November 17, 2021

The Park Center for Independent Media circulates the Indy Brief. Subscribe for a weekly selection of news stories from journalists operating outside traditional corporate systems.

The Edge
COP 26: Since Paris Agreement, ‘No Progress Has Been Made’

COP26 concluded November 12, with disappointing outcomes from many perspectives concerning the climate emergency.

As the summit ran late on its final day, and as delegates shaped their statements for all 197 countries to agree on, a group of over 200 international scientists warned that “immediate, strong, rapid, sustained and large-scale actions are necessary to hold global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

The summit brought some hope for the future of mitigating the climate emergency if leaders can more aggressively curb emissions and rising temperatures.

Read the full report here.

‘Midnight Is Still With Us’: Senator Adam Schiff discusses the Threats still posed to American Democracy after Trump

On November 10, the Brennan Center for Justice interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead manager in first impeachment trial of Donald Trump to discuss the Constitution, Congress, and the disastrous culmination of Trump’s presidency on January 6.

Schiff began by equating the darkness that shrouds midnight to the moral darkness that has seemingly shrouded Congress: “After Joe Biden was elected, I thought we were on the other side of midnight… But as it turns out midnight is still with us. Instead of rejecting Donald trump and rejecting the Big Lie that led to the insurrection, Republicans in leadership positions in Congress and elsewhere have embraced the Big Lie that us here.”

Read highlights of Schiff’s interview on The Edge.

Watch the full interview here.

Passage of Infrastructure Act Spurs Calls for Build Back Better

On November 15, Joe Biden signed into law the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), with bipartisan support for allocating funds to national projects. Included in the package is money for public transportation, electric vehicle charging stations, waterway cleanup, lead pipe removal from drinking water, improved internet access, a modernized electric grid, and more.

But further bipartisanship before the 2022 midterm elections will be challenging as the Biden administration returns to negotiating the Build Back Better Act, a $1.85 trillion social spending package. 

Progressives in and out of Congress have called for the swift passage of this act, which aims to provide universal free pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, childcare subsidies, and tax incentives to enable families to purchase electric vehicles.

Read more on The Edge.

Independent Media Stresses No-Win Situation with Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

A jury is deliberating on the verdict in the double homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and injured another in the aftermath of protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020.

After the two-week trial, jurors are now working to determine Rittenhouse’s guilt in regard to five charges. While many independent news outlets are actively anticipating an acquittal, many have also stressed a no-win situation whether Rittenhouse is acquitted or convicted.

Mother Jones’ Nathalie Baptiste writes, “Should Rittenhouse be convicted, he becomes a martyr. An acquittal legitimizes what he did, and he becomes a hero. Whatever the jury’s verdict, Kyle Rittenhouse will secure his place as a role model to be emulated.”

Read more on the Edge.

More from the Edge
Found in Translation: New York Times Says Democrats Shouldn’t Challenge Oligarchy

A few days after the Nov. 2 election, the New York Times published a vehement editorial calling for the Democratic Party to adopt “moderate” positions and avoid seeking “progressive policies at the expense of bipartisan ideas.”

It was a statement by the Times editorial board, which the newspaper describes as “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.”

The editorial certainly reflected “longstanding values” — since the Times has recycled them for decades in its relentless attacks on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Translation: Stick to corporate-friendly policies of the sort that we applauded during 16 years of the Clinton and Obama presidencies.

To decipher the rest of the Times’ editorial, read Norman Solomon & Jeff Cohen’s commentary on The Edge.

White Supremacy: ‘The Most Significant Threat that We Face from Extremist Violence’

In April 2021, the Center for American Progress and the McCain Institute for International Leadership released a blueprint providing a comprehensive set of federal policies critical to combating white supremacist violence.

The most crucial note in the blueprint is the need to curb white supremacist activities and infiltration in law enforcement, military, and veteran communities — the core government entities charged with embodying and protecting American ideals and security.

To discuss countering white supremacist activities and infiltration, the Center for American Progress hosted a Zoom event attended by Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) and former Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

Read a roundup of their conversation on The Edge.

‘The Facebook Papers’ Confirm Commitment to ‘Profit Over Safety’

Whistleblower and former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen released thousands of pages of Facebook’s internal documents, known as “The Facebook Papers,” to various media outlets in October, revealing and confirming many troubling details about the company and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook routinely makes exceptions for powerful actors when enforcing content policy,” favoring right-wing figures. Zuckerberg’s public claims were frequently contradicted by internal research outlined in these documents, which also revealed that the company knew its platform was used to enable human trafficking and that its “core product mechanics” allow misinformation to flourish on the site.

Read the full report on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Judge sparks fresh controversy as drone footage used in mistrial bid (The Independent)


3. At Least 125 Sue Travis Scott For $750 Million Over Astroworld Tragedy (HuffPost)

4. US annual drug overdose deaths hit record levels (BBC)

5. US auctions off oil and gas drilling leases in Gulf of Mexico after climate talks (The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.