Endorsements and the Judgment of Barack Obama (D-Rezko)

Many here tout the endorsements the candidates for the Presidency receive.  Ignored in all this chatter, however, are the endorsements the candidates have made.  The latter, I believe, provides a rare view into the priorities, values and judgment of the candidates.  Because susanhu has broached a discussion on Obama's judgment as it relates to his collusion with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the indicted slumlord who owned and operated dilapidated tenements in inner city Chicago, I will revisit a diary I wrote in July on the ethically challenged Illinois politicians Barack Obama endorsed in 2006 and 2007.  Obama, after all, is campaigning on his judgment, an object all of us should scrutinize if we are to cast informed votes in the Democratic primary.

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Will the REAL DEMOCRATS please stand up?

I have never been ashamed of being a partisan Democrat. It is actually something I am very proud of. What we have done as a party for civil, equal and human rights alone is enough for any Democrat to hold their head up proudly. I believe in principle in "working across the aisle" when Republicans actually agree with us and want to work together for change. Of course this doesn't happen very frequently but I am not opposed to working together whenever we have common goals and a willingness to put aside our differences. So I can see how Obama's "post-partisan" message is being received.

Many of us, yes even partisan Democrats like me, are tired of all the constant fighting and bickering. We long for an imagined time when we all sort of got along and put aside our differences for the sake of the country. But unfortunately that is a Fairy Tale. It is a world that didn't exist then, doesn't exist now and won't exist anytime in the near future. Let us examine the facts of the matter.

After 9/11 our country actually did come together. We were united because our loss was something that attacked each and every one of us. At that time, political parties didn't exist because we were united in our grief and belief that we as a country needed to respond to these horrendous attacks with swift ferocity. As someone anti-war I was torn between my personal belief that all war and violence are wrong and my patriotic belief that my country had been attacked and needed to defend itself against further attack by going after the maniacs that did this. In the end my patriotism won out and I was able to accept that sometimes violence must be used to stop additional violence.

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Sharpton vs Daley, Chicago Olympics of Torture

Al Sharpton is an asshole, but right now the racial rabble rouser is righteously leading a campaign that might finally end the Chicago police's ridiculously longstanding practices of brutality and torture. (If we regular Chicagoans -- despite the best efforts of the local mainstream media to keep us divided, docile, and uninformed -- really come out and support Sharpton's effort.)

Briefly, To get you up to speed on Chicago's out-of-control police:

Chicago's police department has been beset by claims that officers abused their positions.

Four inmates were recently awarded almost $20 million between them to settle lawsuits claiming they had been tortured by a former lieutenant into falsely confessing to crimes. In July, prosecutors accused officers of torturing suspects in the 1980s. And in September, four special operations members were charged with robbery, kidnapping and making false arrests.

The department has also has been embarrassed by other accusations of brutality -- some caught on tape, including the alleged beating of a female bartender by an off-duty officer.

(That's just the latest; the torture and brutality goes back decades; best to see the Chicago Reader's John Conroy reporting for the most complete story. (Tragically for the future of real reporting on this problem, Conroy has just been 'laid off' by the Reader.)

But there's a Sharp' break in the story cuz Richard Daley, Chicago's torture-overlooking mayor, l-u-v-v-s his 2016 Olympics vanity project! And that could be the chance for some real changes -- getting his tender paws off, and some tough independent supervisory hands on, Chicago police.

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Never Too Old - My Camp Obama Experience or Why I Am Campaigning Again After 42 Years

What is a 57-year old man doing in a week-long summer camp designed for campaign interns and volunteers?  Especially one who has spent much of his professional life as a political reporter and analyst with the U.S. Department of State.  The answer: learning new skills and networking.  But most of all, getting in touch with the reason that I believe this is the most important election of my lifetime.

This blog originally appeared at
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /blog/markwiznitzer

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Endorsements Matter

Many here tout the endorsements the candidates for the Presidency receive.  Ignored in all this chatter, however, are the endorsements the candidates have made.  The latter provides a rare view into the priorities and values of the candidates.  Because each diary can only accomodate one candidate's endorsements, I will limit my discussion to those made by Barack Obama.

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