FROM THIS EPISODE
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.
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.
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
Thomas M. Nichols
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.
More From To the Point
Sifting through the ashes: Cleanup and questions after the fires Wildfire is all too familiar in the Golden State, but last week's record-setting blazes in Northern California left behind something new — more property damage over a wider area with more human casualties than ever before. We hear about likely causes, the struggle to clean up and the possibility of prevention.
Political dueling and the future of the ACA Uncertainty about the fate of Obamacare grows by the day, with key factors including bipartisanship in the Senate, opposition deeper than ever in Congress -- and a president who veers from one side to the other. We talk with Maryland's attorney general and others about what's at stake from the state house to the doctor's office.
Will the NFL find common ground on national anthem protests? National Football League team owners are meeting today to craft a unified message about political protest. Men and women athletes in other sports are protesting too. We hear how one man's refusal to stand for the flag has demonstrated the inseparable relationship between sports and politics.
Author Masha Gessen on the appeal of Putin and Trump Masha Gessen was born in Russia but emigrated with her parents to the United States. She returned in the early 1990s when political change was afoot. And since then, she’s become a leading observer - and critic - of Russian president Vladamir Putin. She fled Russia again in 2013. In this special podcast, Warren Olney talks with Gessen about her new book, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia .
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