Friday, October 9, 2009

330-338Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner (, author of The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.
• (:38) Nobel 2. (White House @ 10/9/09) President Obama's full speech on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
(:46) Gibbs: Nobel (White House @ 10/9/09) White House press secretary gives his comments on the president's award.
• Daniel Pipes (10/9/09) Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. — Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.
"He won what?" is the first universal reaction.  And second, at least on the Right: "Why did they do that?"

Even the Nobel committee's citation does not pretend Barack Obama has actually achieved anything. Rather, it was given to him "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." That's efforts, not achievements.

Reading carefully through the entire citation suggests that Obama is being celebrated for two reasons. Its chatter about "a new climate," the United Nations, a "vision of a world free from nuclear arms," and "great climatic challenges" points to his being the anti-George W. Bush.

Second, the prize committee hopes to constrain Obama's hands vis-à-vis Iran. It lauds him for not using force: "Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts." This is obviously gibberish: Whereas Bush did not use force against North Korea, Obama does not rely on dialogue in Afghanistan. But the statement does pressure Obama not to use force in the theater that counts the most, namely the Iranian nuclear build-up.

So, from the Leftist Norwegian point of view, it's a twofer — bash Bush and handcuff Obama.

My prediction: The absurdity of the prize decision will harm Obama politically in the United States, contrasting his role as international celebrity with his record devoid of accomplishments. Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, notes that Obama "won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action." Expert to hear much more along those lines.
Obamamania comes as little surprise to Rush Limbaugh, who e-mailed us this morning after we asked him to share his thoughts. "The Nobel gang just suicide-bombed themselves. Gore, Carter, Obama, soon Bill Clinton. See a pattern here? They are all leftist sell-outs. George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims in Iraq, Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans and saves parts of Latin America. Any awards?" Limbaugh says "Obama gives speeches trashing his own country and for that gets a prize, which is now worth as much as whatever prizes they are putting in Cracker Jacks these days."

"This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama. It is a greater embarrassment than losing the Olympics bid. And with this "award" the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States. They love a weakened, neutered U.S. and this is their way of promoting that concept.  I think God has a great sense of humor, too."
// Daily Beast blogger Peter Beinart calls it "Obama's Nobel Farce": "Perhaps next they'll start giving Oscars not to the people who have made the best movies of last year, but to the people who have the best chance of making the best movies next year."
// In a statement mailed to reporters, RNC chairman Michael Steele joined in, wondering what Obama really has accomplished, other than letting his "star power" outshine peace and human-rights workers. "One thing is certain—President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action."
// The National Review's blogger Andy McCarthy picked up where some of the mockery left off. The top story ran with a photo of particularly smug-looking Obama, lifting his head high in the look he usually takes when doing heavy thinking. "After a number of years, the NFL renamed its Super Bowl trophy after its most fitting recipient—it's now called the Vince Lombardi Trophy. I'd like to see the Nobel Foundation follow suit. If today's headlines said, 'Barack Obama Wins Yasser Arafat Prize,' that would be perfect."
Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Over the last decade the only requirement to win the prize was that the nominee had to be critical of George W. Bush (see Al Gore, Mohamed El Baradei and Jimmy Carter).
President Obama has broken new ground here. Nominations for potential winners of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ended on February 1. The president took office only 12 days earlier on January 20.
Let's take a look at the president's first 12 days in the White House according to his public schedule to see what he did to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize:
January 20: Sworn in as president. Went to a parade. Partied.
January 21: Asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for information requests. Held an "open house" party at the White House.
January 22: Signed Executive Orders: Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge; re-affirmed Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations; expressed desire to close Gitmo (how's that working out?)
January 23: Ordered the release of federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Lunch with Joe Biden; met with Tim Geithner.
January 24: Budget meeting with economic team.
January 25: Skipped church.
January 26: Gave speech about jobs and energy. Met with Hillary Clinton. Attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.
January 27: Met with Republicans. Spoke at a clock tower in Ohio.
January 28: Economic meetings in the morning, met with Defense secretary in the afternoon.
January 29: Signed Ledbetter Bill overturning Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Party in the State Room. Met with Biden.
January 30: Met economic advisers. Gave speech on Middle Class Working Families Task Force. Met with senior enlisted military officials.
January 31: Took the day off.
February 1: Skipped church. Threw a Super Bowl party.
So there you have it. The short path to the Nobel Peace Prize: Party, go to meetings, skip church, release federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries, party some more.  Good grief.

• NRO Editorial (10/9/09) A Fitting Prize, in a Way.

• Meredith Jessup (10/9/09) Apologies Apparently Accepted: President Obama Awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

343-354Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner (, author of The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.

358-408Jay Richards, is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation (, blogs regularly at, and the author of Money, Greed, And God:  Why Capitalism Is The Solution And Not The Problem (browse).
413-423Jay Richards
• Philadelphia Daily News (10/8/09) Faith-healing parents charged in death of infant son.  Calls: What is the role of faith/God and what is the role of doctors in healing?  Do you think these parents should get in trouble?  What would faith healers say now to the parents that the son died?
512-523Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy at USC, and the person who has had the biggest impact on my spiritual life through his books and tapes, especially his The Divine Conspiracy, his newest book is entitled Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge (
528-538Dallas Willard, Why is there a hell?
544-554Nate Hanson, my assistant, has H1N1 and we check in with him, and we get Enginneer Annie's prediction on how her Angels are going to do against the Red Sox.
• Stratfor (9/14/09) A(H1N1): Just Another Flu.
(Excerpts) Most of that hysteria was rooted in the memory of the 1918 Spanish influenza. Although estimates vary widely — remember that the world was in the fifth year of a grinding war when the epidemic hit, so bean-counting was not exactly high on the priority list — most agree that between 50 million and 100 million people perished from the 1918 flu globally, including roughly 500,000 Americans.
The Spanish influenza was particularly frightening because it disproportionately struck down people in their prime — adults in the 25-35 age cohort — in addition to the very young and very old (the prime sufferers of traditional influenza viruses). Based on numbers reconstructed from that period, 28 percent of the American population contracted the Spanish influenza, of which 1.4 percent to 2.3 percent perished (or 0.39 percent to 0.65 percent of the population). The 1918-1920 influenza outbreak represents the only time during the 20th century when the U.S. population declined.
There are many unknowns about the A(H1N1) swine flu that are circulating around the world, but with five months of data to draw from, there are some clear manners in which A(H1N1) is not comparable to the 1918 Spanish flu. Most notable is the mortality rate, or more to the point, the lack of a mortality rate. Global data is sketchy to say the least, but as of Sept. 4, the World Health Organization (WHO) had linked only 3,199 deaths globally to A(H1N1). In the United States, where data is more reliable, the figure is 593, a far cry from the 402,000 to 675,000 American deaths of the 1918 epidemic
The critical factor to bear in mind is that all strains of influenza claim thousands of lives every year. In the United States, on average, some 36,000 people die of flu every year – 1,100 in New York alone. Globally, deaths related to influenza are estimated to range from 250,000 to 500,000 people per year. So far this year, only about 3,000 people have died worldwide in relation to the A(H1N1) outbreak, and most of those deaths occurred during the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere. From a statistical perspective, at present, A(H1N1) nearly falls into the range of background noise.
• CBS Washington (10/9/09) Airports May Screen For H1N1 Symptoms
558-608Byron York (Reprise)
612-623Byron York (Reprise)
628-638Jay Richards(Reprise)
644-700Jay Richards(Reprise)
• Charles Krauthammer (10/9/09) Young Hamlet's Agony.

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