Democrats

A new poll finds that rich people are much happier with their lives than poorer people. They're also far more likely to say they've achieved the American dream, that they're satisfied with their education, and that they're not anxious about the future.

Many people could have guessed all of that without a poll, of course. But the findings also show some striking differences — and some striking similarities — between the very richest and poorest Americans about what it takes to succeed in this country.

You're forgiven if in the holiday blur you missed that a federal appeals court in New Orleans has once again put the future of the Affordable Care Act in doubt. Or if you missed the news last week that a group of Democratic state attorneys general has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in this term — which ends in June. That would mean a decision could come right in the middle of the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

Miami Herald

Among the news that will likely dominate headlines in 2020 is the upcoming presidential election — and ever the swing state, Florida typically plays a crucial role on Election Day.

Voters will first cast their ballots in March during the presidential primary. Several Democratic candidates began rallying in South Florida last year — especially during the first debate held in Miami.

It wasn't that long ago that House Democrats didn't know who would lead them.

They were warring over the speaker's post just days after the 2018 midterm elections handed them back the majority.

But Nancy Pelosi was certain of her fate.

"I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes," Pelosi told reporters soon after the November elections. "I happen to think at this point, I'm the best person for that."

Impeachment is the ultimate form of censure, a permanent mark on a president. But there's little indication that President Trump has been chastened by last week's impeachment vote. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Trump is leaning in, attacking political opponents in deeply personal terms and setting records for rally length and the sheer volume of his tweets.

"I think it's the new 'not normal' that we're in right now," said Doug Heye, a former House Republican leadership aide.

President Trump was impeached Wednesday night on two articles of impeachment — one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress. And they both got more votes than either of the other two impeachments in American history.

Updated at 11:38 p.m. ET

Planned votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump were delayed late Thursday night by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He asked members to consider how they want to vote and to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ranking minority member Rep. Doug Collins and others protested that Nadler had upset the committee's plans without consulting them.

The Judiciary Committee had sparred for more than 12 hours Thursday ahead of expected votes.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning, charging him with abuse of power in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress.

Read the articles of impeachment here.

When news broke that California Sen. Kamala Harris was dropping out of the presidential race on Tuesday, some fellow Democratic candidates quickly began ringing alarm bells. Harris was the only nonwhite candidate to have qualified for the next presidential debate on Dec. 19.

"What we're staring at is a DNC debate stage in a few days with no people of color on it, that does not reflect the diversity of our party or our country," former Housing Secretary Julián Castro said. "We need to do better than that."

Updated at 12:22 ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entry into the presidential race, a move that could upend the Democratic nominating contest this spring.

Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday that he is running to rebuild America and defeat President Trump, whom he says "represents an existential threat to our country and our values."

The marathon of testimony in Democrats' impeachment inquiry this week confirmed that the Ukraine affair, like so many earlier subplots in the era of President Trump, boils down to two big questions:

What do the president's words mean? Can the president do what he did?

The answers to those questions have been a partisan inkblot test since Trump exploded onto the political scene, and now they are burning again as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats decide how they'll move ahead in a showdown over impeachment.

Scott Applewhite / AP

Conservative commentator and author George Will says Florida voters hold the key to victory in next year’s presidential election. Will says that without the Sunshine State, it would be difficult for any candidate to find a path to 270 electoral votes.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted Thursday 232-196 to pass a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Just two Democrats voted no — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Amid the debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it a "sad day."

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a draft resolution intended to formalize their impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Among other steps, the draft authorizes the chair of the House Intelligence Committee to conduct open hearings. It also grants the ranking Republican on the committee the authority to issue subpoenas — with the concurrence of the Democratic chair.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore attorney and civil rights advocate who served in Maryland's legislature before representing the state in the U.S. House, where he took on a lead role in investigating President Trump, has died. He was 68.

Cummings, the head of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform, died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital from complications related to longstanding health challenges, according to The Associated Press.

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