Bloggers dissect the appearance by six Democratic candidates at a gay rights forum, and conservative bloggers call on Rep. John Murtha to apologize to the two Marines exonerated in the Haditha killings. They also snark at the dating woes of vegetarians.
Democrats come out: Last night, six of the Democratic candidates sat for a forum on gay rights sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. Panelist Melissa Etheridge nonplussed a few candidates with some pointed questions. Bloggers debate whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton came off the best. Gay-community blog Queerty sums up: "The diminutive Kucinich left the crowd wanting more, Senator Hillary Clinton left people cheering and poor Governor Bill Richardson, meanwhile, left us scratching our heads."
Etheridge posed "perhaps the most personal question of the evening" to Hillary Clinton, writes law blogger Ann Althouse, when Etheridge revealed "she had felt personally hurt and abandoned by the Clintons after President Bill Clinton's inauguration." The "sheer strangeness of the locution" of Clinton's response dissatisfied Althouse. She says, "I think we can gain some insight into the mind of Hillary Clinton by thinking deeply about the rhetoric in that one sentence."
The Huffington Post's Melissa Silverstein, a media consultant, thinks Barak Obama "shone in a way that he has not been able to in the debates" and notes "just the fact that a presidential candidate was sitting on the stage talking about homophobia in the black community and the importance of condom distribution to prevent AIDS was historic." John Edwards, on the other hand, "never recovered from a comment Melissa Etheridge made saying she has read that he was uncomfortable around gay people."
Gay political blogger Citizen Crain gives Obama an "A": "Barack Obama led off last night's HRC-Logo presidential forum with pretty much a home run, as far as I'm concerned. He hit all the right notes, committed on policy, promised leadership not just talk, and spoke with a passion in a way that connects gay civil rights to black civil rights, while recognizing their differences."
The forum most flummoxed Bill Richardson. Michael Crowly at the New Republic's staff blog, The Plank, smirks that Richardson plunged "last night's Democratic gay and lesbian forum deep into Ricky Gervais-style awkwardness" and that "for someone who brags about his experience, Richardson keeps acting like he's not ready for prime time." At least one blogger, the conservative Gay Patriot, disagrees: "I think Richardson came off the best, but Kucinich and Edwards had the most polished performances."
Not guilty: The military dropped charges against two Marines stemming from the 2005 killings of up to two dozen Iraqi citizens in Haditha. Lt. Gen. James Mattis described Justin Sharratt, involved in a shooting several hours after the alleged massacre, as "innocent" and said the dereliction-of-duty claims against Randy Stone "did not amount to a crime." Bloggers are waiting for an apology from Rep. John Murtha, who said the Marines killed the Iraqis in "cold blood."
Army mother Beth at Blue Star Chronicles laments, "Sharratt spent all this time in prison awaiting a court martial for a crime he didn't commit. A good Marine was punished for nothing. Murtha made sure he was shamed in front of the entire country. Will Murtha have to answer for that?" Beth doesn't think so: "Murtha is so arrogant he doesn't think he has to answer for anything."
"Remember in 2005 when Haditha was a word on everyone's lips?" asks Curt at conservative Flopping Aces. "Especially Murtha and his ilk. They intertwined Murder with Marine over and over and over again. The nightly news ran stories galore on the incident calling it the new My Lai."
Fellow righty Waste of my oxygen reflects on the business of war: "[Y]ou have you life on the line and you make split-second decisions that determine your fate as well as the fate of your squad. Sometimes those choices are right, sometimes wrong, but you are the one that has to live with them." The charges dropped against Sharratt are "not only a win for Sharratt, but a win for all of the men and women on the battlefield."
Read more about the dropped charges.
No more salad days: The New York Times reports that women are beefing up their meat-eating to impress men. Bloggers' responses tended toward the satirical.
In the Pink Texas'sarcastic Eileen Smith spins it this way: "According to restaurateurs and NYC dating veterans, ordering a hearty side of beef at dinner may make you more attractive to a guy, especially if you're sitting there naked. Of course, if he's a vegansexual, you're just one big repulsive bloody carcass."
Health and body image blog A Body Blogs isn't so amused: The "overall implication of the story is that dieting is like totally girlie and implies a preoccupation with one's weight. Now, the story goes on to frequently describe these hot chix with their steaks as thin or svelte, implying that it is totally hot when women can eat like a dude but remain skinny. Fat chicks need not apply (for dates, I guess)."
Progressive Arab blogger Amal A. at Improvisations shares thedripping sarcasm. "What wouldn't women do to please a man?" she asks. "Apparently, to make a good impression on men these days, women now are ordering steak even on first dates. … Salad is out. Way way out! And if you are still a vegetarian, you'd better reconcile yourself to a life of rejection and loneliness."
Read more blogger reaction to the article.