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The Trentonian (, Serving Trenton, NJ Opinion ‘Czars’ tip off real agenda Thursday, October 1, 2009 By JAY AMBROSE President Obama is appointing so-called White House czars in profusion, and some of them are far-out ideologues. But the Left says ho hum, no big deal. Why, the Left points out, Bush had lots of czars too — as if he’s some sort of role model for the crew that pledged “Change You Can Believe In.” A czar, we should first understand, is someone who does something that would ordinarily be done within a federal department. But unlike cabinet secretaries, these people do not have to be confirmed by the Senate. The issue of czars is not so much their precise numbers as whether they’re likely to have an adverse impact on government. And I think the answer is yes when you start getting people like Van Jones. Obama made him czar of “green” jobs — until, that is, commentator Glenn Beck began making noises about him on Fox. The whole green jobs thing is something of a charade to begin with. Experts have noted that for every one created — usually through subsidies — you’ll likely lose a couple of other jobs. But during the campaign, Obama talked repeatedly about green jobs as the way to rejuvenate the economy. And his administration found someone who believes in green jobs as some believe in Holy Writ, namely the above-mentioned Van Jones. The guy is a self-professed communist who has never given up decrying the free-market while advocating extreme environmental measures to make it less free. Also, he takes the position that pollution is a racial issue involving the unjust treatment of minorities by white people. But what finally led to this crackpot’s resignation was the revelation of his involvement with a group trying to prove that Bush helped plan the 9/11 attack. Some say the Obama White House was probably ignorant of much of Jones’ background. Besides, they contend, the czar post wasn’t all that important anyway. But clearly, green jobs matter to this administration. This particular czar position did count. And there is no way the administration was uninformed of the basics of Van Jones’ anti-free-enterprise outlook, even if it was unaware of some of his more bizarre views and activities. There are other environmental extremists among the Obama czars, as well as people in other administration jobs who, though not technically czars, are of radical outlook. For example, Mark Lloyd, diversity chief at the Federal Communications Commission. He’s a big Hugo Chavez fan and, ominously, given the post he holds, has meager regard for free speech on radio. Some look at all this and then pounce on Glenn Beck. But Beck isn’t the issue. He’s largely been doing what all major news outlets ought to be doing — scrutinizing presidential appointments and analyzing what they say about the ideological tilt of the White House agenda. — Jay Ambrose is former director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard Newspapers. URL: © 2009, a Journal Register Property


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