It was a Tuesday marked by stories about the weather and politics, both of which were, well, in one word: messy – at least at the outset.

To the headlines, Batman!

The White House attacked its own top Ukraine expert as he offered sworn testimony before the House’s impeachment inquiry that President Trump’s request to Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic rivals had been “inappropriate” and validated his “worst fear” that American policy toward that country would veer off course.

Inside the National Security Council, officials expressed wonderment that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani was running his “irregular channel” of Ukraine diplomacy over open cell lines and communications apps in Ukraine that the Russians have deeply penetrated.

The night Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in a Manhattan jail, one of the guards on duty was catching up on sports news and looking at motorcycle sales on a government computer. The other was shopping online for furniture. For about two hours, they appeared to be asleep at a desk just 15 feet away from Epstein’s cell.

The FBI is probing a “criminal enterprise” related to Epstein’s suicide at a federal lockup in Manhattan, the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons testified.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, a Kenmore Democrat who has been in office since the post-Watergate era, will not seek re-election next year, the lawmaker told The Buffalo News.

He’s not announcing now, but Erie County Democratic Party chairman Jeremy Zellner said it would be “the honor of my lifetime” if he could represent the 140th Assembly district as Schimminger’s successor.

Former Queens state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who was removed from office after a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, has filed to run for the state Assembly. A Democrat, Monserrate is running for the seat held by Democratic Assemblyman Jeff Aubry.

After months of uncertainty about the state’s commitment to the 2020 Census, and repeated exasperated pleas for funding from advocates and elected officials, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will devote up to the equivalent of $60 million in outreach efforts for the decennial population count.

JCOPE commissioners went behind closed doors today for more than two hours with legal counsel to consider releasing a letter it received last month from the state IG’s office explaining why it had failed to substantiate an alleged leak from its secret deliberations. But when they returned to public session, the only action they took was to adjourn.

State Attorney General Letitia James’s office announced the filing of a lawsuit against JUUL Labs, the manufacturers of e-cigarette products, over misleading marketing.

Union workers are reportedly planning for a possible subway slowdown that could hit NYC trains during the holiday season as they try to ramp up pressure on MTA management amid heated contract talks.

A Brooklyn lawmaker is pushing legislation to create a new city office that would help nonprofits better navigate the red tape plaguing the city’s broken contracting system.

Tedra Cobb saw her national profile explode over the weekend, but whether that translates to increased support in NY-21, which re-elected GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik last year by a 14-point margin, remains to be seen. Cobb kicked off a district tour today in Queensbury, where about 75 people gathered to hear from her.

Chappaqua resident Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under President Barack Obama who has claimed to be among the first to sound the alarm on Russian interference in the 2016 election, is launching her campaign to succeed longtime Rep. Nita Lowey in NY-17.

After two weeks of waiting, it appears Paula Mahan has won a seventh, two-year term as Colonie town supervisor.

Federal prosecutors say a former Albany County lawmaker (Ralph Signoracci) has been sentenced to one year of probation for working with a former upstate mayor (Shawn Morse) to steal campaign funds.

The nine members of the Commission are set to present their report to State Leaders next Wednesday. Ahead of a previously planned Monday meeting, some changes have already taken shape to what had previously been discussed.

The recent resignation of the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department chief, and the suspension of the company’s assistant chief, has left the organization working through its next possible steps as it prepares to elect their next chief in December.

Legislation to standardize the City of Schenectady’s sick time policy for its managerial workforce has passed out of committee.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused an early morning fire at the Fort Orange Club, a landmark building in the capital city. The front entrance was damaged.

A 29-year-old city resident was indicted for felony assault by a Rensselaer County grand jury for allegedly attacking a 75-year-old woman at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market in October, according to court records.

Visitor numbers at the Albany Capital Center are up so far this year, according to the authority that runs the nearly three-year-old meeting and convention facility down the street from the Empire State Plaza and state Capitol building.

A vegan has filed a lawsuit against Burger King over its Impossible Whopper, claiming its falsely promoted as “meat-free.”

Photo credit: George Fazio.