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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Congressman John Kline on Court Stripping

Ken Avidor and I went to cover the Republican Leadership Conference at the Bloomington today. Congressman Kline spoke at the event. As Kline was leaving, I took the opportunity to ask him about his co-sponsorship of the courtstripping bill on DOMA. I asked him whether he was familiar with Marbury v Madison and whether that case was wrongly decided. Kline was not familiar with Marbury v Madison. I said "and you are a congressman?" I followed up with a question about why Kline signed on to a DOMA only court stripping, rather than a broader court stripping bill. The video shows Kline's response.

The critical importance of Marbury is the assumption of several powers by the Supreme Court. One was the authority to declare acts of Congress, and by implication acts of the president, unconstitutional if they exceeded the powers granted by the Constitution. But even more important, the Court became the arbiter of the Constitution, the final authority on what the document meant. As such, the Supreme Court became in fact as well as in theory an equal partner in government, and it has played that role ever since.

The Court would not declare another act of Congress unconstitutional until 1857, and it has used that power sparingly. But through its role as arbiter of the Constitution, it has, especially in the twentieth century, been the chief agency for the expansion of individual rights. (See Part V.)

For further reading: George L. Haskins and Herbert A. Johnson, Foundations of Power: John Marshall, 1801-1815 (1981); Donald O. Dewey, Marshall v. Jefferson: The Political Background of Marbury v. Madison (1970).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Flock o' Dodos

I went to see Flock of Dodos last night at the Bell Museum. PZ Myers and Greg Laden have good accounts of the event. Scott Lanyon, director of the Bell Museum, and Evolution Professor introduced the film.

It would be nice if this film would get more showings. I'd like to see it have a week or two at the Lagoon. Most of the people in the audience were people who were already familiar with the issue.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

In the Mood for Neutrinos?

American Astromonical Association Meeting Podcasts are available.

HIV's Kitzmiller v Dover

Tara at Aetiology explains.

On Valentines Day Tara posted some vintage posters raising awareness of the other VD, venerial disease.

Anti-gay Remarks from Former NBA Player

AP story in Strib:

The NBA banished Tim Hardaway from All-Star weekend in Las Vegas because of his anti-gay remarks.

Hardaway, who played in five All-Star games during the 1990s, was already in Las Vegas and scheduled to make a series of public appearances this week on behalf of the league. But after he said, "I hate gay people" during a radio interview, Commissioner David Stern stepped in.

"We removed him from representing us because we didn't think his comments were consistent with having anything to do with us," Stern told reporters Thursday.


On a Miami radio show Wednesday, Hardaway was asked how he would interact with a gay teammate.

"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team," the former Miami Heat star said. "And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room."

When show host Dan Le Batard told Hardaway those comments were "flatly homophobic" and "bigotry," the player continued.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

Hardaway also said if he did find out that a teammate was gay, he would ask for the player to be removed from the team.

Alan Hooker, who serves on the Minneapolis Library board sent me a copy of an email he sent to the Today Show about the unprofessional behavior of their hosts.

Dear Friends,

Please forgive this intrusion and my soapbox moment.

I am forwarding a copy of an email I have sent to the producers of The Today Show. For those who may have seen the program this morning (Feb. 15), you may have witnessed the report on a former NBA basketball star's remarks about gays. I found the remarks to be horrific, but the Today Show's casts reaction to the story was equally so.

For those who may have seen it (or review it online) and feel as I do, I encourage you to contact NBC and let your views be known.

Best wishes,

Alan Hooker

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alan Hooker
Date: Feb 15, 2007 11:01 AM
Subject: inappropriate laughter

As a long time daily viewer of the Today Show (20+ years), I must express my dismay and disappointment at the reaction of Ann Curry and Al Roker, and to a lesser extent Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, to a story reported by Ms. Curry during the 7:00 a.m. hour. The story regarding the anti-gay remarks by former Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway. Upon completion of reading the story, Ms. Curry broken into uncontrollable laughter on-air, blaming it on not just the story's content but the fact that Mr. Roker had initiated the laughter on the set. At this point, the show's other principals joined in with Mr. Roker mugging and joking.

As an openly gay man, I was horrified at this unprofessional display. Although Ms. Curry tried to excuse her reaction as one of such shock to the story that laughter was a normal reaction, I can tell you I found nothing funny in the least. The statements of Mr. Hardway that had been displayed on screen and read by Ms. Curry were shockingly offensive. Whether intentional or not, Ms. Curry's behavior and those of her colleagues made light of the repugnant remarks of an acknowledged homophobe. I dare hope that had such outrageously bigoted comments been reported in a story involving race, gender, ethnicity or religion, laughter would not ensue.

Homophobia and hatred are not laughing matters.

Alan Hooker
Minneapolis, MN

Senators Hagel and Snowe Continue to Push for a Real Iraq Debate

In a letter dated 2/14/07, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) made the following request to caucus leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell:

Nearly one month ago, we joined two Democratic colleagues in introducing a resolution expressing the Senate's disapproval of the President's plan to increase the US troop increase in Iraq. We subsequently joined forces with another bipartisan group of senators, led by Senator Warner, in introducing a second resolution disapproving of this 'troop surge' strategy. In both instances we worked across the aisle, putting partisanship aside in the interest of the nation. Our resolve stems both from our strong support for our troops in the field and our strong belief that deepening the US military involvement Iraq will not help solve the fundamental issues of the sectarian violence now engulfing Iraq. We believe the strategy is wrong, and that the Senate has a constitutional and moral obligation to make its views known.

Despite the fact that a clear majority of the Senate opposes this troop increase, senators have been able unable to voice their opinions on this matter because Senate leadership has failed to bring the Warner resolution (S. Con Res. 7) to a vote in a manner that satisfactorily accomodates both majority and minority viewpoints on the conduct of the war. This runs counter to the traditions and practices of the Senate. Given that additional US troops have already deployed to Baghdad and have already begun security operations, we believe time is of the essence, and that it is unconscionable for the Senate to recess at the end of this week without an agreement to debate the war in Iraq.

We understand you have resumed discussions to reach a mutually agreeable solution to bring the Warner resolution to a vote. We sincerely hope you succeed in these efforts, and we stand ready to work with you and your staffs to bring this matter to a swift resolution. Until such an agreement is reached, however, we hereby notify you of our intent to object to the adoption of any adjournment resolution for Presidents' Day recess, and further request a roll call vote on any motion to adjourn that may be made.

I say, good for them. Its infuriating for the leadership to duck and hide behind parliamentary maneuvers, when the 06 election results signaled a change in course is requested.

Everybody in the Senate should be ready and willing to go on record with roll call votes on any and all Iraq resolutions. As Senator Hagel said a few weeks ago to his colleagues, 'why are you here'?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fringe Anti-Gay "Pastor" Send Nastygrams to Gay Bloggers

"Pastor" Billy Ball regularly protests Gay Pride events and bookstores in the Atlanta area. He and his cult following were arrested for this. He's got an account of the arrest here. Now he's sending nastygrams to gay bloggers. The latest is to Pam Spaulding. You have to go to the links to view the nastygrams. I highly recommend viewing them for entertainment value.

You can listen to a podcast interview with "Pastor" Billy Ball here. After Elton reported on Ball's antics at the gay bookstore, and quoted from the interview:

Rusty Tanton, a Mostly ITP show host with the Georgia Podcast Network, interviewed Ball during the Atlanta Pride festival.

"We're out here preaching the gospel and warning the sodomites that are part of this gathering that if they don't repent they are going to hell," Ball told Tanton. "We have an objection to [homosexuality] because God has an exception to it. It's an abomination in the sight of God. It's the most accepted tolerated sin in America right now, I think, besides abortion, and the church is way too quiet about it.

"We came out here because we love these people enough to warn them and rebuke them," Ball added. "The word of God clearly spells out that sodomy, man with man, woman with woman, is an abomination before God."

Yada, yada, yada.... It looks like his church is another one of those storefront "unaffiliated" deals. Like Mac Hammond, he probably has no divinity degree.

I have written "Pastor" Ball to request an interview.

Developing. . .

The Stadium Swindle Soap Opera: the Saga Continues

Good LTEs in the City Pages:

Flushed by a Female Deity(#)

If the screw-ups of the various parties to the Twins' proposed new stadium ("Squeeze Play," 2/7) cause the project to go down the drain, I will know there is a god and that she is benevolent.

Willard B. Shapira

Bad Ol' Boys(#)

Their kowtowing to the Twins is old news by now, though we only last month began paying for the stadium our boy commissioners gave Pohlad and company ("Squeeze Play"). So maybe it is timely to wonder if any of those four commissioners have ever seen Hennepin County's five fundamental goals, as provided by outgoing Administrator Sandy Vargas ("Blotter: 3Q," 1/31): create the highest levels of citizen health, support people on paths to self-reliance, ensure the safety of vulnerable children and adults, ensure due process in the county's justice system, and provide mobility for county residents. I can't see funding a stadium to benefit a billionaire team owner within any of them, frankly. With my lack of creativity, clearly I am not commissioner material.

And just one page later, in the story on the Minnesota Department of Corrections dumping short-term convicts onto local jail systems ("Inmate, Inmate, Who's Got the Inmate," 1/31), we have Commissioner Peter McLaughlin complaining that the state is "balancing the budget on the backs of the county." While that has been shown to be manifestly true, he is hardly the most credible source to quote. Or maybe he is: The man obviously has experience shifting costs onto those less able to pay, who do not stand to gain. On the plus side, at least Beth Hawkins did not quote master negotiator Mike ("Anything You Want") Opat.

Thanks for consistently uncovering some of the actions taken by our elected officials in our name.

Robert Frame

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

MFC More Useful than Outfront for Tracking Bills

Domestic Partnership bill being tracked by the MFC here.

The MFC claims:

Pawlenty expressed disappointment in the failure to pass a marriage amendment in the 2006 legislative session. The Governor, a supporter of traditional marriage, spoke at MFC's "Stand for Marriage Rally" and issued proclamations supporting traditional marriage. During the question and answer session, Pawlenty assured the guests that he would veto any legislation that would legalize civil unions or allow municipalities to extend Domestic Partnership benefits to same-sex couples.

Photos of the 2004 Pawlenty of Bigotry rally are available here. Photos and report were by Bert Schlauch.

Death Penalty for Homosexuals

The question is what was the difference between the signs carried at the Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps protests at military funerals, and the signs carried at the so-called "traditional marriage" rallies.

Keystone Cops: Hennepin County Style

The Soap Opera continues. Mark H points out the revenue raising predictions from the stadium tax. The Strib covers the finger pointing between the Land owners and Hennepin County. From the article:

"We had no expectation that the willing sellers were going to be so unwilling, that the champions of Twinsville would now be lawyered up," Opat said.

Pogin, in an interview on Monday, revealed more details of the complicated limited partnership whose membership is not considered public by law. Pogin said he and Lambrecht own no more than 20 percent of the partnership, which has owned the property for 20 years, and said many of the investors are now "in their 60s, 70s and 80s." In a letter to the partnership's investors in January, Pogin said the county was in effect telling the landowners that "if you don't [accept our offer], we will throw a fit and blame our problems on you."

Despite concerns over how his personal ties to Lambrecht might be viewed, Stenglein said he proposed that he and Opat meet personally with Lambrecht. But Opat said he rejected the idea. Lambrecht, who is well-connected in the state's Republican Party, served as a top adviser when Stenglein ran for mayor of Minneapolis in 2001. (He was unsuccessful.)

"It's no secret that Lambrecht's a friend of mine," said Stenglein.

Heading off critics

Reacting to criticism from taxpayers that the county did not move quickly enough to reach a land sale, Opat said the county had to first hold public hearings in August and then take a final vote on authorizing the 0.15 percent sales tax. Then, he said, more time was need to conduct environmental reviews of the property and hire an outside appraiser.

The landowners have also moved aggressively to counter complaints that their actions are threatening to scuttle the Twins stadium. In a rare public rebuke, Downtown Council president Sam Grabarski said this month that the landowners wanted more than $40 million for land "that isn't worth $20 million."

Pogin said the landowners had a better offer three years ago under a 2004 option agreement with the city of Minneapolis. In that agreement, which has since expired, the property owners would sell the 8 acres for $12.95 million and receive as much as 5 acres nearby as additional compensation from the city. Now, he said, the county was offering $13.35 million for the 8 acres and has left out the other acreage.

Opat said the additional property is needed for the stadium and is no longer available.

Daniel Rosen, an attorney for the landowners, added that despite the stadium's approval at the Legislature seven months earlier, county officials did not hold their first formal negotiating session with the property owners until Jan. 8. Pogin said the county and the team then tried to pressure them into a quick sale, at one point giving the landowners "two to three hours" to accept an offer.

Opat said the property owners created delays throughout the fall by making it confusing as to who represented them. Although the land has a taxable value of less than $9 million, Opat said the property owners raised the price, indicating to him that even $50 million "isn't going to do it."

All of the uncertainty has left the ballpark, and its projected 2010 opening, in doubt. For the time being, the county has slowed its attempt to acquire the property through condemnation in hopes that the landowners will agree to an out-of-court sale that will be cheaper than what a court might decide. After the county's decision last week to consider alternative sites, the team canceled plans to unveil a detailed stadium design that was scheduled for Thursday.

The Lambrecht-Stenglein-Pawlenty-McClung connection sticks.

Bill Donahue: Redux

From the comments in response to my post about Bill Donahue the Rape Apologist.

Kathy said...

Mr. Donohue needs to remember the scripture about taking the log out of his own eye before he worries about the speck in his neighbor's. It's almost comical to listen to him accuse someone else of bigotry.

Birmingham Blues

6:39 AM
Michigan-Matt said...

This is such a silly non-story. I think you do your blog readers a great disservice with a Catholic bashing post like this... maybe you should reflect a little longer than your anger lasts when making your next post.

Silly non-story. With all respect, you can do a whole lot better.


10:34 AM

It's not Catholic bashing to be critical of Bill Donahue. Donahue claims to represent Catholics, but mainstream catholics tend to be offended by him.

Hennepin County Twins Tax Could Buy 1 Cop Every 24 Hours

From the Star Tribune

Ballpark money is rolling in

State revenue forecasts show the 0.15 percent countywide sales tax in Hennepin County, which began Jan. 1, will produce increasing amounts to help pay for a new Minnesota Twins stadium.

A sampling of estimates for the first five years:

2007: $27.85 million, or $76,300 per day

2008: $28.63 million

2009: $29.66 million

2010: $30.8 million

2011: $31.49 million

Source: Minnesota Department of Revenue

$76,300 per day....

That would pay the annual salary for one police officer, wouldn't it?

It would probably pay for 1.5 public school teachers.

Collect that tax for 3 days, and you'd be ready to buy somebody a home somewhere.

But no, let's give it all to the Pohlad family so that grown men playing a child's game can earn more money.

Jim Davnie Introducing DP Benefits Bill in House

From the Deets:

Domestic Partner Benefits

Readers may remember that for a short period of time the city of Minneapolis offered equal employment benefits to gay and lesbian employees. This practice ended when a lawsuit successfully argued that state law did not allow the City to offer benefits to domestic partners.

Currently over 300 Minnesota companies offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. Next week I will be introducing legislation that reinstates the basic principle of home rule and recognizes the right of local units of government, and locally elected public officials to determine the policies that work best in their own areas of the state. Whether or not to offer domestic partner benefits should be the decision of each local unit of government and not subject to interference from state government.

I've heard that both Ron Erhardt and Neil Peterson are co-sponsoring this bill. It will be interesting to see if the governor will veto the bill. In my opinion, a veto would make the governor seem extreme.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hammondgate: The Soap Opera Continues

Mark H comments on Mac Hammond's efforts to justify his flock fleecing:

I refuse to believe that any of this 'pastor' Mac story has anything to do with Christianity. He has a perverse, twisted reading of the Bible that celebrates greed and personal gain. It turns my stomach.

And let's remember - there is no seminary degree on his resume. Nor did any denomination ever ordain him.

It's like Harold Hill selling band instruments in River City.

If you missed Hammond responding to the allegations, you can watch the service at Living Word Christian Center on their site here.

Bill Donahue: Rape Apologist

Bill Donahue has been out there attacking a liberal blogger who worked for John Edwards campaign for posting "anti-catholic" things on her blog. Donahue has his own record of over the top statements. When Deal Hudson, Bush's "Catholic Outreach adviser" was exposed as someone who had gotten a freshman female student drunk, and sexually assaulted her (those heteros, what will they do next), Donahue put out a press release defending Hudson:

Effective today, the Catholic League has a new requirement for all future employees: all candidates must show proof of being immaculately conceived, that is, they must demonstrate that they were conceived without sin.

'We fully understand that we have raised the bar very high, but in light of the revelation that the National Catholic Reporter decided to expose a sexual harassment charge against Deal Hudson­ - one that was made almost a decade ago by a drunken female he met in a bar ­we at the Catholic League are not prepared to take any chances. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make our new requisite retroactive, for to do so would mean the Catholic League would have to shut down. You see, unlike the puritans at the NCR, we at the Catholic League are sinners.

I'm not sure why anyone pays any attention to Bill Donahue. He's perfectly fine with Deal Hudson's history of abusing his position of authority at Fordham to sexually harrass students, but have problems with something someone writes on a blog.

Here are some words of wisdom by Donahue. He's rather obsessed with gays:

After all, 15-year-olds, they go to abortionists. They get their babies killed without parental consent. The new Puritans [those criticizing The Passion of the Christ] don't seem to worry about that. They like gay sex. They like [the film] The Dreamers, a brother and sister who bathe together and stuff like that. The same people in The New York Times who say this movie, I don't think it's not really right for kids, they have no problems when it comes to sodomy. It's smoking they don't like and Catholicism. [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 2/25/04]

Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style. There are certain things that the left won't tolerate. They are censorial at heart. Indeed, the signature appetite of the left has always been power. Now, they are running up against the American people. [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 2/27/04]

Well, first they said it [The Passion of the Christ] was anti-Semitic. That didn't work. Then they said it was too violent. That didn't work. Then they said it was S & M. That didn't work. Then they said it was pornography. That didn't work. Now they're saying it's fascistic queer-bashing. That kind of language would ordinarily get somebody taken away in a straitjacket and -- put you in the asylum. I don't know what about -- the queer-bashing is all about. I'm pretty good about picking out who queers are and I didn't see any in the movie. I'm usually pretty good at that. [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 3/12/04]

We've already won. Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay? And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost. [MSNBC, Scarborough Country, 12/8/04]

Charming isn't he? Mainstream catholics tend to be appalled by him. Try calling Archbishop Harry Flynn to get a comment about the Catholic League. I doubt the comment would be favorable.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More Press on the Stadium Boondoggle

Legislators not looking favorably on another bill (St Paul Pioneer Press):

Since the Twins have committed $130 million already for the project, to supplement the public money collected through a Hennepin County sales tax, Bell said he doubted the team would offer to pay more to help secure the land.

"Not much, anyway," he said. "But we haven't ruled anything out."

County Commissioner Randy Johnson said he figures there is now less than a 50-50 chance that the ballpark will be built on the current site.

He said there are several other sites that could work — including spots in the suburbs or near the Metrodome. He declined to be more specific.

For now, the county will delay its scheduled Feb. 27 votes on major issues involving the ballpark's land acquisition, a development agreement with the Twins, and approval of contracts with the architect and the builder, Opat said.

State lawmakers said Friday it's questionable whether the Twins would get a good reception at the Capitol if they were to come back with a different ballpark proposal.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said the public wants the Legislature to spend its time on other issues, such as the state budget and health care, instead of revisiting the ballpark issue.

"It's important for all the parties to sit down and get the work done,'' Kelliher said.

The assistant majority leader of the Minnesota Senate said the apparent stalemate might simply reflect differences that commonly occur during real estate deals. "There are always snags,'' said Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, adding that the parties' public postures may not reflect what's being said privately.

The most important thing, she said, is for the project to remain on schedule.

But that would mean workers would break ground on the project next month.

"Not likely," Opat said.

Sid Hartman isn't happy.

No doubt Hines is gambling that the Pohlads, who own the Twins, are so eager to get that ballpark built that they will pay what the owners are demanding -- reportedly in excess of $50 million -- and not the $13.5 million at which it has been appraised.

I'm told that this will not happen. The Pohlads have agreed to contribute $100 million to the entire project. That is the limit.

Had the new Guthrie Theater been built where it should have been, adjacent to the Shubert Theater on Hennepin Avenue, the choice site on the river for the ballpark would have been available.

So the stadium problem that looked like it was two-thirds settled when the Legislature voted to back projects for the Gophers and Twins last year remains unsolved.

The Gophers are making progress. But they haven't dug a hole yet. And when former Vikings owner Red McCombs withdrew as a partner with the university, one of his reasons was that the site on the campus was so polluted that it would cost millions more to build there.

Meanwhile, the promise of Gov. Tim Pawlenty that a Vikings stadium would be discussed and voted on in the 2007 session is not happening.

I have a feeling that Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and his family, who guaranteed they would never move the team, are having second thoughts now that the great governor has gone back on his promises. Don't forget that the lease on the Metrodome runs out in 2011.

Governor Tim Pawlenty of Tax Increases supported the Twins Stadium tax because it fell on Minneapolis residents - most of whom voted against him.

Nick Coleman has a good column on the topic.

Let's look at the replay: The Minnesota Twins, abetted by a few schemers in elective office, managed last year to pass a $522-million stadium plan in the Legislature. They succeeded, after years of utter failure, because they hit on two brilliant new tactics:

1) Unveiling the plan just days before the county initially approved it, shortening the chances for opposition to be mounted in a timely fashion; and 2) Shifting the entire tax burden onto the citizens of one county (Hennepin), thus making it easy for all legislators not from that county to shrug their shoulders and vote yes.

Voila! New ballpark to open in 2010!

Or maybe not.

What was forgotten in the rush that put the cart before the horse was an effort to agree on the cost of acquiring the land from owners who now find themselves sitting pretty: New stadium's coming, Momma! And they need our corn fields!


So now there is an impasse between the contractors and corn farmers over how much the cornfields (parking lots, actually) are worth.

Ballpark booster, Shane Nakeru isn't happy.

Hammondgate Redux

Comments on Hammondgate:

rs said...

Why do people blindly believe everything they read? I am one of those parishiners [sic] who showed up to the church service. Yes, I did have questions, but having seen Pastor Hammond's integrity over the years, assumed the best of him, and not the worst. I was glad I did. He addressed every issue and really brought to light many areas that were misunderstood or just plain false. How would you like it if accusations were thrown your way very publically, and everyone just believed them, hook, line and sinker? You owe it to yourself to find out the truth. Things aren't always as they seem...

9:22 PM
lloydletta said...

He did not tell you his salary. He didn't address the total compensation of all his family members who are on the payroll.

9:25 AM
noanalyst said...

I just listened to his service and his rebuttal. I pity the lost souls who continue to tithe and pour their hard earned money into a church in which the minister can be so unashamedly blatant on his penchant for nice clothes, nice cars, nice homes and even airplanes. If this is not deception, I do not know what deception is. Thank you Mac Hammond for broadcasting this service. It is a perfect teaching tool for my children. For those who still attend the church, open your bible and learn about Jesus Christ. He stood for none of these things.

The Strib never could resist a chance a taking a shot at Christians. This isn't surprizing. 02.10.07 - 6:09 pm | #

Dareto - what do you think of Pastor's who raid the collection plate to enrich themselves?
Eva Young 02.10.07 - 6:37 pm | #

A shot at Christians?

It's a shot at a guy who may have used the donations of his flock to buy a fleet of toys.

I hope to God the IRS beats the flock out of Mac.
Doug 02.10.07 - 10:27 pm | #

Well said Doug.

They beat the flock out of Ted Haggard. He crashed and burned his leadership role in a 45,000 member church association, 31 MILLION evangelicals. They fired him in less than 24 hours and then they "cured" him in only 3 weeks (and Ted had multiple issues) and told him to go look for Secular work!

Justice in a homophobic kind of way... but I'll take it. Do I hear an amen?
Oh, and let's not forget Michele Bachmann and Ted Haggard are both Oral Roberts University alums.
BornAgainLurker 02.10.07 - 11:04 pm | #

it is 2 !! citation jets worth over $6 million each when new. one was recently sold to buy a $30 million Falcon 900 for mac hammond's use. (living word purchase of course) The 30 million plane, (the Falcon) was ordered once but it was too big for his current million dollar hangar the church bought him. He had to cancel that order, so he went out and fournd a bigger hangar worth over 2 million that is large enough to house an airliner, (bit excessive?) but that deal was not popular at the airport at all due to the fact the county stood to loose all the annual tax revenue the facility is worth. (remember we're talking no taxes, church of course!) The dicussion over this tiny stunt plane (Extra 300 model) is peanuts and insignificant compared to what he has in store for purchases. you could own 50 of those for one of the jets! and he has a hangar large enough to store them. The hangar is one of the largest on the airport and usually the extra space is rented or leased out to help offset monthly cost. Especially when it is as elaborate as the one he owns. Heated floor, large office suites, huge shop area, on and on. but in Hammonds case he will not permit any other entity(s) near this facility and he had no plans to sell the large hangar for the even larger one once he bought it
patsy 02.10.07 - 11:15 pm | #

I believe it was the money changers that Jesus threw out of the temple was it not?

Not the priests, not the scribes, not even the Romans who would soon kill was THE MONEY CHANGERS!
Alice3 02.11.07 - 12:04 am | #

Thank you Sisters Patsy and Alice3!


Get Saved Sinners!

Bachmann and Pastor Mac are WINNERS!
BornAgainLurker 02.11.07 - 12:47 am | #

"a shot at Christians"???

mac is closer to being the anti-christ than anything else. it's these corrupt "evangelicals" that are ruining true Christianity for the rest of the faithful.
Anonymous 02.11.07 - 8:08 am | #

You know the really sick and twisted part of this story is that when Hammonds congragation hears all of the details of the jets and the toys that Hammond collects, the majority are not going to get pissed. They're going to want to follow in the ways of Hammond, not Jesus. These people really believe that what you give will come back to you ten fold. The more you give, the more you'll receive and if you don't receive it in cashg right away, you'll receive it in heaven. This is exactly what the money changers were doing in the temple - selling salvation and a place in heaven.

Jesus said that to follow him, you had to give away all of your wealth - to the poor. Mac teaches that to follow Jesus, you have to give to the church which apparently means you give it to Mac so Mac can buy Jets. This isn't anything new to Christianity though. This goes back to the first charlitan of the Christiam movement, Paul.

If Jesus were alive today, he'd kick Hammonds ass.
Doug 02.11.07 - 10:07 am | #

"Christianity hasn't failed, it has just never been tried". GK Chesterton

The question is whether the flock will allow themselves to be fleeced, or will insist on more oversight. Developing. . .

Deadbeat Rep. Brad Finstad's Hubrous

This is hubrous. Brad Finstad issues a press release condemning silly bills in the legisature. Finstad is the last person to talk. Finstad introduced one of the silliest bills last session - the Stadium boondoggle bill - that has now unravelled seriously in Hennepin County.

Brad Finstad is a a hypocrite and a deadbeat - he wants to charge the Hennepin County credit card for something he wants - the Twins stadium.

There's some comments on Finstad over at the Drama Queen's site.

One commenter, "Dump Eva" didn't like my point:

There has been intense, extensive and bi-partisan debate on stadium bills for years Eva. Good hearted legislators from both sides of the isle have come to a variety of different conclusions on different stadium proposals for years.

I happen to agree that this particular deal should have required a vote of the residents, but the level of debate alone is a strong indication that you can hardly call that bill "silly." It was a serious proposal that we can and do come to different conclusions on.

Mike Grimes brought things back to topic:

Finstad likes to raise taxes, and he's a Republican, he's the worst of the worst and he has the gall to talk about dumb legislation? He's the author of the dumbest legislation in a long time. It's bad enough he mandated the Twins stadium be put on land that doesn't have room for a baseball stadium, or say maybe a river in the background that would justify such a patheticly inadaquat site, but he didn't even make sure the land was aquired beforehand. Thats like crafting legislation requiring the Twins to keep Joe Mauer for the next 10 years and then assuming he would simply sign for market value.

Mac Hammond's Message

He tried to justify everything that was alleged. He alluded, but didn't call the stunt plane for what it was. He also didn't let people know what his salary was.

He also addressed this - and contradicted the church spokesman:

The complaint just filed with the IRS alleges that the church made eight loans worth $1.9 million at favorable rates to Hammond. It also contends that he bought a plane from the church, partly on credit, and then leased it to the church for twice the amount he paid the church to buy it.

The church's associate pastor, Marc Redman, said the accusations are false. "Living Word and those outside professionals involved in the conduct of our financial affairs remain confident any fair review of our dealings will reveal the validity of our effort to consistently be an accountable and honest ministry before God, our congregation and our community," Redman said.

During his sermon today, Hammond acknowledged this allegation was true. He defended it, saying if the church owned the plane, they couldn't write off depreciation, but he could on his personal income tax.

You can order a DVD of this service for free: Call 763-315-7200 and say it's for the 2/11/07 service on DVD.