I’ve got to jump early, CivMixers. OMG it’s cold. There, I said it. Also, it’s probably not going to be a white Christmas. Personally, I’m OK with that.

For those of you who just can’t get enough politics: After five debates including at least 10 candidates, tonight’s face-off among seven Democrats will be the most intimate affair of the 2020 primary.

Congress cleared a bill to fund most non-defense agencies, with plans to pass a second package later in the day that wraps up fiscal 2020 spending for the rest of the federal government.

In an early morning tweetstorm, President Trump said his impeachment constituted “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” — while insisting it had “united” Republicans “like never before.”

Trump’s re-election campaign raked in $5 million in donations yesterday as the House debated, and then approved, two articles of impeachment, his campaign manager said. The RNC also posted record fundraising numbers.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard for being the only House Democrat to vote “present” on impeachment and refusing to take a stand.

The day after the House cast historic votes to impeach Trump, Democrats grappled with when to send the charges to the Republican-led Senate, hoping to gain leverage in a bicameral clash over the contours of an election-year trial.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set the stage for a potentially bruising fight between the leadership of the two chambers as he tore into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for “shoddy work” and said Democrats may be “too afraid” to send the articles to the Senate after she abruptly held off on transmitting them.

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a top conservative Trump ally, said today he won’t seek reelection next year. He is expected to join the Trump administration in a yet-to-be-finalized role.

Less than two weeks before he’s scheduled to leave public office, Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners issued a long-awaited audit that found widespread abuses in the county’s payroll practices and time-and-attendance reporting.

The Capital Region has received $84.1 million as part of the ninth annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards – the annual event that distributed $761 million to 10 regions statewide.

A federal judge postponed the sentencing of Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman for her crimes as a high-ranking member of NXIVM from Jan. 8 to Feb. 14.

The state Thruway Authority board of directors voted to raise tolls on the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge by $1 by 2022 for most New York residents. More here.

State Sen. James Skoufis wants to require sex abuse background checks for people looking to become mall Santas.

State lawmakers received part of their scheduled pay raise in January of this year and were set to receive another in just a few weeks. But it looks like that is not going to happen.

The Cohoes man accused of allowing 6-week-old Eli Ojeda-Harmon to die of a methamphetamine overdose at his apartment gave Albany County officials permission to bury or cremate the child’s remains, clearing the way for a funeral early next week, Coroner Timothy Cavanaugh said Thursday.

Ex-Guilderland Town Justice Richard Sherwood will spend the next four years in federal prison for stealing nearly $12 million from the accounts of elderly clients.

A woman who is now 33 years old was able – under the Child Victims Act – to sue disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein for a 2002 incident that occurred when she was 16.

Attorneys representing the families of the Schoharie limousine crash victims filed two new lawsuits today targeting the company’s owner, operator, and Mavis Discount Tire.

A Massachusetts woman’s body was found in a park in Colonie in early December, and now a church in her hometown, Lee, Mass. is fundraising to cover funeral and burial costs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to license debt collectors to make sure they’re following state law.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans four First Day Hikes on Jan. 1 in the Adirondacks meant to help people connect with nature while accompanied by DEC staff and partners.

A new $13 million Boys & Girls Club named after Adeline Wright Graham officially opened today.

A trio of bass poachers who were nabbed by DEC officers for catching and keeping out-of-season smallmouth bass on a Catskill reservoir for purposes of selling them in New York City ended up paying a hefty price for their actions.

A NYC Department of Environmental Protection investigation has determined that sewage flooding in Queens was caused by a collapsed pipe, according to a report obtained by The New York Times that has not been released publicly — leaving the city liable for damage claims that could reach millions of dollars.

City Hall donor-turned-cooperator Jona Rechnitz was hit with a 10-month sentence for his role in the NYPD corruption scandal, and must serve at least half that time behind bars — despite prosecutors arguing he deserves time served after his “historic” turn as a cooperating witness.

Declan Carman was the 3,000th baby delivered at St. Peter’s Hospital this year – a new record that is also believed to be the largest number of deliveries in one year at any facility in the Capital Region.

Lenny Gaspary, who since 1969 has been proprietor of Albany restaurants including Gaspary’s on Madison Avenue and later at Quackenbush House, Fox Creek Sandwiches and, since 2006, The Deli Mill/Fox Creek Catering on Maiden Lane downtown, will retire after lunch service tomorrow. The restaurant is closing.

Photo credit: George Fazio.