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"Car czar" out, "Presidential Task Force on Autos" in

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 16, 2009 09:45 AM

We are truly living an Ayn Rand novel-come-to-life nightmare:

President Obama has given up on landing a “car czar” to oversee the auto industry’s restructuring. Instead, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be in charge, administration officials said Sunday night.

The czar was to have evaluated turnaround reports that are due Tuesday from GM and Chrysler as part of the agreement giving them bailout funds at the end of the Bush administration.

Administration officials said restructuring expert Ron Bloom, a former investment banker who been advising the United Steelworkers, will become a senior adviser at the Treasury Department, in charge of helping a Presidential Task Force on Autos drawn that will be from across the executive branch.

The “Presidential Task Force makes clear that this is a top priority of the President and the administration, and this is the team that will be evaluating the auto viability plans that are submitted on Tuesday,” a senior administration official said.

The official said: ‘We had never said we were going to do a czar, so it’s incorrect to say as some people are that we changed plans. The president felt this was best approach.”

Industry officials said the leading candidate for car czar was celebrity financier Steven Rattner, the private-equity executive and former New York Times reporter.

Tresuary Secretary tax cheat and bailout failout architect Tim Geithner will fork over more money:

Members of the task force will be drawn from relevant cabinet agencies and offices, including the Departments of Treasury, Labor, Transportation, Commerce, and Energy, the National Economic Council, the White House Office of Energy and Environment, the Council of Economic Advisers and the EPA.

–The president has designated the Treasury Secretary to be the president’s designee for official purposes to oversee the loan agreements with the auto companies.

***

Big Labor gets a Big Seat at the table.

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