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Wisconsin Court Sounds A Lot Like SCOTUS

You probably saw that the Wisconsin Supreme Court - now with a solid Republican majority - put an end to the "John Doe" investigation into Gov Scott Walker, which has dogged the governor for what seems like ages. The polarization of the Wisconsin Court has been a big story for awhile now. And there was already a lot of question about just how not one of the judges managed to recuse themselves. But the tenor of the decision itself makes little effort to conceal what one might call the extrajudicial nature of the decision. The subtext is basically: let's not get too focused on the specific legal rulings we're making. The upshot is that you're done investigating Scott Walker. The actual decision reads, "It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing ... Let one point be clear: our conclusion today ends this unconstitutional John Doe investigation."

They're perhaps inspired by the Roberts Court?

More Thoughts on The Iran Nuclear Deal

As the reactions come in and the arguments get rolling, we are now getting a clearer look at the debate over the Iran nuclear deal - now in a real and definitive document rather than agreed parameters or leaked details. Here are a few points I think it is worth pointing out.

The first is that while there's criticism of the tightness of the inspections regime, most arguments actually don't question that the deal agreed in Vienna will prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon for 10 or 15 years. Some questions this. Sure. But look at the key arguments ... We're hearing that 10 or 15 years isn't that long. We're hearing that Iran will get a massive financial windfall and new international legitimacy which it can use to amp up its aggressive behavior in the region even if it doesn't build a nuclear weapon. They can intervene more aggressively in Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, Yemen, Iraq and other countries. They can use the extra money to finance terrorism or speed its development of ballistic missiles.

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Are We Enabling Scott Walker?

For my part, Scott Walker's attempted walk back of his comments about the Boy Scouts' ban on gay leaders as having "protected children" is ridiculous on its face. He now claims what he meant was that it protected children from "the political and media discussion about it." Um. Okay.

I'm confident our readers are sophisticated enough to see that for what it is, part of the broader softening of rhetoric over gay rights from Walker and other elected conservatives, but a softening that is opportunistic, inconsistently applied, disingenuous, and which, in this case, Walker bumbled.

But TPM Reader KR emails to say we're enabling Walker by not calling him out more forcefully. I yield the floor:

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Just Can't

I've faced this moral dilemma several times and I'm facing it again. I really want a digital copy of John Cale's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Cale's version is the real version. The version that made the song immortal is the one recorded by the late Jeff Buckley. But it was Cale's arrangement of the song that transformed Cohen's original song, which is magnificent but different. Buckley more or less copied Cale's arrangement. He slowed it down and made it more lush. But fundamentally it's Cale's version. But here's the thing. It's not on Spotify. (Fair enough, Spotify is a rip-off for artists). But to buy the Cale version on iTunes you have to buy the full ... Scrubs TV Soundtrack! Right, not even a whole album but the indignity of buying the Scrubs soundtrack. It's really too much. So here I am again, home alone with my thoughts, listening to Cohen and Buckley, unable to buy the Scrubs soundtrack.

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