Month: December 2019

State Blue Wave Arriving | 2020 Climate Action

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 30, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

There are two new Democratic governors arriving into office next week, one of which flipped the governor’s seat from red to blue. Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, stunned the GOP with an unexpected upset that outed Trump and McConnell ally, Matt Bevin. Louisiana’s John Bel Edward, held off a fierce rival backed by Trump, and will return to Baton Rouge to finish the progress he started four years ago. There’s so much positive energy for long awaited changes (sidelined by Mitch McConnell the past three years at the federal level, particularly in 2019 with the Democratic House passing nearly 400 bills that are currently stacked under McConnell’s desk), that constituents feel optimistic much needed legislation will soon follow.

IST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300n November 2016, the year Trump came into power through the electoral college rather than popular vote, the net outcome on the gubernatorial side of things was 33 red governors and 16 blue. But, after three years of Trump’s continued defiance of the rule of the law and our Constitution, Americans appear to be venting their frustration through their choice of governors. The tides have shifted significantly with Democrats picking up 8 governorships. After the 2019 election, there are 26 red governors and 24 blue.  Just one away from being an even split.

Voters are hoping to see legislative movement with these gubernatorial pivots, particularly gun safety legislation and clean energy & sustainability. States with Democratic governors for more than a decade, are much further ahead with clean energy infrastructure and regulation, and their low carbon levels reinforce the positive impact legislation has on outcome. The states that have flipped from red to blue recently, now have to catch up. The ones that remain red will be left in the dust.

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But all eyes should be on Virginia in 2020. The governorship, and both levels of the state legislature, are now blue. The Virginia legislative calendar begins next Wednesday January 8, 2020. Mom’s Demand Action and the NRA will both be descending on the state capitol in Richmond the first day to lobby the new arrivals about gun safety. Virginia is a state with two extremes. Charlottesville highlighted the tension. Trump has fueled the stormy division in the two years that have followed since that tragic day in Charlottesville, August 12, 2017.

One step at a time. Our Founding Fathers taught us that the way a democracy works is through the art of compromise. Let’s get this right! ~

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FINALLY! Ketchup Packaged In Glass | New Brands

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 24, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Exciting update on the “Ketchup in a glass bottle sold locally” saga, a tale that has reached ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300a positive outcome in just five weeks. Five weeks is a very short period of time to go from 0 to 60. This proves that social media is a very powerful solutions driver.

  • In mid November while grocery shopping, after making a commitment not to buy anymore products packaged in plastic, even if that meant paying more, I was shocked to discover that there literally weren’t any Ketchup brands sold in glass. It was the ONLY condiment that didn’t have a single glass packaged option. Barbecue sauce had the largest selection of brands sold in glass, row upon row upon row. BBQ Sauce and Ketchup are very similar, so I was perplexed. How could one of the two similar condiments have the most glass packaged possibilities, and the other have the least, actually none? This made no sense (although now I realize it’s because Heinz cornered the Ketchup market and refuses to revert back to glass).
  • I ended up purchasing “Apple Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce” as my Ketchup alternative
  • I snapped a photo and posted on Facebook about my shocking surprise that Ketchup isn’t sold in glass.
  • Someone commented that I could purchase Heinz in glass bottles through Amazon, although the glass bottles were super tiny, but the price was reasonable so I went for it. I imagines that I could give some away to various friends and family to promote the circular economy and the importance of glass packaging.

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  • And the best part was that I could reuse the bottles in other ways once finished. Tiny storage containers for small things like buttons, etc, and much more.
  • The small 2.25 oz ended up not being practical. So, my next big decision was to be adventurous and order Heinz Ketchup in the 14 oz glass bottles sold as a pack of 24 for $76.60 though Amazon. I realize this seems crazy, but buying in bulk is something we should be used to thanks to Costco.
  • Meanwhile, I posted each of these steps on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
  • I was supposed to receive the 14 oz bottles on Thursday of last week, but was dismayed to instead receive an email stating the delivery was cancelled. The glass bottles had been shipped, but the delivery ran into sone type of snafu and the package was being returned to sender and I’d be given a credit. No explanation provided. Yes, I can’t help but wonder if the bottles broke and everything was a mess. I guess I’ll never know.
  • Disappointed, I resumed my quest in local grocery stores this past weekend for Ketchup in glass bottles. I nearly jumped for joy when I found Unsweetened Organic Ketchup in Whole Foods. I bought it, tested it and determined that I could indeed grow a taste for unsweetened Ketchup. It was wonderfully fresh and healthy, and very tomatoey I might add.

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  • But later Sunday night, I had to dash to Safeway, and wasn’t I shocked to see a “NEW” Ketchup brand along the top row of the Ketchup shelves. The Red Duck label made my mouth water. It looked delicious, and indeed it is very yummy! YAY, a solution!

Climate Action works. Sharing ideas through social media catches the attention of many and nets positive results. I must admit that it’s disappointing Heinz hasn’t begun testing glass packaging for their Ketchup. The majority of the major soda producers certainly have. After 50 years of sustained success at having more than 60% of the Ketchup market share, has Heinz grown complacent? We’ll soon find out. In the meantime, GOOD LUCK, Red Duck! Thanks for responding to consumer demand. ~

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So Many Beautiful & Exciting Possibilities | Cutting Carbon

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 21, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.” ~Luther Burbank

And flowers cut carbon too! Flower boxes in the windows of our homes and businesses, and hanging baskets from street lights, will add yet another layer of nature to absorb carbon. We need as much help as we can get. It’s another exceptional tool in our climate action tool shed that will reap a wave of benefits, improving both our atmospheric carbon levels, and our quality of life.

Will flower boxes in the windows of the majority of homes and businesses increase property values? I guess we’ll find out as soon as we begin a window flower box campaign.

BrightSide-350SquarePocastLogo-NEWEST
PODCAST- daily conversation that focuses on how to turn negative circumstances into positives and land on the bright side.

According to BestLife, flowers:

  • Reduce stress
  • Elevate mood
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Increase memory
  • Certain flowers can help us fall asleep
  • Help us heal

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Not only do flowers absorb CO2, they’re also air purifiers, absorbing pollutants such as benzene, acetone, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

We can do this! Warm weather climates can begin today. The rest of us can begin planning today so we’re ready to spring into action as soon as the weather breaks. 🌺

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EV Charging Stations | Retail & Restaurant Parking Lots ROCK!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 20, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

The new year is here. Thinking of all that can be accomplished on the Climate Action front makes my head spin. Way at the top of the list is EV cars, which means EV charging ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300
stations are going to be on everyone’s minds.

Savvy business owners and managers who have parking lots can take advantage of this consumer need by installing a handful of charging stations in their parking lots. It seems that this is what everyone has been talking about at holiday parties this year. Where do you charge your car?

One woman I spoke with lives in a complex that doesn’t yet have charging stations, so she has to be sure to charge in town. She now LOVES Walgreens because they have charging stations. She makes plans to charge while she shops. It was likely that she rarely shopped at Walgreens before buying an EV, but now, it’s her favorite store in the world. And she always spends money, every single week.

HillReport12-20-2019aWide open green fields for marketing, literally. And the best part about this unique opportunity, is that EV owners who charge when visiting a store, feels immense gratitude. The most passionate, heartfelt kind of deep appreciation, almost an indebtedness, the way we feel towards heroes. They’ll likely feel inspired to say “yes” to a  promotion opportunity rather than “no.”

When restaurants and retailers everywhere begin adding charging stations to parking lots, we’ll see EV sales go through the roof, and the atmospheric carbon levels drop. Win/win! In certain regions, businesses can find sizable grants to help cover the cost. Good Luck!~

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Democracy Prevails | Donald J. Trump Impeached

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 19, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Wednesday evening December 18, 2019, the United States House of Representatives upheld their oath of office, moral conviction, and determination to protect our democracy by voting on two Articles to impeach Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States.

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300Article I: Abuse of Power

  • 230 Dems voted YES
  • 197 GOP voted NO
  • 1 Dem present,  Tulsi Gabbard, but no vote cast

Article II: Obstruction of Congress

  • 229 Dems voted YES
  • 198 GOP voted NO
  • 1 Dem present, Tulsi Gabbard, but no vote cast

In light of the clear and overwhelming evidence regarding Trump’s shakedown of the Ukraine president to undermine his political rival in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, as well as obstruction of Congress when they began investigating the matter, the unfortunate lack of GOP support for impeachment shows a unified GOP front to back the president rather than the Constitution. A very sad reality for America.

“A president who subverts both our elections and our constitutional system of checks & balances puts himself above the law. It’s Congress’ duty to hold the president, any president, accountable. It gives us no pleasure, no pleasure to stand here today. But President Trump’s conduct has put our next election at risk. President Trump’s behavior puts the integrity of Constitutional order at risk. And President Trump’s continued actions put the rule of law at risk.” ~Jerry Nadler, Chairman House Judiciary Committee, December 18, 2019, following the impeachment of Donald J. Trump

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What I found to be the most powerful and inspirational moment of this historic day, was the morning impeachment rally on the Capitol side lawn in front of Mitch McConnell’s office sponsored by a coalition of grass roots advocacy groups to protect our democracy and unite us all together to confront this anti-American aggression. It was a carryover of the more than 600 Impeachment Eve rallies held across the country the night before, with horrified Americans pouring onto the streets from coast-to-coast to protest Trump’s behavior and defiance of the constitution.

The sentiments shared with the public by a host of guests speakers during the morning rally were the ones I grew up on. The same values my father believed in when he expressed to his children the importance of our democracy every July 4th. The ones the veterans recounted when they stood and spoke of their willingness to risk their lives to protect our democracy for all Americans, and challenged politicians to be willing to sacrifice their jobs to protect the Constitution. Other speakers outlined examples throughout American history, about the many contentious turning points, but reminding us that our democracy had prevailed because of our Constitution and rule of law.

The rally speeches were pure, untarnished American values and ideals that we all surely remember but haven’t heard much of during these three Trump years. It was the parting of the fierce, dark storm clouds with the bright beams of sunlight filtering through. A message of hope and belief and inspiration that conjurs up so many memories, for me it was the July 4th summer evenings, sitting on the grass at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut watching the fireworks with my many cousins. My father would challenge us to dream a big dream, because in America we can accomplish any  dream, so shoot for the stars.

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Consumers Profit from Circular Economy

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 16, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

Finally, the era of consumer profit has arrived. We’ve certainly earned this ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300
unexpected windfall after nearly two centuries of corporate greed destroying our hopes & dreams by restraining our financial ability to achieve them.

Now that our golden opportunity is upon us, let’s try and maximize the amazing possibilities so we can quickly increase our disposable income and apply this boost to health, education and long term goals.

A circular economy is created through the principals of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. This requires a bit of imagination and resourcefulness, key characteristics of the creative, the artists and those with right brain strengths.

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According to the Centre of Expertise on Resources, the tools for succeeding at a “no waste” circular economy are straight forward:

  • Refuse: try to eliminate using our natural resources when there are other alternatives
  • Reduce: lower the need for using natural resources, by reusing products already manufactured
  • Reuse: rayon paper towels can be washed and reused over and over
  • Repair: if the screen breaks on our phones, we simply repair rather than buy a new one
  • Refurbish: improving a product when it ages, ie repainting, polishing, etc
  • Remanufacture: improving an old product and using in a new way (broken outdoor shutters create beautiful indoor wall hangings… ART!)
  • Repurpose: reuse a product for a new purpose without having to change anything about it (glass jars are best example, buy pickles in a glass jar, when done we now have a storage container)
  • Recycle: reusing a products raw materials
  • Recover: use waste to make energy
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photography by AdobeStock

The most useful & effective reusable product that I’ve stumbled upon are rayon paper towels that can be washed, dried & reused indefinitely. They hold up well. I was spending $6 per week on paper towels, and now $0. That’s an easy $312 in my pocket.

We’ve got THIS!

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Trump Impeachment & GOP Twisted Spin

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 9, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

This week is bound to be one of the most historic weeks in the 230 years since our Constitution was ratified in 1789. Facts, spin, misinformation and propaganda are all tangled together.

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300How do we keep it straight? Probably the best way is to focus on the mainframe. The skeleton of the impeachment inquiry. The basic facts. To do this though, we have to remove the spin that the GOP loyalists have unleashed in order to block the truth. Again, it’s the GOP Trump loyalists who are creating the spin, NOT all Republicans everywhere.

  • There are many Trump Administration officials who discussed removing Trump from office using the 25th Amendment back in 2017/2018. We all certainly recall the “Anonymous” NYT OpEd published on September 8, 2018, that outlined discussions about whether the 25th Amendment was the best method for dealing with Trump’s refusal to follow the rule of law and the Constitution. These dedicated, hard working, patriotic cabinet secretaries who were all Republican and hand chosen by Trump, confirmed by Republican senators, became so alarmed by Trump’s agenda and handling of affairs, that when they couldn’t go through with the 25th Amendment removal, many eventually resigned from their positions, deciding to align themselves with the right side of history.
  • If we all scroll the monthly headlines since Trump’s inauguration, the majority of us will be able to acknowledge the extensive layers of proof we have at our disposal  to process the facts. We’ve known since the very first day, that Trump will use any means necessary to achieve his goals. The facts uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee when interviewing 12 critical witnesses, each outlining various aspects of Trump’s Ukraine bribery scheme, shouldn’t surprise anyone. They certainly didn’t surprise me.
  • We can pull up Trump rallies on YouTube and listen to Trump bribes at every single one. Several particularly alarming rally bribes are ones such as: “If you vote for me in 2020, I’ll give you a middle class tax cut of 10%.” Or how about, “Vote for me in 2020, and I’ll give you the medical care you want.”
  • This is simply who Trump is and has always been. Several cabinet secretaries who resigned much later the others admitted that they tried to be the guardrails that would keep Trump inside the lines, but Trump didn’t want that. Just like he didn’t want a guardrail like Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitchkeeping him inside the lines when dealing with his theme in Ukraine. We get it. It’s a no-brainer unmanly levels.

But GOP Reps like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Ranking Member Doug Collins have their marching orders. They are the Trump loyalists, the disrupters who seem intent on blocking the approaching bipartisan patriots on a mission to hold Trump accountable  for destroying our national character, are well as our values and eroding the Constitution. Their twisted spin includes three main talking points:

  • “This is first partisan impeachment, with ONLY Dems onboard.” FALSE. For nearly three years, there has been a bipartisan effort to keep the checks & balances outlined in our Constitution in play and hold Trump accountable. As previously noted, GOP Cabinet Secretaries discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. However, many patriotic GOP either resigned or were fired just like Yovanovitch.
  • GOP Trump loyalists claim Dems are trying to remove trump from office because they lost the 2016 presidential election. FALSE. This propaganda would only be believable if Trump stayed inside the lines. But since he doesn’t, and since he’s shouted to the public on many occasions that he’s above the law, and since numerous tell-all books have outlined just how far outside the lines he operates, this particular GOP talking point is more like a sick joke.
  • The Mueller Report found Trump innocent. FALSE. The Mueller Report did NOT find trump innocent. The Mueller report is a massive compilation of very dry, hard-core facts that state there was obstruction of justice. That Russia influenced the outcome of the 2016 election, implying that trump may in fact be an illegitimate president. And that Mueller wasn’t able to interview all the necessary witnesses (one of which wasTrump) to prove that trump colluded with Russia.

That’s basically it in a nutshell. Pathetic really. The trick is now getting the American public to see clearly through all the smoke and mirrors. We can do this! 

I highly recommend Republicans read the book A Warning by Anonymous. Anonymous is a Republican, and A Warning appears to have been written for the silent Republican Senators and Congressional Representatives who refuse to stand up to Trump, as well as for Trump’s base. The message is very powerful. And convincing. ~

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