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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's second nominee for transportation security chief withdrew from consideration Friday because of questions over his background as a defense contractor.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding took himself out of the running as head of the Transportation Security Administration, another setback for Obama after his first choice withdrew in January because he faced a tough confirmation struggle in Congress. The Obama administration has called the job the most important unfilled position on Obama's team.
Originally posted by Mirthful Me
Can anyone say "lack of executive management experience?"
Concord Monitor — Obama and his 32 czars
“The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States.”
- Senator Barack Obama, March 31, 2008
To say President Obama failed to follow through on this promise is an understatement. By appointing a virtual army of “czars” — each wholly unaccountable to Congress yet tasked with spearheading major policy efforts for the White House — the president has made an end-run around the legislative branch of historic proportions… Vesting such broad authority in the hands of people not subjected to Senate confirmation and congressional oversight poses a grave threat to our system of checks and balances.
NewsFlavor — The Obama “Czars”
These Czars are well paid, earning between $158,500 and $172,200, and using just the lower level of $158,500, this calculates to $5,072,000 annually… These Czars are designing policies in our country, and are neither subject to congressional approval or oversight. They do what they want, when they want, and the public through its elected representatives have no recourse.
WorldNetDaily — Obama’s radical, anti-American czars
Among Barack Obama’s 34 unaccountable “czars” are at least two whose radical roots and extremist views should disqualify them from service in government at any level -– let alone as top advisers to the president… John Holdren, his pick as top science adviser, is a population-control zealot who believes the Constitution justifies compulsory abortions on a massive worldwide scale. So much for the notion that radical abortion politics is ultimately about “choice.” … Van Jones, the special environmental adviser to the White House, has an equally checkered past deep-rooted in radical politics, including black nationalism, anarchism and communism.
The Daily Beast — Get to Know Obama’s Czars
… maybe he just likes delegating, but President Obama has been appointing czars at a furious rate since taking office… … the czar-ness of various executive branch positions is somewhat ambiguous (one man’s czar is another man’s special assistant to the president)…
NoisyRoom — Obama’s Czars Listing UPDATED
Note from ADMC: While this list contains some inaccuracies, it has something none of the other sources offered — a comprehensive list of duties associated with each position. Terrific piece of research by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton. (UPDATE 8/3/09, late evening: All inaccuracies have been corrected.)
IMAO — Czar Czar Galore
The Obama Administration is not the first administration to appoint someone with broad powers to oversee a function. You know. A “czar.” Previously, we’ve had Drug Czars, Energy Czars, and so on. But, Barack Obama has gone Czar crazy....
Same source as above...
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 nominated 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:
41. behavioral science czar
42. 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