It's back to the BART for some techies who've been enjoying a luxury commute. / Fred Roessler
The Baffler,  May 21, 2015

Daily Bafflements

It's back to the BART for some techies who've been enjoying a luxury commute. / Fred Roessler


• Private bus service Leap has been ordered to cease and desist by the state of California, and is shutting down operations while navigating what it calls a final regulatory “hurdle.” For Leap’s unfortunate commuters, it means no more “polished wood, black leather, spacious seating, . . . [or] two varieties of iced coffee.”

Roll Call blogger David Hawkings reports on the surprising number of congressmen sleeping in their offices to avoid paying rent in Capitol Hill. According to Hawkings,

No senators appear to be doing so, and the House contingent seems to be exclusively male — and lopsidedly Republican . . . Boasting about sleeping in the office is an easy way for the younger generation of fiscally conservative tea party Republicans to signal both their prudence and their disinterest in becoming “Washington insiders.” At the same time, a central aspect of GOP orthodoxy is that too many Americans have become reliant on federal largesse when they could be out working—“takers, not makers,” in one often-used construction.

Perhaps this marks a new commitment on the part of GOP congressmen to federally subsidized public housing, but we won’t hold our breath.

• Today in the on-demand economy: a new report confirms that the booming business of service-sector apps like Uber and TaskRabbit is doing little to help those companies’ struggling contract workers. As tech pundit Andrew Keen summarized, “These companies talk a kind of political correctness about the new economy and about making things fairer and offering people new opportunities, but they aren’t living up to it.” With startup valuations on such companies soaring, the next innovation may well be a company store for those fuzzy pink mustaches.

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Further Reading

 April 4

Official oversight commissions tend to perform all of the trappings of democratic accountability while rarely resulting in lasting reform.