🇺🇸 Censured
November 19, 2021

Good morning, and happy Friday. We made it to the end of the week — nice work everyone. Just an FYI: Wreaths Across America, the country’s longest veterans’ parade, will begin its annual march down the East Coast on Dec. 11. The group will deliver wreaths to schools, memorials, and other locations to honor, remember, and teach about those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Plus, here’s what plumbers call the day after Thanksgiving.

Flag Polls

ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 11/18: Biden Job Approval, Gallup Disapprove 55%
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 11/18: Biden Job Approval, Quinnipiac Disapprove 53%
R 11/18: 2022 Congress Vote, Quinnipiac Republicans 46%
D 11/17: 2022 Congress Vote, Economist/YouGov Democrats 42%

Trending On The Left

WaPo: In Charlottesville trial, jurors learn to decode the secret slang of white supremacists

Vox: Why the House censured a conservative firebrand over a violent video featuring AOC

NY Times: Judge Spares Man in Teen Rape Case: ‘Incarceration Isn’t Appropriate’

Daily Beast: Pennsylvania Teen Had Hands Up for 14 Seconds Before Cops Killed Him

Trending On The Right

Fox: Jim Jordan blasts AG Garland after whistleblower email: '...looks like he misled the American people'

NY PostMSNBC banned from Kyle Rittenhouse trial after producer accused of following jurors

Washington Examiner: Matt Gaetz open to hiring Kyle Rittenhouse as intern if acquitted

Daily WireDeSantis Trolls Biden By Signing Bills Against Vaccine Mandates In Brandon, Florida



On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona for posting an animated video that depicts him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a sword. This decision was "an extraordinary rebuke that highlighted the political strains testing Washington and the country," Kevin Freking and Brian Slodysko report in the Associated Press. Yesterday, the headline from CNN's news team read: "Cheney and Kinzinger vote with Democrats to censure GOP Rep. Paul Gosar." Meanwhile, Fox News' team led with: "GOP votes against Gosar censure, but frustration builds against controversial congressman: 'It's all silly.'" Below are opinion pieces from both sides.


Gosar Represents the New GOP

Left-leaning commentators think Gosar’s tweet is despicable. They believe it’s emblematic of the new Trump-influenced, tribe-based GOP that borders on the extreme.

"Republican extremism offers a preview of possible new House majority" Stephen Collinson, CNN: "If House Republicans win in the midterm elections, it's already clear their new majority will be a constant churn of self-radicalization and an extremist political weapon for Donald Trump. ... The reason why Republicans are standing by Gosar is that he is one of Trump's most vehement defenders and accomplices in attacking democracy. The reason why 13 supporters of the popular infrastructure bill are in trouble is that their votes helped hand Biden a win on an issue on which Trump manifestly failed, creating an embarrassing comparison with his presidency. ... ‘It's completely crazy,’ Ohio Gov. John Kasich said. ... 'The Republicans are lucky the people aren't following this thing carefully. If they did, their ability to take over the House, in my opinion, would be in question. People don't support this kind of nonsense; they don't.'"

"House censure vote of Paul Gosar shows how rarely the GOP breaks ranks" Michael A. Cohen, MSNBC: "While 221 Democrats voted to hold Gosar responsible for his actions, only two Republicans did. ... This isn’t the first time Gosar has done something inflammatory and reckless. He has repeatedly denounced immigrants, appeared alongside white supremacists, suggested that the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, had been planned by ‘an Obama sympathizer,’ pushed QAnon conspiracy theories, and even claimed at a House hearing that his background as a dentist made him uniquely qualified to read body language. ... Gosar’s continued electoral success raises a difficult question: Is there anything a Republican politician can do to alienate Republican voters? The answer, seemingly, is no. Devotion and loyalty to the Republican tribe trump all else."

"Republicans' defense of US Rep. Paul Gosar in censure vote is sickening" Laurie Roberts, The Arizona Republic: "What is wrong with Republicans that they can't bring themselves to condemn Rep. Paul Gosar for his sick anime video?" Keep reading.


Grow Up, Gosar

Right-leaning commentators also largely believe Gosar’s tweet is absurd and completely unnecessary. More than a few point to this episode and others as examples of lawmakers more concerned with juicing their cable TV ratings as influencers than actually accomplishing anything in Congress.

"The Decline of Congress" Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: "Congress has a public approval rating of 22%, which makes us wonder what the 22% are watching. It can’t be C-SPAN. If they paid attention to this week’s spectacle involving Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the 22% are likely to join the other 78%. Mr. Gosar, a Republican, illustrates the decline of Congress in profile. ... [His tweet] reveals that many members of Congress now behave as if their job is to become social-media influencers or cable-TV stars, as opposed to accomplishing something. ... Democrats are naturally trying to exploit the episode for their own social-media and cable-TV gain ... Mr. Gosar, who is 63 years old but acts like a teenager on TikTok, deserves ridicule more than censure, which should be reserved for serious offenses. ... This really is the cartoon Congress."

"House votes to censure Paul Gosar and remove him from committees, 223-207, with two Republicans voting yes" Allahpundit, Hot Air: "Dems won’t say so but I think they treated this as a lifetime achievement award for Gosar. The anime cartoon he posted on Twitter showing a character with his face superimposed on it slaying a character with AOC’s face doesn’t crack the top 10 worst offenses by a guy who helped organize the January 6 'stop the steal' rally and who’s famously cozy with alt-righters. ... Ocasio-Cortez didn’t want to let it go, though. ... Maybe that’s because she relished an opportunity to show off her victimhood. ... AOC did make one fair point about Gosar and the MAGA wing of the GOP caucus: They’re not serious about their jobs. They don’t care what they say or what effect it has on others because ultimately they’re just performers for the people who watch them on Fox, not legislators."

"Rep. Boebert raises Swalwell Chinese spy scandal on House floor: 'Sleeping with the enemy'" Jessica Chasmar, Fox News: "Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. called out Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. while defending Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. ... for his past relationship with a suspected Chinese spy while listing off the ‘inappropriate actions’ of Democrats on the House floor Wednesday." Keep reading.


Congress Craters

In the latest approval rating poll from The Economist/YouGov, just 15% of respondents said they approve of the way the US Congress is handling its job. When the same poll asked 1500 Americans whether they think Congress has accomplished more or less than it usually does at this point in its two-year term, 38% said "less than usual," 29% said "about the same," and 12% said "more than usual."

Overall, do you approve or disapprove of how the United States Congress is handling its job? Click here to share your thoughts.


The Great American Smokeout

Every third Thursday in November, the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout. This annual event is meant to encourage Americans to stop smoking. Specifically, it challenges smokers to quit cigarettes for 24 hours with the hope that this decision will continue forever. For any smokers out there joining in, one way to distract yourself is with gum — and there's nothing better than diving into a classic pack of Big League Chew. Plus, get this: after Wrigley brought Big League Chew production to Mexico in 2010, Ford Gum & Machine Company reclaimed distribution rights and brought manufacturing back to the US. Currently, the gum is manufactured in Akron, NY. Click here to purchase the "Hall of Fame Bubble Gum."


Apple's Return to Office, Execution Commuted, CBO Estimate

CNBC: Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees Thursday that the company is pushing back its return to office plan until February.

USA Today: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Thursday released its full cost estimate of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill, projecting the measure would add $367 billion to the national debt over the next decade.

CNN: The defense teams for the three White men accused in Ahmaud Arbery's killing rested Thursday after presenting their case for two days and calling seven witnesses, including Travis McMichael, one of the defendants, to the stand.

WSJ: A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general said Thursday it is investigating how Instagram attracts and affects young people, amping up the pressure on parent company Meta over potential harms to its users.

NBC: President Joe Biden's social safety net and climate package could get a House vote as soon as Thursday afternoon, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at her weekly news conference.

CNNOklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has granted clemency to Julius Jones, commuting Jones's death sentence just hours before he was scheduled to be executed for a 1999 murder he says he did not commit. 

AJ: Belarus has moved migrants and refugees away from the main camps at the Polish border, according to Belarusian media and officials, in a change of tack that could help ease a crisis that has spiraled in recent weeks.

CNN: Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday she and President Joe Biden have not been discussing the 2024 election yet, and she declined to say if Biden has told her whether he will run for a second term.

ESPN: The head of the women's professional tennis tour questioned the legitimacy of what Chinese state media said was a retraction by a Grand Slam doubles champion who has accused a former top government official of sexual assault.

CNBC: Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state premiers on Thursday agreed on a new package of measures to tackle a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as infection rates soar to a record. The package reportedly includes a limit on public life for the unvaccinated in areas that exceed a certain threshold of hospital admissions.


Gettysburg Address, Apple Car, Skiing Down K2

On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American history at the dedication of a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Above is one of the two confirmed photos of Lincoln's arrival (center, facing camera) at Gettysburg, taken around three hours before his speech. 

TechCrunch: Apple reportedly aims to debut a fully self-driving car in 2025.

Daily Beast: Are We About to Find Life on Venus?

The Conversation: How Metacognition — Thinking About Thinking — Can Improve the Mental-Health Crisis.

Today I Learned about Andrzej Bargiel, a Polish ski mountaineer who became the first person to ski down from the summit of K2, the world's second-highest mountain. He climbed without supplementary oxygen and skied down in about seven hours. 

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