Friday, February 23, 2007

Judge Seidlin: the worst judge ever? The moron handling the Anna Nicole Smith case in South Florida makes Judge Ito look like Louis Brandeis. Broward judge in Anna Nicole Smith case shoots from the lip: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Art Levine goes up against the chemical industry's top lobbyist -- hear the streaming audio. Industrial Chemicals and Homeland Security — KCRW | 89.9FM

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm is scheduled to be on KCRW radio program talking about my article on Cheney's son-in-law, Phil Perry, and chemical security. See the local listings and times list below:...But it's being taped, so there's no guarantee I will be broadcast. Station List — KCRW | 89.9FM

Also, Salon columnist Joe Conason mentioned my article in his recent column:

But the true scandal of Perry's career in government and law is less about blatant nepotism and more about corporate cronyism.

As the Washington Monthly reveals in its current issue, Perry has spent the past few years at DHS obstructing federal and state regulation of the nation's chemical industry, which still remains vulnerable to a devastating terrorist attack -- and which has paid millions of dollars to Latham & Watkins, the Washington law firm where he has been a partner and lobbyist, earning as much as $700,000 a year. (Having just resigned from Homeland Security last month, Perry could soon return to Latham, thus completing his third circuit through the revolving door.)

Perry's crowning achievement in the months before he quit the federal government is a set of laws and regulations that permit chemical manufacturers to decide whether and how to improve the notoriously lax security at their plants. Last fall, with Perry overseeing the legislative process, Congress passed a feeble bill that was supposed to force reform before a disaster occurs. The hardworking Perry made sure that the bill was rendered even more toothless when he and his staff set up the regulations to enforce it. Those rules include a special provision designed to frustrate vulnerable states such as New Jersey from passing stronger regulations, which will be preempted by the weak federal law.

In an interview with the Washington Monthly, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., furiously excoriated the Bush administration for coddling its corporate friends. "In order to please their cronies in the chemical industry, the Bush administration is willing to put the health and safety of millions of people at risk," he said of Perry's handiwork.

Or as Art Levine himself put it in his article: "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."

Friday, February 09, 2007

Keep up to date on Libby trial. Check out the links in the "updates" section in this posting about investigative reporter Murray Waas, who lectured on the Libby trial and administration cover-ups at a "Drinking Liberally" progressive social group Thursday. DCDL

Cheney Family to U.S.: Drop Dead How Dick Cheney's behind-the-scenes son-in-law, Phil Perry, made you vulnerable to chemical terrorism. The Blog | Art Levine: Dick Cheney's Dangerous Son-in-Law | The Huffington Post

Catch jazz virtuoso Eric Lewis live on YouTube. The former lead pianist for Wynton Marsalis and Cassandra Wilson tears up the keyboards in his blazing live performances, and you can catch a sample with this video. YouTube - Pianist Eric Lewis

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