Can Melinda French Gates Revive The Lagging Women’s Movement?

Suddenly, women and girls seem to be invisible.

Women are no longer the top priority even at the Women’s Sports Foundation, which is championing the rights of biological males who identify as female or trans women to participate in women’s sports. This despite science that clearly shows trans males have an unfair advantage over girls and women.

State legislatures are making it impossible for women to obtain abortions that are legal under the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.

Millions of women are struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, when they disproportionately lost jobs and now face pressure to return to work despite the lack of affordable child care.

So it is more than encouraging that Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, is championing a new $2.1 billion initiative to “to advance women’s economic empowerment, strengthen women and girls’ health and family planning, and accelerate women’s leadership.”

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Has The Dept. Of Justice Learned Nothing Since 2008?

Update: A bankruptcy judge on Nov. 18 over the objection of state attorneys general approved Purdue Pharma’s settlement with the DOJ resolving investigations into the OxyContin maker’s role in the opioid epidemic.

After causing a worldwide financial crisis in 2008, the well-heeled Wall Street executives who were responsible went to Florida and the Bahamas.

Not to jail.

The failure of the administration of former President Barack Obama to prosecute the financial titans whose greed triggered the worst economic collapse in a hundred years shook the faith of Americans in the U.S. justice system, contributing to the cynical attitude that justice is for penny ante car thieves but not the rich and powerful.

Is history about to repeat itself?

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a “global resolution of its criminal and civil investigations” into Purdue Pharma, LP, which spurred an opioid epidemic that wrought utter devastation for years throughout the U.S. The $8.3 billion plea deal must be approved by the bankruptcy court.

The DOJ settlement states that it does not release from criminal liability the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, or company executives -but the “global resolution” also doesn’t impose criminal liability.

The Sacklers

The Sackler family reportedly earned more than $10.7 billion in profits through the sale of Purdue’s addictive opioid painkiller, OxyContin. The company rewarded physicians for oversubscribing the drug, which is blamed for the deaths of an estimated 450,000 Americans since 1999.

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Trump/Pelosi: “Let Them Eat Cake”

There are no heroes in the political impasse to extend pandemic relief to workers and small business owners who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to survive due to Covid-19.

Both Republicans and Democrats for months have been using the suffering of the American people to position themselves in the upcoming Presidential election.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a nonpartisan but left-leaning research institute based in Washington, DC, recently observed that frontline workers and small businesses are suffering disproportionately in the pandemic.

The Center notes business is booming for large corporations, like Amazon, Apple and Google, and the S&P 500 is up more than 5 %. Yet, 30 to 40 million people may be at risk of eviction, food insecurity is rising (especially in households with children) and growing numbers of people are suffering mental health challenges.

Marie Antoinette, the queen of France during the French Revolution, supposedly issued the dismissive comment, “Let them eat cake,”  during a 1789 famine after being informed that peasants were starving. The staple food of the French diet was then bread. The phrase is often uttered to denounce the upper class’ callous disregard for the suffering of the poor.

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