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Barack Obama has said the economic crisis means that a range of campaign promises will have to be delayed. But he's also said there are "certain investments we cannot delay, precisely because the economy is in turmoil." Was the election a mandate for big change or cautious pragmatism? We hear different opinions. Also, Treasury Secretary Paulson shifts the focus of his bailout plan, and UN peace-keepers are on the ground in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but a humanitarian disaster is happening anyway.  We'll get the background.

Banner image: President-elect Barack Obama at his first post-election press conference last Friday, flanked by his vice president-elect Joe Biden (L), his new chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (R), and members of his Transition Economic Advisory Board. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Main Topic Should Barack Obama Go Big or Go Cautious?

Barack Obama made a lot of promises during the campaign, then came the crisis in the economy. Can Obama fix the economy and spend big money on healthcare, education, infrastructure and energy independence, all at the same time? One school of would-be advisors says, yes he can -- it's time for bold action, just like it was for Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. But others counsel against what they call "over-reaching," until after the economy's back on track. As debate rages over available courses of action, does Obama have the luxury to think big? Can he afford not to?  

David Sirota, International Business Times (@davidsirota)
Nicholas von Hoffman, Political Columnist, The Nation
Amity Shlaes, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation (@AmityShlaes)
George Packer, New Yorker (@newyorker)

The Uprising

David Sirota

Making News Paulson Shifts Focus of Bailout Plan 5 MIN, 56 SEC

paulson.jpgWhen Congress passed the $700 billion bailout, the focus was on buying so-called "troubled assets" linked to sub-prime mortgages. Today, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that's not the best use of the money after all. Instead, he wants to buy stock in banks. Greg Robb writes for Marketwatch.com, part of the Dow Jones News Service.

Greg Robb, MarketWatch.com

A Devil's Dictionary of Business

Nicholas von Hoffman

Reporter's Notebook Rwanda and the Strife in the Democratic Republic of Congo 7 MIN, 31 SEC

After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, world leaders said they'd never let it happen again. But another humanitarian disaster is taking shape in Rwanda's neighbor. The Democratic Republic of Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, is rich in minerals but desperately poor in infrastructure. More than a million people are already displaced, and 250,000 civilians have fled their homes during weeks of violence. Government forces, rebels, rival tribes and UN peace-keepers all are part of the story. The Financial Times' Matthew Green is in Goma in the eastern part of the country.

Matthew Green, Afghanistan and Pakistan Correspondent, Financial Times

The Forgotten Man

Amity Shlaes


Warren Olney

Katie Cooper
Andrea Brody

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