7 Things: Trump gives himself an A+, Alabama’s unemployment rate is still really low, the caravan is at the border and more …
7. Democrats see a rising star in Beto O’Rourke — He agrees
— O’Rourke joins Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as a potential 2020 candidate who said no to the presidential race before the midterms and who now is cracking the door open to a run.
— Recent polling shows O’Rourke ranking as high as third on polls where Hillary Clinton is left out. He is viewed as someone who can get votes in red states.
— Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on Sunday conceded the Florida Senate race after a hand recount had him trailing by 10,000 votes, which is down about 2,500 votes from the machine recount.
— While Nelson and Andrew Gillum conceded their races in Florida this weekend, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams remained defiant calling Governor-elect Brian Kemp the “legal” winner. She added, “But will I say that this election was not tainted, was not a disinvestment and a disenfranchisement of thousands of voters? I will not say that.”
— Even though none of the claims of voter disenfranchisement and suppression came to fruition in Alabama, there will still be a push to change some of Alabama’s voting laws to include “no excuse absentee balloting.” Alabama is one of 20 states that requires a reason.
— But don’t expect early voting in Alabama because Secretary of State John Merrill sees no reason for the added cost, telling AL.com, “There is no future for early voting as long as I’m secretary of state.”
4. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) says the government has nukes so you should just turn in your guns
— In another incident of a Democrat saying something a Republican would be criticized hourly on cable news for, the California Congressman responded to a Twitter user about government gun confiscation causing a war by saying, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”
— This isn’t the first time Swalwell, who came to Alabama to campaign for losing candidates, talked about this topic of gun confiscation. He wrote in USA Today, “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters”.
— About 2,000 illegal immigrants have reached the American border. The mayor of Tijuana has called it a “tsunami,” referred to them as “bums” and added that they have turned some over to Mexican authorities for deportation.
— And if the U.S. allows them to enter the country in any way, it is increasingly less likely that they will remain in the legal system as a government report notes about others granted access: “The number of [unaccompanied alien children] who were ordered removed in absentia, that is, after failing to appear for immigration court, has skyrocketed from 450 in FY 2010 to 6,662 in FY 2018, an almost 1,500 percent increase during a period of time when the number of UACs apprehended increased about 272 percent (from 18,411 in FY 2010 to 50,036 in FY 2018). In fact, in FY 2018, half of all case completions involving UACs were in absentia orders, according to [Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review] compared to an overall in absentia average of 25 percent of all case completions.”
2. Alabama’s unemployment rate stays low as the economy keeps humming
— The state’s unemployment rate is now at 4.1 percent. More than 40,000 people who didn’t have jobs last year are now employed.
— The trend continues with a record number of people employed, 2,122,970, and that has continued for the last six months, with Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Alabaster, Madison and Northport leading the state with sub-three unemployment rates.
1. President Donald Trump gives himself an A+
— Trump, who just lost 30+ seats in the House, told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “I would give myself, I would – look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A+, is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”
— When discussing his accomplishments Trump said, “I think I’m doing a great job. We have the best economy we’ve ever had” and “We’re doing really well. We would have been at war with North Korea if, let’s say, that administration continued forward.”