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Note: During KCRW's Summer Sign-up, we are airing the complete rebroadcast of today's To the Point in place of Which Way, LA?.

As the Congressional recess continues, debate over healthcare reform is becoming more polarized and extreme. President Obama’s approval ratings are taking a hit. Both sides contend it all boils down to morality. Are they open to reason or is it a matter of faith? Also, good news bad news on the economy. On Reporter's Notebook, will climate change mean more hurricanes in the North Atlantic?


Bannerimage: Daniel Assaraf waits in line with other attendees for a town hall meeting being held by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) August 12, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Karen Radziner

Making News Economy Still Weak but May Be at Bottom 7 MIN, 18 SEC

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve gave its most upbeat assessment of the economy since the Great Recession began. But today, there's news of a different kind. Unemployment increased more than expected last week and, despite cash for clunkers, overall consumer spending declined. Kelly Evans is economics reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Kelly Evans, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Main Topic Healthcare Reform and Questions of Faith 34 MIN, 47 SEC

<p>"Forty Days for Health Reform" is a campaign based on the premise that affordable access to quality healthcare is a “moral imperative.” Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians on what's called the ”Religious Left” are backing TV ads urging people of faith to get behind congressional action. But other Catholic and Evangelical Christians don't see government as the Good Samaritan, especially if taxpayer money would pay for abortions. They contend that a <a class="external-link" href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/health_care/">government overhaul</a> would “ration” healthcare, which they also see as morally wrong. What about other arguments, pro and con? Are they based more on faith than they are on reason?&nbsp; <br /><br /></p>

Guests:
John Gehring, Deputy Director of Communications, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Bill McCormack, Chairman of the Pastors' Council, Christian Coalition
Jim Wallis, Sojourners (@JimWallis)
Debra Street, Associate Professor of Sociology, University at Buffalo
Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute

God's Politics

Jim Wallis

Reporter's Notebook Study Finds Atlantic Hurricanes at a 1000-Year High 8 MIN, 12 SEC

There's a scientific consensus that the Earth's climate is warming, but many questions remain about what that could mean. For example, will there be more hurricanes? Two different methods of reconstructing the past now agree on one conclusion. A report published in the journal Nature says the North Atlantic Ocean has seen more hurricanes in the past decade than at any time in the past 1000 years. Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, is the lead author.

Guests:
Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University (@MichaelEMann)

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