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Critique From the Left

By Dan Froomkin
1:20 PM ET, 01/23/2009

Robert Scheer writes in his syndicated opinion column: "My concern is with the nation's two most serious flashpoints (the economic bailout and the war in Afghanistan) and on both the early actions of the Obama team have been far from reassuring. Instead of signaling a sharp break from the failures of the Bush administration in these two areas, the early indication from Obama is more of the same.


"'Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some,' he said. But why then has he backed a bailout program that rewards the greediest of bankers while ignoring struggling homeowners? . . .

"The good news is that we have a big-brain president. The question is: Will he use it?"

Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times opinion column that Obama is "going to have to make some big decisions very soon. In particular, he's going to have to decide how bold to be in his moves to sustain the financial system, where the outlook has deteriorated so drastically that a surprising number of economists, not all of them especially liberal, now argue that resolving the crisis will require the temporary nationalization of some major banks.

"So is Mr. Obama ready for that? Or were the platitudes in his Inaugural Address a sign that he'll wait for the conventional wisdom to catch up with events? If so, his administration will find itself dangerously behind the curve.

"And that's not a place that we want the new team to be. The economic crisis grows worse, and harder to resolve, with each passing week. If we don't get drastic action soon, we may find ourselves stuck in the muddle for a very long time."

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