Obama signs the stimulus bill, talks about 'foreign dictators,' not the ones here at home

You don't expect President Barack Obama to reveal the sharp split inside the White House between those who want to rescue Wall Street's bankers and those who want to smack 'em upside the head.

Americans just want a rescue from the onrushing Great Depression II, so the public's not clamoring in any organized way about specific methods on how to do it. That'll have to wait until the situation gets worse, which it will, and the bile bubbles over.

The arguing is apparently already heated inside the White House. Maybe the atmosphere in the Oval Office was too tense, and that's really why Obama fled to Denver to sign the bill, where he delivered his speech that mentioned "foreign dictators" while ignoring the bigger problem of the banking industry oligarchs on our own soil.

That sharp division in the Obama Administration exists, as papers have previously reported and as I noted earlier this morning in an item about Bill Moyers and economist Simon Johnson's provocative conversation last week about oligarchs.

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But two of Obama's croniest cronies, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, apparently couldn't persuade their Chicago pal to take their advice and get tough with the banks. Instead, New Yorker Tim Geithner won the battle, at least for now.

For once, you wish that a president would listen to his cronies, not the "experts," no matter how "un-democratic" that typical pol behavior is. br>

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