This is only used in American English. It's similar to 'cut in line' and means ' jumping the queue' - in other words, not joining a queue or line at the back. For example, if the kids are lining up to get their lunch and one child pushes their way in towards the front of the queue. 'Pushing in' is the phrase I'd use in a school context.
1. You could use the present simple 'lack'. Present continuous sounds better, though - perhaps because it implies that the situation could change.
2. Yes, but the meaning is different. 'Know' would refer to your current acquaintances. 'I've known' refers to your life experiences. This would include people you met years ago.