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08.23.09

August 23: Top 7 Moments From Sunday Talk

McCain defends Palin’s 'death panel' remarks, Paul Krugman says we’re in economic purgatory, and Joe Lieberman tells Alec Baldwin to ‘make my day.’ That and more in our Sunday roundup.

Krugman: We Are in Economic 'Purgatory'

There’s been no lack of positive talk about the economy over the past week. But have we really turned the corner? Appearing on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says the growth in GDP may mean the recession will be over by the fall, but whatever recovery we have may be a jobless one.

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Joe Lieberman to Alec Baldwin: ‘Make My Day’

Playboy doesn't typically come up in discussion on Sunday talk shows, but CNN’s John King took a minute to get Joe Lieberman's thoughts on a recent interview in the magazine with Alec Baldwin, who is considering a run against the senator.

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Mullen: Afghanistan is 'Deteriorating'

On State of the Union, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen says the Taliban has become more sophisticated and the situation has become very “serious,” but that doesn't necessarily mean we need to send in more troops—yet. While “deteriorating” is never really a good sign, official requests for a new push will come from commanding General Stanley McChrystal, who Mullen says is still assessing the situation on the ground.

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Chuck Grassley Backpedals on ‘Pull the Plug on Grandma’

On August 12, Sen. Chuck Grassley implied there were some members of Congress who wanted a health-care bill that would allow the government to help “pull the plug on Grandma.” Powerful stuff—if it only were in any of the proposed legislation. On Face the Nation, Grassley says that no, that isn’t part of any bill, but still, talk of it is “scaring a lot of people.” But who, exactly, is doing that talking?

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Specter Calls for 'Death Book' Hearings

Forget “death panels.” The latest health-care buzzword is an end-of-life planning document from the Department of Veterans Affairs called "Your Life, Your Choices." Former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives Jim Towey (also a guest on Fox News Sunday) raised the issue of what he calls a “death book” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, and now, on Fox News Sunday, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter says he is ready to call hearings to suspend the controversial document.

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David Frum Slams Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity

David Frum is better known as a neocon than as a traditional conservative, but in an August 13 column for The Week magazine, he became one of the few voices on the right to argue strongly and publicly against the presence of firearms at town-hall meetings. Frum specifically blamed “the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters,” a point from which he doesn’t back away on Reliable Sources.

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McCain Defends Palin on ‘Death Panels’

Senator Grassley may have backpedaled on his "death panel" comments, but John McCain stepped into the fray for the first time Sunday. On This Week, McCain followed in Newt Gingrich’s footsteps and defended Sarah Palin’s stance (he seems to be doing a lot of this lately for the woman he envisions as a future " force" in the GOP) on Obamacare despite numerous corrections from George Stephanopoulos.

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