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Obama's 'bizarre' guestbook gaffe

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© Oli Scarff/Getty Images
During his trip to London this week, President Obama signs the Westminster Abbey guestbook, not realizing he's making an indelible mistake.
On a visit to Westminster Abbey Tuesday, the president wrote the date as "2008," prompting snickering speculation that he longs for the good old days

The image: Is President Obama still living in the past? His visit on Tuesday to Westminster Abbey, where he laid a memorial wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, was marked by a "bizarre" gaffe. In signing the Abbey's "distinguished" guestbook, Obama wrote a touching note: "It is a great privilege to commemorate our common heritage and our common sacrifice." Then he dated the entry "24 May 2008." (See the image below.)

The reaction: A White House official suggested the error may have been caused by jet lag," says Jake Tapper at ABC News. But Obama's rally in Dublin the day before sure had a campaign feel. Maybe the president had mentally returned to the "more joyous days of yesteryear." Yes, "it's only natural for a man to revert to thoughts of his glory days when everything around him is falling apart," says Allahpundit at Hot Air. "That's why I've been dating checks '1995' for the past 15 years." Or maybe this was the lingering aftereffect of Obama's visit to a Dublin pub, says Matt Schneider at Mediaite. Perhaps "someone may have slammed a Guinness or two more than they could handle?" Check it out:

Radar

US: Feds threaten to ground Texas airplanes if anti-groping bill becomes law

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© Unknown
A bill that would criminalize TSA agents who conduct airport patdown searches was scuttled last night after the federal government threatened to ground all flights out of Texas.

The proposed law would have levied misdemeanor charges against security agents who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person."

An earlier version of House Bill 1937 would have made such action a felony.

"If [the legislation] passes, the federal government would likely seek an emergency stay of the statute," a letter from the Department of Justice explained (PDF). "Unless or until a such a stay were granted, TSA would likely be required to cancel any flight or series of flights for which it could not ensure the safety of passengers and crew."

Info

P/C Insurers Facing Record Losses from Weather

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Devastating tornadoes, floods, earthquakes overseas and a busier-than-usual hurricane season have U.S. insurance companies bracing for record losses in 2011.

Insurers could suffer as much as $10 billion from weather-related losses in the United States in 2011, which is up from the average of $2 billion to $4 billion, according to EQECAT Inc, which provides disaster and risk models to insurance companies.

MIB

U.S. Refuses to Pay Michigan Insurer for Ferrari Wrecked by FBI Agent

The U.S. Justice Department has refused to pay $750,000 to a Michigan insurance company for a Ferrari that was wrecked in Kentucky while driven by an FBI agent.

In a recent response to a lawsuit in Detroit, the Justice Department insisted it's immune to tort claims when certain goods are in the hands of law enforcement. The government refused to release most documents related to the crash.

The rare Ferrari F50 was stolen in 2003 from a dealer in Rosemont, Pa., and discovered five years later in Kentucky. The FBI kept it in Lexington, Ky., as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Blackbox

Air France flight 447 crash pilot was not in cockpit

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© AP, Reuters
Marc Dubois, an Air France Airbus A330-200
The captain of the doomed Air France flight that plunged into the Atlantic two years ago killing everyone on board, was not at the controls when the plane ran into trouble.

German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel quoted an expert who said Captain Marc Dubois, 58, could be heard on the black box recordings rushing into the cockpit when the plane hit bad weather.

Comment: The reader should ask the same question as the following Flashback article does: What are they hiding? Flight 447 and Tunguska Type Events


Better Earth

Russia Ready to Recognize Palestine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has vowed to throw his weight behind recognition of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

"Every nation needs unity, or the more so the Palestinian people... (who are) striving to create a Palestinian state in accordance with UN resolutions, the Quartet of international mediators (the UN, the EU, Russia, and the US), and the Arab peace initiative," the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov voiced his support in a meeting with representatives of Hamas and Fatah in Moscow. The Palestinians and Russians later issued a joint statement.

Magnify

Copyfight: EFF co-founder enters e-G8 "lion's den," rips into lions

jbarlow
© e-G8
John Barlow
"I just arrived at the Tuileries for the #eG8, already a hoot. Unfounded smugness to rival the World Economic Forum."

John Perry Barlow - EFF co-founder, Grateful Dead lyricist, and, improbably, now a rancher - arrived in Paris and began tweeting up a storm from the e-G8 summit gathered there this week to discuss the future of the Internet.

After listening to French President Nicolas Sarkozy call repeatedly for Internet regulation and more copyright protection, Barlow added, "You'd have thought from Sarkozy's talk he was addressing a convocation of Anonymous and the Pirate Party. He wasn't."

And then it was his turn to take the stage: "I am about to enter the Lion's Den at #eG8."

Attention

Palestinians Slam Netanyahu Claims

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© unknown
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Congress Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Palestinians have slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for refusing to withdraw to borders set before the 1967 Israeli-Arab war as the basis for negotiations.

Addressing the US Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu ruled out a return to what he has repeatedly described as "indefensible" pre-1967 borders.

He also pledged to keep key parts of the occupied West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) -- which is widely regarded as the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Wrapping up his chaotic visit to Washington, the Israeli premier, however, claimed that he was willing to make "painful compromises" and abandon "some" Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Dollar

US: Stocks slip amid worries about Europe

New York - Continued worries about Europe's lingering debt crisis overshadowed a small rebound in oil prices and pushed stocks slightly lower on Tuesday.

Oil rose nearly $2 to $99.59 per barrel after major banks raised their forecasts for crude prices. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley analysts predicted a rise in global demand would drive oil prices higher later this year. Goldman analysts say oil prices could reach $135 a barrel by the end of 2012.

Stocks swung between gains and losses throughout the day, with Chevron Corp. and other energy companies posting the largest gains. Energy companies in the S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent, the most of the ten industry groups in the index.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 12,356.21. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.09 point to 1,316.28. The Nasdaq composite fell 12.74, or 0.5 percent, to 2,746.16.

Heart - Black

Psychopath: Netanyahu says he's open to painful compromises for peace

Washington - In an address to a joint meeting of Congress, Israel's prime minister pledged to make "painful compromises" for peace with the Palestinians, but said he would not agree to any deal that threatens Israel's security or its identity as a Jewish state.


Netanyahu, who received a rapturous reception from lawmakers on both sides of the political divide, said Israel wants and needs peace but repeated his flat rejection of a return to what he called the "indefensible" borders that existed before the 1967 Mideast war. He also restated Israel's refusal to entertain the return of millions of Palestinian refugees and their families to land in Israel. And, he maintained that Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital, could not be divided.

"Israel will never give up its quest for peace," Netanyahu said, adding that he is "willing to make painful compromises to achieve this historic peace."

"Now this is not easy for me. It's not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace we will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland,'' he said, referring to the occupied West Bank.

Comment: History shows that each time such statements are made by Israeli leadership, more Palestinians perish.

See: Pathocracy Disease