News Releases

​Barrett: “Is Social Security Safe from the Courts?”


NANCY ALTMAN, via Linda Benesch,
President of Social Security Works, Altman is author of The Battle for Social Security and The Truth About Social Security: Exploding Five Destructive Myths.

She just wrote the piece “Is Social Security Safe from the Courts?” which states: “Because of Social Security’s overwhelming popularity among even self-described Tea Partiers, conservative politicians generally say that they love Social Security. But at candid moments, they make clear that they would like the courts to do what they have been seeking (so far unsuccessfully) to do sneakily, behind closed doors and by ‘starving the beast’: End Social Security.

“Former Republican presidential candidate and former Trump Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has said and written that he believes Social Security is unconstitutional. Former Trump Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney even voted, when serving in the South Carolina General Assembly, in favor of an amendment, which declared Social Security unconstitutional. …

“Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have been systematically stacking the courts with young, extremist judges” and Supreme Court members for the last four years. “The courts on which they likely will sit for decades have the power to end Social Security.”

“It is important to remember that when Social Security became law, most thought it would be struck down as unconstitutional. There was good reason for their concern. At the start of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first term, the Supreme Court,” led by four conservatives “colloquially known as the ‘Four Horsemen of Reaction,’ systematically struck down New Deal laws. …

“Out of concern for Social Security as well as other key legislation pending before the court, Roosevelt put forward his so-called court packing plan. Though the plan failed, the court held Social Security constitutional in what was coined ‘the switch in time that saved the nine.’ [The Supreme Court largely reoriented when faced with Roosevelt’s threat of court packing.]

“Today’s court is more conservative than any court since 1937.” Judge Amy Coney Barrett, “who is just 48 years old, shares the same conservative views as the Four Horsemen of Reaction. If it were 1937 and Social Security were a new question in front of the Supreme Court, how would she have ruled? How would she rule if the issue were before her at some point in the future, once she has a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court?

“Revealingly, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Barrett to comment on the constitutionality of Social Security and Medicare during her confirmation hearings, Barrett refused to answer.”

For First Time Ever, Ranked Voting for Presidential Race: Maine is Set to Have It, Why Won’t Everyone?


ROB RICHIE, and via Ashley Houghton,, @fairvote
Richie is president and CEO of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform. Houghton is communications director for the group. He said today: “Barring unlikely legal outcomes, for the first time in U.S. history, voters will consider a field of more than two presidential candidates without any finger pointing about ‘spoilers.’ Every voter in Maine will be able to vote for the candidate they like the most without fear of helping electing the candidate they like the least. And Mainers will be sure their electoral votes go to candidates who have truly earned them.”

“Opponents of ranked choice voting have tried to roll back progress again and again, but this battle is over. Mainers stand by this reform: we’ve voted for it, we’ve fought for it, and we’re ready for it,” shared Anna Kellar, executive director for The League of Women Voters. “Finally, Mainers will have greater choices and stronger voices this November.”

Ritchie added: “Maine has undergone a multi-year legislative and legal battle to allow Mainers to rank candidates in elections. Maine first passed a state-wide ranked choice voting ballot measure in 2016, allowing voters to rank candidates in federal and state elections. Mainers then successfully used ranked choice voting to vote for statewide and federal offices in 2018 and legislation expanding the system to presidential primary and general elections passed August 30, 2019.

“In Maine, electoral votes are decided based on the votes cast in each congressional district as well as statewide. Recent polls suggest that the presidential vote in the second congressional districts may result in an instant runoff tabulation to determine that electoral vote; in 2016, Maine was won statewide by Hillary Clinton with less than half the vote.”

See: “Ranked Choice Voting 101” and  “Ranked Choice Voting In Use Across America.”

Bolivia: Nearly One Year After Coup, Democracy, and the Left, Appears to Triumph


Field is author of several books on Bolivia and U.S.-Latin American relations, and is media contact for the Academics for Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean delegation of scholars currently in Bolivia to observe the elections. The officially accredited delegates include Bolivia experts with years of on-the-ground experience, as well as experts in U.S.-Latin American relations, and they come from the academic fields of anthropology, Latin American studies, and history. They note: “Bolivia’s 2019 elections, and the role of the Organization of American States in observing and auditing them, were highly controversial (see these reports from The New York Times and the Washington Post). This prompted academics in ADLAC to join as observers and help ensure the elections are free and fair, as well as to document any irregularities, voter suppression, or other issues they may encounter.”

JAKE JOHNSTON, via Dan Beeton, @ceprdc

Johnston is a research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He co-authored an 82-page report debunking claims of fraud in the OAS’s final audit report on Bolivia’s 2019 elections and showed how the OAS’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud helped to pave the way for the November 2019 coup that ousted democratically elected president Evo Morales two months before his current term had ended.

Johnston contributed to CEPR’s live blogging of the Bolivian elections yesterday, where he wrote: “De facto president Jeanine Anez has posted a message on Twitter congratulating Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca [of Morales’s Movement Toward Socialism party] on their apparent victory in today’s election.

“Just after midnight, Unitel reported results of its quick count, conducted by Ciesmori. These are unofficial results from a private company, the official results are still processing and will take days. Nevertheless, the results of the quick count show Luis Arce of the MAS party receiving 52.4 percent of the vote and Carlos Mesa of the [Civic Community] party receiving 31.5 percent of the vote. [The leading candidate must obtain at least 40 percent of the vote and a 10-point margin over the next runner-up in order to achieve a first-round victory.] …

“In a surprise last-minute announcement, Bolivia’s electoral authorities, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), [had] said that there will not be a preliminary count on election night.

“It is interesting to note that allegations of electoral fraud in last year’s vote focused predominantly on the non-binding preliminary results system. In the OAS’s audit of the election, the vast majority of findings related to the [preliminary count]. In March, CEPR published 82-page report detailing myriad errors in the OAS’s audit. One critique was that the OAS focused on a legally non-binding preliminary vote count. That the OAS would now ratify the decision to stop the preliminary system all together is yet another indication that allegations of fraud in last year’s vote were unsubstantiated.”

Barrett and Injustice: Jesuit Priest Being Sentenced for Nuclear Weapons Protest


The New York Times reports in “Ardeth Platte, Dominican Nun and Antinuclear Activist, Dies at 84” that “Sister Ardeth spent years behind bars for her beliefs and was the inspiration for a character on the Netflix hit ‘Orange Is the New Black.'”

On Thursday and Friday, sentencing will take place for Fr. Steven Kelly, a Jesuit priest, and his co-defendant Patrick O’Neill, who co-founded a Catholic Worker house in Garner, North Carolina. Kelly has been in jail for the last two and a half years. They are part of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, Catholic Worker activists who entered the largest U.S. nuclear weapons facility in Georgia on April 4, 2018, exactly 50 years after Martin Luther King’s assasination. See for background and @kingsbayplow7 for up-to-date information, including how to listen to the sentencing.

Plowshares activists follow the biblical edict to “beat swords into plowshares.” (See O’Neill’s oral arguments on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an act championed by William Barr and Mike Pence — and mentioned by Ted Cruz during Barrett’s hearings — but prohibited by the court in this case.)

Magno is with Jonah House, an activist spiritual community in Baltimore, where many of the 100 Plowshares actions originated. It was founded by the late Philip Barrigan and Liz McAlister (see below) where Sister Ardeth lived for many years. He is currently in Brunswick, Georgia where the sentencing for Fr. Kelly and O’Neill will take place.

He said today: “It is a shame that Amy Coney Barrett didn’t pursue college or law school locally in her native New Orleans. If she had, she might have met and been mentored by a great lawyer, Bill Quigley, who is also a Catholic driven by his faith. He understands that social justice needs to be an intrinsic component of law in order to make justice a widely available resource for poor and marginalized constituencies in U.S society.

“Quigley has trained and mentored a host of advocacy-focused attorneys over the years from his place as professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, defended peace activists as part of the SOA Watch legal collective for over 30 years and the faith-based disarmament activists of the Plowshares movement. Notably he won an appeal for the three Transform Now Plowshares activists convicted in Tennessee after gaining entry to the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons complex in July of 2012. Their sabotage conviction was overturned and they were released from prison after serving two years apiece of much longer sentences imposed after their trial in Knoxville in the Spring of 2013. This week two other clients of his will face sentencing in Brunswick Georgia for their Kings Bay Plowshares incursion onto a Trident submarine base in April of 2018.”

Instead, said Magno, Barrett “has advanced professionally under the aegis of the Federalist Society and the influence of figures such as the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. With her opening remarks, ‘courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life,’ she embraces the notion of judicial indifference to social injustice and a judiciary that makes a virtue of that helplessness.

“A saying of medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas is worth remembering. He said: ‘Law, when it ceases to be justice, ceases even to be law.'”

Liz Mcalister, who is also one of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, and was represented by Quigley, said: “This isn’t the first time that Steve Kelly faces the court of law — not the court of justice. I don’t think he even keeps count of how many times he’s stood before courts, or how long he has spent in jails and prisons. He enters all those spaces with grace and peace, knowing that the work that he can do there is welcome and needed and a gift to all of us. I trust that he will put any additional time in prison to good use, and that it will be a time of deep prayer, oriented toward transforming our world into a more just and peaceful place. We are grateful for his witness and I am called to a deeper commitment to the work for peace and justice by my brother Steve Kelly.”

Barrett: Farcical Roots of “Originalism” — Bork Precedent


Boyle is a law professor at the University of Illinois. He said today: “Barrett promises to be Scalia on steroids. She has criticized his ‘faint-hearted’ version of ‘originalism.’

“Scalia himself was the first proponent of ‘originalism’ on the Supreme Court. He got it from Robert Bork and Ed Meese, who controlled judicial nominations during the Reagan administration. It was their litmus test for all judicial appointments and nominations.

“But ‘originalism’ is a farce. Justice [Robert H.]Jackson’s landmark opinion in the Steel Seizure case in 1952 actually debunked it decades earlier.” Jackson wrote: “Just what our forefathers did envision, or would have envisioned had they foreseen modern conditions, must be divined from materials almost as enigmatic as the dreams Joseph was called upon to interpret for Pharaoh. A century and a half of partisan debate and scholarly speculation yields no net result but only supplies more or less apt quotations from respected sources on each side of any question. They largely cancel each other.”

This largely overlooked point was made by Anthony Lewis in 1988 while he was a leading author and The New York Times columnist specializing in legal affairs. See his book review: “Like Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh.”

Lewis also noted that Bork began “originalism” in a “law review article that stated conclusions without any detailed historical research. He restated his position many times, making a large political mark, but he never did any real scholarship on what the Framers intended — or whether, indeed, they wanted their intentions to be our guide.” Lewis also wrote that many of those who argue for “originalism” also argue against the clear words of the Constitution when it is convenient for them to do so, for example regarding war powers.

Boyle added: “At the same time, many of the Democrats are obviously not serious about trying to stop this nomination. It’s Kabuki theater to them. It’s part of a long pattern: The Republicans in recent decades have packed the courts with Federalist Society ideologues and the Democrats have let it happen, nominated moderates and in this case didn’t take concrete steps they could have to stop the nomination. The only exception to this was the nomination of Bork himself which was stopped by mass public revulsion and protest.”

“Justice” Barrett?


Hearings for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett are scheduled to begin Monday. (See IPA news release of exactly a week ago: “Will Schumer Try to Stop Trump SCOTUS Pick?“)

MARJORIE COHN,, @marjoriecohn
Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, recently wrote, “From a Justice for Gender Equality to a ‘Justice’ for Gender Oppression.”

She writes: “Donald Trump rushed to nominate Barrett and enlisted his consigliere, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), to ram her nomination through the Senate so she can support Trump’s legal challenges to any election results that favor Joe Biden. Trump, who refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, has been conducting a misinformation campaign about (non-existent) voter fraud and signaling that he will lose only if the election is ‘rigged’ against him with expanded mail-in voting.

“During her three years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Barrett demonstrated her racist bona fides when she countenanced what her fellow judge called a ‘separate-but-equal arrangement’ in which a Black American was transferred in order to segregate a workplace. In EEOC v. Autozone, the EEOC claimed Autozone segregated employees based on race by assigning Black employees to work in Latinx neighborhoods. After a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit denied the EEOC’s claim, Barrett voted against the entire 7th Circuit rehearing the case.

“Barrett criticized Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2012 vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act. She wrote in a 2017 law review article that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law ‘pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.’

“An avowed opponent of reproductive rights, Barrett called Roe v. Wade a ‘judicial fiat,’ stating, ‘The framework of Roe essentially permitted abortion on demand, and Roe recognizes no state interest in the life of a fetus.’ As a judge on the Court of Appeals, she wanted to rehear a case that could limit the right to a pre-viability abortion, sought to overturn Supreme Court precedent allowing states to regulate protestors who block abortion access, and voted to require that parents of girls under 18 be notified before abortions are performed. She has also opposed access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act as ‘an assault on religious liberty.’

“Barrett has consistently sided with corporations over workers. She voted to restrict enforcement of laws against age discrimination, sought to limit the power of federal agencies to hold accountable companies that lie to consumers, and cut back on the rights of consumers against predatory debt collectors.” Cohn also wrote the piece “Ginsburg’s Legacy Is Vast, But a Trump Appointee Could Overturn Her Best Rulings.”

* Problems with Nobel Peace Prize * CRISPR: Engineering Future People?


The Nobel Peace Prize is to be announced Friday at 11 a.m. Norway time. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their work on CRISPR, a controversial method of editing DNA.

Heffermehl is with Nobel Peace Prize Watch and wrote the book The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted. He is critical of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which picks the recipients. Heffermehl states that it has not followed Alfred Nobel’s criteria for the Prize. His most recent book is Behind the Medals, a study of the Committee’s internal archives. See: “The Nobel Committee condemned in new book.”

STUART NEWMAN,, @sanewman1
Newman is co-author of the book Biotech Juggernaut: Hope, Hype and Hidden Agendas of Entrepreneurial Bioscience (Routledge, 2019) and recently co-wrote the piece “Engineering Future People Would be a Disaster,” which states: “Modifying genes shows promise in curing medical conditions in sick people. Should it be used to make irreversible changes in people who don’t yet exist? Current research suggests that this would be a big mistake.

“Studies in animals, including one described recently in Wired, show that the gene manipulation technique CRISPR has a habit of inserting bacterial DNA along with the desired sequences into various sites in chromosomes, with unknown consequences. Even more alarming was a news article last month in the scientific journal Nature that bore the title ‘CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Wreaks Chromosomal Mayhem.’ It reported results described in three preprints — ready-to-be-published studies — by several prominent investigators in the field that attempted to make specific, targeted changes in the embryos’ DNA, the sort of alterations that might be tried to prevent a newborn from inheriting a gene associated with a disabling condition. There was no intention by the scientists to bring these embryos to birth. They were just being used experimentally to see if the technique worked. It didn’t.

“Thus, even if the modification method were perfect, the variability of human biology means that we won’t know what the outcome will be. The new results, however, cast strong doubt on the CRISPR technique itself. In the words of the Nature news story, ‘the process can make large, unwanted changes to the genome at or near the target site.’

“Genetic modification of animals such as humans can be either somatic or embryonic. Somatic modification affects limited tissues or organs in an existing person who is ill. Certain forms of blindness, sickle cell disease, and some other conditions are today targeted by such treatments. We take no issue with somatic modification provided it is carefully monitored as to medical need and conflicting commercial interests.

“With embryo engineering, however, changes made, including mistakes, will be passed on to future generations via the reproductive cells (or germline). In fact, every cell in the body of the new individual is affected, making that person something different from what they would have been without the intervention. This may be done, at least initially, to prevent the transmission of disease-associated genes. But with outcomes so uncertain, what will be the fate of children resulting from these experiments?

“Entrepreneurial scientists eased the way to acceptance of embryonic editing by downplaying technical problems and by issuing vague reassurances that they will not go too far, too fast. Yet they never explained what they meant by this. …

“Any line that once existed between academic research and commerce has worn thin. Researchers at universities and institutes who were once relatively shielded from business interests now sit on the boards of and own shares in biotech companies that are major sources of scientific funding and infrastructure. Scientists who overstep cultural norms or federal restrictions rarely suffer consequences beyond the loss of their federal funding. In the U.S., private corporations or even states will define their own acceptable practices regarding embryo engineering. How these entities define too far, too fast, is completely subjective — a recipe for human disaster.

“The techniques of embryo engineering have now been shown to be flawed. Embryos are just too complex to engineer. We must ban, not simply pause, gene editing of human embryos before biomedical entrepreneurs start offering clients the opportunity to modify their offspring, threatening their health and hijacking their identities before they are even born.”

See interviews with Newman by The Real News (2018), the Organic Association of America (2020) and his talk with the group Genetics and Society (2008).

Are they “Debates” or Joint Televised Appearances?


Media analyst Jeff Cohen comments: “When you see the VP candidates ignoring most questions and giving stump speeches that make the ‘debate’ look more like a ‘NATIONALLY TELEVISED JOINT APPEARANCE,’ that’s by design. Literally. It happens because nonpartisan groups and independent journalists don’t run the debates.

“Instead, the debate rules and moderators are dictated by the two major parties — operating behind the fig leaf of a ‘Debate Commission’ set up to remove control over debates from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (which had run the presidential and VP debates in 1976, ‘80 and ‘84). In 1985, as the national chairs of the two major parties — Democrat Paul Kirk and GOPer Frank Fahrenkopf — moved to sideline the League and set up their Commission, they signed a remarkable agreement that referred to future debates as ‘nationally televised joint appearances conducted between the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the two major political parties … It is our conclusion that future joint appearances should be principally and jointly sponsored and conducted by the Republican and Democratic Committees.’ (Joint Memorandum of Agreement on Presidential Candidate Joint Appearances, Nov. 26, 1985.)

Thus, Susan Page was inaccurate when she claimed at the beginning of the event last night that it was sponsored by the “nonpartisan” Commission on Presidential Debates. The group is a creation of the Democratic and Republican parties, and is bipartisan.

Beckerman is the founder and director of Open the Debates, “a cross-partisan effort to open up and elevate the political debates of our nation.” The group states: “Three-quarters of U.S. voters agree that if you are on enough state ballots to win the Electoral College, you should be in the debates. But the corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates has squashed that principled sentiment like a bug, cycle after cycle.”

He just co-wrote the piece “The Two-Party System’s Failure Opens Door for Independent Debate,” for Independent Voter News, which notes: “This week, at least five presidential contenders will join us in Denver for another open presidential debate. With the Commission on Presidential Debates reeling from its poor stewardship of the debate process, Thursday’s cross-partisan debate is an opportunity for the nation to advance a much more meaningful political discourse — one that represents our deep yearnings for a more perfect union.”

Questions on SCOTUS Nominee: What Version of Christianity?


[The Washington Post reports: “Yes, Senate Republicans could still confirm [Amy Coney] Barrett before the election.” Also see analysis in The Intercept. The vice presidential debate is scheduled for this evening and the issue of the Supreme Court is likely to be discussed.]

MATTHEW FOX, via Dennis Edwards,, @RevDrMatthewFox

Fox is a theologian, an Episcopal priest and an activist. He has written 37 books including A Spirituality Named CompassionThe Reinvention of WorkThe Order of the Sacred Earth and A Way To God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey.

He recently wrote “A Public Letter to Supreme Court Nominee Amy Barrett” which was published by Tikkun magazine. Fox writes: “With the nomination of a new supreme court judge, some are being accused of ‘anti-catholicism’ for posing questions about your religious beliefs. I, however, think questions like the following are important and I am sure that you are open to discussing them with the American public whose job it is [for you] to serve.

1) “Since you are a practicing Catholic, have you studied Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment (‘Laudato Si‘)? What are your positions on environmental justice? On climate change? Are you as passionate about them as you are about opposing abortion? …

2) “Have you studied Pope Francis’ statements on the ‘idolatry of money‘ that dominates so much of our economic system? Where do you stand on that subject and on unbridled Wall Street power? And on tax breaks for the very rich vs. for the poor and middle class? (Revelations on President Trump’s non-taxes being very relevant to the question.)

3) “Where do you stand on the long-standing teaching of the right for unions to organize that are embedded in papal documents dating all the way back to Pope Leo XIII in the nineteenth century?

4) “As for abortion, surely you know the distinction in Catholic philosophy between what makes good law and what makes good morality. They are not always the same. Since women are going to have abortions (and not all American women are Catholic, by the way), isn’t it preferable to make abortion as safe as possible than to make abortion go underground? …

11) “… Speaking anecdotally, in my interactions with charismatics over the years, I have hardly ever met one who considered the struggle for justice for the poor and oppressed as part of their religious consciousness. In fact, it was precisely the charismatic groups in South America who were financed to oppose and replace base communities and liberation theologies, while buttressing right-wing political fanatics.

“My question is this: What does the canonization of Saint Oscar Romero mean to you and your community? How does his struggle on behalf of the poor resonate with your version of Christianity?”

How the Gates Foundation Is Killing Open License Pandemic Remedies


JAMIE LOVE,, @jamie_love

just published in-depth report by Tim Schwab in The Nation focusing on the Gates Foundation states: “James Love, director of the NGO Knowledge Ecology International, says the foundation’s decades of work on vaccines, along with its sprawling financial ties, allowed it to assert influence early in the pandemic.

“’He had enough money and enough presence in the area for a long enough period of time to be positioned as the first mover and the most influential mover. So people just relied upon his people and his institutions,’ says Love, ‘In a pandemic, when there is a vacuum of leadership, people that move fast and seem to know what they’re doing, they just acquire a lot of power. And he did that in this case.’

“Gates’s leadership in the pandemic has been widely, almost universally, praised, with The New York Times calling him a ‘vocal counterweight to President Trump,’ and Madonna making a million-dollar donation to support the foundation’s work. But because Gates is not an elected representative or public official, the details of his far-reaching influence — and finances — have largely eluded public scrutiny.

“’You have an enormous amount of power that affects everyone around the globe, and there should be some accountability, some transparency,’ says Love. … ‘It’s a charity. … [We’re asking], “Can you explain what you’re doing, for example? Can you show us what these contracts look like?” Particularly since they’re using their money to influence policies that involve our money.’

“The Gates Foundation declined requests for interviews and did not respond to detailed questions sent by e-mail, including about its investments in pharmaceutical companies working on Covid.

“Love and other critics say a key role Gates has played in the pandemic has been elevating the pharmaceutical industry — for example, pushing the University of Oxford to deliver its leading Covid-19 vaccine platform into the hands of Big Pharma. The resulting partnership with AstraZeneca had another effect, as Bloomberg and Kaiser Health News recently reported, changing the university’s distribution model from an open-license platform, designed to make its vaccine freely available for any manufacturer, to an exclusive license controlled by AstraZeneca.”

See Love’s blog — recent posts include: “DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] letter to KEI confirming investigation of Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications.” In another post, Love writes: “Trump’s Executive Order on international reference pricing is a lot less than promised.” Another posting is about “Senator Durbin’s letters to vaccine manufacturers.”

Schwab, who wrote the recent Nation piece, in August wrote the piece “Journalism’s Gates Keepers” for Columbia Journalism Review about Gates’ influence over a host of media organizations. Earlier this year, Schwab wrote the piece “Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox” for The Nation which documents how the Gates Foundation has given hundreds of millions of dollars to companies it is invested in, including Merck, Unilever and Novartis. It also documents how the Gates family and Foundation’s assets continue to grow, “raising questions about the long-term influence of billionaire philanthropy” in politics.

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