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Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

Season 1 of the Donald Trump presidency had a cliffhanger ending: The government shuts down on Day 365! Now the "Art of the Deal" author begins Season 2 with taunting cable clocks clicking off the seconds since the shutdown.

What's happening behind the scenes:

  • A senior Republican aide tells me: "The shutdown hardens positions. Folks don’t want to negotiate a deal right now."
  • What's next, from a top Republican lobbyist: "We are likely to have 2 more days of posturing and base-focused messaging before the positioning and negotiating phase opens a path to reopening. An optimist might hope for resolution by Tuesday. Both sides are winning with their respective bases, but even base voters will tire."
  • Axios' Jonathan Swan adds: "Dems have shown their base that they're willing to fight to mat for the Dreamers. Then when the inevitable deal is struck — and Trump gives amnesty to the Dreamers in exchange for modest wall funding — Dems will claim victory and [their] base will love it."
  • Swan says both bases are satisfied for now. But re the GOP: "Can Trump spin amnesty for some modest wall funding? That's gonna be tough."
  • N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin tweets: "Why were most Dems willing to engage in brinksmanship? Because they know the midterms will revolve around Trump."
  • Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on the floor yesterday: "Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O. ... [T]he President can’t make a deal and Congressional Republicans won’t."

Be smart: Most Americans greet shutdowns with a shrug, fully expecting a dysfunctional political system to do dysfunctional things. It's a shame they're right.

P.S. N.Y. Times gem, re a Mar-a-Lago fundraising gala for the first anniversary, with Trump stuck in Washington:

  • "Irritated to have missed his big event in Florida, Mr. Trump spent much of his day watching old TV clips of him berating President Barack Obama for a lack of leadership during the 2013 government shutdown, a White House aide said, seeming content to sit back and watch the show."

How it's playing ... N.Y. Times 2-column lead, "Blame and Bickering Muddy Parties’ Efforts To Resolve Shutdown" ... WashPost 6-column lead, "Sides cast bitter blame over shutdown impasse."

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Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as rate of recovery slows

Axios Visuals. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

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The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

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Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.