Good Monday morning, CivMixers. The Christmas countdown has begun! There are 9 days remaining until the big guy in the red suit’s big day.
It was crazy hectic with the compressed holiday period this year – at least it seemed that way to me. I hope you’re all surviving the shopping crunch.
In weather news, we have a calm-before-the-storm situation, with clouds and sun and temperatures in the mid-30s during the day, and snow developing late in the evening/early tomorrow morning. There’s a winter weather advisory in effect starting at 1 a.m., with snow accumulation expected to be between one to five inches – just enough to make the morning commute treacherous.
This is kind of neat: On this day in history (in 1953) the first-ever White House press conference was held between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and 161 reporters.
Also on this day in 1993, a major event for people of a certain age (like myself) occurred: Actress Shannen Doherty (AKA: Brenda) was fired from TV series “Beverly Hills 90210.”
Actor Benjamin Bratt is turning 56 today. Novelist Jane Austen was born on this day in 1775 and died in 1817 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The controversial so-called “Green Light Law,” which allows undocumented immigrants in New York to obtain a standard driver’s license, takes effect across the state today. (The official implementation date was Saturday, but most DMVs and county clerk’s offices aren’t open over the weekend).
Some county clerks asked the Cuomo administration to delay today’s implementation of Green Light, arguing that the regulations are confusing and their staffs haven’t received sufficient training. This call was not heeded.
In the news…
Articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump are expected to be passed through the House before the end of the week – perhaps as early as Wednesday – less than three months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry.
If a simple majority of the House votes to approve either article, Trump will become the third president ever formally impeached — President Richard Nixon resigned after the votes passed the House Judiciary Committee but before they could make it to the full House.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, yesterday criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky Republican said he would coordinate with White House counsel on “everything” regarding the looming Senate impeachment trial.
The House Judiciary Committee released its full report on the impeachment of Trump after midnight last night – a 658-page document that is an explanation in four parts of the committee’s process and justification for recommending two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The President meanwhile fulminated on Twitter all weekend, inciting fresh political uproar to intimidate vulnerable House Democrats and to electrify the base he needs for reelection.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear in a letter to McConnell last night that he prefers a Senate impeachment trial with witness testimony and new documents – a direct rebuttal to top Republicans who have argued that a shorter trial without witnesses would spare the Senate from becoming a partisan circus.
Thousands of activists will gather in Colonie, Cobleskill, Glens Falls and Hudson tomorrow evening as part of more than 500 nationwide rallies calling for Congress to impeach and remove Trump from office.
Democratic Amsterdam Rep. Paul Tonko visited Saratoga Springs yesterday and said he has no choice but to vote for the impeachment of Trump given the evidence gathered by House investigators.
The Department of Justice Inspector General’s report last week on the FBI’s handling the investigation into ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia may ultimately prove to be a Tale of Two FBIs.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday provided a first glimpse at the proposals that will be contained in his 2020 State of the State address — and the first initiative would bar people convicted of violent crimes in other states from obtaining a gun license in New York.
State lawmakers passed 935 bills in 2019 – roughly 15 bills for each day they were in session. More than 300 of them had still not been signed into law by the governor as of Dec. 5 — necessitating a recent flurry of signings and vetoes that cut the number of outstanding bills to 168 as of Friday.
NOTE: If Cuomo does not act by the time the Legislature convenes next month for its 2020 session, the bills would face a new 30-day window. If the governor still has not signed or vetoed the bill after 30 days, it would result in a pocket veto.
A longstanding practice by certain state agencies to use “administrative” subpoenas to sift the personal mobile phone and private email records of employees targeted in non-criminal personnel investigations is facing its first legal challenge.
Several elected city and county officials showed their support for unionized Albany Medical Center Hospital nurses at a short rally and prayer vigil held yesterday afternoon outside City Hall on Eagle Street.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s push to get people to answer the 2020 Census online has put libraries – with their reputations as trustworthy community centers with trained staff and public access to computers and the internet – on the front lines of the quest for a complete count.
Next year’s census is part head count and part power struggle, the most politicized population tally in a century, in which a state’s desire for an accurate count could depend on which party is in charge there. Some states are spending millions to avoid an undercount, while others don’t plan to spend a penny.
Niskayuna and South Colonie school districts are among those in New York installing devices in bathrooms that digitally detect vapor, sending real-time text messages to school administrators as part of comprehensive anti-vaping initiatives.
An Albany rabbi has joined a push to get Orthodox Jews to relocate from NYC to the Capital City.
A 14-year-old boy taken into custody Friday on suspicion of involvement in the killing of Majors has been released. Police officials said officers are still searching for additional suspects in the killing.
The City University of New York is set to impose a $120 annual “health and wellness fee” on students — on top of an expected $200 tuition increase.
State Sen. John Liu, chairman of the Senate’s New York City Education Committee, told a group of parents that while City Hall’s push to scrap the current single-test admissions system is “racist” against Asians and a “dumb idea,” changes to the system are needed because of chronically low black and Hispanic enrollment.
The Albany County Legislature is scheduled to vote today on Local Law I, which would regulate burning or related processing of wastes and “prohibiting the same on a large scale.” (It’s aimed at industrial tire burning).
Troy police confirm that a portion of the ceiling collapsed Saturday morning at the Uncle Sam Parking Garage in Troy. No one was hurt in the incident.
The man who told Catskill police about an injured dog found in the village has been arrested for falsely reporting the dog had been abandoned when he was really its owner.
The Albany Police Department has rented a vacant office building on Washington Avenue Extension for its new training facility, which will soon be able to house dozens of new recruits.
United States military officials said they were investigating whether Army cadets and Navy midshipmen had flashed hand symbols associated with hate groups during a nationally televised pregame show before their football matchup on Saturday.
New developments in the Jersey City shooting came as New Jersey residents continued to grapple with the deadly rampage last week that left four people dead and turned a quiet city street into the scene of a prolonged firefight.
A New Jersey man who was linked to the shooters in last week’s Jersey City shooting rampage is expected to appear in federal court in Newark today on a weapons possession charge, federal officials said.
Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein said in an exclusive interview with the NY Post that he should be remembered for doing more professionally for women than anyone in history — rather than the slew of sickening accusations against him.
As former Republican Rep. Rick Lazio considers a comeback bid for the congressional seat being vacated by Long Island Rep. Peter King, he has a plea to his fellow Republicans: On this one, consider the moderates.
The Hallmark Channel apologized for its decision to remove an advertisement featuring a lesbian wedding and said they will work to get the spot back on television.
RIP Felix G. Rohatyn, a former child refugee from Nazi-occupied France who became a pillar of Wall Street and a trusted government adviser who engineered the rescue of a beleaguered New York City from insolvency in the 1970s, who died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan at the age of 91.
Photo credit: George Fazio.