Nobel vote for Obama "A bold statement of support"

As the  St. Pete Times reports:

Polson asked that the revote be delayed until next week to give the city time to explore other solutions short of giving away public land. Those options include greater police enforcement and traffic changes, like changing the pickup and dropoff points to the complex.

Polson also directed the city staff to seek input from teenagers, former BayWalk patrons and protesters.

Needless to say, activists in the community are outraged, especially after the leading group who's led the protests over the years, St. Pete For Peace, announced as a good faith measure, that they would not demonstrate on the sidewalk in question for a year.

The next vote on BayWalk will take place next Thursday, October 15th, without public comment.

The Florida Democratic Party will be holding its convention, or State Conference, this weekend at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center.  This reporter is most interested in watching State Senators Dan Gelber and Dave Aronberg, both running for the nomination for Attorney General next year, engage in a debate Sunday morning.

The top nominee for the Democrats in next year's Senate race, Congressman Kendrick Meek, made an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program this morning, where he said......very little.

The program's hosts tried to pin him down on where he stood on House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel's growing ethics problems, but the Miami area Representative said little of substance in response.  Ditto on whom he preferred to run against next year in the General Election, Marco Rubio or Charlie Crist.

Speaking of the governor, his announcement that he has raised $2.4 million in the last three months in his race for U.S. Senate did not exactly get the coverage that Rubio's fundraising announcement did earlier this week.  That's despite the fact that Crist outraised Rubio by a more than 2-to-1 margin.  The obvious answer is that it's all about expectations.  Nobody is surprised Crist did so well.  Most analysts were suprised that Rubio grazed the million mark.

Speaking of Rubio, supporters of the insurgent candidate will be making some noise outside the Pepin Center in Tampa tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m., rallying for him while Governor Crist will be speaking inside the center. That will be at the Hillsborough County's GOP Reagan Day Dinner.

Supporters of health care reform will be holding their own demonstration this afternoon, protesting at the go-to spot for protests in Tampa, the corner of Dale Mabry and Columbus Avenue beginning at 4 p.m. today.  According to the activists, they'll be there until 8 p.m.

Whether they'll actually hang that long will be questionable — the U2 concert will be starting up at 7 p.m. just a few blocks up the street at Raymond James Stadium.

This reporter will be at that spectacle.  Published reports indicate that people with general admission tickets began waiting in line yesterday afternoon.

U2's top performer, Bono, has become one of the biggest social justice advocates that rock and roll, or all of entertainment, has perhaps ever produced.  He himself was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and has worked on a number of political causes throughout the duration of the band's career.

He was also criticized by some for working with George W. Bush on the former president's efforts to fight AIDS in Africa.

I bring all this up because I doubt any U2 fan is going to be shocked by any pronouncements Bono makes from the stage this evening.  I remember attending a Roger Waters concert at the Ford Amphitheatre when he played the entire contents of Pink Floyd's legendary Dark Side of The Moon a couple of years ago, but alienated some fans for his criticism of W.   I'm always amused by the reaction of some rock fans, stunned by the 'political nature' of artists.  Do you remember when Bruce Springsteen, America's officially sanctioned rock god, was cursed at by some angry New Yorkers when he performed his song "41 Shots" about Amadou Diallo in 2000?   Diallo was the unarmed immigrant in New York City who was shot at 41 times by NYPD officers the year before.  Props to Bruce on that one.  And to Bono for doing what he does.  Yes, he's a bit pompous at times,  but he is the embodiment of a true rock star for many around the world.


That had to be the overwhelming feeling among Americans as they awoke to the news early this morning that Barack Obama is this year's winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  It came in at 5 a.m. East Coast time this morning, and I literally jumped up and off my bed hearing the NPR announcer say at 5:04, "Repeating our top story, Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize."

Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to enjoy the honor, but the first to win it during his first term in office (and in his first 8 months, to boot).  Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919 after helping to establish the League of Nations, and Teddy Roosevelt took it in 1906.

But as the Washington Post reports:

In contrast, Obama is struggling over whether to expand the war in Afghanistan, preparing to withdraw from Iraq, and searching for ways to build momentum to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and assemble an international effort to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Already the conservative media establishment is mocking the prize and our president.  But doesn't that contradict what they were saying a week ago, when many people were almost as equally surprised that the International Olympic Committee rejected Chicago as the potential host of the 2016 Summer Games?

Former President Jimmy Carter, the 2002 Nobel Prize winner, called the award to Obama a"bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment."

Download the report here.

Closer to home, the St. Petersburg City Council, or at least one member of it, was apparently stung by the criticism thrown their way by the St. Pete Times and other figures for their vote last week not to allow BayWalk to be given the public sidewalk that is the entryway to the struggling shopping complex.

Councilmember Herb Polson supported a motion to bring the issue back.

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