House of Sims/flickr
I often say that the Saturday editions of newspapers—supposedly traditional burial sites for long-held features and "light" stories--are the best of the week, and find myself reading them page by page, rather than the inevitable businesslike scanning of weekday papers or unmanageable bulk of Sunday.
This summer Saturday was a good example: a New York Times editorial scolding Congress for using food-stamp money the way states treat tobacco-settlement money: "like an all-purpose A.T.M. to help cover the cost of state aid." Some of the money is being shunted to school nutrition, a long-overdue and still-too-small reform that is nonetheless worth celebrating (Marion's Q&A on the act here, Atlantic Wire roundup here). But too much is going to non-food-aid programs like protecting jobs for teachers that, however worthy, don't feed families. Too bad Republicans put protecting the livestock industry—the original funding for school nutrition was to come from cuts to existing farm-conservation programs—ahead of school nutrition.
And the Times has a piece on the ongoing lawsuit accusing a defecting employee of absconding with state secrets: how Thomas' English Muffins get their "nooks & crannies." I have no idea whether the employee of the incredibly named Bimbo USA, the Mexican baking group that owns Thomas', promised to bring trade secrets to his new job with Hostess, homeland of cupcakes and Wonder Bread, which had been known for trying to crack the secret of consistency (home bakers can make holey English muffins, but it's a very wet and uncertain process, and you need metal baking rings). But I do find his explanation of what he did after he accepted the offer of a new job irresistible:
Within minutes of hanging up the phone, Bimbo's lawyers say, Mr. Botticella used his laptop computer to access a dozen company files containing confidential information and apparently copied them onto a flash drive. The company said that a search of computer records revealed other activities in the weeks before his departure in which he appeared to have copied sensitive files.
Mr. Botticella said in a deposition that he was merely practicing his computer skills in preparation for his new job.
For now the secret is apparently safe—Hostess, demonstrating typical corporate sensitivity, says it is "moving on" and not holding the job it offered the employee, while he waits for a lawsuit Bimbo brought barring his move to be settled. But it's gotten a lot of publicity for Thomas', and even I feel like going out to a coffee shop and ordering an English muffin "toasted" on a hot, greasy griddle.