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Joe Biden wants to liberate people from caring for their family

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President Joe Biden is really upset that you might be spending too much time with your mother or your children.

It’s not entirely clear what Biden is talking about here. The “nearly 2 million” number resembles the 1.8 million-woman reduction in the labor force over the course of the pandemic.

First, it’s totally unfounded and obviously false to suggest that this reduction is entirely due to women who had to give up work in order to care for a family member. There are a thousand reasons why the pandemic might have reduced the female workforce.

How many millions of people moved further away from a big, expensive city thanks to the pandemic’s closures of the things that made cities attractive and the constant drumbeat that being near people was deadly? If you move, you often give up your job, and maybe it will take a while to start looking for a new one. Maybe you moved to a cheaper place in the country and don’t need a second income, especially if you sold your expensive close-in house during this boom.

Maybe your husband has shifted to running a small business out of the home, and so you support that business in some informal way. I know many couples who have adopted a similar arrangement, with either the husband or the wife in the supporting, technically unpaid role.

Notably, there are also many thousands of men who, on net, have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic. Check out this chart from the Department of Labor.

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More importantly, regarding those women and men who have stayed home in order to care for their children or parents, why does Biden say they have all been “locked out of the labor force?” Isn’t it just as likely that many of them have learned from the pandemic and the lockdowns that they would rather be with family than with colleagues?

Yes, many of the parents who gave up work to care for their children would rather be back at work. But the Biden administration never acknowledges the possibility that many of the parents are freely choosing to stay at home. Even less so does Biden entertain the opposite of his “locked out of the workplace” idea: that many mothers and fathers are locked out of time with their children by their need to work.

And here’s the irony: It’s very likely that the expanded child tax credit, championed by Biden, made it possible for tens of thousands of mothers and fathers to choose home life over work life.

Biden, for ideological reasons, cannot admit that some of the female labor force dropouts are people who have chosen to be stay-at-home moms (just as some of the male labor force dropouts chose to be stay-at-home dads). There’s a massive force within the Democratic Party and the ideological Left that has decided mothers staying at home is “
retrograde
” and a horrible blow to equality.

About 28% of mothers
said
in 2019 that their preference is “not working for pay at all.” The Biden administration clearly considers these people a problem.

Also, Biden’s answer is to
subsidize daycare centers
. That is not what most parents want. In fact, two-thirds of parents want parents to provide all the childcare, either through one parent staying home or both parents working flexible hours.

The Biden administration talks as if it’s trying to give parents what they want by liberating them from caring for children. It’s instead giving parents what the Biden administration thinks is best.

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One year on from Biden’s election

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Ex-defense secretary sues over withheld material from Trump era memoir | Trump administration

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The former US defense secretary Mark Esper claims in a lawsuit against the defense department that material is being improperly withheld from him as he seeks to publish an “unvarnished and candid memoir” of his time in Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Sunday in the US district court in Washington, describes the memoir, A Sacred Oath, as an account of Esper’s tenure as army secretary from 2017 to 2019 and his 18 months as defense secretary, which ended when Trump fired him in a tweet just days after the president lost his reelection bid.

The period in which Esper was Pentagon chief was “an unprecedented time of civil unrest, public health crises, growing threats abroad, Pentagon transformation, and a White House seemingly bent on circumventing the Constitution”, the lawsuit says.

Esper and Trump were sharply divided over the use of the military during civil unrest in June 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. Other issues led the president to believe Esper was not sufficiently loyal while Esper believed he was trying to keep the department apolitical. Firing a defense secretary after an election loss was unprecedented, but the opening allowed Trump to install loyalists in top Pentagon positions as he continued to dispute his election loss.

The lawsuit contends that “significant text” in the memoir, scheduled for publication by William Morrow in May, is being improperly held under the guise of classification and that Esper maintains it contains no classified information. The suit notes that Esper is restricted by his secrecy agreements from authorising publication without Pentagon approval, or face possible civil and criminal liability.

The lawsuit quotes from a letter Esper sent to the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, criticising the review process. He wrote that he had been asked not to quote Trump and others in meetings, not to describe conversations he had with Trump, and not to use certain verbs or nouns when describing historical events.

The letter describes other problematic subjects and says about 60 pages of the manuscript contained redactions at one point. Agreeing to all of those redactions would result in “a serious injustice to important moments in history that the American people need to know and understand”, Esper wrote.

The suit itself says some accounts Esper relates in the manuscript under consideration appeared to have been leaked to some mainstream media “possibly to undermine the impact” it would have had in his book.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the department was aware of Esper’s concerns. “As with all such reviews, the department takes seriously its obligation to balance national security with an author’s narrative desire. Given that this matter is now under litigation, we will refrain from commenting further,” he said in a statement.

Esper, 57, a West Point graduate and Gulf war veteran, said in a statement that he had waited for six months for the review process to play out but found “my unclassified manuscript arbitrarily redacted without clearly being told why”.

“I am more than disappointed the current administration is infringing on my first amendment constitutional rights. And it is with regret that legal recourse is the only path now available for me to tell my full story to the American people,” he said.

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Covid: 12 more test positive at Thane old age home in Thane, tally touches 67 | Mumbai news

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Twelve more people tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at an old age home in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

With this, the total figure of infected patients in Matoshree old age home in the district’s Bhiwandi taluka climbed to 67, a report by news agency ANI said.

“Around 67 people, including five staff members, were found Covid-19 positive at an old age home in the Bhiwandi area of Thane district,” said Dr Kailash Pawar, civil surgeon of Thane Civil Hospital, adding that of them 59 had been fully vaccinated against virus.

On Sunday, officials said that 55 people were found to be infected at the old age home. The district administration has already declared Sorgaon village in Bhiwandi Taluka, where the facility is located, as a containment zone.

Among the patients, 41 were found to be suffering from co-morbidities, the district administration said in a statement on Sunday.

Thane has so far recorded nearly 5,70,000 cases and 11,581 deaths due to the coronavirus disease. On Sunday, 108 cases were reported while there was no report of fatality.

Besides the Covid-19 cluster in the old age home in the Bhiwandi area, Thane is also staring at a possible outbreak of the omicron variant.

A resident of the Dombivali area in the district, who came back from South Africa on November 24, has tested positive for Covid-19. An official said it is not yet confirmed whether the man was carrying the variant.

The man didn’t come in contact with anyone after returning from South Africa, Dr Pratiba Panpatil, medical officer of the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC), told reporters on Sunday.

Dr Panpatil said the patient has been admitted to the Art Gallery isolation centre of the KDMC.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government is likely to impose a seven-day institutional quarantine for passengers arriving directly from South Africa or transiting through the country.

(With agency inputs)

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