Kyle Rittenhouse claims he's going to Arizona State — but the university says he hasn't applied

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who was found not guilty recently for the fatal shooting of two Black Lives Matter protesters during the summer of 2020, says he'll attend Arizona State University in-person this spring as a pre-law undergraduate student.

The only problem? ASU says he hasn't even applied.

The Illinois native said on the stand during his trial last month that he was enrolled in several online courses offered by the University as a non-degree seeking student, and added later in an interview with NewsNation that he was on "compassionate leave'' during his trial.

But in a statement to Forbes Friday, ASU spokesperson Jay Thorne said: "Mr. Rittenhouse withdrew from the two online courses for which he had signed up; he is welcome to apply for admissions and will be treated as any other applicant would be if and when he does."

After news of his ties to the university were made public during the proceedings, students at ASU flew into an uproar, staging protests and chanting things like "Killer Kyle off our campus." Rittenhouse supporters also flocked to campus in an attempt to defend the teenager, according to the Associated Press.

Rittenhouse contested the school's statement Wednesday during an appearance on far-right political commentator Steven Crowder's podcast "Louder with Crowder."

"They came out with a statement saying oh, no no no no, he's not enrolled at ASU anymore," Rittenhouse said. "I'm like, I'm enrolled, I'm just not in any classes. I'm admitted, I have a student portfolio."

It appears Rittenhouse is too late to submit an application for the spring 2022 semester — the admission deadline was Nov. 1, according to the university's website. Though a spokesperson for the university said he can always apply for the fall semester — or at any time in the future.

"Any qualified individual can apply for admission," Thorne told the Arizona Republic.

Senator Collins comes under fire after SCOTUS signals support for restrictive abortion ban

Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, is once again facing scrutiny for her support of Donald Trump's nominees to the Supreme Court in light of this week's oral arguments in case that threatens the constitutional protection of abortion.

Promoting the bill she co-authored with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, which had just passed into law by President Biden this week, Collins was slammed by critics.

"The U.S. has an unacceptably high maternal mortality rate w/ stark racial disparities, and this crisis impacts women veterans as well." she wrote on Twitter, "A bill Sen. Duckworth and I authored in the Senate aims to change this. Today, President Biden signed it into law, which will improve veterans' maternal care."

Instead of praise, Collins was flooded with mention of her past support for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"You picked a bad day to express your "concern" about women and maternal mortality," one user responded, "Your "concern" appears it will lead to increases in maternal mortality in Mississippi."

Collins previously said that she did not believe Kavanaugh would overturn Roe v. Wade, as she said he considered the matter to be "settled law." Asked on Thursday whether or not she believed that Kavanagh still sees Roe as settled law following his line of questioning during this week's oral arguments in a case about Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, Collins demurred and simply said, "I think we all need to wait and see what the final decision is."

After Judge Kavanaugh had expressed support for a similarly restrictive anti-abortion law in Louisiana, Collins told CNN that Kavanaugh had assured her during his confirmation process that the landmark opinion was safe.

"He said under oath many times, as well as to me personally many times, that he considers Roe to be 'precedent upon precedent,' because it had been reaffirmed in the Casey v. Planned Parenthood case." she said.

When that law was struck down by the court, with Kavanaugh in the minority supporting it being upheld, Senator Collins again said that his vote was "no indication in his dissenting opinion that he supports overturning Roe."

If Mississippi's abortion restrictions are upheld by the Supreme Court, it seems clear that abortion will become a state issue once again. Mississippi currently has only one licensed abortion facility in the state, leaving that healthcare access inaccessible to thousands of women.

Guards openly brag about being white supremacists in Florida prison

Officers with the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) openly brag about being white supremacists.

Three white officers recently beat, pepper sprayed, and used a stun gun on a Black inmate who was screaming that he couldn't breathe, in full view of surveillance cameras. The next day, the officers did it again.

In a new report from the Associated Press, who interviewed inmates of several Florida prisons and prison guards, this problem goes deeper than a couple of bad apples in the bunch. One inmate, Jamaal Reynolds, wrote that "Black officers and white officers don't even mingle with each other. Every day they create a hostile environment trying to provoke us so they can have a reason to put their hands on us."

In 2017, three DOC officers, who were members of the Ku Klux Klan, were arrested by the FBI for planning the murder of a Black former inmate. This summer, one guard allowed for a meeting of white supremacists to take place. A Black officer, interviewed by AP, who reported the meeting, said that the incident report they filed went nowhere, and there was no consequence for the guard who allowed the meeting to take place. In late September of this year, another Black inmate was beaten by a guard who said "You're lucky I didn't have my spray on me, cuz I would gas yo Black ass."

The culture created within the DOC doesn't encourage officers "snitching" on other officers by reporting misconduct. The Black officer that spoke to AP about filing an incident report spoke anonymously, and is attempting to leave their job with the DOC. Mark Caruso, a former sergeant who was fired and reinstated for being a whistleblower of misconduct, described the body as a "good old boys" club. Despite intimidation tactics, including other officers spitting on his windshield, Caruso continued to call out other officers for violent behavior. Caruso was fired for allegedly not reporting an inmate beating, which he claims he never saw, in 2019. His claims that it was retaliation for his whistleblowing were unsuccessful.

This issue is not a new one for Florida.

From AP, "In the early 2000s, the corrections department was forced by a St. Petersburg Times expose to investigate a clique of racist guards who all carried rope keychains with a noose. The Times reported that the noose keychains were used to signal a racist officer who was willing to inflict pain, particularly on Black inmates." In April of this year, one AP reporter found "Confederate flags, Q-Anon and Thin Blue Line images" on officers' cars in the parking lot of one facility.

Democratic Florida state Rep. Dianne Hart has called for a federal takeover of the prison system and a formal investigation.

There is a nationwide pattern of those with extremist views being hidden within law enforcement and prison administration. Prison Legal News, a prisoner rights publication, has reported cases of "Nazis and Klan members working as correctional officers in California, New York, Texas, Illinois and many other states." Paul Wright, a founder of Prison Legal News, said that "There's an institutional acceptance of this type of racism...What's striking about this is that so many of them keep their jobs."

'Be armed! Be dangerous!' Republicans celebrate Kyle Rittenhouse verdict

Friday's acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who traveled to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August of 2020 and fatally shot two men, was met with jubilation on the right.

A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on the homicide charges for the killings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and not guilty of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. Republicans celebrated online.

The House Judiciary GOP account tweeted "Justice."

Lauren Southern, a Canadian alt-right activist, tweeted that Rittenhouse "falls to the ground sobbing a free man. What an incredible moment."

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-NC, offered Rittenhouse an internship in his office, and told his followers to "be armed, and be dangerous."

Cawthorn is not the only Representative to offer Rittenhouse an internship. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, has also said he would offer one to Rittenhouse upon his acquittal, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ, offered to "arm wrestle Matt Gaetz" for "dibs" on Rittenhouse.

Ann Coulter posted a meme of superheroes bowing to Rittenhouse, carrying his weapon, flanked by two nurses in scrubs with eagles for heads.

Tomi Lahren tweeted "Justice has been served!!"

"Now Kyle should spend the next year suing the absolute pants off of every news outlet and person, including our president, who slandered him!!"

Others echoed the sentiment that Rittenhouse should pursue legal action for alleged defamation by news outlets and President Biden. Bryan Dean Wright, a Fox News contributor, who tweeted that he would "like to contribute to the legal fund of Kyle Rittenhouse, as he sues the shit out of Leftist media."

Senator Tom Cotton, R-AK, called on President Joe Biden to "apologize" to Rittenhouse.

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany retweeted Cotton, and posted "Kyle Rittenhouse found NOT GUILTY on all charges!"

GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that Biden "prejudged the Rittenhouse case. He smeared a teenager… Biden needs to apologize and ACT NOW before the left uses his lies to fuel violence."

Others praised the jury for their decision. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that "The Rittenhouse jury just gave Biden his second colonoscopy of the day."

Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, tweeted, "This acquittal isn't just about Kyle Rittenhouse."

Buzz Patterson, a former Republican candidate for Congress from California, wrote on Twitter that "The American justice system was on trial as well. The jurors were bold and brave in not submitting to the media spin and potential threats."

Lisa Boothe, a Fox News contributor, tweeted "The Kyle Rittenhouse jury gives me hope for America. Even when faced with a violent and hate-filled mob, they still did what was just and right"

Candace Owens tweeted "NOT GUILTY….Justice wins the day"

Wendy Rogers, a state Senator from Arizona, tweeted that Rittenhouse's pronouns were "NOT GUILTY"

Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic presidential candidate and congressperson, wrote on Twitter that "The jury got it right... the government was motivated by politics, which itself should be considered criminal."

Outside of the courthouse, people erupted in cheers at the not guilty verdict.

Rittenhouse's family, in a statement through their spokesperson, said that "Kyle's a free man, and rightfully so. It's been a hard year."

Capitol rioter Jenna Ryan says remorse is a 'thought crime' ahead of prison sentence

Convicted Capitol rioter Jenna Ryan — the Texas realtor who flew to the attempted Jan. 6 insurrection on a private jet and later said she wouldn't be sent to jail because of her "blonde" hair and "white skin" — is hard at work preparing for her stay in prison, she told local reporters at WFAA-TV in Dallas during an extended sit-down interview this week.

How? By watching YouTube videos.

"I'm watching all the YouTube videos on how prison is, how to go to prison, what to do." Ryan said.

When asked about whether or not she was sorry for breaking into the U.S. Capitol as part of an attempt to stop the lawful certification of a presidential election, she appeared to shift blame to the Capitol police officers who failed to stop her and the other rioters from entering the building.

"I wish that (door) had not been open," Ryan said, "but a police officer was standing next to me. "It was kind of like a Walmart greeter."

She later doubled down and attempted to distance herself from past statements of contrition — even going so far as to call remorse a "thought crime."

"I'm not one to go hide — and as far as remorse, I have a problem with remorse because it's like a thought crime," Ryan said. Earlier this month, Ryan said she was "remorseful" for entering the Capitol in another interview.

During the wild sit-down, Ryan also tried to rewrite history, telling reporters the riot was "peaceful" and that coverage of the events that day had distorted the truth.

It was a claim immediately refuted by WFAA's sister outlet in D.C. — "WUSA9 can verify that statement is false," a disclaimer in the online story reads.

Protestors injured as many as 150 police officers on Jan. 6 — with some still hospitalized to this day. To boot, Ryan was photographed beside other protestors destroying camera equipment owned by the Associated Press.

Ryan has already pleaded guilty to entering the Capitol for roughly two minutes on Jan. 6, where she tweeted a photo of herself beside a smashed in window with the caption: "If the news doesn't stop lying about us we're going to come after their studios next."

Immediately following her conviction, Ryan posted a video to Twitter of an American flag.

She is expected to begin her 60-day sentence in January.

Republicans have new idea to fix labor shortage: Loosen child labor laws

Republican-controlled legislatures in several states have come up with a novel way to stem the effects of an ongoing labor shortage: loosen child labor laws governing the number of hours and times that teenagers are allowed to work.

It's not exactly a new strategy. Businesses hiring minimum-wage employees across the country have advertised their use of teenagers to plug the holes in their workforce for months, especially fast-food chains like Chipotle, Burger King and McDonalds, among others. Seasonal work in tourism-heavy industries like amusement parks have also doubled-down on the strategy.

But at least two states, Wisconsin and Ohio, are now pushing for new laws that would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work longer hours — the most brazen attempts to expand American businesses' use of teenage labor in decades.

In Ohio, the Republican-controlled state legislature took up a measure last month to allow businesses to keep teenagers under the age of 16 at work until 9 p.m., with a parent's permission. Previously, they had only been allowed to work until 7 p.m. The bill was introduced by two Republicans and one Democrat.

Likewise, the Wisconsin Senate last month also passed a bill which would allow businesses to hire 14- and 15-year-olds to work from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weeknights or 11 p.m. on weekends. The measure would only apply to businesses which run less than $500,000 in sales annually and aren't governed by a federal statute known as the Fair Labor Standards Act.

If approved by the state Assembly, which appears likely, its fate will lie with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. It remains unclear whether he will veto the measure or not.

It's just the latest attempt in a long line of Republican-led changes to the state's child labor code over the last decade, according to an analysis in The Guardian. In 2011, Wisconsin eliminated limits on the number of hours — and days — that minors aged 16-17 could work, and even replaced the phrase "child labor" in state law with "employment of minors" in 2017.

The most recent changes have attracted support from a number of powerful service-industry lobbies, such as the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, who say it will help to solve businesses' staffing issues and teach teenagers a healthy work ethic.

On the other side, the measure has attracted ire from the AFL-CIO and a number of the state's high-profile Democrats, who uniformly appear to oppose the bill.

"It's a nice workaround," state Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, told WISN-TV last month. "I think in reality if those employers are looking for workers, what frankly the market should dictate is they should be raising wages, offering additional benefits."

A number of high-profile progressives have echoed those sentiments — with some even pushing back against the mainstream narrative that a widespread worker shortage exists in the first place. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said on her Instagram recently that what America is confronting isn't a labor shortage, but a "dignified job shortage."

Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist and co-chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, told Salon that the larger issue at play is why kids would have to work in the first place.

"A lot of families are in such dire economic conditions that they might agree to send their kids to work because of necessity." she said. "But that's the problem. If you get up and go to work every day, you shouldn't be living in poverty, you shouldn't be living in such dire situations."

The increasing reliance on American teenagers to work more hours is also leading to a number of negative outcomes for children who are forced into the labor market at younger ages — including increasing rates of substance abuse and high school dropouts, research shows.

In an op-ed for the Bucks County Courier Times, a local Pennsylvania Newspaper, high school junior Darcy Leight wrote that she and her peers were experiencing burnout at much higher rates due to the increasing pressure to work longer hours in recent months.

"A job I intended to work strictly during the summer has somehow found its way into my fall schedule and has become almost equivalent to academics on my priority list. And I don't even know how it happened," she wrote. "The coupling of a job anywhere from five to 35 hours a week along with being a student is extremely stressful.

Mein Kampf, racial slurs and Antifa conspiracies lead wild first week at Charlottesville trial

It didn't take long for a landmark civil trial over the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to take a bizarre turn.

Just hours into proceedings — which are expected to last for months — neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell dropped racial slurs, made a passing reference to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, floated a conspiracy theory involving Antifa and plugged his own radio show, managing to fit it all in his opening statement, according to BuzzFeed News.

Later, Richard Spencer, a self-identified white nationalist who coined the term "alt-right," was cut off multiple times by a judge, who at one point pleaded with him to "stick to the facts."

The now-infamous rally, which was held Aug. 11-12, 2017, was sparked by the planned removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee. One woman, Heather Heyer, lost her life after a man drove his car into a counter-protest against the white nationalist gathering. Those involved in the incident, as well as a separate beating of another counter-protester, are now facing prison time.

The civil case that began this week, however, is meant to bankrupt Cantwell, as well as several white supremacist organizations. The case was filed under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which is credited with hobbling the organization just as it began to take root following the Civil War.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

At the trial a legal team for Integrity First for America, the non-profit civil rights group spearheading the case, played video footage of the rally, including the torch-wielding mob chanting, "Jews will not replace us!" and "Blood and soil!"

Representatives for the organization also spoke about the scars, both physical and mental, that the victims of the violence have carried with them since 2017.

The case hinges on whether or not Cantwell, Spencer and others involved with planning the rally anticipated the violence their event ultimately brought to Charlottesville. Cantwell, who says he is representing himself due to the cost of hiring an attorney, brushed off the idea during his opening statement.

"[The jury will] hear us making a couple racist jokes. We're sort of notorious for those things," Cantwell said. "But what you won't hear is a conspiracy to commit any crime, much less a violent one."

Richard Spencer, who is also representing himself, argued that because he didn't know the other defendants before 2017, there could not have been a conspiracy. He also went on a wild rant about last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, which he said "eventuated in vandalism, looting, violence, and riots."

Others also mentioned BLM, floating another false-flag conspiracy that the "Unite the Right" violence in 2017 was really perpetuated by antifascists and BLM activists.

The prosecution's opening statement, meanwhile, addressed a trove of social media posts, private chats, emails and texts that show neo-Nazis and white supremacists "discussing weaponry they would bring to Charlottesville and how they would use them to attack their enemies."

Prosecutor Karen Dunn said, "This case is a case about violence and intimidation that was planned for months and culminated in a tragic and violent weekend on Aug. 11 and 12 of 2017, right here in Charlottesville, Virginia."

Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper takes down anti-mask protesters at North Carolina school board meeting

If a frontline has emerged in the new culture war, it's surely local school board meetings — where right-wing activists in dozens of municipalities have staged scenes over everything from COVID-19 safety measures to anti-racist lessons.

It was into this "thunderdome" — a school board meeting in Johnston County, North Carolina — that The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper stepped this week in an attempt to better understand the psyche of anti-maskers who had gathered for a protest against school COVID-19 prevention measures. Leading the protest just a few paces away was Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from the state who has emerged as a key figure in the conservative war on public health measures to tamp down on the surging virus.

It's hard to say what exactly Klepper was able to learn from the segment — except for the fact that not many of his interviewees knew what they were talking about.

One attendee, in an "I Don't Co-Parent With The Government" T-shirt, the slogan du jour of the protest, said that she was against "all mandates."

Klepper pointed out that co-parenting with the government is sort of the point of public schools, to no avail. "If you don't want to co-parent with the government, don't get pregnant in Texas," he added.

Another said that her son had developed acne from wearing his mask "But has he had COVID?" Klepper asks — the answer, of course, was no.

The segment features footage of parents holding signs with anti-mask slogans, children draped in "Don't Tread on Me" flags, and others waving American flags. One self-identified parent even says that he'd been to the ICU three times this past year, floating wild conspiracies about hospitals faking COVID cases for… well, it's not entirely clear."I've walked through the hospitals, I've videoed inside hospitals, and guess what? They aren't full of COVID patients."

Klepper also stumps another attendee, who said that it was dangerous to use masks because it causes people to "breathe in toxins," by asking how surgeons manage hours-long procedures while wearing even more extensive protective equipment.

A particularly wild exchange featured one woman who claimed that in her "research," she found that Satanists stand six feet apart and wear masks during rituals. "Is it coincidence?" she says shrugging, "I don't know."

The Church of Satan responded to the video on Twitter, saying "As Satanists, we can assure you the lady at the end has no idea what she's talking about."

The protest comes as more than 16,000 North Carolinians have died since the start of the pandemic. As of Friday, there were over 1.3 million cases reported in the state.

Watch the full clip below via Twitter:

Why everyone is mad at Mark Zuckerberg

It's been a rough week for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Ire against the 37-year-old Harvard dropout and his social media platform has been one of the rare points of bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill this week as revelation after revelation about Facebook's pitfalls continues to trickle out, many from a series of internal documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Lawmakers are now calling for Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress, in particular about a number of internal reports cited by the Journal that determined Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, had a marked negative impact on young women.

Researchers for the company reportedly found in March of 2020 that "32% of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse." In another study, Facebook found that more than 40% of teenage Instagram users in the U.S. and U.K. reported feeling "unattractive", and said the feeling began on the app.

This information was allegedly shared with Zuckerberg personally last year during a presentation — though he didn't mention any of those findings at a Congressional hearing just a few months ago on the impacts of social media on children, saying simply, "Social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental-health benefits."

When asked point-blank whether Facebook researches the effects of social media he added, "I believe the answer is yes."

A group of Democrats, including Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Reps. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and Lori Trahan, D-Mass., wrote a letter to Zuckerberg asking him to scrap plans to roll out a version of Instagram specifically for children.

Another bipartisan group of Senators announced a probe into the company's practices and told CNBC Tuesday that they are "in touch with a Facebook whistleblower and will use every resource at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it — including seeking further documents and pursuing witness testimony."

The head of public policy at Instagram, Karina Newton, responded to the allegations in a blog post highlighting research by Pew Internet on teens in the US that stated "81% of teens said that social media makes them feel more connected to their friends, while 26% reported social media makes them feel worse about their lives." Newton also said the company is researching ways to shift users away from repeatedly looking at certain topics that might "contribute to negative social comparison."

Among the other pitfalls the Journal uncovered at Facebook include reports that cartel activity on both Facebook and Instagram has gone unchecked, and that worldwide, the response to posts that are against the terms of use is "inadequate" at best and at worst, is non-existent. Other reports found that while Zuckerberg himself wanted to use Facebook to get America vaccinated, the platform was a breeding ground for anti-vaxxers, who "swarmed" the WHO and UNICEF pages with comments against the vaccine. The MIT Technology Review also obtained an internal report that foreign troll farms were able to reach more than 140 million Americans a month with misinformation leading up to last year's election, a development that surely had an effect on the millions of Americans who still believe, without any real evidence, that President Joe Biden's victory was somehow illegitimate.

The news also highlights how the ownership structure of Facebook essentially allows Zuckerberg to rule by decree — despite the protests of others both within and outside the publicly traded company. Zuckerberg holds 57.9% of the voting power at the company and is both chairman of the board and CEO, meaning there's not much anyone else can do to promote greater transparency or big-picture changes that they believe may be better for society.

"At Facebook, the annual general meeting is largely just theater," Robert Bartlett, a law professor at UC Berkeley who teaches securities regulation and corporate finance, told Marketwatch this week.

But even without voting power, shareholders of the company are still pushing the company to make changes that would benefit society as a whole — part of a trend that has seen "activist investors" take greater control over behemoth companies that have long operated with one goal and one goal only: profit.

The most high profile example came earlier this year when an "activist" hedge fund managed to win three seats on the board of ExxonMobil — the result of continued backlash against the company for the role it plays in climate change.

It remains unclear whether Mark Zuckerberg will make any changes at Facebook as a result of this week's news.