May 28th, 2010
07:54 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Rep. Charlie Melancon

The Louisiana Democrat lost his composure Thursday during a Capitol Hill hearing about the Gulf oil spill.

"Our culture is threatened. Our coastal economy is threatened. And everything that I know and love is at risk," Melancon, who represents many of the affected Louisiana shoreline areas, told his Capitol Hill colleagues.

Unable to finish reading his prepared statement, Melancon, who was born and raised in the area threatened by the spill, submitted his statement for the congressional record and then walked out of the hearing room as other lawmakers sought to comfort him.

Melancon is scheduled to join President Obama on Friday for a briefing led by U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen on the efforts to stop the BP leak and prevent the oil from reaching Louisiana's coastal marshes.

CNN Political Ticker: Louisiana Democrat gets emotional over spill's impact

CNN: Obama to visit Gulf, vows to take action on growing oil spill

Doug Inkley

The certified wildlife biologist and senior scientist for the National Wildlife Federation says that the impact of oil spills can last a long time. Inkley has spent the past week surveying the Gulf area, specifically in Louisiana at the Mississippi River Delta.

He told USA Today, "The complete toll on fish and wildlife will never be fully known. I discovered a bottom-dwelling eel floating dead on the surface of the oil slick, but who knows how many more will die and never surface."

On the federation's website, Inkley wrote about another disaster on the minds of many people today.

"More than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, oil can still be found on the beaches of Prince William Sound. Many species have still not completely recovered. Herring, an important link in the food chain and previously supporting a commercial fishing industry in the area, have shown little recovery. Wildlife still not recovered to pre-oil spill populations include goldeneyes, black oystercatchers, harlequin ducks, killer whales, sea otters, clams and mussels."

USA Today: Wildlife expert answers questions on spill's impact

National Wildlife Federation: How you can help wildlife impacted by spill

Al Snyder

The father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a soldier from Maryland who died in combat in Iraq in 2006 at age 20, wants the nation's courts to establish the right of military families to a peaceful private funeral.

According to its website, the Snyder family filed a civil lawsuit against the Rev. Fred Phelps and some members of his Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, "to bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted upon their family and ... approximately 50 other grieving families of U.S. service members killed in defense of our nation."

Matthew Snyder's funeral was marred by vocal protests from the Westboro Baptist Church, which stages anti-gay picketing at funerals and public events - demonstrations protected by the First Amendment.

Al Snyder is scheduled to appear with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for a Friday news conference in Washington on the rights of military families.

CNN: 'Most-hated,' anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights

Bobbi Ann Finley

Police are hunting for the American woman who may have married as many as 11 servicemen and then allegedly took their money.

London's Daily Mail newspaper reports that for some 20 years, Finley has been finding lonely men at U.S. military bases and claiming that her father, supposedly a Marine Corps general, owes her a substantial inheritance - which she can claim only if she is married. Once they wed and the groom leaves for deployment, Finley allegedly begins to spend through his bank account, the paper reports.

According to the newspaper, there are warrants for Finley's arrest in Washington, Nebraska and Texas, and the U.S. Army has hired a special investigator to locate her.

One serviceman, Shane Cheeseman, told reporters he met Finley while at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1998.

He said, "I got married on a Monday, and that following weekend she was gone."

Daily Mail: Hunt for woman who married servicemen and went on the run

Mary Roach

The author and investigative reporter from Oakland, California, proved that science writers can be as funny as comedians.

At a Book Expo America panel in New York on Thursday moderated by "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, Roach stole the show from not only Stewart but also from fellow authors John Grisham and Condoleezza Rice.

She made quips about her comparative anonymity ("BEA Authors Panel featuring Stewart, Rice, Grisham and more"); dandruff in space ("a virtual snow globe"); the science behind intergalactic bowel movements ("no drop, no plop"); and sex in space ("It is easier to get a man on the moon than it is to get the NASA press office to respond to an e-mail titled Zero-Gravity Intercourse").

Roach is the author of the upcoming book "Packing for Mars," which comes out in August. Her previous best-sellers are "Bonk," about the scientific study of human-sex practices, and "Stiff," about the use of cadavers in research.

Mary Roach's website

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. jwl

    watch John Yoo's interview. he destroys Jon Stewart.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul S

      I did. Yoo looked like the rapacious murderer he is, sitting smugly behind his stack of legal papers while condemning our American decency, even in times of duress, to the toilet.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • tim

      Yoo hardly "destroys" Stew Beef. All Yoo does is make it clear that he is a right wing extremist idealogue.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      I don't know which interview you watched, but Jon Stewart actually destroyed John Yoo. Yoo couldn't articulately defend against any of Stewart's points. Nice try jwl.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I've never seen anyone "destroy" Stewart.
      And you never will.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Jon Stewart gave a good interview – and Yoo stated his poistion. What's true is that Yoo cherry-picked the law to support the political motives of the Bush Administration. He acted the same way as a corporate insurance defense lawyer would – he presents ONE side, as an advocate for that side. Of course, right-wingers tend to be blind to anything more than a single side, no matter how wrong they are – to them, it's anathema to mention that there might be a valid opposing view. Which is why we can't trust them to govern, judge, or educate.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • McCluhan

      Yoo Who? Does anyone even care anymore?

      May 28, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      It's interesting how desperate Republicans are to "destroy" a comedian. Note to Republicans: if your party has become such a joke that the biggest threat to your survival is a guy who hosts a late-night comedy show, you have SERIOUS problems.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Why don't you tell the Democrats who attack Rush Limbaugh the same thing.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I agree. I like Jon Stewart, but he got owned on this one, big time.

      May 28, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • wruss7

      I saw the interview with John Yoo, I didn't think he destroyed anyone. Stewart held his own. Whether you agree with him is another matter.

      May 28, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • morfiliwr

      There is an error in the following "Friday's Intriguing People" blog:

      Al Snyder
      The father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a soldier from Maryland who died in combat in Iraq in 2006 at age 20, wants the nation's courts to establish the right of military families to a peaceful private funeral.

      Editors: Please note – whoever wrote that blurb called the young man a Marine yet calls him a "soldier" in the same sentence. Please correct the writer of that blog.

      Marine Lance Corporal Snyder is a Marine. He is not a soldier. He cannot be both a Marine and a soldier (maybe unless you happened to serve in both military branches.) A Marine is not a soldier. A soldier is not a Marine. The terms are not interchangeable, and "soldier" is not a catch-all term for anyone serving in the military. If you called him a "Marine" at the beginning of the sentence (the antecedent), why did you qualify it by calling him a "soldier" further along in the same sentence?

      Make up your minds – is he a "soldier", or is he a Marine? I think you know the answer to that. He is a Marine, plain and simple. He is not a soldier.

      Keeping LCpl Snyder in memory of his service and sacrifice, and best wishes to his father on his fight before the Supreme Court. The 1st Amendment does NOT cover harassment and intimidation of people participating in essentially a religious ceremony.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sarah Dutton

    My heart goes out to Rep. Melacon from Louisiana and his fellows citizens from his home state. This oil "spill" is devastating to the people of that area, economically and emotionally. What a disaster...and not what the people of Louisiana needed... another disaster. I'm sure they feel so helpless. It breaks my heart to read all of the news reports online day after day. May they find the strength to pull through this together.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. sabend

    Mary Roach is absolutely hilarious! 😀

    May 28, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    BP should be closed down. Sell the assets. This is inexcusable. And to think, I used to work for them.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • DugB

      Hopefully you snagged a very expensive stapler or something from them..."Take stuff from work, and goof off on the company time...I wrote this at work...they're paying me to write about stuff I steal from is good". 😉

      May 28, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. jheron

    So where is the Jon Stewart video? Is there a link to it on the page? Thanks many times do you do this? I click on a link to see one thing, and it is replaced already with something else with no way of watching or reading what I really want to see. Its more annoying than MSN's section where you click on headlines where you end up with an article with" fill in the blank" links to other sites if you want to get ALL the information you wanted out of their article.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Bwth

      I'm with you on this one....have no idea where the Jon Stewart video is of the Yoo interview....good work, CNN

      May 28, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      I'm not questioning your intellect or anything, but why are you looking for the Woo interview HERE, in a place where CNN never claimed it would be?

      May 28, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Since I know you've heard of the Internet, maybe try the Comedy Central website?

      May 28, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bubba

    It's time Christians rose up against Fred Phelps. Does he really speak for ALL church members? Why isn't he being opposed?

    May 28, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      real christans don't even want to be associated with that freak. Look at his " church " all of his family members, and who they happen to be sleeping with at the time. He pretty much created his own following. A modern day HITLER. Oh ya, DEMOCRAT.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Henry Miller

      There is a legal status of "outlawry" that could profitably be applied to Phelps and the members of his church. Outlawry withdraws the protections of society from those outlawed–i.e., someone could, with complete legal immunity, put a bullet through the brain of every one of those malicious jerks.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      the CNN link to John Stewart v. Loo interview took me here

      May 28, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      wow Democrat accusation outta nowhere

      May 28, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Eric in Indiana

    All love for Stew Beef.....thank you Tracy Morgan for that awesome nickname. My 3 year old runs around saying Stew Beef trying to imitate your voice by the way. Jon Stewart is one of the most prepared interviewers I have ever watched conduct an interview. He actually takes the time to prepare and has a rather sound knowledge of any topic being discussed. Even when he does not agree with the opposing viewpoint, he conducts a very professional interview while throwing in some lighthearted humor to keep things interesting.
    Keep up the good work Mr. Beef.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. darkpoet

    I love how every one is saying, " BURN BP." Really?! Problem 1 with all of you is that accidents happen. The 2nd is that if BP really is 100% to blame then why didn't the government step in and take the project over? We have a think tank if we really needed to we would of stepped in, unless it wasn't a big enough "DISASTER"! 3rd and final is that how it took over 1 week for the government to even get involved, and over a month for the president to post him on the phone with the Coastline states governors. This lack of action has only made the problem worse. I am a democrat, and I'll admit that if Bush did this 3 years ago people would be calling for his head.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Accidents don't just happen. People make decisions that lead to those accidents. BP and Transocean (and possibly others) made decisions to use less expensive, less safe methods to accomplish the routine maintenence they were performing. They took risks, to try and cut costs. That's fine when the risk is, maybe we loose some money, maybe we make some money. Here the risk was, maybe we save some money, maybe we dump more oil into the gulf than any oil spill in human history. They rolled the dice and they lost. The people who made those decisions are responsible for those decisions. That's what personal responsibility means. BP went to great lengths to convince the government that they were following safe established proceedures, and once they convinced the governement, they didn't follow those safe established proceedures and here's the result.

      It wasn't a random event that couldn't be predicted or prevented. It was the result of the decisions people made.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Cola21

      You are right that the Obama administration entirely botched their responsibility to step in. But the spill itself is most assuredly BP's fault, and this is a "mistake" that you are NOT allowed to make. Are you kidding me? However many 100,000s of gallons of oil spilling all over the environment? This isn't like, an "oops!" This is the exact opposite of what an oil rig is supposed to do – it's what you should have built it in the first place to prevent. This is the worst possible situation and they ought to be entirely held accountable for overlooking such a major flaw.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      Ok then, since you seem to know what caused it then tell America what caused it? Human error? A malfunctioning valve? People not trained correctly? A shady company? Lack of government inspection teams? Act of god? Or a mixture of all of these things?

      May 28, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Your comment suggests that you have not followed the coverage of the incident. The Federal government has not taken control of the situation because BP has the equipment to fix the leak; the government does not. Hypothetically, let's say that President Obama took control of BP to help expedite this process. I wonder what the response on the right would be? Oh, yeah: "Socialist, Communist, Maoist Obama undermines free market by usurping control from BP leadership." Let's face it, no matter what he does, the right will just spin, spin, and spin away. Perhaps you should delve a little further into the situation and ask what caused the Minerals Management Service to foster such inappropriate ties with the oil industry. Was it the lack of government oversight during the Bush administration hidden under the guise of "smaller government"? Moreover, it is far from a coincidence that Halliburton is involved in this incident. And, we all know who is a shareholder in that ignominious company.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Roman Von Hapsburg

      I was thinking of how it could be possible to blame Obama for my wife's crappy cooking skills but I came up with nothing. I need to call Rush to see how he could twist reality to make him the culprit of my wife's culinary skills. This enviromental s–t show is the result of lax regulation and the scope of this disaster is such that there is NOTHING that we can throw at it to make it better. The US government has no magic bullet to make this stop and blaming its Chief Executive for an appropriate response to the impossible is as logical to me as any attempt to blame this hapless man for my wife's burnt pork chops.
      Hatred and fear makes people crazy and this country will suffer if do not stop blaming each other and try to meet in the middle.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • sadieloo

      This is a man made disaster. Why should the government take over something they don't have the knowledge to do? Remember there is already too much government intrusion into private companies? Thats what people say isn't it? Funny how the only thime people want government to do anything is when it's to their benefit. BP did it and they are responsible. They have the knowledge and the equipment..

      May 28, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      Really? Is BP the ONLY company here in the US we can goto for advice for stopping it? That it took 2 weeks for BP and the gov 2 weeks to even think of a plan? You think BP is the only one who has the "equipment" to stop this thing? Let me go over all the companies who we could of solicited for advice.
      1. PLC
      2. ConocoPhillips
      3. SHELL

      the list goes on and on.. so you tell me how as a nation trying to stop a disaster why we haven't tried to get other companies involved with ideas on how to stop this or to help with "equipment", "Expertise", "Manning", and so forth after over a month of this instead of trying to play the BLAME game and Excuse after Excuse after excuse!

      May 28, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      I'm just saying there is a time to step in and help by getting EVERYONE involved when so much is at risk. People for starters died and I think we all forgot that. BP should be held to that and the cost of the recovery effort IF they are 100% to blame, but the finger pointing and bickering needed to only start once the problem was fixed. Personally I would of gotten every damn oil company involved in fixing the problem and then sent the bill to BP. The damage to the environment would of been reduced along with the total cost of this fiasco to the tax payers

      May 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      instead we have been playing the NOT IT game, and that is the problem with this country today. NO ONE wants to take responsibility. We have the whole, " If we aren't part of the problem then we have nothing to do with the solution" mentality. Everyone lately has been so afraid to put their neck out and actually help because it would INCONVENIENCE them, or make them responsible for something.

      May 28, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      i expect that BP would know more about the leak/explosion/disaster and how to stop it than the government would. i could be wrong.

      If i caused a 5 car pile up on the freeway, it is my fault and i should pay. But the government still has to send the fire trucks, police and ambulances.

      the big question - why does it appear BP had no plan for a blow out at 5000 feet - should they be drilling there without a plan to handle accidents? accidents happen

      May 28, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      Their plan failed. Someone mentioned before its due to the fact that you are over a mile underwater and a plan that works in labs is under a controlled environment failed to work in practicality. Its why as soon as plan A failed plan B should of started. As soon as plan B failed plan C. Should of started. Why do we have to wait on a COMPANY to fix a problem then criticize them for not fixing it when we are doing nothing to help them fix it, when we can easily do it. I'm not saying BP isn't tp blame here, but we are for not doing anything to help the matter. For god sakes we are Americans. We are the ones supposed to be able to think outside the box and get stuff accomplished. Instead we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off expecting a company who's negligence may have caused the problem to fix it. If you caused a wreck on the highway yes you would pay for most of the cost but outside agencies would be the ones to clean it up. We wouldn't wait for you to get out of the hospital, fully recover, and then expect you to drive a tow truck to move all the cars that were damaged out of the middle of the road.

      May 28, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. neonmadman

    Yoo destroys Stewart? It's amazing watch your brain allows you to hallucinate when you are brain washed. When Rush & Hannity stop talking do your lips stop moving jwl?

    May 28, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Duh

    If Stewart was so amazing in the Yoo interview, why did he come out and actually APOLOGIZE the next day for completing botching his feeble attempt to slam Yoo and point out what a horrible person he was. At least Stewart is enough of a man to admit he got destroyed, but none of you haters can bring yourself to that reality. Grow up.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Hmm

      Still, Yoo did not "destroy" Stewart. He presented his side and didn't back down. But I agree with the other posts that Yoo only sees on side of things and of course he should go into it prepared. Too many people don't. I think Jon wanted to dislike him, but he didn't. If anything though lately Stewart has been over-gracious to the guests because that one nervous guy kept saying Jon wouldn't let him continue – the guy seemed to forget it was an interview and not an opportunity to make a speech.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    The entire world is falling apart. I blame democrats, liberal brain dead people like the late Ted Kennedy, the somolia pirates and the governents that fail to stop them, the abortionist baby murderers, BP managment for failing to foresee this global catastrophe in the gulf, North Korea for being stupid and loud, Iran for being too proud to care for thier own people, and Obama for failing to prove he is a U.S. citizen by simply showing people his true birth certificate. I blame the muslem terrorists and their entire people for not corraling their idiots to keep them from blowing themselves and innocent people up to appease "their" murdering prophet. And lastly, I blame the idiot that cut me off in traffic the other day and shot me th bird. This world is doomed. I see a nuclear war on the horizon and a step change for all of us. The world cannot continue down this dark path without negative consequences. .

    May 28, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • McCluhan

      Its called overpopulation!

      May 28, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Hmm

      I think we're going to see Mike on the news soon. Dude, step away from the computer and take some deep breaths. I hope you're joking.

      May 28, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. McCluhan

    Right wing extremist do not need an opponent to compete with as they will eventually destroy themselves at some point in the interview!

    May 28, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Arthur

    I keep seeing people say thing along the lines of: "If a Republican were in office when this happened you would be yelling for his head". This is ENTIRELY TRUE but meaningless. If a Republican President did what Obama did it would be pandering to his base and doing what everyone expected him to do. Obama opened up more Off-shore drilling in an attempt to be bipartisan and win Republican support for a much needed energy bill. He did EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what his base wanted him to do. Regardless of who the president is Environmentalist Democrats have been warning of this for years. For Republicans it's "Drill, baby, Drill, but don't regulate, that's socialism".

    Oh, and why is the government not taking over? How about liability? Expertise? Did you think of that? You are aware that IF the government were to take over they assume liability and all the cleanup/legal costs get paid by the taxpayer, right? Some fiscal conservative you are =)

    May 28, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • darkpoet

      We are paying for it anyways. You think BP is going to front the entire bill? So you are saying we have no liability and expertise to fix the problem then why are we criticizing it and asking for BP's head? thank you from proving the point I was making 🙂

      May 28, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Hypocrites

    I love watching liberals bash conservatives for being "brainwashed" by right wing commentators and then bashing conservatives for not being "open minded". At the same time they get their news from the liberal mainstream media and show nothing but despise for anyone that doesn't believe the same thing as they do. Two sides of the same coin my friends. Open minded doesn't mean liberal (although the left has tried to make it so), but most of you will never be able to comprehend the difference.

    May 28, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Hmm

      Hypocrites? How about the right wing people who hate govt who now want the govt to take over the clean up? That's hilarious!

      May 28, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. S, Michigan

    Why do people post long comments on here? their one chance to appear smart while hidden??? no1 gives a hoot what anyone says on here!

    May 28, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
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