Taiwan’s Representative To The U.S. Slams China For Using Pelosi’s Visit As A Pretext To “Manufacture A Crisis”

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Taiwan’s Representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-Khim appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to her country, which has caused an uproar in China. Rep Bi-Khim slammed China saying it was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit a pretext to “manufacture a crisis.”

Rep(0:24): “We have been living under the threat from China for decades, and we cannot let their ongoing threats define our desire to make friends internationally. If you have a kid being bullied at school, you don’t say, ‘you don’t go to school’, you try to find a way to deal with the bully, and that’s exactly what Taiwan is doing, working on making our society stronger and more resilient, fortifying our defenses so that we have means of managing risks. The risks are not posed by Taiwan, nor are they posed by the United States, the risks are posed by Beijing.”

Asked whether Taiwan is worried about a full scale military invasion from China, Rep Bi-Khim said (1:11): “The Chinese have not renounced the use of force. They have been intensifying threats towards Taiwan that is not only on a military level, it has involved a hybrid toolkit of public disinformation, cyberattacks, economic coercion, they have a broad toolkit that we have become more and more accustomed to. Again, that is not going to change our determination to defend our freedom.”

Asked whether she thought China’s military exercises at the Taiwanese coast following Speaker Pelosi’s visit were a drill, Rep Bi-Khim said it appears they have been preparing for this for a while, even before Speaker Pelosi decided to visit Taiwan.

Asked whether she had any assurances from the Biden administration that the U.S. will provide Taiwan with actual military protection as opposed to just providing them with weapons in the event China invaded, Rep Bi-Khim said (3:08): “We have a very strong security partnership that ensures the protection of our shared interest in the regional peace and stability”–which reasonable people will agree, is diplomat-speak for “yes”.

Asked about the criticism that Speaker Pelosi’s visit amounted to provocation, she responded (3:27): “I think the word provocation has only one place, and that’s with China right now. They are the ones that are provoking regional instability…Sometimes it’s hard for other countries from afar, to fully understand the feelings and perspectives of the Taiwanese people, and that is, for too long, we have been bullied, isolated, and surpressed, and banned from international organizations, so when friends come from afar, and wish to lend their support to Taiwan, we generally take that with gratitude.”

Asked about the reality that China’s invasion of Taiwan would be markedly different from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given the fact that China is far more powerful militarily and economically, and thus difficult to sanction, Rep Bi-Khim said that was part of the reason Speaker Pelosi visited–to give them assurances of support. Rep Bi-Khim specifically said (5:11): “I think that was one of the messages that Speaker Pelosi was trying to convey, and that is, despite all challenges, we have friends in the international community who will stand with us.”

Asked about China’s threat to pull out of important global negotiations on climate etc, if it doesn’t get its way with Taiwan, and the effect that may have on other countries (discourage them from defending Taiwan), Rep Bi-Khim responded (5:50): “Are we concerned? Yes we are concerned about the disruption of these very important discussions on global issues that are matters of interest to not only the United States, but to China and everyone in the world, but the fact is, again, congressional visits to Taiwan have been going on for decades, and for decades it hasn’t prevented the United States and China from having constructive discussions on matters of mutual interest…” Rep Bi-Khim added that Beijing was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to “manufacture a crisis”, and finished with this powerful admonition: “If China is to evolve as a responsible stakeholder in the global community, it’s really up to Beijing to decide if China’s rejuvenation will evolve with international respect, or with international condemnation.”

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TSMC Chairman Discusses Semiconductor Chip Production & Possible China Invasion Of Taiwan

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Mark Liu, the Chairman of Taiwan Semicondictor Manufacturing Company(TSMC), the most valuable company in Asia, and tenth in the whole world, appeared on CNN’s GPS show (07/31/22) to discuss the growing global shortage of semiconductor chips, and efforts by his company to ramp up production in the United States. TSMC is building a $12 billion advanced chip manufacturing plant in Arizona, thanks in large part to subsidies from the recently passed Chips Act. As expected, the interview also delved into growing global concerns about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China, especially given what is currently happening in Ukraine.

As it currently stands, the whole world relies on TSMC for the supply of advanced semiconductor chips, and as concerns grow about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China (especially after Russia-Ukraine), many in the tech world fear that their industry could be turned upside down without a free TSMC.

Asked what would happen to the chip industry if China were to invade Taiwan, Chairman Liu said even though the production of advanced semiconductor chips is critical to the Taiwanese economy, the chip industry/economy would be their least concern because such an attack would upend the world’s rules-based order, and dramatically change the geopolitical landscape.

Asked whether China may be interested in invading Taiwan so it can have total control of TSMC, one of the world’s most valuable assets, Chairman Liu responded (video at 3:15): “Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force, or invasion, you will render a TSMC factory non-operable because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility, it depends on the real time connection with the outside world–with Europe, with Japan, with the U.S., from materials, to chemicals, to spare parts, to engineering software diagnosis, and it is everybody’s effort to make this factory operable, so if you take it over by force, you can no longer make it operable.”

Asked about the so-called “TSMC shield”–this notion that because mainland China relies heavily on TSMC for it’s high end chips, it may be hesitant to invade–Chairman Liu responded (video at 4:45): “Our[TSMC] interruption will create great economic turmoil on either side–in China because, suddenly their most advanced components supply [will have] disappeared…it is an interruption, I must say, so people will think twice on this.” It appears Chairman Liu agrees with the “TSMC shield” theory. He then added that we should draw lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war because as we can see, there are no winners. Russia is suffering, Ukraine is suffering, and the rest of the world is suffering as a result of the war. China’s invasion of Taiwan would be no different.

Asked to explain how Taiwan has managed to grow at 5% per year for five decades straight–the so-called “Taiwan miracle”, Chairman Liu said a lot of it had to do with the fact that the Taiwanese are generally, very peaceful people. He said that since 1949, when the island transformed from authoritarian rule, they have managed to live peacefully. He also added the education system as another reason for the “Taiwan miracle.” Apparently, university education in Taiwan is available to anybody who wants it. As a result, 80% of adults in Taiwan are college educated.

Bottom line folks, as host Fareed Zakaria correctly put it, Chairman Liu is probably the most important man in the world, that you don’t know about. All in all, a fascinating interview, with a fascinating business leader, from a fascinating island, which I hope, the world does everything, to shield from an invasion by China.

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Did Ginni Thomas Collude With Her Supreme Court Husband In Effort To Overturn Election Results?

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Virginia “Ginni” Thomas with her husband, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

An interesting segment on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes delved into a Washington Post piece by Emma Brown, which dropped the bombshell that Ginni Thomas’ role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results was much more than has been reported thus far. Specifically, Emma Brown’s piece included two new emails which show Ginni Thomas pressuring Arizona lawmakers to send in fake electors for Trump, even though Joe Biden had won the state. One of the lawmakers Ginni emailed is Arizona State Representative Shawnna Bolick, She is the wife of Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick. Justice Bolick is a longtime close friend of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and the two worked together before Thomas joined the high court.

The two justices are apparently so close, that Thomas is a godfather to one of Bolick’s sons. Crucially, State Rep Shawnna Bolick is currently running to be Arizona’s Secretary of State, a position that would give her power to do exactly what Ginni Thomas was asking her to do with the 2020 election results. As host Chris Hayes correctly points out, this naturally raises questions as to whether Ginni and Clarence Thomas were working in tandem/colluding to help Trump overturn the 2020 election results. The answer to this question is crucial in determining Justice Thomas’ continued fitness for the high court

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes(video at 0:47): “The latest revelation about what Ginni Thomas did in the wake of the 2020 election shows a level of tactical sophistication that was clearly absent from those absolutely crazy texts, and crucially, these actions were connected to her husband, the longest sitting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in a way that makes it harder for him and his defenders to fall back on the claim that they keep their work and personal lives separate. The Washington Post reports that Ginni Thomas emailed two Arizona Republican lawmakers pressuring them to help reverse the[2020]election results. The first of the two emails came days after Joe Biden was declared the winner…Thomas sent that message to Russell “Rusty” Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives…The other recipient was State Representative Shawnna Bolick, wife of Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick. Justice Bolick is a longtime close friend of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. They worked together before Thomas was appointed to the court and Thomas is even the godfather to one of his sons. Shawnna Bolick responded to Ginni Thomas right away…She went on to give Ginni Thomas guidance on how to submit complaints about any of her experiences with voter fraud in Arizona. Sure enough, just a couple of months later, Bolick introduced a bill that would give the Arizona legislature the power to throw out election results, just as Ginni Thomas wanted them to do. Luckily, that bill never made it out of committee, but Shawnna Bolick is now running for Secretary of State in Arizona, a role where she would oversee elections.”

There’s no other way to interpret Chris Hayes’ commentary other than, Ginni Thomas, in her efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, sought out the Bolicks because she knew they were close to her Supreme Court husband. She wasn’t just some unhinged spouse sending out crazy texts/emails about overturning the elections, as her Republican defenders would have you believe. This strongly suggests that Ginni was colluding with her husband in these efforts, and as host Chris Hayes correctly points out, we at the very minimum, deserve an investigation into any such collusion to clear up the air. As it currently stands, this appearance of impropriety casts a dark shadow on the high court.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly has repeated stated, Democrats are horrible at messaging. This Ginni Thomas saga is a real scandal that they could have/still can capitalize on, as we approach the midterm elections. There’s already great liberal apprehension about the Supreme Court following the recent leak of a majority opinion, and Democrats can make a compelling case that a vote for them is a vote to save the high court.

But don’t take Yours Truly’s word for it, here’s what another MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said regarding Ginni and Justice Thomas, “OK, fine you[congressional Dems] don’t want to try and impeach him? Why not call for him to resign? Why not hold hearings? Make a big deal of this. What do you think Republicans would be doing if the situation was reversed, and this was a liberal Justice?” We know what would happen, Mehdi. Republicans would have booted the liberal Justice out of the high court by now, whether or not they could prove spousal collusion. That’s the difference, and it’s sad.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Press Event On The America Competes Act(2022)

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Press Event By House Speaker Pelosi And Her Committee Chairs Before a Floor Vote On The America Competes Act (02/04/22)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Committee Chairs held a press event(02/04/22) before a floor vote on the America Competes Act which according to Speaker Pelosi, will “supercharge domestic investment in chips, advance American manufacturing at home and strengthen global supply chains.”

The Committee Chairs who spoke at the press event included Reps Eddie Bernice Johnson(Science, Space and Technology Committee), Frank Pallone, Jr.(Energy and Commerce Committee), Richard Neal(Ways and Means Committee), Maxine Waters(Financial Services Committee), Gregory Meeks(Foreign Affairs Committee), Peter DeFazio(Transportation and Infrastructure Committee), Bobby Scott(Education and Labor Committee), Bennie Thompson(Homeland Security Committee)

Bottom line folks, despite all the noise in the mainstream media, House Democrats under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, are hunkering down and passing consequential pieces of legislation aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans, the latest example being America Competes Act(2022). Keep up the good work, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats!!

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Democrats Introduce HR1 “ForThePeople” Act

In case you missed it House Democrats recently introduced HR1 dubbed “ForThePeople” Act , their first bold bill which seeks to tackle among other things GOP’s culture of corruption and rampant gerrymandering. For detailed information on HR1, please refer to the hearings below shared by Speaker Pelosi on her Twitter page.

A lot of grassroots Democrats get lost in the Washington/mainstream media weeds which is why Yours Truly goes out of his way to break things down as much as possible to ensure every voter gets it, a good example being the famous “Handy Lists”. Therefore rather than go into the specific details of HR1, which you can already find on Speaker Pelosi’s Tweet above and various sections of the mainstream media, we will instead point out the main issues powering HR1 which grassroots Democrats need to know. These are the main issues Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats seek to address with HR1–“ForThePeople” Act;

End partisan gerrymandering for congressional districts

Make election day a federal holiday

Guarantee early voting dates

Establish a nationwide voter registration

Stop purging of voters by state Secretaries of State

Ensure the President and Supreme Court Justices are subject to the same ethics and non-corruption rules as other public officials

End flow of anonymous money into campaigns by forcing “dark money” groups and super PACS to disclose their donors

Require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to release their tax returns

In the coming days and weeks we will dive into the specifics of these key planks of HR1 and as usual, create a “Handy List” of GOP members of congress who stall its progress. There’s a very good chance most if not all of HR1 provisions will pass in the House but stall in the U.S. Senate therefore expect a lot of handy lists of GOP Senators.

Bottom line HR1 is a brave bold initiative by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats and yet another reminder as to why voting matters. Thanks to the huge Dem voter turnout in November 2018, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are now embarking on addressing issues that are near and dear to grassroots Democrats hearts, especially voting rights. This is just the beginning. We must make sure we stay engaged with House Democrats but more importantly work harder to take over the U.S. Senate in 2020.

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Pelosi Tutors Mitch McConnell On The Constitution

In case you missed it newly minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently attended a town hall hosted by MSNBC’s Joy Reid and slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for essentially abdicating his constitutional duty as a congressional leader.

Speaker Pelosi told Joy Reid;“What Mitch McConnell is doing, and I say this as respectfully as possible, is we are not needed. Congress might as well stay home. All we need is one person to show up–Donald Trump, and that’s not what our founders had in mind. The President can sign or not but he[McConnell] should never say I’m not even going to put it on the President’s desk….don’t say Congress is irrelevant.”

Speaker Pelosi’s remarks come against a backdrop of the partial government shutdown (aka #TrumpShutdown) over funding for the border wall. Immediately after being sworn into the 116th Congress, House Democrats passed bills aimed at reopening the government. The bills require a vote in the Senate before they head to the white house for the President’s signature. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to table the bills in the Senate arguing that because Trump would never sign them into law, there was no need for him to table them–a waste of time. This has sparked a constitutional debate as to what the role of congress, and specifically Mitch McConnell’s is vis-a-vis the President.

Speaker Pelosi’s argument which is the long-held view among many constitutional scholars is that because Congress is one of the three co-equal branches of government (alongside the Judiciary and the Executive), the President should not dictate the affairs of Congress. In other words, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should not refuse to table a bill to reopen the government(or any bill for that matter) simply because he thinks or knows that the President would not sign it. When the House passes a bill, his job is to table it in the Senate for a vote and if it passes, let the President do whatever he wants with it(sign it or not). As Speaker Pelosi correctly argues, this is how the founding fathers intended for Congress to operate—an independent, co-equal branch of government.

The argument Speaker Pelosi is making doesn’t get the mainstream media attention it deserves but touches on a very important constitutional topic. For the last two years with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former House Speaker Paul Ryan, we have arguably witnessed the most egregious constitutional aberration in terms of what the proper role of Congress is vis-a-vis the President. This idea that a Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker are just subservient surrogates of the President as we have witnessed from Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for the last two years is as un-American as it gets. The U.S. founding fathers never meant for Congress to be subservient to the President.

You don’t have to take Speaker Pelosi’s word for it. A venerable journalist with the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin wrote a forceful opinion piece about the same subject and later expounded on it on MSNBC’s AM Joy Show.

Bottom line one only hopes that Speaker Pelosi, congressional Democrats and indeed the mainstream media (kudos to WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin), will continue hammering away at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the constitutional aberration he and former House Speaker Paul Ryan have perpetrated for the last two years. The message to Sen McConnell should be very clear:”If you don’t have a clear grasp of your constitutional duties as a congressional leader, you should step down.” Simply put, Speaker Pelosi must keep calling out Sen McConnell’s constitutional aberration and continue giving him free constitutional tutorials until he gets it.

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