Barack Obama needs to edit his work
As you know, BDK is unemployed, but occasionally tutors a poor high school soul on how to write stuff. One of the things I remind them to do is proofread their work, its strange because after I skimmed over Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, it was rife with the silliest mistakes. It was a such a grandiloquent and lofty speech I couldn’t pass these errors over. Thus, I made some edits so hopefully those who caught the errors can get a better picture of what he really wanted to say. Here’s an excerpt of what I have so far. (Inserts are underlined.) Excerpt of rough draft can be found here…..
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women profligate congressmen and congresswomen can achieve when imagination reconciliation is joined forced for common Democratic purpose and necessity for courage backdoor political deals.
What the cynics majority of Americans, fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale current political arguments that we have consumed us ignored for so long, no longer apply because Nancy and I refuse to listen to them.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small even bigger, but whether it works bribes, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage,care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. whether it helps give Rep. Jim Costa an unfair allocation of water, present Rep. Suzanne Kosmas more NASA funding, and gives Rep. Bart Gordon $100 million of other people’s money.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end balloon uncontrollably in size.
And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account freely given to congressmen without convictions, to spend wisely more money, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day utter secrecy, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government pass this monstrosity of a bill.
Nor is the question before us whether the market government is a force for good or ill that nobody in their right mind can now f*** with. Its My power to generate take other people’s wealth and expand diminish freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis healthcare bill has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market government can spin out of control. That is why I have removed the watchful eye. The nation I cannot prosper long when it favors only the if I listen prosperous the majority of the American people.
The success of our economy my government has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product a genuflecting media but on the reach of our prosperity Chinese-funded debt; on the ability to extend opportunity pork to every willing heart – spineless politician– not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good the legacy of both Nancy and me.
College is overrated
This Obama quote about college irritates me a lot:
After graduating high school, all Americans should be prepared to attend at least one year of job training or higher education to better equip our workforce for the 21st century economy. We will continue to make higher education more affordable by expanding Pell Grants and initiating new tax credits to make sure any young person who works hard and desires a college education can access it.
This is not unique to Obama, in fact every presidential candidate mentioned how they are going to expand the federal loans for college or something to that effect. Rather this overarching obsession over college is infuriating. Many colleges promote the fact that “people with college degrees will make a million more dollars in their lifetime than those without”. I won’t breakdown why that implied causality is so silly, but lets move on.
College bubble ~ Housing Bubble
Remember in the early 2000’s when everyone was saying “invest in housing, its a sure bet!” Switch housing to college and you’ll realize how eerily similar they can be. Or when you remember how the government says it needs to, “make housing affordable” you realize we are on the same path to financial instability when we decide to make “college affordable”
I would argue there are huge parallels to our recent financial crisis
1.) You apply and pay to go to college/trade school etc. (You invest tens of thousands in cash on the latest and sexiest financial instrument)
2.) Well except, you don’t have the money to pay for said school, so you ask for a loan (Not actually having tens of thousands, you use leverage to pay for said instrument)
3.) Federal loan approves, informing you that your education will empower you with a job to service this debt later in life. (Loans approved on the basis of “housing prices rising”/”growing economy”)
4.) Colleges collect their share of the dough (Banks collect their fees for guiding you through this nonsense)
5.) You get hit with thousands of dollars in debt, the real world hits you with a paltry job, government promises of increased returns is a mirage (We all know what happened here, housing prices didn’t go up, the economy didn’t grow, BDK got laid off)
College has terrible returns
Notice how the money trickles down to everyone, well except to the people it needs to trickle down to. Much like housing is subsidized (mortgage interest is a tax write-off, home-buying tax credits etc.), so is college (federal loans, tax-free debt issuance, non-profit status etc.).Corporations, I mean colleges, will respond to incentives, and when the government says we will pay you money if you teach our kids something, people will do it; just not well….
But the problem has deeper effects than hurt feelings: the 54% graduation rate means that around 46% of all money used to finance college tuition results in no degree. Which means that financially speaking, the spectacularly high dropout rate boils down to a spectacularly bad investment.
Here’s another problem, when the government gives an unequivocal and categorical stamp of approval for “higher education” its almost like rating agencies dumping a “AAA” rating on terrible bonds. We all assumed it was a sure thing when Moody’s told us that, when its got the backing from the damn Federal government of course we will label it a worthy investment. Much like the label of AAA can make bonds are more pricey (in the form of a lower yield), this promotion causes colleges to be more pricey (in the form of higher tuition). Couple that with the fact that there is a lot of easy money in the form of federal loans in this sector, this demand can also artificially drive up the price of college. Kind of like how housing prices rose when we all bought them with our own glut of low-interest money. Much like the financial crisis people are finding out they aren’t really getting a super-safe investment, but one that carries an obscene amount of risk with a shaky return.
If you are reading this, you are probably not a representative of the population as a whole
Now you say, BDK you went to college, and so did I and we are doing pretty damn well. No? Well, true but I would also argue this is not as important as you think for many reasons.
1. ) Much of my college experience was largely irrelevant to my financial success (although I am unemployed). I moped around a lot; with most of my days spent farting and playing video games in my dorm. When difficult classes came I hunkered down and learned how to work hard, I gamed the system and dropped or Pass/Failed the class. For this, I earned a respectable GPA. Many of my peers, spent more time damaging their livers in a week than they did actually studying. The bank that I worked at (supposed to be a nice job) proudly lauded the fact that people of so many different majors were able to succeed. While that diversity might be nice, I think the bigger story might be most of the stuff you learned in college was not all that relevant. You take into account grade-inflation, soft degrees and
2.) I got a scholarship that immensely reduced what I had to pay for school. Paying interest on over hundred thousand dollars versus paying it out on a few ten thousand dollars can be a huge difference. This becomes more pronounced when you go to a school and end up with a job you could have had right out of high school.
3,) Some of you doctors and engineers might say “WTF, I worked my butt off!”. College actually does help certain people; especially people who are training for a position in high demand. Problem is, objectively not everyone is smart enough to be a doctor or an engineer. Most of the people reading this blog probably should have gone to college, that’s not the argument I am debating. It’s just that the majority of people aren’t preternaturally gifted to get 30+ MCAT scores or understand advance physics principles. I am not saying we should say screw ’em, but I don’t think miring them in debt to feel good about ourselves is the right solution either. Reality tells us that a lot of people are wholly unprepared for college. Many students are unable to handle the workload of college. But our insistence on universal higher education is terrible for somebody who can barely pass high-school material. Much like “affordable housing credits” Freddie and Fannie subsidies brought about a higher default rate, freely disbursing loans to anyone regardless of their aptitude will only increase dropout rates. Thus I am not talking about you specifically, but those out there who got totally screwed by colleges. Look I think most of my friends made out well after college (not implying causation here), perhaps even a majority of students can definitely evaluate the costs and benefits and say the same. But there remains a large chunk of people who are getting totally f’d by this system we promote so heavily and insist on everyone to join.
4.) College serves for most others looking for jobs largely as a signal to employers. As mentioned before most majors don’t learn direct applicable skills. Now I am not sure this is worth the opportunity cost in 4 years and 200k. While certainly college is a great experience to meet friends and explore new horizons, it certainly isn’t a necessary condition for either. I almost think by indirectly driving up the price of college we are creating vicious cycle in which job-givers are raising the bar for prospective employees unnecessarily (Prisoner’s Dilemma?). Not sure why sustained work experience in a low-wage position couldn’t serve a similar and less expensive signal. If you are worried about smarts, how about a job-related test and interview?
I don’t think nobody should go to college, its just that we have vastly overrated its usefulness. While telling someone to work in a vocation is not sexy it is more realistic solution for many. As for college itself, we shouldn’t be passing out these loans as freely as we are. Perhaps the government could see a student’s performance in school before it dishes our some dough to a student to continue his studies. As I said before, by making these loans so easily available, we are also driving the price of the college up. Big picture, whenever the government places its hands on stuff there are a ton of unintended consequences. I wonder if the default rates on student loans is gonna increase to the point where it becomes nationally painful, especially amidst our economic slowdown.
Read the article here.
Here’s a great quote talking about Obama’s latest verbal chicanery:
Obama was reduced to suggesting that his health-care reform was indeed popular because when you ask people about individual items (for example, eliminating exclusions for preexisting conditions or capping individual out-of-pocket payments), they are in favor. Allow me to demystify. Imagine a bill granting every American a free federally delivered ice cream every Sunday morning. Provision 2: steak on Monday, also home delivered. Provision 3: a dozen red roses every Tuesday. You get the idea. Would each individual provision be popular in the polls? Of course.
Random switcharoo here: I get my conservative writing from Jewish World Review mostly because I can read entire articles on one page. (Townhall you have failed me, anyone else know of a better website?) I find it slightly amusing that its called JWR as if it speaks for all Jews; maybe they think their view is the correct one and as such should be considered the proper “Jewish” view. While I happen to agree with most of it, I do think this could present itself to be slightly dangerous for all faiths. Happens all over the place now, c’est la vie….
But, take someone like Ann Coulter who is emphatic about her belief that Jesus Christ is savior of humanity (The message I have no problem with, the delivery ehhh….) Her posts show up on JWR yet I am pretty sure Christ to them was a crazy dude who couldn’t hold his carpentry business together. This “entanglement” of religion and politics I feel is the more dangerous one. By conflating politics (usually conservative) with their religious faith (Christian mostly, but sometimes Jewish as seen here), people are inevitably forced to compromise tenets of their faith (Salvation?!) for the emphasis of other areas of faith (moral laws). While I can’t speak for the Jewish faith, certainly this happens with Christians all the time.
Stephen Carter writes (from God’s name in Vain):
When a religion enters poltics, it at once finds itself bombarded with demands for compromise. The message must be softened, or hardened, or omitted altogether…..A religion that becomes too settled in the secular political sphere, happily amassing influence and using it, is likely to lose its best and most spiritual self.
The separation of church and state was originally designed to keep the influence of government/politics out of faith. Christians should definitely be mindful of this in the future…..
Absolutely incredible, the B-movie actor destroys the community organizer……..
Obama has been taking a lot of flak lately…..here are some of the things he should say to steer the boat in the right direction.
1. Commitment to Bipartisanship – “My fellow Americans, I said before:
‘Genuine bipartisanship,assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal.’
Nowhere is this example more stunningly accurate than the state of Massachusetts. After tough negotiations, it was my health care plan that both together Red and Blue for the first time in many years. Only through hard work and sturdy conviction was I able to, through this health care bill, convince thousands of Massachusetts residents to vote for a man who is most famous for posing in Cosmo wearing nothing but a smile.” (bipartisan applause)
2. Denunciation of Bush policies – “As you may well know I received a Nobel Prize (applause). Thank you, thank you. This was the result of my willingness to turn a new page in America’s book. My predecessor was known for his stubbornness in dismissing other nations. I say no longer.
No longer will we try to hide important political work from American citizens.
No longer will we imprison suspects off of U.S. soil.
No longer will we wiretap suspected terrorists.
No longer will we accept the parties and waste of corporate America.
No longer will we fight needless wars started by my predecessor.
No longer will we be dismissed by countries we once called part of an “axis of evil”
We as Americans will now care for the extended family of this world, no longer will we relegate our fellow brothers to the poorest of society! We have raised our status once again as a respected nation. Nowhere is is this more evident than Chicago’s fourth-place finish for the Olympic games! I can safely say we have become the 2010 Jets of the world. (raucous applause and whistles)
3. Yes we can! – I’ve brought down evil-doers who do not treat others with dignity and grace, simply with my rhetoric and commitment to justice. I have bridged racial division, white and black no more, I as President am focused more on settling the debate between Budweiser and Miller. We are in a time right now of great promise and vision. It is my great hope, that if there is a problem that seems too wide, too large or too high to conquer, that I still can blame George W. Bush. Thank you. (end speech)
So my buddy Neil wrote about Obama’s plan to tax wall street. Read it. He’s a smart guy and has a legit writing gig although definitely too Democratic party for my tastes. =)
Originally, I was going to write a rebuttal discussing how a punitively natured tax is bad form; whats to say banks won’t conduct their shenanigans outside the US, or move taxable liabilities off the books….yada yada. Well then again, Obama asked nicely, so maybe they’ll oblige:
“Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal, or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities,”
Regardless, lets talk about greed for a sec.
People are quick to point the finger of blame at “greedy, Wall Street businessmen” maybe rightfully so. It should piss people off that comapanies which were ostensibly on the brink of failure and bailed out by taxpayer money are now dishing out loads of bonus money to the very people who might have caused part of this crisis. But lets temper those sentiments for a second. Certainly it might be easy for us to excoriate the “rich” for their excess and greed, but the beginning symptoms of this problem manifested themselves in the form of people who had no business paying their mortgages. As Michael Lewis wrote about AIG,
“Millions of people borrowed money they shouldn’t have borrowed and, not, typically, because they were duped or defrauded but because they were covetous and greedy: they wanted to own stuff they hadn’t earned the right to buy.”
Are we to pretend that the vice of greed is only exclusive to rich people? Was the average American not buying homes they could not afford and taking out credit cards their income could not justify? Lets remember what happened here: Ordinary Americans taking out ridiculous mortgages, banking on the fact that home prices would continue to rise (astronomically too) and having no capability of covering their debt otherwise. How about you with the credit card app in your hand? You put down 100,000 as your income, even though you work at Mickey D’s? Greed was just as rampant in Downtown Detroit and Suburban Springfield as it was in Midtown Manhattan.
As I was discussing this topic with a friend today, we analyzed at a very general level how this mess got started in the first place. A point was made that the finance guy peddling what we now know see as toxic assets obviously did not understand the implications of his actions. He was assured by others that these were “triple A” and “risk-free” securities. He bought insurance to ensure that even if the securities failed they would be backed up. He looked across the street saw his buddy making a killing selling these products. He saw his buyers absolutely enthralled that they were getting stellar returns. Nobody did any homework and boom goes the dynamite.
This recession did not occur because a few ill-willed finance douches decided to incur their wrath on society. This more akin to a bunch of smart ass kids teaming up to do a group assignment, and when due date comes, everybody assumed somebody else did the work. I don’t know about everybody else, but these shortcomings don’t sound so spectacular or dramatic at all.
And maybe that is the exact problem. We are all used to games like Jenga, since we can clearly label the loser. The tower is fallen and the culprit is holding the proverbial piece of the puzzle. Yet in this grand economic version of Jenga, surrounded by our crumbled towers, we are all holding THAT piece. Our most clever solution has been to just rebuild these towers and in these vulnerable times its easy to embrace such a solution. Even the best of us, only slight scathed, are collecting our scraps and wondering how we can achieve that wondrous state of satisfaction. Yet its an illusory hope, the achievements we have mustered today become increasingly boring and irrelevant tomorrow. (see Michael Jordan)
That is why its silly for us to ask ourselves these questions about why OTHER people screwed up. Are these not questions we could fiddle around a bit with and ask ourselves? Its clear we all need to rebuild, but something tells me it goes a little bit deeper than credit cards and mortgages. What we really seem to be ignoring is our very human condition. Nowadays it might be taboo to say it, but Christians call this word sin. Dah! BDK How can you call me a sinner???? Sinfulness is reserved for Hitler and Kim Jong Il and of course, George W. Bush, not me!!
Perhaps with a little introspection we can begin embracing true humility. When we realize we are just pretending when we think our deeds our so much better than others, we fail to see excess creep in other ares of our lives. Preaching savings, thriftiness and moderation is wonderful, but doing it is ten times more difficult.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “
You see the systematic issue here was not just easy credit, or greedy executives or even dumb homeowners. My point is we are satisfied with blowing our noses but not curing the damn cold! This was a scramble to prove our worth to society, to distinguish ourselves in society as “Big Swinging D!cks” and “Masters of the Universe”. Unsatisified even in our state of blessedness, we need to inflate our human balance sheets with hope the enormity of our assets make us somewhat unique, different or better. If only I can run faster! if only I can be smarter! if only I could make more money! Humanity needs to embrace a true heart change; one that doesn’t base its self-value on a successful stock portfolio or the square foot of a home.
Until we can get to that point, we shouldn’t be surprised when our own Jenga towers crumble again. I wonder why we keep on rebuilding the tower even though it eventually falls down again.
Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Isaiah 45:20
We’ve all stopped playing stupid games like Jenga; maybe we can stop finding our redemption in our own temporal gains.
Shocked? Read the real news story here first!
OSLO – The announcement drew gasps of surprise, cries of joy as well as loud shouts of “Hosanna in the highest”. Yet the President won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday because the judges found his promise of disarmament and diplomacy too good to ignore.
The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee — four of whom spoke to The Associated Press, said awarding Obama the peace prize could be seen as an early vote of confidence in the off-chance he participates in a Miss USA pageant. Obama was especially praised for his phrase, “Yes, we can!” an appeal that stemmed from his favorite philosophical text, The Little Engine that Could. It seems only Obama has that special ability to make millions of fully grown adults incessantly chant a phrase normally reserved for those who are unable to finish a race at the Special Olympics.
They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama’s calls for peace and cooperation, especially his groundbreaking peace agreement between Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates and Boston police officer, James Crowley. They also praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, a pledge that parallels his daughter’s own statement, “that bombs are bad.”
When asked about whether awarding the award was too early, Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, stated, “Some people say — and I understand it — ‘Isn’t it premature? Too early?'” He continued, “I’d say it could be too late to respond three years from now, we can only wonder what a couple years could do to his figure, and we all know how important the swimsuit portion of the pageant is.” “It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — before those crow’s feet really set in.”
Jagland said the committee whittled down a record pool of 205 nominations and had “several candidates until the last minute, including a seven-year old child David Ryerson in Montana who had promised not to hit his friends if they played with his toys, R&B artist Chris Brown for promising not to become a husband who batters his wife and Orenthal Simpson for promising to tirelessly hunt for the killers of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Simpson” However, it became more obvious that “we couldn’t get around these deep changes that are taking place” under Obama.
Obama said he was surprised and deeply humbled by the honor and planned to travel to Oslo in December to accept the prize.
“Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments as a community organizer, but I do remember a time gently chided my Harvard Law friend who boxed out a little too hard when he was fighting for a rebound”, he said at the White House. “To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve this, especially since Michelle was the first one who told Malia and Sasha that sharing is caring.”
Obama will donate the $1.4 million cash award to the charity Amnesty International, as a way to commemorate the closing of the highly criticized Guantanamo Bay prison facility.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, said the decision showed that great sayings are expected from Obama and his “wonderful middle name” which should reach out to the Arab world after years of hostility.
Many were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in a presidency that began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline for the prize and has yet to yield concrete achievements in peacemaking, a highly irrelevant issue in light of Obama’s promise to be nicer to other countries.
“So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is only beginning to act,” said former Polish electrical technician Lech Walesa, whose retarded and inept country, is the source of such asinine inventions like the glass hammer, solar-powered flashlight and submarine screen door.
Some around the world objected to the choice of Obama, who still oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has launched deadly counterterrorism strikes in Pakistan and Somalia. Nonetheless most of these people were probably unaware that Obama once called Kanye West a jackass.
Jagland told AP that while his war in Afghanistan was a concern, the Obama administration “immediately started to reassess the strategy.”
“That itself is important, because when something goes wrong, then you need to ask yourself why is it going wrong, much like when things go right, you need to ask why it’s going right” he said, taking a page from John Madden.
Obama said he was working to end his war in Middle East and “to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens my people and my allies”. The adversary was, “blithering idiot Joe Biden who fucking backstabbed me [Obama] in Yakutsk and took Kamchatka from Hank [Henry Paulson]” in a thrilling game of Risk. He later stated, “there is no way I am losing this one to that retard Joe.”
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi in Afghanistan praised the Nobel committee’s decision, saying Obama’s words were so much better than the previous president, an obvious slight to the belligerent George W. Bush who once came under intense fire for his shocking statement, “Islam is a religion of peace.”
Aagot Valle, a lawmaker for the Socialist Left party who joined the Nobel committee this year, said she hoped the selection would be viewed as “support and a commitment for Obama.”
“And I hope Barry will one day return my phone calls.” she gushed towards the AP in a rare interview.
The peace prize was created partly to encourage ongoing peace efforts, but Obama’s efforts are at far earlier stages than those of past winners, and the committee acknowledged they may not bear fruit at all.
“If everything goes wrong, then one cannot say that this was because of Barack Obama,” Jagland said. “It could be that it is because of us, all the others, that didn’t respond. But I know that I hari-kiri is my only option at that point, for not being obedient to Lord Obama’s will.”
In Europe and much of the world, Obama is praised for bringing the U.S. closer to mainstream European thinking on such issues as wearing tight package-hugging speedos, blowing air kisses and refusing to bathe or shave regularly. A 25-nation poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world, weighing heavily on the mind of RNC chairman Michael Steele, who feared for all of the seats the GOP would lose in the French and Argentinean districts.
The award appeared to be at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for his largely unkind rhetoric towards al-Qaeda during the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“Those who were in support of Bush in his belief that al-Qaeda were terrorists, on trying to hunt down Osama bin Laden, and putting American interests first … probably won’t be happy,” said Valle.
At home, the picture is more complicated. Obama is often criticized by his political opponents as he attempts to carry out his agenda — from spending non-existent money trying to cure a problem caused by people spending non-existent money to his victory in bringing the Olympics to the city of Chicago.
The Nobel committee said it paid special attention to Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world, comparing this to the wishes of the 1997 runner-up to the Miss Colorado pageant. Kim Jong-Il, likewise noted in his own country as a great and peaceful man, praised Obama’s verbal commitment to peace and prosperity.
Former Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, said Obama has already provided outstanding leadership on nuclear non-proliferation.
“He has shown an unshakable commitment to drinking beers and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts,” ElBaradei said.
In July talks in Moscow, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed that their negotiators would work out a new limit on delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads of between 500 and 1,100. They also agreed that warhead limits would be reduced from the current range of 1,700-2,200 to as low as 1,500. This move is important because it will prevent complete worldwide annihilation. The key for the committee was considering the lucky few that will be able to audaciously hope to consume the flesh of their fallen peers and thus stave off eventual death from radiation poisoning.
Although wholly irrelevant, there has been no word on whether either side has started to act on the reductions.
Also, inn a highly unique and unorthodox move, Obama also has tried to restart stalled Mideast talks with no progress yet reported, but is a largely unimportant fact.
In the Gaza Strip, leaders of the radical Hamas movement said they had heard Obama’s speeches on better relations with the Islamic world and have been deeply moved.
“We are in need of sayings, not actions” Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said “If only the President would be willing to bring us to talk with the Israelis, play a little foosball and eat some falafel afterwards as we and the Jews laugh at those who consume pork products”.
Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, the peace prize is given out by the five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Like the Parliament, the panel has a leftist slant, with three members elected by left-of-center parties and the two right-of-center members Nancen Pelostrom and Henrik Reidsson. Jagland said the decision to honor Obama was unanimous.
Some controversial nominations included useless Columbian human rights advocate Piedad Cordoba, superfluous Afghan women’s rights activist Simi Samar and Denis Mukwege, a physician in war-torn Congo whose opening of a clinic to help rape victims didn’t really have anything to do with peace.
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award: President Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919.
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most about the work for fraternity between Harvard faculty and Boston law enforcement.”