In the fast emerging banana republic that is the US of A, apparently, and this was news to me, the vice president’s son-in-law wields a lot of power! I am laughing very hard at the cronyism while I remain concerned about the effects. But, remember Americans, democracy begins at home! While you’re busy lecturing, and invading other countries to “spread democracy”, your vice president’s family acts as if their “descended from god” line to the throne gives them divine right to rule by fiat.

Dick Cheney’s Dangerous Son-In-Law – Art Levine

To understand the workings of Philip Perry is to get a sense of the true lines of power in the executive branch. “Perry is an éminence grise,” says one congressional staffer. “He’s been pretty good at getting his fingerprints off of anything, but everyone in this field knows he’s the one directing it. He is very good at the stealth move.” And, as it turns out, Perry’s stealth moves have often benefited opponents of chemical regulation. One of his final pieces of handiwork included coming up with what critics have called an “industry wish list” on chemical security that ultimately became law last fall. “Every time the industry has gotten in trouble,” says the staffer, “they’ve gone running to Phil Perry.” The result has been that our chemical sites remain, even five years after 9/11, stubbornly vulnerable to attack. Philip Perry has hardly been alone in tolerating this. Others in the White House and Congress have been equally solicitous toward the chemical industry. But as part of a network of Cheney loyalists in the executive branch, Perry has been a key player in the struggle to prevent the federal government from assuming any serious regulatory role in business, no matter what the cost. And a successful attack on a chemical facility could make such a cost high indeed. A flippant critic might say the father-in-law has been prosecuting a war that creates more terrorists abroad, while the son-in-law has been working to ensure they’ll have easy targets at home. But it’s more precise to say that White House officials really, really don’t want to alienate the chemical industry, and Perry has been really, really willing to help them not do it.

Nice work. The alternative that the EPA wants to pursue is called inherently safer technologies, or IST. Read the whole article to follow all the behind the scene machinations. Next time a pesticide plant blows up in N.J releasing tons of chlorine, you can bet that none of the people involved in these maneuvers will be anywhere near the fallout!