Acquisition

Arthur Miller By Christopher Bigsby (Harvard University Press, 739 pp., $35) I. Arthur Miller could hardly have hoped for a more sympathetic biographer than Christopher Bigsby. He is the director of the Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and the author of a long commentary on Miller’s work and a book-length interview with the playwright.

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Via Andrew, I notice the LA Times is reporting that Rupert Murdoch is in talks to unload The Weekly Standard. Sullivan adds: The possible buyer is a far right Christianist, Philip Anschutz, whose campaigns include keeping gay people marginalized (he funded Colorado's Amendment 2), discouraging the teaching of evolution (he founded the Discovery Institute), and the Pass It On organization, the Foundation For A Better Life. It would mean even more theoconservatism and Christianism at TWS - just what we need!

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Funny. At our first editorial meeting after Geithner announced the details of his bank plan, I mentioned how a source had joked it was such a good deal the banks might want to bid on the toxic assets themselves. Well, this is apparently no longer a joke. Via Pat Garofolo, the FT reports that the big banks are mulling over precisely that: US banks that have received government aid, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, are considering buying toxic assets to be sold by rivals under the Treasury’s $1,000bn (680bn) plan to revive the financial system.

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Three Cheers For Obama

I got an email this morning from a friend in Europe whose views mirror those of other Europeans I have talked to. My friend writes about Barack Obama at the G-20, “He wants only more stimulus from the rest of the world to rescue the fucking assholes in the United States that created the disaster in the first place.

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On the evening of January 22, a few hours after his administration's debut news conference, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the cramped quarters of the White House press corps. It was meant to be a friendly event, and Obama glad-handed his way through reporters and cameramen, exchanging light banter as he went. But Politico reporter Jonathan Martin wasn't there to chat. Martin pressed Obama about the president's decision to nominate William J. Lynn III, a former defense lobbyist, to deputy defense secretary and about Obama's pledge to curtail the influence of lobbyists.

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Daily Round-up, 1/26

Medicaid enrollments are surging. Pfizer will acquire Wyeth for $68 billion, and about 8,000 jobs are expected to be lost. The recession is making people sicker, says one Boston hospital. Health care costs for workers have soared, even though employers are footing more of the bill.   Only one in ten laid-off workers chose to be covered by COBRA, mostly due to high costs. Accidental infant deaths rates are on the rise. Canada is experimenting with medical outsourcing. --Suzy Khimm

When Berkley Books announced it was canceling the Feb. 3 release of Herman Rosenblat's Holocaust memoir, Angel at the Fence, the publisher said it would demand that Rosenblat and his agent Andrea Hurst repay the entire advance. In the days since Berkley yanked Rosenblat's book, Hurst has consulted lawyers to "protect her interests," while a lawyer for film producer Harris Salomon told me tonight that their side is considering a fight against publisher's decision to pull the book. On Dec.

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Antivirus

Christopher Beam at Slate suggests an alternative to the Obama campaign's aggressive efforts to fight the viral smears circulating about his candidacy. Launch a viral anti-smear: From: [Redacted]To: [Redacted]Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.... Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times.

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The Devil's Advocate

The sleazy lobbyist who might save the world.

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I saw Jason DeParle's byline over a New York Times dispatch from Dubai. Jason, who started his career at The New Republic is a correspondent not given to cheery subjects. So when I saw his name matched with the dateline I knew something serious was afoot.

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