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. Aezel

    Good luck Ken but unfortunately your political party is controlled by right wing religious lunatics. You will not find a sane audience to debate with.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    What a well-kept secret.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ThePhoenix

    wow, I would have never (cough) guessed

    August 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dani3l

    Better late than never. Some are never able to face it at all, much less admit it to others. Nor do I believe he will be able to stay with the Republican Party for long once he sees how deeply invested they are in backing an agenda of intolerance to hold onto their Christian Right core.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Slappy

    So does this mean that he does or he doesn't like Bush?

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

      Doesnt like Bush. Traded in his car with automatic transmission, now he drives a stick shift.

      August 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. skippy

    Does anyone else find it ironic that he was working for the "Bush" administration?

    August 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amazed @ the duplicitousness

      LOL but he did work with "Dick" cheney

      August 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. globetrotter

    Mehlman may or may not be sick in the head however if it took him 43 years to fiure out his true orientation I suspect he does have issues. I wonder if the republican party is trying to locate the gay that "converted" Mehlman?

    August 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. corkpuller

    When is he getting married and where?

    August 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Texas Dawn

    He is lying. Everyone knows there is no such thing as a gay Republican. Just ask Rush Limbaugh!

    August 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jason

    First, who couldn't look at this guy and not know he's gay? -smh- Second, why come out now? A little too late to effect change ain't it? -smh- Politicians never cease to amaze me.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tony

    I just woke up this morning and relaized I was GAY. OOPS

    August 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hlt

    IT IS NOT ABOUT HIM BEING GAY OR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, IT IS ABOUT THIS COUNTRY NOT ACCEPTING OTHER PEOPLES LIFE STYLES AND THAT MY FRIEND IS NOT FREEDOM.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tony

    BOO HOO LAURA

    August 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. J Gallagher

    Really? Who cares? #42 Wyatt, good point. I'll be glad when the day comes when this story is COMPLETELY unnecessary!!

    August 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric in Manhattan

    Yes, it couldn't have been easy to come to terms with himself. However, at some level he had to know he was living a lie AND supporting a political party that is shameless in its pursuit of power at the expense of personal freedoms. Being gay, African American or Hispanic AND a Republican is an oxymoron. I sincerely hope that Mehlman now spends his time and energy making amends with those he maligned. I have no hope that any amount of effort will change the Republican party as long as so many of its closeted members stay silent.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • globetrotter

      Yis indeed, my heart really goes out to him ... poor little rich boy (money earned while persecuting gays) all alone in that 3 and 1/2 million dollar condo in Chelsea.

      August 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
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