DAYBREAK DAILY: Deeds attack prompts action by McDonnell

ABC7 WEATHER: Expect heavy morning showers to be more scattered later today as the storm pulls off to the north and east. Temperatures will drop throughout the afternoon as winds shift NW and cooler sir moves into the region. Thanksgiving day brings the return of sunshine as well as blustery cold air. Highs will peak in the 30's with wind chills in the 20's. Sunny and crisp conditions linger for Black Friday with slight warming for the weekend.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Comprehensive coverage of wet weather complicating holiday travel plans; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

CREIGH DEEDS: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gov. Bob McDonnell and state mental health officials are taking a fresh look at old flaws in Virginia’s fragmented mental health system after an attack that left state Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, wounded and his son, Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, dead by his own hand 13 hours after being released from an emergency custody order for a mental evaluation. Chief among their targets is a shortage of staffed psychiatric beds at private and state facilities to care for people who have been found to pose a danger to themselves or others.

“The Rockbridge Area Community Services Board said it released Gus Deeds because it could not find an appropriate bed to take him for further evaluation and treatment before the statutory clock ran out on the emergency order to hold him against his will. A number of hospitals, including state-run Western State Hospital in Staunton, have said they had beds available and were not contacted, but McDonnell agreed Tuesday that the search for an appropriate bed appears to have contributed to what happened to Gus Deeds.”

WHO?: That is the key question, per the Baltimore Sun, “Somewhere in the wide world exists a certain Jawan Johnson, who has a warrant out for his arrest so he can be brought to testify in a Washington burglary case. There also exists a certain Jawon Johnson — with an "O" — a Baltimorean who is not a witness in a burglary case.

But somewhere in the databanks of a computer tracking police paperwork, the two Johnsons became confused in spite of the differing vowels in their first names. So when a Havre de Grace police officer pulled Jawon Johnson over on Pulaski Highway on Saturday night, he thought he had the wayward witness in hand. It was a mistake. But due to the quirks of the interstate extradition process and the slow crawl of weekend paperwork, the 18-year-old, who had stopped to see a friend in Harford County while on holiday break from college, couldn't leave.”

VIRGINIA RACE 2013: Of a recount, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Mark Obenshain is saying the "R" word that Virginia's political class has been waiting for: Recount. The Republican candidate for state attorney general has scheduled a conference call this morning for his lawyers to discuss plans for a recount in the closest statewide election in modern history.

“The Harrisonburg Republican trails Democrat Mark Herring of Loudoun County by 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast in the Nov. 5 election. That's well within the legal range for a court-supervised recount, which can occur upon request when not more than 1 percent of the total vote for two candidates in a statewide election separates them. So slim is the spread between the two state senators that taxpayers will foot the recount bill as state law prescribes when the difference doesn't exceed one-half of 1 percent.”

UP ON THE ROOF: Or not, per the Washington Post, “Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Tuesday that Washington Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner pitched him earlier this year on a pricey plan to have the city build a retractable roof over Nationals Park — a proposal, Gray said, that he swiftly but politely rejected. The private one-on-one meeting took place in the John A. Wilson Building in mid-July and lasted about 15 minutes, Gray said.

“An administration official familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly on it confirmed that there have been no recent talks about improvements of that scope for Nationals Park, which was built with well more than $600 million in taxpayer financing and opened in 2008. “The mayor was polite but unequivocal,” the official said. “We are not going to spend taxpayer money to put a roof on the stadium, regardless of the cost.”

OBAMACARE: The latest, per the New York Times, “White House officials, fearful that the federal health care website may again be overwhelmed this weekend, have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users. At the same time, administration officials said Tuesday that they had decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern that it might drive too many people to the still-fragile

“With a self-imposed deadline for repairs to the website approaching on Saturday, the administration is trying to strike a delicate balance. It is encouraging people to go or return to the website but does not want to create too much demand. It boasts that the website is vastly improved, but does not want to raise expectations that it will work for everyone. “We are definitely on track to have a significantly different user experience by the end of this month,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Tuesday. “That was our commitment.” { }

MEANWHILE: SCOTUS on the job, per The Hill, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted a challenge to ObamaCare's mandate requiring private businesses to offer their employees contraception as part of their insurance coverage. The case centers on a controversial measure of the Affordable Care Act that business owners say violates their right to religious freedom by forcing them to pay for a service they find objectionable.

“It will be the first time that the high court will revisit the healthcare law since last June, when it upheld the constitutionality of the overall law and affirmed a requirement that individuals carry health insurance or pay a penalty. The court will hear the case this term, most likely in the spring. The White House in a statement expressed confidence the court would hold up the mandate.”

POLITICO PLAY: “With all the waves of bad news about the Obamacare website and the canceled policies, it would be easy to conclude that nothing in this law will ever work — that it’s just too big and complicated and messy. But that’s not the complete picture of the Affordable Care Act rollout. There are a few bright spots — just enough to suggest that, for all the early disasters, the law’s fate isn’t final yet.

“There are states that are running their own websites and enrolling a lot of people, way more than the amateur-hour federal website that serves most of the states. Medicaid enrollment, another part of the law, is going significantly better than the signups for private insurance — nearly 400,000 people were determined to be eligible in October. And nationally, 1.5 million people applied for health coverage in October — suggesting that there’s a lot more potential interest than the 106,000 who got all the way through the federal and state Obamacare websites to select a private health plan.”

POLITICAL BOOTY: IRS takes a stand, per the Los Angeles Times, “In a long-anticipated move to restrict the flood of secret money in campaigns, the IRS for the first time proposed rules to rein in the political activities of tax-exempt groups that have emerged as heavyweight players in American elections. Tuesday's proposal, which faces a long and likely arduous path before becoming final, could dramatically reshape the campaign landscape.

“Since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010, nonprofit groups organized under section 501(c)4 of the tax code have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into television commercials to back candidates and political causes — without revealing their donors. The groups include conservative organizations, such as Americans for Prosperity backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, as well as liberal ones, such as Organizing for Action, which started out as President Obama's campaign operation.”

VIRGINIA TECH MASS SHOOTINGS: Just the facts, per the Roanoke Times, “The parents of two women slain at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, have asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its recent decision to overturn a jury finding of negligence against the state. The plaintiffs in the case — the parents of the late Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde — have filed a petition for rehearing with the high court.

“On Halloween, seven of the court’s justices overturned a combined $8 million jury award for the plaintiffs that was handed down by a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury in 2012. “This Court should respect the jury’s findings on these issues,” the plaintiffs wrote in their rehearing petition. The seven justices who heard the case originally will do an administrative review of the petition and issue an order at a later date, Deputy Clerk Lesley Smith said Tuesday.”

NO NEW TAXES: Read their lips, per the Frederick News-Post, “State lawmakers from Frederick County are laying the groundwork for an all-out attack on taxes during the 2014 session of the Maryland General Assembly. Sen. David Brinkley is looking to reduce the corporate income tax rate and adjust the Maryland estate tax. Delegate Michael Hough wants to require a supermajority vote for any tax increases. And Delegate Kathy Afzali is looking to ease the estate tax burden on family businesses.

“Several of these proposals have fizzled in past legislative sessions, but Brinkley, R-District 4, said bringing them back will continue the discussion about tax relief. “At least they can be conversation starters,” he said. The process of crafting legislation for the year is already underway. Earlier this month, state senators and delegates had to decide if they wanted to draft any bills to be pre-filed before the Jan. 8 start of session.”

DITCHING: School, per Gazette.Net, “When the system tries and still can’t get kids to stop missing school, their parents could face criminal charges. Prosecutors estimate that in the last year, they brought charges against 25 to 30 parents, including a recent case in which a mother was sentenced to a week in jail.

“Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said charges are only filed in the “most egregious cases” of parents repeatedly refusing to follow the law. Truancy Court — a voluntary program in which students discuss attendance problems with a panel of school officials — is one resource county authorities use to encourage students to stay in school.”

LIBERTARIAN LEANINGS: A crusade in the District, per City Paper, “Bruce Majors has found a few more bodies. With his party’s first primary just months away, the District’s Libertarian mastermind is scrambling for names to put on the ballot. Last Thursday, he had two more people to shepherd through the Board of Elections.

“District rules require that candidates have signatures from 1 percent of their party’s registered members to qualify for ballot access, so the flood of Democrats prepping for April’s primary election need as many as 2,000 signatures to run. Wary of bogus signatures and Board of Elections challenges, many of them will collect many times that; mayoral hopeful Muriel Bowser claimed to have pulled together 4,000 in one weekend. But with only 145 registered Libertarians, each of Majors’ candidates only needs two signatures to make it through.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards beat L.A. Lakers 116-111.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Police are urging District area residents to lock their windows -- fire escape burglaries are on the rise.
Two apartments were hit this past weekend, and robbers got away with credit cards and cash.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is D.C. Councilman Vincent Orange, who will be asked about the minimum wage debate, the delay in the election of the city’s attorney general and his campaign for mayor.

--Skip Wood