The WSJ really sums it up well:
Whatever else can be said about this White House, it isn't afraid to poke a stick in the eye of its critics. How else to explain President Obama's decision Friday to put Elizabeth Warren in charge of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while avoiding Senate confirmation and, for that matter, any political supervision.It gets worse,
The chutzpah here is something to behold. The pride of Harvard Law School, Ms. Warren is a hero to the political left for proposing a new bureaucracy to micromanage the services that banks can offer consumers. But she is also so politically controversial that no less a liberal lion than Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has warned the White House that she probably isn't confirmable.
A President with more political and Constitutional scruple would have nominated someone else. Mr. Obama's choice is to appoint her anyway and dare the Senate to do something about it.
The plan is for Ms. Warren to run the new bureau from an office at the Treasury Department. Instead of calling her the "Director" of the bureau — the statutory title for the organization's boss — Mr. Obama has appointed her an "assistant" to him and a special adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The new bureau was already destined to be a bureaucratic rogue. When Members of Congress objected to it being "independent" in the way Ms. Warren hoped, Mr. Dodd and the Administration cooked up a plan to make it part of the Federal Reserve without actually answering to anyone there.Violation of Article II, Section 2 anyone? Violation of Fifth amendment property right protections anyone? Violation of the Congressional appropriations rules anyone? Barf bag anyone?
The bureau has independent rule-making authority and can grant itself an annual budget up to $646 million. It will draw this money from the operations of the Fed, so the bureau needn't deal with the messy intrusions of Congressional appropriators and will therefore receive limited Congressional oversight. [emphasis added]
Ms. Warren's bureau will dictate how credit is allocated throughout the American economy — by banks and financial firms, and also by many small businesses that extend credit to consumers. The bureau's mandate under the new Dodd-Frank law is to ensure that "consumers are protected from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices and from discrimination."
If those terms sound vague and overbroad now, wait until Ms. Warren's hand-picked staff begins interpreting existing laws on fair lending and writes new rules.
As a not entirely side note, I happened to catch Ms. Warren on the News Hour the other night and she reminded me of no one so much as Jimmy Carter. Oozing smiley-faced malice for the finance industry, she waved her hands and bleated on and on about honesty, following the rules, protecting the public, and so forth. The irony — given the method of her appointment and the nature of the agency she helped create — could escape only the most obtuse.
Obama is really giving FDR a run for his money for "most blatantly indifferent to the law" award. I can't wait for him to be neutered in November.