July 23, 2014

Finding Out What's In It

Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, famously quipped about the Affordable Care Act that "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Yesterday we found out a little more, and it's not good news for Nancy and Company.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia ruled that the plain language in ObamaCare specifying that premium subsidies are available on policies purchased via an exchange established by a state, means exactly what it says.

It also, according to the ruling, means that subsidies are not available for policies purchased on the exchange established by the federal government.

Despite the subsidy deal that was written into the law to entice states to set up exchanges, 37 states chose not to do so. Under the law as written people who are no longer eligible for subsidies and cannot afford Affordable Care, will be exempt from the individual mandate and it's penalties.

The court rightly decided that the law enforced should be the law that was passed. That if the Congress wanted to offer subsidies via the federal exchange they should have written the law accordingly. The court was also correct in asserting that it is not the role of the court to amend the legislation. That is the job of the legislature.

There will of course be an appeal to the full Appeals Court panel, and inevitably to the Supreme Court. If this ruling survives the appeals, ObamaCare will collapse under the weight of its own flaws.

Faster please.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:10 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 15, 2014

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations...

Just when I am convinced that we have we have seen the full extent of this administration's contempt for the individual rights, liberty and the rule of law we get a story like this:


The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a member of its Community Relations Service team to investigate a Nebraska parade float that criticized President Obama.

A Fourth of July parade float featured at the annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk sparked criticism when it depicted a zombie-like figure resembling Mr. Obama standing outside an outhouse, which was labeled the "Obama Presidential Library.”


Regardless of what you think of this float as political commentary; regardless of what you think of the appropriateness of this float in an Independence Day parade; regardless of what you think of the Obama administration; regardless of what you think of Barack Obama; this action by the Justice Department is an egregious and abusive violation of the right to free speech.

If the outhouse in the float represents the Obama Presidential Library, Attorney General Eric Holder can be found in the lower level of the reading room.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:10 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 14, 2014

Chillin Old School

The refrigerator decided to crap out this weekend. The parts that make the cold stopped making cold and the cost of new parts was approaching the cost of new refrigerator so a new refrigerator was ordered and is expected by Wednesday. Until then we have traveled back to a simpler time. A time when a refrigerator just kept things cold. It didn't serve you water and fresh uniform ice cubes. It didn't have wi-fi so it could order groceries for you.




Since the fans are all still working, I put two 20 lb. bags of ice in aluminum roasting pans in the freezer and a third one in the refrigerator section. We don't have any frozen food - but at least the cold food is staying cold. 

Based on the current rate of melting it looks like I'll have to replace 2 bags a day. Unfortunately there is no Ice Man with his kindly horse delivering ice to my door. That's the price of progress!

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:34 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 10, 2014

Insecurity

I know why President Obama did not want to visit the southern border while he was in Texas. It's not just because there are no good golf courses there.


Everywhere the president goes he is accompanied by a large contingent of security and he is opposed to having any security on the border.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:59 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 06, 2014

Refreshing

Since Hold the Mayo was recovered from the great mu.nu crash of 2014 I have been thinking that in addition to a renewed commitment to writing here more often, it was time to update the look. 


Since this blog was started in August of 2003 it have lived on three different platforms. Even through the migrations the look of the site really never changed all that much.

So I decided to play with the design. Not really a huge change just a tweak hear and there. A new banner, new fonts and changed the look of the sidebar. Added a little orange here and there as an accent.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 04, 2014

Wishful Thinking

Steve Forbes has in interesting column headlined: The Time Has Come: Defund The IRS


I have no quarrel with virtually every word in the piece with the exception of this bit of wishful thinking:

Defenders of liberty, especially Republicans, must now think and act strategically.

With the exception of a small handful of individuals, looking to the Republican Party as a defender of liberty is simply delusional.

The Democrats and the Republicans are no longer two distinct political parties advocating two distinct political philosophies. They are nothing more than competing factions of the Washington Party.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:46 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 03, 2014

Outside of the Box

In 1776 a vision was put forth for a nation of free citizens with authority granted to the state to govern by the consent of the governed. This vision was later codified in the Constitution of the United States.


Little by little, and more recently in ever increasing chunks at an ever more rapid pace, that vision has been cast aside.

Now it seems as though this is the only relevant passage remaining:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The train of abuses and usurpations has indeed grown long and it often seems that the not only is the object to reduce us to a state of tyranny, but that this goal is precariously close.

The time has come to throw off such government. But I wonder if we can manage to do this at the ballot box.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:12 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


July 02, 2014

Get Another Hobby

The level of absurdity in the left's reaction to the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case would be comical if it were not so predictable. The perpetual faux outrage of the left has gotten tedious.


They need to take up a new hobby.

Here's my take on it - and from what I have read it syncs up with fairly mainstream conservative opinion. 

Women have a right to privacy in making their personal medical and "reproductive health" choices. Women have an absolute right to purchase whatever method of birth control they prefer.

Women do not have the right to demand that everyone else pay for that choice.

The left claims they do not want government or their employer to be part of women's decisions on their "reproductive health." Good. I agree, They should have no part in it. Including paying for it.

But there is one fact that gets lost in all the caterwauling about birth control and "reproductive rights." The battle over the Affordable Care Act is not about birth control. It's about people control. Birth control is just one means to that end. The true source of the left's outrage is that a small segment of the population found a small way to get a little bit out from under the thumb of government control.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:22 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


June 26, 2014

I Don't Work For The IRS

Aaaaaaaand, we're back!

Hold the Mayo has been offline for a while. On May 14 it just disappeared from the internet. Naturally my first thought was that somehow my blog was hosted at the IRS and it was lost in a server crash.

I was half right. It was a server crash. But since I don't work for the IRS nothing was actually lost. And thanks to the efforts of the venerable Pixy Misa, Hold the Mayo is back from the dead.

My family and Facebook friends will be grateful that I have somewhere else to rant.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:00 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 07, 2014

Top Secret Polution

The Inspector General for the Environmental Protection agency testified in Congress that a political office within the agency, and run by the Obama White House, was blocking investigations into the agency.


EPA's deputy administrator, Bob Perciasepe, told the House Oversight and Government Reform committee that he will instruct EPA's little-known Office of Homeland Security to seek permission to share information with the inspector general's office.

The announcement came during a congressional hearing after a top investigator with the inspector general testified that the office, run out of the EPA administrator's office, had for years systematically refused to share information on external threats, computer security and employee misconduct, citing national security.

I'm not an expert on everything the EPA does, but I am having a hard time imagining where the mission of the EPA intersects with national security.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:44 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


May 04, 2014

The Easy Road

Here it is May 4 and there is only one post here in all of 2014.


Pathetic.

It'a not that I have stopped caring or stopped thinking, it's just to easy to a quick drive by commentary oar share something I saw on Facebook. Writing a blog post takes work. I have been lazy and taking the easy way out.

I'd like to promise that this will come to an end, but honestly I don't know if I have the time or energy.

I'm going to try. I'm setting the bar low to start - one post a week. We'll see how that goes then go from there.

Stay tuned?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 18, 2014

The End Game

I left this as a comment to a post on Breitbart where Jason Scheurer wrote a lengthy rebuttal of the argument to raise the minimum wage. I thought I would share it here as well.

An extremely thoughtful and utterly useless argument.

The left's obsession with raising the federal minimum wage has absolutely nothing to do with "helping" unskilled labor. They fully understand every fact you presented, and are counting on them.

The influx of unskilled immigrant labor puts downward pressure on wages giving them a reason to call for raising the minimum wage. The loss of jobs due to the increase of the minimum wage gives then another reason to call for raising the minimum wage to help the bottom of the labor pool.

Every increase they can engineer in the federal minimum wage triggers wage increases in union contracts that are keyed to the federal minimum wage. Which means more money going into the pockets of the labor unions. Which means more money going into the pockets of politicians.

They do not care about helping the poor or unskilled labor. They do not even care if they harmed in the process. The end game is money and power. And they play to win.

Ayn Rand wrote,"Don't bother to examine a folly--ask yourself only what it accomplishes."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:32 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 07, 2014

Boating Inequality

Socialists (Democrat ad Republican alike) are still prattling on about "income inequality." I believe that income is what you earn. People have unequal capacities to earn therefore their incomes will be unequal.

I have a new motivational slogan written on the whiteboard in my office:

You're gonna need a bigger boat

Allow me to explain.

I work for a small business. Small as in the owner, six full-time people and one part time person. The owner has a boat. I don't know any of the details but it's a big power boat (nobody's perfect). Big enough to sleep on in some comfort.

I wrote the Jaws quote on my whiteboard to remind me that I want the company to be successful enough that my boss can buy a bigger boat. If the company is successful enough that the boss can buy a bigger boat, then the company can keep paying me - and maybe even pay me more. Maybe the company can even pay me enough that I can someday buy a small boat of my own.

With sails.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


January 06, 2014

Unquestioned Premises

I had Sean Hannity on the radio while driving home today and true to his format he had on one conservative and one liberal to debate a range of issues. As usual Hannity let the leftist slide on an outrageous statemnet because taking the time to question her premise would have taken away from three points he planned to make when he brought up the topic of  New York's new very left wing mayor. 


The liberal panelist (I did not hear her name and I'm the end it really doesn't matter) was talking about income inequality in the city. She lamented that  increasingly the poor and the middle class could not afford to live in the city and "That is not the kind of New York that we want."

If it were my radio show my next question would have been "Who exactly is we and what gives you the right to decide how New York should be?"

Individuals make decisions based on circumstances and their standards. The result is the city as it is. If the result is not as "we like it" that's too damned bad.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:03 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 20, 2013

It's Duck Season

Here's the thing about the whole Duck Dynasty A&E controversy that has sucked all of the oxygen out of the room for the last two or three days; it just doesn't matter.


Phil Robertson had every right to say what he said, and he has every right to say a lot worse. He said what he said and A&E put him on an indefinite suspension.

So What.

Robertson's right to speak his mind does not impose an obligation on A&E to continue to employ him. If the suspension is within the parameters of his contract with the network, they can suspend him all they want. That is their right.

I can think that is a stupid decision arrived at by fear and an overwhelming sense of political correctness and refuse to watch another show on A&E. That is my right. A&E's right to suspend Robertson imposes no obligation on me to continue to watch their programming.*

That's how it works.

*I am actually not sure if I have ever watched a show on A&E. I am sure I have never watched Duck Dynasty.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:56 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 18, 2013

The Alphabet of Databases

Do you know why people are upset about the massive database of phone call information the National Security Agency maintains on EVERY person in the United States.


The concern can be summed up in three letters: IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service used to be a politically neutral agency serving the function of collecting tax revenue for the government. Now the IRS has become a tool for the political administration to pressure and silence it's opposition.

It does not take a big leap of tin-foil hat paranoia imagine the same thing happening with the NSA.

Have you ever called a Tea Party organization? Ever called someone who is a member of the NRA? Ever called someone who may have called someone who gave money to the Republican Party?

That's how data mining works. That's how easily you can be flagged as worth a closer look. Combine that with the ongoing efforts to increase regulatory control and financial dependency on the federal government and you have the tools to punish and silence all dissent.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 17, 2013

Carpetbagging

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is picking up stakes and moving to New Hampshire so he can run for the Senate there. Because nothing is more important than securing the perks and privileges that come from serving in the U.S. Senate.


Carpetbagging was deplorable when Hillary Clinton did it to become Senator from New York, and it is deplorable now.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:12 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


December 16, 2013

The Party's Over

Politics is no longer about Democrats vs Republicans  or even Liberals vs Conservatives. 


Politics is now us vs them. 

Citizens vs the government.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:35 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 09, 2013

Open Letter to a Dick

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin plans to hold Congressional hearings on the topic of Stand Your Ground laws. The laws that say you are not obligated to attempt to flee before acting in your own defense. Laws like the one in Florida that has become a political target because it had nothing to do with the Trayvon Martin case (or something like that).


An organized group of conservative state legislators called the American Legislative Exchange Council was apparently instrumental in getting Stand Your Ground passed in Florida and several other states. Senator Durbin sent a letter to companies that had made donations to ALEC that said:

"... Although ALEC does not maintain a public list of corporate members or donors, other public documents indicate that your company funded ALEC at some point during the period between ALEC's adoption of model 'stand your ground' legislation in 2005 and the present day. ... I am seeking clarification whether organizations that have funded ALEC's operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model 'stand your ground' legislation."

Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the letter an outrage and urged companies not to reply. I think Senator Cruz is wrong. Companies should tell Senator Durbin exactly what they think. If I ran a company and got Dick's letter, this is how I would respond.

Senator Durbin,

We are in receipt of your letter requesting clarification of our position on the issue of Stand Your Ground laws and your wish to have our response read into the official record. Our response for the record is below.

It is our considered and official opinion that you are an officious little twit and a want-to-be petty tyrant. It is our opinion that our position on the issue of Stand Your Ground laws or any other issue is none of your damned business. Further we believe that you should immediately take a one month leave of absence and spend that time reading and studying the Constitution of the United States. We recommend a particular focus on the First Amendment.

Thank you for including our response in the public record.

I guess I would have to call my accountant and tell him to start getting ready for the audit.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:20 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


August 08, 2013

Crony Justice

I'm not sure what Apple Computer did to get on the bad side of the administration. Apple's politics, at least from the executive level, have always been reliably liberal. Maybe the problem is they are just too successful. Maybe they reached that certain point where they had made enough money.


Earlier this year, company executives were hauled before congress to explain why they use perfectly legal financial management strategies that result in the government skimming less of their profits.

Now comes the DOJ proposal for punishing Apple for it's successful iBook Store. The proposal has been met with criticism from almost everyone in the eBook business. eBook publishers filed a motion stating:

The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog summed it up rather well, "It really seems like the only winner in all of this is Amazon."

Given that Obama recently paid a visit to a new Amazon warehouse in Tennessee to tout it as a job creator it's pretty easy to see who is on the inside and who is on the outs.

For Amazon, it's good to be the crony.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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