Tags: obama | czar | van | jones

Obama's Czars Represent Wrong Kind of Change

Thursday, 27 Aug 2009 03:30 PM

By E. Ralph Hostetter

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Presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigned on the slogan "Change you can believe in."

Now the public is coming to the realization that the original slogan could best be described today in this manner: "Change you can't believe."

As the curtain unfolds on the stage of Obama's social and economic theater, the real change is exposed in stark reality — change you can’t believe.

Under normal circumstances, the president forms a cabinet of about 15 or more members. Obama has yet to make 42 percent of those appointments.

The president, however, has created an estimated 32 entities covering the economy, environment, and other areas of government that have apparently avoided the advice and consent approval of the Senate. The individuals whom he has appointed to head these agencies — without the normal vetting that Senate approval provides —have become known as "czars."

Ostensibly, these czars are supposed to observe and offer support in carrying out the policies of the administration, the Cabinet, and department heads. It is believed by many that this window dressing will soon drop and expose the fact that these "czars" are going to develop their own policies and take over the enforcement thereof.

Modern government views this type of procedure as dictatorial.

Obama has appointed one such "czar," Van Jones, to serve as a special advisor for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Jones' duties will include helping to craft jobs generating climate policy and to ensure equal opportunity in the administration's energy proposals.

World Net Daily's Aaron Klein identifies Jones as a former self-described "rowdy black nationalist."

Jones has become a "lightning rod," so to speak, for criticism of Obama's far-reaching environmental programs.

Jones' origins were in rural Tennessee, where he attended the state university. On arrival at Yale Law School in the late 1980s, he was described as "wearing cowboy boots and carrying a Black Panther book bag."

Jones moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the spring of 1992 at the time when a San Francisco-based lawyers' Committee on Human Rights was hiring law students to act as legal observers during the trial of the Rodney King assailants. The King assailants were four Los Angeles police officers. Tried in state court, all four were acquitted. A federal trial for civil rights violations found two officers guilty, each sentenced to 30 months in prison; the other two were acquitted.

Mass demonstrations erupted in Los Angeles after the state court acquittals. At one of the later demonstrations, where Jones had gone to observe the activity, he was "swept up in the mass arrests." He describes this as a "turning point in his life."

While in jail, Jones states: "I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was like, 'This is what I need to be part of.' "

Although Jones had planned to go to Washington, he decided to stay in San Francisco.

In his words: "I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.

"I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28, and then the [King] verdict came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist."

Obama has been steering a course to avoid the term "czar" in his official discourse. However, he may have made a Freudian slip on July 13, while addressing an urban policy group in Washington, when he introduced Gil Kerlikowske as his "drug czar." Up to this point, the administration had rejected the word "czar" as a media buzzword.

Fox News reports that some accounts put the number of czars at three dozen, managing everything from closing Guantanamo Bay to ending genocide in Darfur.

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., described these czars as part of a parallel government, one that is outside of the Constitution and the authority of Congress. By some definitions, they report directly to the president, not waiting to receive Senate confirmation.

By any measurement, these czars and their agencies may well be operating outside the constitutionally mandated order for conducting the nation's affairs.

At the very least, a Supreme Court review of the present policies with respect to the authority under which these czars and their agencies operate is desirable.

E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by e-mail sent to eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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