Today's Blogs

Don’t Blame Rummy

Bloggers debate Rep. John Boehner’s take on the Iraq war, tussle over a heckler’s rough treatment by Sen. George Allen’s staffers, and look forward to long, inebriated lives.

Don’t blame Rummy: In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, House Majority Leader John Boehner said he doesn’t blame the failures in Iraq on Donald Rumsfeld: “The fact is the generals on the ground are in charge and he works closely with them and the president.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid demanded Boehner apologize for “blaming our troops for failures in Iraq.” Bloggers trade barbs over what exactly Boehner meant.

Liberal Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report calls Boehner’s message “unmistakeable”: “Boehner was talking about blame, Blitzer suggested Rumsfeld, but Boehner fingered ‘the generals on the ground.’ In other words, as far as Boehner is concerned, Rumsfeld isn’t accountable, those in uniform are.”

Conservative bloggers wonder if Democrats are just getting revenge for John Kerry’s woes. Brian at IowaVoice points out Boehner’s assertion that terrorists could be an attempt to influence the coming midterm elections: “Pretty darn clear that he’s not blaming Rumsfeld OR the generals OR the troops, he blames the terrorists. But you see, Reid and most of the Democrats like to take things out of context and selectively quote people on the right (as they did with Rush) to make things look bad for them.” Fellow righty PrivatePigg at Public Figures Beware calls Howard Dean a hypocrite for defending Kerry’s remarks, then demanding an apology from Boehner: “You’ve GOT to be kidding me! Kerry made a ‘blooper’ and Boehner insulted the troops??? … Dean made these two statements on back to back days.”

Bob at JohnKerry For President 2008 distinguishes Boehner’s comment from Kerry’s: “[Boehner’s] wasn’t a botched joke. This was a slur. About the Generals leading the Army and the soldiers who are bravely serving. John Kerry never intended to say what he said.”

Boehner’s spokesman said Democrats are “quickly squandering any and all credibility by even attempting to equate Mr. Boehner’s comments with criticism of anyone in the military.” Tim Grieve at Salon’s War Room feigns sympathy: “He’s got a point there: You can’t really ‘equate’ Boehner’s comments with ‘criticism of anyone in the military’ because they are criticism of people in the military.”

Read more on Boehner’s comments.

Stark raving, mad: Supporters of Sen. George Allen roughed up Virginia law student and blogger Mike Stark at a recent campaign event after Stark asked the senator about allegations involving his ex-wife. Allen refused to denounce his handlers’ behavior and blamed the campaign of his opponent, Jim Webb, for provoking the incident. CNN has the video. Bloggers on the left and right take Stark’s scuffle to cyberspace.

Liberal blogger DownWithTyranny objects to the Washington Post’s coverage of the incident: “When he was set upon by paid George Allen thugs and savagely beaten, the Post head-lined it as Allen Supporters Wrestle Heckler To Ground. The paid Allen thugs are ‘supporters.’ The blogger in the media area is a ‘heckler’ and the savage beating is a little wrestling?”

Ed Morrissey at conservative Captain’s Quarters provides photos that suggest Stark got rowdy first: “The staffers afterwards closed ranks around Allen to keep Stark from committing violence against the Senator, and when he continued to push and shove, they physically removed him from the scene.”

As Allen’s staffers pulled him away, Stark shouted back, asking if Allen spit on his first wife. James Joyner at Outside the Beltway thinks Stark “got exactly what he wanted: National attention to a scurrilous charge previously limited to the nuttier lefty blogs along with footage of Allen supporters acting like goons.” Steven Taylor at PoliBlog is surprised that Allen’s staffers got so rough with Stark: “It is remarkable on a number of levels that anyone associated with the Allen campaign would act like that with cameras present.” See Stark’s blog, Calling All Wingnuts, where he promised on Monday “to ‘Roger and Me’ George Allen whenever I can.”

“What was this guy thinking?” writes Republican blogger UnKnown at Pimp Smack the World. “You can’t just rush up on a US Senator ranting and raving like a wacko. This guy could have had a gun or a bomb in his backpack. If anything Allen’s staff showed restraint.”

Read more about the Allen scuffle.

Three wined mice: A study has found that mice on high-calorie diets live significantly longer when given doses of resveratrol, a natural substance found in red wine. Bloggers wonder if the fountain of youth comes bottled.

Tim F. at John Cole’s Balloon Juice imagines a future in which resveratrol is part of daily life: “The preventative aspects alone could force a major realignment in healthcare priorities – if you were an insurance company, wouldn’t you want your clients taking the stuff?”

Mental Floss urges readers not to get too eager too fast: “[T]he safety of high-level doses of Reservatrol in humans is unknown, and the amount you get from a glass of red wine is only about 0.3% of that given to the lab mice. So just cool it for awhile, big boy; send back that cheeseburger and finish your veggies.”

Read more about red wine and mice.