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Sen. Byrd questions the Constitutionality of White House "czars"

Quite a bit of discussion has been generated over President Obama's fondness for "czars," officials working for the White House who are in charge of a special government project -- automotive industry reform, energy policy, environmental and climate change policies, the War on Drugs, the Census, etc.

Unfortunately "czars" are essentially unaccountable. Unlike cabinet appointments, "czars" are not vetted by Congress, nor does Congress have any oversight with regard to projects that are developed and managed by the "czars."

Despite his questionable past, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) has remained a staunch defender of the Constitution and its stated separation of government powers. Yesterday, in a rare move that was deeply critical of a President from his own party, Sen. Byrd sent a letter of concern to President Obama:

"As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president," Byrd wrote. "They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."

The West Virginia Democrat on Wednesday asked Obama to "consider the following: that assertions of executive privilege will be made only by the president, or with the president's specific approval; that senior White House personnel will be limited from exercising authority over any person, any program, and any funding within the statutory responsibility of a Senate-confirmed department or agency head; that the president will be responsible for resolving any disagreement between a Senate-confirmed agency or department head and White House staff; and that the lines of authority and responsibility in the administration will be transparent and open to the American public."

They say even a broken clock is right twice a day. A decade ago I applauded Sen. Byrd when he implored President Clinton to quit schmoozing Senators during his impeachment trial: "Don't tamper with this jury." I am equally thankful that Sen. Byrd has taken exception to President Obama's brazen attempt to increase the power of the Presidency -- something over which the Democrats mercilessly pilloried the Bush Administration, yet seem completely comfortable with, now that they are in charge.


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Comments (14)

It is great that Byrd is wi... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

It is great that Byrd is willing to oppose Obama on something and the separation of power is a good area. My only problem with Byrd and most of Congress is they have little to no problem with increasing the power of Congress or the Federal Government.

A democrat questioning the ... (Below threshold)

A democrat questioning the transparency of the Obama administration? How delightful.
http://www.rightklik.net/

Byrd does have a valid conc... (Below threshold)
John:

Byrd does have a valid concern. But if he's worried about Biden, he shouldn't worry too much. After all it is Biden who doesn't remember the "number" to Recovery.gov...what a friggin idiot...

Byrd should also watch his political back for daring to question Obama...

Byrd is openly questioning ... (Below threshold)

Byrd is openly questioning "The Won"?

The old coot should stay away from staircases lest he take a tumble.

The Chosen One has to have ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The Chosen One has to have czars. Things go sideways, he's got to have someone to throw under the bus. The Savior is not permitted to make mistakes.

Funny how libs have started... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Funny how libs have started bringing up Byrd's past 'associations', once he started criticizing the One.

It's even funnier knowing that Obama was on Byrd's re-election committee and made campaign speeches and raised campaign funds for him.

j58 - "My President nee... (Below threshold)
marc:

j58 - "My President needs to tell this sheethead to go to the rethuglicans where he belongs. He could have Jindrawl be his butler in the Senate."

And there she is in all her inglorious revelry. Nothing but childish invective, how typical.

Screw what very well could be unconstitutional right?

BTW, I'm still waiting for that call from the Secret Service. Should I stop holding my breath now?

marc, you are responding to... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

marc, you are responding to an impostor.

"Justice69" is someone pretending to be the ever reasonable justice58. I think it's a pretty good ruse. It fooled you, GarandFan (THREE TIMES that I've counted) and a couple of others.

"69" not "58." Get it? Get it?

Remind me never to see you for legal advice.

bh As I just posted in the ... (Below threshold)
marc:

bh As I just posted in the other thread, does it matter whether it's the "real" j58 or an idiotic sockpuppet/poser?

Not in the least, one's presumably the real deal one is just as dumb... times 2 for mimicking she/he/IT.

"Remind me never to see you for legal advice."

You need a reminder?

Well I guess you do.

You seem to have been duped into believing something manufactured from whole cloth by JFO (If memory serves) and latched onto by a couple of, (dare I say "other-side of the aisde dittoheads") dems, leftists, progressives, libtards, lefturds and general all-round asswipes that post here.

Too bad you got caught-up in that group.

I was duped, counselor? How... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I was duped, counselor? How so?

See, I would guess that thi... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

See, I would guess that this justice69 person is not a "sockpuppet" but rather an "agent provocateur."

This person's schtick is to post something slightly more outrageous than "58" would say, thus getting kneejerk responses from the likes of you guys. And it worked! Repeatedly!

Y'all should be thanking me, not excoriating me. I've saved you from falling into "69"'s trap any more times than you already have.

Some gratitude.

We've gone from the "Decide... (Below threshold)
Bill:

We've gone from the "Decider" to the "Delegator". Both sound/were out of control.

President OBAMA is **(RIGHT... (Below threshold)
Peter:

President OBAMA is **(RIGHT to INCREASE TAXES)** on the **(RICH)**. The RICH under the REPUBLICANS rule, always get away with laws and lobbying to HELP the RICH and to help the REPUBLICANS! Not to mention all the TAX cuts BUSH gave to the OIL companies while the OIL companies made RECORD PROFITS!

"We've gone from the "Decid... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"We've gone from the "Decider" to the 'Delegator'."

Yes, I remember how he "decided" to delegate all the important stuff to Cheney.

Maybe the White House should just change the names to "Car Cheney", "Drug Cheney", "Recovery Cheney", etc.




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