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Czar is a nick name, not a job title

By: David Phillips

Las Vegas Democrat Examiner

With the spin by the right wing media on the use of the word "Czar", a certain demographic of our country now believes people are actually holding jobs in the White House that have the title "Czar" in their job description.

The right wing talking heads play gloomy music while talking about Obama's "Czar‘s" and equating the job to Russia, or more to the point, communism.

That's right Fox News Channel wants you to think that Obama is hiring communists, socialists, Stalinists and all the other "ists" to work for him as a “Czar“.

Sean Hannity recently said of Obama‘s advisers that “they were unconfirmed, un-vetted and a shadow government“, in “The Land of the Czars“.

Then there is Glenn Beck, he’s on a personal jihad and targeting the President’s advisers with smears and lies.

Van Jones, the White House Council on Environmental Quality's Special Advisor for Green Jobs, or as Beck called him “the Green Czar”, a couple of weeks ago resigned after relentless smears by Fox news and Glenn Beck in particular. Jones said he became to much of a distraction and felt it was best for him to resign.

Now with Jones resignation Beck feels empowered and recently posted a message on his twitter account looking for what ever he can find on three more of President Obama‘s advisers, this is what the twit twittered: “Watch Dogs: FIND EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON CASS SUNSTEIN, MARK LLOYD AND CAROL BROWNER“

Cass Sunstein was confirmed last week by the Senate to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or as Beck calls him, “the Regulatory Czar” Beck said that Cass Sunstein wants to allow lawyers for animals in courts. Beck said, "The day may not be far off, animal lawyers say, when animals are not only present in the court room but participating in the proceedings." This is typical crazy talk from Beck , but this dribble is everyday fodder for this man.

Back in July of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that Mark Lloyd had been named associate general counsel and chief diversity officer, or as Beck calls him, “the Diversity Czar”. And Carol Browner is the White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate Policy, or as Fox news calls her, "the Climate Czar".

The first use of the word “Czar” in the form the word is being used now, came from President Richard Nixon, when he was talking to William Simon, his Energy adviser and called him, my Energy Czar, a nick name, not a job title.

Every President since has had advisers whom the media dubs “Czars”, in fact most of the positions that President Obama’ has filled were created by previous Presidents.

Most of those adviser positions have never required a Senate confirmation like Hannity and Beck are demanding (which by the way is nonsensical) to be held for those who advise the President. Hannity and Beck never made such demands when Bush was President, his Fox buddy Karl Rove, was Bush‘s adviser, and they never demanded that he or any other Bush adviser go through a Senate confirmation.

But then again, the right wing spin machine has been making several outrageous demands of this President that they have never asked from any previous President, at least not the Republican ones.





The Bush "Czars"

Glenn Beck, Fox News and the Republicans doing their bidding are trying their darndest to manufacture controversy over the existence of czars in the Obama Administration. Not only is it incredibly hypocritical - no one's buying it.

Here, for your reference, are the 47 czars during the Bush Administration:

Bush’s AIDS Czars (5)

CNN: Bush Appointed “AIDS Czar” Randall Tobias In 2003. In a story entitled “Ex-Eli Lilly Exec Named Global AIDS Czar,” CNN reported: “President Bush tapped a former pharmaceutical executive Wednesday to coordinate his administration's $15 billion program to combat AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. If confirmed by the Senate, Randall Tobias -- the former chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co. -- would head up the administration's efforts to bring more medical workers, medicine and training to those countries hit hard by the virus.” [CNN, 7/2/03]

NPR: Bush’s First “AIDS Czar” Was Scott Evertz.“For the first few months of the Bush administration, there was a White House Office of National AIDS Policy, but no one seemed to be working there. Public health officials and AIDS activists were concerned there would be no Bush AIDS policy. Today, with a new AIDS office director and a thrust toward international issues, that all changed sharply. The president's AIDS czar, Scott Evertz is an openly gay Republican from Wisconsin.” [NPR, 4/9/01]

NYT: Joe O’Neill Was Bush Administration’s “AIDS Czar” In 2003. “Among the White House officials briefing the Log Cabin Republicans today was Dr. Joe O'Neill, the administration's AIDS czar, who is openly gay.” [New York Times, 5/10/03]

AIDS Policy & Law: Carol Thompson Was Bush Administration’s “AIDS Czar” In 2006. “The heads of the U.S. government's domestic and global AIDS offices will be leaving their posts to take on new jobs. Their replacements have yet to be named. Carol Thompson, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, sometimes referred to as the national "AIDS czar," left Feb. 10 for a new job at the State Department's Africa division.” [AIDS Policy And Law, 2/24/06]

ABC: Mark Dybul Was Sworn In As “AIDS Czar” In 2006. JAKE TAPPER (ABC NEWS) (Voiceover) For its part, the Bush White House won re-election in 2004 partly by campaigning against gay marriage. PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH (UNITED STATES) I believe our society is better off when marriage is defined as between a man and a woman. JAKE TAPPER (ABC NEWS) (Voiceover) And yet, it can seem perfectly accepting of such unions, as was seen this week, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swore in as AIDS czar Dr. Mark Dybul, who is gay, while Dybul's partner held the bible. [ABC World News, 10/13/06]

Bush’s Faith Czars (3)

National Review: John DiIulio Was Bush’s Administration’s First “Faith Czar.” “John DiIulio is an enigma. An Ivy League professor with a Ph.D. from Harvard, tenure from Princeton, and now an endowed chair at Penn, he is also a devout Roman Catholic who refers to himself as ‘born again’ and credits black Pentecostalists for his return to faith. A pro-life, pro-family social conservative, he is also a pro-poor registered Democrat who served in the highest levels of the Bush administration as our nation's first ‘faith czar.’” [National Review, 11/19/07]

Jim Towey Replaced DiIulio as “Faith Czar.” “A former Florida political insider who once worked as legal counsel to Mother Teresa will be named today (Friday) to head the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Cox Newspapers has learned. President Bush will announce that Jim Towey, president and founder of Aging With Dignity, will replace John J. DiIulio Jr. as director of the office the president says is central to his ‘armies of compassion’ campaign to help lift poor people out of poverty.” [Cox News Service, 1/31/02]

Jay Hein Became “Faith Czar” In 2006. “On Aug. 21, Jay Hein became the third director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.” [Religion News Service, 9/6/06]

Bush’s Budget Czars (4)

Indianapolis Star: Mitch Daniels Was Bush’s “Budget Czar” In 2004. “A new political action committee, dubbed "Frugal Hoosiers for Mitch," was formed Wednesday to persuade White House budget czar Mitch Daniels to seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2004.” [Indianapolis Star, 12/5/02]

Orlando Sentinel: Joshua Bolten Was White House “Budget Czar” In 2005. “White House budget czar Joshua Bolten conceded the money was only a ‘stop-gap measure’ and Congress will need to approve more money later. FEMA is spending $500 million a day so far.” [Orlando Sentinel, 9/2/05]

White House Bulletin: Rob Portman And Jim Nussle Were White House “Budget Czars” In 2007. “At the same time, the resignation of White House budget director Rob Portman, who is returning home to Ohio possibly to run for governor, has led to the appointment of former Congressman Jim Nussle as the new budget czar.” [White House Bulletin, 9/22/07]

Bush’s Cleanup Czars (3)
Tri-City Herald: Jessie Roberson And Paul Golan Were “Cleanup Czars” In 2004. “The acting assistant secretary for environmental management at the Department of Energy, sometimes called the cleanup czar, will visit Hanford next week. Paul Golan has been filling the position temporarily since Jessie Roberson resigned in July.” [Tri-City Herald, 11/9/04]

Tri-City Herald: James Rispoli Was Cleanup Czar In 2005-2006. “James Rispoli, a key Department of Energy official for Hanford cleanup, plans a visit to the Tri-Cities next week. The assistant secretary for environmental management is scheduled to speak at a meeting of DOE's Environmental Management Advisory Board in Richland. He's held the position, sometimes referred to as the cleanup czar, since being sworn in a year ago.” [Tri-City Herald, 8/17/06]

Bush’s Communication Czars (2)

US News & World Report: Ed Gillespie And Dan Bartlett Were “Communications Czars.” “Recently named White House communications czar Ed Gillespie is winning rave reviews for handling critical PR issues, a sign that gives insiders confidence that the president will weather the upcoming congressional storm over the Petraeus troop surge review...You might recall that Gillespie replaced Dan Bartlett, Bush's longtime communications aide.” [U.S. News & World Report, 8/21/07]

Bush’s Cybersecurity Czars (2)

San Jose Mercury-News: Richard Clark Was “Cybersecurity Czar” In 2003. “Since a 2003 presidential commission issued the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, the White House has suffered from a leadership vacuum on cybersecurity. Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism coordinator, retired as cybersecurity czar just as the strategy was published.” [San Jose Mercury News, 11/12/07]

Wired: Rod Beckstrom Was Cybersecurity Czar In 2008-09. In a story entitled, “Cyber-Security Czar Quits Amid Fears of NSA Takeover “, Wired reported: ”Rod Beckström, the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial cyber-security chief, has suddenly resigned amid allegations of power grabs and bureaucratic infighting. Beckström — a management theorist, entrepreneur and author — was named last year to head up the new National Cybersecurity Center, or NCSC.” [Wired, 3/6/09]

Bush’s Homeland Security Czars (2)

Vanity Fair: Tom Ridge was Bush’s “Homeland Security Czar.” “Former Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge remained the dutiful Bush & Co. team player throughout his tenure. Once he left the organization, however, he became increasingly forthcoming.” [Vanity Fair, September 2005]

Michael Chertoff was Bush’s “Homeland Security Czar.” “The latest National Intelligence Estimates were released yesterday and they are enough to make any sane person want to head for the nearest bunker. The combined assessment of the nation's 16 spy agencies are a sobering reality check of the dangers - long and short-term - that exist right here on our own shores. Perhaps it was his own advanced look at the report that caused Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff to have that well-publicized uneasy feeling in his ‘gut.’” [Boston Herald Op-Ed, 7/18/07]

Bush’s Intelligence Czars (2)

Time: John Negroponte Was Bush’s “Intelligence Czar.” “As the government's new intelligence czar and the President's primary intelligence adviser—a position created late last year by Congress after fierce lobbying by the 9/11 commission and families of the 9/11 victims—Negroponte has the job of making sure that the kinds of intelligence stumbles that led up to 9/11 and the sorts of miscalculations about Iraq's WMD programs don't happen again.” [Time, 1/20/05]

Mike McConnell Took Over As Intelligence Czar. “Negroponte, who will be replaced as DNI by former National Security Agency chief Mike McConnell, had received some criticism for his quiet, behind-the-scenes approach to the daunting task of unifying the massive, $44 billion intelligence community.” [U.S. News & World Report, 1/4/07]

Bush’s Manufacturing Czar (2)

Detroit News: Albert Frink Was Bush’s “Manufacturing Czar.” “Michigan lawmakers had hoped that President Bush's manufacturing ‘czar’ would be a powerful voice in support of the state's battered factory sector. Instead, they're seething in bipartisan anger over what they see as his lack of clout -- and accomplishment. For instance, Albert Frink, U.S. Commerce Department assistant secretary for manufacturing and services, has rarely even been in the same room as President Bush in his first year and a half on the job.” [Detroit News, 4/28/06]

William G. Sutton Replaced Frink In 2007. “The Senate recently confirmed William G. Sutton, a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, to serve as the assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing and services. Sutton's government role as lead advocate for the manufacturing community will require perseverance in addressing the issues that constrain U.S. manufacturers' ability to compete globally. According to industry observers, Sutton will need to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Al Frink, to raise the country's awareness of such issues as the industry's skills shortage; the impact of regulations, litigation, and taxes; and the importance of free trade…The job of assistant secretary for manufacturing — sometimes referred to by NAM as the ‘manufacturing czar’ — gained momentum under Frink, who was the first to hold this position and who resigned in December 2006.” [Managing Automation, 9/29/07]

Bush’s Public Diplomacy Czars (2)

Washington Post: Karen Hughes Was Bush’s “Public Diplomacy Czar.” “Karen Hughes, the new public diplomacy czar charged with improving the U.S. image, began her maiden diplomatic voyage Sunday, meeting in picturesque settings with Egyptian students who have benefited from American largess.” [Washington Post, 9/26/05]

Washington Post: James K. Glassman Was Bush’s “Public Diplomacy Czar.” Al Kamen wrote, “Meanwhile, the agency is also minus a chairman because the current one, James K. Glassman, who took over just a year ago, was sworn in yesterday as public diplomacy czar at the State Department.” [Washington Post, 6/11/08]

Bush’s Regulatory Czars (2)

Albany Times-Union: John Graham Was Bush’s Regulatory Czar. “The curious case of John Graham, the ‘regulatory czar,’ who can block any new regulation from his position inside the Office of Management and Budget, has attracted some attention because of Graham's unusual public record.” [Albany Times Union, 8/25/01]

Washington Business Journal: Susan Dudley Was Bush’s Regulatory Czar in 2007. “President Bush avoided a nasty confirmation battle by appointing Susan Dudley as his regulatory czar while Congress was out of town. The recess appointment avoided the need for Senate confirmation of Dudley, who has been criticized as being an anti-regulatory extremist by consumer groups, labor unions and environmental organizations.” [Washington Business Journal, 4/16/07]

Bush’s Other Czars (18)

NPR: Neel Kashkari Was Bush’s “Bailout Czar” In 2008. “And so today, in the Rose Garden where he's made so many appearances lately, President Bush announced what he called the G7 action plan to strengthen banks across the country. Neil Kashkari, the Treasury Department's bailout czar, now expresses confidence that we are building the foundation for a strong, decisive, and effective program.” [NPR, “All Things Considered,” 10/14/08]

US News & World Report: Leon Kass Was Reported As Bush’s “Bioethics Czar” In 2003. In a story highlighted as “College professor Leon Kass has become the nation's first bioethics czar,” U.S. News & World Report reported, “Leon Kass loves the intellectual back-and-forth of intense conversation. The man whom President Bush picked to direct a national discussion on bioethics confesses, "I believe in talk. I believe in argument, almost to a fault, if the goal is understanding, not victory." [US News & World Report, 2/1/03]

Politico: Stewart Simonson Was Bush’s “Bird Flu Czar” In 2004. “Remember the bird flu czar? He was Stewart Simonson, appointed by President Bush in 2004 as assistant secretary of health and human services for public health emergency preparedness. Simonson's mission - his wonkish title aside - was no less than protecting the country from an avian influenza epidemic.” [Politico, 10/21/08]

Salon.com: Eric Keroack Was Bush’s “Birth Control Czar” In 2007. “Even our birth control czar was one until Eric J. Keroack resigned amid allegations of Medicaid fraud. (Now, according to a killer bit of investigative reporting by Raw Story, it seems he may have gotten his federal job based on fraudulent qualifications as well. He claimed to have been in private practice for 20 years, but other documents suggest it was closer to five years; his much-touted experience as ‘medical director’ for nonprofit group A Woman's Concern looks as if it may have been a part-time volunteer position.)” [Salon, 5/31/07]

The Nation: “Aids Ambassador” And “Abstinence Czar” Randall Tobias Stepped Down After He Appeared on D.C. Madam’s Client List. “So far, the most significant player to show up on Washington madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey's much-discussed client list is USAID chief Randall Tobias, the former pharmaceutical company CEO who ran Bush's global AIDS initiative for its first three years. His ignominious tenure as AIDS ambassador was marked by a preference for pricey brand-name HIV drugs over cheap generics, which sharply reduced the number of people who could be treated. Ironically, given his regular ‘massages’ from call girls, when we can surmise he ignored the abstinence-only instruction to ‘keep all of your clothes all the way on all of the time,’ Tobias was also an avid defender of the President's puritanical approach to HIV prevention… Tobias is not the first abstinence czar to leave his job after running afoul of the moral agenda he promoted. Claude Allen, once the leading White House abstinence advocate, stepped down as domestic policy adviser last year after he was caught stealing.” [The Nation, 5/10/07]

Slate: Elliot Abrams Was “Democracy Czar” In 2005. “Hours before the president's State of the Union address earlier this month—a perfect moment for burying inconvenient news—the White House announced the ascension of Elliott Abrams to the highest ranks of its foreign-policy team. Abrams has moved from the staff of the National Security Council to the post of deputy national security adviser. It's a significant promotion, one that gives Abrams both an elevated stature and new management powers. Specifically, the White House says Abrams will be in charge of ‘global democracy strategy,’ effectively making him Bush's democracy czar.” [Slate, 12/17/05]

Washington Post: Karl Rove Was Bush’s “Domestic Policy Czar” In 2004. “In the wake of Bush's 2004 reelection, Green reports, Rove, newly promoted by Bush to domestic policy czar, concluded that the time for this realignment had come.” [Washington Post, 8/15/07]

New York Times: John P. Walters Was Bush’s Drug Czar in 2001. “President Bush today nominated as his drug czar John P. Walters, who has long argued for jail time over voluntary treatment for drug offenders, calling him the man to battle illegal drugs that rob people ‘of innocence and ambition and hope.’” [New York Times, 5/11/01]

NPR: David Atchison Was Bush’s “Food Safety Czar” In 2007. “There's been lots of U.S. czars since then right up to food safety czar, David Atchison, who took office this month.” [NPR, 5/16/07]

AP: John Howard Was Bush’s World Trade Center Health Czar in 2006. “New York lawmakers and Sept. 11 health advocates urged President Obama on Monday to rehire a World Trade Center health czar who was let go last year by the Bush administration. John Howard's six-year term as director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health expired last July and he was not asked to stay on. Since 2006, Howard had become the government's point person for post-Sept. 11 illness.” [AP, 2/23/09]

ANSI: David J. Brailer Was Bush’s “Health IT Czar.” In a story titled “David J. Brailer Resigns as Health IT Czar,” the American National Standards Institute reported, “Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt announced this evening that he has accepted the resignation of Dr. David J. Brailer as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Brailer was appointed to the position by President George W. Bush on May 6, 2004.” [ANSI, 4/20/06]

Time: Philip Mangano Was Bush’s “Homelessness Czar.” “With a freak-show economy in which unemployment has reached 6%--a 50% increase since November 2000--but housing prices have stayed at or near historic highs, the number of homeless appears to be at its highest in at least a decade in a wide range of places across the U.S., according to Bush's own homelessness czar. ‘It's embarrassing to say that they're up,’ says czar Philip Mangano of the number, ‘but it's better to face the truth than to try to obfuscate.’” [Time, 1/20/03]

New York Times: Donald E. Powell Was Bush’s “Gulf Coast Reconstruction Czar.” “The White House said Friday that the administration’s Gulf Coast reconstruction czar, Donald E. Powell, was resigning to return to his family in Texas.” [New York Times, 3/1/08]

Sunday Times: Michael Gerson Was Bush’s “Policy Czar.” Andrew Sullivan wrote, “And, in fact, every single critical figure in this White House has been there from the start: political guru Karl Rove, secretary of state Condi Rice, former speechwriter, now policy czar, Michael Gerson, budget director Josh Bolten, and national security adviser Stephen Hadley. Hadley, according to the Post, schedules a full battery of meetings on Saturdays as well.” [Sunday Times, 3/19/06]

Education Week: G. Reid Lyon Was Bush’s Reading Czar. In a story titled, “National Reading Czar to Leave Public Sector for Teacher Ed. Venture,” Education Week reported: “G. Reid Lyon, the influential chief of the branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that sponsors studies on reading and a key adviser on the federal Reading First initiative, will step down July 1 to take a job at Dallas-based Best Associates.” [Education Week, 6/7/05]

Business Week: John Marburger Was Bush’s “Science Czar.” In a story entitled “A Talk with Bush's Science Czar,” BusinessWeek reported: “When President Bush needs to talk science, he turns to John Marburger, director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.” [Business Week, 3/16/04]

CBS: Richard Clarke Was Bush’s “Terrorism Czar.” “Clarke helped shape U.S. policy on terrorism under President Reagan and the first President Bush. He was held over by President Clinton to be his terrorism czar, then held over again by the current President Bush.” [CBS 60 Minutes, 3/21/04]

Wall Street Journal: Gen. Wayne Downing Was Bush’s “Counterterrorism Czar.” “Gen. Wayne Downing, said to be tired of battles with Pentagon's Rumsfeld, exits as the post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism czar at the White House National Security Council.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/28/02]

AP: Bush Chose Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute For War Czar. “President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a ‘war czar’ after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.” [AP, 5/15/07]


Hutchison Claims That Only A ‘Few’ Of Obama’s So-Called ‘Czars’ Have ‘Formal Titles’


By Amanda Terkel

On July 30, the Washington Post gave House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) space to write an op-ed railing on President Obama’s “virtual army of ‘czars.’” Today, the Washington Post allowed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to write a similar op-ed complaining that these czars set “a dangerous precedent that undermines the Constitution’s guarantee of separated powers.” Hutchison tries to make these officials seem shady and mysterious by noting that many of them don’t even have “formal titles”:

Nearly 250 years later, these critical lines of separation are being obscured by a new class of federal officials. A few of them have formal titles, but most are simply known as “czars.” They hold unknown levels of power over broad swaths of policy. Under the Obama administration, we have an unprecedented 32 czar posts (a few of which it has yet to fill), including a “car czar,” a “pay czar” and an “information czar.” There are also czars assigned to some of the broadest and most consequential topics in policy, including health care, terrorism, economics and key geographic regions.

In fact, ALL of these officials have formal titles. For example, Hutchison cites Van Jones, the “green jobs czar.” But Jones had the title of Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality. The only person Obama has referred to as a czar is “drug czar” Gil Kerlikowske, whose official title is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. (Additionally, “drug czar” was a term that existed long before the Obama administration.)

Hutchison’s lie mirrors a claim by Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who recently said that the only reason he calls these appointees “czars” is “because the White House itself does.” Of course, it’s the media — not the White House — that is driving the term.

Hutchison does not list the 32 individuals whom she considers to be “czars.” But if she’s relying on the same list as Cantor — who also cited 32 people — then several of them are far from unaccountable; they’ve actually already been confirmed by the Senate.


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