Welcome back to OptOut's weekend news roundup! Today we'll look at independent journalism about the 20-year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Fed's blunders surrounding bank regulation and the SVB failure, Trump's legal troubles ramping up, and lots more.

First, some updates about the OptOut network.

What's New at OptOut

This week OptOut welcomed two more outlets to our independent media network!

TYPE INVESTIGATIONS is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to transforming the field of independent investigative journalism. It covers the most urgent issues of our time, including racial and economic justice, climate and environmental health, and civil and human rights.

Here's a recent story by Jessica Pishko, co-published with OptOut member THE APPEAL, about the Harris County, Texas jail, where more than 50 inmates have died since 2021.

Why Do People Keep Dying in the Harris County Jail? - Type Investigations
The Texas jail is bursting at the seams as officials push for more pretrial incarceration.
Post image alt text

INDIGNITY is a general-interest blog and podcast, produced by Tom Scocca (check out his appearance on our GILDED AGE podcast) and Joe MacLeod, which features essays, reporting, commentary, and, most importantly, public-domain sandwich recipes. Will Tom and Joe oust Scott Walker as the internet's new sandwich kings?

In the March 15 edition, Scocca analyzes conservative author Bethany Mandel's embarrassing inability to define "woke" after writing a book attacking the phenomenon.

INDIGNITY VOL. 3 ,NO. 36: Rude a-woke-ening.
Post image alt text

Congrats to our partner STATES NEWSROOM, which is acquiring Stateline, a daily politics and policy news service, from Pew Charitable Trusts, along with $3 million for the transition!

Another edition of OPTOUT NEW YORK came out this week!

Little victories, big woes:🗽‘Growing up’ in Rikers🗽More housing blues🗽Wage theft & scams
It’s Not You, It’s the Subway: the stories that make New York. Independent, and curated—for you.
Post image alt text

Don't miss it next time by signing up for free in your account settings.

DOWNLOAD the free OptOut app for Android or iOS for more curated content like this every day!

War in Iraq 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago today, the U.S. invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and now, most Americans think we shouldn't have created this war. At the time, most of the corporate and legacy media bought the Bush administration's brazen lies about Saddam Hussain's involvement in 9/11 and stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction," rallying public support for the disastrous military engagement.

"Two decades after the March 19, 2003, U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is still difficult to peel back all the layers of deceit that enveloped the war," writes James Risen in THE INTERCEPT.

Bush’s Iraq War Lies Served as a Blueprint for Donald Trump
The officially sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 set a dangerous precedent.
Post image alt text

Instead of the latest TV episodes tonight, you may want to watch this 2007 documentary, War Made Easy, based on the book by Norman Solomon and narrated by Sean Penn.

This critically acclaimed look at American war propaganda exhumes five decades of remarkable archival footage to show how presidents from both parties have relied on fear-driven political spin and craven media complicity to sell a succession of wars to the American people.

THE REAL NEWS NETWORK put the whole doc on YouTube. And don't miss Adam Johnson's "where are they now" piece about the war's biggest proponents in the media. (Hint: all six media figures profiled currently work in the corporate media, and half of them are at The Atlantic.)

US Media’s Iraq War Pushers 20 Years On: Where Are They Now? Rich and Influential.
It’s not just that media figures who sold the most devastating war crime of the 21st century never faced any professional consequences—they’re more powerful and influential now than ever.
Post image alt text

It looks like Congress will finally repeal the 32-year-old and the 20-year-old Authorizations for Use of Military Force against Iraq. However, it's not going to ditch the 2001 AUMF that was first used to justify invading Afghanistan and has been used for subsequent military and counterterrorism efforts.

U.S. Senate moves toward repealing authority for military force against Iraq - Alabama Reflector
The legislation doesn’t repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress approved following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Post image alt text
OptOut exists because of tax-deductible donations from readers like you. Become an OptOut 🎟 Member, 🏀 Baller, or 👑 OG for exclusive content and to help us keep curating and promoting trustworthy independent media!

Diagnosing the Bank Failure

I now share with you some of the impressive economic wonkery in the OptOut network.

THE AMERICAN PROSPECT's David Dayen diagnoses the Fed's ongoing blunders that helped cause Silicon Valley Bank's collapse and may now, ironically, exacerbate inflation.

Bank Crisis Reveals Numerous Federal Reserve Failures
Bad financial supervision, a panicky response, and now the Fed has created a trigger policy for more inflation.
Post image alt text

Matt Stoller argues that we should "fire the Fed as our most important bank regulator."

Fire the Fed
Key bad guys in the Silicon Valley Bank saga are at the Federal Reserve. It’s time to end the era of central bank supremacy and fire the Fed as our most important bank regulator.
Post image alt text

WHO WHAT WHY's podcast interviews distinguished economists Dean Baker and Brad DeLong about the debacle.

Dissecting the Silicon Valley Bank Debacle - WhoWhatWhy
Two eminent economists unravel the truth behind Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, its causes, and vital lessons for future financial stability.
Post image alt text

Trump's in Trouble

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg frustrated liberals when he declined to go after Donald Trump directly for his company's years of blatant tax fraud. Now he appears to have chosen another way to nail the ex-president, perhaps realizing that his reelection chances wouldn't be so great as "the Democrat who let off Trump."

The corporate tax fraud was a hole-in-one as far as I'm concerned (the media essentially laid out the entire case), but Bragg's office recently asked for a meeting with law enforcement to discuss an impending indictment of Trump over hush money paid to pornstar Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. This would be the first time a former U.S. president will face criminal charges.

THE RATIONAL NATIONAL analyzes the situation and mentions Trump's breathless post on his floundering social media site, Truth Social, about his imminent arrest, in which he urged supporters to "protest" and "take our country back." Sound familiar?

In Other News

EOS makes an important point about climate journalism: experts and reporters from the Global South lack resources and access, and journalists from the Global North need to make an effort to center their voices.

Climate Journalism Needs Voices from the Global South - Eos
Scientists from Africa, South America, and South Asia are more rarely consulted than their peers in the Global North. A new database aims to change that.
Post image alt text

In a win for workers, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state's 2012 "right to work" laws, which restrict the power of organized labor.

Workers flock to see Right to Work reversal, prevailing wage restoration pass Michigan Senate ⋆ Michigan Advance
A committee room and both lobbies of the Michigan Senate’s office building were jammed to the brim early Tuesday morning, as more than a hundred workers — many sporting union jackets — watched a Democratic-led Senate panel debate and then adopt several landmark pro-union bills. Hours later, many of…
Post image alt text

👏 And congrats to MICHIGAN ADVANCE for winning 22 Michigan Press Association (MPA) awards in its 2022 “News Media Publication of the Year” contest, including placing first in the Public Service Award for “Loss, strain and hope mark the next phase of the COVID pandemic.”

Other highlights from this week:

Thanks as always for following the best independent news in the U.S. and beyond. 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.

Download the app for Apple and Android.
Sign up for OptOut's free newsletters.
Learn more about OptOut.
Events calendar

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Mastodon, and Facebook.