Category: Politics

Cards Are Stacked Against Trump | Impeachment Exit Begins

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 13, 2019
NoreenByLine-a 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-72-300The 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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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

Are Gun Deaths Higher in States Without Common Sense Gun Laws? Yes, Indeed!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 18, 2019
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

There are many states who began passing common sense gun legislation to curb gun violence and are now experiencing the benefits. Lives have been saved. Communities  are safer. Thus, it’s very clear why more than 90% of Americans are demanding that local, state and federal legislators do something.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300Diving deeper to assess which states have passed which bills, it soon becomes crystal clear that the permissive gun states that have allowed gun ownership to go unchecked, are the states with the highest gun violence deaths. This makes sense, which again is why more than 90% of Americans, many millions of whom are gun owners, are demanding action.

How can Mitch McConnell hold a blind eye to this reality? Why is Mitch McConnell suddenly saying that he can’t allow any bill that Trump won’t sign to be brought to the floor for a vote? This is illogical and unconstitutional. The Legislative Branch is separate from the Executive and McConnell is at the helm of the Senate in the Legislative Branch. Going rogue and eliminating a vital check & balance, especially when it comes to the safety and protection of the American people, should be grounds for having him removed as Senate Majority Leader.

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Connecticut is an excellent example of passing common sense gun laws that have served residents well and saved thousands of lives.

  • The Sandy Hook massacre of 20 innocent first graders and 6 adults occurred on December 14, 2012
  • In idyllic Newtown, Connecticut
  • On April 3, 2014….  less than 4 months after the traumatizing horror, the bipartisan state legislature passed sweeping gun reform
  • State Permit is required to purchase both long guns and hand guns
  • Registration is required through Department of Emergency and Public Protection for log guns & handguns, gun tracked by authorization number and DPS-3-C form
  • Partial ban on assault rifles: no new sales/purchases of assault rifles; banned ARs already owned, must be registered, if owner wants to sell AR, can only sell to licensed gun dealer

  • Magazine Capacity Restriction: any magazine that holds greater than 10 rounds is considered an LCM (Large Capacity Magazine); all LCMs were banned when new law went into effect, cannot be sold or transferred; existing owners had to register LMs by
  • Permit Required for Concealed Carry: owner must meet requirements, and abide by two-step process, first, 60-day temporary permit issued by local authorities, Second, 5 year permit issued by DESPP
  • Permit Required for Open Carry: MUST have a license to open carry
  • Vehicle Carry: Must have valid pistol permit to carry loaded gun in car, otherwise must be unloaded and firearm and ammunition stored in separate locked containers; if car left unattended, firearm must be locked in trunk or glove box
  • Castle Doctrine: not the exact same as “stand your ground,” but if intruder enters home or yard and owner has permit and “reasonable force,” courts provide civil immunity
  • Background Checks: required for private party transfer and must be performed by federally licensed dealer
  • Red Flag Law: allows police to obtain a court warrant and seize guns from anyone posing a risk to others or themselves once they investigate and determine probable cause

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Connecticut’s sweeping common sense gun laws are some of the most reasonable and effective in the country and serve as a very sensible model to follow. In 2019, Connecticut ranks in the top 5 states with the lowest number of gun deaths per capita.

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Connecticut

The top 5 states with the highest number of per capita gun deaths are five red states with permissive gun laws:

  • Alaska – most permissive gun ownership in country, must be 21, complete handgun competency course, no permit required to carry, Castle Doctrine, that’s it
  • Montana – must be 18, open & concealed carry legal without permit, Castle Doctrine, done
  • Alabama – must be 18, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, open carry legal without permit, concealed carry needs pistol permit, Castle Doctrine, done
  • Louisiana – must be 17, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, concealed carry is legal with a permit, open carry requires no permit, Castle Doctrine, that’s it
  • Missouri – must be 19, no permit or background check or registration required for private sales, open carry and concealed carry both legal without permit, but gun owners can obtain a concealed carry permit (CCP) if they’d like one, local authorities are able to restrict in certain locations, Castle Doctrine, done

The Connecticut common sense gun laws respect the 2nd Amendment, while simultaneously protecting the American public’s expectation to live in a safe community. Colt is headquartered in Connecticut, and yet these bipartisan common sense gun laws passed in record time following the Sandy Hook massacre.

If more than 90% of the American public are demanding common sense gun laws, and the data proves the effectiveness, it doesn’t make sense to sit on the sidelines and hold a blind eye to such convincing proof that common sense gun laws save lives, maybe your own.

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

 

What? Why so many life-threatening new gas plants opening?

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 9, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

The climate crisis keeps growing more alarming as climate change inflicts serious consequences. The out of control fires in the Amazon rain forest last month, devastated hundreds of millions of trees. Trees sequester carbon, lowering the worlds’sST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
atmospheric carbon levels. And although there’s been significant global effort to lower the PPM carbon level by transitioning quickly to clean energy, and we’ve been trending lower in 2019 — moving from 415 PPM to 411 PPM (YAY!) — the goal is to actually reach 350, so we still have a long way to go.

And then disaster struck… again. We now must transition to clean energy that much faster. Thankfully we can do this. Solar energy is much less expensive than building new power plants, cost consumers less per moth, and can actually earn households money if they invest in a battery that stores excess solar energy. With this clear vision in place, and with a united purpose of saving lives, which may be our own, what is the point in initiating a plan that’s the opposite of this? It seems ludicrous and life-threatening.

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With headlines like that of this morning’s,As Earth faces climate catastrophe, US set to open nearly 200 (dirty) power plants“, climate deniers are doing an excellent job at undermining America’s influence in the world. Gas power plants are expensive, dirty, and will kill innocent people across the globe. We see this now. We see innocent Bahamians, with one entire Bahama island demolished, 70,000 people without homes, no sanitation, completely reliant on the kindness of others, yet dozens of evacuees on one humanitarian cruise ship were removed.

The US is behind the majority of other nations in the world on transitioning to clean energy. This makes us look indifferent to the suffering of others, backwards and greedy. In fact, in opening 200 new dirty power plants, we actually are all of these terrible things.

  • US is world LEADER in carbon emissions from power plants “emitting 2.70 billion tons” of carbon, followed by China who emits 2.66 billion (China has a population of 1.43 billion though, while US population is only 329 million). So US carbon output at this level almost seems criminal, at the very least negligent.
  • Texas has the most power plants and oil reserves and emits 12% of US carbon, that’s an incredibly irresponsible number. There are 50 states. California emits 7% of US’s carbon emissions but has a population of 39.75 millions, while Texas only has 29.09 million.
  • It’s far less expensive to install solar panels than to build a gas power plant, even though gas is less expensive than coal power plants.
  • Clicking through the EnergySage link to get a Solar quote is just like scrolling through Expedia or kayak for a travel quote.

So what’s the point here? Natural gas power plants do not make economic sense. They pollute the air, undermine health, and do indeed kill innocent people through climate change events. There is no economical or moral justification for 200 new gas power plants. Wong choices like this one, reinforce the world’s perception that the US is idifferent to the suffering of others (that we inflict ). That we’re driven by the blind greed of a few, no matter what the climate and human consequences are to the 99%. And the few that are mapping out this nonsensical strategy, only have scream “climate denier” to gt away with it.

We need to hold these executives accountable. Denying climate change, and thus furthering the crisis, is the equivalent of admitting guilt.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

 

Assault Rifle Ban | NRA’s Illogical 2nd Amendment Argument

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 4, 2019)

The red flags and warning signs are everywhere. The time has come to act definitively on common sense gun legislation
and stop punting this vital life-saving, society-saving, democracy-saving, America-saving legislation down the road. #EnoughIsEnough.

Here are the facts:

  • 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
  • The 2nd Amendment was written using critical commas that have further exasperated clarification of the Amendment’s exact meaning.
  • However, if we dig deeper, we can clearly see that our founders were very awareST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
    of human evil and it’s potential harm to democracy and thus created numerous checks & balances, most notably our three branches of government.
  • Further, throughout the 185 Federalist Papers, written for the purpose of justifying the need for a federal government as well as a Constitution, every single one of the letters highlights the importance of checking evil
  • The concept of “checks & balances” is ingrained in our rule of law, our institutions, and throughout American society and shouldn’t be foreign to any American
  • Checks & balances apply to gun ownership as well, and supports the concept of common sense gun legislation
  • Assault rifles and high capacity magazines are weapons of war and are NOT meant for civilians or self-defense

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  • We had an effective Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 – 2004 that President Bush foolishly did NOT renew (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, passed by a narrow margin of 4 votes, signed by President Clinton.)
  • The fact that assault rifle owners are threatening violence if their weapons of war are banned, is the very reason they need to be banned. For an American to believe that the way to resolve differences in a democracy is to slaughter those who don’t agree with them is a huge wake up call to all political leaders for the urgent need to #DoSomething.
  • In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled on District of Columbia v. Heller, whereby Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia ruled that even though the 2nd Amendment states “well regulated militia” it applies to personal protection as well, putting an end to the debate about whether or not the 2nd Amendment applies to the general public. However, Scalia did clarify that the public’s gun ownership can be regulated.

“…not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” ~Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Associate Justice, 2008 ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller

  • On January 9, 2019, Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein of California again Sponsored and Introduced S. 66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. This is a bill “to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”
  • Earlier versions of Assault Weapons Ban were introduced on November 8, 2017, following theOctober 2, 2017 Las Vegas slaughter of 58 using an assault rifle, and on March 14, 2013, three months after the world-altering Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 28 elementary school students and several teachers. If these shockingly vicious annihilations didn’t wake-up our representatives, we can’t give up… we simply must try harder. Case in point, the shutdown outrage became so forceful, that it even brought Mitch McConnell back to life.
  • The next step for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 is to be considered by the judiciary committee. Unbelievably, the bill only has a 4% chance of being enacted.

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  • There are 28 Democrat co-sponsors of the ban, all 28 joined the day it was introduced. There are no GOP sponsors.

S. 66: Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 co-sponsors:

  • Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT)
  • Booker, Cory (D-NJ)
  • Cardin, Ben (D-MD)
  • Carper, Tom (D-DE)
  • Casey, Bob (D-PA)
  • Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL)
  • Durbin, Richard (D-IL)
  • Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)
  • Harris, Kamala (D-CA)
  • Hassan, Maggie (D-NH)
  • Hirono, Mazie (D-HI)
  • Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
  • Markey, ED (D-MA)
  • Menendez, Bob (D-NJ)
  • Merkley, Jeff (D-OR)
  • Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
  • Murray, Patty (D-WA)
  • Reed, Jack (D-RI)
  • Sanders, Bernie (D-VT)
  • Schatz, Brian (D-HI)
  • Schumer, Chuck (D-NY)
  • Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NY)
  • Smith, Tina (D-MN)
  • Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD)
  • Warner, Mark (D-VA)
  • Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA)
  • Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)
  • Wyden, Ron (D-OR)

It’s time to act one and for all to get S66 passed. Our lives and our democracy are at stake.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

 

Trump Blocking Offshore Wind Resources | Rewarding Oil Energy

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | August 8, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

On Tuesday August 6, 2018, a new tariff went into effect undermining offshore wind power during winters in the Northeast, in support of oil.

Winters on the New England shoreline poses a challenge to solar energy due to snow accumulation on solar panels. Although solar energy storage can cover most winter scenarios, states committed to cutting carbon have been researching a backup plan for those areas that are often blasted by snow bombs with high accumulations. Most of these states have turned to European allies and learned the significant benefits of offshore wind farms.

  • Offshore wind speeds are faster than land wind speeds, so supply more energy
  • Wind holds steady offshore versus on land, and thus more reliable
  • Offshore wind can provide local energy to our most populated cities
  • No carbon emissions, no solution, doesn’t need water to produce
  • Producers are quickly trying to lower the price, and states with high tourism and coastal property values need to make sure the wind farms are far enough offshore not to create a negative economic impact

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In an effort to undermine green energy, Trump’s Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) granted compensation for storage the oil and nuclear energy sectors, but not for wind, dramatically altering the costs of winter energy and impacting the coastal states that are working so hard to transition to green energy sources.

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

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Clean Water is Vital | Trump Gives EPA Green Light To Poison Water With Coal Ash

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | August 5, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

Clean water shortages around the world are considered a civilization altering condition that threatens the survival of millions, perhaps billions of global citizens. Prolonged heat waves and sustained droughts are already creating unlivable zones in large swaths of the world, and increasing the demand for clean water in areas that currently have an adequate water supply. More people trying to sustain themselves on less water often escalates conflicts and violence and has the potential to become a national security threat.

In light of the extreme water shortages resulting from climate change, it’s now more important than ever that the water we do have, remain protected and pure. Thus, it’s incomprehensible that Trump would insist the EPA rollback Obama’s regulations on coal ash removal and storage, established to protect ground water, and allow coal manufacturers to use coal ash for leveling in unrestrained quantities, as well as store in unlined ponds without liners.Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 5.08.07 PM.png

Every single irresponsible, life-threatening Trump decision like this one, is a call to action. Constituent phone calls to Congressional Representatives make a significant difference. Climate change further exacerbates an already dangerous situation, spreading the thick coal ash hundreds of miles beyond the original site. For example, Hurricane Florence in North Carolina last year, with 1,200 roads flooded, and an epic spreading of hazardous waste such as coal ash, was so alarming, the state still has no conception of the overall extent of the harm to human health. Only time will tell.

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Coal Ash‘s impact on health:

  • Contains: arsenic, lead, mercury, chlorine, and many other heavy metals
  • Causes cancer
  • Impacts Nervous System
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral problems
  • Birth defects
  • Heart damage
  • Lung disease
  • Reproductive problems
  • And more…

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The writing is clearly on the wall, however. Regulations for the storage of hazardous materials during a time of shrinking water supply, and increased weather extremes, is an absolute imperative. Trump increasing profit margins for a few cronies, while destroying the health and well-being of millions of Americans, seems criminal.

I urge you to please let your Representative know how strongly you object to your water supply being contaminated and your health compromised.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

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Mitch McConnell & Global Population | Climate Crisis

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report |Analysis | July 7, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

In 1985, when Mitch McConnell began his career in the U.S. Senate, there was a global population of 4.85 billion, with 237.9 million, 4.9%, living in the United States.

America has 6% of the World’s land mass. And our carbon emissions rate in 1985 was 4,600 million metric tons, which was approximately 15% of the world’s total. So our carbon output is more than three times our population rate. Our excesses, a portion of which is a result of our land mass, and suburban sprawl, is clearly a problem for other nations, as well as ourselves.

After 34 years in office, McConnell has been  a major force behind the meteoric rise in the US carbon emissions rate. In fact, during McConnell’s Senate leadership tenure, rather than galvanize the US public to lead the way in dramatic carbon eduction, his record highlights the opposite. McConnell has been a steely carbon emissions reduction obstructionist, blocking every piece of legislation in his power that mandated restrictions on carbon.

McConnell was the voice Trump listed to when he pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement back in 2017.

Today, in 2019, the world’s population is  7.7 billion, with the U.S. population only at 4.3% of total… 329.1 million Americans. Sadly though, we are currently ranked #1 in cumulative carbon emissions, clocking in at a rate of 397 Gt CO2. China, with it’s 1.1 billion citizens, only emits 214 Gt CO2.

We have a lot of work to do to make things right. Our excesses are killing innocent children and families around the world. The immigration crisis at our southern border is directly related to climate change across low lying Central America and its rising water levels. We are in desperate need of the public’s commitment to tangible action. Reducing carbon is so much easier than we realize.

The most important action we can accomplish as quickly as possible is removing Mitch McConnell from office, and neutralizing his negative impact on the #ClimateCrisis in his remaining few months in office.

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© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

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