Friday, November 03, 2006

Updated: 07:40 AM EST

Well, we've seen this pattern before. Maybe he can call Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Baker for guidance.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 3) - The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, has given up his post while a church panel investigates allegations he paid a man for sex.

The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as president of the 30 million-member association Thursday after being accused of paying the man for monthly trysts over the past three years.

Haggard, a married father of five, denied the allegations, but also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church pending an investigation.

"I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," he said in a statement. "I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance."

Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church and the pastor's niece, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. The board has the authority to discipline Haggard, including removing him from ministry work.

The acting senior pastor at New Life, Ross Parsley, told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs that Haggard admitted that some of the accusations were true.
"I just know that there has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed but there is an admission of some guilt," Parsley told the station.

He did not elaborate, and a telephone number for Parsley could not be found late Thursday.

The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

The allegations stunned church members.

"It's political, right before the elections," said Brian Boals, a New Life member for 17 years.

Church member E.J. Cox, 25, called the claims "ridiculous."

"People are always saying stuff about Pastor Ted," she said. "You just sort of blow it off. He's just like anyone else in the public eye."

The accusations were made by Mike Jones, 49, of Denver, who said he decided to go public because of the political fight over the amendments.

"I just want people to step back and take a look and say, 'Look, we're all sinners, we all have faults, but if two people want to get married, just let them, and let them have a happy life,'" said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, who said he is gay, said he was also upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," he said.

Jones claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. He said he advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and was contacted by a man who called himself Art, who snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard and that the two last had sex in August.

He said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash. He declined to make the voice mails available to the AP, but KUSA-TV reported what it said were excerpts late Thursday that referred to methamphetamine.

"Hi Mike, this is Art," one call began, according to the station. "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."

A second message, left a few hours later, began: "Hi Mike, this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you. But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great. And I'll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever."

Haggard, 50, was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ABC memo reveals Air America advertiser blacklist

I guess Wal-Mart needs company on the list of places I won't be patronizing...

An internal ABC Radio Networks memo obtained by Media Matters for America, originally from a listener to The Peter B. Collins Show, indicates that nearly 100 ABC advertisers insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates. According to the memo, the advertisers insist that "NONE of their commercials air during AIR AMERICA programming." Among the advertisers listed are Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, General Electric, McDonald's, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Navy.

Cautiously Optimistic....

Experts are cautiously optimistic that we can perhaps put a spoke in the wheels of the bicycle ride know as the Bush presidency next week.....

WITH ONE WEEK TO GO, we are now calculating projections based on the average of the last three polls, a system that has worked well enough that at least two other polling operations have lifted it. In 2000, we were 3 points off in the national race and 4 points off in the state races. In 2004 we missed the national results by one point. Please note that we are listing Connecticut as uncertain given doubts as to how Joseph Lieberman would vote if, as is quite possible, he were to have the swing ballot on organizing the Senate.

The press isn't talking about this, but the Democratic gains are the first big turnaround in Congress since the disastrous 1994 elections in Clinton's first term. In other words, they are starting to recover from the Clinton years.

HOUSE - We project a gain of between 25 and 35 seats in the House, 10 to 20 more than needed for a majority.

SENATE - In the best case, the Democrat might take control of the Senate. They only lead in four new seats now with one of their own in doubt. If everything works out, they would still need defector Joseph Lieberman to vote for the Democrats in organizing the Senate. He says he will, but he has betrayed the Democrats once, running as an independent after losing the primary.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And you thought the military commissions act was bad!

Looks like Congress has passed over to King George the authority to start using the military here at home in case he gets tired of using it abroad.

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law
Frank Morales

October 26, 2006

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."