Archive for the 'MD' Category

Activism is Patriotic – At the Takoma Park, MD July 4th Parade

Thomas Nephew dressed as the Town Crier and talked with parade-goers about the FISA Amendment Act — “a terrible idea.”

Thomas Nephew of Takoma Park, MD

Thomas Nephew of Takoma Park, MD

(photo: Michelle Bailey)

Celebrate the US Constitution this 4th of July! Tell the US Senate and Barack Obama to get FISA right before voting Tuesday July 8th. Don’t let illegal wire-tappers off the hook!

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Without your help right now, a flawed FISA bill will give George Bush and the phone companies a pass next Tuesday for years of illegal spying on millions of US citizens.

What can you do to defend the Fourth Amendment? How about something easy, patriotic and fun?

(1) Call your Senators and especially Barack Obama and ask that they vote against the current FISA bill on Tuesday. Don’t let illegal wire-tappers off the hook!

Senator Cardin 202-224-4524
Senator Mikulski 202 224-4654
Barack Obama HQ 866-675-2008

(2) Visit “

Learn more and get active about this online – including how to join “Senator Obama – Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity – Get FISA Right” groups at “facebook” and “”


Judge Rejects Bush’s View on Wiretaps


Eric Lichtblau, reporting for The New York Times, writes: “A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the ‘exclusive’ means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.”


Video: Takoma Park, MD citizens organize to Impeach Them!

Takoma Park, MD citizens organize to Impeach Them! The city council unanimously passes a resolution to Impeach Pres. Bush and VP Cheney. Includes citizen interviews before and after the vote, citizen comments during the hearing and the council vote. – 2nd Edition with soundtrack. TRT approximately 45mins.

Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter Talks Impeachment on MSNBC with Tucker Carlson.


Carlson is worried that our resolution is somehow crossing the line between local and federal issues. You remember that passage in the Constitution about “separation of local and federal government,” right??

Tucker: Some years ago, when Takoma Park declared itself a nuclear free zone, there was some concern that Takoma Park was going to create an army or a militia or something and, kind of, strike out on its own. Is that—in the cards?

Mayor Porter. [pause] No.

Watch Video. Read MSNBC intro.

Press Release: Takoma Park, MD City Council to Hold Impeachment Vote on Monday, July 23rd

seal100.jpgOn Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M. the Takoma Park, MD City Council will vote on a resolution that calls for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. If the measure passes, Takoma Park will become the first municipality in the Washington, DC area to pass an impeachment resolution. Currently eighty towns and cities across the country have passed impeachment resolutions, including Detroit, MI, San Francisco, CA, Chapel Hill, NC, several towns in Vermont and, most recently, West Hollywood, CA. The Rules of the House of Representatives allow Congress to accept petitions from state and local governments, which are then recorded by the Clerk of the House in the Congressional Journal.

This past April, Takoma Park residents began meeting weekly to discuss ways to advance impeachment on both the national and local level. One of the first events the group held was a forum with State Senator Jamie Raskin to discuss the constitutional principles behind impeachment and the political aspects of the process. The purpose of this event was to help counteract what group member Lisa Moscatiello views as some of the myths surrounding the impeachment process.

“One of the misconceptions is that the measure has no chance of passing, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment off limits following the November elections. Since that time, the mood of the country has changed, due to frustration over Congress’ inability to end the war and outrage over the Administration’s refusal to cooperate with Congressional hearings. Congressional offices are now reporting being inundated with calls from constituents. Members are starting to realize that if they are to retain their seats in Congress they need to respond to these calls. There are now thirteen cosponsors to a bill in Congress to impeach Vice President Cheney. Among the cosponsors are Rep. Al Wynn of Maryland and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. And the fact that an increasing number of voices calling for impeachment are coming from the right indicates that it is not about party politics. It’s about first principles, that we are a country ruled by laws and not by the whims of individuals.”

The Takoma Park resolution cites the following as grounds for impeaching the President and Vice President:

  • Conspiring to lead the country into war based on false information.
  • Using electronic surveillance against U.S. citizens without warrant, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • Breaching the Federal Torture Act, the Geneva Conventions and the UN Torture Convention
  • Stripping Americans of their constitutional rights by detaining them indefinitely without trial or access to legal counsel
  • Infringing on legislative powers granted solely to Congress in the Constitution, by issuing presidential signing statements that void sections of laws passed by Congress.


The Takoma Park City Council vote on the impeachment resolution will take place on Monday, July 23rd at 7:30 P.M in the Takoma Park Municipal Building at 7500 Maple Avenue.

For more information: (202) 256-1764 or see

Even more July 4th photos


Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8) gives “thumbs up” to impeachment supporters. He reportedly told one supporter that the Libby commutation is making him consider supporting Rep. Kucinich’s Cheney impeachment resolution, HR 333. As chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Van Hollen is one of the most influential progressive Democrats on Capitol Hill.

(click “july4” for other posts in this series)

Continue reading ‘Even more July 4th photos’

More July 4th photos

by Michelle, takomabibelot, and others as they become available…

Lisa and Katie
Lisa Moscatiello, Katie Bergstrom
By Michelle Bailey

Continue reading ‘More July 4th photos’

Impeachment is patriotic: Takoma Park July 4th

Thomas Nephew as Minuteman along
Takoma Park July 4th parade route.
The sign’s fine print says: “call your
reps * attend council meetings *”
(Space for the table generously
provided by MD Delegate Heather
Mizeur and spouse Deb Mizeur.)

What’s more, it’s fun. Yesterday I got up, put on my (rented) Minuteman duds and headed over to Maple Avenue for a morning and early afternoon of pro-impeachment petition gathering and action at Takoma Park’s traditional July 4th parade, together with my friends from Takoma Park, MD Impeach Bush & Cheney.

As even more people are thus now aware, our city council has scheduled a vote for July 23d about whether to send a pro-impeachment resolution to Congress.

And as local politicians from our city council, the county council, the Maryland legislature, and the House of Representatives are now even more aware, there’s a lot of support for impeaching George W. Bush and Richard R. Cheney around here. We’ve gathered hundreds of impeachment support petitions, and lawn signs have sprouted throughout town — including along the parade route; it seemed like every fourth or fifth Maple Avenue house — and quite a few Carroll Avenue ones — had one of our handsome green “IMPEACH THEM” signs.

I’m happy to report that popular support is reciprocated. State delegate Heather Mizeur and her spouse Deb Mizeur were kind enough to let us plant a lawn sign on their parade-front lot and use a patch of their lawn for a sign-distribution and petition gathering table. County councilmembers Valerie Ervin and Duchy Trachtenberg even asked for signs and waved them from their parade cars, while state Delegate Sheila Hixson, county councilman Marc Elrich , and city councilmembers Joy Austin-Lane and Colleen Clay (to name a few) all signaled “thumbs up” when they saw us.

Impeachment supporters Michelle Bailey, Katie
Bergstrom, and Thomas Nephew, Takoma Park
July 4th parade

And while Congressman Chris Van Hollen was perhaps understandably reluctant to talk with some guy in a costume, my friends Michelle Bailey and Lisa Moscatiello say he gave a “thumbs up” sign of his own when he saw them near the beginning of the parade route.

Perhaps more important, by the time Congressman (and DCCC chairman) Van Hollen finished his July 4th parade in Takoma Park, I think he had reason to conclude this really is important to and strongly supported by a lot of his constituents.

For example, speaking to the latest self-dealing, scofflaw outrage from the White House, one house along the Maple Avenue parade route had a huge banner hanging from the porch roof saying “Commute Our Sentences: Impeach Bush & Cheney.” I had a chance to talk with State Senator Jamie Raskin shortly after the parade;* he thinks Bush’s commutation of Libby’s perjury sentence has the potential to “blow the doors off” reluctance to consider and pursue impeachment.

From Raskin’s lips to Speaker Pelosi’s ears (figuratively speaking!); while she famously claimed impeachment was “off the table” before last year’s general election, I hope her own outrage over the Libby commutation will cause her to reconsider.

CROSSPOSTED from “newsrack blog.”

* Raskin’s remarks about impeachment at Montgomery College earlier this year are an excellent resource for anyone on the fence about this issue, I think. It wasn’t a prepared speech, but it was a clear 20-25 minute discussion of impeachment, why it’s warranted, and how to (try to) frame the debate. The video at the link also has a question and answer session after Raskin’s remarks.

July 2018
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