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brooklynite's Journal
brooklynite's Journal
March 26, 2023

The Girl Scout cookie crumbled this year. Here's what happened

For decades, Girl Scouts has used cookie sales to raise funds and teach scouts about entrepreneurship. This year, thanks to the Raspberry Rally cookie, members got a painful lesson in what can happen when high demand meets limited supply.

The much-hyped Rally, a raspberry-flavored spin on the Thin Mint, was always supposed to be a limited-edition cookie. But interest in it seemed to have taken Girl Scouts leadership by surprise — perhaps because of a new online-only ordering system.

As demand surged, with some cookies even ending up on eBay, in some cases listed for about $40 per box, supply stayed the same because cookie makers couldn’t quickly pump out more Rallies. One of the Scouts’ manufacturers, ABC Bakers, said it needs lots of lead time to make limited-edition cookies. The other, Little Brownie Bakers, said bad weather caused power outages at a Kentucky plant, contributing to other inventory issues that lead to tight supply.

As a result, the Rallies sold out rapidly, leaving scouts and parents to explain the situation to annoyed shoppers even as they tried to make sense of it themselves.


March 23, 2023

Taliban Militants Fed Up With Office Culture, Ready to Quiet Quit


Almost two years after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the jihadists who transitioned from the battlefields to paper-pushing government jobs in the city are ready to quiet quit.

The Afghanistan Analysts Network, a non-profit policy research organization working to increase the understanding of life in Afghanistan, released a report last month examining how the jihadists who took over Kabul—many of whom arrived in the capital for the first time—were finding city life and their new roles.

Researcher Sabawoon Samim interviewed five jihadists who had spent several years of their lives fighting for the Taliban. “They ranged in age from 24 to 32 and had spent between six and 11 years in the Taliban, at different ranks: a Taliban commander, a sniper, a deputy commander and two fighters,” Samim wrote in his report. “Broadly speaking, all of our interviewees preferred their time as fighters in what they considered a jihad.” Now, the men find themselves shackled with the bureaucracy of running a country as they work civilian jobs and security positions, spend too much time in traffic and on Twitter, and yearn for the tranquility of village life.

“The shift to working within government structures has forced them to adhere to official rules and laws they never faced before. They find ‘clocking in’ for office work tedious and almost unbearable, although some said they were now getting used to the routine,” the report states.
March 23, 2023

In Israel, Another Divisive Law on Another Day of Mass Protest

Source: New York Times

Israel’s Parliament passed legislation early Thursday that would make it more difficult to declare prime ministers incapacitated and remove them from office, a move that critics said was aimed at protecting the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption.

Under the legislation, the latest in a series of divisive bills pursued by the government, a sitting prime minister could only be declared incapacitated on physical or mental health grounds.

The bill, passed by a bare majority of 61 in the 120-seat Parliament, came just before tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets for another stormy day of protest against the government plan for a broad overhaul of the judiciary.

Opponents of the plan, which would give the government more control over judicial appointments and weaken the Supreme Court by severely restricting judicial review of legislation, say that it would subvert the country’s democratic system.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/23/world/middleeast/israel-netanyahu-protests.html
March 23, 2023

Grand Jury Expected to Resume Hearing Trump Hush-Money Case on Monday

New York Times

It now appears that any indictment of former President Donald J. Trump would not come until next week at the earliest.

The grand jury hearing evidence about Mr. Trump’s role in a hush-money payment to a porn star typically does not consider the case on Thursdays and does not meet on Fridays, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg has been questioning witnesses about the role Mr. Trump played in the payment to the porn star, Stormy Daniels, and there have been several signals that the prosecutors are nearing an indictment. Still, the exact timing of any charges remains unknown.

Although the special grand jury hearing evidence about Mr. Trump meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it typically does not hear evidence about the Trump case on Thursdays, according to the person with knowledge of the matter. Special grand juries, which unlike regular grand juries sit for months at a time and hear complex cases, routinely consider several cases simultaneously.

March 23, 2023

Meet the Lonely New York Progressive Defending TikTok

New York Times

Of TikTok’s 150 million American users, there may be none more valuable to the embattled platform right now than Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York.

A backbench Democrat, Mr. Bowman commands neither TikTok’s largest following (he has about 159,000 fans) nor exceptional legislative clout. But in recent days, he has gone where almost no one else on Capitol Hill would, appointing himself the platform’s unofficial defender in face of a bipartisan race to target what President Biden sees as a national security threat.

“Why the hell are we whipping ourselves into a hysteria to scapegoat TikTok?” Mr. Bowman asked in a telephone interview as he traveled by train to Washington on Wednesday.

Hours later, he held a news conference outside the House touting the platform’s virtues, alongside dozens of influencers brought in by TikTok for a day of lobbying ahead of Thursday’s congressional hearing with its chief executive. Only two other Democrats attended, while some of the congressman’s most outspoken allies declined to weigh in, like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow member of the group of left-leaning lawmakers known as the squad.

March 23, 2023

Jeff Zients discovers the thanklessness of the White House chief of staff gig


The grumbling has already begun over Joe Biden’s new chief of staff.

Less than two months into his role as top White House aide, Jeff Zients faces frustration among progressives who see his influence behind Biden’s recent tack toward the center.

House Democrats are still stewing over Biden’s about-face on a D.C. crime bill that blindsided them, and left vulnerable lawmakers to deal with the political fallout. And within a wider circle of White House allies, Zients’ arrival has sparked complaints that they are cut out of the loop after enjoying direct West Wing access through his predecessor, Ron Klain.

“There’s a transition going on in the administration,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “We were looking forward to developing a good relationship with Jeff Zients, but at this point, we’re not in that place yet. So we’re still working on it.”

March 23, 2023

'We're going first whether they like it or not,' NH Governor Sununu on retaining first-in-the nation

Source: Boston Globe

New Hampshire Governor Chris T. Sununu isn’t prepared to relinquish his state’s status as the first in the nation to hold the presidential primary without plenty of pushback.

“We’re going first whether they like it or not,” Sununu said Tuesday during a forum hosted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.

The Democratic National Committee voted in February to give South Carolina the party’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary for the 2024 cycle, a move that New Hampshire’s Democratic leaders say is punitive and could make it more difficult to expand voting rights in the Granite State.

At the forum, Sununu said he responded to the vote with a letter to the DNC that was “cordial but firm and snarky with a little bit of New England sarcasm thrown in there” saying the DNC was “crazy” and to go “pound sand.”

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/22/metro/were-going-first-whether-they-like-it-or-not-nh-governor-sununu-retaining-first-in-the-nation-presidential-primary-2024/

Didn't see that coming....

Actually I did, and I spoke to Jaime Harrison about it. Not consequential in 2024, but for the next open Primary, either 1) NH will go first, 2) the Democratic Party will have to hold its own Primary/Caucus at a later date, or 3) we'll have to screw over Democratic voters in a Battleground State.

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