Fall bouquet, Merci, Paris.
We interrupt the series of Longchamp photos to focus on unexpected news today:
Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples."
"The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.
"The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
"For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman.The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
Let's hope Obama can live up to his promise, with jealous naysayers (with no ideas or solutions of their own) determined to obstruct his every move.
So refreshing: Alan Grayson dares to speak the truth.
And a very Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!
Update: The Democratic National Committee responds to Republican criticism of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement:
"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize. Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize — an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride — unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore – it’s an embarrassing label to claim."
"There is nobody today in my view who is more deserving of that peace prize than Barack Obama. In less than a year he brought a radical change in the way we look at ourselves, in the way we look at our world. He is restoring the basic core values that every one of us should live by - dialogue, respect, democracy, due process, human rights, a security system that does not depend on nuclear weapons. His dedication to these values rekindles hope that, finally, we could have a world at peace with itself."
Read more reactions to the news here.
An excerpt of President Obama's speech:
"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."