts of this upcoming July 17-19 weekend. Comment?

Moe Turr, V. Hickles

Kudos to that BID after not enough action by the Township Council to help restaurants and other businesses. There will also be no cars allowed in the Municipal Building — saving the Rec department from becoming the wrecked department.

Meanwhile, a July 10-released video celebrating Montclair High’s Class of 2020 features many people singing the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These” rewritten with localized lyrics. A striking production?

Son Screen/Daughter Screen

Yes, striking as in impressive rather than going on strike. I never saw a video holding a picket sign, because videos don’t have arms. But this Montclair video — made via a collective effort led by David Greenbaum — has legs.

As in staying power. I did notice there could’ve been more social-distancing and mask-wearing in some of the video’s scenes, such as the vivid vista of many people enthusiastically singing in Edgemont Park. Reaction?

Pond A. Rosa

I was told pandemic protocols were stressed as much as possible, including the singers removing masks only when the cameras were rolling. But still risky. Even so, Edgemont’s geese gave the performance “two wings up.”

The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl was of course formerly with Nirvana — the grunge band and a word that refers to a state of bliss Montclair High’s Class of 2020 didn’t experience due to the pandemic during 12th grade and the stair debacle during 11th grade. Comment?

Curt Co-bane

“Smells Like Teen Dispirit,” but they persevered.

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.



15 replies on “MontClairVoyant: New Jersey’s Primary Is Today’s Primary Topic”

  1. Dave,

    The primary topic is now Portland.

    I didnโ€™t think anything deserved to preempt COVID19. I did not think. I did not act. I did nothing. I simply am. No more.

  2. Thank you, Frank. I agree that Trump sending federal “law enforcement” (with no visible ID and in unmarked vehicles) to cause mayhem in Portland, Oregon, is hugely scary and important. An authoritarian dress rehearsal to see what Trump might get away with elsewhere and later this year. I have so much admiration for the Portland moms and others forming human shields to protect the protesters — most of whom have been peaceful.

  3. Dave, this was to expected. He will push the envelope as far as he can. His poll numbers are way down and he will do anything to connect with his base, even it is unconstitutional, which it very much is. And not a peep from the spineless GOP on this. Shameful.

  4. At least 45 doesn’t include his photograph in the header of every communication sent out by the executive branch of federal government like Montclair does now.

  5. Well said, silverleaf, and I totally agree. Trump is desperate enough to do almost anything. And you’re right that the spineless GOP says almost nothing — out of fear of Trump/Trump’s base and/or because they agree with what Trump is doing. Some semi-exceptions (such as Mitt Romney) of national Republicans with at least a shred of courage and a shred of a conscience.

  6. Thank you for the comment, Jon. Is that a reference to Sean Spiller? I guess I haven’t been seeing/getting enough of those communications. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do think that virtually no one “out-egos” Trump. Heck, as you know, Trump even had pandemic relief checks delayed so he could put his scrawl-that-passes-for-a-signature on them.

  7. I wonder if it will be a cold day in hell before the Council passes a resolution condemning the use of federal secret police? After all, if a democracy goes to hell then is the Council even relevant? Legitimate? I keep hearing about the evils of silence. I guess silence works if it risks self-interests? I’m losing sight of what is patriotism these days. Oh well, about those bicycle lanes…

  8. And I will add how sad it is that a local municipalities have to act to give the political cover to our elected Federal representatives just to make sound bites. They may be the minority party, but they have access & influence our Council doesn’t. Our representatives will forever be known for…nothing.

    And Blue Wave…where can I contribute? You can have your Watergate, just gimme some bucks and we’ll be straight.

  9. “At least 45 doesnโ€™t include his photograph in the header of every communication sent out by the executive branch of federal government . . . ”

    That is THE very best thing that can be said about him.

  10. Frank, as you know, various Township Councils in Montclair have not voted very often on national issues over the years, but have done so occasionally. I’m wondering if the only thing that might stop Trump’s increasingly fascist playbook would be if many Republicans in the Senate and House finally turn on him (unlikely). If some of the legal actions currently being filed end up with judges ruling against the use of federal secret police, Trump would just ignore the rulings.

  11. silverleaf, it is indeed hard to think of anything even vaguely positive about Trump. I guess he wasn’t one of the people throwing the 1919 World Series… ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Dave,

    I haven’t seen a Republican around town in months. I guess they are sheltering in place.

  13. Dave – In this case no, only b/c he wasn’t born yet. Had he been in office back in 1919, he and Arnold Rothstein both would surely have put “the fix” in.

    Which reminds me, corrupt POTUS did try to influence peddle recently; not baseball, but golf. He told Woody Johnson, NJ Jets owner and (Trump appointed) Ambassador to UK, to “get the US Open for me”, meaning . . . do what you need to do to get the prestigious golf tournament to be played at his club in Turnberry, Scotland. He failed at that just as he failed at getting the G7 Summit to be held at his Doral resort in Miami last year. His corruption is so ubiquitous that we become desensitized and hardly take notice anymore, That is a dangerous thing. November can’t come soon enough!

  14. Ha, Frank. ๐Ÿ™‚ I suppose many of us are also (mostly) sheltering in place. But some local Republican posters and commenters were quite active on the 9,000-plus-member “Share Montclair” Facebook group this spring and summer before “Share” closed down a few days ago after more than five years. I wonder if that conservative activity was among the reasons for the closing. How can people STILL be supporting Trump after his awful pandemic response, the ever-more-blatant racism, the use of federal “law enforcement” against the wishes of state and local leaders, etc.? (In the latter case, don’t Republicans supposedly believe in “states’ rights”?)

  15. LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚ So true, silverleaf. If Trump were around in 1919, chances are he would’ve associated with Arnold Rothstein. And Trump would’ve been a big fan of ultra-rich/despised White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, whose underpaying of the players on his excellent team was an impetus for those players to accept money to “throw” games in the “Black Sox” scandal.

    Also very true about Trump’s corruption re the suggested G7 meeting site and his Scottish golf course (Woody Johnson is of course another despised sports owner). You’re right that Trump is guilty of so much awful behavior and depravity that we become numb to it. The careers of many other politicians would have been over if they were guilty of just one or two of the hundreds of things Trump has done.

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