Posts tagged legislation

TN Rep. Blackburn Fighting to Block FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

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On Friday the office of Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued the following press release regarding her renewed fight against FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and introduction of H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act.
 

Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn today renewed her fight to block the FCC’s efforts to implement new net neutrality rules. In response to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement this week that the FCC would begin the process of rewriting the agency’s Net Neutrality rules, Blackburn has introduced H.R. 4070, the Internet Freedom Act of 2014.Congressman Blackburn’s legislation would block the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules from 2010 by stating they shall have no force or effect and prohibits the FCC from reissuing new Net Neutrality rules.
 
“In typical fashion, the Obama Administration is proving once again that they will stop at nothing to restrict our Internet freedom. Despite having their regulations rejected by a federal appeals court, Chairman Wheeler has decided to press forward with the effort to implement these overreaching rules.
 
“Net Neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet. Once the FCC has a foothold into managing how internet service providers run their networks they will essentially be deciding which content goes first, second, third, or not at all. It’s time for Congress to slam the FCC’s regulatory back-door shut, lock it, and return the keys to the free market. My legislation will put the brakes on net neutrality and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations.”
 
Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which were first proposed in 2010 by former Chairman Julius Genachowski. Congressman Blackburn has been leading the fight against the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules and first introduced the Internet Freedom Act during the 112th Congress.

Also on Friday Rep. Blackburn appeared on Fox News to discuss the FCC’s efforts to control content over the broadcast airwaves and online, the First Amendment and Net Neutrality.

 

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For updates on H.R. 4070 and other news you can follow Marsha Blackburn at blackburn.house.gov and on her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

 

New Farm Bill Forbids Disclosure of Which Companies Receive Federal Crop Insurance

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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New Farm Bill Forbids Disclosure of Which Companies Receive Federal Crop Insurance

 

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We want taxpayer money but we DON”T want the taxpayers to know who got their money. Better to leave that secret Mr/ and Ms. Congressperson (who we gave money to.) We wouldn’t want consumers to get upset. They might just boycott our products if they knew how much they were giving to us through the farm bill. I mean, many of the people buying our products don’t even get any subsidies of their own. We can’t expect them to pay twice for our stuff…Oh wait, I guess we do.

Another jack.

(From AllGov.com)
 
The new law was heavily supported by large agricultural businesses, many of which will benefit from the extension of the federal crop insurance program.
 
But the media and ordinary Americans won’t know who will receive these subsidies because the legislation keeps this information hidden away.
 
While the bill was working its way through Congress, a bipartisan provision in it would have required lawmakers and the Obama administration to disclose crop-insurance recipients.
 
But the agriculture lobby convinced members of Congress to do away with this section of the law.
 
Lawmakers were inclined to listen to the agricultural services industry since it gave nearly $42 million in campaign contributions at the federal and state level and poured more than $62 million into lobbying Washington, according to Nancy Watzman at the Sunlight Foundation.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

 

Left Icon Henry Waxman Leaves Tarnished Legacy of Crony Capitalism

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Left Icon Henry Waxman Leaves Tarnished Legacy of Crony Capitalism

 

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Henry Waxman, who just announced his retirement after 40 years in Congress, may be the most powerful under-the-radar screen person in Washington.

President Obama calls his fellow Democrat “ one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era.” The Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson calls him “liberalism’s legislative genius” who “decisively consigned the Republican right’s favored ideology—libertarianism—to history’s dustbin.” He did so, Meyerson went on, by proposing “common sense” laws. “Who could be against “ Waxman?

In fact, many people were against Waxman– and for good reason. For one thing, he was the acknowledged master of underhanded legislative tricks. He learned how to write amendments that not even a lawyer could understand and then slip them into unrelated bills when nobody was watching.

For example, he drafted a bill written in no known human language that was intended to restrict the sale of dietary supplements, a longtime crusade of his. He then waited until House and Senate were about to reconcile their massive Wall Street reform bills and at the last moment slipped in his supplement bill posing as an amendment to the finance bill. Fortunately the totally unrelated amendment was discovered just before one of Waxman’s famous all night conference committee meetings, and after heated discussion was rejected by the other conferees.

The odd part of this story is that Waxman’s district, which included part of Hollywood, must have teemed with health food stores selling dietary supplements. It is doubtful that many of the voters supporting him even knew about this and similar behind-the-scenes gambits.

On another occasion, Waxman stopped the progress of legislation he didn’t like by offering 600 amendments. The paperwork was wheeled into the House Energy and Commerce committee room in shopping carts.

The Congressman knew how to raise money from corporate and other special interests, who feared him, and since he was in a safe district himself, he could spread his money among colleagues, thereby garnering support for his own bills. Each bill he introduced raised more money for him, either from special interests supporting it, or interests who were afraid to cross him.

In many cases, what Waxman actually got from his many successful bills was unintended. For example, he succeeded in mandating that either an additive MBTE or ethanol be added to gasoline. It later developed that MBTE contaminated groundwater and that ethanol raised the price of corn and other grains without helping the environment.

The congressman deemed himself a staunch environmentalist but passed a clean energy bill that was eventually supported by coal companies and opposed by Greenpeace before eventual defeat in the Senate. When he decided that toys needed to be safer, he passed a bill that put small and artisanal toymakers out of business, which mainly helped giant corporations.

Waxman continued to think of himself as a defender of the “little guy” against big special interests. But how did he help devastated families by passing legislation shielding big corporations from vaccine injury lawsuits?

And how did he justify imposing 10 year jail terms and massive fines on small farmers and organic farm producers who violated even minor (and often vague) FDA record keeping or other administrative regulations, a provision of the House’s version of the Food Safety Act? Or the large fees small farmers would pay as they were swept up in the net of FDA regulation for the first time, fees high enough to put many of them out of business? Fortunately, the Senate said no to this provision of the bill.

Helping the “little guy” invariably meant for Waxman increasing government regulation. But this more often than not just opened the door to crony capitalism.

For example, he not only wanted more federal control of dietary supplements. He wanted more federal control of drugs as well. His solution, incorporated in a successful bill, was to charge drug companies for the costs of the Food and Drug Administration.

This might sound like a good idea at first glance, but think about the public policy implications. Do we really want industries paying their own regulators? If I am a regulator, and my salary is paid by industry, not by the public, to whom will I answer?

It seems clear that Waxman arrived in Washington all those years ago intent on serving the public good. But, like many progressives, he failed to understand one basic truth. The more government gets involved in the private economy, the more government tries to substitute its own rules and regulations for the market system, the more corruption results.

Public figures are not saints; they want lucrative jobs and campaign contributions. Private interests in turn want government assistance in bending the rules or in defeating their competitors. Deals are struck, and both our economy and our public morals suffer.

All of this might be described as the progressive paradox. Henry Waxman no doubt wanted to make the world a better place, but ended up making it a worse place.

Waxman himself once said that “government should act as a referee so that people play fairly.” If only he had paid heed to his own words. Obamacare, which Waxman helped create, was not refereeing the medical system; it was a federal takeover, and it is causing more of the negative unintended consequences that we have come to expect from his legislation.

With Waxman retired, there will still be plenty of supporters of monopoly and one-size-fits-all medicine on Capitol Hill. But let’s hope that none of them will be so skilled at sneaky legislative maneuvers.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

 


Hunter Lewis
About Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is co-founder and former CEO of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, LLC and author of 8 books on moral philosophy, psychology, and economics, including the widely acclaimed Are the Rich Necessary? (“Highly provocative and highly pleasurable.”—New York Times) He has contributed to the New York Times, the Times of London, the Washing­ton Post, and the Atlantic Monthly, as well as numerous websites such as Breitbart.com, Forbes.com, Fox.com, and RealClearMarkets.com. His most recent books are Crony Capitalism in America: 2008–2012, Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed, and Where Keynes Went Wrong: And Why Governments Keep Creating Inflation, Bubbles, and Busts. He has served on boards and committees of fifteen leading not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural and global development organizations, as well as the World Bank.

 

SF District Attorney & Lobbyists Push Bill for Cellphone ‘Kill Switch’

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Source: http://www.occupycorporatism.com

By Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism

 

SF District Attorney & Lobbyists Push Bill for Cellphone ‘Kill Switch’

 

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California state senator Mark Leno and District Attorney George Gascón are collaborating with other officials to push legislation (SB 962) that would mandate a “kill switch” be implemented on mobile devices that have been stolen or lost.

Gascón claims: “More than half the robberies in his city involve theft of mobile devices. He said the industry has debated the use of deterrent technology for too long. “The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers.”

The district attorney said: “This is an important day for wireless consumers everywhere. This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft solutions and begin embracing the inevitability. The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers.”

Beginning in 2015, all smartphones imported for sale in California will have to be outfitted with this “security system”; as well as exports from the West Coast.
The proposed legislation reads: “A technological solution may consist of software, hardware, or a combination of both … but shall be able to withstand a hard reset.”

Leno stated that either the kill switch “or other protective features” would be mandated by law and require re-registering of phones currently not equipped with the device.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explained that “this legislation is critical to reducing robberies.”

Last year the Secure Our Smartphone Initiative (SOSI) created by Eric Scheiderman, attorney general for New York Gascón to bring awareness and solutions to the nationwide theft of smartphones.

The solution is to implore cell phone manufacturers to implant a kill switch so that “when consumers reported to providers that their cellphone had been stolen, the phone, like a stolen credit card, would be rendered inoperable.”

The coalition will be comprised of:

• Law enforcement
• Consumer advocates
• Political officials
• Prosecutors

Gascón and Schneiderman will meet with representatives from Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft to discuss this increasing problem.

Schneiderman said: “It is totally unacceptable that we have an epidemic of crime that we believe can be eliminated if the technological fixes that we believe are available are put into place.”

Gascón explained: “The industry has the moral and the social obligation to fix this problem. There are very few things that can be fixed with a technological solution, and this is one of them.”

Apple will be adding a feature that will turn an iPhone off if a thief tries to use it while imitating a tracking program to find the phone’s location if the thief uses the wrong password to unlock the phone.

The activation lock feature was developed by Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering for Apple and presented at the 2013 World Developers Conference (WDC).

Schneiderman believes that if a person can cancel a credit card, they should be able to cancel a phone.

Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder of Lookout , a mobile security corporation, warns: “If there is a mechanism by which somebody can remotely disable and brick a device, we don’t want that to be a target for malware.”

Lookout has collaborated with law enforcement agencies to build kill switches on smartphones so that “all of a sudden if there were a way that you can cause millions of devices to all of a sudden become inoperable, that can be a huge amount of money if somebody attacks that system.”

Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com


About the author:

Susanne Posel Chief Editor, Investigative Journalist OccupyCorporatism.com Radio Host: The Region 10 Report, Live Thursdays 1-3PM PST on American Freedom Radio.

 

Tennessee Introduces Anti-NSA Legislation

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Source: http://www.dcclothesline.com

By Tim Brown

Tennessee Introduces Anti-NSA Legislation

 

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The Volunteer State is on a roll. Siding with eight other states, Tennessee has introduced a bill to attempt to keep the National Security Agency out of its state. The legislation targets NSA warrantless data gathering in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

State Senator Stacey Campfield (R) and State Representative Andy Holt (R) have sponsored SB1849 known as the “Tennessee Fourth Amendment Protection Act.” This bill is based on the model legislation drafted by the OffNow coalition.

You may recall Campfield from his previous comment regarding “assault pressure cookers” following the Boston Bombing.

According to SB1849, the State of Tennessee would be prohibited from “providing material support to…any federal agency claiming the power to authorize the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant,” which is required by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

According to Campfield, “We have an out of control federal agency spying on pretty much everybody in the world.  I don’t think the state of Tennessee should be helping the NSA violate the Constitution and the basic privacy rights of its citizens – and we don’t have to. This bill may not completely stop the NSA, but it will darn sure stop Tennessee from participating in unjustified and illegal activities.”

NSA researcher James Bamford said that the NSA runs most of the data it gathers “from code breaking to word captures,” through computers at an Oak Ridge, Tennessee computing facility and NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland.

According to the Tenth Amendment Center, the legislation deals with four main areas:

  • Prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.
  • Makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.
  • Blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.
  • Disincentivizes corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.

Currently, the top secret facility Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF) is located on the East Campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy by the University of Tennesse-Battelle. NSA researchers use the facility to build incredibly fast computers to crack encryption. Several sources have indicated the MRF will be working together with the massive storage facility in Utah. The content of the data stored in the Utah facility could be decrypted by the computers being developed at the MRF.

Already, there are efforts underway by grassroots activists to tackle the Utah facility, while others have suggested turning off their water, or as recent California legislation seeks to do; turn off their water and electricity.

The Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey says that though the Oak Ridge facility’s work is legitimate, he believes the University of Tennessee needs to not be involved in the spy business.

“The main thing to understand is that this bill denies the NSA material support from the state, and that includes state universities,” said Maharrey. “People are going to be upset because they see value in Oak Ridge. But this legislation only bans material support to those activities which are part of the warrantless mass-surveillance that the federal government has been engaging in, and not everything else. The bottom line is that the people of Tennessee don’t want the NSA consuming massive amounts of their resources so the agency can spy on them, and pretty much everybody in the world too. It has to stop.”

Several states are considering the Fourth Amendment Protection Act: Washington, Arizona, Indiana, Oklahoma, and California. Kansas and Missouri already have bills pending that address data sharing.

“When Arizona State Sen. Kelli Ward announced her plan to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act a few weeks back, it was a novelty,” Maharrey said. “People had this attitude like, ‘Oh, that’s cute. But it will never amount to anything.’ Today Tennessee makes the eighth state considering action to refuse cooperation with the NSA, and mark my words – more are coming. Big ones. James Madison said that when a number of states refused to cooperate with officers of the Union, it would create roadblocks which the federal government would be unwilling to encounter. This is not symbolic. We intend to box them in and make the NSA stop violating the Constitution.”

Tennessee has taken major steps to beat back the usurpations of the federal government’s violations of the Constitution. Just last week, legislation was introduced to nullify Obamacare and all federal gun laws. It’s nice to see states exercising rights they never gave to the federal government in an attempt to bring their creature back under control.

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost


 

Tea Party making the job market tougher for retiring politicians trying to become lobbyists

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Tea Party making the job market tougher for retiring politicians trying to become lobbyists

 

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The small government people keep harshing the lobbyist’s buzz, man.

The attached article doesn’t say so explicitly but the lobbying “profession” in DC is under a bit of pressure because of the rabid small government people who have come into town. The Tea Party has held up legislation on principal and so has made it harder to get special deals for clients through Congress. (This is one of the reasons the Chamber of Commerce’s lobbyists cheered when Boehner recently took a shot at the Tea Party, which the lobbyists feel is killing their paychecks.)

Add in an Internet which helps to shine a light on lobbying and connections and one can see how, at least to a small degree, Fat City is slightly and we mean slightly less fat for this year’s crop of retiring Congress people.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
 

Giant Unions Turn on the Prez: Obamacare Will Shatter Backbone of Middle Class

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Giant Unions Turn on the Prez: Obamacare Will Shatter Backbone of Middle Class

 

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James Hoffa of the Teamsters, Joseph Hansen of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and Donald Taylor, the president of Unite-Here, penned a letter to the president explaining to him that Obamacare is set to destroy the unionized middle class.

That is really what they said.

 

Boy times have changed. Guess maybe we actually should have read the legislation before we passed it huh?

If the Teamsters are coming out against Obamacare along with many other unions, and employers are coming out against Obamacare, and religious organizations which provide healthcare to the poor are coming out against Obamacare, and doctors from Alaska to Florida are leaving the profession because of Obamacare, and even the Congress people who voted for Obamcare are coming out against Obamacare, maybe it’s time we got rid of Obamcare.

It is a disaster, an anvil tied to the job market, or as Demcratic Senator Baucus referred to it in the Spring, an economic “train wreck.”

I don’t want a train wreck. Our economy is already pretty wrecked. We’re still trying to put the pieces together from 2008 for crying out loud. Obamacare is not what we need.

The unions are not set to completely abandon the president however, not that we would expect them to. They want special crony carve outs for their members which is really just par for the Obamacare course.

But for the big unions to use these terms publicly gives you an idea just how bad an idea Obamcare is. That they would hand such language to their opponents is remarkable. Think about how bad they must think things are going to get for the Teamsters to say that Obamacare will break “the backbone of the middle class.”

That should put the fear of you know who into anyone.

FULL SYORY

President Rand Paul: Watch out, he’s becoming a better politician every day

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Source: http://libertycalling.net

Posted by 

President Rand Paul: Watch out, he’s becoming a better politician every day

 

 

….in the months since Rand Paul’s blockbuster filibuster, the news cycle has handed him gift after gift after gift. Not long after the IRS revelations came the Department of Justice’s aggressive pursuit of national security leaks to the Associated Press. Then news broke that the National Security Agency was dredging up massive amounts of telephone data from millions of Americans on a daily basis. Paul quickly threatened to bring a class action lawsuit against the agency. This is a moment tailored for Rand Paul, more than for Marco Rubio or Chris Christie, or anyone else in the potential Republican 2016 lineup.
In the Senate, Paul gained a reputation as an eccentric. Staffers often saw him wandering alone into the cafeteria, buying his own coffee, getting his own lunch—which, they noted, was not very senatorial. Nor was his reputation for reading every page of every bill. He wrote legislation in his own, Paulian way. He introduced a budget that would have eviscerated the Departments of Transportation, Energy, State, and Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It would have entirely defunded the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Government Printing Office. His amendment to the Parental Consent Act warned that psychiatrists might “label a person’s disagreement with the psychiatrist’s political beliefs a mental disorder.”5 He authored a bill to legalize interstate traffic in unpasteurized milk. One amendment would have nullified the congressional authorization to invade Iraq; another sought “to end mailbox use monopoly.” He also offered a triad of bills intended to make senators more diligent: the Read the Bills Act, the Write the Laws Act, and the One Subject at a Time Act. None of these measures made it to a vote. When the Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill condemning North Korea’s nuclear tests, Paul insisted on language explicitly stating that it didn’t authorize the use of force. McCain was livid: The act was already nonbinding, and he felt Paul was mocking the process.
Read the rest at the New Republic, here.

GAO Now Investigating DHS Ammo Purchases

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Source: http://spreadlibertynews.com

GAO Now Investigating DHS Ammo PurchasesBy Elizabeth Flock

The Government Accountability Office tells Whispers it is now investigating large ammunition purchases made by the Department of Homeland Security. Chuck Young, a spokesman for GAO, says the investigation of the purchases is “just getting underway.”

The congressional investigative agency is jumping into the fray just as legislation was introduced in both the Senate and the House to restrict the purchase of ammo by some government agencies (except the Department of Defense). The AMMO Act, introduced Friday, would prevent agencies from buying more ammunition if “stockpiles” are greater than what they were in previous administrations.

Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who introduced the legislation in the Senate, tells Whispers the bill would also require GAO to share the findings of its report on DHS purchases with Congress.

Officials at DHS have denied to both Whispers and lawmakers that it is stockpiling ammunition. The Associated Press reported in February that DHS wanted to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, but DHS officials testified last week it was only planning to buy up to 750 million.

Image Reference

Associated Press

Maryland, Raw Milk & the Dept. of Mental Hygiene

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Maryland Looks to Undo Raw Milk Ban

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Published on Mar 6, 2013

Liz Reitzig of the Raw Milk Freedom Riders gives Mike an update on raw milk legislation in Maryland that would undo the current raw milk ban.
http://rawmilkfreedomriders.wordpress…
http://farmfoodfreedom.org/

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The Dept. of Brain Washing, that fits the role quite well.  So which czar in D.C. do they answer to?

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