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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:16 PM
Original message
Feingold Takes Up 'Czar' Questions with the White House
Really? No one gave a damn about Bush's or Clinton's "czars". Way to be a tool Russ!

Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wisc.) released a letter Wednesday asking the White House for an accounting of the "roles and responsibilities" of the growing number of special advisers or policy "czars" working for President Obama.

In the letter, Feingold also asked the president's legal advisers to explain how their appointments square with the Constitution's mandate that the Senate oversee executive appointments.

"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," wrote Feingold, chairman of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee. He added that the issue was raised by his constituents in Wisconsin at several town hall meetings

Since taking office, Obama has continued a presidential tradition by appointing several dozen special advisers and envoys, while assigning special duties to Cabinet deputies to coordinate across normal administrative boundaries. While some of the appointments are Senate approved, others are not -- and the issue has become a flashpoint for critics of the presidents who have labeled the appointees "czars."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/09/16/liberal_...
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Pathetic. Pretty standard for Feingold.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Did Feingold not question bush's
special advisers?
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. WTF?
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 12:09 AM by firedupdem
President Obama didn't start this CZAR shit! Why has it never been an issue before? Unbelievable...but then again maybe not.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Feingold has always raised these issues
He was a hero here when he raised accountability issues like this when Bush was President.
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seaglass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. He's still a hero to me, wish he was the prez. n/t
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
41. I agree - and should have said so
I don't always agree with Feingold, but he is one of few whose motives I would never question. He is completely right to always stand up for what he believes.

I'm not sure how he how do as President.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
23. Sorry, but he was supposed to stop "raising issues" last January!
:sarcasm:
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Parker CA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. We don't even need GOP opposition when our own help affirm the right's talking points. What
is the point of this???
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Holding his feet to the fire, so that he won't be able to walk.
It's been the craze since the inauguration!
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. LOL. I like Russ but I think this just does nothing to help the Dems.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Actually if Obama answers the question well, it indeed helps the Democrats
It's an easy answer actually.

All Obama has to do is say that czars have been used in past administrations for various roles as advisors for certain issues and they have no executive powers. Send that to the Senate Constitution Subcommittee and it's not an "issue" any more.

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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. Yep. Gets it aired out and takes it off the table.
Demonstrating a good offense is always better than playing defense. Feingold understands that and offers the administration an opportunity to bring out the offense.

Burying it or pretending it isn't an issue won't make it go away. That's straight out of the chimp's playbook.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I guess so he can give out some stupid press release
how he's gettin' tough on Obama czars. I'm getting tired of Dems taking up GOP talking points

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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. delete
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 01:16 AM by SpartanDem
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
10. The main job of a Senator is to represent his constituents
While it might play into the hands of the GOP, Feingold is following what is his role as (my) Senator. If constituents are asking about the role of czars in the Obama administration, he can ignore them and not represent all the people or he can at least ask about such appointments.

Nobody gets a free ride. Feingold is chairman of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee and he is doing his job.

What answer should Obama have? That's up to him and I know that it's for perfectly good reasons as well as the appointment of czars has occurred for many administrations.

All the Obama team has to do is send Feingold a cogent response and it's checked off the list. AND it's something we can use to fight off the Republicans trying to make it an "issue".

As for people trashing Feingold, you have your heads way deep up your ass.


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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. it's absurd to think a Senator can represent ALL the views of
those s/he represents.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Feingold is respected for keeping it clean and real by all sides
If constituents want to know about the czars and he keeps getting asked at town meetings, what should he do? Give them the finger? Should he tell them that they don't count?

Feingold voted against the Iraq War... against the Patriot Act... and more... he is a top shelf Democrat in my view and I will certainly help get him re-elected in 2010. I've met him several times and he is an excellent person.

So, back to him doing his job... he is asking for a cogent explanation of the czar issue and WHEN he gets one, he would probably be glad to go toe-to-toe against any Republican that wants to play.

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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
40. Bush had 47 czars did he ask ...
for this information during that administration?
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. If not, it could be fairly said that there were so many things Boosh
did that were much worse, that this issue couldn't come up.

Blivet was busy shredding the Constitution, so that came first.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
37. You raise a good points...
I'm sure PO will be happy to answer Feingold's questions.

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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
12. Weird
What is Russ worried about exactly? Although I can imagine Feingold being opposed to President Obama about things like Afghanistan, Patriot Act, etc., this is a bit strange. Why are so many members of our party buying into Glenn Beck- and Faux News-hyped *concerns*? ACORN is one thing but now this???
:wtf:

I might expect stuff like this from the so-called "Blue Dogs" but Feingold's questioning of things like this- where there's not even an *issue* as far as I'm concerned- is just weird, particularly since he is considered to be one of the more progressive members of the US Senate who usually gets things right.

:wtf:
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Should the Obama administration NOT respond?
:shrug:

The best way to keep problems happening is to ignore them. If the chairman of the Senate Constitution Subcommittee (Feingold) requests an explanation on the czars, you give him an answer. Done.

Nobody gets a free ride. Sorry.


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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Feingold can ask and the administration can respond
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:46 AM by Proud Liberal Dem
I'm just wondering why he's asking in the first place? I don't know how long he's been in the US Senate offhand but there have been "czar" positions in several administrations. Why, I believe Bill Bennett was HW Bush's "Drug Czar". Did Feingold, if was in office at the time, ever ask about Clinton's "Czars"? Did Feingold ever raise questions about Buscho's "Czars"? Or is he now, like just about every other Democrat out there, finding his "inner asshole" and trying to find some reason to "stand up" to President Obama?
What's driving him to focus on President Obama regarding this particular *issue*, especially when President Obama apparently has less "Czars" than Buscho?
I guess it's great that he has the courage and fortitude to ask tough questions about a POTUS from his own party but I'm just wondering WHY it's a matter of concern to him now, particularly since this currently seems to be particularly important *concern* of Glenn Beck and Faux News at the moment.
I just hope he's not doing this because of THEM but I have a bad feeling that he's asking about it pretty much only because Glenn Beck and Faux news have successfully "catapaulted" THIS *story* into other media outlets just like they did with ACORN. The WH and US Senate, including many Democrats, have already bought into Faux News' and Glenn Beck's hard-hitting *concerns* about ACORN. Van Jones has bitten the dust as Obama's "green jobs czar" because of some politically inconvenient comments he made IN THE PAST about Republicans and 9/11.
I'm getting worried about where this might all end. Will Feingold and other Democrats jump on the "Birther" bandwagon next and if so, should the administration have to respond to THAT, as well? Forgive me for being just a little nervous about where this all might be heading. Obama has enough on his plate in regards to responding to RW and corporate media-enabled attacks on his policies. I would hope that he doesn't have to deal with stupid issues like this from members OF HIS OWN PARTY TOO!
:argh:
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #20
33. Here's why Feingold is posing the question on czars... two answers:
1. He is up for reelection and has to do his job representing his constituents.

2. He can offer Obama a chance to explain the czar thing succinctly and put it behind him.

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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. I guess
1. Are people- by and large- even WORRIED about THIS? The only ones that seem to be really "worried" about this as far as I know are people who watch Faux News and take it seriously, most of whom are too far gone for us to reach. I imagine most people probably care more about finding a job or affordable healthcare right now. But I guess Feingold DOES have to represent the clinically insane among the rest of us too. :shrug:

2. What's there to explain? Whoever first started utilizing "Czars" should've already explained their role- if anybody really cared enough to ask. Anybody who is substantially "worried" about Czars is already beyond help IMHO. NOTHING Obama might say about "Czars" will EVER be enough to relieve their paranoid delusions.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. Typical Democrats. Tough when a Democrat is in office. Bitches when a Republican is in there
1993 all over
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Ain't THAT the truth
:argh:
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #15
28. Clearly you haven't been paying attention the last nine years.
Feingold has always taken stands on the side of the constitution, even when the chimp was president. Being in the minority meant he had no power to do anything but go on record in opposition and try to stir up the public. But he was there battling when many didn't or wouldn't.

On the other hand, if it makes your life easier to paint all Dems with a broad brush, have at it. Nothing I say will change your mind.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
17. The Consitution doesn't require the Senate to oversee all appointments.
It gives them the option of making an "inferior Officers" position by-confirmation, or just leaving it up to the president.

I'm OK with Obama choosing a green jobs czar without Senate confirmation, and I'd be OK with a Republican president doing that, too.


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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. And if you think THAT'S odd, Obama asked me to work without pay!!!
He asked me to be a "special telecomunications adviser to intracommunity statistics and outreach."

..... and if wanted to knock on some doors, I could do that too. :)

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
19. How does he dare take his job seriously?
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 08:42 AM by Mass
He is asking a question. I would expect the White House to answer honestly and the issue will be moot.


But once again, how can we have senators doing their job!
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
24. Senators Feinstein and Byrd also have problems with "czars"...




...........Although the czar charge has come mostly from the right, Feingold isnt the only Democrat to voice concerns about the issue.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview Wednesday that there needs to be better Senate oversight, although she was quick to add that some czar critics have incorrectly labeled a number of Senate-confirmed administration officials as White House czars.

If you look over certain people have real titles and real authority, I dont think its quite fair to call, for example, David Hayes at the Department of Interior a czar, the California Democrat said. Hes the deputy secretary of the Department of Interior, and hes got real authority.

Feinstein said she thinks its a problem when the White House appoints someone to a czar position that is not clearly defined. I dont know what a car czar does, for example, she said.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) a fierce defender of congressional authority argued in a letter last February that the czars may upset checks and balances in the federal government.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27265.html#ix...
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twiceshy Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. I also want to know.........
Who these folks are, what their duties are, how much power they have, and how much they are paid. I don't see an issue with this at all - it's just checks and balances.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. yes, checks and balances is the issue.
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Baltoman991 Donating Member (869 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
25. Mission accomplished
Russ!!!

I'm listening to Sen. Alexander talking now on the floor and lo and behold he brings up the letter Feingold sent to Obama.

Way to give them cover Russ. Now it can be forgotten that these assholes were all for the Bush Czars.

Fucking spineless assholes.
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CBR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. This just pisses me off. The grandstanding is atrocious. Why question
Obama? Why now? This becomes a win for the GOP and, once again, most Dems prove they have none of the political savvy of Obama. NONE!
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
27. In most cases, "czar" is just the easy form of titular address.
E.g., Van Jones was the "Green Jobs Czar." The real title of his position was/is "White House Council on Environmental Quality's Special Advisor for Green Jobs."


Iow, it's a bunch of bullshit about nothing.
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msallied Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
31. Feingold's doing the right thing.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:21 AM by msallied
And if answering those questions will shut those up yelling the loudest about them, so be it. The teabaggers will continue to look as loony as the birthers: clamoring for information they already got.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. All this does is legitimize those GOP cranks
Feingold may be satisfied with the answers he gets, but I bet this only prompts them to make this an even bigger issue while using him as cover.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
32. Good for Feingold.
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boomerbust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
36. I went to one of his townhalls
During the immigration flap. He made one comment that surprised me. He said he voted yes on S2611 becayse a lot of "businesses" were for it.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
39. I like Feingold but..
It seems as though we can never get anything done because the Dems seem to spend all of their time bringing up issues we can look into or fight another time and not working together on the big issues.

They claim we can't do anything if we we wait til next year but we won't get anything done if the Dems keep this up they have three more years and these czars are not an issue.

The Dems seem to be working with fox because everytime they bring on some story they jump to help them out with their lies..
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