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GOP watch: Scarborough vs. Palin

Writing in Politico, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough argues, “Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up.”

Chris Christie’s $271 million IOU: “New Jersey owes the federal government more than $271 million after canceling a rail tunnel connecting the state with New York City, according to a debt notice obtained yesterday by the Associated Press. The letter from the Federal Transit Administration’s chief financial officer to NJ Transit’s executive director demands payment of $271,101,291 by Dec. 24. It’s money the government wants New Jersey to repay for work done on the Hudson River tunnel before Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, terminated the project. The notification follows a warning letter earlier this month estimating the charges.” More: “A Christie administration spokesman, Michael Drewniak, would not say yesterday whether the charge would be paid in full or disputed, or where New Jersey would get the money if it decides to repay the government or is found liable for all or part of the bill.”

“Potential candidates for chairman of the Republican National Committee will take questions at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon, and they'll be ranked on their humility, fairness and managerial skills, among other things,” Roll Call reports. “The Republican National Conservative Caucus, a group of 26 RNC members, is organizing the panel, along with FreedomWorks, the group founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas). Former RNC Political Director Gentry Collins, former RNC Co-Chairwoman Ann Wagner, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy, former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and Maria Cino, the CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention, have confirmed they’ll participate in the panel, said caucus Chairman James Bopp Jr., a committeeman from Indiana.”

“George W. Bush added a high-profile friend to his social network on Monday, trading jokes and compliments with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a live chat watched by nearly 7,000 viewers,” the New York Daily News reports.