According to Wikipedia, Czar is a Slavic term that is a derivative of Caesar. Caesar, in turn, means Emperor in the European medieval sense of the term, that is, a ruler who claims the same rank as a Roman emperor, with the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official such as the Pope or the Eastern Church’s Patriarch.
In the United States, “Czar” is an informal title invented by the media for executive branch officials appointed by the President usually without Senate approval. The real official titles of these political “czars” are often quite long or awkward sounding. The media began using the term “czar” in the 1930s in the socialist FDR administration.
Not surprisingly, critics of political czars are mainly conservatives. They say such czars are unconstitutional because Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that the President may nominate “other public Ministers … by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” This means a czar appointee is only legal if confirmed by the Senate.
Obama has been in office for only 19 months but has already made 44 Czar appointments, 33 of whom are without the Senate’s approval or confirmation:
- AfPak czar: Richard Holbrooke
- AIDS czar: Jeffrey Crowley
- 2 Auto/car czars: Steve Rattner, Ron Bloom
- Auto recovery & autoworker czar: Ed Montgomery
- Bank bailout or TARP czar: Herbert Allison
- Climate czar: Todd Stern
- Global warming czar: Carol Browner
- Border czar: Alan Bersin
- Copyright czar: Victoria Espinel
- Gulf compensation or claims czar: Kenneth Feinberg
- 2 Cybersecurity czars: Melissa Hathaway, Howard Schmidt
- Domestic violence czar: Lynn Rosenthal
- Drug czar: Gil Kerlikowske
- Economic big picture czar: Paul Volcker
- 2 Ethics or transparency czars: Norm eisen, Robert Bauer
- Faith-based czar: Joshua DuBois
- Great Lakes czar: Cameron Davis
- Green jobs czar: Van Jones
- Guantanamo Base closure czar: Daniel Fried
- Health czar: Nancy-Ann DePerle
- Health IT czar: David Blumenthal
- Information or infotech czar: Vivek Kundra
- Intelligence czar: Dennis Blair
- Iran czar: Dennis Ross
- Manufacturing czar: William Sutton
- Middle East czar: George Mitchell
- Performance czar: Jeffrey Zients
- Regulatory czar: Cass Sunstein
- Science czar: John Holdron
- Stimulus accountability/oversight czar: Earl Devaney
- Technology czar: Aneesh Chopra
- Terrorism czar: John Brennan
- Urban affairs czar: Adolfo Carrion
- War czar: Douglas Lute
- Weapons czar: Ashton Carter
- Weapons of Mass Destruction czar: Gary Samore
- Weatherization czar: Gil Perling
To this dreary list of high-paid bureaucrats we can add Obama’s latest czar appointment:
Asian Carp Czar!!!!
Joel Hood of Chicago Breaking News Center reports on September 8, 2010 that the White House has tapped John Goss, a former leader of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Wildlife Federation, as the Asian carp czar to oversee an $80 million federal attack against the carp, so as to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.
Asian carp, which have steadily moved toward Chicago since the 1990s, present a challenge for scientists and fish biologists. The fish are aggressive eaters, consuming as much as 40% of their body weight a day in plankton, and frequently beat out native fish for food, threatening those populations.
They are also prolific breeders with no natural predators in the U.S. The fish were imported in the 1970s to help wastewater treatment facilities in the South keep their retention ponds clean. Mississippi River flooding allowed the fish to escape and then move into the Missouri and Illinois rivers. Some species can grow to more than 100 pounds.
Scientists disagree about the likelihood that Asian carp are capable of sustaining a large and destructive population if allowed to enter the Great Lakes.
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