Hello again, OptersOut!

Well, 2021 certainly seems to be off to an exciting start. This week, a bunch of people on the Reddit forum r/WallStreetBets took on Wall Street by buying up stocks of troubled companies that hedge funds were betting against, driving up their values and ensuring those hedge funds took heavy losses.

In response, Robinhood and a number of other brokerages banded together to drive down the cost of those stocks in the name of self-preservation, removing the ability to purchase them through their apps while still allowing sales. The situation is ongoing, with Redditors planning to “hold the line” and drive the meme stocks “to the moon” in retaliation for not only this gatekeeping but also the 2008 crisis.

Meanwhile, there are observers warning that the GameStop surge will ultimately hurt well-intentioned retail investors. So, if you’re invested in any of these so-called “meme stocks,” we wish you the best.

With that, here are our picks for this week-in-review roundup exclusively from the news outlets in the OptOut network. As always, if you enjoy the content, please consider subscribing or donating to these outlets. As independent sites, podcasts, and video channels, they depend on support from the public, not corporations or oligarchs who want some good PR.

Top Stories

The Daily Poster: States Are Ignoring New Data Showing How To Halt COVID Spread

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via Gage Skidmore

States are reopening and failing to protect residents from evictions and utility shutoffs in defiance of a number of studies showing that stay-at-home orders and moratoriums halt COVID-19 spread.

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Sludge: Buttigieg Cashed in Last Year With Book and Podcast Deals

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via Ted Eytan

Sludge reports at Brick House (subscribe!) that America’s favorite former McKinsey consultant, racially-divisive South Bend mayor, and now transportation secretary nominee (because why not?) cashed in on book and podcast deals, treating Americans to his dulcet tones and vapid platitudes after dropping out of the presidential race.

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FAIR: NYT’s China Syndrome

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via 91-divoc.com

Welcoming FAIR to the OptOut network! The New York Times’ foreign reporting is often heavily biased, tending towards Western cheerleading. In this article, FAIR dissects the Gray Lady’s coverage of China’s COVID response in comparison to our own.

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BIG by Matt Stoller: How Monopolies Slowed the Vaccine Rollout and Small Business Sped it Up

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via U.S. Secretary of Defense

Stoller exposes how monopoly pharmacies CVS and Walgreens have bungled their vaccine rollout. He makes a convincing case against industry consolidation, pointing out that the corporate giants’ blunders are not limited to COVID.

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Acute Condition: The calcified world of specialty pharmacy

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As a follow-up to Stoller’s piece, check out Olivia Webb’s post about the lack of specialty pharmacies. Webb explains that monopolization has created barriers to entry and made changing the space difficult.

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The American Prospect: Biden Can Give DACA Recipients Health Care

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen/Wikimedia

Marcia Brown makes the case that Biden should guarantee health care to DACA recipients by reversing their exclusion from the ACA—a decision Obama made in 2012.

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Jewish Currents: The Complex Reality of Black–Jewish Coalitions in Georgia

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via 11Alive/YouTube

The wins of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia highlighted cooperation between the Black and Jewish communities. But Mari Cohen reports that the reality of the relationship between the two groups is more complex—and class division remains.

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Katie Halper: Joe Biden, Where Is My Money?

Leslie Lee joins Katie Halper and asks the real question: Where’s my money, Joe? Biden promised that $2,000 checks would go out the door immediately if Warnock and Ossoff won in Georgia. Despite Democrats winning in those races and getting a governing trifecta for the first time since 2009, Biden has negotiated that amount down with himself and suggested he’s open to greater means-testing.

The Majority Report: Matt Gaetz Begs For a Few More Trump Brownie Points

Emma Vigeland and Francesca Fiorentini discuss a developing situation where Rep. Matt Gaetz joined Trump supporters at the Wyoming Capitol and railed against Rep. Liz Cheney over her vote to impeach Donald Trump. Cheney is the No. 3 Republican in the House and a potential primary target for Trump loyalists.

Matt Binder: A Boogaloo Boy Investigation: Jimmy Dore Edition

YouTuber Jimmy Dore recently had a “Boogaloo Boy” on his show to promote the idea that the left should unite with right-wing movements. But who are the Boogaloo Boys? Matt Binder looks into the movement and the Boogaloo Boy who went on Dore's show.


A Time of Monsters: Spectacular State of Mind with Julian Feeld & Liv Agar

Host Aaron Thorpe transcends meatspace to discuss Guy Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle" with Julian Feeld and Liv Agar of the QAnon Anonymous podcast. Together, they explore the spectacle: what it is, how it is maintained, and how the politics that shape our material lives come to be influenced by it as both products and producers of the spectacle.

How does the spectacle manifest in social movements on the left, such as BLM, and on the right, like QAnon? Can we escape this vicious cycle, or are we doomed to spectate?


Pod Damn America: AMAB w/ Alex Vitale

Alex Vitale, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and author of The End of Policing, joins Pod Damn America to talk about cops, the Capitol riot, and Bernie's mittens.

Champagne Sharks: Media Indigena

Host Trevor Beaulieu talks with Rick Harp, a founder and president of the INDIGENA Creative Group and a host/producer with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and Kim TallBear, professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Environment.

That’s all, folks! Thanks for following the OptOut network, and see you next weekend.