Biden’s most vocal GOP antagonists emerge, World Economic Forum preview: 5 Things podcast


On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Biden’s most vocal Republican antagonists emerge from the sidelines – with subpoena power

USA TODAY Assistant Washington Editor Ledyard King explains how a pair of Republicans could present a headache for President Joe Biden. Plus, the World Economic Forum returns to Davos, Ukraine begins criminal proceedings after Russia kills dozens of civilians in an apartment complex, questions remain about what caused the Nepal plane crash, and USA TODAY Wellness Reporter Jenna Ryu talks about narcissism and pseudomutuality.

Podcasts: True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

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 Tuesday, the 17th of January, 2023. Today, Biden’s most vocal Republican antagonists, plus world and business leaders gather in Davos, and more questions remain after the Nepal plane crash.

House Republicans spent years ignored or drowned out in a Democratic Congress, but revelations about President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents handed two of his fiercest critics ammunition to investigate just as they became committee chairmen. Producer PJ Elliott spoke with USA TODAY’S Assistant Washington Editor Ledge King to find out more about Representatives Jim Jordan and James Comer.

PJ Elliott:

Ledge, thanks for joining 5 Things.

Ledge King:

Thank you.

PJ Elliott:

So President Biden is going to have a hard time with this Congress, specifically with the GOP-controlled House, and there’s a few outspoken critics of the president with Jim Jordan and James Comer. Can you talk about who exactly they are and what kind of power they’re going to have in this House?

Ledge King:

Well, Jim Jordan, many people may already know about him. He was one of the staunchest Trump defenders in the last couple of congresses. He’s a Republican from Ohio, and now he’s going to be in charge of the House Judiciary Committee, which is going to be a funnel for a lot of these investigations, whether it be the Biden family corruption allegations that the Republicans keep leveling. The other Jim is Jim Comer, and he is a Kentucky Republican who is head of the Oversight Committee. Those are the two big committees, by the way, that are going to handle a lot of investigations. But they’re going to be basically the main instruments for the Republican House to look at, investigate and spotlight issues and policies and actions taken by the Biden administration over the last two years that they view as threatening or improper.

PJ Elliott:

Were the classified documents found in Biden’s Delaware home and in his DC office just icing on the cake for investigations into the president? Meaning, were investigations coming regardless of the documents?

Ledge King:

There were definitely going to be investigations, but not into that. That has certainly amped up the rhetoric and the leverage, frankly, that the Republicans now have. They were going to look at, not so much Trump’s classified what he took, what he didn’t take, et cetera. That really was not their goal. They were going to look at how they feel Trump was improperly treated. They keep calling it a raid, although this was a warrant served, approved by a judge, served on Mar-a-Lago after months of resistance from Trump. Nonetheless, they’re going to look at how Mar-a-Lago was searched.

And now they have the Biden documents as a counter in which they’re going to say, “Well, the Biden administration were sort of allowed to let lawyers pick through a pile of classified documents and see what they could find out. Whereas in Trump’s case, they had FBI agents there.” But the situations are completely different. But, to your point, it’s going to give leverage to Republicans to kind of compare and contrast the two investigations. And this will be fodder for both Jordan’s committee and Comer’s committee.

PJ Elliott:

Is anything going to get done in the next two years in the House or is it just going to be investigations into Biden, his administration, and his family?

Ledge King:

I don’t think there’s a lot of area of compromise, but there are certain areas that could be fruitful. It depends on how willing each side is in terms of compromise or finding areas of compromise. For example, there was a special committee looking at China’s influence in the US that was approved on a bipartisan level by members of both parties in the House. That looks like an area where Democrats and Republicans can find some common ground and there may be some issues on technology. There could be some issues on certain border, maybe possibly immigration, but they would be very small steps for the most part, just because the parties are so divergent on many key issues. So I think there are going to be areas of mutual compromise, investigation, and perhaps even bills. But I think a lot of it’s going to be investigation by the Republicans and pushback from the Democrats.

PJ Elliott:

Ledge, thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Ledge King:

It was my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on.

Taylor Wilson:

The World Economic Forum returns this week in the Swiss town of Davos with its first winter meeting there since 2020. More than 50 heads of state and nearly 600 CEOs are expected. Major attendees include European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, US Climate Envoy John Kerry, and the new presidents of South Korea and Columbia. Notable absentees are President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, though China’s vice premier will address the gathering today. Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has been shunned from the event along with all envoys from his country amid the invasion of Ukraine.

As for this year’s focus, the global economy slowdown will be a major theme as inflation around the world remains high. And CEOs are increasingly pessimistic about the economic outlook. A new survey from consultancy firm, PwC found nearly two in five fear their businesses will be unviable within a decade according to The Guardian. And the climate is on the docket with former US vice president and climate activist Al Gore set to speak about clean energy infrastructure. But it’s never clear how much real action actually comes out of the gathering of elites. Activists and protestors have already gathered there this week pushing for climate action and bringing attention to other issues. Greenpeace has also blasted the use of corporate jets at the event, calling it hypocritical.

Ukraine began criminal proceedings yesterday against Russian soldiers blamed for the missile strike that destroyed a nine-story apartment building in Dnipro over the weekend, killing at least 40 people. It was one of Moscow’s deadliest attacks on civilians away from battle areas. At least 25 people remain missing, and 75 were injured, including 14 children, while hundreds more are now homeless in the middle of winter. The attack came as Russia prepares for a new push in Ukraine. According to the think tank, Institute for the Study of War, Russia is forming new divisions and working to correct command structure deficiencies to regain the war’s initiative over the next six months. Meanwhile, the United Nations said yesterday that it’s confirmed the deaths of some 700 Ukrainian civilians in the war while acknowledging the actual figure is much higher.

Authorities in Nepal earlier today began returning to families the bodies of their loved ones killed in Sunday’s devastating plane crash. Officials also said they were sending the plane’s data recorder to France for analysis. The aircraft’s manufacturer is based there. We now know at least 70 of the 72 people on board were killed, while two remain missing, though they’re also presumed dead. The big question now is how did this happen? Video shot from a smartphone on the ground showed moments before the plane crashed with its nose high before the left wing suddenly dropped. Experienced pilot, Amit Singh, told USA TODAY that indicates a likely stall. Aviation safety expert, Professor Ron Bartsch, told Channel 9 in Australia that an optical illusion may have caused the pilot to believe they were traveling faster than they were, causing a stall. Aviation analyst Bob Mann told the AP that would’ve then led to a rapid loss of altitude when the plane was already close to the ground.

It’s often hard for people on the outside to spot the toxic behaviors of a narcissist because of pseudomutuality. But what does that mean and what does it look like? Producer PJ Elliott spoke with USA TODAY Wellness Reporter Jenna Ryu to find the answer.

PJ Elliott:

Jenna, thanks for joining the podcast.

Jenna Ryu:

Yeah, thank you for having me again.

PJ Elliott:

Let’s start with this, what is pseudomutuality?

Jenna Ryu:

So pseudomutuality basically describes a family dynamic. It can also describe a romantic relationship, but one where there’s a facade of happiness and perfection that’s projected on the outside or to the public, but on the inside, within the dynamic, there’s actually manipulation. There’s lack of boundaries, there isn’t inherent respect. So it’s kind of this facade to hide the abuse from the public so that if the victim speaks out about a narcissistic family member or a narcissistic partner, it’ll be harder to believe them.

PJ Elliott:

So how can people spot that emotional manipulation from family members or people they’re in relationships with?

Jenna Ryu:

Some common ways to spot it are there’s a lack of boundaries. So you’re discouraged from keeping secrets or having relationships with people outside of the family or outside of your narcissistic partner, and also emotional manipulation such as gaslighting, projecting your anger onto others, or isolating or forcing them to isolate from other people like their friends or other family members.

PJ Elliott:

So you write about the cost of living with pseudomutuality. Is it something that people should learn to deal with, or should they just remove themselves from it all together?

Jenna Ryu:

Yeah. So experts have said it’s best to remove yourself completely. It’s just that it can be really hard to spot it when you’re growing up in that type of environment. So most people only get out of that cycle when they’re well into adulthood.

PJ Elliott:

So how should people who end up staying in these relationships or continuing on with those type of family members, how do they deal with a narcissist?

Jenna Ryu:

One of the first steps is just being aware of these types of terms, being aware of the warning signs. It’s also key in terms of awareness to educate yourself on manipulation tactics and knowing what a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy one is. And the best thing you can do is to set boundaries with the narcissist in your life, which means it could be physical distance or also emotional distance by using a technique called gray rocking, which is boring the narcissist and being as unresponsive as possible.

PJ Elliott:

That’s pretty funny.

Jenna Ryu:

Yeah. And then there’s a variation of it for people if you’re co-parenting with a narcissist. Obviously, you can’t do that in front of the child all the time, so it’s called yellow rocking, which is trying to bore them as much as possible, but infusing a little bit of emotion so that it’s not completely dead. And then most importantly, seek support, whether it’s with a professional therapist or a trusted friend or family member.

PJ Elliott:

Awesome. Jenna, I really appreciate the time. Thank you for the information.

Jenna Ryu:

Yeah, thank you so much.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. We’re here every morning of the year right here, wherever you’re listening right now. I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden’s most vocal antagonists, Nepal crash questions: 5 Things podcast



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