This week, OptOut's reporting outfit, Important Context,  and  The Center for Media and Democracy took a deep dive into the money behind far-right agitator Chris Rufo. Rufo has made a name for himself lately, credited as the driving force behind the right's moral panic over "critical race theory" and the "plagiarism" scandal that sunk Harvard's first Black and first Black woman president, Claudine Gay.

Unsurprisingly, the various nonprofit groups Rufo is affiliated with are backed by dark money and some of the most powerful, entrenched corporate interests in America, including several right-wing billionaire powerbrokers.

In response to our report, Rufo took to Twitter to deny there was any story–that actually it was a testament to his effectiveness that the billionaires, who are working to dismantle public education, organized labor, government regulations, and public faith in science, would support him.

Read the full story:

The Big Money Behind Chris Rufo’s Right-Wing Agitating
“I ❤️ billionaires,” the far-right activist said.
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War in Gaza

After pausing one weapons shipment to Israel, the Biden administration has announced that it will resume military aid to the country, even as it violates the president's "red line" with operations in Rafah, which is now home to well over a million Palestinian refugees. The war in Gaza continues with no clear end in sight, but plenty of dead bodies.

STATUS COUP did a segment on the Biden's reversal.

Biden REVERSES Pausing Weapons to Israel After ZIONIST Billionaire Donors Fumed
Jordan details how President Biden abandons “red line” to not send more weapons to Israel after certain billionaire donors angrily reached out to the White House
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THE INTERCEPT had a good piece looking at the situation and how we got to this point with the ongoing human and political disaster the war represents.

Israel Wants Endless War Without the Politics. Biden’s Going Along for the Doomed Ride.
Carl von Clausewitz said war is politics by other means, but Israel just wants the war part — and Biden is happy to be dragged down with it.
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Prior to the resumption of military shipments, the U.S. State Department delivered a report that Israel likely used U.S. weapons in violation of international law. Nevertheless, the report explicitly did not recommend cutting off the supply of American munitions to Israel. THE INTERCEPT also had that story.

Israel “Likely” Used U.S.-Supplied Weapons in Violation of International Law. That’s OK, Though, State Department Says.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s report identifies “incidents that raise concerns,” but says Israel is not blocking humanitarian aid.
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With the war dragging on, student demonstrations have cropped up on college campuses across the country, as we have covered in this newsletter. Although the demonstrations have been overwhelmingly peaceful, the response to the students from their schools has ranged, but in many instances, police have been called.

NEXT CITY offered a level-headed response. You can read it here.

Did you see?

Last week, OptOut's Walker Bragman interviewed Yale professor Gregg Gonsalves about the student demonstrations for Important Context. You'll want to watch that interview.

INTERVIEW: Yale Professor Speaks Out About Pro-Palestine Student Protests
Important Context interviewed Professor Gregg Gonsalves about the student demonstrations and more.
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Meanwhile, the discourse surrounding Israel's war in Gaza reached new heights as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Israel would be justified in deploying force against Gaza similar to America's nuclear bombings of Japan. DISCOURSE BLOG had a scathing take.

This Is What You Get to Say on TV About Palestinians
“Let’s nuke Gaza” is just an interesting little talking point!
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Predictably, the Israel lobby is attempting to throw its weight around to ensure Washington is full of supporters of the Jewish state and its government. SLUDGE reports that AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby group, took out a massive $1.9 million ad buy to oust progressive Congressman Jamaal Bowman.

AIPAC Places $1.9 Million Ad Buy to Oust Bowman
The pro-Israel group’s ads are booked to begin airing tomorrow in the Democratic primary race between incumbent Jamaal Bowman and challenger George Latimer.
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Climate Change

As climate change accelerates, threatening all life on Earth, former President and Republican 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump  dined with oil and gas executives last month at Mar-a-Lago, allegedly promising to roll back President Biden's environmental rules while asking that they direct $1 billion to his election efforts. THE NEW REPUBLIC had the story.

Trump’s Sleazy $1 Billion Shakedown of Oil Execs Gives Dems an Opening
Shocking revelations about what Trump offered Big Oil executives at their elite Mar-a-Lago gathering sure smell of a direct quid pro quo. Democrats need to expose this.
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In the wake of the news of Trump's reported offer and request, House Democrats are demanding answers. WHOWHATWHY had the story.

House Dems Demand Answers From Oil Execs About Deal With Trump - WhoWhatWhy
Did Donald Trump and oil and gas executives strike a deal in which the latter would raise $1 billion for the former president’s campaign in return for a promise that he would then roll back environmental regulations? House Democrats want to know... and they have some questions for Big Oil.
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And speaking of Joe Biden's environmental rules, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a new rule that could modernize America's power grid for the future. GRIST reported.

America’s grid isn’t ready for a renewable future. A new federal rule could change that.
The new rule requires grid operators to develop plans to build out the transmission needed to deliver on Biden’s climate agenda.
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