Bad Deeds for 2-16-2012

Anti-Gay Conservative Radio Talk-Show Host Identified in Hit-and-Run at Houston Gay Bar – Security camera footage from a well-known gay bar has played a key role in a hit-and-run investigation of a former Houston City Councilman, who is now a conservative talk show host, Local 2 Investigates reported on Wednesday. A Houston man reported to police that KTRH talk show host Michael Berry plowed his SUV into another car outside T.C.’s Show Baron Converse near Fairview in the Montrose area about 11 p.m. on January 31st. Tuderia Bennett, of Galena Park, told Houston police that he was working as a bouncer at the front door during a popular cross-dressing ‘drag show’ that was going on inside the club. He watched the crash happen and told police he rushed up to the car after impact and got a good look at Berry behind the wheel. Managers of the bar then turned over security camera video from inside the club to HPD investigators, and they write in an e-mail to Local 2 Investigates that their video confirms that Berry was in their establishment that night. Berry once had to apologize for suggesting that the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York be blown up if it is ever built.

Rick Perry Chooses Super PAC Over Texas Taxpayers – Rick Perry wasted nearly $2.7 million taxpayer dollars on airfare, baggage fees, food and even parking during his failed 160 day Presidential campaign. According to Rick Perry’s latest ethics report, his state PAC has $2.47 million in the bank. That means he could repay 93% of what he owes us today by writing one simple check. But instead of figuring out how to use his leftover campaign money to repay taxpayers, Perry wants to give it all away to an unaccountable Super PAC.

Climate Change Denial Think Tank Wants to Dissuade Teachers From Teaching Science – The Heartland Institute — a self-described “think tank” that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle “Heartland Insider” has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute’s strategies, funds, and much more. Heartland allegedly wants to develope a curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom to sow confusion about climate change. I know, it sounds like I’m making that up, but I’m not. In this document they say:

[Dr. Wojick’s] effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.

Climate Change Denial Think Tank Funded by Koch Brothers – The Heartland Institute 2012 Fundraising Plan attacks the temperature station data of the the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The plan states, “The Charles G. Koch Foundation returned as a Heartland donor in 2011. We expect to ramp up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to the network of philanthropists they work with.” Heartland made its name helping tobacco company Philip Morris question links between secondhand smoke and cancer.

Commercial Banks Spent Record $62 Million on Lobbying in 2012 – Commercial banks spent nearly $62 million last year on lobbying, another record total for an industry that has become one of the most active voices in the political arena. Last year’s lobbying expenditures by the commercial banking industry were up 9 percent from the year before, marking the sixth straight year of increased spending, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The financial sector as a whole spent more than $472 million.

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures – An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday. Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.

Kathleen Engel, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston said: “If there were any lingering doubts about whether the problems with loan documents in foreclosures were isolated, this study puts the question to rest.”

Republicans Refuse to Allow Women at Committee Hearing on Women’s Health Issues – Today, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control converge with five men and no women. As Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, where are the women?

Tell Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, Chairman Issa and all House Republicans to demand that women be brought to the table when discussing women’s health issues. Help us gather 50,000 signatures before Congress heads home tomorrow.

Sign the petition at the link above.




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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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