Commentary: Two Unique, Powerful Forces Will Influence the Midterms

If the 2022 midterm elections had an official soundtrack, it would be the ominous music from the 1975 movie “Jaws.”

Although the election is 13 months away, mounting intensity feels like great white sharks are circling our national boat with a convergence of two powerful, never-before-seen political forces. Both forces are hangovers from the 2020 election with the potential to make the 2022 midterms the most tumultuous in modern American history.

Read More

States, Not Congress, Could Pose the Biggest Threat to Tech Companies

Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.

Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices.

Read More

House Lawmakers Set to Square off with White House, Treasury Department over ‘Stifling’ Crypto Tax Plan

House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.

The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.

The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.

Read More

Commentary: Ashli Babbitt’s Mom Speaks

Ashli Babbitt

The only video Ashli Babbitt’s mom has seen of her daughter on January 6 is a clip of her walking from Donald Trump’s speech to Capitol Hill. “That brings me peace,” Micki Witthoeft, Ashli’s mom, told me by phone on Wednesday. “She was in her zone, so happy, having a great day.”

“Until that son-of-a-bitch shot her.”

Nearly seven months after a United States Capitol Police officer shot Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol building on January 6, the government and subservient corporate news media still refuse to confirm the name of the federal officer who killed her. (Investigative journalist Paul Sperry recently reported the shooter likely is USCP Lt. Michael Byrd.) The Justice Department closed its investigation into her shooting in April and announced the unnamed officer would not face criminal charges.

Read More

Amazon Calls for Higher Taxes on All Corporations Except Itself

Amazon logo on Samsung smartphone screen

While the tech giant Amazon has publicly endorsed proposals to raise the corporate tax rate in the United States, the company has been secretly lobbying to keep its own tax rates low, Politico reports.

Last year, during the 2020 presidential election, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos openly supported then-candidate Joe Biden’s proposals to raise taxes on American corporations. Those proposals have re-emerged in recent weeks as a possible means of funding a possible infrastructure bill, and Biden has been advocating for other countries around the world to adopt higher corporate tax rates as well.

But recently, Amazon has been stepping up its lobbying efforts to try to convince Congress and the White House to allow the company to keep using certain tax breaks in order to keep its own rates low. The retail giant hired a tax lobbyist named Joshua Odintz, who formerly worked as a Democratic aide on Capitol Hill and then as an official in the Obama Administration. In addition to Amazon’s own efforts, similar lobbying has been undertaken by a group known as the “R&D Coalition,” which consists of several companies and organizations including Amazon, Intel, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Read More

Commentary: Josh Hawley Takes on Critical Race Theory in a Fight for the Nation’s ‘Soul’

Josh Hawley was just explaining how much he agreed with Barack Obama when Kamala Harris arrived. For weeks, the junior senator from Missouri had raised hell over who should head the federal agency that is the equivalent of the federal government’s human resources department. Hawley gave speeches and made procedural motions that deadlocked the Senate, ultimately resulting in the arrival of the vice president’s motorcade on Capitol Hill. That’s when Hawley lost the fight.

Read More

Bipartisan House Leaders Say National Guard Presence at Capitol Is Unwarranted

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee called the current National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill unwarranted.

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith and Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee’s respective chairman and ranking member, asked the Department of Defense to implement a “measured drawdown” of the guardsmen stationed at the Capitol in a joint statement Thursday.

Read More

Exclusive: Gold Institute Founder Says Biden’s Foreign Policy Rejects Trump’s Successful Style, Substance

The founder and president of the Washington-based Gold Institute for International Strategies told the Star News Network that President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s foreign policy is doomed to fail, because unlike President Donald J. Trump, Biden treats the world as an extension of Washington’s Swamp.

“What President Trump realized is that Washington and the way Washington works is really only acceptable—I didn’t say good—I said it is acceptable—is on domestic matters,” said Eli Gold, who worked for worked in Washington’s think tank world for more than 10 years, before launching the Gold Institute May 2019.

Read More

Exclusive: Retired Senior FBI Agent Robyn Gritz: Shot That Killed Ashli Babbitt ‘Not Justified’

A retired FBI supervisory special agent told the Star News Network that the Capitol Hill police officer, who shot unarmed Ashli E. Babbitt at close range Jan. 6, was not justified to use deadly force.

“Yes, it was chaotic, but that is why you wear a badge,” said Robyn Gritz, who was part of the FBI team that responded to the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. “That’s why you carry a gun – you’re supposed to know that you can handle a crisis.”

Read More

Capitol Police Say Four Dead, 52 Arrested at Wednesday’s Massive ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally

Washington, D.C. police announced Wednesday that four people died during riots following the Stop the Steal rally on Capitol Hill.

Rioters stormed the United States Capitol building Wednesday, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.

Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, authorities have made at least 68 arrests, police announced Thursday. Five of these arrests were for illegal possession of firearms, and two people were arrested for other weapons, police said. Police also said they arrested 28 additional people for violating curfew.

Read More

Exclusive: GOP House Hopeful Kim Klacik Tells How She Racked up $6.4 Million 3Q, Poised to Win West Baltimore Seat

  The woman running to be the first Republican to represent Maryland’s 7th congressional district, told the Star News Network she campaigns every day to defeat the Democratic incumbent without the help of the state’s GOP Gov. Lawrence J. “Larry” Hogan Jr. Kimberly Klacik said she is grateful the support…

Read More

Exclusive: Creator of Capitol Hill Musical ‘K Street’ Hosts First Zoom Table Read Wednesday

The creator and producer of “K Street, NW: A Capitol Hill Musical” told the Star News Network what motivated him to capture search for love while balancing principle and compromise in Washington and set it to music.

“It is about a young woman from Iowa, who comes to Washington, D.C, to be a Hill intern and as she learns about Capitol Hill, she rises up the ranks to become a chief of staff for a senator with promising political prospects,” said Karl Amadeus Notturno, who is a Publicus Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

Read More

Bipartisan Vote in the House Rules to Remove Confederate Statues from the Capitol

A bill to remove statues of Confederate leaders and figures who advocated for white supremacy from the Capitol passed the House on a bipartisan vote Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

The House voted 305 to 113 to remove the statues as part of a broad effort to take symbols of racism out of public spaces, the Times reported. The legislation was introduced by House Majority Leader and Democratic Maryland Rep. Steny H. Hoyer.

Read More

Pelosi Orders Removal of Confederate Portraits from Capitol

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she is ordering the removal from the Capitol of portraits honoring four previous House speakers who served in the Confederacy.

In a letter to the House clerk, Pelosi directed the immediate removal of portraits depicting the former speakers: Robert Hunter of Virginia, James Orr of South Carolina and Howell Cobb and Charles Crisp, both of Georgia. The portraits were to be removed later Thursday.

Read More