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Back from the brink

 While I'm still processing the full import of Obama's win -- I'll blog about it more later -- one very, very encouraging item that's popped up is his intention to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. From Spencer Ackerman:

 

Less than a week after his election, and more than two months before he takes office, Barack Obama is signaling that this monstrosity is coming to an end. This, I submit -- to my uncle and anyone else --  is change you can believe in. The AP, via Time:

"President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice."

 

The news that the Guantanamo prisioners will come to the United States to stand trial is, by any measure, outstanding news. The illegal dentention of War on Terra prisoners has been a long-standing affront to our collective humanity, it's beneath us, and it's high time that it comes to an end. The "creation of a controversial new system of justice" referenced above is, I think, a bit of hyperbole from the AP -- the judicial power of the United States, after all, is "vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

So the Constitution already provides for the establishment of courts as necessary, and really, U.S. law already provides ground on which to deal with the people in Guantanamo and the crimes for which they are accused might eventually be accused. That they have been detained as they are, and that they have yet to be chanrged with crimes, is one of the Bush administration's more egregious legacies. Good on Obama for already signaling that Guantanamo will be closed.

-A

Mobilizing While the Time is Right

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This has been an incredible week! In Portland, within a half and hour after the polls closed on Tuesday, voters began loudly celebrating the election of Barak Obama. As a 42 year old woman, I can say that I have never seen an election night like this. With cars honking, people screaming, and assorted fireworks here and there--- it was livelier than any New Year's eves I can remember (indeed, livelier than most 4th of Julys-- possible exception of The Bicentennial), too. The relief and joy felt by so many in this country was palpable.

KBOO on Face to Face

Earlier this year KBOO Outreach Coordinator Toni Tabora Roberts and volunteer Trillium Shannon appeared on the Portland Community Media program, Face to Face. Watch and enjoy.

Food For Thought And Action: Springboard Social Innovation Forum

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Listen to Radiozine on Tuesday, November 11th at 10:00 a.m.

My guests will be Amy Pearl, Executive Director of Springboard Innovation and Katherine Ball, Organizer of the Social Innovation Forum.

Election night at the Multnomah County Election Office

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November 4, 2008 outside of the Multnomah County election office the line of voters waiting to cast their vote strung along SE Morrison Street for two blocks estimated to take an hour plus to get through.  Multnomah County officials were on site with special forms for those in line to fill in previous to reaching the office, which expedites the process.  The same worker told us that this line was shorter than the one in 2004. 

Juggling for voters waiting in line at the Multnomah County Elections Office

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The new poll tax

The great Rachel Maddow on the modern poll tax:

(still working on embedding video. Watch it anyway, foo!)

(H/T, Pandagon)

-A

End of the Republican era

 The always-excellent Sidney Blumenthal, writing in the Guardian:

Today's election is poised to end the Republican era in American politics - an era that began in reaction to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the Vietnam war and the civil rights revolution, was pioneered by Richard Nixon, consolidated by Ronald Reagan, and wrecked by George W Bush.

Almost every aspect of the Republican ascendancy has been discredited and lies in tatters - its policies, politics, and even its version of patriotism - down to the rock-bottom notion that progressive taxation itself, initiated by a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, who John McCain hails as his personal icon, is unpatriotic.

...

Now, certain factors that have dominated US politics for 40 years seem destined to recede to the far corners. In economics, supply-side panaceas and deregulation created the worst crisis since the Great Depression, requiring a conservative Republican administration to part-nationalise banks, something unimaginable under any Democratic administration. In foreign policy, neoconservatism led to the morass in Iraq and Afghanistan while undermining the western alliance. In social policy, the evangelical right battered science, the separation of church and state, and the right to privacy. Finally, the conservative principle of limited government has become a watchword for incompetence, cronyism, corruption, hypocrisy, and contempt for the rule of law.

Really, read the whole thing. It hits both the macro level of decades of history, and the micro level of the campaign itself.

-A

Just voted!

 Just dropped off the ol' ballot. It feels pretty good.

It's hard to believe that this interminable election campaign (far, far too long) is nearly over. It's hard, too, to untie all the emotions that are bound up with it, at least for me.

For those of you who listen to the show, you've heard Joe and I pour out a lifetime's worth of angst over the last several years. So much has happened that one's sense of outrage (if one has been paying attention) blurs between this war and that Constitutional affront and this abuse of power ... It's like a background white noise of outrage.

War. Torture. Election theft. Disenfranchisement. Disappearing liberties. The abolition of science in the public sphere. The triumph of plutocracy. The reign of fear in electoral politics. The reign of cowardice in Congressional politics. And on and on.

Will an Obama win really signify the end of all this, a turning toward something better? I want to believe it so badly. I do believe it on some level. But I'm skeptical.

What if he's some kinda corporate Manchurian candidate. What if, behind the reasonable, progressive facade it's just business as usual in an Obama administration?

Whatever the outcome tomorrow, our work as progressives is not over. It's just begun. More on this later.

-A

News from the Board- November 2008

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The new board held its first meeting on October 21 and it lasted until midnight! We're hoping not to repeat that performance and working on how to streamline the meetings. Draft minutes of the meeting are posted on the web at http://kboo.fm/node/6295. Board meeting dates were changed to the 4th Monday of the month at 6pm, except for December. In December we will be meeting on December 15th instead as to not conflict with the holidays.

We are seeking prospective KBOO members to apply for our vacancy on the board. Jay Thiemeyer submitted his resignation. The nominating committee will recruit to fill this position and the board will appoint a new member at our next board meeting on November 24th. Contact Becky at becky@herfingertips.com if you're interested in applying for the vacancy. This will be a two year position.

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