Czar Dish

With virtually no input from the mainstream media, the alternate media exposed and forced the resignation of Communist, racist, intemperate partisan Van Jones. He will not be the only White House czar forced from office in this way.

According to the most recent count in Politico,  with the resignation of the red green czar Van Jones, the White House still has 30 czars in its stable (12 more than Russia which had but 18 Romanov czars):

Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke

AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley

Auto recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery

Border Czar: Alan Bersin

California Water Czar: David J. Hayes

Car Czar: Ron Bloom

Central Region Czar: Dennis Ross

Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal

Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske

Economic Czar: Paul Volcker

Energy and Environment Czar: Carol Brower

Faith-Based Czar: Joshua DuBois

Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis

Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried

Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle

Information Czar: Vivek Kundra

International Climate Czar: Todd Stern

Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair

Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell

Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg

Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein

Science Czar: John Holdren

Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney

Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration

TARP Czar: Herb Allison

Terrorism Czar: John Brennan

Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra

Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.

Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter

WMD Policy Czar: Gary Samore

All of them work out of the White House and report directly to the President and none have been through the confirmation process, a process that would have weeded out Van Jones and a number of others who represent views anathema to the voters. (Cass Sunstein comes to mind, for example.)

The notion of an executive branch so closely run from the White house is not new. Clinton for example might have bragged about a Cabinet that looked like America but he took care to select a subcabinet that looked like him, reported to him and saw that his policies were carried out.

I must admit to having been asleep at the switch when the first alarms about the Czar -Dom were sounded by, of all people the Democrat's Senior Senator Robert Byrd. But as the number of Czars has exploded and the outrageously poor vetting of them exposed, I see the wisdom of Byrd's objections aired in February.

It seemed to me that over the years the White House staff has necessarily increased as the programs for which is responsible increased, but Byrd argued:

"The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances," Byrd wrote in a letter to Obama. "At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials."

Byrd specifically cited the creation of a new White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, which is headed by Carol Browner. He also noted new offices for health reform and urban affairs policy and the appointment of White House staff to coordinate on technology and management performance policies. [Snip]

"Too often, I have seen these lines of authority and responsibility become tangled and blurred, sometimes purposely, to shield information and to obscure the decision-making process," Byrd wrote.

Some of these czars, Richard Holbrooke for example, seem clearly designed to strip power from Hillary Clinton, who it now is clear was offered the position of Secretary of State to mollify her and keep her under wraps. She can be sent off to Ghana or do the White House's unpopular dirty work like cutting off aid to Honduras, while those whom the President feels he can trust will be given the big assignments on the world's stage. And while rare I doubt this is the first time a President has used his own aides to circumvent a cabinet officer he neither trusts nor can remove from office.

But Senator Byrd made some very good points about Obama's overall misuse of his prerogatives: As he noted:

  • (a) They are not accountable to the Cabinet members in their areas of control;
  • (b) They rarely testify before Congress on data informing their decisions, their policies or their views.
Senator Byrd argued, in sum, that they were powerful, their work opaque and the means for holding them accountable for their acts or even for Congress to oversee their work were not apparent.
He asked Obama to require that assertions of executive privilege be made only by the president or with his specific approval and that White House senior personnel be limited for exercising authority over any person, program or funding within the responsibility of a Senate-confirmed department head.

The resignation of Van Jones has exposed the Czar-dom's weaknesses just as Byrd warned. Plus an additional factor -- the failure of the White House to adequately vet these czars.  Jones would never have passed Congressional scrutiny to be confirmed to such an important post and given his unsavory background, it yet remains to be seen to whom he shoveled tax dollars and for what.

Were I in Congress, I'd demand that funds for these posts be cut off until a better system for scrutiny and accountability is offered and agreed upon. In the absence of oversight and Congressional scrutiny of this powerful inner circle in the White House the entire system of Constitutional checks and balances is meaningless.

Since they are in essence filling roles normally performed by cabinet or subcabinet officers subject to the Congressional confirmation process, at a minimum the President should immediately waive any claim of executive privilege with respect to his contacts and communication with these czars. And he should agree to make them available to Congressional committees to answer programmatic questions normally directed to confirmed officials. And Congress should insist on that before releasing funds to pay them.

Since it appears Congress is yet unwilling to insist on the preservation of its Constitutional prerogatives and the White House unlikely to change course on its own, I take it it's up to what we call the alternative media to keep plodding ahead and picking off by one by one those Czars who are manifestly unsuitable for these posts.

Clarice Feldman is a retired lawyer in Washington, DC, and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.
With virtually no input from the mainstream media, the alternate media exposed and forced the resignation of Communist, racist, intemperate partisan Van Jones. He will not be the only White House czar forced from office in this way.

According to the most recent count in Politico,  with the resignation of the red green czar Van Jones, the White House still has 30 czars in its stable (12 more than Russia which had but 18 Romanov czars):

Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke

AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley

Auto recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery

Border Czar: Alan Bersin

California Water Czar: David J. Hayes

Car Czar: Ron Bloom

Central Region Czar: Dennis Ross

Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal

Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske

Economic Czar: Paul Volcker

Energy and Environment Czar: Carol Brower

Faith-Based Czar: Joshua DuBois

Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis

Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried

Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle

Information Czar: Vivek Kundra

International Climate Czar: Todd Stern

Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair

Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell

Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg

Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein

Science Czar: John Holdren

Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney

Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration

TARP Czar: Herb Allison

Terrorism Czar: John Brennan

Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra

Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.

Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter

WMD Policy Czar: Gary Samore

All of them work out of the White House and report directly to the President and none have been through the confirmation process, a process that would have weeded out Van Jones and a number of others who represent views anathema to the voters. (Cass Sunstein comes to mind, for example.)

The notion of an executive branch so closely run from the White house is not new. Clinton for example might have bragged about a Cabinet that looked like America but he took care to select a subcabinet that looked like him, reported to him and saw that his policies were carried out.

I must admit to having been asleep at the switch when the first alarms about the Czar -Dom were sounded by, of all people the Democrat's Senior Senator Robert Byrd. But as the number of Czars has exploded and the outrageously poor vetting of them exposed, I see the wisdom of Byrd's objections aired in February.

It seemed to me that over the years the White House staff has necessarily increased as the programs for which is responsible increased, but Byrd argued:

"The rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances," Byrd wrote in a letter to Obama. "At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials."

Byrd specifically cited the creation of a new White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, which is headed by Carol Browner. He also noted new offices for health reform and urban affairs policy and the appointment of White House staff to coordinate on technology and management performance policies. [Snip]

"Too often, I have seen these lines of authority and responsibility become tangled and blurred, sometimes purposely, to shield information and to obscure the decision-making process," Byrd wrote.

Some of these czars, Richard Holbrooke for example, seem clearly designed to strip power from Hillary Clinton, who it now is clear was offered the position of Secretary of State to mollify her and keep her under wraps. She can be sent off to Ghana or do the White House's unpopular dirty work like cutting off aid to Honduras, while those whom the President feels he can trust will be given the big assignments on the world's stage. And while rare I doubt this is the first time a President has used his own aides to circumvent a cabinet officer he neither trusts nor can remove from office.

But Senator Byrd made some very good points about Obama's overall misuse of his prerogatives: As he noted:

  • (a) They are not accountable to the Cabinet members in their areas of control;
  • (b) They rarely testify before Congress on data informing their decisions, their policies or their views.
Senator Byrd argued, in sum, that they were powerful, their work opaque and the means for holding them accountable for their acts or even for Congress to oversee their work were not apparent.
He asked Obama to require that assertions of executive privilege be made only by the president or with his specific approval and that White House senior personnel be limited for exercising authority over any person, program or funding within the responsibility of a Senate-confirmed department head.

The resignation of Van Jones has exposed the Czar-dom's weaknesses just as Byrd warned. Plus an additional factor -- the failure of the White House to adequately vet these czars.  Jones would never have passed Congressional scrutiny to be confirmed to such an important post and given his unsavory background, it yet remains to be seen to whom he shoveled tax dollars and for what.

Were I in Congress, I'd demand that funds for these posts be cut off until a better system for scrutiny and accountability is offered and agreed upon. In the absence of oversight and Congressional scrutiny of this powerful inner circle in the White House the entire system of Constitutional checks and balances is meaningless.

Since they are in essence filling roles normally performed by cabinet or subcabinet officers subject to the Congressional confirmation process, at a minimum the President should immediately waive any claim of executive privilege with respect to his contacts and communication with these czars. And he should agree to make them available to Congressional committees to answer programmatic questions normally directed to confirmed officials. And Congress should insist on that before releasing funds to pay them.

Since it appears Congress is yet unwilling to insist on the preservation of its Constitutional prerogatives and the White House unlikely to change course on its own, I take it it's up to what we call the alternative media to keep plodding ahead and picking off by one by one those Czars who are manifestly unsuitable for these posts.

Clarice Feldman is a retired lawyer in Washington, DC, and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.