By pinching his reptile fingers and sending out unmistakable brain signals, this guy is telling the Wall Street bankers, the donkey-stubborn Republicans in the House and Senate, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner exactly what to say and do. Thank fortune there are some with the will to resist.

Arianna Huffington was dead-on when she wrote the following: “The battle lines over how to deal with the banking crisis have been drawn. On the one side are those who know what needs to be done. On the other are those who know what needs to be done — but won’t admit it. Because it is against their self-interest.

“Unlike the conflict over the stimulus package, this is not an ideological fight. This is a battle between the status quo and the future, between the interests of the financial/lobbying establishment and the public interest.

“What needs to be done is hard but straightforward. As Martin Wolf of the Financial Times sums it up: ‘Admit reality, restructure banks and, above all, slay zombie institutions at once.’

This 2.12. Cenk Uygur piece is also worth reading. It’s about the cap on executive pay having been removed from the stimulus bill, how it seems as if the system of everyone having been bought and paid for is unchanged, and what kind of guy Geithner really is.

Andrew Sullivan said this morning on the Chris Matthews Show that President Obama would “end up nationalizing several major banks….and that the stress tests for these financial institutions that Treasury Secretary Geithner has proposed are the first step in explaining to the American public, for which nationalization is a charged word, why this has to happen.”