Links for March 29th

BBC News: Jordan battles to regain ‘priceless’ Christian relicsSeventy ancient books, made out of lead, have been found in a Jordanian cave. The text is in encoded Hebrew, little of which has been translated. Scholars are debating whether they are of Jewish origin or—far more tantalizingly—very early Christian origin. Village Voice: Women’s Funding Network Sex […]

Links for March 1st

Krulwich Wonders…: Cactus Walking On 20 Legs Found In ChinaHalf a billion years ago, lifeforms suddenly took on crazy, elaborate new shapes. It's really not clear why it happened, but they sure were impressive. Washington Post: GOP spending plan would cost 700,000 jobs, new report saysMoody's has released an analysis of the Republican spending plan, […]

Links for February 21st

New York Times: As Republicans See a Mandate on Budget Cuts, Others See Risk"Public surveys suggest that most voters do not share the Republicans’ fervor for the deep cuts adopted by the House, or for drastically slashing the power of public-sector unions." I imagine that the electoral see-saw is going to continue in 2012, with […]

How we got our mortgage. Or: Why so many people bought houses they couldn’t afford.

Our loan officer was insistent: we’d be nuts not to get an adjustable rate mortgage. It was October of 2007. We’d met with this SunTrust loan officer—I’ll call him “Jim”—a couple of times so far, and we were moving ahead with a construction loan to be rolled into a permanent loan when our new house […]

“You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit.”

Matt Taibbi on conservatives’ efforts to paint Obama has both socialist and fascist, despite his administration’s huge giveaways to bailed-out businesses: It requires serious mental gymnastics to describe the Obama administration — particularly the Obama administration of recent weeks, which has given away billions to Wall Street and bent over backwards to avoid nationalization and […]

Left of Center: Poverty in Charlottesville

You’ve heard the stories about tent cities springing up around major cities throughout the U.S. We’re not quite at that point in Charlottesville, but with 20% of the city below the poverty line, it’s time for some innovative thinking to tackle this problem. Tomorrow night’s Left of Center forum is on that very topic: The […]

Contemporary account of 1999 loosening of banking restrictions.

This November 1999 New York Times article on financial services deregulation is awesome: Congress approved landmark legislation today that opens the door for a new era on Wall Street in which commercial banks, securities houses and insurers will find it easier and cheaper to enter one another’s businesses. […] The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall […]