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How Obama spent his $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize


You probably recall late last year on one of his autumn commutes to Scandinavia President Obama picked up the Nobel Peace Prize. We wrote about that here and here and here. His speech was well-received here. Also some fallout over here.

Along with the 24-karat gold-plated medal and the speech and the fancy dinner comes $1.4 million from the estate of Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite, which isn't always a weapon of destruction. (BTW, Obama's award apparently drew more attention to the international prize. The Nobel committee received 237 nominees for the 2010 award, a record. The next winner will be announced Oct. 4.)

Today, Obama's White House announced what charities will get his 2009 prize money. It's an almost perfectly balanced list of PC beneficiaries. Here they are:

“These organizations do extraordinary work in the United States and abroad helping students, veterans and countless others in need,” said President Obama. “I’m proud to support their work.”

$250,000 to Fisher House: Fisher House is a national non-profit organization that....

...provides housing for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.

$200,000 to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund: In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, President Obama asked former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to create the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund to raise funds for long-term relief efforts in Haiti.

$125,000 to College Summit: College Summit is a national non-profit organization that partners with elementary and middle schools and school districts to strengthen college-going culture and increase college enrollment rates, so that all students graduate from high school career and college-ready.

$125,000 to the Posse Foundation: The Posse Foundation is a national non-profit organization that identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse’s college and university partners award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. The scholars graduate at a rate of 90 percent.

$125,000 to the United Negro College Fund: The United Negro College Fund plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college through scholarship and internship programs.
Nobel Prize Medal

$125,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation's leading Hispanic scholarship organization, providing the Hispanic community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country.

$125,000 to the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation: A non-profit organization funded by foundations and companies, ALEF supports and enables young men and women from Appalachia to pursue higher education though scholarship and leadership curriculum.

$125,000 to the American Indian College Fund: The American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.

The Fund disburses approximately 6,000 scholarships annually for American Indian students seeking to better their lives through higher education. The Fund also provides support for tribal college needs, ranging from capital support to cultural preservation curricula.

$100,000 to AfriCare: AfriCare was founded in 1970 and has more projects in Africa than any other U.S. based charity, reaching communities in 25 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Its programs address needs in three principal areas: health and HIV/AIDS; food security and agriculture; and water resource development. 

$100,000 to the Central Asia Institute: The Central Asia Institute promotes and supports community-based education and literacy, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  The Institute’s co-founder, Greg Mortenson, was also a Nobel Peace Prize nominee this year, whose book, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace, One School at a Time, recounts his attempt to successfully establish dozens of schools and promote girls’ education in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan.    ###

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (34)

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Interesting, Obama made sure that none of his donations would help a white person. Strange.

It makes no difference where the money goes, it is still blatantly unconstitutional for him (or any other current office holder) to accept it.

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, the emolument clause, clearly stipulates: "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."

Furthermore, it's not his to give away. Federal statute says that if a president accepts a "tangible or intangible present" for more than a minimal value from any foreign government, the gift "shall become the property of the United States."

There's no Messiah loophole.

Very admirable. I'm a complete opponent of the man's politics, but I couldn't have made much better choices.

I'm a crazy Tea Party conservative, and I have no problem with this list of "PC" charities. Hey, it could have gone to ACORN and CAIR.

I thought "negro" was somehow racist.
How come they have their hand out when they want a donation?

OK, let's see the 1040 treatment, or better yet, let's see if BHO wants to take the income, get taxed in the 39% bracket, but only get the deduction at 28%. This is exactly what he's proposed in his tax "reform" --giving all the money away would leave him owing Uncle Sam 11% of the gift!!! This would be the perfect proof that his proposal is in fact a tax on charitable giving; the more a top-bracket taxpayer gives to charity, the more he will owe to Uncle. Ridiculous.

No surprise here...I didn't think he would be giving to any Pro-Life Groups who try to save the unborn.

So the POTUS doesn't pay Fed WHT or FICA or
Mecicare tax or State tax on his elitist prize ??? The IRS chases all income from all global sources for all citizens and we are jailed if we don't comply. Does this imply that the POYUS is not a US citizen ?? Hmmmm .....

Great photo showing how pleased he is with himself and his medal earned after 1 month in office.

The Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to crimminals like Arafat, Obama, and Gore means the NPP is celebration of corruption .. but everyone naturally is glad to see the money go to charity even though Obama really had no other choice. But this all begs the question as to why the NPP Committee has chosen to celebrate failure, fraud, and tolitarianism. Someday, the NPP will celebrate the real heroes of peace who labor directly with the poor, totally unknown to the world. What a travesty and tragedy the NPP Committee is! They might as well award all the Peace Prize to themselves. Someone please fire them before they make another stupid and immoral selection.

DJ: "Interesting, Obama made sure that none of his donations would help a white person. Strange."

Reading is fundamental. Are there no white members of the military, in appalachia, or going to college?
I just don't get people like you. Very strange.

Good selections for his prize money...however a broken clock is correct twice a day...

Good for him.

President Obama totally deserves this award. By the mere fact of his election, he has turned the United States away from being a warmongering torturing pariah regime to begin the process of rejoining the community of civilized nations.

The award belongs to the people of the United States (at least those who voted for him). It's in recognition of the work done to rebuild American values after the long nightmare years of the criminal B*sh regime.

"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."

Shouldn't be hard to get Congressional approval, if only to make you happy. In this case, since knowledge of the award is public, and no objection has been raised in Congress, we can assume that consent is implicitly given.

The racist comments by certain posters here do not deserve a response, but they are sadly indicative of the type of people who oppose President Obama.

Wow, people are amazingly racist. I could swear there's quite a few white people in Appalachia...

Your headline calls it a prize - so he didn't earn it! You call it "his" so he took possession of it? Will he pay tax on this? Will this lower his tax obligation because "he" gave it to charity? So many questions so few answers.

Give him credit for Fisher House - but deduct a couple for Posse Foundation.


The Nobel Prize is given by a private foundation; your reference of the constitution and other laws is thus not applicable because The Nobel Foundation does not fall under "King", "Prince", "foreign State", or "foreign government".

Not to take a side, but the law, when applicable, should govern all Americans; however, the law should not be interpreted as one sees fit (unless you are a judge).

From the book of Matthews, quoting Jesus (NIV version):

> "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

> "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

In other words, when you give to charity publicly, and make a big show, the reward you get is limited to this life. But when you give in secret, the reward you get is in heaven. Its something to consider.

Mind you so-called Christians break this rule all of the time, but i figured this was a pretty prominent example.

There ARE white people in Appalachia! Ignorance is bliss for Obama HATERS!!

@DJ- so you're saying there's no white people in the military? Or in Appalachia? Or in High School?

I'm amazed at the comments this article provoked. It's like a group road rage event. The man gave away the entire $1.4 million. He didn't buy himself a decent sportscar or a ridiculously expensive watch. Michelle didn't get a set of real pearls and a pastel angora twinset. Obama gave the whole bundle to organizations that help the poor and disenfranchised. This IS what America is all about, right? Giving a leg up to anyone less fortunate than the majority, so that they can join the 200 + year old party so that the party continues in perpetuity... I'm dismayed by the number of grumblers and mumblers here. Get over the fact that this man is black and therefore somehow 'inappropriate'. He's like Jackie Robinson, a game-changer, the least stupid and most engaged president since Eisenhower. Of course, I think next time he should kick a little money towards impoverished writers, but other than that he's clearly done the right thing. Shesh!

DJ you need to get your facts right. What you posted is correct if the Nobel Peace Prize was issued by a foreign government but it was not. Therefore, he has the liberty to accept and spend it as he chooses. I'm not an Obama fan, however, if you are going to be critical, make sure the facts are correct.

He is nothing more then a common thief

Aren't we all just a bunch of pocketbook pundits... so snide and so witty. How graceful we all are to pet with one hand and punch with the other. It's a true art indeed.
Nice to know that there are still unreactionary critical thinkers out there who can so effortlessly thwart an issue such as charrity without using more than four or fifteen red herrings to commence flight.

Good for Obama! A well-rounded group of organizations who help people. That's what he's all about!!

DJ -

I'm sorry you didn't pass kindergarten, but how is that President Obama's fault? If you had passed and you knew how to read, you would know that there are plenty of whites in the military and in Appalachia.

Go spread your venom somewhere else - or go back to school and learn how to meaningfully participate in the political dialog.

Some of these comments are pathetic. Only bitter, ridiculous people can find a way to criticize where a person chooses to DONATE.

"Interesting, Obama made sure that none of his donations would help a white person. Strange."

You have got to be kidding me. I guess he should have given some money to the KKK, would THAT have pleased you?

EJHill-- Who gave him a present?? He won an award/prize. Big difference.

I count only 1,350,000 here. Where's the other 50? Obama's income taxes on the award? Why isn't he paying a higher tax rate as a rich person?

Get educated!!
The Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation serves POOR WHITES. The College Summits service whites as does the Fisher House.
Some of you are disgustingly ignorant and total bigots.

Most of the people in the Appalachian region are white (they are sometimes referred to as "hillbillies." Perhaps you should check your facts before making stupid accusations.

According to the Constitution, he is not allowed to keep the money OR THE MEDAL! What happened to the medal? Did you all forget that it is 24K gold and is worth a fortune?


The fact that the UN rigged the nobel prize awards to even give this moron a medal FOR DOING NOTHING is another example of how controlled by propaganda the public's minds have become.

This monkey did absolutely nothing to earn that medal, yet, he has the audacity to accept it and stick a feather in his cap like he just invented the vaccine for AIDS or something! Seriously, I personally know two men who received a Nobel Prize back in the 1980's when it actually meant something to EARN ONE!

This infiltrator of US soil and sovereignty is as arrogant and unappreciative as they come. He does not respect America, our Constitution, our values OR our people. Trust me, he KNEW there would be an uprising if he accepted the money, but he DID accept the 24K gold medal- which is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!!!!



(The medial is 24-kt plated, not solid.)



Hey all you defenders.....I love how you say Obama isn't a warmonger.....funny what a year can do to a Nobel "Peace" Prize winner. The man has dropped millions of dollars worth of bombs on Libya...He needs the Impeach prize.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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