By Mark Memmott
Two familiar subjects -- the economy and health care -- are atop the news again today. And so are some familiar names -- Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney.
Let's get right to it.
-- Eurostat -- German & French Economies Post Small Gains: The European Union's statistics agency said today that the German and French economies each grew 0.3% in the second quarter. Across the 16-nation "Euro area," gross domestic product edged down just 0.1%. The Associated Press says the data provide "the clearest evidence so far" that in the two biggest economies in Europe, at least, "the worst of the recession is over." NPR's Eric Westervelt says the data raise hopes that the recession may be easing in the rest of Europe as well:
Related story on Morning Edition -- Is U.S. Recession Over? Many Economists Think So. NPR's Chris Arnold reports:
Related story from NPR News -- But Foreclosure Crisis Continues In The U.S.:
More news about how the U.S. economy is doing is due at 8:30 a.m. ET, when the Commerce Department releases figures on July retail sales.
-- Sarah Palin on Facebook -- Obama Is Being Misleading About "Death Panels": "With all due respect," the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee writes, "it's misleading" for President Barack Obama to say that provisions in one of the health care overhaul bills simply increase the information offered to Medicare recipients about end-of-life issues. "The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context. ... Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?"
Related story by USA TODAY -- Poll Signals That "Raucous Protests" Have Fueled Opposition To Health Care Bills Among Some."
Related story on Morning Edition -- "Sen. Cardin Feels Heat On Health Care". NPR's Pam Fessler reports from a town hall meeting held yesterday by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.:
Related story by The New York Times -- "Obama Injects Himself Into Health Talks, Despite Risks."
Related story at NPR.org -- "Why Obama Can't Brush Off Health Care Protests."
-- The Washington Post -- "Cheney Uncloaks His Frustration With Bush": "In his first few months after leaving office, former vice president Richard B. Cheney threw himself into public combat against the 'far left' agenda of the new commander in chief. More private reflections, as his memoir takes shape in slashing longhand on legal pads, have opened a second front against Cheney's White House partner of eight years, George W. Bush."
-- The Courier-Journal -- "Pitino Apologizes For Affair": "University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino apologized Wednesday to his family, the university, his players and fans for what he called his 'indiscretion' six years ago, when he had sex with a woman in a Louisville restaurant. But speaking during a late-afternoon news conference, Pitino said he had no plans to resign, and UofL President James Ramsey and Athletic Director Tom Jurich said in prepared statements afterward that they support him."