Archive - Feb 2013

February 27th

This Is Why They're Reviled

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Memo to John Mackey, Stuart Varney, and Phil Mickelson: YOU ARE DUMB.

Rich people! They're just like the rest of us, except they have all our money and we don't have any of theirs. But other than that, they're just like us, because let's face it, most of us are assholes too. Still, when a rich asshole is an asshole, it stings just a little bit more, probably because of that whole them-having-all-our-money thing. Today it's a platinum-card version of RICH IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"I regret using that word now because it's got so much baggage attached to it. Of course, I was just using the standard dictionary definition. We no longer have free-enterprise capitalism in health care. The government is directing it. So we need a new word for it." - Whole Foods CEO John Mackie, explaining why he called Obamacare "fascism".

John Mackie is, of course, a known asshole. And unlike other asshole CEOs like "Papa" John, who makes his money off cheap pizza, John Mackey makes his fortune from organic, natural, and sustainable, then cries like a little bitch when the government says he has to spend some of that actually taking care of the people who stock and ring up all that natural, sustainable, and organic.

And he has the balls to claim his use of "fascism" was dictionary-correct, but politically inconsiderate? He claims Obamacare is government "taking control of the means of production", but most of Obamacare deals with the consumer end of the equation, not the production end. There isn't even a government-run health care option, just the insurance exchanges, and if the selling of health insurance is a "means of production", then all it produces is a giant pile of misery and bullshit.

"The politics of Downton are very important and it's important that they are popular in America today. Rich people, powerful people, in America today, are reviled. They're dismissed as fat cats who don't pay their fair share. We just hate 'em -- 'Rich people are evil' ... Yet, along comes this show 'Downton Abbey' -- rich people prominently featured and they're generous; they're nice people; they create jobs, for heaven's sake; they're classy; they've got style and we love 'em ... That show is wildly popular, which poses a threat to the left, doesn't it?" - Stuart Varney, on "Fox and Friends", living up to that show's legendary intellectual vigor.

What I love about this is that even if Varney's oversimplified version of America's attitude towards the rich were accurate, which it's not, and his oversimplified version of the range of characters on Downton Abbey were accurate, which it's not, his conclusion would still be fucking ridiculous. Which it is.

Because the rich people on Downton Abbey were rich nearly a century ago in an entirely different country. It's like suggesting the popularity of "Lincoln" might affect Australians' attitudes towards neckbeards. Anyone who can actually find PBS and put up with violin soundtracks and British accents for three seasons will be able to differentiate between Lord Grantham and a douchebag hedge fund manager who gets too loud at a sushi bar. Or John Mackey.

"I’m not sure what exactly, you know, I’m going to do yet. I’ll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I’m not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn’t work for me right now. So I’m going to have to make some changes." - Golfer Phil Mickelson, net worth $150 million dollars.

I encourage Phil Mickelson to make those changes. If he wants to get out of paying his new marginal tax rate, he is welcome to stop playing golf, give away all his money, sell his house(s) and car(s), and get a job at a sporting goods store, where he can work in the section he's eminently qualified for. And if that store doesn't have a WHINING FUCKING BABY section, I guess he could sell people golf clubs or something.

Seriously, he's a golfer. What's he gonna do to dodge taxes? Renounce his American citizenship? Stop earning money? Either of those would be fine by me. Fuck golfers and their insanely low ball-to-playing-field ratio. Say what you like about football and baseball, but you can get dozens of them into a couple of city blocks. Phil Mickelson can't do his thing, by himself, with less than 150 acres. No wonder he feels so fucking entitled.