DAYBREAK DAILY: Cuccinelli, McDonnell spar about ethics reform

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with isolated rain showers and highs in the upper 70s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Updates on the multiple-fatality shooting at a Pennsylvania municipal building during; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

DUELING ETHICS: Draw your own conclusions, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor, is pressing Gov. Bob McDonnell to call a General Assembly special session on ethics, but McDonnell wants to wait until January. Cuccinelli has accepted $18,000 in gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr., whose relationship with McDonnell is the focus of state and federal investigations.

“. . . Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the governor, said McDonnell is formulating his own ethics proposals for consideration in the regularly scheduled legislative session that starts in January. That is the month McDonnell leaves office.”

MEANWHILE: This, per the Virginian-Pilot, “. . .Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe wants an outright ban on gifts exceeding $100 to elected officials and their families; Cuccinelli has proposed more rigorous reporting standards for family members and office holders. Sources close to Republican leaders in the General Assembly seemed blindsided by Cuccinelli’s call for a special session, saying they were still processing it Monday evening.

“Rather than respond to the idea, Virginia Democrats ridiculed Cuccinelli for promoting ethics reform after refusing to return gifts from Williams. “Ken Cuccinelli asking for a special session on ethics is like Alex Rodriguez asking Major League Baseball to get steroids out of the game,” said state party spokesman Brian Coy.”

POST SOLD: Jeffrey P. Bezos snaps it up, per the Washington Post, “It began with a bankruptcy sale in 1933, when a Republican businessman and presidential confidant reinvented himself as a newspaper publisher in the nation’s capital. It ended with an announcement that his descendants had sold the newspaper to an Internet wizard who lives in the Washington on the other side of the country. In between, The Washington Post and the family collectively known as the Grahams became inseparable, indistinguishable. They were journalism royalty known around the world but remained as distinctly Washington as the cop on the beat. Which one of them was.

“From Eugene Meyer to Philip L. Graham to Katharine Graham to Donald E. Graham to Katharine Weymouth, it was always a question of when power would shift from one generation to the next, not whether it would. Until Monday. The Graham family — an icon of both Washington and journalism for the newspaper it led — had made a startling decision. The Post, they said, would be better off with somebody else.”

JAIL LAPTOPS: For all, per the Baltimore Sun, “Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler pushed a novel solution Monday for closing what he called the "revolving door" of ex-offenders returning to prisons. Give inmates tablet computers. As Gansler envisions it, the proposal would help offenders build both education credentials and social support before they leave prison.

“The gubernatorial hopeful says the wireless devices would replace brick-and-mortar libraries and classrooms in the state's prison system, providing each inmate with an Android tablet that could connect with e-books, the state's library system, law resources and online learning programs.”

TERROR ALERT: Here’s how it started, per the New York Times, “The Obama administration’s decision last week to close nearly two dozen diplomatic missions and issue a worldwide travel alert came after the United States intercepted electronic communications in which the head of Al Qaeda ordered the leader of the group’s affiliate in Yemen to carry out an attack as early as this past Sunday, according to American officials.

“The intercepted conversations last week between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of the global terrorist group, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, revealed what American intelligence officials and lawmakers have described as one of the most serious plots against American and Western interests since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”

WHITEY BULGER: Trial nearing its end, per the Boston Globe, “A prosecutor in the James J. “Whitey” Bulger federal racketeering and murder trial summed up the government’s extensive case against the notorious Boston gangster Monday, saying Bulger was one of the worst criminals in the city’s history.

“Bulger was “one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston,” said Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak. Defense lawyers acknowledged that Bulger had been a millionaire crime boss but questioned the credibility of former Bulger associates who had testified for the prosecution in graphic detail about horrific crimes he allegedly committed.”

BOARDWALK MAYHEM: Of background, per the Los Angeles Times, “Nathan Louis Campbell came to Los Angeles less than a month ago, driving a 2008 Dodge Avenger just purchased from a dealership in Littleton, Colo. The 38-year-old lived in Hollywood nearly two decades ago, living on and off for a few months at Covenant House, which provides services and housing for homeless youth. It's unclear how he spent the years in between — aside from a string of petty crimes in Colorado and Florida, little is known about him.

“As a spotty picture emerged Monday of the suspect in Saturday's deadly hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk, investigators attempted to fill in the gaps and better understand what might have motivated Campbell's alleged crimes.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Monday defended her lengthy profile of Katharine Weymouth and said the publisher did not give “any hint that the company was about to be sold” when she was interviewed for the story that appeared in print just one day before the bombshell announcement of the Post’s sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“Stolberg’s profile piece on Weymouth — headlined “The Next Edition,” with the subhead “Katharine Weymouth Takes Charge at the Washington Post” — was published online on Aug. 2 and appeared in print on Aug. 4. The news broke on Monday that Bezos, in a personal capacity, had agreed to buy the Post for $250 million.”

TO VISIT: Or not to visit, per The Hill, “The White House will announce "in the coming days" whether President Obama plans to scrap planned bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

“The Obama Administration is upset with the Kremlin after Russian officials last week extended a yearlong temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the former Defense contractor who leaked details about top-secret National Security Agency programs. The decision allowed Snowden to leave the international transit zone of the Moscow airport, where he had been holed up for more than a month.”

D.C. DOINGS: Sigh, per City Paper, “City contractor Christian Carter's July 20 mayoral campaign kick-off featured an unlikely guest: an employee of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services with an affidavit for the new candidate to sign. Carter, caught in a dispute with the city over payments for producing the 2014 Children's Budget, claimed that Mayor Vince Gray was punishing him by withholding payments (emails between Cater and mayoral chief of staff Chris Murphy suggest otherwise). By agreeing to the affidavit, he started a process that would create checks for him to sign that would allow his subcontractor to be paid, his own argument with the District aside.

“More than two weeks after putting his name on the affidavit, though, Carter now won't sign over the checks, totaling about $40,000, according to Murphy and allegedly stiffed subcontractor Susie Cambria.”

COLD CASE NO MORE: Finally, per the Washington Times, “Detectives early on had solid leads in the 2011 slaying of D.C. firefighter Marc Dancy, even interviewing the man now charged in his death. But when the suspect’s estranged wife — who was romantically involved with the victim — declined to testify before a grand jury, the case went cold. It wasn’t until the woman’s teenaged son came forward this year to provide details about the night Dancy was killed that D.C. police were able to arrest 39-year-old Melvin Linkins, according to court documents.”

PENNSYLVANIA SHOOTING: Just the facts, per the Associated Press, “A gunman blasted shots through the wall of a Pennsylvania municipal building during a meeting on Monday and then barged into the meeting room and continued firing, killing three people, before he was tackled by a local official and shot with his own gun, a witness said. The shooting, which injured at least two other people, happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. during Ross Township's monthly meeting, Monroe County emergency management director Guy Miller said. The gunman, who appeared to be "shooting randomly," was captured and was treated at a hospital, he said.”

PARTY POOPER: Of a different angle, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “In 2010, the University of Georgia was ranked the top party school in the country. But since then, it has been all downhill. The Princeton Review released its latest list of the Top 20 Party schools, and the Bulldog Nation is ranked 11th. That’s down from second in 2011 and fifth last year.

“The top-ranked party school in the country is the University of Iowa, followed by the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 3-2 against Atlanta.

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--Skip Wood