7 Things: Doug Jones assailed by potential challengers on abortion, more drama in Virginia, Shelby working on a border deal and more …
7. Alabama’s elected officials raise concerns over the influx of undocumented minors
— Last year, 730 unaccompanied minors appeared in Alabama cities and towns to be placed with guardians to make sure they attend their immigration hearing. Over 3,000 have arrived since 2014. Unsurprisingly, half of those children were not in attendance when they were ordered to be removed from the country after their asylum claims were rejected. This system incentivizes law-breaking and burdens the schools where they are placed.
6. The goalposts move on the Russia investigation — new House Intelligence chairman targets nations other than Russia
— President Donald Trump now has to worry about an ever-expanding investigation headed by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff said this “pertains to any credible allegations of leverage by the Russians or the Saudis or anyone else.” The president isn’t sweating this and has dismissed him, saying, “He’s just a political hack trying to build a name for himself.” He then called it “presidential harassment.”
5. Alabama inmate has his execution stayed because the state won’t provide a Muslim imam
— The convicted killer of a 15-year-old girl received his stay from a federal appeals court by saying the state’s position violates freedom of religion protections. The state confusingly agreed to remove a Christian chaplain, but cited security reason for not allowing an imam in the chamber. The stated reason is that they don’t want a non-prison employee in the chamber.
4. Protesters show up at the attorney general’s office to protest the decision not to charge the officer in the Hoover Galleria shooting
— Angry protesters, including the family of E.J. Bradford, Jr., arrived at the attorney general’s Montgomery office to protest the decision to not charge the officer who shot and killed Bradford on Thanksgiving. The protesters chanted for Attorney General Steve Marshall. They were told to disperse, and two individuals were arrested for attempting to enter the building.
3. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) seems to signify that a deal on border security could be close
— Congressional negotiators may be about to avoid another government shutdown, according to Shelby. He said, “I would say we’ve got a much better chance today than we had Monday to reach some kind of resolution on this.” Negotiators met with the Border Patrol and recommended $5.7 billion be spent on a border wall, but Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said that it is not happening. He explained, “[W]e can probably get there on some sort of enhanced barriers, with local input.”
2. Virginia’s meltdown continues as their attorney general has now admitted to wearing blackface, too
— Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) is facing racism charges and calls to resign, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-VA) has now called the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct a “bitch” and Attorney General Mark Herring is under fire for wearing blackface and dressing as a rapper. Herring was considered a rising star and candidate for governor. He also coincidently said that Northam should resign for wearing blackface last week.
— As Democrats lurch left seeking to mollify an increasingly radical base, the party finds itself in the middle of multiple attempts to expand abortion on demand until birth. Red state Democrats, like Doug Jones, find themselves in an unenvious position as their opponents tie them to these bills that push positions that are wildly unpopular with the American public, but popular with the hardcore liberals in the base who want abortion on demand.