December 9, 2019

Impeachment hearings don't look like they're getting in the way of Congress hammering out a new trade deal for North America.

Richard Trumka, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, said Monday that there's a deal in place. He added that he'll meet with his executive committee in the afternoon to discuss it, but he hinted that he feels optimistic about it. "We have pushed them hard and have done quite well," he said.

The AFL-CIO is a key player in the negotiations, since it's the largest federation of unions in the U.S. The organization opposes the existing North American Free Trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, which it blames for the decline in manufacturing jobs with good wages, so its support likely means the potential agreement includes stronger labor protections than NAFTA or the replacement agreement signed by President Trump in 2018.

Republicans in both chambers are expected to support the new deal overwhelmingly, and the AFL-CIO stamp of approval would likely go a long way toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) locking up the Democratic House votes needed to pass a vote, as well, The Washington Post reports. Mexico and Canada, of course, will have to ratify any agreement. Tim O'Donnell

2:30 p.m.

Mort Drucker, the beloved artist known for his work at MAD magazine, has died at 91.

Drucker died Wednesday at his home in New York, his friend John Reiner confirmed to The New York Times. Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper his death was not thought to be related to COVID-19.

After joining MAD in 1956, Drucker's hilarious caricatures satirizing pop culture soon became iconic, and he illustrated more than half of the magazine's movie parodies from the 1960s through 2008, per the Times. In a 2000 interview with the Times, he noted, "I think I've drawn almost everyone in Hollywood."

Among Drucker's other notable work includes the poster for George Lucas' American Graffiti; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucas personally drove to Drucker's home on Long Island to convince him to draw it.

"The World has lost a not just an extraordinary talent but a shining example of kindness, humility and humor," the National Cartoonists Society said in a statement.

MAD fans on Thursday quickly began sharing their favorite cartoons from Drucker's legendary career, including his parodies of Jaws and Star Wars. "Many of his illustrations are as vivid in my mind as the movies and TV shows that inspired them," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wrote.

Reiner told CNN's Jake Tapper that Drucker's final words to him were, "I'm the luckiest man — I've had a wonderful life." Brendan Morrow

2:11 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is officially donning a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the jury's still out on whether her husband will follow suit.

In a social media post Thursday, the first lady shared a photo of herself wearing what appears to be a surgical mask, touting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation "to wear cloth face coverings."

"Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing," she wrote. "It is recommended to keep us all safe."

Melania's masking comes one week after President Trump announced he would not be wearing a mask, despite the CDC-issued guidelines urging people to do so. At the time, Trump implied that it would be odd to be "sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk" while wearing a mask, so it's unclear how he's taking this news.

The photo of the first lady appears to show her wearing a surgical mask rather than the CDC-recommended "cloth face covering," the former of which is recommended only for use by health care professionals and medical first responders amid critical supply shortages.