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Meet The Next Health Secretary

April 23, 2014


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Top News Today -
Meet The New Health Secretary


Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius succumbed to political pressure, popular opinion and likely a huge shove from the White House and submitted her resignation.  So, who's her replacement?

Top News Today
Obamacare top news today current events
Sebelius' botched roll-out of Mr. Obama's signature health care bill and its failed enrollment website left her a lame duck in her department and a West Wing outcast.  With the Affordable Care Act now up and running smoothly with 8 million applicants, President Obama made it known last week that Sylvia Mathews Burwell is his choice to lead the Health Dept.

Ms. Burwell is a 48-year-old Harvard and Oxford graduate from West Virginia, with a background in economic policy and a valuable tenure in running the budget office (which is deeply involved in developing and carrying out health care policy).  She is expected to be a welcome addition to her new position and to bring intense focus and management expertise to the department.

So, who exactly is Sylvia Mathews Burwell and why is the President of the United States so enamored with her?  Here are a few pieces of trivia about the new nominee that the general public may not know:


SHE'S INCREDIBLY SMART
Burwell is a West Virginia native who graduated from Harvard University cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in government, before receiving additional degrees in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Interestingly, she began her political career while still in college, interning for West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall.


SHE WORKED FOR ANOTHER PRESIDENT
Barack Obama will not be the first president that Burwell has served.  She also worked under former President Bill Clinton, serving as deputy chief of staff to the president, chief of staff to the Secretary of the Treasury and as staff director of the National Economic Council. She also served at the Office of Management and Budget twice, as deputy director under Mr. Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and currently as OBM director under Mr. Obama since April 2013.

Obamacare top news today current events


SHE WAS FORCED INTO LAST YEAR'S GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
During last year's budget squabbles, Burwell was forced to close several national parks when it became clear that lawmakers were not able to agree on a budget.  In a memo, Burwell wrote: “Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations [...] We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.”


SHE'S A WIZ AT HANDLING MONEY AND CRISIS
During her illustrious career, Burwell gained skills crucial for her potential new role as HHS secretary. Not only has she managed billion-dollar global budgets and gained experience on fiscal policy, she has also gained invaluable expertise in crisis management. Burwell was named deputy chief of staff for policy in the late 1990′s when news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. Her primary task was to keep the White House focused on its agenda while Clinton fought off impeachment. Last year during the government shutdown, President Obama called her “a rock [...] who helped navigate the country through a very challenging time.”


SHE (accidentally) RAN HALF A MARATHON
When Burwell once traveled to England for a meeting during the Clinton administration, she wanted to go for a quick run, but got completely lost. Since she had a meeting later that day and was afraid to miss it, Burwell kept running until she found back to her hotel. When she arrived, she had run 13 miles. “That’s the longest I’ve ever run,” Burwell later said. “And it was not intentional.”

Obamacare top news today current events


SHE ONCE HAD AN UNUSUAL DATE
Sylvia and Stephen Burwell were married in 2007. During their 5th date, he asked if she wanted to go on a 100-mile, 2-day bike ride. According to Burwell: “Even though my bike still had the sticker on and flat tires from when I moved from Washington, D.C., I said ‘absolutely.’ It was 10 days off. So I took my bike to the gas station, pumped up the tires, rode it a few times and hoped for the best.”


SHE'S BIG ON CHARITY WORK
For the past several years, Burwell has engaged in more charity work, focusing on such issues as agricultural development, global health and poverty-eradication. She served as president of the Walmart Foundation (a role for which she drew criticism due to the company’s labor policies) and prior to that, as chief operating officer and head of the global development program at the Gates Foundation.


HER NEIGHBORS INSPIRE HER
In an interview with The Seattle Times, Burwell named her neighbor Margie Hank as one of the people who inspire her the most. “Margie is in her 70s," Burwell said. "She and her husband, who just had heart surgery, are back at bowling. They try new things. They taught themselves to use the computer. They have one of the biggest collections of National Geographic.”


REPUBLICANS LOVE HER
Burwell is not only loved by Democrats, but House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said that “Burwell has led an impressive career in both the public and private sectors [...]. She has first-hand experience in budgeting responsibly. She helped a Democratic president commit to a balanced budget and work with a Republican Congress to get it done.” Last Thursday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tweeted: “Sylvia Burwell is an excellent choice to be the next #HHS Secretary.”


OK WASSUP! discusses the top news today, 
including details about new Health and Human Services nominee, 
Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

NY Knicks Fire Head Coach, Entire Staff

April 22, 2014


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Top Sports News -
NY Knicks Fire Head Coach, Entire Staff


The Phil Jackson era began in earnest yesterday when the new President of Basketball Operations fired fledgling coach Mike Woodson and his entire staff of assistants.

Top Sports News
After a 54-28 record last season while taking the team to the playoffs and advancing to a 2nd round series for the first time in 13 years, Mike Woodson and the Knicks began an early vacation last week, finishing with a disappointing 37-45 record.  With franchise player Carmelo Anthony able to bolt the team in free agency this summer and with this being the 1st time Anthony has missed the playoffs in his entire professional career, naturally some swift changes needed to be made.

sports news top news today current events
Mike Woodson and Herb Williams
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff," Jackson said in a press release announcing the move. "The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.

"Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best."

Interestingly, Herb Williams, who survived 6 coaching changes in New York as an assistant and/or interim coach, was also (finally) let go.  As of this writing, his firing was trending on Twitter even ahead of Woodson's.

Top Sports News
Phil Jackson certainly has his work cut out for him, but NY Knicks owner James Dolan has bet the farm that Jackson is the man to run the storied but troubled franchise.  Jackson earned 13 championship rings in his career -- 11 as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and 2 as a player on the Knicks' 1970 and 1973 championship teams.  His basketball knowledge and championship pedigree is expected to change the atmosphere around the Madison Square Garden front office and among the team.  Getting rid of Woodson and everyone connected with him was a huge 1st step toward righting the ship.


sports top news today current events



OK WASSUP! discusses the top sports news of the day, 
including Phil Jackson's firing of NY Knicks coach Mike Woodson 
and his entire staff of assistants.

POLL: Should 'Transgender' Be a Recognized 3rd Gender?

April 21, 2014


Current Events -
POLL:  Should 'Transgender' Be a 
Recognized 3rd Gender?


Currently, society recognizes 2 genders:  Male and Female.  However, is it time for society to recognize Transgender as a legitimate 3rd gender?

Current Events
Last week, India's top court issued a landmark verdict creating a 3rd gender category, saying transgendered people can now identify themselves that way on official documents.  This historic move could cause other countries, including the U.S. to follow suit.

Before last week's judgment, transgendered Indians had to identify themselves as male or female in all official documents.  Now, activists say it will give relief to millions of people who face discrimination in India's deeply conservative society.

Current Events
The U.S. Supreme Court has directed federal and state governments to include transgendered people in all welfare programs for the poor, including education, health care and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges.  But is this far enough?  Should Transgender be as equally accepted and recognized as Male and Female?  Is society ready for Male, Female and Transgender restrooms?




TAKE OUR POLL:





OK WASSUP! connects with the current events of the day.  
Today's article:  Should 'Transgender' be recognized as a 
legitimate 3rd gender?  TAKE OUR POLL!

Remembering Boxer 'Hurricane' Carter

April 21, 2014



Top News Today -
Remembering Boxer 'Hurricane' Carter



Boxing great Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died.

Top News Today
Carter passed away Sunday in Toronto after battling prostate cancer.  According to longtime friend and caregiver John Artis, Carter died in his sleep.

Carter spent 19 years in prison for 3 murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976, which effectively ended his boxing career.

Carter was freed in November 1985 after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan's 1975 song "Hurricane," several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the boxer turned prisoner.

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was 76.




OK WASSUP! covers the top news today, including the death of boxer and wrongfully accused murder convict Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

TGIF: Baby's First Car Wash

April 18, 2014


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e Entertainment -
TGIF:  Baby's First Car Wash


We're all so used to automatic car washes, that we've forgotten how traumatic one might be for an infant experiencing his first time through.

That's the subject of this week's TGIF video, as this adorable kid watches in horror with eyes bugged out at the "monstrous" machines overtaking the vehicle.  It's even more entertaining when the little tyke leans over to his parent and grabs them, as if to say "Do you see this sh*t going on???"


THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!



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