It's not exactly a surprise that Comcast and Time Warner Cable rank poorly in terms of customer satisfaction, but maybe this survey will help you find solace next time you're sitting on hold for an hour. Consumers Union, an organization that is trying to block the two companies' mega-merger, released a survey today revealing that the top two largest cable companies need to work on their people skills.
Consumers Union, the parent company of Consumer Reports magazine, ranked 17 cable companies for overall customer satisfaction, and both cable giants both fared dismally: Comcast landed at 15th place, while Time Warner Cable came in at 16th place. They both received a failing score of a 58 out of 100. A Comcast spokesperson admitted to Variety that the company still has areas where improvement is needed, but added that "these stats show that our continued investments to transform the customer experience are having an impact and we are making progress."
Following her official introduction in a Vanity Fair cover story, Caitlyn Jenner is primed for her own E! series, I Am Cait — and today, the network unveiled a first look:
"People go through life, and they never deal with their own issues, no matter what they are," says Jenner in the promo. "Ours happen to be gender identity, but how many people go through life, and just waste their entire life, because they never deal with themselves? To be who they are?"
Though the promo is brief, it does give a small glimpse into Jenner's ongoing adjustment to her new life. "Isn't it great that maybe someday you'll be normal? Just blend into society?" she says wistfully. When her friend insists that Jenner is normal, she replies: "Put it this way: I'm the new normal."
I Am Cait premieres on July 26. Scott Meslow
A series of tweets from a BBC reporter mistakenly sparked rumors that Queen Elizabeth had died. Ahmen Khawaja first tweeted that the Queen had been taken to a hospital and then later that she had died, citing the BBC. The tweets were picked up by some news sources, including CNN, however, when NBC reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment, they were told that the 89-year-old monarch was not only alive, but making public appearances. The tweets were quickly deleted, and the BBC issued a statement claiming they were part of an "internal drill" rehearsing what would happen in the event of the Queen's actual death. Khawaja, for her part, claimed that the tweets were a "prank" and that her phone had been left unattended. Marshall Bright
False Alarm: Have deleted previous tweets!!
— Ahmen Khawaja (@AhmenKhawaja) June 3, 2015
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't announced a bid for the White House in 2016, but sources told the New York Post that a group of unnamed New York Democrats want to convince Bloomberg to run.
According to the Post, Clinton has a lead among Democrats because the field lacks "a credible challenger." Sources told the Post that Democrats have approached Bloomberg to "gauge his interest" about a 2016 run. One Democrat told the Post the plan might work because Bloomberg "can't stand" Clinton.
While nothing is for certain — one source told the Post he was optimistic because Bloomberg "didn't throw him out of the office" during their meeting — Bloomberg has expressed interest in the White House in the past. In 2008, the Post notes, Bloomberg sponsored polls and said he would run for president as an independent candidate. But a source who met with Bloomberg told the Post that the former mayor said it would be "no problem" for him to become a Democrat once again. Meghan DeMaria
A new CNN/ORC poll has found that Americans once again have a favorable opinion of George W. Bush — more favorable, in fact, than President Obama.
Politico notes that the poll, released Wednesday, marks the first time Americans have been this keen on the former president since April 2005. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they viewed Bush favorably, compared to 49 percent for Obama. Bush also edged out Obama in disapproval numbers, 43 percent to 49 percent.
More granular numbers don't look good for the sitting president either: 52 percent of respondents agreed that things in America are "going badly;" 52 percent disapproved of how Obama is handling the economy; and 63 percent disapproved of how Obama has responded to ISIS.
The poll, conducted from May 29 to May 31 via phone, surveyed 1,025 Americans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Meghan DeMaria
Now that President Obama has signed the USA Freedom Act, the National Security Agency will start collecting telephone metadata en masse again for six months, until the new system is up and running. At that point, phone companies will have to store that information — length of calls, numbers dialed, not content — for an unspecified amount of time, and the NSA and other spy agencies will need to get a court order to search through it.
But what about the years of phone records the NSA has already amassed? It's not clear, The Associated Press reports. "Obama administration officials have not said what they will do with those and whether they will continue to search them." AP does have other, more definitive answers in its Q&A about the Freedom Act, which you can read for further information. Peter Weber
On Wednesday, at the close of an international summit in Paris on fighting Islamic State, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the 9-month-old U.S.-led air campaign has killed more than 10,000 militants. "We have seen a lot of losses within Daesh [ISIS] since the start of this campaign, more than 10,000," Blinken told France Inter radio. "It will end up having an impact."
You might have noticed the future tense. Along with criticism of the U.S.-led air campaign among U.S. conservatives, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi complained to the conference that the international community isn't doing enough to help Iraq fight ISIS. "At the start of this campaign (we) said it would take time," Blinken said. "We have conceived a three-year plan and we're nine months into it." Peter Weber
On Monday's Daily Show, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he didn't think the U.S. deserved blame for creating ISIS and politely dismissed Jon Stewart's theory that the battle against Islamic State is a convoluted rematch of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. But this is Jon Stewart's show, so on Tuesday, he elaborated on that theory.
Stewart started out by playing clips of various Republicans accusing President Obama of creating ISIS by pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, which, he noted, was set in motion by George W. Bush. That wasn't Stewart's only problem with the Obama-did-it charge, but he didn't stop with tracing ISIS's roots to Bush's 2003 invasion. Using the GOP's proposed solution to ISIS — arming some faction — Stewart took a look back at America's poor track record in the region. "America is like Wile E. Coyote," he said: "Every time we send a weapon into the desert, it ends up exactly where we don't want it to end up."
The short version of Stewart's history lesson is that the U.S. armed Iraq's Baathists against Iran in the '80s, fought Iraq's Baathists in the '90s and '00s, and are now essentially allied with Iran against those same Iraqis, now rebranded as ISIS. Stewart's version is more entertaining and detailed. You can watch below. Peter Weber