retail news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of credit/debit card fees and Kroger's decision to sue Visa, MNB reader Kevin Berkheiser wrote:

I hate bank fees charged to retailers just as much as anyone else.  But Kroger took it upon themselves to require a PIN instead of a signature.  I went to my local Fred Meyer (a Kroger store) and used a credit only card.  The cashier, supervisor and manager came over to tell me that I had to use a PIN number for that particular bank card.  I informed them that it was only a credit card and I never received a PIN.  They said that was the way their system was set up and there was no way around that.  I could use my debit card or not purchase.  Needless to say I walked out without my $400 worth of merchandise.  Retailers, banks and processors need to get things figured out soon.  The new chip technology is too slow and I hate leaving my card in the machine.  A swipe was so simple and not enough retailers are on board with Apple Pay or similar.

And MNB reader Diane Westervelt wrote:

As an aside to the Kroger article, I’m sick of paying for credit card fees with higher prices at the cash register.

It’s simple.  Let me use a credit card if I want to rack up miles, but ALSO give me the option to use cash and earn an instant discount. The only good option now is to use a credit card.  I’m going to pay the higher prices even if I don’t, so might as well  play the game.  Infuriating.





Finally, another email on the subject of Brexit, from MNB reader Tom Redwine:

In response to the Your Views email from the 60-Percenter, yes, John Oliver's take was pouty. He's always a bit pouty when something egregiously dumb rears its big stupid head, but it doesn't mean he didn't have some good points.

And for a slightly-less pouty take, check out Samantha Bee's "Full Frontal" (also a can't-miss-it show) from Monday, which featured an actual Scot (David Tennant) reading a few hilariously foul Scottish Twitter responses to Trump's take on Brexit.

All that said, I'm watching less and less of "The Daily Show"… which used to be a can't-miss-it show for me. I think Trevor's a good comic, but he doesn't have the sharp eye nor the bite that was needed to continue Jon Stewart's legacy. Comedy Central missed two golden opportunities when they let Samantha Bee and John Oliver slip through their fingers. I'm still lovin' Larry Wilmore @ "The Nightly Show!"

How 'bout you, Content Guy - what's your preferred TV politicomic diet include (if you don't mind sharing)?


Not at all.

I'm with you on John Oliver and Samantha Bee ... I find their work to be absolutely compelling, hilariously funny, and on-point most of the time, and often most interesting when they attack a subject that people know little about, and demonstrate good old fashioned moral outrage. I just wish they were on more than once a week ... and you are right about Comedy Central having made a major miscalculation.

I'm with you on 'The Daily Show," too. I really want to like it, because Trevor Noah seems like a good guy. But it's just gotten too lightweight for me, without the sharp elbows that Jon Stewart gave the program. I like Larry Wilmore a lot, but almost never watch him - it is on too late, and for some reason I don't watch the next day.

I do tend to be a "Morning Joe" guy, even if it often makes me want to throw things at the TV set. Even when they're maddening, though, I like the fact that there tend to be a multiplicity of philosophies around the table, which is unusual for TV. (Though I think they are a tad too self-congratulatory about it.) It becomes the soundtrack many mornings as I'm writing MNB. (Though not so much when I'm on the west coast, and I miss it.)

And I must confess that when I'm in the car - which I have been a lot, lately - I love listening to the POTUS channel on satellite radio. Don't tell Mrs. Content Guy, but I have a total crush on Julie Mason, who hosts "The Press Pool" every afternoon ... there are few things I find more entertaining than listening to smart journalists talk about what they're seeing and why it matters. I almost always learn something. And Mason seems to hold every politician in such disdain - while simultaneously loving the process - that it forms a combination I find utterly irresistible.
KC's View: