Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blasts in Gaza Stoke Tensions Between Factions

This is very bad if the Israelis were involved. The Middle East is on the verge of turning into a giant burning cauldron. No one will escape the horror to come. And the beneficiaries are al Qaeda and their likes.

Hamas police officers in Gaza on Saturday rounded up scores of supporters of Fatah, the rival Palestinian movement, and raided its offices after five Hamas militants and a girl were killed in a bomb blast late Friday, local residents said.

The explosion and the Hamas reaction stoked internal tensions in Gaza to one of their highest levels since the Hamas takeover of the Palestinian territory in June 2007.

Hamas, the Islamic militant organization, blamed the mainstream Fatah for the deadly blast that followed two smaller explosions in Gaza on Friday, issuing a statement accusing the Fatah leadership in the West Bank, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, of concealing “a conspiracy to kill and assassinate and terrorize” Hamas security forces.

Fatah denied involvement; a spokesman for Mr. Abbas suggested the killings were a result of a conflict in Hamas and charged Hamas officials with trying to cover up divisions in their own organization.

In several episodes in the past militants had been killed by their own explosives, but local news media said Friday’s explosion, near a crowded Gaza beach, was caused by a bomb placed outside a car used by Hamas militants. Medical officials said that at least 19 Palestinians were wounded.

The two earlier explosions occurred outside a popular Gaza cafe and near the home of a Hamas official. Local news reports said the cafe bomber, who died in the blast, belonged to a shadowy Islamic extremist group that has been taking aim at places of entertainment and Christian centers in Gaza. It was unclear who was responsible for the second bombing.

After a brief but brutal factional war with Fatah last year, Hamas has consolidated its control over Gaza, priding itself on imposing internal order. It also has negotiated a temporary truce with the Israelis, through Egyptian mediators, that has brought almost total quiet to the area in the past few weeks.

But according to news reports, gun battles broke out between the rival Palestinian groups overnight as Fatah sympathizers tried to resist arrest in the wake of the bombings.

Hamas leaders gathered Saturday at a central mosque where the coffins of those killed in the explosion were brought for prayers before burial, and charged the Fatah leadership with collaboration with Israel — a crime punishable by death in the Palestinian territories.

House Committee Hears The "I-Word"

At least one Democrat in the Congress is doing his duty. While the Democratic leadership plays politics, Dennis Kucinich stands up for the rule of law. Tragically he is essentially all alone.

It was a forum at which the “I-word” was not to be spoken but was anyway.

The House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing to address an impeachment resolution brought against President Bush by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, although members of the committee went to great pains to insist the purpose of the meeting was not to vote to remove Mr. Bush from office.

Instead, the hearing was aimed at the president’s use or misuse of executive powers, with constitutional and legal experts invited to weigh in on whether the American system of check and balances has been undermined by the Executive Branch.

But critics of Mr. Bush's policies couldn't pass up the chance to charge the president with a long list of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Leading the way was Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the former Democratic presidential candidate who has brought repeated impeachment resolutions on the House floor against the president and Vice President Cheney.

"The decision before us is whether to honor our oath as Members of Congress to support and defend the Constitution that has been trampled time and again over the last seven years," Kucinich testified.

Gallup Daily: Obama Retains Lead, 48% to 41%

While Barack Obama's poll numbers (according to have remained consistently in 46% range since the beginning of May 2008, McCain's has been trending downward since early June. This is important because in recent days FOX and friends have been arguing that Barack was on the decline and McCain rising. There is nothing that indicates McCain will ever catchup to Obama. The reality is that the more people learn about the Illinois Senator the more they like him. The only way McCain could win is if Obama is assassinated. Why do I have that nagging fear? There is a small racist element that will do anything to prevent Obama from becoming President. Already, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have expressed their desire that it happen.

Barack Obama has stretched his lead over John McCain among national registered voters to seven percentage points, 48% to 41%, in Gallup Poll Daily tracking conducted July 23-25.

[...]Notably, Obama's current seven-point lead over McCain ties his widest since the start of Gallup Poll Daily tracking of the general election in early March[...]

Scott McClellan: Bush WH Fed FOXNews Talking Points (Video)

Although suspected (particularly Dan Rather's claims) for a long time that FOX is in the pocket of this White House. Now we have the definitive confirmation from former press secretary, Scott McClellan.

Hospital Guards Taser, Stomp 66-year-old Minister over Innocent Joke

This is very frightening. If it happened to this gentleman it could happen to anyone. This story isn't about tasers. He was being kicked and stomped while tasering was happening. It was video that saved the day. I wonder if the individuals involved in this barbaric behavior will be prosecuted?