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The Nobel Peace Prize


Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) invented dynamite and other explosives. Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer and armaments manufacturer who made an enormous fortune selling explosives and heavy munitions (cannons and explosive projectiles.)  Concerned about his legacy, he decided to use his fortune for the betterment of humanity.

In his will he created five annual prizes: physical science, chemistry, medicine, literature and the Big Kahuna: Peace

From Wiki:

According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded: “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”


The Norwegian Parliament appoints the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which selects the Laureate for the Peace Prize. The Committee chairman, currently Thorbjørn Jagland, presents the Prize to the laureate at the award ceremony. At the time of Alfred Nobel’s death Sweden and Norway were in a personal union in which the Swedish government was solely responsible for foreign policy, and the Norwegian Parliament was responsible only for Norwegian domestic policy. Alfred Nobel never explained why he wanted a Norwegian rather than Swedish body to award the Peace Prize.[5] As a consequence, many people have speculated about Nobel’s intentions. For instance, Nobel may have wanted to prevent the manipulation of the selection process by foreign powers, and as Norway did not have any foreign policy, the Norwegian government could not be influenced.


The statutes of the Nobel Foundation specify categories of individuals who are eligible to make nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.[6] These are;

* Members of national assemblies and governments and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
* Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice at the Hague,
* Members of Institut de Droit International,
* University professors of history, political science, philosophy, law and theology, university presidents and directors of peace research international affairs institutes,
* Former recipients, including board members of organisations that have previously won the prize,
* Present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and
* Former permanent advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Nominations must usually be submitted to the Committee by February 1 of the year in question. Nominations by committee members can be submitted up to the date of the first Committee meeting after this deadline.


Nominations are considered by the Nobel Committee at a meeting where a short list of candidates for further review is created. This short list is then considered by permanant advisers to the Nobel institute, which consists Institute’s Director and Research Director and a small numbers of Norwegian academics with expertise in subject areas relating to the prize. Advisers usually have some months to complete reports, which are then considered by the Committee to select the laureate. The Committee seeks to achieve a unanimous decision, but this is not always possible.

Wiki also says that this year there were a record 205 nominations. That means the Barack Obama was considered more worthy than 204 other candidates.

The Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be unaffected by politics or corruption.  It is supposed to go to:

“to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

This year’s award clearly violates the terms of Nobel’s will. According to the Citation the Committee selected Obama for his “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples” in his outreach to the Muslim world and efforts to end nuclear proliferation.”

From the New York Fishwrapper:

In Oslo, Thorbjørn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and a former prime minister of Norway, explained that Obama’s early international diplomacy efforts helped him beat out more than 200 other nominees to become the third sitting U.S. president to win the award. The sitting presidents to win the prize were Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002.

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” Jagland said. “We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year. We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.”

The problem is he hasn’t done anything except make some speeches. But we already knew that last year.



The sticker from College Politico says it all. This is another WTF? Friday open thread.


Since Glenn Greenwald was kind enough to pay us a visit yesterday (and disagree somewhat) I’ll link to him again:

Remember how, during the Bush years, the GOP would disgustingly try to equate liberals with Terrorists by pointing out that they happened to have the same view on a particular matter (The Left opposes the war in Iraq, just like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah do! or bin Laden’s criticisms of Bush sound just like Michael Moore’s! ). It looks like the Democratic Party has learned and adopted that tactic perfectly (“‘The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,’ DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO”; Republicans are “put[ting] politics above patriotism,” he added).

Apparently, according to the DNC, if you criticize this Prize, then you’re an unpatriotic America-hater — just like the Terrorists, because they’re also criticizing the award. Karl Rove should be proud. Maybe the DNC should also send out Joe Lieberman’s 2005 warning that “in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.” Hamas also thinks that Israeli settlements should be frozen — a position Obama shares. So, by the DNC’s Rovian reasoning, doesn’t this mean that Obama “has thrown in his lot with the terrorists”?

I guess Lech Walesa is “with the terrorists” too:

“Who, Obama? So fast? Too fast — he hasn’t had the time to do anything yet.”

And BTD at TalkLeft, Lambert and the gang at at Corrente, Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist . . . you get the picture.

As our regular commenter “Seriously” said in the last thread:

They don’t get Republicans and Democrats are different. They can’t just grab their playbook and expect it to work for them.

Since Obama didn’t ask for the award, the smart thing for him to do (besides turn it down) is act very humble and admit he’s not worthy of it, but promise to try his best to earn it. Attacking his opponents for disagreeing with the award (even by proxy) gains him nothing and could very well backfire.

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Friday Morning News and Views


Good Morning Conflucians!!!

The big news this morning is that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. WTF??!!! Am I living in an alternate universe from the Nobel committee? What the heck has Obama done to earn the Nobel Peace Prize? Give me a break!

U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world “hope for a better future” and striving for nuclear disarmament.

The decision to award one of the world’s top accolades to a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, came as a major surprise.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

For a malignant narcissist like Barack Obama, this has to be major validation. I guess the Nobel committee members either haven’t been paying attention or they have been injecting Koolaid straight to the vein. I admit, I don’t get it.

The other big story this morning is that we are going to bomb the moon at around 7:30AM Eastern time.

NASA moon ‘bombing’ a plunge into the mystery of lunar water

Within the past two weeks, three other moon missions have reported finding evidence for water across virtually the entire surface of the moon. Now, two projectiles are scheduled to slam into one frigid crater – the first at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time Friday – in hopes of confirming that water is there concentrated as ice.

“This is really exciting stuff,” says Anthony Colaprete, lead scientist of the mission, called LCROSS. “Who woulda thunk that the moon has a water cycle on it, perhaps,” with water concentrations in the moon’s surface changing throughout the lunar day.

Let’s see…what else is going on? It looks like the FHA is going to need a bailout now.

Problems at the Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees mortgages with low down payments, are becoming so acute that some experts warn the agency might need a federal bailout.

Running questions about the F.H.A.’s future — underscored by interviews with policy makers, analysts and home buyers — came to the fore on Thursday on Capitol Hill. In testimony before a House subcommittee, the F.H.A. commissioner, David H. Stevens, assured lawmakers that his agency would not need a bailout and that it was managing its risks.

But he acknowledged that some 20 percent of F.H.A. loans insured last year — and as many as 24 percent of those from 2007 — faced serious problems including foreclosure, offering a preview of a forthcoming audit of the agency’s finances.

That can’t be good, can it?

Here’s an important story–NOT. Lawmakers play hoops with Obama at White House

President Barack Obama and a few members of his Cabinet played basketball Thursday night at the White House with a handful of House members, two of them Republicans.
“We ran into a president with some serious game,” said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.
Obama had “a sweet crossover move” and appeared to be in great shape, Inslee said. “He put a real nice move on me and beat me along the base line.”
On the president’s team were Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. Also playing with Obama was his personal assistant, Reggie Love, once a forward for the Duke Blue Devils.
The game was closed to the press. Expected on the House side were Democrats Mike Arcuri of New York, John Boccieri of Ohio, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill of Indiana, Inslee and Rick Larsen of Washington state, Frank Kratovil of Maryland, Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania and Heath Shuler of North Carolina. Republicans invited to play were Jeff Flake of Arizona and John Shimkus of Illinois.

Isn’t that just so cute? {{Gag!}} {{{{Sigh…}}}}

More stories….. Continue reading