Apr 11 2014

Daily News Flash with Maya Rockeymoore on Sebelius Resignation, Better-Off Budget, and Albuquerque Police Abuse

Uprising’s guest expert Maya Rockeymoore, President of the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a social change non-profit dedicated to making policy work for people and their environment, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has publicly announced her resignation just weeks after the Obamacare enrollment deadline. Ms. Sebelius, former Kansas Governor, came under fire for the botched roll out of the Affordable Care Act. But Think Progress reports that “Sebelius leaves the office having enrolled some 10 million people in health care coverage. This was only possible because she convinced numerous Republican lawmakers in bright red states to extend health care coverage to the poorest Americans.” President Obama has tapped Sylvia Matthews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius at Health and Human Services. Click here for a New York Times article and here for a Think Progress report on the story.

Republicans in the House narrowly passed a federal budget that was unremarkable for its resemblance to previous budgets. CNN.com published an op-ed calling it “An Assault on the Middle Class.” But some progressive Democratic thinkers like Jared Bernstein are instead calling attention to a budget proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Bernstein, a former adviser to President Obama, wrote in his column on the Huffington Post, that the CPC’s so-called Better Off Budget is “a smart and progressive one,” that attempts to “achieve a set of venerable goals.” Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

Concluding a 16 month investigation into police abuses in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Justice Department yesterday said they found a “pattern or practice of use of excessive force.” There have been at least 37 instances of excessive police force in just 4 years, a pattern that human rights activists in Albuquerque have been calling attention to with marches and demonstrations. According to the New York Times, the Justice Department found that “officers kicked, punched and violently restrained nonthreatening people, and seldom were the officers reprimanded. Many of the victims suffered from mental illnesses, and some were disabled, elderly or drunk.” Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

And finally a bus carrying dozens of high school students, many of them from the LA area, was hit by a FedEx big rig last night just north of Sacramento. Ten people including the drivers, 3 adult chaperones and 5 kids were killed. It is not known yet whether any of the dead are from Southern California. The bus and the truck caught on fire after the crash. The majority of people on the bus managed to escape through windows and a fire exit. The students were on a visit to Humboldt State University.

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