OptOut's Weekend Picks (Nov. 21, 2020)
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Let’s get back to the news, fascist coup attempt and all.
The Daily Poster: Tucker Carlson and Media Elites Cozy Up To Private Equity Moguls
The reporters at The Daily Poster used public records requests regarding state pension funds to uncover the names of several media and political figures who have been cashing in by giving speeches at Wall Street events. The roster includes Fox News’ fake populist Tucker Carlson, the host of American white nationalists’ favorite cable news show, who charges $70,000 per speech. Other media elites who have made gobs of money by serenading private equity executives include pollster Nate Silver, CNN host Fareed Zakaria, NBC News contributor Paul Begala, conservative radio host and NBC News contributor Hugh Hewitt, and Obama strategist-turned-CNN commentator David Axelrod.
I can tell you this: No OptOut partner is going to turn up at a Wall Street gala unless it’s as an undercover reporter. Support independent media, folks!
Help The Daily Poster hire more writers.
Eyes on the Ties: Biden’s ‘Nightmare’ Climate Advisor is Connected to Energy Transition Team Members
President-elect Joe Biden is already confirming some of the left’s worst fears as he welcomes fossil fuel profiteers and their congressional allies into his administration. Biden adviser Ernest Moniz, currently a director of Southern Company, the second-highest carbon-polluting energy utility in the United States, was Energy secretary under Obama and is rumored to be a top contender to lead the department once again.
Support the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit public-interest research organization focused on corporate and government accountability that publishes Eyes on the Ties and LittleSis.
Sludge: Biden to Tap Fossil Fuel-Friendly Rep for White House Job
In more bad news for those who care about real climate action, Rep. Cedric Richmond, a major ally to the oil, gas, and chemicals industries, will be Biden’s senior adviser and a liaison to the climate movement. Richmond, who has ignored pleas from constituents who live in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and has repeatedly crossed party lines to vote in favor of fossil fuel interests.
Donate to Sludge now and have your contribution doubled by NewsMatch.
The Flashpoint: Mass Dems Overwhelmingly Reelect Gus Bickford Chair Despite His Involvement in Alex Morse Smear
Eoin Higgins offers an update to his reporting on the homophobic smear campaign against 2020 House challenger Alex Morse, a scandal that reached the very top of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and helped centrist Medicare for All opponent Rep. Richard Neal keep his seat. Apparently, there are no professional repercussions for helping to malign a young, gay, progressive candidate and then lying about it.
What Went Wrong: Trump Proved How Gullible America Really Is
After he's gone, the U.S. political system will remain terrifyingly vulnerable to grifters and conspiracy theorists, writes Harry Cheadle.
RIFT: Ajamu Baraka on Racial Justice and Fighting Neoliberalism
Rift interviews Ajamu Baraka—an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, former 2016 Green Party nominee for vice president, and national organizer and spokesperson for the Black Alliance for Peace—about racial justice and fighting neoliberalism under the incoming Biden administration.
Read and listen to the interview
Support Rift, a digital publication focused on anti-capitalist politics, economics, and culture.
Discourse Blog: No Seriously, Fuck You, Andrew Cuomo
Discourse Blog’s Katherine Kreuger writes the latest in the publication’s “Fuck You” series, this time about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who, by the way, has already published a book about his alleged victory over COVID-19 and is apparently in line for an Emmy. Yes, an Emmy award).
It is now November. The U.S. death toll has now climbed past 250,000—officially sliding this to the “L” column even by Trump’s own deranged barometer. More than 33,000 people have died of COVID in New York state. And still, it appears our leaders haven’t learned much at all, even after dragging their feet on closures, not really ever closing things down if you’re a poor person, and making a confusing mess about what’s allowed and what isn’t.
Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a worker-owned, independent politics and culture website.
Audio & Video
Jacobin Weekends: New China Cold War, Biden's Debt Cancelation, DSA in Office w/ Julia Salazar
Hosts Ana Kasparian and Nando Vila talk with New York State Senator Julia Salazar about the 2020 elections, DSA successes, and Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to austerity, about other topics.
The Red Nation: North Carolina Keeps Breaking My Heart w/ Nick Martin
Sappony journalist Nick Martin talks about Trumpism, the elections, the politics of writing, and what it means to be Native in the South. North Carolina, where Nick and I both hail from, again went for Trump.
Support The Red Nation, which centers Native political agendas and struggles through direct action, advocacy, mobilization, and education.
Brown Girl Green: Break Free Plastic
Kristy Drutman interviews Shilpi Chhotray of the Break Free From Plastic coalition, who details how the plastic crisis impacts our planet, especially in Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.
Support Brown Girl Green, who is changing the image of what it means to be an "environmentalist" in the 21st century.
The Humanist Report: Charles Koch Feels Kinda Bad for Ruining America & Destroying the Planet
The Humanist Report’s Mike Figueredo takes the mask off of billionaire GOP megadonor and climate change denial funder Charles Koch’s latest rebrand (and book tour) as a “uniter.”
VOICES: River City: Trans Day of Remembrance, with Ayotunde Ikuku and Ome Tieu
Ayotunde Ikuku and Ome Tieu of Sacramento's Gender Health Center discuss Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurred on Friday. The trans community in the U.S.—particularly trans women of color—faces a horrifying amount of violence and prejudice.
Support VOICES: River City, a Sacramento-based platform for community voices to speak truth to power.
Eric Draitser: Is Ethiopia Headed For Civil War?
Political analyst and CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser explains the historical, geopolitical, and strategic context necessary to understand the recent conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region.
Citations Needed: It's Not a "Fall From Grace.” This Has Always Been Who Giuliani Was.
Citations Needed breaks down the breakdown of Rudy Giuliani, who’s had…quite a year.
Support Citations Needed, a podcast about the media, power, PR, and the history of bullshit.
Thanks for supporting OptOut and our tremendous media partners! We’ll likely take next weekend off, so stay safe and see you in December.