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House votes to impeach President Trump; why Philadelphia is a city of extremes | Morning Newsletter

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President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Kellogg Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Mich.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Kellogg Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Mich.Read moreEvan Vucci / AP

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The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to impeach President Donald Trump. The vote broke mostly along party lines, but one local congressman was an exception. We have more coverage of what’s going on in Washington.

Also, I’m obviously biased, but we have a really cool package featuring The Inquirer’s most memorable photos of 2019. And there’s a bit of an animal theme in part of today’s newsletter, with stories on a therapeutic mini-horse, and cats and dogs asking Santa to be adopted.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

In a vote with historic implications, the House voted to impeach President Trump. Representatives voted almost entirely along party lines on both articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Notable “nay” votes came from Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the South Jerseyan who plans to switch to the Republican Party after the impeachment. He sat with the GOP yesterday. Aside from Van Drew, the Philadelphia region’s representatives voted along party lines.

As the vote took place on Capitol Hill, Trump held a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., telling his supporters, “We did nothing wrong.”

According to new census data released this morning, Philadelphia remains a city of extremes. In some neighborhoods, residents prosper. In others, poverty deepens at the same time. A new survey from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey looked at poverty and median household income by neighborhood, among other variables, over five years.

Compared to the very first version of this survey, which covered the years 2005 through 2009, 15 Philadelphia neighborhoods saw income rise while 39 had decreases. Similarly, poverty fell in 17 neighborhoods but jumped in 38 others. The neighborhood with the biggest increase in income was Graduate Hospital. The largest decrease occurred in Hunting Park.

What you need to know today

  1. The opioid crisis has helped triple the number of deaths among Philly’s homeless population in the last decade, new data indicate.

  2. Pennsylvania state senators are pushing to end secrecy in filling empty court seats.

  3. A new report shows that single moms are striving to earn degrees and run their households, but they’re not getting enough support to complete their education. That leads many to leave school.

  4. A 6-year-old girl named Maddie has been held at the Berks immigrant detention center for nearly six months and has sparked a rallying cray.

  5. Philadelphia has a new law that restricts the sales of flavored e-cigarettes. The law bans flavored vaping pods and those with high nicotine levels from being sold at stores that teens and children can enter — like 7-Eleven and Wawa.

  6. Also, studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association show that more teens are vaping marijuana despite its links to lung illnesses.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Reindeer or horse, which would you choose? Thanks for sharing, @whatiloveaboutphilly.

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. 📸 PHOTOS OF THE YEAR: We look back at the Philadelphia area’s most memorable moments of 2019.

  2. 🐴 “Call him high maintenance, but before Dale can make an entrance, he needs a bubble bath, hair styling, and his favorite shoes laced up just right,” my colleague Sarah Gantz writes about a mini-horse that’s cheering up patients at a local hospital.

  3. 🐶 Read letters from Philly shelter dogs and cats to Santa asking for “fur-ever” homes.

  4. 🎰 Three underage gamblers sneaked into a casino in Philadelphia. The resulting fines cost the casino $62,500.

  5. 🏒 After being diagnosed with cancer, 15,000 or so Flyers fans saluted Oskar Lindblom at a recent game by waving their “Oskar Strong” signs. “You have the heart of a warrior and I know you can beat this. We are all here for you,” a fan wrote on a get-well card to the 23-year-old.

  6. 🎨 A pro skateboarder turned artist started painting outdoors across the street from the Linc in September to see if he could fit the home of the Eagles into one painting. And he did, putting the finishing touches on the piece last week.


“Imagine being forced to go into a building five days a week where you might get brain damage because of chipped lead paint, or cancer because of exposed asbestos — a chemical that, as of Dec. 17, has shut down four Philadelphia schools this year.” — State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler writes for The Inquirer about the latest Philly school to close this year due to asbestos issues.

  1. When it comes to the controversial video posted by a Temple student, it’s possible to both disagree with the student’s language and with the university’s “Orwellian reaction," writes Albert Eisenberg, a Philadelphia-based political consultant who formerly worked for the city’s Republican Party.

  2. New Jersey lawmakers should not have bowed to anti-vaxxers by delaying a vote on a bill that would eliminate the state’s faith-based exemption for common vaccinations, the Inquirer Editorial Board writes.

What we’re reading

  1. Following reporting from Philadelphia Magazine, Philly police said they will stop releasing the mental-health status of residents reported missing.

  2. Elle’s list of women of color in politics to watch in 2020 includes Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym.

  3. Some businesses have turned to a new tilted toilet design that makes sitting for extended periods uncomfortable, in order to cut down the time workers spend in the bathroom, Wired reports.

Your Daily Dose of | History

In the history of the United States, three presidents have been impeached. Andrew Johnson was in 1868. Bill Clinton was in 1998. And last night, Donald Trump joined the list. The Inquirer has covered them all. Step into a time machine and see the historic front pages that featured our coverage.