Our leftie friends at Mother Jones put it this way:
Benjamin Netanyahu just mansplained Iran to Obama
Er, okay. Glad you said that because there'd be no end to it if some rightie guy sneered that Obama was our first female president.
For what it's worth, I prefer mansplaining to 'Bamsplaining, where he peddles a lot of gaseous pap interrupted by cheap digs at straw men and all delivered in that set-your-watch-by-it left-right prompter-swivel. (To stick with the Mother Jones shtick, real men don't use prompters.)
But, if this was "mansplaining", it was a big man doing the 'splaining. The shout-out to Harry Reid, the "my long-time friend John Kerry" schmoozeroo, all this was brilliant - not because everyone doesn't understand how fake it is, but because the transparent fakery underlines how easy it is to be big and generous and magnaninmous and get the snippy parochial stuff out of the way to concentrate on what really matters.
Obama could have done this. He could have said yesterday, "Hey, my good friend Bibi and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but I'd have to be an awfully thin-skinned insecure narcissistic little dweeb to make that a capital offense, wouldn't I? So, since he's in town anyway, I've asked him to swing by the White House for an hour to shoot the breeze - and maybe we can have that dinner we missed out on the last time, right, Prime Minister? Hur-hur-hur."
In loosing off all the phony-baloney bipartisan crapola, Netanyahu reminded us how easy it is to play the game, and how small and petty Obama is by comparison. And then, without ever saying it directly, he went on to lay out (or, if you're as touchy as Mother Jones, "mansplain") how pathetic it is to be that small and petty at this tide in the affairs of man.
Mother Jones is right to that extent: it was a man's speech, delivered at times with oblique but intentional Churchillian flourishes - "some change, some moderation," as he said of Rouhani's Iran.
Netanyahu was especially strong on the mullahs' expansionism. He pointed out that Iran now controls four regional capitals - Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and Sana'a. The P5+1 negotiatiors talk about Iran "re-joining the community of nations". Au contraire, a not insignificant number of the community of nations have joined Iran. How many more capitals would a nuclear Teheran be exercising control of?
As for the other rising hegemon - the Islamic State, now attracting regional terror partners from West Africa to the Caucasus - Netanyahu cautioned against making the usual assumptions. In this case, he said, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
He's right. There is nothing in our recent history to suggest that we're smart enough to play one off against the other, while simultaneously managing Erdogan's neo-Ottaman aspirations and the beleaguered Sunni oldtimers' panicky stampede to join Iran in the nuclear club. A lot of realpolitik types think that an Islamic civil war will let western civilization off the hook. In my book After America, I mention en passant another recent civil war:
The Congo Civil War raged for most of the first decade of this century uncovered by CNN and The New York Times for want of any way to blame it on George W Bush. Among the estimated six million dead, many were eaten. The two parties to the conflict agreed on very little except that pygmies make an excellent entrĂ©e. Both sides hunted down them down as if they were the drive-thru fast-food of big game. While regarding them as sub-human, they believed that if you roasted their flesh and ate it you would gain magical powers.
So, if the Sunni Isis/Shia Iran split is an Islamic civil war, we're the pygmies - and both sides agree that, if you roast our flesh, you'll gain, if not magical powers, at least a spike in Twitter followers and all the virgins you can handle in the hereafter.
~RaĂșl Grijalva, self-appointed Denialfinder-General of the United States Congress, has partially walked back his thuggish "investigation" into seven climate dissidents. Hence this ludicrous headline:
Grijalva: Climate Letters Went Too Far in Seeking Correspondence
Creepy cyberstalker Greg Laden congratulates Grijalva on his moderation:
I applaud Grijalva for backing off on questionable parts of requests for info from scientists such as
Likewise, Michael E Mann, the Johnny Friendly of On The Warmerfront, applauds Grijalva's "decency":
@RepRaulGrijalva does what @KenCuccinelli & @RepJoeBarton never had the decency to: concede requests went too far
Commissar Grijalva can "back off" because he's accomplished his mission: He's let not just these seven scientists but anyone minded to take a contrarian view on climate alarmism understand who makes the rules around here.
At Frank Sinatra's 80th birthday, his friend Don Rickles told the following joke: I owe Frank everything. He saved my life once. I was in Vegas and these guys were beating me up. And after ten minutes Frank came by and said to them, "Okay. That's enough."
That's what Mann and Laden are saying to Grijalva re Richard Lindzen, John Christy et al: Okay. That's enough.
~Re President-Designate Clinton not using a government email address for her entire tenure as Secretary of State, a reader from Oregon writes:
When I got my security training at the State Department in 2012 using a private email account was considered to be a security risk. A Lack of public record is one thing but communicating Top Secret material without secure communication is a crime. Note that Petraeus is pleading guilty for less.
Well, as I said yesterday, to the Clintons rules are for the little people - like General Petraeus. I don't doubt that using your own email is a security risk, and I would bet that somewhere out there on the planet the Chinese, the Russians, the Norks and/or Isis have plenty of fascinating Hillary emails on Benghazi and a lot of other stuff US archivists will never see.
But she did it to evade public scrutiny. I wrote previously that what the Times calls a "personal" email account is, in fact, a secret account - and consciously created as such: The domain clintonemail.com was apparently registered on the first day of her Senate confirmation hearing.
That too puts Grijalva's "investigation" into context: Judith Curry is expected to cough up more speaking-fee invoices and correspondence than Hillary Clinton.
~At the national level, American government is corrupt and depraved. Final example:
The Department of Justice blocked an attempt to force the Internal Revenue Service to search for Lois Lerner's missing emails at off-site storage facilities, according to a lawyer pushing to obtain the emails.
The IRS never looked for Lerner's backup email tapes at the West Virginia storage facility where they were being housed. Treasury deputy inspector general Timothy Camus told Congress that the IRS never asked IT professionals at the New Martinsville, W.V. storage site for the backup tapes. Camus only found the backup tape for Lerner's missing 2011 emails about two weeks ago.
But the Obama administration knew that emails were stored at off-site facilities, and even shut down a legal request to send somebody to go look for them.
Maybe Commissar Grijalva can sic the IRS on Roger Pielke Jr. Or is he saving that for next time. As Mann and Laden would say:
That's enough. For now.