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Will GOP's 'defund the FBI' calls boost Dems?, NASA's Artemis launch delayed: 5 Things podcast

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/29/2022 Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket Artemis I arrives at Pad 39B Wednesday morning, Aug. 17, 2022 in preparation for its expected launch to the moon on Aug. 29. © Craig Bailey, USA TODAY NETWORK NASA’s Space Launch System rocket Artemis I arrives at Pad 39B Wednesday morning, Aug. 17, 2022 in preparation for its expected launch to the moon on Aug. 29.

On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Will Republican calls to 'defund the FBI' boost Democrats in midterm races?

National political reporter Mabinty Quarshie explains. Plus, devastating flooding has killed more than 1,000 in Pakistan, money reporter Elisabeth Buchwald looks deeper at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's inflation comments, two people are dead after an Oregon grocery store shooting and NASA gets set to launch its Artemis missions.

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Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning. I'm Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Monday, the 29th of August, 2022. Today, Defund the FBI slogans and their affect on this fall's midterms, plus devastating climate catastrophe in Pakistan and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. The UN nuclear watchdog said earlier today that its mission of experts was on the way to the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant in Ukraine. The International Atomic Energy Agency trip comes as Russia and Ukraine blame each other for recent fighting near the plant. Russia took control of the facility earlier this year.
  2. Train services reached a near standstill in Amsterdam today as railway workers continue to strike. Stoppages are even affecting international services.
  3. And Taylor Swift has announced her 10th studio album. The pop star made the announcement during last night's MTV Video Music Awards.

Defund the FBI slogans have created a new line of attack for President Joe Biden and Democrats ahead of this fall's midterm elections. But how will they affect the midterms? National political reporter Mabinty Quarshie explains to producer PJ Elliott.

Mabinty Quarshie:

Yeah, I think one of the first things we need to think about when discussing some Republicans who are saying Defund the FBI is that historically, liberals are more likely or have been more likely to have criticisms of the FBI and law enforcement dating back to when the FBI was spying on Martin Luther King Jr. and was spying on the civil rights movement. And I think it's notable that now we have Republicans in office and Republicans who are running for Congress who are now saying Defund the FBI. Because historically, the GOP has been the party or is known as the party of law and order. And so this about face, it's extreme and it's a bit dramatic, especially because Republicans have been, or in the past have attacked the Democrats for the Defund the Police slogan. So in some ways I think people are finding it a bit hypocritical that because the FBI searched Trump's estate in Florida, they're now saying Defund the FBI, which is not what they normally do, or at least that's not what they have historically done.

PJ Elliott:

Will this have any impact on the midterm elections, which are about three months away?

Mabinty Quarshie:

I think most experts don't think it's a smart move for some members of the Republican party to say Defund the FBI. I think in general, people do respect the FBI. They do have trust in the FBI. And again, it is a bit hypocritical to have spent years attacking the Democrats for defunding the police and then for you to say Defund the FBI. With that said, I think most voters are thinking about their pocketbook issues. So I think they're thinking about inflation, gas prices. They're also probably thinking about the recent news about President Biden canceling some amount of student loan debt. And again, we can't forget that the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade this summer. And so I think that also might be one of the reasons that voters tend to vote.

So in the end, basically what I'm saying is a lot of experts, they don't think it's wise, but they're not sure it'll tank Republicans during the midterms. With that said, right? I'm saying this to you as this investigation is going on, and we just had the affidavit released or the redacted affidavit released. Anything could happen, right? If something monumental happens, that could change the game. But for right now, I don't think it'll tank them. But I do think there are probably some Republicans who want this Defund the FBI slogan to go away. You see that with former Vice President Mike Pence, who's walking away from Defund the FBI, and you see that with the Congressman from Texas, Representative Dan Crenshaw, who was also saying Defund the FBI. It's just not wise.

Taylor Wilson:

You can read Mabinty's full story with a link in today's episode description.

Devastating flooding continues in Pakistan. Officials said yesterday that more than 1,000 people have died since mid-June amid the country's monsoon season. Pakistan's climate minister called the season a climate catastrophe. Flash flooding has washed away villages and crops in recent weeks. Abdul Wahad was displaced by floods.

Taylor Wilson translating for Abdul Wahad:

"A lot of flood water entered our village. Our homes are submerged. Some of our relatives have died and cattle, too. We are not receiving any relief from the government."

Taylor Wilson:

Sherry Rehman, a senator and Pakistan's top climate official, said in a video posted to Twitter that the country is on the front lines of climate catastrophe.

Sherry Rehman:

We are at the moment at the ground zero of the front line of extreme weather events in an unrelenting cascade of heat waves, forest fires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outbursts, flood events. And now the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking nonstop havoc throughout the country.

Taylor Wilson:

Monsoon season has slammed all four of the country's provinces. Nearly 300,000 homes have been destroyed, major roads have become impassable, and widespread power outages have affected millions of people.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Friday that the Fed is committed to bringing inflation down to its 2% goal, meaning interest rates will continue to rise.

Jerome Powell:

The Federal Open Market Committee's overarching focus right now is to bring inflation back down to our 2% goal. Price stability is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve and serves as the bedrock of our economy. Without price stability, the economy does not work for anyone. In particular, without price stability, we will not achieve a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all.

Taylor Wilson:

For more on what's next for interest rates, PJ Elliott spoke with Money reporter Elisabeth Buchwald.

Elisabeth Buchwald:

Jerome Powell focused on inflation throughout his speech. It was actually the most mentioned word. He said it 44 times in his about 1,300 word speech. And he took what's called a hawkish stance, which is that he's going to be prioritizing inflation above all else. If that sounds familiar, it probably should because it's what he's been saying for the past couple months since he started raising interest rates. And he basically said that we're not looking at any time soon, where we're going to be actually cutting interest rates. And markets kind of... We're hoping for some hints at that, but he really didn't leave the door open for it.

PJ Elliott:

So how is his speech going to affect the economy?

Elisabeth Buchwald:

It's not going to affect the economy directly. What really affects the economy is his rate hike decisions. And that is coming at the end of next month, so we have a little bit of time for that. The tone that he strikes is obviously important because it sets expectations, but that alone doesn't control the economy.

PJ Elliott:

Is the Fed ever going to cut interest rates?

Elisabeth Buchwald:

Yeah, they will. It's going to take some time. I mean, what usually has to happen for the Fed to cut interest rates is that things get really bad. So it's a double-edged sword in a sense because markets like it. People like that they could get lower interest rates on loans, but the Fed really only likes to lower interest rates when times are so bad that it merits it.

Two people are dead after a grocery store shooting in Oregon. Police said a shooter opened fire in a Bend, Oregon Safeway parking lot before entering the store and shooting several people. The person believed to be the shooter was found dead in the store. One shopper told KTVZ he was with his four children when he heard multiple shots and people ran while screaming. Police say they did not fire any shots. Bend is a city in central Oregon of about 100,000 people, some 160 miles from Portland.

A fuel leak interrupted NASA's countdown for its newest moon rocket earlier today. It reappeared in the same place that saw a similar situation during a dress rehearsal in the spring. Weather also delayed filling the rocket with fuel. NASA Communications', Derrol Nail.

Derrol Nail:

The hydrogen team reporting up to the NASA Test Director that as they were getting into fast fill, which is just past 5%, slow fill takes it from zero to five. They started seeing a leak trending up on the tail mast service umbilical purge can.

Taylor Wilson:

The Artemis 1 the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA. It'll send an unmanned capsule on a 42-day trip around the moon before splashing back down in the Pacific Ocean. Its descent will also likely be one of the fastest reentries to date. If all goes, according to plan, an Artemis 2 mission will do the same but with astronauts. And the Artemis 3 will aim to put astronauts back on the moon sometime after 2025. Humans have not been on the moon since 1972.

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. We're here every morning on whatever your favorite podcast app is. Thanks to PJ Elliot for his great work on the show, and I'm back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Will GOP's 'defund the FBI' calls boost Dems?, NASA's Artemis launch delayed: 5 Things podcast

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