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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
December 8, 2013

Baker: Reagan Regretted Veto Of Sanctions Against South Africa

Former Secretary of State James Baker on Sunday said he was "certain" that President Ronald Reagan regretted his decision to veto sanctions against South Africa during Apartheid.

"I'm sure he did regret it," Baker said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "In fact I'm certain that he did."

He said that Reagan later worked to end Apartheid in South Africa.

"Once that happened and control of South African policy passed to the Congress, President Reagan was really determined to … meet with the black leaders of South Africa and deal with the problems of Apartheid. And he was able to do so," Baker said.

Baker, who met Nelson Mandela, called the leader an "extraordinarily beautiful human being."

"He had an enduring and endearing presence of dignity that I don't think I've seen on any other person," he said. "How many people forgive their captors when they've been imprisoned for 27 years?"


December 8, 2013

South Korea Expands Air Defense Zone To Partially Overlap With China's

SEOUL, Dec 8 (Reuters) - South Korea said on Sunday it has extended its air defence zone to partially overlap with a similar zone newly declared by China that has spurred regional tensions.

South Korea's Defence Ministry said that in expanding the zone to include two territorial islands to its south and a submerged rock also claimed by Beijing it has fully explained its position to related countries. It said the move would not infringe on neighbouring countries' sovereignty. (Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Alex Richardson)


December 8, 2013

Australia’s First Gay Married Couples May See Unions Invalidated

Ivan Hinton married his partner of 11 years on a sunny afternoon in Canberra yesterday, surrounded by friends and family. Their marriage may not last past this week.

Hinton, 38, and Chris Teoh, 34, were among the first to wed after the Australian Capital Territory legalized same-sex unions yesterday. The territory’s gay marriage law, the first in Australia, is under attack by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s administration and may be ruled unconstitutional in a High Court judgment due Dec. 12.

“For the moment, we’re enjoying being in a truly inclusive society, being surrounded by people, by Canberrans, who respect our relationship and acknowledge our hopes and dreams,” Hinton, who is also deputy director of lobby group Australian Marriage Equality, said by telephone from Canberra today. “There’s anxiety about whether this law is going to survive. But we sincerely hope that by Friday, we’re still married.”

Hinton and Teoh were among 20 gay couples from across the country to wed this weekend in the territory, site of the national capital Canberra, according to AME. At least 47 same-sex weddings were scheduled before the High Court’s decision, the group said.


December 8, 2013

GOP governor fully implements ACA in Nevada.

In a Republican party that’s gone all out against Obamacare, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval went all in.

Sandoval is the only Republican governor whose state is both running its own health insurance exchange this year and expanding its Medicaid program under the health law. He’s arguably doing more to put the Democrats’ signature law into place than any other Republican.

But in fully implementing Obamacare, Sandoval faces a double-edged sword: He’s helping bring health care coverage to a state with the second highest uninsured rate in the country, while he may be hurting his national ambitions because he’s not actively blocking the president’s law.

Sandoval has always maintained that he dislikes the health law and he’d like to see it repealed. But as long as it’s the law of the land, he says it is his job to make it work for the people of his state.


December 7, 2013

Covered California Struggles to Keep Pace with Surge

California's health exchange is struggling to keep pace with a surge of applicants who are encountering long waits and website problems as they try to meet a Dec. 23 deadline, it was reported Friday.

In response to higher-than-expected demand, the Covered California exchange said it is adding staff and expanding its capacity to answer consumer calls. It received 17,000 calls in less than an hour Wednesday, more than it received in an entire day in recent weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported. The exchange is also trying to dig through a backlog of 25,000 paper applications filed in October and November.

Dec. 23 is the sign-up deadline to have insurance starting Jan. 1, and consumers must pay the initial monthly premium by Jan. 5. After that, enrollment in the exchange lasts through March 31. The state postponed the initial payment deadline to Jan. 5 to give cash-strapped consumers more time during the holidays.

"We have been running strong all week, and at times we have exceeded the capacity of our phone lines," exchange spokesman Dana Howard said in remarks reported by The Times. "The demand is more than we projected. But the bottom line is folks will be able to get themselves enrolled for Jan. 1."


December 7, 2013

WND Polls Readers On Whether Mandela Should Have Been Released From Prison

A web poll on the conservative site WND asked readers on Friday to "assess the life and work of Nelson Mandela" and included several responses that criticized or mocked the deceased South African leader.

The answer that led the poll with WND readers on Friday evening described Mandela as a "violent communist revolutionary who never should have been released from prison."

Other options included calling Mandela "a great revolutionary leader - in the tradition of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Che Guevara and Nicolae Ceausescu," and a prediction that there would be "a racial bloodbath" after his death.

Another selection suggested "one of his greatest accomplishments was having a species of spiders named after him."


December 7, 2013

South Carolina Sheriff Refuses To Lower Flag For Mandela

Rick Clark, the sheriff of Pickens County, S.C., vowed on Friday to defy President Obama's order that U.S. flags be lowered to half staff in honor of deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Clark made his promise in a Facebook post to keep flying the flag at the Pickens County Sheriff's Office at full height.

"I usually don't post political items, but today is different. I received this notification today, 'As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013,'" Clark wrote. "Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!! The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here."

Clark said the flags at the Sheriff's Office were at half staff Friday to mourn a deceased deputy. Clark said the flag would remain at half mast Saturday to mark Pearl Harbor Day. After that, he said, he "ordered that the flag here at my office back up" (sic).


December 7, 2013

U.S. draws into 'Group of Death' for 2014 World Cup

United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann described his team's World Cup draw as "the worst of the worst" after it was pooled with Germany, Portugal and Ghana in one of two "Groups of Death."

Klinsmann could scarcely believe his ill fortune after the draw was made in Bahia, Brazil, with the Americans lumped into Group G and a situation that immediately installed them as long shots to reach the last 16.

To add to his discomfort, Klinsmann's side also will have to battle a grueling travel schedule, including a visit to the Amazonian jungle city of Manaus with its extreme humidity and hostile weather environment.

"It is one of the most difficult groups of the whole draw," Klinsmann said. "It couldn't get any more difficult or any bigger but that is what the World Cup is all about.


December 6, 2013

Queen 'put pressure on Thatcher' over Mandela - video

Anti-apartheid mediator Michael Young tells Channel 4 News that the Queen asked Margaret Thatcher to "turn down the mood music" on Nelson Mandela.


December 6, 2013

My theory on why unemployment is dropping.

Because those who are working are about to drop dead. People are dropping like flies where I work due to health reasons or are leaving to other organizations because of an enormous work load. Management is just now beginning to understand and are grudgingly beginning to hire more people.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 61,532

About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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