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This was a big week for Democrats and a historic week for the country. President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, a major climate, health care, and tax bill, delivering a much-needed win for his administration and party and setting a precedent for the future.
The law, the result of negotiations between coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), allocates hundreds of billions of dollars for clean energy initiatives but includes significant handouts to the fossil fuel industry. Renewable development is contingent upon opening up 600 million acres of federal waters for oil and gas expansion over the next decade.
However, the IRA is the first of its kind in that it specifically signals Congress’ intent to address the existential threat of climate change.
The other big news this week is Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely seen as a strong 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has been taking aim at his perceived political enemies: trans Americans, women seeking abortions, and public school teachers who want to teach history.
DeSantis has signed bills into law banning trans women from sports, prohibiting discussion relating to sexuality in schools, and banning abortions after 15 weeks. He appointed an anti-trans activist to be his surgeon general. On his watch, Florida’s Medicaid administration has banned coverage of gender-affirming care. Earlier this month, DeSantis fired a prosecutor who declared his intention not to prosecute women seeking abortions. And in April, the governor signed the "Stop WOKE" act, a sweeping bill that restricts conversations about race in classrooms.
This week, DeSantis suffered a setback when a federal judge blocked enforcement of the Stop WOKE act, on the grounds that it was impermissibly vague and an assault on the First Amendment.
With that, please enjoy this week’s selections of top stories from OptOut’s participating outlets.
Your Weekly Independent News Roundup
Biden signs the IRA
For a good breakdown of what is included in the Inflation Reduction Act, give this piece from the STATES NEWSROOM a read.
For a rundown of what is missing from the bill, check out this piece from PRISM.
Did you read our first climate-focused newsletter this week? OptOut Climate Editor Cristian Salazar rounds up the best independent reporting about climate change, energy, and the environment every other Wednesday.
To get future climate newsletters in your inbox, sign into your account and click "Manage" to subscribe to OptOut Climate!
The ‘Free State’ of Florida
Another must-read from PRISM outlines the challenges facing Florida’s teachers who now need to contend with DeSantis’ interference in public education.
The ACLU of Florida is suing the state’s university system over a DeSantis law known as HB 7 Individual Freedom that restricts discussion of race in classrooms, the FLORIDA PHOENIX reports.
Another FLORIDA PHOENIX piece has all you need to know about the legal challenges the state’s 15-week abortion ban.
There is some good news, though. STATUS COUP covered a decision by a federal judge to block the Stop WOKE act.
Even so, the buzz around DeSantis continues to grow. This week, Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed GOP candidate for governor in Arizona and Big Lie enthusiast, lauded the Florida governor’s “BDE.” MAJORITY REPORT dissects the video.
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Have you ever wondered why so many Americans are willing to believe conspiracy theories like Donald Trump’s Big Lie of voter fraud? Well, FAIR dissects the problem: a failure of media.
The problems with journalism today stem in part from corporate consolidation. DEFECTOR did a dive this week into reporter layoffs at mega-publisher Gannett, which owns state and local news outfits across the country. It is well worth the read.
Democrats, Democrats, Democrats
Why won’t Joe Biden cancel student debt? What is he waiting for? THE AMERICAN PROSPECT published an article this week dismantling arguments against student debt cancellation.
Liz Cheney, who recently lost her congressional primary in Wyoming over her willingness to investigate Donald Trump, has become a favorite of liberals. But JACOBIN is out with a new article examining just how closely aligned Cheney actually is with the former president.
By now, everyone has heard of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. The Arizona Democrat played spoiler on several key progressive priorities including the $15 minimum wage and closing the carried interest loophole. Well, this week, the CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY explored her ties to private equity.
Thanks as always for staying up-to-date on news from the OptOut independent media network! See you soon.
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