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House Votes to Censure Rep. Paul Gosar Over Parody Video

Western Journal

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The United States House of Representatives voted to censure Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar on Wednesday over a satirical video his office posted last week. The vote was split on overwhelmingly partisan lines, and it strips Gosar of his committee assignments.

According to The New York Times, all 221 Democrats voted to censure Gosar. Two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, joined them.

In addition, Republican Rep. David Joyce of Ohio simply voted “present.” The other 207 Republicans voted against the censure.

The video depicts footage of migrants crossing the border interwoven with characters from the anime show “Attack on Titan.” Gosar’s face is edited onto one of the characters, and he is shown battling another character with the face of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The faces of Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and President Joe Biden also appear in the video.

Democratic representatives argued the video was encouraging violence and compared it to the Capitol incursion on Jan. 6 of this year.

“When a member uses his or her national platform to encourage violence, tragically people listen to those words,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“As the resolution that the committee is putting forth states, depictions of violence can foment actual violence and jeopardize the safety of elected officials as witnessed in this chamber on Jan. 6, 2021,” she went on.

“It is inconceivable that a member of our community here would wish to repeat the violence of that dark day.”

Ocasio-Cortez herself claimed the censure vote was not about her or Gosar, but rather what members of the House are “willing to accept.” She called the parody video “incitement of violence” against her.

Republicans, on the other hand, felt Democrats were acting in a hypocritical manner. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Democrats had an ulterior motive in issuing the resolution.

“It’s about control,” he said. “It’s not about a standard that everybody lives by; it’s a standard you enforce on one but not upon yourself. … When others on the other side of the aisle incite violence, it’s OK, because it’s rules for thee, but not for me.”

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado called out multiple Democrats including California Reps. Maxine Waters and Eric Swalwell. She also criticized Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who many Republicans felt should have been censured over her various anti-Semitic comments.

“The jihad squad member from Minnesota has paid her husband, and not her brother husband, the other one, over a million dollars in campaign funds,” Boebert said. “This member is allowed on the Foreign Affairs Committee while praising terrorists.”

In June, Omar tweeted a video in which she asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about justice. In the caption, she grouped the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Omar was not publicly rebuked for those remarks, nor was she rebuked for allegedly using campaign donations to her fund husband’s business in 2020. Instead, the Times reported Gosar became the first congressman to be censured since then-Rep. Charles Rangel in 2010.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Op-Ed: Xi Jinping Is Watching Putin to Decide When to Attack Taiwan

Western Journal

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House.

Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule.

Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.”

Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities.

The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November.

Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.”

Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted.

So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned from the Ukraine war that an attack on the democratic island nation will earn him severe economic sanctions, further threatening China’s economy. Thus, he intends to delay any invasion until after he is assured another term.

The other reality for Xi’s anticipated assault is identified by Andrei Illarionov, Putin’s economic adviser for almost six years in the early 2000s.

Illarionov, now a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, said the Chinese are learning from Putin’s war. He explained that Putin’s “decision to invade Ukraine is based on his absolutely correct understanding of President Biden. Without Biden in the White House, Putin would never invade Ukraine.”

Xi learned from Putin that Biden is weak and broadcasts what he will and won’t do — a predictable enemy.

“Mr. Putin is a very good psychologist,” Illarionov said. “He studied [security agency] files for Mr. Biden. He understood that’s a person who would never do anything against his invasion against Ukraine.” In fact, Biden showed his hand long before the war began.

Last year, Biden removed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, renewed the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement without negotiations, did nothing about the buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and ordered U.S. warships out of the Black Sea after a Russian-Dutch naval confrontation. Putin perceived these moves as weaknesses, an effort on Biden’s part to avoid confrontation.

Biden’s representatives weren’t any better.

He sent William Burns, the CIA director, to Moscow, where, according to Illarionov, he offered guarantees “on issues of security, even when Russian troops [were] on the Ukrainian border and ready to attack Ukraine. That can be understood only in one way: Biden administration is giving green light for Putin to attack Ukraine.”

Then, in December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Russian counterpart to discuss the Ukraine crisis. However, Illarionov said, “90 percent” of the discussions were about the Iran nuclear deal, yet again “giving a green light to Mr. Putin to attack Ukraine.”

On other fronts, according to Illarionov, Biden recalled American citizens and military personnel from Ukraine. He even offered to help President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leave Ukraine. Once again, Illarionov said, “Mr.  Putin understood these signs in the exactly right way”: as weakness and a go-ahead to invade.

Xi understands that Biden was never serious about stopping Putin’s war. In fact, Illarionov said Xi, like Putin, “understands very well that there is a unique window of opportunity … when Mr. Biden is the president. With any other U.S. president … [an invasion of Ukraine or Taiwan] would be impossible.”

The Russian concluded, “This dangerous moment will last at least until January 2025, until hopefully another president will be in the White House.”

Of course, there are numerous other lessons from Russia’s war for the Chinese dictator. His invasion of Taiwan will be tougher than Putin’s assault on Ukraine because the Chinese are attacking a well-fortified island nation 160 miles from the mainland, a true logistics nightmare. Further, unlike the go-it-alone fight forced on Kyiv, the government in Taipei expects the U.S. and other Western powers to directly intervene.

The most important lesson for Xi is that Biden is a predictable, weak enemy who broadcasts his intentions. So unless the Biden team finds better foreign policy acumen, we could as soon as late fall see the skies reflect green lights signaling Xi to assault Taiwan.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to decide when to attack Taiwan. At this point that decision is made, but the timing won’t be settled until this fall and before President Joe Biden leaves the White House. Let me untangle some issues that will dictate Beijing’s timing for its assault on Taiwan: Xi’s enemies and economic challenges, Biden’s green light indicators for Putin’s war, a growing list of battlefield lessons, and Biden’s broken foreign policy. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, and Xi stakes his future on returning it to Chinese rule. Last fall, he declared the Chinese people have a “glorious tradition of opposing separatism” and that “complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.” The communist chairman added, “The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference,” and he warned last year, “Anyone who would attempt to [interfere] will have their heads bashed bloody.” Yes, Mr. Xi is committed to reunification, but the timing is bound by two realities. The first is the possible confirmation of his third term in office, an unprecedented eventuality since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Xi’s third term would begin this November. Xi’s hold on power, however, isn’t assured. Feng Chongyi, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said last year that some officials are “in strong opposition and are trying their best to prevent Xi’s next possible term.” Those enemies know Xi’s Achilles heel: a sagging economy. According to the Communist Party’s “Shanghai Gang” faction, Xi is ruining the Chinese economy and must be ousted. So, if Xi is to gain a third term, he must balance his domestic opposition and his economic vulnerability before assaulting Taiwan. After all, he learned…

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Americans’ Summer Vacations on Chopping Block Thanks to Biden

Western Journal

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For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally.

This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg.

“Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet.

Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent.

And that’s not all.

The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV.

And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy.

Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN.

“Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said.

So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981.

As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate.

Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said he’s not waiting until vacation season to start scrimping, according to The National Desk.

“I’m seeing almost a 25 percent increase in my fill-up price. So, like, before it used to cost me $45. Now it’s like $60, $65,” he said.

Like so many others, Khokhar said he’s now changing some daily habits because of rising prices.

“I’ve started kind of doing the math and how much each mile basically costs me. So it’s like $0.10, $0.15, so it’s like, is it really worth going to hang out with my friends?” he said.

In an Op-Ed for the New York Post, Kevin Williamson said President Biden has found a way to make a bad situation worse.

“When you don’t have any fresh ideas or real principles — and when your long-term goals are limited by the fact that the president, who was born during the Roosevelt administration, isn’t exactly buying any green bananas — then the easiest thing to do is to throw money at every problem,” he wrote. “Throwing money at things is how you make inflation worse.”

“Biden, who was in the Senate in the 1970s, is old enough to remember the word ‘stagflation,’ which is what you get when you have a stagnant economy and inflation at the same time,” Williamson said.

“And it is what you get when you combine the wrong monetary policy with the wrong fiscal policy, the wrong trade policy, the wrong regulatory policy, and the wrong energy policy.

“And that’s how you make inflation worse.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

For many families in Joe Biden’s America, going on vacation this summer means going for broke — literally. This summer, with lockdowns in tatters and everything open that opens, vacation planning has been going on at a record pace, according to Bloomberg. “Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever,” Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern told the outlet. Getting there is no longer half the fun; in fact, it is a substantial portion of the pain. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the U.S. hit a new record high of $4.483 on Monday, according to AAA. A year ago, it was $3.042 on average. That is an increase of 47 percent. And that’s not all. The travel site Hopper.com says airfare is up 3 percent over last year and hotel rates are 20 percent higher than a year ago, according to WFMY-TV. And for anyone thinking of sending the kids off for a dose of the outdoors, plan to pay more when you can find a vacancy. Rates for summer camps are up 10 percent to 15 percent from a year ago amid strong demand, said Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association, according to CNN. “Demand is extremely strong for camps as parents are desperate for their kids to be out in nature with their peers and away from tech devices after two years of social distancing,” he said. So did the Grinch decide to steal summer? Not quite, but inflation has been at work for months, hitting 8.3 percent in April after an ugly 8.5 percent in March — the biggest month-over-month increase since December 1981. As a result, about seven in 10 Americans are adjusting their vacation plans to address fiscal realities, according to Bankrate. Motorist Ibrahim Khokhar said…

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