Archive for August 3rd, 2009

The Compleat List of Czars

By Nancy Matthis

August 3, 2009

Obama has moved swiftly to concentrate power in the White House, bypassing the review of our elected representatives in Congress in most of the posts listed above. Even though cabinet positions are part of the executive branch, the cabinet secretaries must be approved by Congress, they are funded by Congress, and they can be called before Congress to testify. Most of these czars, on the other hand, are appointed by Obama at his sole discretion, and are answerable only to him. If subpoenaed by Congress, they can claim executive privilege.

Bypassing the authority of Congress, Barack Obama rules through czars — the beginnings of dictatorship:

  1. Herbert Allison Jr., bailout czar, [replaced Bush bailout czar Neel Kashkari, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability confirmed by Senate]
  2. Alan Bersin, border czar
  3. Dennis Blair, intelligence czar [Director of National Intelligence, a Senate confirmed position]
  4. John Brennan, counterterrorism czar
  5. Carol Browner, energy czar
  6. Adolfo Carrion, urban affairs czar
  7. Ashton Carter, weapons czar [actually Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and so subject to Senate confirmation]
  8. Aneesh Chopra, technology czar
  9. Jeffrey Crowley, [openly gay white man] AIDS czar
  10. Cameron Davis, Great Lakes czar
  11. Nancy-Ann DeParle, health czar
  12. Earl Devaney, stimulus oversight czar
  13. Joshua DuBois, religion czar, aka God czar
  14. Arne Duncan, education czar
  15. Kenneth Feinberg, pay czar
  16. Daniel Fried, Guantanamo closure czar
  17. J. Scott Gration, Sudan czar
  18. Melissa Hathaway, [soon to be] cybersecurity czar
  19. David J. Hayes, water czar [a Deputy Interior Secretary and therefore subject to Senate oversight]
  20. Richard Holbrooke, Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) czar
  21. John Holdren, science czar
  22. Kevin Jennings, safe schools czar [nominated to be Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, a newly created post; openly gay founder of an organization dedicated to promoting pro-homosexual clubs and curricula in public schools]
  23. Van Jones, green jobs czar
  24. Gil Kerlikowske, drug czar
  25. Ron Kirk, trade czar
  26. Vivek Kundra, infotech czar [Shoplifted four shirts, worth $33.50 each, from J.C. Penney in 1996 (source)]
  27. Douglas Lute, war czar [retained from Bush administration, married to Jane Holl Lute, currently a Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security]
  28. George Mitchell, Mideast peace czar
  29. Ed Montgomery, car czar [replacing Steve Rattner, who stepped down amid controversy over his former firm’s role in a possible kickback scandal]
  30. Lynn Rosenthal, domestic violence czar
  31. Dennis Ross, Mideast policy czar
  32. Gary Samore, weapons of mass destruction czar
  33. Todd Stern, climate change czar
  34. Cass Sunstein, regulatory czar
  35. Larry Summers, economic czar
  36. Michael Taylor, food czar
  37. Arturo Valenzuela, Latin-American czar (nominee) [although this post is referred to as a czar, he is nominatied to be Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and so is subject to Senate confirmation]
  38. Paul Volcker, economic czar number two
  39. Elizabeth Warren, TARP czar [chair of the [Congressional Oversight Panel for the Trouble Assets Relief Program; note that Herb Allison is more frequently called the TARP czar]
  40. Jeffrey Zients, government performance czar [replaced original nominee Nancy Killefer who withdrew her name after issues with her personal income tax filings surfaced]

Positions established but not yet filled…

  1. behavioral science czar
  2. copyright czar

Positions being planned:

  1. income redistribution czar
  2. land-use czar
  3. consumer financial protection czar, aka mortgage czar (source)
  4. radio-internet fairness czar
  5. student loan czar, to oversee a program of mandatory service in return for college money (source)
  6. voter list czar
  7. zoning czar

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