August 26th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Ken Mehlman

The former RNC chairman and campaign manager for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential bid has announced that he is gay.

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman said in the Atlantic. He is now calling for the legalization of gay marriage.

Mehlman said that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the Republican Party from pushing an anti-gay agenda that included linking homosexuality to atheism and the Federal Marriage Amendment

He said he plans to be an advocate for gay rights and that he is still a Republican.

The Atlantic: Bush campaign chief and former RNC chair: I'm gay

Ahmed Sharif

Sharif, a New York City taxi cab driver, will speak during a news conference Thursday calling for an end to the anti-Muslim rhetoric that is gripping the city because of a proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero.

Sharif was slashed across the neck, face, shoulder and hand Tuesday while transporting a passenger in his cab.

According to reports, Michael Enright, 21, got into Sharif's cab and the two had cordial conversation. Then, reports say, Enright started cursing at Sharif and shouted "Assalamu Alaikum, consider this a checkpoint," before slashing him.

Sharif was able to escape and flag a police officer, who arrested Enright.

Enright has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime, assault in the second degree as a hate crime, aggravated harassment in the second degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

Sharif, a Muslim from Bangladesh, has lived in the United States for 25 years and been a taxi driver for 15 years, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. He has four American-born children.

CNN: Slashed cab driver to call for end to anti-Muslim rhetoric

New York Post: 'Bigot' slashes Muslim cabby

New York Daily News: Victim in bloody attack 'saw so much hate' in face of assailant

Mary Bale

The English bank worker has apologized for sticking Lola the cat inside a garbage dump, an act caught on video and shown around the world.

Bale said she is “profoundly sorry.”

“All I want to do is put things right,” including apologizing to Lola’s owners Darryl and Stephanie Mann, her neighbors in Coventry, England.

The 4-year-old gray tabby was walking along a wall when Bale stroked its back and urged it to come to her. Then Bale picked it up and dumped it into a trash bin.

Bale faces possible animal cruelty charges, officials said. She hasn’t explained why she did it.

Daily Mail: What made bank worker dump cat in wheelie bin?

Telegraph: Dumping cat was 'misjudgment' culprit claims

Joyce and Chuck Linkey

The retired couple was set to move into their new home in Pass Christian, Mississippi, in five days. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Water, mud, debris and garbage obliterated their home, along with 1,800 others in the city.

“All the devastation was here,” Chuck Linkey said. “You drove down the street and you felt sick. Even coming in and out you’d say, ‘Who’d want to live here?’”

Their children begged them to relocate, but the Linkeys chose to rebuild, hoping others would return. Chuck Linkey, a retired contractor, did a lot of the work himself.

When neighbors began to return and rebuild in his community, he offered them his tools to use.

"We lived out here two years with absolutely nobody. You woke up in the middle of the night, you didn't have street lights. You didn't have nothing," said Chuck Linkey.

Now, neighbors credit the Linkeys for encouraging them to come home.

WLOX: Couple credited for inspiring Katrina-shattered neighborhood

soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Jason

    This is very similar to the FUNNY story about a gay man coming out as a Tea Partier.

    ENJOY

    http://www.dailygoat.com/?p=2100

    August 26, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Edison

      I thought tea parties where something that little girls did with their dollies.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles in Charge

      He's gay? Because you totally can't tell from the picture.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      haaaaaaaaaay!

      August 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • danbeaches

      Isn't life funny

      August 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • danbeaches

      Yes the picture makes it hard to tell

      August 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tinfoilhat

      i hear that LBJ was a crossdresser and a bunch in the whitehouse at the time knew it

      August 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    I heard stories that Ronald Reagan had a lot of gay staffers that were closeted even though he refused AIDS funding, accused of intolerances, etc.

    What I find interesting is this guy doesn't have the guts to come out while working for bush he does it after. So he sits in silence.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Mehlman had the example of the great Cheney - let the GOP dictate whether or not your daughter can be happy

      August 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • laura

      I agree, Gary.

      Thanks for nothin', Ken. As if this guy is going to be able to effect any change, now that he's just a former staffer/former RNC chair. It's more like a slap in the face to the gay community. He didn't choose to be gay, but it's really sad that he chose to sit quietly and miss the opportunity to really make a difference in our world, and to potentially change for the better, the functioning of one of the most corrupt and shameless administrations in history.

      August 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      A gay Republican? Imagine that?

      August 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • duh

      it isn't about guts it is about the Christian Talibans known instant bashing of any person or thing they do not approve it. The peaceful ways of the Christian Taliban of ostracizing and demonizing all that dont stand as they stand is getting tiresome son

      August 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • DocLowery

      You have to remember Reagan was surrounded by undercover gays and lesbians in celebrity land. I wouldn't be surprised that he had his own experience during those years. During that time, coming out was not an option. That's how the Republicans do it anyway. They scream hot water to high hell against any and everything until one them gets caught with his pants down.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ready

      mabey he need the job to live

      August 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fundy

    Wonder is he knows Senator Craig!

    August 26, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      In a biblical way?

      August 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. VBD

    Why do all the Reoublicans turn out to be gay? Just amazing how they say one thing and do the exact opposite.

    August 26, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MomofArn

      Really VBD? ALL the Republicans turn out to be gay? Couldn't you make a broader generalization?

      August 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Its hyperbole MomofArn get a clue...
      This is my favorite part… “It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," RIGHT..It took 43 years of your life and the destruction of freedom for thousands and thousands of gay, bi & lesbian Americans for you get over your cowardice. We are not proud of you for coming out, we are discussed.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Really, you're "discussed"? Who is talking about you personally?

      August 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • natalie

      A hypocritical Republican? NO WAY

      August 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      That's an over-generalization. David Vitter, for instance, only has relations with female escorts.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. james

    Wait a minute... he's gay AND a Republican? According to liberals, that means Ken Mehlman has to be completely sick in the head.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • macguysea

      At least he's finally being honest with himself.

      August 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grog in Ohio

      Sounds pretty much that he is indeed sick in the head. Thanks for noticing the rank hypocrisy.

      August 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • globetrotter

      Have all posts to this story stopped or am I being censored (unfairly.)

      August 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      As a liberal, I wouldn't say he was "sick in the head." I would say that he is a hypocrite who hid who he really was and resorted to gay bashing in order to personally advance his own career. He certainly isn't the first. Before him there was Roy Cohn, J. Edgar Hoover, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and John Boehner.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkJ

      @MikeB: John Boehner? Are you sure?

      August 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Hey, no straight man has ever spent as much time working on a tan as John Boehner has.

      August 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DACOOLE

    AND AGAIN I ASK, WHY MUST SUCH VERY PERSONAL ISSUES BE MADE NEWS TO THE PUBLIC? THAT IS THEIR OWN BUSINESS, AND I REALLY DON'T CARE TO KNOW. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonic

      It's not any more personal than being able to tell someone is straight, which we generally know about almost every politician. Mehlman's being gay is news because he has worked to deny civil rights to his own people (gays). Sad.

      August 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      When you out yourself to the media it ceases to be a "personal" matter. You have aired it in public because you WANT people to know.

      August 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      and again I ask – can you find the Caps Lock key on your keyboard?

      August 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. macguysea

    Shocking!!!... no.. not really...

    August 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Caleb

    The hypocrisy never ends.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DACOOLE

    MUST WE KNOW EVERYONE'S PERSONAL PREFERENCES? PLEASE. >: (

    August 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noah

      Must we type in all caps?!?! Please.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Daphne

    VBD – All the republicans turn out to be gay? Isn't that a gross misstatement? And even if a lot of them are, so what? And what is it "they" say? Most republicans have no problem with gays, but A LOT of democrats do! It is mostly blacks and hispanics that are opposed to gay marriage and they are the ones that tipped the scales in California in voting for the gay-marriage ban! Culturally, these two groups dislike gayness and I've heard it straight out of their mouths. And guess what – the vast majority of blacks and hispanics are democrats, so stop making dishonest and misleading statements please.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tori

      Don't say they. It's some. You can't generalize when you heard it from a few black people and hispanic people. I live in SC there are alot of things I hear from white people straight out of their mouth. Can I assuem most white people feel this way?

      August 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickB

      please, if there are A LOT of democrats opposed to gay marriage I'd be shocked. And if there were more blacks/hispanics opposed to gay marriage than whites I'd be even more shocked. gays are minorities, so are blacks and hispanics. I have no clue why blacks, who dealt with discrimination and prejudice for centuries, would be against equal rights for another minority group. so again, i really would like to see some facts to back up these sweeping generalizations before you make a similar comment.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David in Houston

    I'd hardly call Ken Mehlman intriguing. Self-loathing hypocritical traitor to the gay community sounds more apt.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. marcindc

    I'm sure people like Barney Frank will want to stand behind him.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slappy

      Good one.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • globetrotter

      I doubt it, even Barny has better taste then theis looser.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Judy

    I just hate hypocrites. It's wrong as long as it affects someone else. It's also funny to me because the ideologically-pure conservative position should be about individiual rights anyway – no goverment in my bedroom, my reproductive choices, etc.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • coffee

      Absolutely!!!! Couldn't have said it better myself. The word "conservative" has now been hijacked by the insane puritanical people to mean only a couple of things..to hate gays and to hate non christians,and to want to teach creationism in public schools. Little do they know that there is nothing CONSERVATIVE about these stances whatsoever.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • the camster

      While not surprised ... before the article opened I was betting it was Ari Fleischer.

      August 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • srneil

      Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy that has lead to fall of the Republican party. I myself being a conservative Republican, not right winged Christian Republican agree with you fully. In fact I have quite a few Gay Republican friends who would agree with you also. Less government and more live your life as you like as long as you are not hurting anyone in the process.

      Oh and by the way you may want to read the post from Dave. I have run into many a liberal democrat who feel the same way as he does. What happened the original values of both parties? They seemed to have gotten lost in the greed of it all.

      August 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    Where's the rest of the Bush administration, there were gay signals everywhere, How bout Cheney ?

    August 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sandra Palmer

    Mehlman is just another self-loathing hypocrite who conveniently comes out after he considers it safe to do so. Where was he when his buddy Karl Rove was designing a campaign strategy focused largely on hating gay people? How can you be gay and then work to elect people who are guaranteed to deny you your basic civil rights? Mehlman is a man without courage, without principle, and hopefully, without a significant other. No one should believe this tripe about how a 43 year old man just recently figured out that he's gay. He knew it all along (well before college, most likely), and chose to hide while he helped demonize his more honest and courageous brothers and sisters. He threw every gay person in America under the bus, because he enjoyed his status as a GOP mover and shaker. Frankly, I don't want his "help" in attaining my rights. I think our straight friend, Ted Olson (George W. Bush's former Solicitor General), has a finely reasoned argument in favor of gay marriage, and his is the argument that will eventually wind up in the Supreme Court. Ken Mehlman should just go away, and pray for forgiveness.

    August 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • brent winecoff

      I completely agree. Typical hypocrit republican. Just like how no one in the republican party cared while Bush was quadrupling the deficit with out of control spending that a majority of americans disapproved of, but as soon as Obama had the nonination, BAM, they were taxed enough already.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
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