This is Lever Weekly, a recap of our work from the past week. If you only read one email from us all week, this should be it.
Below you will find a breakdown of our reporting, podcasts, videos, and live events — a feature now open to all subscribers. Following that, we are providing paid subscribers with an original column, written by a member of The Lever, connecting the dots on our coverage to deliver important takeaways.
In this week’s column, exclusively for paid subscribers, Julia Rock highlights the executive branch action that occurred last week while the fight for a new House Speaker dominated headlines — and what more can and should be done to make real progress in 2023.
Stuff The Lever Reported This Week:
• State Officials Warned Buttigieg About Airline Mess — “Before the holiday travel nightmare, attorneys general begged the Transportation Secretary and Congress to crack down.”
• The Partisan Ghost In The Media Machine — “Media outlets no longer consider government malfeasance newsworthy if reporting on it might offend audiences’ partisan loyalties.”
• How Big Pharma Actually Spends Its Massive Profits — “New research shows that the business model of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies involves far more spending on enriching shareholders and executives than on research and development.”
• “I Heard It Was Safe” — “Andrew Gronek and many young FTX investors were tricked into believing the crypto exchange was as stable and protected as a typical bank account.”
• YOU LOVE TO SEE IT: A Regulator Steps Up To The Plate — “Under the leadership of chair Lina Khan, the Federal Trade Commission just unveiled a rule that would bar companies from restricting their employees’ ability to work for rivals.”
Stuff To Watch & Listen To:
• LEVER TIME: How The Airline Industry Became A Living Nightmare — David Sirota explores how the U.S. airline industry became one of the most concentrated and despised industries in the country
• LEVER TIME PREMIUM: The Giant Law Firm That Has Been Influencing American Politics — David speaks with a leading expert in airline regulation and discusses the shadowy power wielded by our country’s largest law firms.
• WATCH NOW: Pete Buttigieg Was Warned About Southwest's Flight Issues — The Lever’s new video reveals how lax regulation and government missteps led to the air travel crisis that stranded a million travelers over the holidays.
Where The Real Action Is
By Julia Rock
At first glance, it seemed like Washington was simply a stage for political theater last week.
Republicans, holding a new majority in the House of Representatives, voted again and again and again to select the next head of the chamber. Radical Trump loyalists within the party thwarted efforts to crown Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, until early Saturday morning when he finally won the speaker election. It was the longest back-and-forth over electing a speaker since before the U.S. Civil War.
We knew, no matter the outcome, that control of Congress would be split, as Democrats control the Senate and Republicans now have the majority in the House — and the real potential for the government to change peoples’ lives in the next two years will likely lie within the executive branch.