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Hotair describes the appointment of Barack Obama's 33rd "Czar", Ron Bloom. So that the reader does not lose track, the known "czars" are listed below, forming a parallel bureaucracy which Hot Air calls a "shadow government". Hotair's main objection to the reign of the czars is that they collectively lie outside of the normal chain of bureaucratic accountability, if that phrase has any meaning. It writes, "in each case, the One has replaced functions normally carried out by cabinets or other agencies, headed by secretaries and directors who are subject to Senate confirmation (thus accountable to the United States Congress), with unelected, unconfirmed, unaccountable apparatchiks who ultimately answer to only one person: Barack Obama." The czars are:
1. Richard Holbrooke — Afghanistan Czar
2. Jeffrey Crowley — AIDS Czar
3. Ed Montgomery — Auto Recovery Czar
4. Alan Bersin — Border Czar
5. David J. Hayes — California Water Czar
6. Ron Bloom — Car Czar (moved to Manufacturing Czar today)
7. Dennis Ross — Central Region Czar
8. Todd Stern — Climate Czar
9. Lynn Rosenthal — Domestic Violence Czar
10. Gil Kerlikowske — Drug Czar
11. Paul Volcker — Economic Czar
12. Carol Browner — Energy and Environment Czar
13. Joshua DuBois — Faith Based Czar
14. Jeffrey Zients — Government Performance Czar
15. Cameron Davis — Great Lakes Czar
16. Van Jones — Green Jobs Czar (resigned)
17. Daniel Fried — Guantanamo Closure Czar
18. Nancy-Ann DeParle — Health Czar
19. Vivek Kundra — Information Czar
20. Dennis Blair — Intelligence Czar
21. Ron Bloom — Manufacturing Czar
22. George Mitchell — Mideast Peace Czar
23. Kenneth R. Feinberg — Pay Czar
24. Cass R. Sunstein — Regulatory Czar
25. John Holdren — Science Czar
26. Earl Devaney — Stimulus Accountability Czar
27. J. Scott Gration — Sudan Czar
28. Herb Allison — TARP Czar
29. Aneesh Chopra — Technology Czar
30. John Brennan — Terrorism Czar
31. Adolfo Carrion Jr. — Urban Affairs Czar
32. Ashton Carter — Weapons Czar
33. Gary Samore — WMD Policy Czar
Major Garrett of Fox says these czars are not required to fill in the 7 page questionnaire that is required for all appointees who require Senate confirmation.
Van Jones, the Obama green jobs czar who resigned shortly after midnight Sunday, did not fill out the exhaustive questionnaire White House officials required of every Cabinet-level secretary and deputy-secretary position.
An administration official said special advisers to the president, or czars, are not required to fill out the questionnaire that runs 7 pages and contains 63 questions. The entire questionnaire, the official said, is reserved for appointees who must win Senate confirmation.
Among the varied topics covered in the questionnaire: history as a lobbyist or other "legislative agent", tax liens, bankruptcies, spousal employment, potential conflicts of interest, domestic help, internet "handles" and Facebook pages, and traffic fines in excess of $50.
The role of the czars raises questions not only about the parallel bureaucratic structure, but about their role in running society and the economy. One Nobel Prize winning economist recently argued that government intervention wasn't doing any good at all.
Nobel economist Gary Becker finds himself the pin-up hero for libertarians around the world convinced that massive government response to the Great Contraction of 2008-2009 is not only unnecessary but almost certainly a threat to economic freedom as well. ...
As keeper of the free-market flame at the University of Chicago, Dr Becker has been watching Washington long enough to know that once Big Government intrudes deeply into wide areas of the economy it becomes nigh impossible to dislodge. ...
What disturbs him is the $800bn blast of spending that distorts the economy and will not gain traction until recovery is already well advanced. "You don't rely on fiscal policy to get you out of recessions. It takes too long for Congress to agree on anything," he said.
But if it's any consolation to those who think there are too many "czars", at least one member of Congress will go the traditional route and crown his career with a cabinet position. The Hill reports that Barney Frank wants to be the Housing and Urban Development Secretary.
Rep. Barney Frank is interested in capping his political career as a member of the president’s Cabinet, according to a new biography of the Financial Services Committee chairman.
Frank (D-Mass.) told author Stuart Weisberg that he would like to be Housing and Urban Development secretary. However, the 69-year-old lawmaker stresses that his departure from Congress is not imminent.
At least Frank will fill in the seven page questionairre that the "czars" have so far managed to avoid.
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