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Things are pretty exciting over here at OptOut as we put the final touches on our independent news aggregation app! We're getting it ready to submit it to Apple for approval, and then we'll begin beta testing. With your feedback, we'll improve the app for our full launch in January.

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This edition of Weekend Picks covers the powerful people who are attacking trans rights for personal and political gain, the influence of Big Pharma, the latest political news from New York, and the environment.

Thanks for tuning in to our growing network of over 100 fully independent news outlets!

Your Weekly Roundup of Corporate Narrative-Free News

The War on Trans People

If there's anything you read, listen to, or watch today, I highly recommend this episode of The Anti-Trans Hate Machine, a series from TransLash that investigates the people, groups, and funding behind one of the Christian right's biggest political issues. In this episode, Imara Jones and the TransLash crew do a deep dive into dominionists like Betsy DeVos and the powerful Council for National Policy. (I was honored to consult with TransLash for this episode! See my Sludge article on the National Christian Foundation, the U.S.'s biggest known funder of hate groups, according to my research.)

TYT Investigates reports that Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas of California attended a National Prayer Breakfast in Ukraine.

The event comes amid mounting concerns about the rise of white, Christian nationalist movements both in the U.S. and overseas, some of which are enabled by political reluctance to scrutinize anything seen as religious. Ukraine’s LGBTQ community has been struggling for official implementation of legally required civil rights, protection against hate crimes, and against legislative attempts to ban “homosexual propaganda."
Vargas Headlines Anti-LGBTQ Event in Ukraine
One of a series about the Fellowship Foundation, the secretive religious group that runs the National Prayer Breakfast and is popu
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Big Pharma

Today's edition of Means Morning News is free! Check out Sam Sacks' weekly show on Means TV. This week Sam covers U.S. gymnasts accusing the FBI of protecting their pedophile abuser, a Philly police riot, Starbucks workers and their union-busting bosses, and the vaccine apartheid.

Means Morning News
Your source for post-capitalist news and analysis.
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On that note, Sam cites an In These Times article by Sarah Lazare about the U.S. declining to support a proposal to greenlight a Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver so countries locked out of the market can make it themselves.

U.S. Says It Supports a Covid Vaccine Patent Waiver, But Document Reveals It Is Dragging Feet at WTO
Global health advocates say a patent waiver would ease access to Covid vaccines, but the U.S. declined to support as-is a proposal to greenlight the waiver, a summary of a September 14 WTO meeting shows.
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On the domestic front, three conservative House Democrats are trying to derail a component of the budget that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. It just so happens that the campaigns of these three lawmakers have raked in Big Pharma cash, The Daily Poster reports.

The threat from Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Scott Peters (Calif.), and Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) comes just as the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group announced a seven-figure ad campaign to vilify the Democratic legislation that aims to lower the cost of medicines for Americans now facing the world’s highest prescription drug prices.
Big Pharma’s Democrats
Three House Dems working to kill drug price legislation raked in roughly $1.6 million from pharma donors — and the top aide for one of them is now a pharma lobbyist.
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Exposed by CMD documents how billionaire libertarian Charles Koch's political network continues to attack health care improvements, this time working to block Missouri's Medicaid expansion, which voters approved last year and begins on Oct. 1.

Koch Network Fights to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Remaining States - EXPOSEDbyCMD
Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and the Uihlein-funded Foundation for Government Accountability are actively opposing Medicaid expansion in 12 states that would cover an estimated 4 million uninsured Americans.
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New York

New York Focus explains that New York's new governor, Kathy Hochul, has nominated a fin tech veteran to lead the Department of Financial Services.

Senate #2 Joins Mounting Opposition to Hochul’s Pick for Top Financial Regulator - New York Focus
Adrienne Harris has worked for over a dozen financial technology firms that Hochul would put her in charge of regulating.
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In other New York news, THE CITY reports that undocumented immigrants are shut out of federal assistance for damage caused by Hurricane Ida two weeks ago. Record rainfall flooded basements around the city, and many are still dealing with the damage.

Undocumented Immigrant New Yorkers Shut Out of Federal Hurricane Ida Aid
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has so far doled out $10 million to New Yorkers impacted by the devastating remnants of Hurricane Ida earlier this month. But many undocumented immigrants are being left out of that pool.
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Anishnaabe lawyer Tara Houska joins The Red Nation podcast from the frontlines to discuss how the Indigenous-led fight against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline is far from over.

Listen here.

The Drilled podcast looks "at the chronic whack-a-mole problem in frontline communities."

Just as one facility gets shut down or cleaned up, another is waiting to take its place. In a lot of ways, the plastic problem itself is a whack-a-mole issue catalyzed by progress in shifting away from fossil fuels in the transport and building sectors. How can policy makers and activists predict and prevent these sorts of problems?
Drilled - S6 Part 1 | Plastic Pipelines | Ep 5: Whack-a-Mole
In the final episode of part 1 in our Bridge to Nowhere season, we look at the chronic whack-a-mole problem in frontline communities. Just as one facility gets shut down or cleaned up, another is waiting to take its place. In a lot of ways, the plastic problem itself is a whack-a-mole issue catalyze…
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Thanks as always for following the OptOut network! See you next week.