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The U.S. Capitol in Washington is shrouded in mist, Friday night, Dec. 13, 2019, at the end of an acrimonious week of partisan disputes in the House Judiciary Committee which approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The full House of Representatives, controlled by the Democrats, is expected to vote on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress before lawmakers depart for the holidays.

J. Scott Applewhite

Newsletter: Public Remains Divided Over Impeachment, Poll Finds

Good afternoon! It’s Monday, and we’re just days away from the new ‘Star Wars’ movie. Here’s what you need to know today.(PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. “It’s like the hearings have never happened”

Forty-eight percent of Americans surveyed oppose the efforts to impeach President Donald Trump while 47% approve, according to a new survey from NPR, the PBS NewsHour and Marist Poll. Those results are statistically the same as a poll from last month.

“It’s like the hearings have never happened,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. “The arguments have only served to reinforce existing views, and everyone is rooting for their side.” [NPR]

The House is expected to vote on impeaching Trump on Wednesday. Here’s a look at what to expect and what could happen in the Senate if the House approves the charges. [NPR]

Meanwhile, another poll from NPR, the PBS NewsHour and Marist found that former Vice President Joe Biden leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. [NPR]

2. Should former Mayor Richard M. Daley have a taxpayer-funded security detail?

The Chicago Police Department has not conducted a threat assessment on the former mayor to determine whether he needs a security detail since he left City Hall more than eight years ago, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The Police Department recently reviewed security for city Clerk Anna Valencia and Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and concluded they didn’t need them. Another review resulted in former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s security detail being scaled back.

Nine major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and Houston, do not provide taxpayer-funded security details to former mayors. [Chicago Tribune]

3. Madigan confidant tried ousting Pritzker’s chief of staff

Mike McClain, a confidant to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, unsuccessfully tried derailing Anne Caprara’s appointment as Gov. JB Pritzker’s chief of staff, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

McClain also recommended candidates to serve in Pritzker’s cabinet, tried derailing legislation to legalize recreational marijuana and tried getting involved in the state expansion of gambling. But the Springfield insider ended up being blacklisted from the governor’s office. [Chicago Sun-Times]

McClain has come under scrutiny this year as federal authorities look into allegations ComEd hired multiple politically connected consultants — including some with ties to Madigan — in exchange for favorable official actions in Springfield, including support for electric rate increases.

An investigation by WBEZ and the Better Government Association found that ComEd continued to pay McClain even after he stopped registering as a lobbyist. [WBEZ]

4. Violent protests erupt in India

Protesters are furious over a new citizenship law that gives special treatment to Hindu and other non-Muslim immigrants. Critics say the law is blatantly discriminatory and goes against the country’s constitution by judging people based on their religious beliefs.

On Sunday, authorities stormed a predominantly Muslim univeristy in New Delhi, where students were beaten by police and had tear gas fired at them. More than 200 people were injured.

India has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, and critics fear India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to build a Hindu nation. [NPR]

5. Illinois officials slam prison system’s “one good eye” policy

WBEZ has previously reported that some inmates were denied eye surgery because staff considered one eye to be good enough. Now, the head of the Illinois Department of Corrections is demanding that staff follow the orders of doctors who recommend eye surgery regardless of whether the other eye works fine.

Wexford, the private company that runs Illinois’ prison healthcare, declined to give WBEZ a copy of their eye surgery policy because it’s a “trade secret.” A spokesperson for the company said the problem was not with the policy but with how it was being interpreted. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Community groups say a Chicago police sergeant who shot a teen with mental disabilities should be fired instead of being suspended. [WBEZ]

  • The top attorney for the city of Chicago got tax breaks on two homes, a possible violation of state law. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • The first black mayor of Gary, Ind., has died. [WBEZ]

  • The Hallmark Channel said it will “reinstate” a wedding commercial featuring a lesbian couple after it faced a blacklash for pulling the ad. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Winter is here, and that means the annual debate over “dibs” is coming. In case you’re not familiar, “dibs” is when someone clears snow out of a parking space and claims it with some object, like a lawn chair or a statue of Jesus Christ.

This week’s Curious City takes a look at the origins of “dibs” and why the practice continues even though it’s technically illegal. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

I’m literally counting down the days until Friday because I’ll be on vacation for the next week and a half. (Don’t worry, someone else will be writing the newsletter.) So I’d like to know what you’re doing for the holidays.

I’ll spend some time with my parents in the suburbs before heading to Cincinnati to see the in-laws. The last time I saw my mother-in-law, I dropped a hamburger on my lap at Moody’s Pub in Edgewater after, uh, not being sober. What’ll happen this time around? Who knows!

What are your holiday plans? Feel free to email at or tweet to @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

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