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House impeachment vote slated for today; surgeons start conversations about a once-taboo topic | Morning Newsletter

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A copy of the House Judiciary Committee report on the impeachment of President Donald Trump sits on the witness table during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A copy of the House Judiciary Committee report on the impeachment of President Donald Trump sits on the witness table during a House Rules Committee hearing on the impeachment against President Donald Trump, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Read moreAndrew Harnik / AP

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

In today’s newsletter, we’ll look at what chances Philly has of getting a White Christmas and get geared up for a decisive game between the Eagles and Cowboys this weekend. And if your mind is firmly on gift shopping, we have some tips for you as well.

The attention of much of the country today will be on Washington as the House of Representatives is expected to vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. And a congressman from the region has found himself in the national spotlight in part because of his stance on the matter.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

It’s looking like the vote will break down almost entirely along party lines ... with a notable exception: Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the South Jersey congressman who is expected to switch parties and become a Republican. He and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick — the region’s only Republican House member for now — will likely vote to oppose the two articles of impeachment against Trump. Otherwise, local Democrats in the House are expected to follow the rest of the party.

Van Drew’s case is interesting, even if it won’t swing the result of the vote. The Inquirer took a deep dive into the congressman’s last week, from a discouraging poll to visiting the White House with his chief of staff and ultimately making the decision to join the GOP.

Also, in Philly last night hundreds of impeachment supporters rallied at City Hall. It was one of more than 600 similar rallies held nationwide.

Surveys show that a high percentage of surgeons regularly feel musculoskeletal pain and that they have twice the risk of such injuries as the general population, leading some to fear a reduced workload or early retirement. But for years, surgeons’ physical ailments were a taboo topic.

Surgeons spend hours contorted into positions the body was not meant to sustain. And with an aging population in need of more care, surgeons could be facing more, longer, and more complicated procedures.

What you need to know today

  1. After vigorous protests, an effort to end exemptions from childhood vaccinations on the basis of religious beliefs stalled in the New Jersey Senate.

  2. An issue with bipartisan support that’s stuck in both the Pennsylvania legislature and in Congress is: Protecting people from surprise medical bills.

  3. Asbestos is shutting down another Philly school, the fourth this year.

  4. A major concert promoter is accused in a lawsuit of having “bullied” a church and cheating its landlord at the Met Philadelphia out of money from Madonna and Sting shows.

  5. Philadelphia’s annual government spending has increased, growing by $1 billion in the four budgets passed under Mayor Jim Kenney. But that spending growth puts Philly right in line with other big cities.

  6. The future of Philly hookah lounges is on people’s minds due to legislation passed at a City Council session that would, among other things, limit new smoking lounges mostly to Center City. And for Latino nightlife in particular, this could have a huge impact.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

The “jolly trolleys” are BACK. Have you ever ridden on one? Great shot, @westofbroad.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🏈 The Eagles will definitely beat the Cowboys, sports columnist Bob Ford writes. But also, they absolutely can’t.

  2. ⛄ Speaking of Christmas, Philly rarely wakes up to a snowy one.

  3. 🛍️ Though it might sound counter-intuitive, a brick-and-mortar store is coming to Center City’s former Gallery mall that only sells goods from online retailers.

  4. 🕎 Mike Solomonov, arguably the face of Jewish food in Philadelphia, dishes on what he makes for Hanukkah. (And you can eat it, too.)

  5. 🎁 Here are the best stocking stuffers from dollar and discount stores across Philadelphia.

  6. 🎙️ Adam Driver, the actor appearing in seemingly every recently released or soon-to-be-released film, apparently walked out of an interview with Fresh Air host Terry Gross because he reportedly does not like to watch or listen to his past performances.


“Voter fraud might be rare, but Van Drew has essentially defrauded people who voted him in.” — The Inquirer Editorial Board writes about Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s decision to switch parties.

  1. U.S. Attorney William McSwain writes about the things he thinks Kenney must prioritize in his search for a new police commissioner.

  2. Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin writes about the Trump impeachment proceedings from the perspective of Ukraine.

What we’re reading

  1. Green Philly reports that the Philadelphia Marathon was able to pull off a “zero-waste” event that involved about 90,000 people.

  2. The New York Times has a useful guide to handling awkward social situations at holiday parties.

  3. The Pudding created a really cool tool that shows what percentage of adopted dogs originated in the state where they found their forever homes. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are pretty similar.

Your Daily Dose of | Books

Yvonne Blake took over a West Philadelphia bookstore following the death of her father. And Hakim’s has continued to thrive. Around since 1959, it’s Philadelphia’s first and oldest African American bookstore. The store’s roots in the black community run deep and promoting its culture is a big focus of what the store does. While the store doesn’t brew coffee, you can buy Barack and Michelle Obama mugs. “We try to stress the importance of having self-pride and educating ourselves and our children, because it’s not being done for us,” Blake said.