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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bizarro Trump: 'Covfefe' tweet, a severed head, killing regulations to boost profits

Cartoonist Daryl Cagle lampooned President Trump's embarrassing Twitter poop, such as this week's "covfefe."
This cartoon from Dave Granlund suggests what Trump son-in-law and greedy real estate executive Jared Kushner envisioned during the transition for back-channel communications with Russia.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

"Despite the constant negative press covfefe"

Did President Trump fall asleep during the tweet heard round the world as he was trying to type the word "coverage"?

Or, as Hillary Clinton said, "I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians."

Did the shocking photo of comedian Kathy Griffin beheading Trump come before or after "covfefe"? I can't keep up. 

Now, we're waiting for the president's announcement this afternoon on whether the United States will pull out of the Paris climate accord, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only other countries not in the global pact.

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped Trump get elected on Nov. 8, has endorsed cutting heat-trapping emissions that are at the root of climate change.


An Internet meme that appeared as tensions rose after North Korean missile tests.


Rules kill profits

Trump has claimed time and again that environmental regulations kill jobs, but what he really means is that companies earn far less profit when they're forced to cut their plants' air and water pollution.

On Wednesday, Op-Ed Columnist David Leonhardt of The New York Times, commenting on all of Trump's lies and other B.S., said:

"His untruths about his tax planimmigrantsvoter fraudcrime and many other subjects serve a similar purpose. They attempt to create enough confusion about basic facts that Trump’s preferred policies, and his kleptocratic approach to government, can start to sound sensible. In reality, those policies would benefit the affluent (starting with his own family) at the expense of most Americans."

Coal plants closed

In New Jersey, PSEG Power permanently closed two of its three coal-fired generating plants, one of which spewed "soot, heavy metals and other toxic chemicals that impaired the air quality of nearby neighborhoods, the broader New Jersey region and New York City," reports The Record of Woodland Park (6A).

PSEG's decision to shutter the plants "mirrors a trend nationally, as the costs of coal and maintaining the plants are no longer cost effective," Staff Writer James O'Neill says.

Coal is more expensive than natural gas and other forms of energy, giving a lie to Trump's claim that cutting regulation will bring back mining jobs.

Since 2010, power companies across America have closed or announced plans to close 253 coal-fired plants, according to the Sierra Club.

And complying with environmental regulations cost PSEG Power $1.2 billion, eroding its profit.

"A few years ago, PSEG Power spent $1.2 billion to add pollution-control devices" to the plants that were shuttered this week after investigations found the utility had modified them in violation of the federal Clean Air Act, according to The Record.

Times to cut editors

On Wednesday, The New York Times offered buyouts to its newsroom employees "to reduce layers of editing and requiring more of the editors who remain."

The buyouts will include copy editors, who edit for grammar, spelling and style; check facts, correct faulty logic and make sense of garbled prose, the paper said.

The Times noted copy editors have "frequently been targeted in cost-cutting efforts in newsrooms across the country."

The Record started cutting the number of copy editors in 2008, when then-Publisher Stephen A. Borg ordered a major downsizing of the Hackensack newsroom about a year before relocating the paper to Woodland Park.

The payroll was slashed more extensively after Gannett Co. bought the Borgs' North Jersey Media Group last July -- a total of 350 jobs were cut by the end of March, including 50 editors and reporters.

Now, the paper is filled with even more errors than before, and columnists like Mike Kelly, John Cichowski and others don't appear to be edited at all, allowing then to go on and on and on.

In fact, as coverage of local and state news has declined in recent years, The Record's columnists have been encouraged to write longer and fill space.

More errors

The Record's story on the closing of two coal-fired power plants on Wednesday is an example of how errors usually caught by copy editors have proliferated:

The headline says:

"2 N.J. coal power plants permanently close"

But the caption under a photo of one of the plants is in error, saying it is "slated for closure by PSEG Power."

And more than once in the text the reporter wrote "Thursday," and no editor changed that to "today."

Fat but healthy

On Wednesday, a large photo of Dr. Mehmet and Lisa Oz of Cliffside Park appeared on The Record's Better Living front to promote "the couple's most recent collaboration," a cookbook.

"The Oz Family Kitchen" is described as more than 100 of her favorite recipes "supplemented with healthy eating tips" from him.

What's wrong with this picture?

The doctor's wife is clearly overweight, and she apparently ignores her husband's "healthy eating tips."

That's not very good advertising for the book.