Mail Call: From the Left, an Attack on Obama

'Obama Is Wrong': Readers responding to our April 6 cover story were divided—and often passionate—in their views about the Nobel Prize-winning economist. "I am not a very religious person, but I thank God for Paul Krugman," one wrote. Another argued that "Krugman has been right too often for an intelligent person like the president to disregard his views." Detractors, not surprisingly, were less generous. "Krugman is very adept at analyzing the past but hasn't a clue about the future," one commented. "Obama is well advised to ignore him."

The President's Toughest Critic
Thank you, Paul Krugman, for your voice of sanity in this financial crisis ("Obama's Nobel Headache," April 6). I voted for President Obama and appreciate many of the things he has done, but we cannot borrow and spend our way into prosperity. Greed and spending beyond our means are what got us into this mess.
Russ Leinbach
Harrisonburg, Va.

Paul Krugman continually challenges and questions the administration's recovery plan. Recovery requires billions of dollars and tons of confidence. Krugman's vocal and widespread criticism serves only to create confusion and doubt—potent slayers of confidence. No one is happy with every aspect of the stimulus package, but this is now an approved plan in the process of implementation. It serves no useful purpose to snipe at it constantly.
Ollie James Akel
Bonita Springs, Fla.

Paul Krugman and his "Obama IS Wrong" message on your cover? I get that NEWSWEEK believes in free speech, but when our country is in crisis and my 401(k) is in the tank, I could use a little hope.
Ellie Bosman
Francestown, N.H.

Too Young for a Manicure
That parents are willing, even eager, to spend thousands of dollars on their daughters' beauty treatments is scary enough; that it can start when their children aren't even old enough to read is horrifying ("Tales of a Modern Diva," April 6). But one very important cost was left out of your article: all the money those parents are going to be paying folks like me someday. I'm a social worker who specializes in treating young adults with eating disorders. Those parents should start saving up now for the years of counseling their daughters are going to need later on.
Karen Chimento
Ithaca, N.Y.

Darwin as Applied to Art
In discussing my book "The Art Instinct," Jeremy McCarter ("Rage Against the Art Gene," April 6) quotes Stephen Jay Gould, who was uninterested in why composers write music or why audiences enjoy hearing it. What he really wanted to know was why he himself "swooned" over Handel oratorios. What a limited sense of curiosity. We come to understand our private tastes only by placing them in a cultural context, and more broadly still, as I argue, in the context of the evolved artistic tastes and pleasures we share with people of all cultures. People across the globe enjoy the same basic plot structures in fiction. They all love virtuoso artistic performances and find beauty in similar landscape types. Darwin thought evolution could explain the deep satisfactions we get from beauty. I think it is he, and not Gould, who is right.
Denis Dutton
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand

"Brando, As You've Never Heard Him" (PERISCOPE, March 30) incorrectly stated that Marlon Brando's 10-day interview with journalist Lawrence Grobel in 1978 was the actor's first press interview in 25 years. In fact, Brando had permitted a reporter to visit him on his Tahitian island two years earlier.

In "An Awkward Obituary" (APRIL 6), we failed to properly attribute a quote from a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter. The quote, "A little bit of the enamel ground off my teeth on that flight," was given to a reporter at KUOW-FM, a Seattle public- radio station, and not to NEWSWEEK directly. NEWSWEEK regrets the errors.