The Baffler,  February 3, 2015

Daily Bafflements


Pheasant feathers / Photo by Chris Maynard
Pheasant feathers / Photo by Chris Maynard

• An interior design company that is literally called Euro Trash has decorated the Capitol Hill offices of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) to resemble a specific room from the fictional palatial estate of “Downton Abbey,” from PBS’s dramatic series of the same name. The room has deep red walls, “a drippy crystal chandelier, a table propped up by two eagles, a bust of Abraham Lincoln and massive arrangements of pheasant feathers.”

• A lot of people are fretting today about New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s dumb comments about vaccination, but maybe he should be getting a little bit more flack for this catalog of luxe gifts he’s received from friendly corporations and foreign dignitaries. Not that it’s illegal or anything, though: “An executive order Mr. Christie signed in 2010 allows New Jersey governors to have travel and related expenses paid by foreign governments; it does not specifically address gifts such as the parties the king held for him, but the governor’s staff said it was covered under a provision that allowed gifts from personal friends,” write Kate Zernike and Michael Barbaro.

• Headline of the Day,’s take on the ongoing nationwide strike affecting workers in oil refineries and chemical plants: “GAS PAINS?”

• Today in Billionaires: India now has more billionaires than Russia. But China still has more billionaires than both, and the U.S. is still, of course, number one. India is so hot right now; Google has chosen the country as its next location for “Launchpad,” its startup mentorship program, and startups there already have corny names in the Silicon Valley style, like the real estate portal “Commonfloor” and the customer service tool “FreshDesk.”




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Further Reading

 April 18

The truth is that while tech giants act with an authoritarian indifference toward their citizen-consumers, it’s increasingly important they are seen as liberal.

 April 17

Once it became clear that his congressional interrogation would have all the intensity of a flogging with wet lettuce, Facebook founder. . .