MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-June 2015 Edition

June 29, 2015

MR ROBERTS STEERS A COURSE—Affordable Care continues thanks to a 6-3 Supreme Court decision shepherded by Chief Justice John Roberts who disappointed conservatives for the second time (2012—joined with liberal justices to uphold the health law). Roberts befuddles the left-center and right. “I don’t know that you can label the guy in any way, shape or form right now,” says an Arizona Republican congressman. It’s clear Justice Roberts wants The Supremes to stay out of policy-making which is the domain of Congress. In 2005 at his confirmation hearing he said being a judge was the same as being an umpire—you call strikes and balls but your job isn’t to determine the game’s outcome. ISN’T IT REFRESHING IN THESE CONFUSING TIMES THAT EVERYONE CAN’T BE LABELLED?

UNITED EARNS WORST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MARK—Almost two weeks ago, a United Chicago-to-London flight was diverted to Goose Bay, Canada and passengers spent a night in a remote Canadian military barracks. The almost 24-hour ‘airline burp’ was because of an unspecified mechanical issue. Lack of passenger information and a diversion to New Jersey brought a belated apology and ticket refund from the folks in the friendly skies who ranked last in the 2015 J.D. Power customer satisfaction ranking among major U.S. airlines. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF AN AIRLINE WHICH SHOULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY ADMITTED IT FOULED UP…TAKEN CARE AND COMMUNICATE WITH PASSENGERS AND QUICKLY FIX THE PROBLEM. NOT DONE WELL.

SPRAY PAINT AND CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS—Vandals spray-painted monuments in St. Louis’ Forest Park this week dedicated to the leaders and soldiers of the Confederacy. Are the monuments to Southern citizen-soldiers racist? Are they painful reminders to what happened in nearby Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year? Should Confederate flags be banned everywhere? How does the South and North resolve the past, present and future? SOMETIMES MODERN-DAY MEDIA IS ILL-PREPARED TO PRESENT MORE THAN ONE OR TWO SIDES OF AN ISSUE. THIS IS ONE.

SHADES OF THE ‘GOOD OLD’ DAYS—Remember 2006 + 2007+2008 when faulty bank lending led to foreclosures and bankruptcies? When terms like “underwater” took on painful meaning. The Wall St. Journal reports a new wave of nonbank lenders is bringing risky buyers back into the housing market. The lenders, says the paper, are targeting borrowers who have recently gone through a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. Estimates are it will be a $5 billion biz in 2015. CAVEAT EMPTOR. IS THE LOCAL MEDIA COVERING THIS OR MORE INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING LORD STANLEY’S CUP?

QUAFFING FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC SUDS—Check the label of your favorite ‘imported’ beer. Probably brewed in the U.S. Becks, Fosters, Red Stripe—made in St. Louis. Becks, made by InBev, might give a $50 rebate soon because of misleading advertising/promotion. THANK GOODNESS FOR BLATZ—NO TOMFOOLERY HERE.

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