Category: House

Devin Nunes: “Watch that flag, it’s going to fall on you.” | Projection

Washington (GGM) Analysis | January 16, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

I’ve been waiting for this moment. The moment that Devin Nunes’ bizarre comment to me in the empty hall in Longworth House Office Building, would make more sense.

It was bright and early that Friday morning, November 15, 2019, the second day of impeachment hearings when fired Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch shared her compelling testimony. While she was testifying, Trump ambushed Yovanovitch with threatening intimidation tactics launched at her through Twitter.

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Photographer Noreen Wise

Photographers and reporters, who were in the hall at the crack of dawn that day, were told to stand behind a specified line, with the exception of the media outlet given the coveted location in front of the door. Most independents decided to position themselves in the building lobby or along the other hallway. I had exceptional shots from the first impeachment hearing, so was looking for new opportunities and deduced this second hallway might have been emptied for a reason. I planned to wait here and see what unexpected encounters it might net.

The back hall, behind the line, was deserted. I was standing next to the American flag in front of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley‘s office door, my Democratic blue coat on the floor at my feet. Three men approached.  I recognized one immediately and scrambled to grab my big camera, accidentally hitting the setting knob (without realizing it) and quickly snapped as many photos as possible (so sorry for how they turned out). Nunes proceeded toward me. As soon as he was standing next to me, he turned and said,  “Watch that flag, it’s going to fall on you.”

It was such a bewildering comment, that I was stunned, too startled to think of a quick comeback. In less than a minute, he was all the way down the hall and entering the hearing room. I racked my brain. What could this mean? The only logical deduction, was that it was a projection jab, a match for what Nancy Pelosi often refers to when she comments about the GOP’s strange accusations against her.

Definition of Psychological projection, wikipedia: “Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.”

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Photographer Noreen Wise

My hunch is that my blue coat troubled his conscious, causing a visceral reaction.  It seemed as though the only people attending the hearings were Democrats, everyone so cheerful and unified now that the impeachment proceedings were well underway. Maybe Nunes had a brutal Day 1, having to walk a very long hallway, lined with Dems jeering at

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Photographer Noreen Wise

him. Whatever it was that was rumbling through his mind when he saw me next to the American flag positioned above a blue coat in front of Congresswoman Presley’s door, caused him to blurt out a subconscious zinger.

The Tell Tale Heart immediately springs to mind.

Last night, upon listening to Rachel Maddow’s stunning interview with Lev Parnas, and hearing the many shocking details involving DOJ’s William Barr, as well as Devin Nunes, the November 15th comment suddenly makes more sense. In fact, Lev Parnas mentioned in his interview with Rachel how shocked he was to hear Nunes basically lie during the hearings, when Nunes knew that people like Lev could verify his involvement.

“It’s hard to see them lie like that when they knew what was going on.” ~Lev Parnas

Lev’s use of “being on the team” in his interview sums up Nunes to a “T.” Three years of Nunes rolling around in the mud on Trump’s Team, while subconsciously knowing all the while that he was blatantly shunning his duty to the oath of office, yet deep in his soul he seemed to be aware that this twisted, reckless journey would result in him falling on his sword.~

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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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Cards Are Stacked Against Trump | Impeachment Exit Begins

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 13, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

After today’s opening public hearing, it’s mind boggling that Trump hasn’t resigned already. He now has everything stacked against him. And all of the typical lifeboats he’s used in the past to save himself from drowning — Russian Mob money, Deutsche Bank, criminal enterprise thuggery — have been cut off. So what exit strategy is trump concocting as the noose tightens?

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300The answer to this question that immediately pops into my mind is almost too scary to think about. Do Trump and his loyalists have something sinister planned? I personally fear that they do, but hopefully Department of Homeland Security is way out in front on this.

Being inside the hearing room today, and watching everything first hand, made it seem much more personal. I became acutely aware of the sacrifices William Taylor and George Kent were making for their country and the American people. This resonated in a profound way. An inspirational way that made me realize we’re all called on to do the same. Stand up, do what’s right, no matter what the cost may be.

There are endless news casts that are recounting the blow by blow play of the first two witnesses —Ambassador William Taylor, and Ukraine expert Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Eastern Europe and the Caucuses George Kent. These valuable pieces include weighty new evidence, as well as an extensive history that provides the public with the appropriate context in which Trump & company executed Trump’s shakedown strategy.

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But by the time I left the hearing room at 1:30 PM on this first day, the impeachment evidence against Donald J Trump was already rock solid and crystal clear. Trump is guilty. In fact, it’s so self-evident that the House will have no choice but to impeach the 45th President of the United States of America.

The key takeaways for me though, are less about the facts (that thankfully I don’t have to memorize, but rather can easily refer to) and more about the quality of the content :

  • Chairman Adam Schiff’s opening statement was exceptional. He clearly outlined the lens he was using to oversee the hearing. The Constitution and the Rule of Law. Period. It’s that simple. Cut and dry.
  • The two witnesses are like no others that I’ve ever seen or heard before. They’re incredibly skilled at tough discussions. This seems to be a big part of their professional life, tough negotiations with foreign leaders, many of whom are not necessarily allies. They’re also highly intelligent and were able to pick up on the fact that Nunes and Jordan were trying to undermine their testimony. They maneuvered perfectly, and phrased their replies expertly. It was impressive.

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  • What became obvious during these antagonistic interactions though, is that this must have been very similar to what was going on behind the scenes during Trump’s shakedown timeline. Trump and Giuliani were trying to snake their way around rock solid diplomats who were ten times smarter than both of them. Diplomats who know how to maneuver and to block…. which is why we’re in the midst of impeachment hearings. Thus, not only do they know how to maneuver and block, they know how to win. They make me proud to be American again. They are exhibiting the very traits that resulted in the United States of America becoming the most powerful nation in the world. Their testimony is a testament to who they are, and what the State Department is all about. I can now see why America has been the bright light shining on the hill for other countries in the world to aspire to be like.
  • If all of the witnesses we’ll be hearing from work for the State Department, they likely will all have this same adeptness. So, a list of witnesses of this caliber, becomes a solid concrete wall that seems impossible to knock down, leap over, or tunnel under.

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  • And then there’s Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman. I’ve never seen anyone like him before. I must have missed the article about the Majority and Minority counsel who were added to make everything smoother. He’s an expert, straight out of Central Casting. His tone is neutral and diplomatic. An excellent public speaker. All who hear him, trust him. He sets the bar, and in so doing, the Minority Counsel immediately falls below it. When I left the hearing, I was shaking my head wondering how the Minority Counsel Steve Castor could have been selected for his position. But then I worried that my low opinion of Steve Castor was formed in comparison to Mr. Goldman. The difference between the two is extensive. Trump must be panicked.

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  • So, Adam Schiff has created a fierce, solid wall using the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and he too is straight out of Central Casting. The witnesses are a second wall. Mr. Goldman a third. So now, Trump is completely surrounded by unmovable walls, while he’s treading water in the deep blue sea without a lifeboat or lifejacket, sharks at every turn, in the middle of a hurricane.

Is this checkmate?

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Trump’s Blanket Refusal to Comply | Executive Privilege Debated

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | May 20, 2019) –  Executive Privilege and Oversight were debated on Capitol Hill last week when the House Judiciary Committee held a Hearing on these issues following President Trump’s blanket refusal to comply with all House subpoenas, upending the vital U. S. system of checks & balances.

House Judiciary Members questioned a panel of experts who shared insights about the validity of Trump’s defiance of Constitutional norms. Trump has asserted that executive privilege allows for his refusal to comply. GOP loyalists on the Judiciary Committee repeatedly deflected throughout the hearing, making various unrelated statements such as that by Rep Ben Cline (R-VA), “this committee is driven by animosity toward the president,” there are more important issues that Congress should be focused on such as border security.

Four witnesses provided testimony and formed a panel to answer questions posed by Committee members:

  • KATE SHAW: Former lawyer in White House Counsel’s Office and current professor at Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law, NYC
  • JONATHAN TURLEY: George Washington University, Public Interest Law Professor
  • NEIL KINKOPF: Former Special Assistant, Justice Department, Clinton Administration, 1993-1997
  • PAUL ROSENZWEIG: Former Homeland Security Deputy Assistant, Secretary for Policy; Senior Fellow, National Security & Cybersecurity

During Representative Hakeem Jeffries’s (D-NY) five minutes, he stated that the House Judiciary Committee had plans to gather information relating to three specific subjects:

  1. Obstruction of Justice
  2. Abuse of Power
  3. Culture of Corruption

Representative Jeffries followed this clear-cut, direct statement, by asking Mr. Rozenzweig, “Do those three independent subjects provide a basis for which we should have a firm foundation to seek this grand jury material?”

Mr. Rozenzweig’s replied, “In my judgement, yes,” going on to explain that, “…this committee has not only a legitimate oversight interest, but one of the highest constitutional” obligations.

By the end of the Executive Privilege House Judiciary Hearing, it became clear that Trump has no legal basis to not comply with the House Oversight requests. That the Trump Administration appears to be intentionally blocking the next steps that were intended to be followed by the House after the release of the Mueller Report, and in so doing is keeping the American public from learning the facts. Mueller’s Report clearly outlines Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. By connecting all the dots in the Mueller Report, the implications is that Trump’s legitimacy is in question.

According to Vanity Fair, upon reading the Mueller Report, 426 former prosecutors found that Trump committed multiple felonies.

The House Judiciary Hearing on Executive Privilege successfully answered the question about whether the various House Committees have the law and the constitution on their side in moving forward with their oversight agenda. Indeed they do.

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DHS Secretary Nielsen’s Open Defiance of the American People

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | March 7, 2019) –  The festering disdain that seethes to the surface while trying to process DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s non answers to tough questions during the recent House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on Immigration & Border Security, reached a level of extreme disgust on Wednesday March 6, 2019, leaving viewers with a deep sense that Nielsen had proven herself incapable of managing the massive agency whose sole mission is to keep our nation safe.

Secretary Nielsen presented herself as woefully ill-prepared to provide the much needed facts and documentation to the most basic questions relating to issues so serious that the president has declared a National Emergency. This had a turbulent effect. At the center of this perpetual immigration and border security conflict, that has stretched across eighteen months of traumatic events, is one of two possible root causes. Secretary Nielsen is either severely unqualified or she’s incapable of acting on behalf of the American people.

Right out of the gate, no nonsense Representative Shelia Jackson Lee, directly questioned Nielsen’s loyalty to the American people, asking her point blank if she was free to make decisions in the best interest of the American people if it clashed with Trump’s interest.

“Can you independently make a decision contrary to the president of the United States, on behalf of the American people for what’s best for them?” ~Rep Jackson Lee

 

 

One would expect Secretary Nielsen to reply with a resounding, “Yes, of course.” Instead what was heard was:

“M’am, uh, what I can tell you is I take my oath with utmost, uh, extreme importance, uh-I always do my best.” ~ Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Representative Jackson Lee quickly interjected:

“Is your oath to the American people or is your oath to the president of the United States?”

Again, Nielsen’s response was slippery:

“No, Ma’am, the oath as you know is to the Constitution and the people.”

It was startling to hear what amounts to an outright admission that Nielsen bows to the president’s wishes. In a split second, the lighting blot realization that the Department of Homeland Security has been undermined, imparts a deep feeling of unsettledness. Changing the pronoun “your” to the definite article “the” boldly resonates with viewers. This is the textbook non answer to a direct question. Nielsen didn’t lie, instead she reassured her party-of-one listening back at the White House that she was indeed loyal to him.

It went straight downhill from there, with Representative Jackson Lee asking if Nielsen knew how many children were detained at the border… “Yes, I do.” … “How many?” … Nielsen replied something to the effect, “I don’t have that in front of me.”

Children’s lives are not a twisted word game. Twelve thousand children have been ripped from their parents arms. Locked into cages. Rampant sexual abuse. Yet, Nielsen can’t answer a straight question. Congress is up in arms. And our foreign enemies rub their hands with glee, a sparkle in their eye, plotting to destroy America, deducing that if this is the Secretary of America’s Department of Homeland Security, well then the cards are clearly stacked in their favor.

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Minimum Wage House Hearings

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At 10:00a on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will be hosting a Hearing in room 2175 Rayburn House office Building to discuss “Mandating the Minimum Wage: Consequences for Workers and Small Businesses.”

One year ago, Wednesday December 20, 2017, the sweeping tax overhaul was passed by the GOP controlled Congress and approved by the White House. This stunning gift to corporations – dramatically reducing the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% – was lauded as a sound strategy for netting higher wages for employees.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, and has remained at this level since 2009. Many states have deviated from this though, however the deviation is always based on a certain percent above minimum wage.

According to USA Today, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the richest person in the World. His net worth is a staggering $151 billion. Sadly, Bezos’ extreme wealth is at the detriment of the Amazon’s 613,300 employees whose median annual compensation was “$28,466 (2017), according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Now is the opportunity to voice your objection to this type of disparity that results in many parents having to hold two jobs to make ends meet. Let’s make sure corporations deliver on their promise last December 2017. It’s okay to protect small businesses, Mom & Pops typically aren’t the billionaires. But mega corporations such as Amazon should certainly be paying a higher minimum wage.

Call or email your House Representative TODAY and share your views: https://www.house.gov/representatives !

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