Tuesday, October 27, 2009

March of the Czars

I wanted to address one other pet peeve of mine that seemingly gets little attention in the media. President Obama has appointed an enormous amount of “czars” to certain important posts with most of them being accountable only to him. Now Obama lawfully can set up his own administration and fill his cabinet with his choice of people that he chooses to appoint. Why he thinks it is necessary to have these extra-Constitutional czars to head up pet projects for him rather than have his own cabinet administer to these functions is beyond me.

Granted, other presidents have also used this tactic, as denoted by asterisks below, but none have ever come close to the level of abuse of this unconstitutional practice like President Obama has.

Many of these czars seem to head areas that overlap existing cabinet positions, so the whole practice seems counter-productive and inefficient to me, not that I expect efficiency and common sense from our federal government nowadays anyway. What is the purpose of these czars though? Is it so Obama can have these unaccountable people enact his agenda through back-channel means without having to deal with the hassles of congressional oversight? One wonders…

Through various means I count 33 czars in the Obama administration, based on media reports from reputable sources that have identified the official in question as a czar. In addition, President Obama has said that he will create the position of cyber czar. Also there have been media reports that there could be a health insurance czar and a copyright czar. When and if those positions are filled, that would bring the total to 36. Now since czar isn't an official job title, the number is somewhat in the eye of the beholder but all of the below listed have either been called such or would reasonably meet the definition of a czar as used in past administrations.

Please note: positions that also existed under previous administrations are indicated with an *.

1. Afghanistan Czar - Richard Holbrooke

2. AIDS Czar * - Jeffrey Crowley

3. Auto Recovery Czar - Ed Montgomery

4. Border Czar * - Alan Bersin

5. California Water Czar - David J. Hayes

6. Car Czar - Ron Bloom

7. Central Region Czar - Dennis Ross

8. Climate Czar - Todd Stern

9. Domestic Violence Czar - Lynn Rosenthal

10. Drug Czar * - Gil Kerlikowske

11. Economic Czar * - Paul Volcker

12. Energy and Environment Czar - Carol Browner

13. Faith-Based Czar * - Joshua DuBois

14. Government Performance Czar - Jeffrey Zients

15. Great Lakes Czar - Cameron Davis

16. Green Jobs Czar - Van Jones (This self-avowed communist has since been forced to resign because of his radicalism and extremist rhetoric)

17. Guantanamo Closure Czar - Daniel Fried

18. Health Czar * - Nancy-Ann DeParle

19. Information Czar - Vivek Kundra

20. Intelligence Czar * - Dennis Blair

21. Mideast Peace Czar - George Mitchell

22. Pay Czar - Kenneth R. Feinberg

23. Regulatory Czar - Cass R. Sunstein *

24. Science Czar - John Holdren

25. Stimulus Accountability Czar - Earl Devaney

26. Sudan Czar - J. Scott Gration

27. TARP Czar - Herb Allison

28. Technology Czar - Aneesh Chopra

29. Terrorism Czar - John Brennan

30. Urban Affairs Czar - Adolfo Carrion Jr.

31. Weapons Czar - Ashton Carter

32. WMD Policy Czar - Gary Samore

33. Safe Schools Czar – Kevin Jennings

Further, most of these “czars” are extremists in one sense or the other that would probably have a tougher time being appointed were they to go through congressional confirmation processes, and that is saying something considering how far left our congress is currently. Many of these czars are self-avowed communists, anti-capitalists, extreme environmentalists, and typically anti-American in their sentiments.

Take for example, Obama’s choice for Safe Schools Czar, Kevin Jennings. According to Liberty Counsel, Jennings’ homosexual "partner" states that Jennings was a leading member of Act Up, a militant homosexual group that invaded St. Patrick's Cathedral during a Mass in 1989, harassing the congregation and desecrating the Sacraments. Act Up was responsible for many other outrages, including throwing the ashes of dead AIDS victims onto the White House lawn. Now Obama wants him working for the White House. Many of Obama’s czars are of this caliber of person.

Lastly, for someone who campaigned with the promise of having an absolutely transparent administration to the people, it sure strikes me as being incongruent to then turn around and appoint these people in such “czar” positions. One has to wonder what nefarious purpose many of these people play, as the federal government seemingly attempts to consolidate ever-more power in the running of our day to day lives under the Obama administration. I guess we will just have to wait and see…


Dave Splash said...

You do understand that calling these folks "czars" is an invention of the media. They all have official titles, and most of the people you mentioned have actually been confirmed by the Senate. Once again, the fact checkers at Fox News must have had the day off. I would also seriously question your count as to previous presidents. All presidents in the modern era have had numerous advisers that were not cabinet secretaries and did not require Senate confirmation. But, with the modern right, it's only bad if Obama does it.

Also, funny that you say this story gets little attention in the media as I've seen dozens of stories on this so-called issue on the hated MSNBC. In fact, Fox News (who is part of the MSM, by the way) has done more czar stories than they have on H1N1.

But how about the bigger issue of why the Republicans have been holding up the president's surgeon general nominee with anonymous holds. I mean, it is completely unprecedented to hold up a major nominee like the SG for more than 10 months while there is a health crisis gripping the nation. The irresponsibility is shocking. Where is the outrage on this issue from the right? Nowhere. I guess it's Acorn's fault.

T. Paine said...

I admittedly am not familiar with the surgeon general nomination being blocked. Not that I have much trust in the Republicans either, but I can only assume that they must be doing so because Obama's nominee is unqualified or way outside of the mainstream America, like most of his other 30plus czars are.

If that is not the case and they are doing it strictly for political purposes, then shame on them and I agree with your sentiments on this one issue.