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Friday, October 09, 2009

National Center VP Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Great news! I just won the Nobel Peace Prize... along with 305 million other Americans.

Sure, the Nobel Committee meant to give it to Barack Obama, but it was so anxious to push its political agenda that it didn't bother to consider whether the President is eligible. He isn't.

For one thing, there's the little problem that the $1.4 million prize is just a tad over the federal gift limit -- $20 for each gift and no more than $50 from one source in a year, excluding meals and event tickets. I assume the Nobel Committee isn't sending over hundreds of thousands of Happy Meals.

If that's not sufficient evidence, look at Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution...

"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State."

You may recall that the Nobel Committee is composed of five people appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.

All but nominal gifts to sitting Presidents of the United States are gifts to the people of the United States.

Obama thus didn't win the prize, the American people did.

Of course, Barack Obama isn't the first person the Nobel Committee has selected who was ineligible for the prize. In 1919, it selected then-U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and in 1906, it selected then-President Theodore Roosevelt. You may remember Roosevelt from when, armed only with an olive branch, he led a peace initiative up San Juan Hill.

For Americans 103 or older, congratulations, this is your third Nobel Prize!

This is only my first and I'm truly honored that someone finally recognized my contributions... as well as those of the other 305 million or so with whom I unfortunately must share this award.

Now I have to figure out how I'm going to spend my fraction of a penny.

Update: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced that President Obama will donate the $1.4 million prize to charity, likely more than one. The problem is that without Congressional approval, he is Constitutionally-barred from accepting the prize for himself and thus can't donate it to anyone.

Guess that Constitutional stuff is above Gibb's paygrade.

President Obama can, however, accept it on behalf of the American people. It belongs in the U.S. Treasury... you know... that big building one door down from the White House on the corner where they order the printing presses to run 24/7.

Written by David A. Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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Posted by David A. Ridenour at 2:38 PM

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