Quick Takes: Trump Endorses Roy Moore

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* We shouldn’t be surprised that the man who bragged about committing sexual assault has basically endorsed the Senate candidate who molested teenagers.

Note that Trump said Doug Jones – a career prosecutor – was “bad on crime.” This is the guy who successfully prosecuted two KKK members for the Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls.

* Kyle Whitmire tells the story of how Roy Moore met his wife. Supposedly it was at a Christmas party when he was 37 and she was 23. But Moore himself says that there’s more to the story than that.

“Many years before, I had attended a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College,” Moore wrote. “I remembered one of the special dances performed by a young woman whose first and last names began with the letter ‘K.’ It was something I had never forgotten.”…

“Long afterward, I would learn that Kayla had, in fact, performed a special dance routine at Gadsden State years before,” he wrote…

In an interview Moore gave earlier this year, he gave a similar account, but for one detail.

“It was, oh gosh, eight years later, or something, I met her,” Moore said. “And when she told me her name, I remembered ‘K. K.,’ and I said, ‘Haven’t I met you before?'”

It’s a simple matter of subtraction. When Roy Moore first took notice of Kayla she would have been as young as 15.

* A right wing preacher who has recently appeared with Moore thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Senate candidate’s interest in teenage girls.

Pastor Flip Benham told a local Alabama radio show on Monday that there was nothing wrong with Moore dating teenage girls.

“Judge Roy Moore graduated from West Point and then went on into the service, served in Vietnam and then came back and was in law school. All of the ladies, or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere. So he looked in a different direction and always with the [permission of the] parents of younger ladies. By the way, the lady he’s married to now, Ms. Kayla, was a younger woman,” Benham said on WAPI 99.5 FM Monday evening. “He did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that.”

Volumes have been written about the history of this kind of misogyny. What it all boils down to is that this is about as sick as it gets.

* The courts have consistently blocked attempts by the Trump administration to pull funding from what they refer to as “sanctuary cities.” This sure looks like an attempt to do a work-around on those rulings.

The Justice Department announced on Monday it will award more than $98 million to local police departments, giving preferential treatment to 80% of the recipients because they’d agreed to let federal immigration officers inside local jails and notify federal authorities about undocumented immigrants in local custody.

The grants are part of a broader effort by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reward cities that cooperate with the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, while threatening to block standard-issue crime-fighting grants from dozens of jurisdictions that may have adopted sanctuary policies.

To be clear about what message this is sending to local law enforcement…

By contrast, the same grant program under the Obama administration gave a leg up to police departments in 2016 that were “building trust” within their communities, based on standards set out in Obama’s 21st Century Policing plan, which sought to promote transparency and diversity among police, and switch to a “guardian” culture instead of “warrior culture of policing.”

* Legislatively, all of the focus has been on the Republican tax cut bills. But here’s what’s looming.

Concern is growing in both parties that a clash over the fate of Dreamers will trigger a government shutdown this December.

House conservatives have warned Speaker Paul Ryan against lumping a fix for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as minors into a year-end spending deal. They want him to keep the two issues separate and delay immigration negotiations into 2018 to increase their leverage — which both Ryan and the White House consider reasonable.

But many liberal Democrats have already vowed to withhold votes from the spending bill should it not address Dreamers…

* In case you’re wondering what #44 is up to these days, here ya go:

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.