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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 12/15/2011

Shutdown fever strikes again; Newt’s historian story gets checked (read-this roundup)

Unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others broker a deal ... another shutdown looms. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)
Another day, another shutdown. For what feels like the umpteenth time of late, government workers are figuring out whether they are “essential” or “nonessential,” our colleague Rosalind Helderman reports, as negotiations over a payroll tax holiday appear stalled — a stalemate that could lead to a partial government shutdown.

Agencies are girding, our colleague Ed-O’Keefe re ports.

At least by now, they know the drill.

Elsewhere, Newt Gingrich often describes himself as a “historian,” but our colleagues over at the Fact Checker aren’t so sure the term applies to the former house speaker, who’s now a candidate for the GOP nomination. “He hasn’t worked in the field of history in about 33 years, and he never published a scholarly or peer-reviewed book, to the best of our knowledge,” writes Josh Hicks.

And our quote of the day: “Are you still awake?” — Former president George H.W. Bush, in a video roast of former national security adviser Brent Sowcroft. Sowcroft’s habit of falling asleep during meetings was the most-used joke during an evening devoted to honoring the veteran adviser, our colleagues at the Reliable Source report.

By  |  10:52 AM ET, 12/15/2011

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