A Loophole In Biden’s Workplace Bullying Policy?

(Note: Dr. Lander resigned a few hours after this story was posted on Feb. 7, 2022)

After a two-month investigation, the White House has determined that Pres. Joe Biden’s top science advisor, Dr. Eric Lander, bullied and demeaned subordinates in violation of the White House’s workplace bullying policy.

As a result, Dr. Lander, a Cabinet member and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), was counseled while the main object of his derision, his then-general counsel, Rachel Wallace, was transferred to a different job.

Wait a minute… Dr. Lander kept his job and Wallace, a target of his bullying, was reassigned? Some would consider a reassignment under these circumstances to be a penalty that will discourage other complainants from stepping forward.

When Biden took office, he famously said he expected “honesty and decency” from workers in his administration and would fire anyone who shows disrespect to others “on the spot.” But not Dr. Lander, who has worked on the Biden administration’s pandemic response.

Biden’s policy apparently includes a loophole for important people like Dr. Lander.

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The Historian Who Won’t Be Bullied

Americans should applaud Dr. Gordon S. Wood, perhaps the leading scholar of the founding of America.

Dr. Wood is one of a few historians who had the courage in 2019 to stand up and object when the NYT’s 1619 Project hijacked American history by claiming “nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional” flows from “slavery and the anti-black racism it required.”

Dr. Wood recently received the Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education from The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of academic excellence, academic freedom and accountability at America’s colleges and universities.

Dr. Wood argues that slavery was not a cause of the American Revolution, which was fought to advance principles like liberty, equality and the well-being of ordinary people. These principles, he adds, are “really the only things that hold us Americans together and make us a single people.”

ACTA lauded Dr. Wood’s six decades of scholarship on America’s founding that is “renowned for its meticulous accuracy and groundbreaking insight.”

Historically Inaccurate

In remarks accepting the ACTA award, Dr. Wood rejects the 1619 Project’s premise that colonists fought the American Revolution because Britain was threatening to abolish slavery.

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A Labor Secretary Who Cares About Labor

Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, American workers have suffered a steady erosion of rights guaranteed to “employees” under federal labor laws.

But Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh took a step this week to reverse the trend.

Walsh said he wants to make it easier to classify gig workers as employees so they are entitled to a “safety net” of basic protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In other words, he wants to stop employers from classifying workers as independent contractors simply to avoid paying minimum wage, holiday and overtime pay, etc.

Walsh said he will not enforce a rule adopted by the Trump administration that would have made it harder for employees who are wrongly classified as independent contractors to demand their right to be treated like employees.

1 in 6

Gig workers represent a rapidly growing segment of the American workforce due to the explosive rise of app-based services like Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr and Task Rabbit.

The ADP Research Institute estimates that one in six “enterprise” workers are gig workers.

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The Most Courageous Politician in the U.S.?

Mobbing occurs when bullies gang up to drive out an individual who is perceived to have a weakness or to silence that person by inflicting psychological pain.

Scott Tim

This is what happened to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, after he delivered a thoughtful and respectful response to Democratic President Joe Biden’s address to the nation on Wednesday.

Mobbing is a scurrilous form of harassment that, in this case, was clearly intended to discredit Scott’s speech by attacking his racial identity.

Scott is the lone GOP African American in the U.S. Senate.

Twitter

Liberal progressive “thinkers” seem to find it acceptable to use a racist slur to refer to an African American politician simply because he has a different vision for how to address racial problems that have resisted resolution in America for many decades.

After Scott’s speech, a hashtag began trending on Twitter – #UncleTim. This refers to the term “Uncle Tom” and was intended to portray Scott as a black man who is excessively subservient to white people. Scott was ridiculed in thousands of tweets for 11 hours until Twitter finally shut it down.

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A Loophole For Sexual Harassers In The U.S. Judiciary

Alex Kozinski on The Dating Game in 2006.

An upcoming book chronicles a loophole that allows federal judges to not only evade accountability for sexual harassment and bullying but to go on to enjoy a full salary for life and future professional acclaim.

Martha C. Nussbaum, in Citadels of Pride, to be published May 11 by W. W. Norton & Co., explores the tainted career of a former appellate judge who was celebrated for his brilliance, Alex Kozinski, a one-time chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, says the Kozinski case shows the “structural weaknesses” of judicial codes of conduct. “E]van an egregious abuser can survive for twenty years if he is bright, flamboyant, well-connected and shameless,” she writes.

The loophole that worked for Kozinski – and others – is that he was permitted to resign in 2017 after more than a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment. Because he was retired, he was eligible to receive his pension – which was his full salary – for the rest of his life.

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