Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Obama on the Hoofbeats of History

I'm a fan of Glenn Thrush. For me, he is in Politico but not of it. But I think he gets this take on Obama, coming off his fractious and steely Iran deal press conference, simply wrong. The image is of a president frantically trying to cram as much legacy as he can into the final quarter of his presidency. No Drama Obama has been replaced by a man who is testy and impatient. As often happens late in a president's term, many key advisors - the ones most able to rein in his more unlovely tendencies - have gone on to their post-presidential lives. That, I think, is a fair characterization of Thrush's article. It's not at all what I see.

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Click here for our ongoing coverage of the shootings at military installations in Chattanooga that have left five people dead, including the alleged gunman. The U.S. Attorney is calling it "an act of domestic terrorism."

Fun Either Way

In the big picture, Rick Perry's blistering criticism of Donald Trump today as "a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense" reveals the deep fault lines within the Republican Party that the 2016 presidential election is going to put enormous strain on. In the small picture, Perry really, really needs to qualify as one of the 10 candidates in the first GOP primary debate next month.

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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