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British PM Theresa May calls for snap general election in June 6 MIN, 32 SEC

British Prime Minister Theresa May threw down a gauntlet today, calling an early election for June 8 in an effort to gain strength for negotiations on Brexit — leaving the European Union. Outside Number 10 Downing Street, May challenged her political opposition to show that it is "not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game."

The Scottish National Party wants that part of Britain to say in the European Union. Leader Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC that May "sees the opportunity given the total disarray in the ranks of the Labour Party to crush all opposition to her, to get rid of people that disagree with her and to give herself a free hand to take the country in the increasingly right wing direction that she wants to take it in."

Alan Cowell, who contributes to the New York Times from London, believes that May called the early election to prove her she maintains a mandate.

Guests:
Alan Cowell, New York Times (@cowellcnd)

Why Don't Facts Matter? 33 MIN, 52 SEC

In this divided nation, more and more people respond only to new information that reinforces their established opinions. When they're presented with facts that contradict what they believe, their opinions get stronger — even when the contradictory evidence is irrefutable.  Has the country become the Emotional States of America, or is there something about the way the human brain is wired? Is it the consequence of our culture, our politics or the way our brains are structured? We talk to a neuroscientist, a foreign-policy expert, and an obstetrician who performs abortions in Alabama in the name of science… and Christianity.

Guests:
Thomas Nichols, Naval War College (@RadioFreeTom)
Tali Sharot, University College London (@affectivebrain)
Willie Parker, Abortion provider and reproductive justice advocate (@drwillieparker)

More:
Nichols on the problem with thinking you know more than the experts
Sharot's 'The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain'
Sharot on how people update beliefs about climate change
Parker's 'Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice'
Sharot on why facts don't unify us

The Death of Expertise

Thomas M. Nichols

Why tax reform is hard and will get harder 9 MIN, 18 SEC

In February, when President Trump was negotiating a deal to replace Obamacare, he said, "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated." The healthcare deal failed, and now it's on to tax reform.

It could get even worse, says New York University professor Lily Batchelder, formerly chief tax counsel for the US Senate Finance Committee and deputy director of President Obama's White House Economic Council.

Guests:
Lily Batchelder, New York University School of Law (@lilybatch)

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