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WISN's Dan O'Donnell has a poignant reflection on the tornadoes in Oklahoma and how we as a people try to understand and cope with unimaginable tragedy.
The country is in mourning, shocked at the loss of life in Moore, Oklahoma.
Well, most of the country is in mourning. Most of the country is shocked. Some are already trying to spin the tragedy for their own political gain.
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island is one of them:
Democrats used to wait at least a few days--or even a few hours--before they would start to use a tragedy for their own political purposes. No longer do they even try to hide their cynical (and rather sinister) use of death to try to push their agenda.
Never let a good crisis go to waste indeed, no matter how foolish or pointless you look in doing so.
Despite President Obama's assertion that no one in his administration knew about the IRS scandal until they "read it in the papers," The New York Times reports that his Treasury Secretary and legal counsel both knew last month:
The chief White House lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, learned last month that a Treasury inspector general had concluded an audit of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups, weeks before the matter became public, according to a senior White House official.
The White House counsel’s briefing came about the same time that Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew met with the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, J. Russell George, to learn his draft audit of the controversial I.R.S. effort was complete, the official said.
Now read those two paragraphs again after you watch this video:
Once again, Mr. President, please tell us what your administration knew about this targeting and when it knew it.
Appearing on FOX News Sunday, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan called the IRS, Benghazi, and AP phone record scandals "arrogance of power, abuse of power to the Nth degree:"
Here's hoping that Republicans follow Ryan's lead and aggressively pursue the evidence on all three of these scandals, because there is now a consuming fear among conservatives that the centrist wing of the Republican party will once again go soft.
"We can't let this impact our chances in 2014," they reason. "We can't lose independent voters by appearing too mean."
What Ryan and most conservatives seem to understand, however, is that these scandals go well beyond the realm of politics and instead cut to the heart of the fundamental relationship American citizens have with their government.
For that reason alone, all three of them need to be investigated as thoroughly as humanly possible.
Explosive new allegations from The Washington Post will likley reignite the AP phone records controversy:
When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.
They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.
The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press.
At a time when President Obama’s administration is under renewed scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, the Kim case provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such probe.
Hmmmmmmm. Could yet another Obama Administration scandal be widening?
FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace grilled White House communications flack Dan Pfeiffer on where exactly President Obama was while the U.S. consulate was under attack.
Kudos to Mr. Pfeiffer for doing yeoman's work in trying to push the White House's nonsense, but at this point it seems that no amount of spin will be able to clean up the mess the Obama Administration has made.
I’ll be the first to admit, I wasn’t a Dick Trickle fan. Really, I was just too young. I think I was 8 when he was a NASCAR rookie at age 48. And I wasn’t really big into short track racing, so I had no idea what a legend he was in Wisconsin.
I just remember watching Sportscenter every morning before school in like the early 90s, and I’d giggle, like any 11 year-old would, when Dan Patrick would say "Rusty Wallace won the event at Talladega. Dick Trickle finished 23rd."
One of my buddies even got me a Dick Trickle t-shirt for (I think) my 11th or 12thbirthday. It was funny, what can I say?
I didn’t know then that he was from Wisconsin. I didn’t know then that he won a thousand short track races. I didn’t know he won 67 in one year alone. I didn’t know he was NASCAR’s oldest-ever rookie of the year.
I didn’t know that he often replaced young hotshot kids who didn’t pan out and had the famous phrase "When Things Go Bad, Call Dad."
I just knew that he had a funny name.
But it’s a funny thing about what you don’t know when you’re a kid. You don’t know what you don’t know. And what I didn’t know about Dick Trickle is that he was so much more than a name—he was the essence of a life well-lived, a life lived on his terms.
When he was 8, he was playing tag in the rafters in a house under construction and fell two stories into the basement. He broke his hip and just had a terrible recovery, so terrible that doctors were worried he’d never walk again. But he did, albeit with a limp that he would have for the rest of his life. A year later, when he was still in a cast from his waist to his foot, he went to a race at Crown Speedway in Wisconsin Rapids.
"When I got there I was flabbergasted. I thought it was the neatest thing. Free shows were nothing compared to it. That race never left my mind until I was 16. I knew I was going to drive a race car when I was 16."
And he did, but he was so poor he had to basically make his own car, so he took a job as a welder and made his own parts.
"I worked part time at the shop to earn a nickel or dime. At that age, it was mostly sweeping the shop, but I started to play with the welder and soon I could make an arc and then weld. I started junking machinery. I save some things getting a head start for when I would go racing at 16. I didn't have any money, but I had this pile of stuff to build a race car with. It was a hope chest."
"When I turned 16, I let the farmer I was working for keep most the money I earned until fall. That fall I collected my money and went down
Main Streetwheeling and dealing. I finally bought a 1950 Ford in good condition for $100. It was going to be my street car, but the urge to race got too strong and I cut up and made a stock car out of it."
"I did run the car a little bit before I cut it up and I ended up drag racing a classmate, Melvin Hunsinger, who had a 1949 Ford. He beat me. It seems kind of dumb when I already knew there was a car that could beat me. Eventually, I bought Hunsinger's 1949 Ford for $32.50 and put the motor in my car."
The rest, as they say is history. Trickle went on to become a legend in
As The Journal Sentinel wrote today:
[Trickle] didn't mind being the life of the party after the checkered-flag flew. He pulled his share of all-nighters and often said he needed an hour of sleep for every 100 laps the next day.
Trickle also became a bit of a pop-culture phenomenon courtesy of ESPN anchors Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, who would mention the winner of the race and, as a sophomoric nod to his double-entendre name, where Trickle had finished.
"In a time in which athletes were really getting overly sensitive to what we and everyone was starting to do, his attitude was, 'Hey, you guys made me money, all I've got to do is put up with a little giggling and I have to put up with the giggling anyway," Olbermann said.
And 11 year-old me giggled…but today, 31 year-old me marvels. At a life lived at 160 miles an hour, with a cigarette poking out of a helmet, battling Rusty Wallace and a vicious hangover.
Dick Trickle committed suicide yesterday at age 71. He apparently called the coroner’s office near his home in North Carolina and told them that they should come collect his body and then, on his terms as always, pulled the trigger.
The news reports didn’t say why he was in that cemetery, but the consensus is that he was at the grave of his granddaughter, who died in 2001 and Dick never really got over it. A hard life had taken its toll on his own health, and he was on blood thinners and had another hip surgery and had to quit racing a few years ago.
So the guy from Wisconsin with the funny name is gone, but his legacy to everyone, from his fans in stock car racing to kids like me who only knew him from Sportscenter, should be a lesson: Do what you love. Do what you want in this life. Live how you want to live.
You want to race cars but you live in small town Wisconsin, a thousand miles from the heart of NASCAR in the south? Just do it. You’re too poor to afford a race car? Build your own.
No matter what you do, do what you want.
That’s what Dick Trickle did, that’s how he lived. So one last time, without a giggle, "At last week’s Sprint Cup race at Darlington, Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth won, with Denny Hamlin running second and Jeff Gordon in third. Dick Trickle finished well."
Perhaps feeling jealous of all of the other federal agencies under intense scrutiny, The U.S. Marshals Service promptly loses two terrorists after putting them in the witness protection program. CNN reports:
The U.S. Marshals Service lost two former participants in the federal Witness Security Program “identified as known or suspected terrorists,” according to the public summary of an interim Justice Department Inspector General’s report obtained by CNN.
The Marshals Service has concluded that “one individual was and the other individual was believed to be residing outside of the United States,” according to the summary.
A Justice Department official said in response to follow up questions about the matter by reporters that the pair had left the program years ago and had been accounted for.
It was not clear when or for how long the Marshals Service lost track of them.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?!? Can the Obama Administration be trusted to do anything? Sadly, the answer is becoming more obvious by the day.
The president talks tough and heads roll...but the acting head of the IRS was going to leave in three weeks anyway! WISN's Dan O'Donnell reports.