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‘Potential for Bias’: Civil Rights Attorney Stunned Rittenhouse Judge’s Phone Ringtone Is Trump Theme Song

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The trial this week of Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with homicide for the killing of two unarmed men during the unrest after police shot Jacob Blake in the back, is arguably one of the most polarizing the country has seen in recent times.

Many on the left see Rittenhouse as a killer, many on the right see him as a “patriot” who was engaged in self defense. Judge Bruce Schroeder will decide Rittenhouse’s fate – and if he’s a killer or a self-defending patriot.

Schroeder’s behavior has been the subject of a good deal of outrage as he – on live TV – repeatedly berated the prosecutor Wednesday. Some legal experts indicate his anger at the state’s attorney might be justified, but at the very least most seem to agree it should not have been done in public.

Wednesday afternoon many were stunned when Judge Schroeder’s phone went off in the middle of the trial.

Schroeder quickly grabbed it and angrily turned the ringer off, but as several noted, his ringtone is the same song Donald Trump used as his theme song at his MAGA rallies, known to some as “Proud to be an American,” officially “God Bless the U.S.A.”

There’s nothing wrong with the song itself, but given how Trump himself has repeatedly “endorsed” Rittenhouse, even traveling visiting Kenosha, the scene of the killings, some are expressing concern.

Civil rights attorney Timothy Welbeck, the Director of the Center for Anti-Racism Research, and an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, called it “outrageous.”

“This is outrageous,” he tweeted in response to a video of Judge Schroeder’s phone ringing. “Aside from the obnoxious disruption it causes (I’ve seen judges threaten defendants and witnesses with jail time when their cell phones rang during court proceedings), it further reveals Judge Schroeder’s potential for bias in this matter and related ones.”

Last summer at a White House press briefing Trump told reporters his thoughts about Rittenhouse: “You saw the same tape as I saw, and he was trying to get away from them.”

“I guess it looks like and he fell and then they very violently attacked him and it was something we’re looking at right now and it’s under investigation,” Trump said, as CNBC reported August 31, 2020. “I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed. But it’s under investigation.”

One day earlier The New York Times reported “the president even ‘liked’ a tweet that offered support for Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Trump supporter who has been charged with homicide after two demonstrators were shot to death in Kenosha, Wis. ‘Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump,’ the tweet said.”

Former Republican and former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now a Democrat, was among the first to identify the song:

Mediaite also reports the song is Lee Greenwood’s “G-d Bless the U.S.A.

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Virginia School Districts Furious After Youngkin Flip Flops on Promise to Allow Local Boards to Decide Mask Mandates

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For months Virginia’s incoming Republican governor has been promising he would neither mandate masks in schools nor ban school districts from requiring them.

“Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will not outlaw local COVID-19 mandates when he takes office in January,” reported the far right wing website Daily Wire back in November.

Local ABC affiliate 8 News, also in November reported, “Youngkin won’t try to block local mask, vaccine mandates like other Republican governors.”

Glenn Youngkin was sworn into office on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Business Insider reports that on Saturday, after Youngkin was sworn into office, he “signed an executive action that banned schools from requiring that students wear masks to stem the spread of COVID-19, instead allowing parents to decide when their children wear masks during the school day.”

Youngkin’s first act as governor was to sign eleven executive orders. Among them: effectively banning any mask mandates in schools across the state, by allowing parents to opt-out for any reason or no reason.

In other words: flip-flopping on his promise.

Youngkin is using his Lt. Governor to threaten angry school districts. Fox News’ John Roberts:

Pundit and political analyst Bill Scher:

Youngkin made a big deal over the weekend claiming schools have to “listen to parents” and if they oppose his mask ban they aren’t listening to parents.

Gov. Youngkin is the one not listening.

In poll after poll after poll after poll Virginia parents make clear they support mask mandates in schools, and Virginians overall support mask mandates, period.

 

 

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Top Democrats Renew Call to End Anti-Gay Blood Ban as Red Cross Announces First-Ever National Shortage Crisis

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Last week the Red Cross issued its first-ever warning of a blood shortage so dire it is calling it a “national crisis.” In response 22 top Democratic Senators signed a letter urging the FDA to once and for all end the ban on men who have sex with men donating blood.

The nearly four-decade old ban was instituted during the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. In 2015 the FDA reduced the complete and total ban to one where gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men could donate blood if they had abstained from sexual activity for one year. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic raged, threatening blood shortages, the FDA moved to a three-month prohibition.

“If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed,” warns the Red Cross, citing a 34 percent drop in supply, CBS News reports.

“Any policy that continues to categorically single out the LGBTQ+ community is discriminatory and wrong,” the group of 22 top Democrats, led by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), say in their letter. “Given advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based policy for gay and bisexual men is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude an entire group of people, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”

Blood Shortage MSM Donor Deferral Letter FDA HHS Jan 2022 Final by David Badash on Scribd

 

Image by ec-jpr via Flickr and a CC license

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Watch: Fox News’ Peter Doocy Admits There Are Republicans ‘That Don’t Agree With Voting Rights’

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ended the week with yet another smack down of Peter Doocy, as the Fox News reporter admitted there are Republicans who “don’t agree with voting rights.”

“As you talked about a year ago and working with Republicans, now [President Biden] is talking about Republicans that don’t agree with voting rights,” Doocy complained, “he’s describing them as George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis. What happened to the guy who, when he was elected said: ‘To make progress me must stop treating our opponents as our enemy’?”

Doocy was referring to President Joe Biden’s widely praised speech in support of voting rights earlier this week, referencing civil rights icons and their infamous white supremacist and segregationist opponents.

“Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?” Biden asked, to the anger of many conservatives. “Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor?  Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis? This is the moment to decide to defend our elections, to defend our democracy.”

Psaki as usual was prepared to respond – suggesting Doocy was not “speaking on the level.”

“I think everybody listening to that speech, who’s speaking on the level, as my mother would say, would note that he was not comparing them as humans. He was comparing the choice to those figures in history and where they’re going to position themselves, if they as it – as they determine whether they’re going to support the fundamental right to vote or not.”

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