Greetings, OptersOut!

Hello from the mountains of western North Carolina, where I’m spending a few weeks hiking, cooking, working, and remembering what it’s like to be able to see stars in the sky.

Despite intermittent bouts of rage tweeting, an addiction I’m working on, I’ve been able to step back a bit from the toxic world of social media. When you take a couple days off and then return, you realize, instantly, how bad Twitter and Facebook are for your mental health. (I quit Facebook years ago and strongly encourage you to do so as well, for many reasons!) This just reaffirms why we’re building a nonprofit news aggregation app for exclusively independent media; we don’t expect to inspire a mass exodus from social media, but we will offer folks a different way to stay informed, free from comments, trolls, misinformation, and corporate media narratives. Once the app is live, you’ll have a great alternative to Twitter and Facebook, and, hopefully, you’ll sometimes turn to OptOut instead of reflexively opening a social media app and, if you’re anything like me, ushering in waves of unnecessary anxiety.

And now, your weekly roundup of news and opinion from our more than 80 excellent independent media partners. Journalism is an awfully tough industry these days, so please consider throwing them a few bucks as you enjoy their content.


Public Accountability Initiative: How Uber and Lyft are preparing to block labor rights for gig economy workers

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via Tony Webster/Flickr

Gig economy employers are sponsoring front groups, funding super PACs, and cultivating Democratic Party ties to stop workers from winning labor protections.

Read the report

Support the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit public-interest research organization focused on corporate and government accountability.

Sludge: Democratic Super PACs Are Getting Wildly Outspent by GOP Groups in Georgia Senate Runoffs

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GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) stands with QAnon supporter and incoming Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in a YouTube video. (Kelly Loeffler/YouTube)

As of Friday, Republican Party-aligned outside groups had spent $2.5 million since Election Day to support Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in their special elections, which will determine which party leads the Senate. Democratic groups have yet to report spending a penny, reports Sludge co-founder Donny Shaw.

Read the article

Support Sludge, an investigative news site focused on money in politics.

Acute Condition: Vaccines and freezers

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The Pfizer vaccine must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer. Many hospitals can't afford it, and there are already shortages, Olivia Webb explains.

Read the article

Subscribe to Acute Condition.

The Daily Poster: The Real Story About ‘Never Trump’ Republicans

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via The Lincoln Project/YouTube

Data obtained by The Daily Poster show that Lincoln Project ads were often ineffective—and some may have even convinced some voters to support Trump.

Read the article

Support The Daily Poster, an investigative journalism project led by award-winning reporter David Sirota.


Jewish Currents: Democrats Can’t Win Without the Left

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via Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Twitter

Jewish Currents’ Mari Cohen argues that leftists recognize the need to work in coalition with liberals to fight the right, and it’s time for liberals to reciprocate.

This year, with record turnout across the country and marginal Green Party support, [liberals] have pointed their fingers not at left-wing voters but at left-wing policies and messaging. They do so at their own peril: Without the left’s intellectual energy, organizing strategy, and activist base, the Democratic Party cannot survive.

Read the piece

Support Jewish Currents, a magazine committed to the rich tradition of thought, activism, and culture of the Jewish left.

Welcome To Hell World: Staten Island Is America

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via Welcome To Hell World

Dan Ozzi writes a personal account of his home town of Staten Island, the conservative borough of New York City that has descended into strict Trumpism and COVID-19 denial, for Luke O’Neil’s Welcome to Hell World.

Read the piece

Support Welcome To Hell World.

Blood Knife: A Dream of Revolution: Total Recall, the Red Pill, and Reality

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via Blood Knife

Before “the red pill” became synonymous with The Matrix, and then with reactionary masculinity, Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall offered a dream-ending red pill of its own—with revolutionary possibilities.

Read the piece

Support Blood Knife, a digital magazine about cyberpunk, sci-fi, horror, neon, knives, blood, and capitalism.


Gravel Institute: How the Electoral College Breaks Democracy

Joe Biden pulled off the Electoral College victory in addition to trouncing Trump in the popular vote, but that was by no means a given. Of the last three presidential races won by GOP candidates, the Republican won the popular vote in only one. For the Gravel Institute, Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara explains how undemocratic the Electoral College is.

Help the Gravel Institute take on rightwing propaganda machine PragerU.

The Empire Files: Abby Martin's Lawsuit Over Israel Loyalty Oath Mandate in U.S.

Abby Martin was set to give a speech at Georgia Southern University earlier this year, but after she refused to sign a state-mandated pledge not to boycott Israel (over its human rights violations of Palestinians), the university rescinded her invitation and even canceled the conference. Martin has sued the state of Georgia with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). Here’s an update on that case.

Support The Empire Files.

The Nomiki Show: The Democratic Party Is BROKEN

Nomiki Konst, who served on the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission, makes the case for gutting the Democratic Party.

Get rid of the consultants and the lobbyists now. Period. They should have no oversight over the party.

Support The Nomiki Show.


Gilded Age: What Happened? feat. Malaika Jabali

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On OptOut’s original podcast, Gilded Age, Alex and Walker talk about the election and Democratic Party down-ballot failures with journalist and attorney Malaika Jabali.

Listen to the episode

Sh!tpost: MAGA Copes feat. Brendan Karet and Michael E. Hayden

MAGA World is definitely “having a normal one” these days as their infallible president lost the Electoral College, the popular vote, and more than a dozen frivolous lawsuits based on wild claims of voter fraud. Host Jared Holt talks with Media Matters’ Brendan Karet and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Michael Hayden about the latest from the Earth 3.

Support Sh!tpost.

The Red Nation: Veterans' Day & the Demilitarization of Indian Country w/ Krystal Two Bulls

Krystal Two Bulls is a Northern Cheyenne and Oglala Lakota anti-war veteran and organizer. For Veterans' Day, she joins The Red Nation to discuss the militarization of Indian Country, and how to end it.

Support The Red Nation, a publication dedicated to the liberation of Native peoples from capitalism and colonialism.

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