Hey there, OptersOut!

This week we’re happy to welcome The American Prospect and The Real News Network as OptOut partners!

Biden’s presidency has begun, and there’s still lots to grapple with in terms of the insurrection and the Trump administration’s legacy of rightwing extremism, gutted federal agencies, and a black hole where COVID-19 response policy should be.

Here’s some of our great media partners’ coverage from this week.

Biden’s First Days

The Daily Poster: Biden Moves To Reverse One of Trump's Worst Directives

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via Eric Haynes
Whether it was liability shields for executives or restrictions on jobless benefits, Republican policymakers have spent much of the pandemic focused on one goal: helping corporations force their employees back into unsafe workplaces. Now, it looks like the Biden administration is trying to change the dynamic, after a pressure campaign from progressive groups and Democratic lawmakers.

Read the article

The Humanist Report: Biden Rolls Out National Strategy to Get COVID-19 Under Control—And It's Solid

Mike Figueredo explains that at about a year in, we now have a president who would like to combat a deadly pandemic that has killed over 400,000 Americans.

Ring of Fire: Joe Biden Has Officially Cancelled Trump's Border Wall

Good riddance. Farron Cousins explains.

Sludge: Biden’s Huge Inaugural Donations Would be Banned Under Democrats’ Ethics Bill

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H.R. 1 brings together campaign finance, ethics, and voting reforms in a sweeping package that in the previous Congress passed the Democratic-controlled House in March 2019 by a vote of 234-193, with no Republican support. If the bill becomes law, its inaugural donation cap and disclosure requirements would take effect for the 2028 presidential election cycle.

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The Insurrection

The American Prospect: This, Too, Is America

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via Tyler Merbler

“American exceptionalism died on January 6th, when the Second Civil War began. African Americans were not surprised,” writes The Prospect’s Gabrielle Gurley.

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BIG by Matt Stoller: Take the Profit Out of Political Violence

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Matt Stoller argues that in order to remove the incentive that big tech companies have to monetize radicalization and violence, we need to repeal or reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which immunizes these companies from harm they cause or profit from.

The real effect [of Section 230] however has been to encourage all sorts of illegal activity—like harassment, defamation, fraud, incitement, as long as it is done online. These platforms, though they make money from this behavior, are immunized from any costs of it, under the false premise that they are merely conveying speech.

Read the piece

Empire Files: New Details of Jan. 6: Darker Picture, Deeper Conspiracy

Abby Martin and Mike Prysner talk with Brian Becker about the massive security failures at the Capitol on January 6.

The Marc Steiner Show: From Standing Rock and J20 to the U.S. Capitol: Who gets treated like the enemy?

The Real News’ Marc Steiner talks with investigative journalist Aaron Cantú, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities ED Angela Lang, and Indian Country Today national correspondent Dalton Walker about the disparities in law enforcement’s response to far-right insurgents versus Black, Indigenous, and social justice protesters.

Jewish Currents: Neofascism After Trump

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via The White House

David Klion interviews political theorist Ajay Singh Chaudhary about Trumpism in a global context, drawing insights from countries like India and Hungary that have gone further in the same direction.

Read the interview

Other News

Who What Why: Indigenous Women Engage Feds to Combat Violence in Alaska

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via Jcomp / Freepik (5507771) and Reagan Freeman / Unsplash-white printer paper

Indigenous women in Alaska are working with a federal task force to take on rampant assault and high murder rates in their communities.

Often, the offenders come from outside the community: The overwhelming majority of perpetrators of sexual violence against Native women are non-Native.

Read the article

The American Prospect: A Shot in the Arm

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via U.S. Secretary of Defense

We’re doubling up on The Prospect today because Olivia Webb’s article detailing the government’s colossal failure to plan for vaccine distribution is so important. Also check out Olivia’s Acute Condition, another OptOut partner, on hospitals’ failures.

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Jacobin: Hank Aaron Was More Than a Man Who Hit Home Runs

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Hank Aaron in Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1973. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)
Hank Aaron will be remembered for his astonishing achievements as one of the all-time great baseball players, not least because he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record. But Aaron also ceaselessly fought to defend Black people in a hostile, racist society.

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Champagne Sharks: Reputation Laundering

Garrison Lovely talks with host Trevor Beaulieu about how business podcasts help major corporate villains like Charles Koch with their latest personal PR campaigns.

The Majority Report: Tim Pool Gets TRICKED By Jacobin

LOL: The beanie-wearing, right-wing propagandist Tim Pool is so clueless that he and his whole YouTube crew thought that the socialist publication Jacobin’s facetious magazine cover was in fact an honest deification of Joe Biden.

Arts & Culture

Blood Knife: The Hungry Ghosts of Late Capitalism

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“Fan culture’s endless search for ‘content’ is leading us into artistic poverty,” argues Colin Broadmoor.

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Podside Picnic: Terminal 3 (feat. Illimani Ferreira)

Pete and Karlo are joined by Illimani Ferreira to talk about his book Terminal 3, immigration woes, and how the French translation of Zaphod Beeblebrox is some serious BS.

Struggle Session: 300

On today's special 300th episode Jack and Leslie discuss both the film and comic version of 300. We also dive in to the work of less-than-intellectual directors like Zack Snyder, Michael Bay, and Paul W.S. Anderson.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Picks. As always, mask up, stay safe, and thanks for following our work at OptOut.