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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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.