This is the weekly newsletter of OptOut, a news aggregation app for exclusively independent media that's under development. We'll be launching the beta version of the app for iPhone and iPad very soon! By subscribing to this newsletter, you'll have a chance to be a beta tester. Find out more about the app at optout.news.
We could really use your help in spreading the word about OptOut as we prepare for launch. We'd be grateful if you can forward this to your friends and family and share it on social!
Please help us launch this app. We need to raise funds to hire news curators and developers for our full launch in early 2022 and to make OptOut sustainable into the future. Because we are a nonprofit charity, all recurring donations through this newsletter and all other types of donations are tax-deductible!
It’s been another busy week in the news. It looks as though the Biden agenda is dead on arrival thanks to corporate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.). The pair have come out against drug pricing controls, climate measures, and a host of other progressive priorities.
On the campaign trail, Joe Biden pitched himself as the candidate who could get things done. His style of moderation and compromise over ideology was a key selling point to older Democrats. Nearly a year into his presidency, however, Biden’s approval ratings are cratering. With no major legislative achievements outside the American Rescue Plan and with job numbers low and COVID numbers high—in part due to federal inaction to stop the spread—his promise of change rings hollow.
Over the summer, the Democrats failed to pass key voting rights legislation ahead of states redistricting, all but guaranteeing a brutal midterm cycle—and likely the start of a GOP-dominated decade. The compromised $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan was supposed to be the shot in the arm the party needed electorally. But every day it seems Dems are getting in their own way.
In other news, the OptOut iPhone/iPad app is nearly ready for release! Stay tuned for more info and a chance to be in our first round of beta testers. And not to worry—the Android app will follow.
Together, as independent media outlets and news consumers, we believe we can change the narrative in the U.S. We believe that change starts with informing the public with trustworthy, conflict-free news content and with readers like you. We are proud and humbled by the fact that you’ve joined us in the nascent stages of OptOut, and we hope to hear your feedback once we release the beta app.
Please enjoy our selections for this week’s OptOut Picks!
Your Corporate Narrative-Free News Roundup
A new report from The Daily Poster reveals that the pharmaceutical industry identified Kyrsten Sinema months ago as an ally against proposed drug price control measures in the Democrats’ infrastructure package. Sinema has been a thorn in her own party’s side as it desperately tries to pass Biden’s agenda.
Here's The Bitchuation Room on the corporate media's fawning over Sinema.
Sludge reports that Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison, himself a former corporate lobbyist, has nominated several new corporate lobbyists to the DNC.
Harrison’s picks for new at-large DNC members include many corporate lobbyists, consultants, and executives, including partners at firms that represent the fossil fuel industry, pharmaceutical companies, electric utilities, and defense contractors, as well as senior employees with Facebook, Pepsi, and Softbank. The nominees will be voted on as a slate and are almost certain to be approved.
The new picks represent the latest example of the identity crisis faced by a Democratic Party torn between an emergent progressive left and a corporate-controlled center.
New internal analysis by several Democratic consultants reveals Democrats are losing ground in counties with small cities that were once manufacturing hubs. As our friends at In These Times report,
Across 10 states in the Midwest and Northeast that comprise the fading heart of America’s former manufacturing hubs, Democrats lost 2.6 million votes between Obama’s election in 2012 and Biden’s in 2020. That is a million more votes than Democrats gained in those states’ cities and suburbs.
The trend is directly linked to a decline in union membership and could mean long-term destruction of a political party that has sought to frame itself as a champion of the working class.
A new report from The City reveals that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is refusing to pay back the nearly $320,000 bill his ill-fated presidential campaign accrued on an NYPD security detail. Taxpayers footed the bill, but the Mayor is being told he must reimburse the city. Thus far, despite potential violations of conflict of interest rules, de Blasio is refusing.
OptOut is getting ready to launch the app very soon, and we could use your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the OptOut Media Foundation today! Thank you so much.
Indigenous People's Day
OptOut is proud to stand in solidarity with our friends at The Red Nation who are planning a decolonization march in Tiwa terrority in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 11 in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The Laura Flanders Show
On Indigenous Peoples Day, Laura reports from "He Sapa," the sacred Black Hills of North Dakota where NDN Collective is reclaiming ancestral lands to address homelessness, addiction and violence against Native Americans.
Good news! The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is being restored and expanded after Trump opened up the sacred lands for mining and other development.
In Other News
Could we be seeing the beginning of the end of forced arbitration clauses? The American Prospect examines how movement around the issue of forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault claims may be a catalyst for ending the practice of corporations mandating arbitration generally.
Our friends at Jacobin have a new story about housing justice in Berlin. In a model for the rest of the world, a million Berliners voted to nationalize 240,000 apartments held by major corporate landlords. While the victory is historic, there are larger issues still at play that bear examination.
In Chompsky, Eliz Mizon explores whether creative workers in the U.K. will follow Hollywood workers' lead and go on strike.
On the latest Making Contact episode:
As fires ravaged California’s world-famous wine country in 2017, a community radio station, emergency dispatcher, and tenant organizers helped the most vulnerable in their community survive and recover. Community organizers and hosts of the podcasts But Next Time Chrishelle Palay and Rose Arrieta bring us the first of four stories of hard-won lessons learned from people on the frontlines of California’s wildfires and Texas’ storms as they work to answer the question, how can next time be different? This is part one of a four part series.
Amazon is a giant monopoly that must be broken up. But until then, why not get some income from its charity program?
The OptOut Media Foundation is now on Amazon Smile. Please sign up to support us on Amazon and help us pay staff and improve the app next year!
Thanks as always for keeping up with the OptOut independent news network! See you next week.