Judge: Don’t call the people Rittenhouse gunned down ‘victims’; ‘looters’, ‘rioters’ OK – National & International News – THU 28Oct2021



Judge: Don’t call the people Rittenhouse killed ‘victims’. Build Back Better now down to $1.75 trillion. China fuel shortage deepens U.S. supply chain woes.




Judge: Don’t call the people Rittenhouse shot ‘victims’; ‘looters’, ‘rioters’ OK

During the Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, WI, last year following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, armed militia members descended on the small town. Many, like Kyle Rittenhouse, then 17, were from out of state. In the midst of the protests, Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters and seriously wounded a third. Two of the shootings were caught on video, which went viral.

After numerous delays, Rittenhouse’s murder trial is finally getting underway. But the judge in the case has set some unusual rules for the attorneys arguing the case before the jury. Specifically, the judge has forbidden prosecutors from referring to the unarmed people Rittenhouse killed or wounded as ‘victims. However, the judge will allow the defense to refer to the victims as ‘arsonists’, ‘looters’, and ‘rioters’. There is no evidence any of the three people Rittenhouse shot were taking part in any violence whatsoever.

Kenosha police accused of “deputizing” militia members

Meanwhile, the only person to survive being shot by Rittenhouse, Gaige Grosskreutz, is suing the city of Kenosha. Grosskreutz alleges in the suit that Kenosha police essentially ‘deputized’ the militia members and that their perceived support contributed to the violence against protesters.

At the time, numerous videos circulated online of Kenosha police having chummy interactions with the men patrolling their streets with heavy weaponry. Some show police handing out water and food to the protesters. In another, officers can be heard over a police vehicle’s speaker voicing appreciation for the militia men. 

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$3.5 trillion Build Back Better now down to $1.75 trillion

In a rush to get a deal on paper before he leaves for the COP26 conference, Biden has bowed to pressure from conservative Democrats to but back his once-sweeping social safety net and climate mitigation bill from the already much-reduced price tag of $2 trillion to $1.75 trillion.

There are still a few good things in the bill. Universal pre-school will be expanded to 3 and 4-year-olds. Medicare will now cover hearing, but will not cover vision and dental care. Some proposals to reduce the country’s carbon footprint are also to be included.

But the focus for many is what has been left out of the deal. There will be no paid family leave provision. Nor will Medicare and Medicaid have the ability to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower prescription drug costs. A provision to make two years of community college tuition free has already been dropped. 

Largely at the behest of coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), Biden already axed a plan to create financial carrots-and-sticks to push utilities to reduce fossil fuel usage. Biden still says the $500 billion in climate spending is the largest “effort to combat climate change in American history”. However it is doubtful whether it will impress climate activists and other heads of state at COP26.

Will the progressives back it?

A caucus of 40 progressives in the House had previously vowed to vote down the separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill if the Build Back Better plan was not to their liking. Progressives including Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal had already gritted their teeth and publicly signed off on the reduced $2 trillion plan. Their acquiescence likely emboldened conservative holdouts Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) to ask for more cuts.

Now the test is whether the progressives will hold their nose and their tongues and vote for an even further whittled-down proposal. Biden is meeting with them today to press his case.

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Fuel rationing in China will have knock-on effects on U.S. supply chain

Many countries in both Europe and Asia are experiencing fuel shortages amid pandemic supply hiccups. China has now begun rationing diesel and gasoline used to power factories, trucks and ports. Several factories have already had to undergo temporary shutdowns or production slowdowns amid blackouts. Some of China’s busiest ports have also experienced temporary shutdowns due to COVID outbreaks in recent weeks.

This is likely to exacerbate the supply chain woes in the U.S. Despite limited efforts to revamp domestic production, the U.S. still depends heavily on imports from China. China boasts 6 of the world’s 10 busiest ports (7 if you count Hong Kong). Much of the world’s supply chains depend the constant activity at these ports. The reduced capacity of China’s factories and ports are likely to only intensify supply headaches going into the holiday season. 

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