That was then.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is naming Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and a trusted adviser at the Obama White House, as the point man on the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola crisis.
Obama has been under pressure to name an Ebola “czar” to oversee health security in the U.S. and actions to help stem the outbreak in West Africa.
That’s Czar Klain on the left. That Kevin Spacey’s on his right only goes to certify the Czar’s sophistication.
Klain has been out of government since leaving Biden’s office during the Obama’s first term. The White House said that Klain would report to national security adviser Susan Rice and to homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.
Klain, a lawyer, also served as chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore. He previously served under Attorney General Janet Reno in the Clinton administration.
But let’s get back to this “Czar” business. What’s it all about Alfie ?
Czar is an informal title for certain high-level officials in the United States and United Kingdom. Political czars can run or organize governmental departments, and may devote their expertise to a single area of work. The “czars” have various official titles such as adviser, director, administrator, or diplomatic envoy, but such titles are often quite long or awkward sounding.
In the United States, czars are generally executive branch officials appointed by the President either with Senate approval or without it. Some appointees outside the executive branch are called czars as well. Specific instances of the term are often a media creation.[In the United Kingdom, the term tsar is more loosely used to refer to high-profile appointments who devote their skills to one particular area.
It’s “informal” see? So he won’t need –
The term ‘czar,’ is a word of Balkan origin etymologically originating from the name “Caesar,” as does the word ‘tsar,’ a title of sovereignty adopted by late Rurukid-dynasty (Ivan III and Ivan IV the Terrible in particular) rulers of Muscovy. Confusion emerged when a German traveler recorded that the ruler of Muscovy at the time was titled ‘czar,’ due to a linguistic mistake derived from the fact that the Polish, with whom the German had greater familiarity, titled some leaders ‘czars.’ The term czar was used to designate the Russian, Bulgarian or Serbian monarchs of pre-World War I Europe.
During the latter stages of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson appointed financier Bernard Baruch to run the War Industries Board. This position was sometimes dubbed the “industry czar”.
One of the earliest known metaphorical usages of the term in the U.S. were to Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was named commissioner of baseball, with broad powers to clean up the sport after it had been dirtied by the Black Sox scandal of 1919.
In 1926, a New York City chamber of commerce named what the New York Times termed a “czar” to clean up the milk delivery industry.
In the United States, the term czar has been used by the media to refer to appointed executive branch officials since at least the 1930s and then the 1940s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt In 1942, The Washington Post reported on the “executive orders creating new czars to control various aspects of our wartime economy.” Positions were created for a transportation czar, a manpower czar, a production czar, a shipping czar, and a synthetic rubber czar, all to solve difficult problems in coordinating the resources necessary to fight World War II. Not only did the administration of President Roosevelt advocate their creation; in December 1944, Republicans in Congress advocated that a “food czar” position be created that would have almost unlimited control over food pricing and distribution. Certain of Roosevelt’s Cabinet secretaries were called “czars”, despite having been duly confirmed by the Senate, at the point that their powers were increased by statute.
Since then, a number of ad hoc temporary as well as permanent United States Executive Branch positions have been established that have been referred to in this manner. The trend began again in earnest when President Richard Nixon created two offices whose heads became known as “czars” in the popular press: drug czar in 1971, and especially energy czar in December 1973 referring to William E. Simon’s appointment as the head of the Federal Energy Administration. Nixon told his cabinet that Simon would have “absolute authority” in his designated areas, and compared the intended result to Albert Speer’s role as the person in unquestioned charge of armaments for the Third Reich. Simon found both the informal title “czar” and the Speer comparison unsettling.
However, at the height of the Arab oil embargo, Simon gave the position a good name by successfully putting into place a mandatory fuel allocation program and calming public fears about shortages without resorting to explicit gasoline rationing.
Other examples of this usage include “drug czar” for the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy – probably the best-known of all the “czars”, “terrorism czar” for a Presidential advisor on terrorism policy, “cybersecurity czar” for the highest-ranking Department of Homeland Security official on computer security and information security policy, and “war czar” to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued an opinion regarding the use of the term “drug czar” in prepackaged news stories that had been released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy during fiscal years 2002, 2003, and 2004. The GAO found that “the law does not bestow that title on the ONDCP Director”. And that “ONDCP’s use of the term “Drug Czar” to describe the Director of ONDCP does not constitute unlawful self-aggrandizement”.
The term “czar” has also been applied to officials who are not members of the Executive Branch, such as Elizabeth Warren, named to a Congressional commission to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009 and described as an “oversight czar”,and Senate-confirmed positions, such as the Director of National Intelligence, described as the “intelligence czar” in 2004.
Rest assured that there’ll be calls for an “ISIS Czar” any nanosecond now — most likely from Grandpa
Yeah Czar Grandpa will make short order of all those beheadings.