The Hill's 12:30 Report: All eyes on Rittenhouse homicide trial

The Hill's 12:30 Report: All eyes on Rittenhouse homicide trial
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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically. 



Kyle Rittenhouse broke down during his trial:   

Kyle Rittenhouse broke down on Wednesday as he described getting cornered by the first person he killed during protests in Kenosha, Wis., last August.”

Back story: “Rittenhouse is currently on trial for multiple felonies for killing two people and wounding another during protests that erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man.” 

Watch the trial live: Here’s the livestream: 

Live updates from the trial, via CNN:


The judge gave Rittenhouse a break to collect himself: “The judge calls for a 10-minute break after Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down and begins to hyperventilate on the stand while describing the events leading up to the fatal August 2020 shooting.”(Via Mediaite)  Video:

It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Not exactly the record we want to be breaking:

Annual inflation just hit a 30-year high. 

What happened?: “Much of the year’s inflation had been driven in specific sectors hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and related shortages, such as automobiles, lumber, rented housing and energy. But price growth picked up broadly across the economy in October and accelerated sharply for energy and food.” 

Where energy and food prices stand: “Energy prices rose a staggering 4.8 percent in October, led by a 1.6 percent increase in gasoline prices, while food prices rose 0.9 percent. Most of the higher food inflation came from sharp increases for meat prices, while shelf-stable goods saw lower price growth.” 

What this means, via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane:


The Salem Witch Trials — 2021 edition: 


“The 13 House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill are being taunted as traitors and threatened with primary challenges from far-right lawmakers for breaking party lines to help give President BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE a long-sought legislative victory.”

The two Republicans leading the charge: Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (Ga.) and Madison Cawthorn (N.C.)

Yikes: “Greene tweeted out the office phone numbers of the 13 Republicans, whom she blasted for having ‘handed over their voting cards to Nancy Pelosi to pass Joe Biden’s Communist takeover of America via so-called infrastructure.’” 

^ From one of the Republicans whose number was shared: “A spokesman for [Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOnly two Republicans expected to back censuring Gosar Jarring GOP divisions come back into spotlight Trump allies target Katko over infrastructure vote MORE (Mich.)] confirmed to The Hill that his office had received more than 1,000 calls since Greene tweeted out the phone number, with more than 90 percent estimated to be from people outside of the district.”


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shares phone numbers


And keep in mind, this was about voting for infrastructure, if that gives you a sense of how tense things are in Congress.


In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) shared one of the threatening voicemails he received after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) shared his phone number. Watch the voicemail — and Upton’s reaction to the threats:


This quote from the judge: ‘Presidents are not kings, and plaintiff is not president.’:

Via The Washington Post’s Spencer S. Hsu, “A federal judge in Washington ruled late Tuesday that hundreds of pages of Trump White House records can be turned over to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol despite the former president’s objections.”

The judge’s reasoning: “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President,’ U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan said.  

Read the judge’s 39-page ruling: 

What happens now?: Trump’s lawyers are already appealing the ruling.


“The ruling does not necessarily mean that the National Archives will turn over the materials to the House committee investigating Jan. 6 any time soon. The case raises novel issues about the scope and limits of a former president’s executive privilege authority, and it is likely that it will ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court.” More from The New York Times’s Charlie Savage:


You know what Joe Biden needs? Air dancers. Lots of air dancers.:


Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Alex Gangitano, now that Congress has passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, it’s President Biden’s job to sell the bill and convince the American people that it will help them.

Biden’s plan: “The president will head to Baltimore on Wednesday to tout new investments in ports that will alleviate supply chain issues. The White House has also assigned a handful of Cabinet secretaries with messaging the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to the public.” 

Why this is important for the White House — its polling isn’t great: “Ensuring the public is aware of how the bill is benefiting their communities will be crucial for the White House as it seeks a bump in approval after a difficult few months.” 

How this could play out


In a statement on inflation, President Biden pointed to the social spending bill as an example of how to lower prices. 

From Biden’s statement: “[The bill] will get more Americans working by reducing the cost of child care and elder care, and help directly lower costs for American families by providing more affordable health coverage and prescription drugs—alongside cutting taxes for 50 million Americans including for most families with children.”


Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielMinorities and women are leading the red wave RNC pushes back against call for chair's resignation over LGBT outreach Conservatives praise Rittenhouse jury verdict MORE released a statement criticizing President Biden for inflation and for “asking hardworking Americans to foot the bill for a socialist wish list.” Read her full statement:


‘Unvaccinated Texans 40 times as likely to die of covid as those fully vaccinated in 2021, study says’:

Via The Washington Post’s Paulina Firozi, “A vast majority of Texans who have died of covid-19 since the beginning of the year were unvaccinated, according to a grim new Texas health department report released Monday.”

The numbers: “Of the nearly 29,000 covid-linked fatalities in Texas [from Jan. 15 to Oct. 1], more than 85 percent were of unvaccinated individuals. Nearly 7 percent of the deaths were among partially vaccinated people, while nearly 8 percent were fully vaccinated.”


The Hill is hosting a virtual event at 1 p.m. EST today on the future of the workplace.

Featured speakers: Rep. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonLawmakers push blue-collar pathways to address labor shortage The Hill's 12:30 Report: All eyes on Rittenhouse homicide trial The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles MORE (D-Pa.), Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs and Institute for Women’s Policy Research President Nicole Mason. 

RSVP for the livestream:


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 46,707,838

U.S. death toll: 757,745

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 433 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.13 doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:


Wolf Blitzer got some pushback for this tweet being misleading:


D.C. gas prices



WAMU’s Martin Austermuhle responded: “[Wolf Blitzer], please stop this. There’s a handful of comically expensive gas stations around D.C., and that you happen to live or work by one does not mean it is representative! The citywide average for regular gas this week is $3.62, about 20 cents above the national average.” 

The Hill’s Jordain Carney noted: “This gas station (while convenient) is pretty well known for being overpriced.” 

The Hill’s Sylvan Lane commented: “The average price for a gallon of regular grade gas in DC today was $3.60, according to [AAA.]”

From Snapchat’s Peter Hamby: “FYI this DC Exxon is cheaper than the average price in California — $4.63 today.”


The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Delaware and Maryland today. Vice President Harris is in Paris, France. 

7:40 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud Biden and Harris host 'family' Hanukkah celebration with more than 150 guests Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence MORE participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in Paris. 

9 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.


10 a.m. EDT: President Biden met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the Oval Office.

11:40 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Delaware.

12:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris meets with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron becomes first major Western leader to go to Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi killing Justice for Josephine Baker means restoring her US nationality Far-right commentator joins presidential race in France MORE

1 p.m. EDT: President Biden attend the funeral for former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner

2:20 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Baltimore. 

3:40 p.m. EDT: President Biden receives a briefing on the Port of Baltimore.

6 p.m. EDT: President Biden arrives at the White House.


11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: 

4:10 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on how the infrastructure deal will help the supply chain in the future. Livestream:


Today is National Vanilla Cupcake Day.

Arby’s, you may see yourself out:

Arby’s announced it is selling French fry-flavored vodka for a limited time. 

The two flavors: Crinkle Fry Vodka and Curley Fry Vodka 

Photo to prove I’m not making this up just to troll you:

Oh my gosh!:


Fox on the field


And because you read this far, here’s a dog with a whole lotta sass: 

^ Make sure your sound is on.