Rise and Shine: Dec. 13, 2019

Happy Friday, CivMixers.

For those following the D.C. drama at home, you can tune out for a second. For those (like me) who went to sleep and need to catch up on the action…

The House Judiciary Committee abruptly postponed the expected party-line approval of two articles of impeachment, now set for today, which will send the charges to the full House for a vote.

New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee, called off the votes moments before they were expected to take place, announcing just after 11 p.m. that he wanted lawmakers to have time to “search their consciences” before the final roll call. (The Republicans were not at all happy).

The committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. this morning.

On this day in 2003, Saddam Hussein, the fifth president of Iraq, was found hiding in a camouflaged hole in the ground and was captured by American forces near Tikrit, Iraq in an operation known as “Red Dawn.”

He was handed over to the interim Iraqi government and put on trial, where he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and executed three years after his capture.

Today is National Cocoa Day and National Day of the Horse. Did you know that about 2 million people in the U.S. own horses? According to Michigan State University, horses can have a mood-altering effect on humans and improve their state of mind.

Singer Taylor Swift is celebrating the big 3-0 today. She shares her special day with: Actor Jamie Foxx (50), actor Dick Van Dyke (94), reality star NeNe Leakes (52), actor Steve Buscemi (62), and actor Christopher Plummer (90).

It’s going to be cloudy today, with occasional showers – particularly in the afternoon – and temperatures around 40 degrees, according to The Weather Channel. Showers will turn to steady rain this evening, with about half an inch falling before it’s all over. More rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, but Sunday looks clear.

In the headlines…

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won a commanding majority in the British Parliament, a striking victory that redraws the lines in British politics and paves the way for the country’s exit from the European Union early next year.

Trump is discussing with his advisers the possibility of sitting out the general election debates in 2020 because of his misgivings about the commission that oversees them, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Jewish communities across the country viewed Trump’s latest executive order, which is aimed at combating Anti-Semitism on college campuses, in competing and discordant ways.

The deadly rampage that ended with one police officer slain and three bystanders killed at a kosher market in New Jersey is now being treated as an act of domestic terrorism, the authorities said.

Senior lawmakers announced a tentative agreement on an almost $1.4 trillion government-wide spending bill that would stave off a federal shutdown next weekend and split the differences on a number of contentious issues.

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook to prevent the social network from integrating several of its messaging services.

Twitter is bringing back special labels to help users identify accounts and tweets from U.S. political candidates.

Former NYC Mayor Mile Bloomberg’s campaign released a report from his doctor that described him as “a 77-year-old man in outstanding health” with “no medical concerns, present or looming, that would prevent him from serving as President of the United States.”

The killing of a first-year Barnard student, Tessa Majors, in Morningside Heights rattled city residents. New Yorkers, now accustomed to low crime rates, were reminded of a time when few people, especially young women, would consider walking in a park at night.

Majors was scheduled to play two rock shows at venues in her native Charlottesville, Virginia, during winter break, a club manager said.

The events surrounding the suicide of 18-year-old Nicholas Feliciano, who hanged himself in a cell at Rikers Island while guards watched and did nothing, have once again focused attention on serious mismanagement at the aging prison complex, which is slated for closure.

The steady exist of GOP state senators mirrors a situation playing out in Washington, where a wave of departures of House Republicans reflects the party’s pessimism about its diminished influence and its chances to win back the House in 2020.

While his colleagues are dropping like flies, Buffalo state Sen. Patrick Gallivan announced he will seek re-election next year.

Senate Democrats want the ability to override vetoes by Gov. Andrew Cuomo – a longtime centrist who has often been at odds with the progressive flank of his party. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says the “floor” she’s aiming for next year is 43 seats.

Officials of the former St. Clare’s Hospital received $28 million to cover pensions for employees after the facility was absorbed by the larger Ellis Hospital a decade ago. But it turns out the pension actually had a much larger $47 million deficit, according to a newly found document.

…State Sen. Jim Tedisco revealed an anonymous source tipped him off to the information. For the pensioners, it’s proof that someone should have alerted them to the trouble years ago.

With New York facing a budget deficit in excess of $6 billion, policymakers are eying the state’s Medicaid program for possible cuts.

The body of a missing Elizaville man, William Amato, has been found on a farm property in Stuyvesant eight days after the 29-year-old was last seen, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office announced.No foul play is suspected.

The state Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council voted to extend the flavored electronic cigarette the ban another 90 days, as the old one is set to expire Sunday. The Council discussed adopting a permanent ban that would eliminate an exemption for menthol flavoring allowed under the current ban.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced the city will take rare action to shutter a West Hill corner store located at one of the most violent intersections in the city.

They’re hard to ignore for anybody driving through or living in the city — the red placards with an “x” fastened to the front of hundreds of vacant buildings deemed too dangerous to enter throughout Albany. Three dozen Albany residents and government officials at the Albany Public Library’s north branch to discuss this issue.

A 59-year-old man was trying to cross Delaware Avenue last night while jogging, using the crosswalk, when he was struck by a car and seriously injured, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors narrowly voted to amend its 2020 budget to reduce the funding for the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, aligning it with an earlier approved plan to support the government-funded organization with no more than half of county’s bed tax.

An investigation will be held into the rupturing of a downtown Albany gas line that forced the evacuation of a number of area buildings and the closure of local businesses.

Ambition Coffee & Eatery was cited by the Schenectady Codes Department on Sunday for high carbon monoxide levels, among other violations, and closed briefly. But it’s back open for business.

Two men charged with a violent bank robbery in North Greenbush last February have been indicted in connection with an earlier armed heist of an Albany bank that netted $150,000, federal prosecutors said.

New York City is booming, with the outer boroughs leading all counties in the Empire State for increased economic activity and production, according to new federal data released yesterday.

In an effort to address the shortfall of affordable housing pledged by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, city officials have agreed to force developers of designated affordable-housing projects to set aside 15 percent of the units for the homeless – a move that could add roughly 1,000 apartments in a year.

Former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson wants her “voice back,” asking her former employer to release her from the NDA that is preventing her from speaking about her sexual harassment experience.

Massachusetts marijuana retailers can again begin selling vaping products, though they must be newly manufactured and screened for contaminants.

David Stern, 77, who ran the N.B.A. for 30 years as its commissioner, had emergency surgery after a sudden brain hemorrhage, the league announced in a statement.

ASAP Rocky played an arena show in Stockholm on Wednesday night. It was the first time he had been to Sweden since August, when he was convicted over his part in a street brawl — a case that drew international attention when Trump got involved.

RIP veteran Times Union reporter Bob Keating, who died recently at the age of 89 due to complications from pneumonia.

Taylor Swift used the Billboard Women in Music stage to address a series of issues including her ongoing beef with Scooter Braun.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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