FROM Robert Blendon
Polarization Poisons Healthcare Debate Healthcare is one of the issues citied as most important by potential voters of both parties. Presidential candidates all trumpet their plans. But Democrats and Republicans sound as if they're in different worlds. One side advocates "universal healthcare" while the other warns against "government interference" and "socialized medicine." In last night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had a nasty exchange about whose healthcare plan covers the most people. In his campaign, Republican Mitt Romney has moved away from a comprehensive healthcare plan he signed while Governor of Massachusetts. Comparisons between the US and British medical systems made by Rudy Giuliani in radio ads about his battle with prostate cancer have been attacked as inaccurate. Are candidates' plans as different as they sound? When the election finally is over, what are the chances of bridging the gap? Will necessary compromise fall victim to political polarization on Capitol Hill?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.