May 6th, 2010
08:10 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Tom Strickland

The Department of the Interior chief of staff was in the Grand Canyon with his wife three days after the BP oil spill was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico.

ABC News reports that even though his agency is charged with coordinating the federal response to the oil spill, Strickland was on what administration officials insisted was a "work-focused" trip far away from the massive spill.

According to ABC News, that trip included white-water rafting. When officials realized the spill was getting worse and Strickland was needed in the Gulf, a National Park Service helicopter removed him from the highly visited National Monument.

ABC News: As oil spread, Interior Department chief of staff in Grand Canyon

U.S. Department of the Interior: Strickland bio

CNN: Complete coverage of oil spill

Lindsay Graham

The Republican senator from South Carolina says that giving the government the power to block the purchase of firearms by suspected terrorists would undermine the Second Amendment.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke at a congressional hearing Wednesday and asked, "Shouldn't FBI agents have the authority to block sales of guns and explosives to those on the terror watch lists - and deemed too dangerous to fly? I actually believe that they should."

Legislation introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, and Rep. Peter King, R-New York, would give the attorney general the discretion to deny the transfer of a firearm when a background check reveals the purchaser is a known or suspected terrorist and authorities believe the person may use the weapon in connection with terrorism.

The Huffington Post reports that Graham said the bill was an instrument of those who want to  ban guns altogether.

"We're talking about a constitutional right here," he said, explaining that he could not support legislation that would force "innocent Americans" to "pay the cost of going to court to get their gun rights back."

Huffington Post: Bloomberg argument shot down by pro-gun GOP senators

CNN Campbell Brown: Times Square attack cited in push for tighter gun laws

CNN video: Bloomberg talks terror on Capitol Hill

Susette and Bill Manassero

The American missionaries have devoted their lives to Haiti's children. They are part of an expansive and controversial missionary community that shelters thousands of Haiti's abandoned children. They manage the Lighthouse Orphanage and live in Port-au-Prince with their family, so that the young Haitians they care for do not have to leave their homeland.

Haiti has 380,000 children living as orphans, though CNN's Soledad O'Brien reports that in a country with unbelievable capacity challenges, the term "orphan" has a complicated meaning.

O'Brien tells the story of two orphans, six year old Cendy Jeune and former child slave Marc Kenson Oliphi, in a new CNN documentary, "Rescued," which premieres on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET & PT.

Child Hope International: The Manassero family

CNN video: Rescue of a former child slave

CNN AC360°: Shaquille O'Neal: Don't forget the plight of Haiti's children

Bret Michaels

The rock star say's he's feeling "lucky to be alive."

Michaels suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage - bleeding at the base of his brain stem - on April 21 and spent ten days in a hospital intensive care unit. In the first interview since his release, he told People magazine that he thought a burglar had shot him in the back of the head.

He said the brain hemorrhage "sounded like a handgun, like it literally popped."

Michaels, who appears as a contestant on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice," told People that his mind almost went blank and he asked his girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, to take him to an emergency room.

He said, "I knew I was slurring my words, and I was like 'OK, this isn't a headache. There's something really bad happening.'"

People: Bret Michaels reveals his emergency room plea

CNN video: Poison drummer on Bret Michaels

Aaron Melcher

The 24-year-old soldier and several members of his Afghanistan-based squad have produced a music video remake of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" that is so wild, it has been viewed 3 million times since it was posted April 23.

Married and the graduate of a North Carolina Christian school, Melcher warns on the YouTube website, "Prepare yourself for a fantastical journey." As the Lady Gaga hit plays, members of the 82nd Airborne - all men - lip-sync, tease each other suggestively, and gyrate in dusty boots and T-shirts, mimicking Lady Gaga's original choreography. At a change in the music, they are suddenly in homemade costumes of cardboard, spray paint and yellow police tape.

Sarah Kaufman wrote in The Washington Post, "Despite the distance, despite the exoticism, there's a powerful poignancy to this music video from a war zone, featuring young soldiers who could die tomorrow, who are, perhaps, funneling months - years? - of restlessness, loneliness and pent-up self-expression into a flamboyant 3 1/2-minute escape."

YouTube: 'Telephone' remake

The Smoking Gun: Afghanistan goes Gaga

Washington Post: Soldiers make a 'Telephone' connection with video

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. john anderson

    Hooah! The 82nd rocks! And so does Lady G. It made my day.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. mary

    The Video was awesome – i passed it on to as many friends and relatives as possible. Our military guys and gals are the greatest in the world – for that short time they could forget the Hell they are in. We need to be grateful for their continued commitment and their ability to still do something outrageously creative and funny.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. julie

    i'd love to see lady gaga go make an appearance in their next video! they deserve it!

    May 6, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    Oh man, I laughed so hard at this video. Too bad I also happen to be at work and got into trouble. DAMN YOU 82ND!

    Seriously, you guys rock. Keep your heads down and stay safe!

    May 6, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Greg

    Gentlemen, who needs a USO show. 🙂 Maybe we'll catch you guys on VH1 or MTV!

    May 6, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    Give a soldier enough time and tools, ad he'll change the world.

    Funny video, well done, and I hope that Ms. Gaga laughs her cute behind off.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. CATom

    Lady Gaga is definately the hottest tranny I have ever seen.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jax

    That video was great and thank you for serving our country.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jillian

    It's great to know that soldiers can be in a war zone and still be light hearted enough to have fun and want to share it with the world! Every soldier needs to be thanked immensly for all they do.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. lapster

    How we win...G.I. ingenuity!!! All the way and then some airborne....RVN 69-70

    May 6, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike in SA

    God Lord, 82nd, who knew that DADT had already been repealed! Just kidding from a former "Dope on a Rope" 101st Abn! You guys rocked the video. Keep your heads down, your "powder" dry, and snce you're 82nd Airborne and not 101st, here's a very important peice of information when loading your bullets: "Pointy end first!"

    Huaah!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Only a Republican would be so utterly unhinged as to defend the 2nd amendment rights of suspected terrorists. Amazing that the Reps were criticizing the police for reading Shahzad his Miranda rights (he's an American citizen) but would support his ability to purchase firearms.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. JMcTigue

    Has anyone in South Carolina read their senator's quote?

    Lindsay Graham the Republican senator from South Carolina says that giving the government the power
    to block the purchase of firearms by suspected terrorists would undermine the Second Amendment.

    Sounds like S.C. should start a recall and fast, this guy is really becoming an embarrassment to your state.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Davidg

    This is nothing new... soldiers have been blowing off steam with vidios like this since the begining of the wars.
    Check out "soldiers barbie girl" or simply search soldiers funny. Or if you really want to hear what soldiers think, listen to FOB life by 2 former soldiers... (graphic lyrics)
    There was also a British Army sodier video that was not well recieved by the british media... some people are just too uptight!

    Soldiers Rock!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bill constantine

    I enjoyed the Video very much...Gaga played here at the Palms in Las Vegas....Who or what is Laddy Gaga, I said.....I am 80 years of age but do enjoy watching her...Good job..It took a genius to make this video..I guess Obama saw this...I amsure that he had a good laugh also...

    May 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
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