Tag Archives: Nobel

Why We Reform by Paul Krugman

Posted by: ogenec

Op-ed by Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman, New York Times

Paul Krugman, New York Times

NYT~One way or another, the fate of health care reform is going to be decided in the next few days. If House Democratic leaders find 216 votes, reform will almost immediately become the law of the land. If they don’t, reform may well be put off for many years — possibly a decade or more.

So this seems like a good time to revisit the reasons we need this reform, imperfect as it is.

As it happens, Reuters published an investigative report this week that powerfully illustrates the vileness of our current system. The report concerns the insurer Fortis, now part of Assurant Health, which turns out to have had a systematic policy of revoking its clients’ policies when they got sick. In particular, according to the Reuters report, it targeted every single policyholder who contracted H.I.V., looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, for cancellation. In the case that brought all this to light, Assurant Health used an obviously misdated handwritten note by a nurse, who wrote “2001” instead of “2002,” to claim that the infection was a pre-existing condition that the client had failed to declare, and revoked his policy.

This was illegal, and the company must have known it: the South Carolina Supreme Court, after upholding a decision granting large damages to the wronged policyholder, concluded that the company had been systematically concealing its actions when withdrawing coverage, not just in this case, but across the board.

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Auto-Tune The News‘ Takes on Health Care Debate, Rep. Alan Grayson, and Obama’s Nobel Prize

Posted by Buellboy
(our resident auto-tune expert)

AUTO-TUNE-THE-NEWS-largekeithoHuffington Post––Michael and Andrew Gregory are back with their NINTH installment of “Auto-Tune the News.” So far they’ve taken on Sean Hannity in a gorilla costume, spiced up climate change speeches by GOPers, and used Arianna Huffington’s serious words on the drug war to make light of their own reckless youths. Now they’ve moved on to the health care debate, Keith Olberman, Congressman Alan Grayson and President Obama’s Peace Prize.

Enjoy!

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Meet Elinor Ostrom: The First Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics

Posted by Audiegrl

It is an honor to be the first woman, but I won’t be the last~Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, the Arthur F. Bentley professor of political science and professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University, will receive this year’s Nobel in Economic Science. The announcement was made Monday morning in Stockholm, Sweden. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize in Economics since it was founded in 1968, and the fifth woman to win a Nobel award this year — a Nobel record.

She will share it with Oliver E. Williamson, who is at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The two will share the prize for their separate work on economic governance, organization, cooperation, relationships and nonmarket institutions.

nobel_prize_1Ms. Ostrom’s work focuses on the commons, such as how pools of users manage natural resources as common property. The traditional view is that common ownership results in excessive exploitation of resources — the so-called tragedy of the commons that occurs when fishermen overfish a common pond, for example. The proposed solution is usually to make users bear the external costs of their utilization by privatizing the resource or imposing government regulations such as taxes or quotas.

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Women in Nobel Prize History

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

The Nobel Prize in various categories has been awarded to women 41 times between 1901 and 2009.

Marie Curie is the only woman to win two Nobel prizes; one in Physics, 1903 and one in Chemistry, 1911. Marie Curie is considered the most famous of all women scientists. In 1903, her discovery of radioactivity earned her the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911, she won it for chemistry.

Irene Curie was the daughter of Marie Curie. She furthered her mother’s work in radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize in 1935 for discovering that radioactivity could be artificially produced.

A total of 40 women have been honored with a Nobel Prize since 1901, with the latest recipient, Elinor Ostrom, the only woman in the category of Economic Sciences.

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Nobel Prizes 2009: A Record Year For Women

In Nobel First, Economics Prize Goes To Woman

Ostrom, Williamson Win Nobel Prize for Economics

Nobel Prize For Economics: Elinor Ostrom, Oliver Williamson Win

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The Outrage Pandemic by Jeffrey Feldman

Op-ed by Jeffrey Feldman

Author Jeffrey Feldman

Author Jeffrey Feldman

HP/Jeffrey Feldman—Forget the Swine Flu. America is suffering from an outrage pandemic.

Like everybody else in America, I was surprised when the Nobel committee awarded the 2009 Peace Prize to Barack Obama. I was pleased, but surprised. Apparently, just about the only living creature not surprised was Bo the First Dog. But the outrage that flowed from every corner of the political conversation was far more depressing than learning about the award was surprising.

When did American optimism succumb to this constant outrage?

Less than a year ago, tens of millions of Americans descended on Washington, DC, just so they could say, “I was there,” on the day Barack Obama became President. Nine months later, a majority of Americans seem convinced that this same man–who once inspired them so deeply–has personally slighted them.

The right-wing is certainly responsible in part for the spread of the outrage pandemic.

The right has reached a level of outrage at Barack Obama that already exceeds what the left mustered after eight years of George W. Bush. The result is that right-wing politics in America now follows one general argument: If Obama wants it, then it is so bad it must be stopped or it will destroy America.

The insanity in this approach became clear in the health care reform debate where we have heard Republicans on Medicare say crazy things like, “I’d rather die than see this country adopt government-run health insurance” (e.g., I would rather die than have the kind of government health insurance that I currently have, which keeps me from dying).

When people shake their fists in protest at the very things they say they will die to defend, the result is far worse than a nation divided along political lines. It is a form of national schizophrenia.

While the outrage pandemic may have reached critical levels on the right, the left has done its part in the past nine months, too.

Try talking to anyone in the left-wing, nowadays, and it seems everyone has a bone to pick with Barack Obama. Whatever Barack Obama does, more and more people on the left are outraged by him. First it was the bank bailout program, then the auto-industry rescue, then the health care bill. Then it was not moving fast enough on closing Gitmo, then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then withdrawal from Iraq. Now the left is outraged at Obama’s Afghan policy and his view on cap and trade and home mortgage relief and marriage equality and the prosecution of past administration officials.

Is there anyone left on the left who is not outraged at Barack Obama for something? If they’re out there, I never come across them.

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Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy by Jeffrey Feldman

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framingthedebatebookcover Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (And Win Elections)
by Jeffrey Feldman

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Filed under Change, Democrats, Editorial, Opinions, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans

The Peace Prize‘ an Editorial by the New York Times

NYTimesbuildingfrontNew York Times—President Obama responded to the news of his Nobel Peace Prize the right way. He said he was humbled, acknowledged that the efforts for which he was honored are only beginning and pledged to see them through, not on his own but in concert with other nations.

There cannot have been unbridled joy in the White House early Friday. Mr. Obama’s aides had to expect a barrage of churlish reaction, and they got it. The left denounced the Nobel committee for giving the prize to a wartime president. The right proclaimed that Mr. Obama sold out the United States by engaging in diplomacy. Members of the dwindling band of George W. Bush loyalists also sneered — with absolutely no recognition of their own culpability — that Mr. Obama has not yet ended the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

Certainly, the prize is a (barely) implicit condemnation of Mr. Bush’s presidency. But countering the ill will Mr. Bush created around the world is one of Mr. Obama’s great achievements in less than nine months in office. Mr. Obama’s willingness to respect and work with other nations is another.

Mr. Obama has bolstered this country’s global standing by renouncing torture, this time with credibility; by pledging to close the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; by rejoining the effort to combat climate change and to rid the world of nuclear weapons; by recommitting himself to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and by offering to engage Iran while also insisting that it abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Obama did not seek the prize. It is a reminder of the extraordinarily high expectations for any American president — and does bring into sharp focus all that he has left to do to make the world, and this country, safer.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu — Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1984

archbishopDesmond tutu 200What wonderful recognition of someone who has already made such an impact on our planet with regards to the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament, climate change and, to some extent, the Middle East. He has reached out to the Arab world, including Iran, and North Korea.

In a way, it’s an award — coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young President — that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.”~~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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How They Pick Nobel Laureates

Posted by Audiegrl

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

TPM/Rachel Slajda—Much has been made today of the fact that the nomination deadline for the Nobel Peace Prize is Feb. 1 — just 12 days after President Obama took office.

But the winner isn’t selected until much later, usually around mid-September. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, made up of five members appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, makes the decision. Here’s the process, according to the committee’s web site:

Nominators — including members of governments, university professors, past Nobel laureates and members of the International Court of Justice — must make their picks to the committee by Feb. 1. The committee usually receives between 150 and 200 nominations for the Peace Prize, but this year they received a record 205 nominations.

noble_medalsThe committee then holds its first meeting,when members can add their own nominees to the list. They then narrow the list down to between five and 20 candidates.

Those candidates are then reviewed by the Nobel Institute’s director, research director and a team of advisers, usually university professors. Those advisers draw up reports on each candidate, a process that takes a few months, and present those reports to the committee.

And then the committee “embarks on a thorough-going discussion of the most likely candidates.” They sometimes request more information, especially when, like Obama, candidates are involved in current affairs. The committee usually makes its decision by mid-September, but has been known to take until the final meeting in early October.

More @ tpmlogosmall

Nobel Peace Prize Statistics

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

nobelchart2During the first century of the Nobel Peace Prize, there were 107 laureates from different parts of the world. Alfred Nobel’s intention was to create an international prize, a wish that was upheld by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. However, it took the committee a long time before it started to look beyond the western world for suitable candidates. Globalisation of the prize was a very slow process. From 1901 to 1975 only four laureates did not come from Western Europe or North America.

To find more interesting historical facts, please visit nobelprizelogo

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President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

posted by GeoT

“for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”


Link to video of announcement


Nobel Committee Chairman Explains Obama Choice


“OSLO — President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.”

More Here:

“There are few leaders who have managed to change the atmosphere in the world in such a short time,” (Shimon Peres former Nobel Peace prize winner)


Israeli President Shimon Peres — who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 — escorts then-Sen. Barack Obama during the presidential candidate’s visit to Jerusalem on July 23, 2008.

geot GeoT: **my opinion**

Yes its an honor and yes, putting diplomacy back in FRONT of U.S. foreign policy is vitally important… but, seriously, a misguided, or rather a mistimed awarding of the prize, in my opinion. This President has the bulk of the work he needs to do ahead of him… the accolades can wait. This will be fodder for further sniping from the wing-nuts and a distraction from the vital issues on the table.

That’s my take… my fellow bloggers here at 44 Diaries will be giving their perspectives as the morning unfolds


ogenicOgenec has weighed in:

GeoT, I disagree. You have to ask yourself this question: why did they award the Nobel? A variety of reasons to be sure, but in particular they cited his commitment to reducing the nuclear arsenal.

When you think about it, it makes complete sense. Alfred Nobel created dynamite. He later grew to resent the fact that he owed his wealth to weapons used for the mass destruction of human life. Well, nuclear devices are the ultimate form of mass destruction. The Committee must have looked at this and said, this is EXACTLY what Alfred Nobel would be fighting for if he were still alive.

Obama’s nuclear reduction efforts have enormous implications for world peace, and are consistent with the animating principles of the Nobel prizes. It’s quite fitting that he got the award. Now other leaders should step up and assist Obama in pulling the world back from the nuclear precipice.
full comment: Here

ag2 audiegrl’s take:

This whole uproar reminds me of the reports when Martin Luther King Jr. got awarded the prize or even Jimmy Carter or Al Gore. Many folks in this country ridiculed and scorned them for winning. As if him winning was an insult to them and their party.

The way I see this, its a simple fact of how differently the world views Barack Obama, versus the way people in our own country view him. In parts of the country and in the Republican party he is viewed with suspicion, disdain and anger, so even when he does or accomplishes something good, his motives are questioned. Even last week, when global polling showed that due to Obama the US had moved up from number seven to the number one spot of countries that the world admired, this jump according to the pollster was unprecedented in one year, and could only be attributed to the election of Obama. Did this make the right wing naysayers happy? No, they just accused him of traveling around the world apologizing for American.

The reaction from the right wing today is no less shameful than when they gleefully cheered when we lost the 2016 Olympic bid last week. Just ask yourself this. If today President McCain, after only being in office 9 months, had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, what would the right-wing be doing? You got it, popping the champagne cork right about now…

Full comment: Here

Buellboy:

“Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends.” –Brian Tracy
Congratulations Mr. President.

from Libbyshaw:
As an American I am proud that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. From the day he started his campaign for the Presidency, nearly three years ago, Barack Obama set a new and bold tone in politics. He refused to play the old political games and he never stooped to personal attacks, though he was assailed by them very frequently from Reverend Wright to Bill Ayers. Obama handled the vitriol with grace and poise. Barack Obama said we are not comprised of red states and blue states but the United States of America. He wanted to unite, not divide. The same tone underlies the President’s foreign diplomacy. The world, including our allies who had been intimidated by eight years of bullying cowboy diplomacy, are relieved to see the U.S. now has a President who will listen to others. One who will use peaceful conflict resolution to build bridges between countries and connections between different people.

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama is the world’s way of thanking the United States for getting rid of the lying, murderous, warmongering neocons who ran this country and the rest of the globe, for eight long, dark and dangerous years.


Other reactions:

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize triumph hailed by many

Obama (and the world) react to Nobel Peace Prize news

Reaction: Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

World Reacts to Obama Peace Prize Award

How Nobel could hurt Obama— The last thing Barack Obama needed at this moment in his presidency and our politics is a prize for a promise.


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