Saturday, October 10, 2009

Joanie No-Baloney Is Right: Anything That Enrages The BFI Deserves A Prize!

The BFI (Big, Fat Idiot — aka Rush Limbaugh) must have swallowed a double-dose of either of his favorite synthetic opium derivatives (oxycodone and hydrocodone). This convicted junky and his Dittoheads now are frothing at the mouth and howling at the moon in the company of all of the other knuckle-dragging droolers who call themselves "Reagan conservatives." Dutch, of course, didn't need opium derivatives, he could hide his own Easter eggs from Day One in the White House. Now, the POTUS (44) has joined TR (1906), Woody (1919), and Mr. Peanut (2002) as presidential winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. As a spokesman at the State Department said, "It's better to have a Peace Prize thrown at you than a shoe." If this is (fair & balanced) joy at Dumbo outrage, so be it.

[x Boulder Fishwrap]
Don't Shrug
By John Sherffius

Click on the image to enlarge.

[John Sherffius began drawing editorial cartoons for the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper at UCLA. After two years of working as a freelance artist, after graduation, he was hired by the Ventura County Star in Southern California as a graphic artist and gradually worked his way into editorial cartooning for the paper. In 1998, he was hired by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as the newspaper's editorial cartoonist, a job he held until 2003 when he quit the paper over editorial differences. Sherffius bridled at editorial insistence that he tone down cartoons attacking Republicans. Sherffius then went to work for the Boulder Daily Camera where his cartoons appear regularly and are syndicated nationally by the Copley News Service. Sherffius won the 2008 Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning.]

Copyright © 2009 John Sherffius/Boulder Daily Camera

[x Salon]
Why Obama Deserved The Nobel Peace Prize
By Joan Walsh

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I was as stunned as anyone when I heard President Obama had been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize Friday morning. Of course it felt oddly premature. It's enough to send Obama lovers and haters back to the jokes about his being the Messiah; so much seems to come easy to the man. Sometimes Obama makes me think of the old saying: "To whom much is given, much is...given." Yeah, he turns that old proverb on its head.

A few hours of reflection, and reading what the committee said about the award, and I could see its point and purpose. In recent years the Nobel Peace Prize has more often honored promise and encouraged progress than it marked concrete, permanent achievements in the realm of world peace. So the prize went to President Carter's ultimately unsuccessful 1978 Middle East peace drive; and to the same still uncompleted effort by Yassir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994. In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi won the prize in her jail cell, but the point was to support democracy in Burma (and 18 years later, she is still under house arrest).Thinking about the Northern Ireland Catholic and Protestant "Peace Mothers" who won the award in 1976, years before real peace accords, I suddenly saw Obama's win as strangely humble, and personal: One man trying to reverse the bloody tide of recent American history.

Obama's prize is a measure of how far the Bush administration pushed the United States, and the world, away from peace. So far that Obama's small but fervent efforts in the opposite direction — new diplomacy on Israel, Palestine, Iran, Russia and North Korea; slow but steady withdrawal from Iraq and now a painful reappraisal of the increasingly bloody war in Afghanistan; a pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons; new initiatives to the Muslim world — could win him this prize. But let's take that measure. Let's take in what that said about the way our country had become a source of aggression, belligerence and hostility, and never peace, in the last eight years. And in the midst of all of our partisan squabbling about health care and cap and trade and everything else — and even as we acknowledge disappointment with Obama on state secrets, torture, Iraq and Afghanistan — this should be a moment to reflect.

Of course all of Obama's encouraging moves are pledges and initiatives and discussions and promises, truly. We are right to press for more. But they are pledges and initiative and discussions and all kinds of slow but necessary efforts that weren't taking place at all for eight years under the Bush-Cheney regime. So about mid-day on Friday I abandoned my head-shaking, and instead held my head high. I was impressed by Obama's own humble speech, in which he said flatly he didn't "deserve" the award, by the standards most of us hold for this crucial prize:

"Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

"To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize — men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

"But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build — a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century."

The right-wing's idiocy about Obama's Nobel win is no longer even interesting. So Rush Limbaugh sides with the Taliban now. Good. Both Glenn Beck and Mark Halperin suggested Obama should decline the award; now we know where Halperin stands, that's good too. The country will move on without them. I loved what French President Nicholas Sarkozy (not always an Obama fan) said about why the U.S. president really got the Nobel Peace Prize: "The award marks America's return to the heart of the people of the world." That deserves a prize. Ω

[Joan Walsh has been the editor-in-chief of Salon, a San Francisco-based on-line magazine since February 2005. She joined Salon as its first full-time news editor in 1998, and became managing editor in 2004. Walsh had previously worked for In These Times and the Santa Barbara News and Review. She has written freelance articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times and The Nation. Walsh has published two books, Splash Hit: The Pacific Bell Park Story and Stories of Renewal: Community Building and the Future of Urban America. Walsh holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin.]

Copyright © 2009 Salon Media Group, Inc

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Copyright © 2009 Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves