SEIU (pronounced “HYP-o-crites”)

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**Posted by Phineas

After fighting tooth-and-nail to get ObamaCare passed and then fighting even more to prevent its repeal, the far-Left Service Employees International Union is asking to be excused from its requirements, because they’re a hardship:

SEIU’s outspoken defense of the law has prompted charges of hypocrisy from Republicans, given that some of the union’s chapters have sought waivers exempting them from a key provision of the law requiring the phaseout of health plans with low caps on annual benefits.

Proponents of the law argue that some limited-benefits health plans should be exempted temporarily from phaseout because it would cause low-income and part-time workers to lose insurance or see their premiums rise.

A spokesman for SEIU referred questions about the union waivers to a fact sheet on its website.

According to SEIU, the overwhelming majority of its members are covered by health plans that comply with the law’s requirements.

Some of its chapters have obtained waivers, the union concedes, but notes the waivers were anticipated by Democrats who passed the law.

“The waiver process is a key part of healthcare reform because it helps ensure that workers won’t lose their employer-provided health coverage,” SEIU states on its website.

Well, cry me a river of crocodile tears. Maybe if the union hadn’t helped pass ram this unconstitutional monstrosity down our throats  in the first place, those low-wage workers it claims to be so concerned about wouldn’t be in danger of losing their coverage — thanks to SEIU and its progressive-statist allies.

“Hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

More from Jimmie Bise.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Failing State Watch: Nuevo Laredo police chief gunned down

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**Posted by Phineas

Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre came into office on New Year’s Day vowing to fight the corruption and criminal violence tearing his state apart. One of his first acts was to appoint retired general Manuel Farfán as police chief of Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, and one of Mexico’s most violent cities.

Less than a month into his job, Chief Farfán was shot dead on the streets of his city:

Gunmen killed the recently appointed police chief of Nuevo Laredo late Wednesday in a brazen response to the new governor’s vow to restore order to the violent Mexican state bordering south Texas and the Rio Grande.

Manuel Farfán, 55, a retired army brigadier general, was shot down on a downtown street shortly before midnight. At least one of the general’s police bodyguards and his personal secretary also were killed.

Farfán was one of 11 retired army generals recently named to head municipal police departments across Tamaulipas state. He took office with the change of city and state governments on Jan. 1.

Upon taking office New Year’s Day, Tamaulipas Gov. Egidio Torre had vowed that his government would put an end to the state’s “cruel, unjust and difficult” wave of violence.

“The people of Tamaulipas want to trust again,” said Torre, who was elected following last June’s assassination by gangsters of his brother, the gubernatorial candidate of the state’s long ruling party.

“We are going to diminish violence at its root causes and extinguish impunity,” he said.

Aside from expressing condolences to Farfán’s survivors and dispatching the commander of the state police – also a retired army general – neither Torre nor other senior Tamaulipas officials commented on the assassination Thursday.

The killing is comment enough: one theory is that Chief Farfán refused to be bought or or play along with the Zeta cartel, whose “territory” Nuevo Laredo is, and they decided to show what happens. Another is that he was killed by the Gulf Cartel, which is at “war” with its former vassals and may have considered the Chief a threat to their efforts to take Nuevo Laredo back.

The killing of Chief Farfán is just the latest sign of the breakdown of the rule of law in Mexico, but he, at least, made it almost a month; in 2005, Nuevo Laredo Chief Dominguez was killed just hours after being appointed. As the article mentions, the entire police force of one small town near Monterrey quit after two of its officers were beheaded, and the police chief of Cancún was tortured and killed in 2009 by one of his own men, who was in the pay of the local cartel. Local and state police officers are either intimidated, corrupted, or assassinated. As I’ve said before, when the State can’t even protect its own, words such as “sovereignty” and “rule of law” are meaningless.

It’s small wonder that some colleges are canceling their study-abroad programs in Mexico.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

John Kerry throwing his hat into Secretary of State arena?

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Be afriad, be very very afraid. Liberal Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi writes (via @GabrielMalor):

AS EGYPT battles over its future, Senator John Kerry is negotiating his own.

The Bay State’s senior senator is running an unofficial campaign to become the next secretary of state. For once, he looks artful, as well as ambitious.

His recent opinion piece in the New York Times said what President Obama couldn’t or wouldn’t: Mubarak must go.

Kerry’s conclusion was elegant, but unequivocal: “President Hosni Mubarak must accept that the stability of his country hinges on his willingness to step aside gracefully to make way for a new political structure.’’

Secretary of state is the spot Kerry wanted when Barack Obama won the presidency. He lost out to Hillary Clinton and Obama’s “team of rivals.’’ But his fallback position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee provides a powerful platform to press his case.

For months, there has been speculation that Kerry will get the job he wants in an Obama second term. Clinton said publicly that she is not committed to the position beyond 2012. She also tamped down speculation that she wants to move to the Pentagon as secretary of defense.

[…]

As an early Obama supporter, but one who is not committed to every policy as an Obama administration insider would be, Kerry can take a different stance on complex issues. He can stake out personal turf, as he did with Mubarak, and showcase the combination of diplomacy and boldness that catches the world’s and the president’s attention.

With Egypt as the backdrop, Kerry knows the truth of an often-cited maxim that is associated with Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Out of crisis, comes opportunity.

And if Obama were re-elected, and Kerry got the opportunity to be Secetary of State, a crisis would come from that opportunity – and we and our allies would pay the price (see here and here, for starters).

Just one more reason President Obama needs to be soundly defeated in 2012.

John Kerry tries to catch a football.

John 'Fumble' Kerry, circa 2004.

Cross-posted to Right Wing News.