Grapevine: Girl Scout cookie caper

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Who's Getting Paid?

The Department of Veterans Affairs paid out $2.2 billion in mistaken benefits last year leaving deserving vets to wait even longer to get help.

The VA's Inspector General finds the payment error rate jumped more than 25 percent in 2012.

The agency blames a de-centralized, antiquated accounting system for the mistakes.

The VA has also been unable to reduce a backlog of claims. 68 percent of veterans applying for disability have their claims pending for longer than 125 days.

Bracketology

The NCAA basketball tournament begins later this week.

Workplace activity and productivity has already taken a hit thanks to filling out all those March Madness brackets.

A survey by Team Finder finds that 74 percent of Americans admit they will be distracted from their work because of the NCAA tourney.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which comes out with a report on this subject every year, estimates three million people will watch or follow the games for between one and three hours during the Thursday and Friday contests.

That amounts to employers losing $134 million in productivity over that particular period.

But your boss isn't the only one taking the hit. PreGame.com estimates $12 billion will be spent on gambling -- $3 billion of which will go into office pools.

The Grapevine recommends filling out your bracket before the morning meeting.

Dulce De Mean

And finally, a not-so-funny joke on some Oregon Girl Scouts.

Someone placed an order for $24,000 worth of cookies for a company that did not exist.

That left the Girl Scouts holding 6,000 boxes of cookies with little hope of raising the money they needed to attend summer camp or do any of their service projects.

So that's when the good folks of Portland stepped in. Huge crowds waited in line for hours to buy the cookies this weekend.

3,000 boxes were sold Saturday alone and there will be another sale next Saturday.

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