I’m now in a different time zone, although one rather less glamorous than the one I left yesterday. On the other hand, with temperatures in the mid-50s, it appears that my childhood home has decided to cease being part of the mid-South and instead become part of the tropics.
One consequence of my not being in DC at the moment is that this is an unusually U.S.-centric package of links. This is also the consequence of Foreign Policy‘s apparently requiring some new signin stuff, which I refuse to do on principle and which threw a wrench in my link-gathering strategy for the day. Sorry.
- Brad DeLong wonders if Obama has ever bought a used car. I keep reminding myself that although conservatives think that the president is some kind of Machiavelli–Bill Daley mashup, many liberals increasingly believe that he’s the clueless community organizer Republicans used to think he is.
- Erik Voeten speculates that the Supreme Court’s ban on banning guns might actually make assault weapons control more likely.
- The heartwarming story of how one rich California community banded together to avoid paying higher taxes for yacht maintenance.
- In 1927, another tax protestor killed 45 children.
Finally, last minute gift ideas, if you’re really stuck!
- Private Empire, Steve Coll’s biography of ExxonMobil. I’m normally skeptical of biographies of corporations and anything that smacks of How-X-Explains-The-World (Cod! Salt! Soccer! And soon, presumably, escargot!) but Coll’s exploration of ExxonMobil, nonstate actor nonpareil, is gripping.
- City of Heavenly Tranquility, Jasper Becker’s history-cum-travelogue of life in a vanishing Beijing.
- The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, catnip and the best murder mystery I’ve read in a decade. Transformative in its ability to reshape how I see the role of religion and science in the ancient world.