« How To Encourage Sloth | Main | Mandates Versus Free Enterprise »

Comments

Greg

And the misinformation continues. As many times as Hot Air has been proven to post false and misinformed stories I am constantly amazed that people still view them as some sort of legitimate source. Good thing that sites such as Factcheck.org and Media Matters exists.


Czar Search
http://www.factcheck.org/2009/09/czar-search/

Q: Does Obama have an unprecedented number of "czars"?

A: "Czar" is media lingo, not an official title. But our research shows that George Bush’s administration had more "czars" than the Obama administration.

Need Proof

Czars Under the George W. Bush Administration 35 vs 32 Czars Under the Obama Administration
http://www.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Czars.pdf

More Detailed Answer

It’s meaningless to ask a question about what "hiring czars" allows a president to do, because presidents don’t hire czars. "Czar" is a label bestowed by the media – and sometimes the administration – as a shorthand for the often-cumbersome titles of various presidential advisers, assistants, office directors, special envoys and deputy secretaries. (After all, what makes for a better headline – "weapons czar" or "undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics"?)

There’s been a certain fascination with calling Obama’s advisers and appointees "czars." Fox News host Glenn Beck has identified 32 Obama czars on his Web site, whom he has characterized as a collective "iceberg" threatening to capsize the Constitution. Beck and other television hosts aren’t the only ones crying czar, either. Six Republican senators recently sent a letter to the White House saying that the creation of czar posts "circumvents the constitutionally established process of ‘advise and consent.’ " Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah issued a press release saying that czars "undermine the constitution." And Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wrote an opinion column in the Washington Post complaining about the czar menace, including the factually inaccurate claim that only "a few of them have formal titles."

The habit of using "czar" to refer to an administration official dates back at least to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but the real heyday of the czar came during President George W. Bush’s administration. The appellation was so popular that several news organizations reported on the rise of the czar during the Bush years, including NPR, which ran a piece called "What’s With This Czar Talk?" and Politico, which published an article on the evolution of the term. The latter, written during the 2008 presidential campaign, points out that czars are "really nothing new. They’ve long been employed in one form or another to tackle some of the nation’s highest-profile problems." Politico quotes author and political appointments expert James Bovard saying that the subtext of "czar" has changed from insult to praise: "It’s a real landmark sign in political culture to see this change from an odious term to one of salvation.”

Now it’s turned odious again, with Republican senators calling czars unconstitutional and cable hosts like Beck and Sean Hannity characterizing them as shadowy under-the-table appointees used by Obama to dodge the usual approval processes.

In fact, of the 32 czars Beck lists:

* Nine were confirmed by the Senate, including the director of national intelligence ("intelligence czar"), the chief performance officer ("government performance czar") and the deputy interior secretary ("California water czar").


* Eight more were not appointed by the president – the special advisor to the EPA overseeing its Great Lakes restoration plan ("Great Lakes czar") is EPA-appointed, for instance, and the assistant secretary for international affairs and special representative for border affairs ("border czar") is appointed by the secretary of homeland security.

* Fifteen of the "czarships" Beck lists, including seven that are in neither of the above categories, were created by previous administrations. (In some cases, as with the "economic czar," the actual title – in this case, chairman of the president’s economic recovery advisory board – is new, but there has been an official overseeing the area in past administrations. In others, as with the special envoy to Sudan, the position is old but the "czar" appellation is new.)

* In all, of the 32 positions in Beck’s list, only eight are Obama-appointed, unconfirmed, brand new czars.

These new "czars" include the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; the director of recovery for auto communities and workers; the senior advisor for the president’s Automotive Task Force; the special adviser for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; the federal chief information officer; the chair of the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board; the White House director of urban affairs; and the White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, security and arms control. Or, as Glenn Beck would have it, the Afghanistan czar, the auto recovery czar, the car czar, the embattled green jobs czar, the information czar, the stimulus accountability czar, the urban affairs czar and the WMD policy czar.

Some of these new positions would have been meaningless in a previous administration. Previous presidents didn’t need an Automotive Task Force or a Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board. These positions are similar to George W. Bush’s "World Trade Center health czar" and "Gulf Coast reconstruction czar" in that they are new advisory positions created to deal with temporary challenges facing the administration. Others do represent new long-term concerns (urban affairs, climate change), but the act of appointing advisers to manage new areas of interest is hardly unique to the Obama administration. The Bush administration, for instance, created the "faith-based czar" and the "cybersecurity czar."

jammen

"Liberals howled when they believed that George W. Bush was slicing and dicing the Constitution".

Peg, why didn't conservatives howl?

Peg

Some did; some did not.

The ones who did not thought that what he was doing was in keeping with the Constitution.

See Abraham Lincoln for reasoning.

Greg

I am curious as to how many of those who did not see these things know anything about the law or the constitution?

Here are some Republicans who know the law, and the Constitution and saw it violated.

Bruce Fein-Hearing on Impeaching Bush - Part 8 - 7/25/08
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYu96exOOjA

Bruce Fein: is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on Constitutional law. Fein graduated from Harvard Law School in 1972, became the assistant director of the Office of Legal Policy in the U.S. Department of Justice. Shortly after that, became the associate deputy attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan.

His political law career would take him to various outlets, including general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, followed by an appointment as research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Bookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

Walter Jones-Hearing on Impeaching Bush - Part 4 - 7/25/08
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgHZoMJpbLs

Bob Barr @ Bush Impeachment hearing 7/25/08
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G76UiFuHUg

ABA: Bush Signing Statements Violate Constitution
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,205205,00.html

I could go on, but to do so would be redundant and pretty much useless.

The comments to this entry are closed.