Lina Khan’s Tight Timetable for Tackling Big Tech.
Plus, What Would You Give Up to Bring Brittney Griner Home?
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: The One Thing That Could Save Joe Biden
JVL: Crazy Can Break a Wave 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
PAUL ALEXANDER: Lina Khan’s Tight Timetable for Tackling Big Tech.
The Biden administration has produced few standouts—officials whose ability as political leaders, crafters of policy, mass communicators, or champions of the public interest has been especially impressive. One exception: Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission. The 33-year-old has proven to be a fighter who has successfully challenged some of the nation’s most powerful corporations—from Lockheed Martin to Meta Platforms—and who can solidify her star status by making moves some observers believe she may soon undertake, such as attempting to break up Amazon and regulate Google.
In the year she has run the FTC, an agency charged with protecting consumer rights, Khan has transformed it into a formidable political and economic force. Decisions that in the past would have been pro forma when the agency was merely another stop in the federal government’s bureaucracy, especially on matters involving mergers and acquisitions, are now anything but. That’s because Khan, a soft-spoken media-shy professional who knows how to wield her considerable power, has used the FTC to advance a theory growing in popularity in certain business and legal circles: the belief that some corporations—and in particular Big Tech companies—have grown so large that their monopolistic practices are destroying American capitalism and threatening the future of democracy.
How did Flynn go from a successful military career to a conspiracy theorist talking about Italian satellites switching votes from Trump to Biden? Bart Gellman joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
On this week’s episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, Sonny is joined by Ron Shelton, the writer/director of Bull Durham, to talk about his new book on the making of the film, The Church of Baseball.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
CATHY YOUNG: Warnings for Today from the French Revolution.
An ineffectual and unpopular leader; a country beset by economic troubles exacerbated by a two-year-long natural calamity; a political class mired in bickering, resentments, ambitions, and petty rivalries and chronically unable to accomplish necessary reforms; rampant populist resentment against the elites; a society in the grip of ideas—some profound, some quacky and conspiratorial—that challenge its foundations; publications elevating a cacophony of voices once unheard.
Welcome to France in 1789, on the eve of the revolution that officially began with the taking of the Bastille fortress on July 14—the day the French now commemorate as Bastille Day.
SHAY KHATIRI: What Would You Give Up to Bring Brittney Griner Home?
Last week, the Biden administration tapped Bill Richardson, retired Democratic politician with a distinguished résumé, to travel to Moscow to negotiate the release of American citizens Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. Whelan, a former Marine, was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in 2018 and sentenced to sixteen years in prison in 2020 but maintains that he’s innocent. Griner is a WNBA star who also plays for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg. Russian authorities originally arrested her on a drug charge in February, but she wasn’t arraigned until July 7. Though she pleaded guilty, given the larger context of the U.S.-Russian relations and the general absence of the rule of law in Russia, the authenticity of the accusation and the integrity of the trial are at best suspicious. Whelan’s and Griner’s cases are just two in an emerging pattern of hostage diplomacy, in which liberal democracies find themselves divided when despotic regimes imprison their citizens to extract policy concessions. They are yet to come up with a satisfactory solution.
Congrats to a real American… A family member joined our ranks today, and I sent him this. 600+ people from 85 countries took the oath today. 🇺🇸
Speaking of great Americans… Listen to this podcast.
A new era of stagnation? Sonny Bunch at The Washington Post.
The DOJ Must Prosecute Trump… Write three former DOJ officials.
44 missing. Floods in Western Virginia aren’t giving us much hope.
Why they still support Trump… A dispatch from our friend Peter Wehner at The Atlantic.
He’s running. Be prepared.
Is this bad? The Secret Service deleted relevant text messages to the J6 investigation. There is a joke to be made about their former chief going to a disposable messaging service, Snapchat.
What’s with the James Webb telescope. And why does it matter?
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.