September 17, 2009

"Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin joined the anti-czar chorus Wednesday..."

"... asking Obama to detail the roles and responsibilities of all of the czars in his administration and to explain why he believes the use of czars is consistent with the Senate’s constitutional power to offer advice and consent on top-level executive branch officials."

75 comments:

miller said...

Hmm.

The Dems are throwing Obama under the bus?

RACISTS ALL OF THEM!

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you didn't like the Green Jobs Czar, wait till you see what the Green Jobs Lenin is like.

peter hoh said...

'Cause, you know, nothin' says "communist" like "czar."

WV: sactickl. (Insert Eliot Spitzer joke here.)

traditionalguy said...

The idea of a Czar is Un-checked and Un-balanced authority granted to a man or a woman so the they can make quick decisions in a Crisis. Therefore the Czar concept is un-Constitutional. If a Czar has no more authority than to make PR speeches and pretend he has influence over Obama, then he is a Political operative, serving as Obama's Lobbyist/Fixer on the Government payroll like Scooter Libby did for Dick Cheney.

tim maguire said...

Just what is a czar, anyway? Other than a nifty title. The office of czar wasn't created by congress, it wasn't created by the constitution, what is its status in the U.S. Government?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Russ just wants to keep his options open for 2012.

jeff said...

What is this "Constitution" of which you speak?

Salamandyr said...

I don't agree with Feingold often, but as far as I can tell, he's always been a man of conviction. He's a liberal, but he also believes in good government.

I'm glad to see he's taking a stand on this.

Alex said...

How long before Obama throws Feingold under the bus? That undercarriage is awfully full of corpses.

former law student said...

Wikipedia says the first drug czar was appointed by Richard Nixon, and that the word "czar" is a media creation.

Stop the msm now!

rdkraus said...

Jeff beat me to it.

There are Dems [or Repubs] who think that the Constitution limits gov't in some way?

Who knew?

I thought Ron Paul was the only one.

Daniel said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXy-vPN_i7A&feature=player_embedded

Daniel said...

Oops:

Here's the DNC Czar response

Darcy said...

Good God. Now we're counting on the Dems in Congress to reign in Obama. Is this a nightmare, or what?

miller said...

Good ad, Daniel but

(a) late
(b) "You did it, too!" is a schoolkid's response.

Daniel said...

(b) "You did it, too!" is a schoolkid's response.

Well, sure. Except if it's to point out that it's not a big deal. There have been "czar's" for a long time, it's always been the media's term (see former law student above), and it's completely normal. If you have an issue with lack of Congressional oversight, fine. That's probably what Feingold's issue is. But that's definitely not what Glenn Beck's issue is.

Cedarford said...

There is nothing wrong with a couple of Czars that perform unique functions that do not fit well with traditional cabinet departments.

Sometimes that is the best fit for the Executive - a high level appointee that has cabinet level status, his or her own unique portfolio.

But Czars began to proliferate under Bush...and some were just named as a PR stunt and then pretty well ignored by the Bushies and neocons. The "Faith-based" guy, the ME peace envoy. Bush had almost a dozen Czars.

Then things really exploded under The One. 33 Czars so far and some clearly usurping authority from Cabinet Secretaries that are supposed to be confirmed and then run whole branches of the Gov't Executive.

The practice has been gravely abused - and Feingold is another person that sees the problems of lack of accountability, lack of Congressional oversight, and undermining authority of Cabinet members in what is supposed to be a direct area of responsibility in their Dept.

I mean, what is the Secretary of the Interior, Transportation, or the head of EPA supposed to think when the Czar of The Great Lakes shows up demanding time and manpower from their Park Rangers, Coast Guard, and EPA pollution surveyors claiming he, the Czar, is doing work the Obama Himself wants done?

Daniel said...

Here it suggests that Bush had 19 "czars". The DNC says 47. I say 983. And I also say that there are two things going on here: 1) a real concern about congressional oversight, which Russ Feingold, a Democrat, cares about (find me a Republican legislator who said a damn word during the Bush administration), and 2) a bunch of bullshit ahistorical nonsense.

Methadras said...

President Barely will ignore Russ Feingold's grandstanding for Czar responsibility and clarity and probably add more. The entire concept of a Czar should be scrapped completely. It has no Constitutional authority. Get rid of it. In essence what President Barely is doing is telling his cabinet that they are worthless and week and that these appointed Czarships are gifts to his friends who don't need anyones approval.

lucid said...

The appointment of Czars is part of our outreach to Russia. We are re-setting to 1916.

Hoosier Daddy said...

'Cause, you know, nothin' says "communist" like "czar."

Actually no it doesn't Pete. "commissar" perhaps but not czar considering it was the communists that overthrew the czar.

Of course that's assuming anyone has a cursory knowledge of 20th century Russian history. Maybe a big assumption on my part.

Alex said...

Guys we've lost the debate:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/insurance-company-must-pa_n_289841.html

"Insurance Company Must Pay $10 Million For Revoking Policy Of Teen With HIV"

When insurance companies deny coverage to a kid who got HIV from giving blood, you know they're being dastardly and these kind of stories will easily allow the Democrats to push us into single-payer. It's over.

David said...

Hooray--Russ actually listens to his constituents. We have the words. Now lets see the action. (Hearings, Russ?)

Invisible Man said...

So, Feingold isn't a partisan hack like the rest of you who never said a word about czars until Glenn Beck told you to. Glad we can all agree.

Chip Ahoy said...

I think it's more banal than all that. I'm viewing it more as delegating authority, shunting the work load and campaign promises, so that The Won™ can continue doing things most satisfying namely speechifying and campaigning. We call them czars because it's pejorative. That there are so many of them means the president really doesn't want to do much actual executive work or lacks any real executive gravitas. Here. Do my homework for me.

Settle down. We elected this guy now we're going to have to give him a another slide.

David said...

Insurance companies can not and do not rescind coverage just because the insured gets sick. They can and do rescind coverage if the insured gave false or incomplete information on the insurance application.

In this case it appears that Fortis (a Dutch company) did two things that it should not have: (1) rescinding coverage based on a ambiguous file note without further inquiry into the facts and (2) paying bonuses for policies rescinded. The term "reprehensible" is richly deserved under these circumstances, and the company is paying the price.

Darcy said...

No, Alex. The system worked. Read the headline again.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So, Feingold isn't a partisan hack like the rest of you who never said a word about czars until Glenn Beck told you to. Glad we can all agree.

I guess I would have had George Bush appointed a czar who claimed he was a communist.

chickenlittle said...

I guess Obama doesn't yet realize that if he loses Wisconsin democratic support for his style of getting things done, he loses a crucial swing state that helped elect him in the first place.

Is this ignorance or Chicago hardball?

In any case, it isn't going to play out well for him.

I wish him the worst of luck.

#2010

John Althouse Cohen said...

Feingold doesn't seem to be unique among Democrats on this issue. As the article says, Democratic Senators Feinstein and Byrd have also expressed concern about the constitutionality of czars.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Feingold doesn't seem to be unique among Democrats on this issue. As the article says, Democratic Senators Feinstein and Byrd have also expressed concern about the constitutionality of czars.

Hmmmm...Feinstein and Feingold are Jews...Obama is not exactly friendly toward Israel....Robert Byrd, well hell West Virginny KKK member....if we connect the dots a la Maureen Dowd methinks this is just another prime example that Carter was right and racism is a big part of opposition to Obama.

garage mahal said...

So, Feingold isn't a partisan hack like the rest of you who never said a word about czars until Glenn Beck told you to. Glad we can all agree.

The amount of Czars in the Obama administrations is frightening compared to Bush, and as we all know we didn't hear a peep from the Right.

LarsPorsena said...

The 'Tsars' will be gone by next month.
The One will have them re-branded as the 'Vanguard of the Proleteriat and Feingold' will withdraw his objections.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The amount of Czars in the Obama administrations is frightening compared to Bush, and as we all know we didn't hear a peep from the Right.

You're absolutely right garage. Now lets look at the fact that Feingold, Feinstein and Exalted Cyclops Byrd all are on the other side of Obama on this. I mean it has to be racism since these three are all devout liberal Democrats.
.
.
.

Invisible Man said...

You're absolutely right garage. Now lets look at the fact that Feingold, Feinstein and Exalted Cyclops Byrd all are on the other side of Obama on this. I mean it has to be racism since these three are all devout liberal Democrats.


Your not even trying now. Make a bad strawman argument and you kill an angel.

Alex said...

Darcy - technically I understand how it worked, but the Democrats can use it as a moral weapon - "see evil insurance company screwed HIV patient". It's over.

PatCA said...

Wow, if he's losing Feingold, he's losing his party. First the Blue Dogs, now the leftists.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Your not even trying now. Make a bad strawman argument and you kill an angel.

Not trying? Jimmy Carter went to great lengths explaining how opposition to Obama was because of racists. MoDo said that Wilson was really yelling "You lie, boy!" I can only deduce then that a couple of Jewish Senators and one KKK member's opposition to Obama's czars can only be race based.

It's really rich when leftists set the ground rules and then start crying like pussies when its applied to them. How's that shit sandwich tasting pal?

Darcy said...

Well, they can try, Alex. I'm encouraged by the savvy of the citizens against Obamacare so far, though. They're not dumb. They read. Unlike our Congress.

Darcy said...

And lol, Hoosier Daddy.

garage mahal said...

I mean it has to be racism since these three are all devout liberal Democrats. .

Oh quit crying, it's very....what's the word...childish comes to mind. But, I'm glad you guys think so highly of Jimmy Carter you listen to what he says and took offense. It reminds of the DHS report that came out a while back that warned of violence from skin heads and neo nazis, and the entire erupted in protest.... thinking the DHS report was speaking of them!

paul a'barge said...

Something tells me someone is up for reelection soon.

jrosenberry said...

I'm still amazed at how many Obama supporters seem the think that since Bush did something first (abuse of czars, signing statements, blowing up the deficit, etc) then if Obama magnifies it by a factor of 10 then it's just fine because 'Bush started it!" Andrew Sullivan uses this response so often he's probably created a macro for it.

But wasn't Bush the worst president ever? Shredder of the constitution and a fiscal man-whore? Wouldn't that make Obama...worse than Bush, if he he is taking Bush policies and magnifying them up beyond Dick Cheney's wildest dreams? How can anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty consider "Bush started it" as anything but a complete condemnation of Obama?

knox said...

The amount of Czars in the Obama administrations is frightening compared to Bush, and as we all know we didn't hear a peep from the Right.

I am finding conflicting info on how many czars there've been, and how many of them have had the congress' blessing. Chertoff, for example, was Homeland Security Czar under Bush, but he had to complete a Senate confirmation process. So it's unclear how many of these czars are just summarily appointed without oversight.

Surely we can all agree that it's not good to have powerful people appointed, without proper vetting, whose duties are unclear and whose salaries are being paid for with tax dollars.

Anyway, it's not really the *number* of czars that got this ball rolling as much as the creepiness of some of them: if Obama hadn't selected Van Jones, this would be a non-issue. And others like Susstein are sure to rile people as they learn more: some of these appointees are radicals. The average American doesn't want them making important decisions or collecting a salary from the taxpayers.

Ralph L said...

Insurance companies can not and do not rescind coverage just because the insured gets sick
I've had two insurance companies pull out of the state's individual market, the second right after an expensive diagnosis. Fuck Mutual of Omaha.

hysmse - special marshmellow & chocolate treat at Girl Scout camp

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh quit crying, it's very....what's the word...childish comes to mind.

Whose crying garage? Not me! Hell I'm enjoying every minute of watching your party cannibalize each other. I mean it's downright hysterical that President Shortpants with his huge Congressional majorities still can't pass his pet legislation and now even has a lefty like Feingold questioning his pick of czars.

Well I confess, there were tears, as a result of my uncontrollable laughter.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It reminds of the DHS report that came out a while back that warned of violence from skin heads and neo nazis, and the entire erupted in protest.... thinking the DHS report was speaking of them!

Well the one I remember was the DHS report that warned us of dangerous military vets. Of course you would equate military vets with neo nazis and skin heads as did Dick appropriately named Durbin (Democrat)so I'm not surprised you'd come to a similar conclusion.

knox said...

and now even has a lefty like Feingold questioning his pick of czars.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rahm were really pressuring congress and trying to bully them to push HR3200 through. By all accounts he's a nasty piece of work; nothing about Chicago politicians indicates that they play nice with anyone. More and more democrats might get sick of it and start to push back.

Anyway, good for Feingold.

Hoosier Daddy said...

More and more democrats might get sick of it and start to push back.

I think they're doing that now. I think its quite telling that despite such a huge Congressional majority, Obama has to resort to blaming an impotent GOP for failure to pass a bill.

That says Obama is a piss poor leader or the bill is a piece of shit.

I tend to go with all of the above.

Joe said...

and as we all know we didn't hear a peep from the Right.

Not true at all. Many people on the right protested this. Perhaps not the lying bastards in Congress, but they're mostly hypocrites anyway, so what do you expect?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh quit crying, it's very....what's the word...childish comes to mind.

Hey garage, speaking of crying, didn't your girl get weepy on the campaign trail when the very junior former senator from Illinois was spanking her in the primaries?

I don't mean to pick on you garage but you really need to quit lobbing these softballs.

edutcher said...

Cedarford said...

There is nothing wrong with a couple of Czars that perform unique functions that do not fit well with traditional cabinet departments.

Hate to agree with Cedar(really!), but he's right on principle. If a task force needs to be formed in those circumstances, something like a czar is not unreasonable (particularly in a short-term situation).

If I remember correctly, some of Dubya's czars were temps for a specific purpose (Katrina)(and most were called advisors).

LarsPorsena said...

The 'Tsars' will be gone by next month.

Already happened; Obambi is calling them "point people"

LarsPorsena said...

"The 'Tsars' will be gone by next month.

Already happened; Obambi is calling them "point people"

Vanguard of the proletariat..point people...what ever ...I was close.

edutcher said...

I'm not arguing, Lars, just agreeing.

WV "coasicat" coaxial cable for your cat

Invisible Man said...

Many people on the right protested this. Perhaps not the lying bastards in Congress, but they're mostly hypocrites anyway, so what do you expect?


Oh, pretty please, cite this. I would love to hear when those brave patriots on the right rallyed to the cause against czars.

garage mahal said...

Hey garage, speaking of crying, didn't your girl get weepy on the campaign trail when the very junior former senator from Illinois was spanking her in the primaries?.

She was finding her voice. Now leave her alone godammit!

wv ovarandi

knox said...

Oh, pretty please, cite this. I would love to hear when those brave patriots on the right rallyed to the cause against czars.


So come on, hypocrites aside. Are you OK with unvetted czars, in the position to make important decisions.

Defend it, please. All you guys ever do is yell "Bush did it too" or make fun of detractors.

Garage, that goes for you too!

knox said...

She was finding her voice. Now leave her alone godammit!

LOL. Well, I'll give you this: you were right for pulling for HIllary. But after what the Obama campaign did to her ... and what his administration is still doing to her ... I don't know why you defend him. Hillary was as much a victim of his ruthless machine as our country will be when he's done with it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Was this the anti-czar chorus from Boris Godunov or a different anti-czar chorus?

Roger J. said...

russ feingold is imo a real asset to the people of wisconsin--i don't like his politics--but like paul wellstone he is principled--again I assert that feingold, jim demint and tom coburn are what senators ought to be--count yourselves lucky wisconsites (what do you call yourselves?)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, I'll give you this: you were right for pulling for HIllary. But after what the Obama campaign did to her ... and what his administration is still doing to her ... I don't know why you defend him.

Hillary might have won had it not been for her racist husband and that racist Ferraro.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

Oh jeez we've been calling them that for decades now they have a problem with it.

Anyways-

Alles Klar Herr Kommissar?

Wow does this suck in the Alsace...

wv:bargazin

Revenant said...

1) a real concern about congressional oversight, which Russ Feingold, a Democrat, cares about (find me a Republican legislator who said a damn word during the Bush administration),

John McCain, who later because the 2008 Republican Presidential candidate. Got any other silly questions?

What makes McCain and Feingold's sudden concern over the Constitution so funny, of course, is that they co-sponsored the biggest affront to Constitutional liberties in the last decade.

Nichevo said...

Blogger Alex said...

When insurance companies deny coverage to a kid who got HIV from giving blood

This is not correct. Please do not pass out false information:

The teen did not get HIV from giving blood. This is very unpossible - I give platelets regularly (64 lifetime donations) and all equipment is sterile, aseptic, and in closed systems where my blood never mixes with anyone else's. It is slightly more possible than rolling a 13 on 2d6, but not much more.

It is almost impossible anymore to get HIV from RECEIVING blood, let alone giving.

What it is, is the teen found out he had HIV because he went and gave blood, but all they did was DETECT the HIV he already had (from gay sex or IV drugging in all likelihood), and tell him so.

Please everyone, don't be afraid to give blood or blood products. The Red Cross, the New York Blood Center and other organizations are quite competent to do this with perfect safety for their donors.

Please give blood.

That is all. Go argue about politics now. I will pretend to concede one argument to any Lefty who goes out and gives blood. Conservatives of course don't have to be bribed ;>

Nichevo said...

In fact, Professor Althouse, can I get you to make a PSA sort of post about organ/tissue donation? I would be happy to educate you on this issue, and more donors are always needed.

Revenant said...

In my opinion, some "czars" are fine. But if they have a significant area of focus, they should be treated as cabinet-level appointments the way the "drug czar" is. Of Obama's "czars", in my opinion two (the "auto czar" and the "recovery czar") really ought to have been confirmed by the Senate.

The real problem, of course, is the concentration of federal power that makes "czars" necessary.

kentuckyliz said...

Thx for clarifying. I was wondering if the blood donor centers were re-using needles. I mean, WTF, getting HIV from donating blood?!?!?!

peter hoh said...

I wrote:

'Cause, you know, nothin' says "communist" like "czar."

Hoosier Daddy responded:

Actually no it doesn't Pete. "commissar" perhaps but not czar considering it was the communists that overthrew the czar.

Of course that's assuming anyone has a cursory knowledge of 20th century Russian history. Maybe a big assumption on my part.


Head thunks on desk.

Thanks for playing, Hoosier.

Nichevo said...

Thank you, kentuckyliz. May I tell you in passing how much I enjoyed your former avatar; the new one is also cute, but which is more you? ;>

But to be serious, I am glad to assuage anyone's concerns. I feel your interest allows me to post the contents of the note I had intended to write Ann privately, as being on topic.

It should be needless to say that everything is single-use except their medical instruments like scissors and hemostats. Even the apheresis systems essentially circulate your blood fractions through a disposable centrifuge. Everything that touches you is aseptic, fresh just for you. They have the latest newest sharpest smallest needles, too, and I almost always get a good stick, even though my veins are scarred from often giving.

The worst thing about giving blood, for me at least, is that the Durapore tape they use to attach the IV clings abominably to forearm hair. (Have them rub alcohol on the outside of the tape, wait a few secs, and pull gently, it comes away clean as a whistle.)

The best, of course, would be treats. Make sure before you go that your place serves jellybeans - some don't, shockingly, including where I go now - FAIL - but they all have Lorna Doones and Oreos and trail mix and raisins and sugar-free shortbreads and fruit juice and occasionally other treats, and they are frankly indifferent to you making off with wads and wads of 'em for later. You could feed a manson of hippies for a three-day weekend with the haul you can take away.

And tea, coffee, often fancy single-serve hot drink makers that are fun to watch. Nobody serves prime rib as I always suggest, but the Citibank one at 53rd&Park did once serve lox and bagels if you went on Saturday!

So please don't be afraid to give! Should also be a way to meet good people, I also wonder why they don't rig singles nights.


...

Nichevo said...

Dear Althouse, or Meade if she's not attending this thread:

re post:

""Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin joined the anti-czar chorus Wednesday...""
69 Comments - Show Original Post

I object to a comment:



Blogger Alex said...

Guys we've lost the debate:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/17/insurance-company-must-pa_n_289841.html

"Insurance Company Must Pay $10 Million For Revoking Policy Of Teen With HIV"

When insurance companies deny coverage to a kid who got HIV from giving blood, you know they're being dastardly and these kind of stories will easily allow the Democrats to push us into single-payer. It's over.

9/17/09 11:54 AM


This statement is false. (I do not seek to impugn the commenter, he is merely mistaken I am sure. Perhaps I should say this statement is incorrect.)

The subject of the article did NOT get HIV from donating blood. He only LEARNED his HIV status as a perk of the FREE testing done on each and every unit of blood product donated in the USA.

In other words, the blood donation was beneficial to him. Without giving blood, indeed, without paid checkups through insurance, he might never have learned of it till the disease was in a far more advanced state. Equally, one might learn of the presence of any number of illnesses from hepatitis to syphillis to West Nile virus, perhaps before infecting an unknowing partner.

The purely awkward of the fact that the timing of things worked out ill for him can hardly be advanced as a failing in the system of voluntary tissue and organ donation. Lightning doesn't strike twice, mostly.


Blood donation in its many forms is a vital part of the healthcare system and as such is even topical to recent blog talk. So I'm sure that you can think of something to say, and/or throw it open for comments.

DTL gets to resent straights because he can't donate, so do many Brits, Euros or other foreigners here. The conservatives all get to show how much more they give than the liberals. The vets have an angle. There's something in it for everyone!

Anyway, just wanted to bring this to your attention. I do not represent anyone except as an enthusiastic whole blood, platelet and bone marrow stem cell donor. I would HATE for anyone to think that donation placed them at any risk greater than a cheap drunk or, more seriously, a bit of bruising at the worst. Certainly no one could be infected with AIDS from giving.

But please don't delete Alex's post, I prefer it be seen (and corrected/retorted) and discussed as widely as possible. Visibility of the issue can only increase donations, I wot.

Best regards,
Nichevo

----------

turing word: dimpl. Your dimpl will surely be increased by giving blood.

dick said...

I think you have to compare the power the czars have. With Bush the czars were there for discussion but did not have enforcement powers. They might have made recommendations but that is all. With Zero the czars are actually shortcutting the cabinet officials. Big difference.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Head thunks on desk.

Thanks for playing, Hoosier.


Sorry Pete. Its just that I see so much historical ignorance on display here and elsewhere, it was just a knee jerk reaction to correct the record. I guess my sarcasm detector was set too low.

peter hoh said...

Thanks, Hoosier.

I guess I did a shortcut around the "czars are proof that Obama's a marxist" logic I saw coming out of the Beck-led anti-czar populism, but that's what I was responding to.

FWIW, I think that Feingold is on the right track and I support this effort.

Skipper50 said...

Russ has been reading his polls, I guess.