5 min read

Weekend Picks: Fight For $15?

Here's what our participating outlets have been up to this week.

Greetings, OptersOut!

Welcome to the newsletter of OptOut, the forthcoming news app for exclusively independent media.

The Biden administration quickly caved on its promise of $2,000 checks, and now it’s not going to “fight for $15.” This week’s newsletter starts with some reporting and analysis of the minimum wage situation and then touches on police conduct, state voting legislation, and other topics.

But first, here’s a screenshot from our app in development. I’m pretty excited about a new feature that allows you to watch videos while you browse the app and read articles. (Shoutout to participating outlets Means Morning News, The Humanist Report, The American Prospect, and The Nomiki Show.)

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Just give us $15 an hour

Daily Poster: Secret Memo Shows How Harris Must Now Advance Minimum Wage Hike

Despite the Senate parliamentarian’s recommendation that Dems’ relief bill can’t include a $15 minimum wage, Vice President Kamala Harris has the power to override it. The problem is, Biden doesn’t want her to.

Read the article


The American Prospect: Put the Minimum Wage Bill on the Floor

credit: The All-Nite Images/Flickr

David Dayen lays out several different ways to include $15/hour in the relief bill and get it passed.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could fire the parliamentarian for making a contrary ruling, and find someone who would put the minimum wage increase in order. This happened as recently as 2001, when Trent Lott fired the parliamentarian for adverse rulings in a 50-50 Senate. But Schumer only said that he was “deeply disappointed” in the decision, and I just don’t see him firing McDonough at this time.

Read the piece


Status Coup: Joe Biden Abandons $15 Minimum Wage Because of "Senate Parliamentarian"

Tina-Desiree Berg speaks with Pat Cote about Joe Biden not pushing for a $15 minimum wage to be included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill.


The Nomiki Show: $15 Is Not Enough

One of the most pressing political issues right now is the fight to raise the minimum wage. $15 is not nearly enough, and yet we can’t even manage to pass that federally. This is a tremendous disgrace.

In other news

Sludge: ‘Red State Assault’ on Ballot Measures Threatens Direct Democracy

credit: Gage Skidmore

“Lawmakers in 24 states have introduced restrictions on ballot initiatives after voters passed measures last year including legalizing marijuana and raising the minimum wage,” writes Lisa Newcomb for Sludge.

Read the article


WhoWhatWhy: Voting Legislation at Odds With Federal Bill

credit: United States Congress, Office of Bruce Westerman / Wikimedia Commons
Congress will soon be wrestling with multiple voting rights bills, some of them restrictive and others expansive. While Democrats unite on a bill to increase voting rights, Republican members of the 117th Congress have begun introducing legislation that continues to call into question the integrity of the November election and would suppress future votes.

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CMD: Senators Criticizing Haaland’s Nomination Have Ties to Big Oil and Gas

adapted from Deb Haaland/Twitter

I wrote a piece for the Center for Media and Democracy and The Guardian about several GOP senators who grilled Biden’s Interior nominee, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), about her desire to protect the environment and enforce Biden’s pause on new federal oil and gas leases. While they berated Haaland, who would be the first Native American Cabinet secretary in history, they failed to disclose that their campaigns are bankrolled by oil and gas PACs, and some of them are personally invested in the industry. Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.) owns dozens of oil well interests in North Dakota, and a child of Sen. Roger Marshall (Kansas) owns oil interests in that state. Kinda sounds like a conflict of interest.

Read the article


Africa Is a Country: The death of cities

credit: World Bank Photo Collection on Flickr. Credit Sambrian Mbaabu CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Cities will continue to exist and grow despite the coronavirus crisis because of the distinctly human need for social interaction, physical contact, and collaboration.

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Jacobin: In Defense of Herbert Marcuse

For journalist Matt Taibbi, Herbert Marcuse is a pseudo-intellectual at fault for much of what ails the contemporary left. But the real Marcuse was a serious thinker who remained committed to socialism and working-class struggle. In our moment of political defeat, his works like One-Dimensional Man are well worth revisiting.

Read the piece


Majority Report: No One Is Buying The Republicans' Deficit Fearmongering Anymore

New Republic staff writer Alex Shephard joins Emma Vigeland to discuss his piece, which explores the devolution of the Republicans' deficit hawkishness, comparing GOP opposition to stimulus spending under Biden to their more effective opposition under Obama.

Reply Guys: Into the Minutia with Andrew Perez

Co-host Kate Willett talks with Daily Poster editor Andrew Perez about his article, “Dems’ Gift To Health Insurance Predators.”


Tim Black TV: Hold Cops Accountable with Jheanelle Wilkins

Tim Black talks with Maryland Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins about ending qualified immunity.


Another Ohio resident has been arrested under the dubious charge of ‘misconduct during an emergency,’ which has been used again by Ohio police to incarcerate another person who filmed them in action.

Sh!tpost: The Lincoln Project's Implosion with Scott Stedman

How did a group that raised and spent tens of millions of dollars in the 2020 election self-destruct so unceremoniously? Did it accomplish what it set out to do? That, and more, in this episode.

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Have a great weekend, everyone, and thanks for keeping up with OptOut’s participating outlets.