Out of Scope

Preview image
Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

Hochul Shifts Gears

Plus: WNBA drama and AI phishing

Banner Image: Cary Institute of Economic Studies


  • American Express has successfully transformed from your dad’s card to a must-have for Gen Z and millennials. Attractive perks, ranging from travel credits to exclusive event access, have made Amex a more attainable status symbol for young, affluent consumers, resulting in a surge of younger cardholders.

  • The U.S. restaurant industry is feeling the heat this year. Inflation has young Americans dining out less. Even big chains like Applebees and Boston Market are closing locations as a direct result. Despite deals and promos, the outlook remains sour.

  • The WNBA rookies have entered the chat. All eyes are on star Caitlin Clark, and as conversations and opinions on hard fouls and “attacks” on Clark dominate headlines, league veterans are urging fans to stay informed.

💡ON OUR MINDS: Congestion Pricing Breaks Down

  • In a last-minute announcement last week, Governor Kathy Hochul postponed a congestion pricing plan that would have charged $15 for cars entering Manhattan south of 60th Street.

  • In a pre-recorded web video, she described the economic strain on New Yorkers following the pandemic. However, as transit and policy nerds were quick to point out, the vast majority of New Yorkers take public transit and would not be regularly impacted by the toll.

  • In a hasty press conference Friday night, the governor fielded questions from reporters. She confusingly cited a Midtown diner’s concern about its New Jersey customers as the sudden cause for the policy pivot, drawing ire and confusion all around.

  • This is a lesson about leadership if you ask the Times. In our humble opinion, it’s a lesson about the urgency and delicacy of climate comms. Congestion pricing has been shown to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions, and has even led to drops in asthma attacks in children.

  • With climate change causing more heat-related deaths in cities across the country, this is an example of the urgency and sensitivity required when addressing environmental action— and Hochul’s U-turn leaves much to be desired.


In case you missed these reads:

  • Editorial staff at the Washington Post and Daily Beast lost leading women this week. Audiences are taking note.

  • Love them or hate them, this Bloomberg deep dive into the Birkenstock empire has us begging for an open-toed and open book docu-series. 

  • AI has gone phishing. Recent research shows that 60% of participants fell victim to AI-generating phishing, matching the success rates of human-created messages.

Thanks for reading,


This week’s newsletter is brought to you by Mayor Adams’ potty puns.