Day: October 9, 2009

Bill Clinton For Future Nobel Peace Prize?

The Nobel Peace Prize has gone to four American Presidents (Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama), two Vice Presidents (Charles Dawes, Al Gore), and also to such luminaries as Henry Kissinger and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The awarding of the prize to Obama, based more on hope and expectation and judged on oratory and changed direction, makes one start to wonder about future years, and who might be eligible to gain the award.

One name that arises, despite many critics and enemies, is former President Bill Clinton.

Many people seem to have forgotten that he made real efforts at Camp David to get an agreement between Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian leader.

Also, Clinton intervened to bring peace to Bosnia and Kosovo in the Balkans, and peace has generally prevailed in recent years.

Most amazing of all, the fact that the Northern Ireland bloodshed was ended by President Clinton’s endeavors, culminating in a lasting agreement arranged in 1998, makes one realize that Bill Clinton is an excellent candidate for the Peace Prize in the future.

Just as Jimmy Carter received the award 22 years after leaving the Presidency, it seems to me that sometime soon, hopefully while Bill Clinton is still alive, he will win what he richly deserves: the Nobel Peace Prize!

Barack Obama And Action On Gay Rights

President Obama will be speaking on Saturday night before a national meeting of gay rights activists who are conducting a March On Washington, and it provides the opportunity for him to take clear public stands on important issues regarding the gay community.

It is time for him to move on ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military.

It is time for him to promote an employment discrimination law, which would prevent the dismissal of gay employees because of their sexual orientation.

It is time to push legislation making crimes against gays part of a national hate crime bill, something which has now passed the House of Representatives, but is stalled in the Senate, which therefore requires the intervention of the President.

It is unlikely, however, that the President will back gay marriage anytime soon, because it is still not favored in the public opinion polls, although gay civil unions are supported by a majority in the polls, and also by President Obama.

This speech on Saturday night shall be a turning point for the gay community in their relationship with the Obama Administration. It is hoped that Obama will not disappoint that group which so strongly backed him in 2008.

The Urgent Need For A National Consumer Financial Protection Agency

President Obama went on the offensive today, demanding that Congress take action on the creation of a National Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

This agency is opposed by banks and big corporations who want to continue to exploit and victimize the nation’s consumers in relation to credit cards and financial services. They have been lobbying successfully so far to prevent the creation of simple applications for financial products, which all consumers could understand, replacing the complex situation now, which requires lawyers and other experts to translate the “small print”.

So many millions of Americans are victims of these banks and other financial organizations, which caused a lot of the corruption which helped to lead to the Great Recession, that we are still attempting to recover from.

It is time that these financial service companies understand that the American people are not going to tolerate any more exploitation, and we should all applaud the President’s strong, determined stand on this issue!

Barack Obama And His Critics: The Challenge Of The Nobel Peace Prize

Now that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, the weight on him to perform and fulfill what the Peace Prize represents, creates a greater challenge than any President has had since John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The challenges of Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Venezuela and numerous other issues complicate the goals of promoting world peace and ultimate nuclear disarmament.

Obama has the world behind him with the exception of the terrorists represented by Al Qaeda and the Taliban, who have denounced the awarding of the Peace Prize to him. Of course there is one more major critic: the right wing talk shows hosts, Fox, and of course, the bulk of the Republican party opposition.

It was very statesmanlike for Senator John McCain to congratulate President Obama, and to see the award as good news for the nation. But of course, Michael Steele, the GOP National Chairman, had to, again, prove how disgraceful and useless he is, by his statements critical of Obama, rather than rejoice in the honor of the moment. And Rush Limbaugh was his usual, predictably obnoxious self, denouncing the world and evoking super American nationalism’s attitude of condemning Europe and the United Nations.

Imagine cynical young and older people coming up with a conspiracy theory that the award was fixed, and even arranged by the President himself–this following his obvious inability to “fix” the Olympic Games location for 2016 in his home city of Chicago.

When we reach the point that many people in our country can condemn an honor bestowed on our President, which he made clear was an honor for the nation, then we have reached a dangerously poisonous atmosphere that is highly disturbing.

The President is pursuing a series of goals to improve the world scene, and he is graciously, appropriately, arranging for the $1.4 million prize to be donated to charity.

Despite the criticism and hypocrisy that is emerging, the nation should be rightfully proud of our President, who is emerging as a statesman!

Hallelujah! President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize!

Surprising but exciting news just occurred less than two hours ago when Norway announced that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize!

He was awarded the prize for promotion of diplomacy in the quest for world peace and his efforts to work toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

Obama is the fourth President to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Theodore Roosevelt won it in 1906 for negotiating the end of the Russo Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson won it in 1919 for involvement in the negotiating of the Versailles Treaty after World War 1, although ironically, the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty or membership in the League of Nations. Jimmy Carter won it in 2002, more than 20 years after leaving office, for his promotion of free and fair elections in many countries around the world and his general efforts for world peace and diplomacy.

Additionally, two Vice Presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Charles Dawes, Vice President under Calvin Coolidge, won it in 1925 for negotiating the Dawes Plan, which lessened the debt burden on Weimar Germany that had been imposed on them by the Versailles Treaty. Al Gore won it out of office in 2007 for work on Global Warming and other environmental concerns.

This is a moment of rejoicing, but one wonders whether it will have any long range effects on diplomacy or domestic affairs. Also, it is certain that right wing talk show hosts and Fox will not see it as a plus or a victory for our nation, but rather as a negative in some fashion.

One thing is clear: We are in the midst of an historic Presidency, and I congratulate the President for this fantastic honor that has been bestowed upon him! 🙂