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Obama’s new euphemism for his czars

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 16, 2009 03:45 PM

Just wanted to make sure you and all the other citizen czar-watchers out there were aware that President Obama has a new euphemism for his czars.

He tested it out yesterday during his AFL-CIO speech:

That’s why we’re investing in a clean energy economy that will free America from the grip of foreign oil and create millions of new green jobs that can’t be outsourced. That’s why I’ve named a new point person to jumpstart American manufacturing so that we can make “Made in America” not just a slogan, we want to make it a reality. (Applause.)

“Point person.”

Got it?

He’s referring, of course, to union hatchet man-turned auto czar-turned manufacturing czar Ron Bloom — the double-dipping appointee now in charge of revitalizing two industries that he and his Big Labor bosses have run into the ground.

No matter what you call them, the increasingly bipartisan clamor against them is rising.

Add Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold to the mounting critics of Obama’s culture of circumvention:

September 15, 2009

The President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

From the beginning of your administration, you have made an admirable commitment to transparency and open government. You showed the strength of your commitment by sending a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies within a week of your inauguration, stating: “My administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.”

As you know, there has been much discussion about your decisions to create and assign apparently significant policy-making responsibilities to White House and other executive positions; many of the persons filling these positions have come to be referred to in the media and even within your administration as policy “czars.” I heard firsthand about this issue on several occasions from my constituents in recent town hall meetings in Wisconsin.

The Constitution gives the Senate the duty to oversee the appointment of Executive officers through the Appointments Clause in Article II, section 2. The Appointments Clause states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise proved for, and which shall be established by law.” (Emphasis added.) This clause is an important part of the constitutional scheme of separation of powers, empowering the Senate to weigh in on the appropriateness of significant appointments and assisting in its oversight of the Executive Branch.

As a member of the Senate with the duty to oversee executive appointments and as the Chairman of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee, I respectfully urge you to disclose as much information as you can about these policy advisors and “czars.” Specifically, I ask that you identify these individuals’ roles and responsibilities, and provide the judgment(s) of your legal advisors as to whether and how these positions are consistent with the Appointments Clause. I hope that this information will help address some of the concerns that have been raised about new positions in the White House and elsewhere in the Executive Branch, and will inform any hearing that the Subcommittee holds on this topic.

Thank you for considering my views on this important matter. I very much appreciate your commitment to transparency and open government and look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Russell D. Feingold

United States Senator

Posted in: czars

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