10 Things in Politics: Inside DC’s crypto fight

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Here’s what we’re talking about:


With Phil Rosen.


A golden coin with the Bitcoin logo on it, sitting on top of a phone, which sits on top of a computer keyboard.
Bitcoin SOPA Images/Getty Images

1. CRYPTO ON CAPITOL HILL: Cryptocurrency has hit a slew of milestones on Wall Street with another one coming today. But the bitcoin buzz on the trading floor has led to increased scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers alike. In response, crypto companies are increasingly lobbying up as Washington shapes its future.

Here are some key people to watch:

Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association: Smith has extensive experience after stints for well-placed Republicans like former Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. She was first introduced to bitcoin in 2017 when one of her clients, Overstock.com, began accepting it.

  • Smith said explaining cryptocurrency to lawmakers can be difficult: “There’s a lot of nuances. It’s a very sort of new way to structure a network to exchange value, and the old rules don’t necessarily easily fit into this space,” she told my colleague.

RELATED: Insider’s seasoned reporters talk through all the most important questions about crypto

Izzy Klein, cofounder of Klein/Johnson Group: Klein has lobbied on behalf of Digital Currency Group, a company that invests in digital-asset and cryptocurrency startups. Like many on Insider’s list, Klein said he is closely watching how lawmakers will address concerns by some about the cryptocurrency tax in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has stalled in the House.

See the entire list of the 12 lobbyists fighting to shape cryptocurrency’s future on Capitol Hill.


2. Trump is suing to stop the Capitol riot committee from getting records: Attorneys for the former president filed suit in federal court in Washington to block the House select committee that is probing the January 6 insurrection. The suit is not surprising as Trump’s legal team had already instructed Steve Bannon not to cooperate with congressional subpoenas related to the investigation. Here’s everything else you need to know about Trump’s latest legal battle with Congress.


3. Remembering Colin Powell: “Powell, who helped guide the U.S. military to victory in the 1991 Persian Gulf War as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then struggled a decade later over the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a beleaguered secretary of state under President George W. Bush, died Oct. 18 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was 84,” The Washington Post writes in his obit.

Colin Powell
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Powell received bipartisan praise: A four-star general, Powell had a trailblazing career that included being the first black secretary of state, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and national security advisor. Read the tributes from Biden, former presidents, and other dignitaries.

  • Key quotes: Former President Obama, whom Powell crossed the aisle to endorse in 2008, called Powell “an example of what America – and Americans – can and should be if we wish to remain the last, best hope of earth.” Former President Bush pointed out that “Many Presidents relied on General Powell’s counsel and experience.”

4. FDA plans to allow people to “mix-and-match” booster shots: The Food and Drug Administration is set to authorize a “mix-and-match” approach for Americans seeking COVID-19 boosters, allowing them to receive a different brand of the shot than they initially received, The New York Times reports. The agency may mention that sticking with the same brand is preferable. Here’s what else we know about the massive forthcoming announcement.


5. Supreme Court backs qualified immunity for cops: Justices in two unsigned opinions ruled in favor of police officers seeking special legal protection over incidents that occur when they’re on duty. In the two separate cases, officers from California and Oklahoma were facing accusations of excessive force. No justice gave a public dissent to the decisions. More on what the ruling means.


6. EPA wants to regulate hazardous “forever chemicals”: The Biden administration announced a widespread federal effort to protect Americans from perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, a group of manmade chemicals linked to severe health problems like cancer and thyroid disease. These chemicals are currently in everything from nonstick cookware and some fast-food containers to water-resistant clothing and even some dental products. Researchers deemed them “forever chemicals,” because they don’t break down, and instead linger in the soil, water, and air. More on the announcement.


7. Microsoft executives told Bill Gates to stop emailing a female staffer: Two execs told the billionaire founder more than a decade ago to stop emailing a female employee, The Wall Street Journal reports. In 2008, the company learned that Gates sent “inappropriate” messages to the employee a year earlier, a Microsoft spokesman, Frank Shaw, told The Journal. A spokesperson for Gates called the report “false, recycled rumors.” More on the latest allegations in the wake of his divorce.


8. South Korea says North Korea carried out another missile test: North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea, the Associated Press reports. “The launch came hours after the U.S. reaffirmed its offer to resume diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.” More on what may possibly be North Korea’s most significant show of force since Biden took office.


9. China finds box-office success with US-bashing film: A propaganda film about the defeat of the US Army is set to become the country’s highest grossing film ever. The Chinese government funded the film, “The Battle at Lake Changjin,” and it debuted on the eve of a Chinese national holiday. It has made $US769 ($AU1,037) million since releasing in China on September 30. Get the full details here.


MacBook Pro 2021
Mac Event 2021 Apple

10. Apple unveiled major redesigns to its MacBook Pro and AirPods: At an event Monday afternoon, the company showed off its new 14-inch (36cm) and 16-inch (41cm) MacBook Pro models that come with new chips and updated designs. Next-gen AirPods were also revealed – they include a slightly smaller stem and a touch panel. Here’s the full recap.


Today’s trivia question: Colin Powell is one of only two people to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice. Who is the other? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at [email protected].