What is the relationship (or lack thereof) between the president's Cabinet, various agencies in the Executive Office of the President, and the White House Staff?
I know that (vaguely speaking), the Cabinet advises the president on issues and is composed of the heads of the executive departments.
FDR created the EOP for pretty much the same reason. For example, the National Security Council (an EOP subagency) was created to help advise (there's that word again) the president on matters of national security. Isn't that the domain of the Secretary of Defense? To make things worse, the Secretary of Defense also serves on the NSC. I've read that one difference from the Cabinet is that agencies like the NSC are also partly responsible to Congress as to the president. Is that not the case for any bureaucratic body, for they receive funding from Congress?
Finally, there's the White House Staff, who are also supposed to help and advise the president. What's the difference between these organizations?
As a side question about the bureaucracy, what is the hierarchical relationship between department, office, agency, and bureau?