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Bailouts Gone Wild

Noel Sheppard at his Newbusters blog noted that Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild Chief Executive Officer Joe Francis have asked Congress to bail out their industry, too.

“Americans turn to entertainment for relief. … Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration,” the two said in a statement.

Mr. Sheppard’s reaction: “I kid you not.”

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly’s blog Political Animal began his post on the bailout request (which was reported by CNN’s Political Ticker blog) with the title “Insert inappropriate pun here.”

His comments were “Critics of the very idea of industry bailouts have argued in recent months that Congress shouldn’t get in the business of picking and choosing — if you bail out one failing industry, others will expect similar support. I’m afraid this might bolster their argument.”

Fired-up base

Barack Obama recently backed off a couple of his more extravagant campaign promises on national security.

Mr. Obama had promised to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center within 100 days, which he said in an ABC “This Week” interview “is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize.”

Also, while refusing to rule it out, he was not terribly interested in prosecuting Bush administration officials on war crimes and other charges, saying his instinct is “getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.”

Liberal blogs hit the roof last week.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon called the interview the latest “alarming” evidence that Mr. Obama’s talk of post-partisanship is nothing more than “devotion, first and foremost, to perpetuating rather than challenging how the Washington establishment functions.”

“There’s absolutely no good reason for Obama not to close Guantanamo immediately and simply try the detainees in our already-extant courts of law. That’s how we’ve convicted all sorts of accused terrorists in the past. The only reason not to do so is a desire to disregard — violate — these long-standing American principles and instead create a new process that allows torture-obtained evidence to be used,” Mr. Greenwald wrote.

“Digby” wrote at her popular liberal blog Hullabaloo that Mr. Obama is kidding himself if he thinks winning over the intelligence community on these issues is a game he can win.

“But I would suggest that Obama contemplate one little thing before he decides to try to find ‘middle ground’ on torture. It is a trap. If he continues to torture in any way or even tacitly agrees to allow it in certain circumstances, the intelligence community will make sure it is leaked. They want protection from both parties and there is no better way to do it than to implicate Obama. And the result of that will be to destroy his foreign policy.”

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