This is the newsletter of OptOut, a free news aggregation app for exclusively independent media that's available for Apple and Android devices. Find out more about the app at optout.news.
Last week we launched the OptOut app for Android! Thanks for everyone's patience. The approval process took much longer than expected, but we were eventually able to get past the faulty bots at the Google Play Store and through to human beings, who quickly saw that our app was more than qualified.
So we are proud to say that the free OptOut app is now available for iOS and Android users. Stay tuned for future versions: a desktop app and, down the road, smart TV apps!
The OptOut Media Foundation is a nonprofit charity dedicated to getting you top-notch news from exclusively independent media sources. Two years in, our team is a combination of volunteers and paid part-time contractors. Sometimes I still can't believe that we built an innovative news app for hardly any money.
Here's the "but," though. We can't stay volunteer for much longer. We're rewriting our entire backend system to make the user experience far better, and we need more help with frontend development as we add features and fix bugs. Our skilled tech developers have busy lives and other gigs that compensate them better than we can at the moment. We need to raise some money, soon, to keep us going.
We need to hire a marketing strategist to help us effectively advertise our product to help these news outlets have the biggest impact they can. We're in the process of hiring a climate editor who will start our first themed newsletter! (We plan to launch more issue- and location-specific newsletters in the near future.) We're hiring more real journalists, not algorithms, to curate your news experience. We're talking with fact checkers and others who will form our outlet review committee and work on a new standard for evaluating news reliability, something sorely needed as for-profit services like NewsGuard give Fox News a solid rating and Daily Caller, the rightwing site founded by Tucker Carlson, a stellar one!
This is all to say that we're on a shoestring budget but have big-time plans. We need your help not only to stay afloat but to expand our work to educate the public with uncompromising media.
All donations are tax-deductible.
Your Independent News Roundup
Roe v. Wade is tragically gone, but voters can protect some of their reproductive rights at the ballot box this year. BOLTS published a very helpful guide to these elections.
Just days before the Supreme Court overturned Roe, the largest anti-abortion organization in the U.S. released model legislation that would ban abortion and criminalize “aiding or abetting an illegal abortion.” If enacted, this law would target, among others, journalists, since it outlaws websites that "encourage" abortion. PRISM reports:
The right had an especially grotesque approach to the 10-year-old rape victim who had to cross state lines to obtain an abortion. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, for example, has pledged to investigate the doctor who performed the abortion in his state. And rightwing and corporate media, including Glenn Greenwald and his buddy Tucker Carlson, cast doubt on the young girl's story. Remember, her rapist got her pregnant at age 10 in a state where most abortions are illegal. MEANS MORNING NEWS reviews the shameful situation.
In REPLY GUYS' latest episode, Julia and Kate break down the history of abortion access and Christian hypocrisy in opposition leading up to today.
Listen on Soundcloud, the OptOut app, or wherever you get your casts.
On WORKING PEOPLE, labor organizers review what happened at the Labor Notes 2022 conference in Chicago last month.
We convened this comradely panel with some fan-favorite guests of the Working People podcast—Tevita ‘Uhatafe, McKenna Schueler, and Jacob Morrison—to share our thoughts and reflections on the gathering, and to talk about the lessons and strategies we’re taking from Labor Notes and applying in our daily lives.
Watch speeches from the weekend, including from Bernie Sanders, at LABOR NOTES.
The Biden administration has managed to piss off both Dems and Republicans with its proposed offshore drilling plan, according to reporting by STATES NEWSROOM (syndicated here by the IDAHO CAPITAL SUN).
New OptOut network member HIGH COUNTRY NEWS (!) explains that SCOTUS' recent ruling invalidating the Clean Power Plan doesn't completely prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change. However, never missing a chance to alienate its party base,
the Biden administration is defending a Trump-era rollback of an Obama rule that would have required the large coal-fired power plants in Utah to install widely used pollution-control devices.
Democratic voters simply don't want Biden to run for reelection. Having done next to nothing for the working people who got him elected, Biden's approval ratings are subterranean. Unable, or unwilling, to wrangle two rogue Democratic senators, almost all of Biden's agenda, including the heavily marketed Build Back Better plan, is dead. Liberals and progressives are livid that Biden, a lifelong centrist who appears to still be living in a past where the two major parties worked together, won't fight for his own policy platform or even offer them rhetoric they can get behind. To make matters worse, his communications team can't help itself from bashing activists fighting for their basic rights.
Predictably, the nearly 80-year-old Washington insider completely blows it with young people.
94% of Democrats under 30 said they would prefer a different presidential nominee.
As many on the left have been saying for quite some time now, to counter a motivated, neofascist GOP, Dems need leaders who will fight tooth and nail to maintain what little is left of our democracy, women's rights, any hope of combatting climate change, and the like, and who will inspire their base by doing so. Instead, Democrats are looking at a shellacking in the midterms. As we've learned from recent elections, politicians need to give people something to earn their votes; merely running in opposition to worse prospects, even far-right extremists, isn't often enough.
THE HUMANIST REPORT:
So how, or can, the Democratic Party change? Perhaps third-party challengers can make a difference. Every election is different, and some leftist candidates believe they can have more impact by running as Democrats. Others stay away from the party and run on the Green Party ticket.
Matthew Hoh is rejecting the two-party system and running as a Green Party candidate to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Yet he's endorsed Jason Call, who is running as a Democrat. Katie asks him why and brings up another example of a genuine leftist running not as third party or Green but as a Democrat. The discussion leads to Thomas Jefferson, questions of unity for the left, and more.
On BLACK POWER MEDIA, a new addition to the OptOut network (!), Jared Ball and Kim Brown react to John Bolton telling corporate media star Jake Tapper that you need to be a genius to plan a coup and, by the way, he would know, because he's planned several coups! Somehow Tapper didn't skip a beat when Bolton admitted to plotting regime change in foreign countries.
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT writes that AIPAC has dumped "trainloads of money" into Democratic primaries this year, effectively taking over the party's primary process. AIPAC, a conservative political committee that supports staunch pro-Israel candidates, is flush with GOP megadonors' money, spending it to derail progressives and install centrists who will oppose any initiatives to curb Israel's heinous treatment of Palestinians. The group has even endorsed a rightwing Republican who compared Democrats to Nazis. Shockingly, Democratic leaders have yet to cry foul.
We can't talk about the pro-Israel lobby's electoral impact without also reading JEWISH CURRENTS' latest on the topic.
New Ads from the Network
Tim Black (TIM BLACK TV) and Mike Figueredo (THE HUMANIST REPORT) were kind enough to each make ads for us! We put them out this week on YouTube, and we'll likely put some money behind them to recruit more OptOut users. We're doing things differently at OptOut—instead of seeing each other as competitors, OptOut network outlets are teaming up, not just on collaborative stories but on advertising as well. You'll see that Tim and Mike both advertise other YouTube channels from the network in their ads, and there will be more like these to come.
Please consider becoming a paid supporter of Tim and Mike's shows by clicking JOIN on their YouTube channels!
Thanks as always for following the work of our great, financially independent news outlets! See you soon.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.