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Pundits & Editorials

Krugman wants 'zombie banks' nationalized and governors debate the stimulus. Plus: Ivy Leaguers' clout stretches from Wall Street to Washington.

• "When President Obama addresses the nation tomorrow, he should not be distracted by Washington's obsessions over partisanship and ideology." E. J. Dionne Jr. contends that "he needs, above all, to speak to the country's raw fear."

Clive Crook scrutinizes the country's long-term fiscal problems that Obama plans to discuss this week, focusing on health care.


Kevin Hassett draws parallels between the White House and Wall Street -- both have been and are continuing to be run by former Ivy Leaguers.

Stimulating Talk

• "Judged by his own standards," Obama's "$787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing," Robert J. Samuelson laments.

• Two Republican governors -- Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Charlie Crist of Florida -- take opposite sides on the stimulus package in adjoining op-eds in the Washington Post.


• In the Politico, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) touts various aspects of the stimulus and expresses hope that the nation's governors can work together to put the money to good use.

• The Wall Street Journal editorial board explains why it supports the five governors who have indicated they will refuse stimulus money.

Donald Lambro admonishes most of the Blue Dog Democrats who "turned into pussycats, voting in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank for [the stimulus bill] they had not read."

• In the Washington Times, Donna Brazile bemoans a bleak economic landscape and expresses her support for the stimulus.


• "With the enactment of a large economic stimulus package, fiscal conservatives are using the temporary deficit increase to attack a perennial target -- Social Security and Medicare," The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner asserts in the Washington Post.

Paul Krugman puts forth three observations as to why he supports nationalizing banks, much like what former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently said.

• In the Washington Times, Lawrence Kudlow scoffs that Obama's "massive mortgage-bailout plan is nothing more than a thinly disguised entitlement program... This is Obama's spread-the-wealth program in action."

Foreign Affairs

• Reporting from Tehran, Roger Cohen maintains that "the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran -- its sophistication and culture -- than all the inflammatory rhetoric."

• If Obama "really wants to improve relations with Tehran, working with" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "may be his best bet," Ali Reza Eshraghi, former newspaper editor in Iran, speculates in the New York Times.

• Reporting in Russia, Jackson Diehl has been filled "with some considerable doubt" that Obama's presidency marks "the beginning of a new era of cooperation between Washington and Moscow."

• In the Wall Street Journal, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, Cesar Gaviria, former president of Colombia, and Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico, declare that the "war on drugs has failed."

A Somber Debate

• The USA Today editorial board believes that a ban on seeing the military dead as they arrive from overseas should be lifted.

John Ellsworth, president of Military Families United, the nation's leading military family advocacy organization, counters that the ban should not be lifted in an opposing view.

Odds And Ends

• The Washington Post editorial board supports Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's idea to hold a special election should Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., decide to resign.

• The New York Times editorial board applauds action that Lisa Jackson, the EPA's new administer, has already taken in stark contrast to the Bush administration's stance on global warming.

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