DAYBREAK DAILY: Gun advocates sue to stop Maryland's new gun laws

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly sunny with highs in the mid 70s. { }

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – House Republicans continue to insist they won't approve a spending bill unless it strips funding from President Obama's signature health care overhaul; Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will celebrate the grand opening of Montgomery County's Capital Bikeshare Network; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

NOT SO FAST: Don’t tread on us, or something like that, per the Baltimore Sun, “Gun rights advocates said Thursday that they (have) filed a federal lawsuit to block Maryland's new gun control laws from going into effect next week, arguing that restrictions on assault weapons and large magazines infringe on their constitutional rights.

“The gun rights advocates, who include individual citizens, organizations and gun shops, say the Second Amendment and case law make it clear that they are legally allowed to own military-style assault rifles and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. In their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Maryland, which the office of Gov. Martin O'Malley confirmed was filed Thursday, they say the state's new gun laws would not reduce crime but would make innocent people less able to defend themselves.”

WAVE THAT FLAG: Or not, per columnist Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “William Faulkner hardly needs our validation. But living proof of his adage is about to get run up the flagpole at Richmond’s gateway. “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” he said. And on Saturday, a group called Virginia Flaggers will disinter the most discordant aspect of our history.

“At an unspecified tract of private land — along Interstate 95 in Chesterfield County near the city limits — it will raise a 15-square-foot Confederate battle flag up a 50-foot pole. And there’s nothing we can do to stop them. Yes, that battle flag is part of our history and a source of ancestral pride. It’s also a symbol of slavery and secession 150 years ago and of segregation and hatred a century beyond that.”

PERSONHOOD: Of one stubborn dude, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Even at 102, medical pioneer Dr. Howard Jones doesn't shirk controversial topics, and Thursday he plowed right into his opposition of so-called personhood bills. Jones, who with his wife created the program at Eastern Virginia Medical School that led to the country's first in-vitro fertilization baby in 1981, held court in a packed conference room at Virginia Wesleyan College for a lecture titled "When Did You Become a Person?"

“The lively centenarian arrived by way of a speedy motorized wheelchair and was dapperly dressed in a dark pinstripe suit, blue shirt and a tie. He spoke for an hour to a standing-room-only crowd of students, professors and community members, who listened raptly as he went over an array of opinions about when life begins: Fertilization of the egg? Implantation in the womb at five or six days? The existence of a heartbeat or brain waves at 20 to 24 weeks? Jones' opinion is it begins at the point of viability outside the womb, generally placed at 24 to 28 weeks.”

SITUATION SYRIA: A murky one, indeed, per the New York Times, “The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but there will be no automatic penalties if the Syrians fail to comply, officials said Thursday. The agreement, hammered out after days of back-room negotiations, is a compromise among the United States, its allies and Russia about how to enforce the resolution, which would eliminate Syria’s chemical arms program.

“But the deal, when approved by the 15 members of the Security Council, would amount to the most significant international diplomatic initiative of the Syrian civil war. It would also be a remarkable turn for President Obama, who had been pushing for a military strike on Syria just a few weeks ago before accepting a Russian proposal to have Syria give up its chemical arsenal.”

KENYA MAYHEM: Just the facts, per the Los Angeles Times, “The CIA is adding operatives and resources to focus on the Somalia-based militant group the Shabab as the FBI sends scores of agents to help examine evidence taken from the rubble of the shopping mall massacre in Nairobi, U.S. officials say.

“The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation, while the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are mining electronic data and quizzing informants in an effort to determine whether the Al Qaeda-linked group is planning new attacks, including any against U.S. facilities or interests.”

CHILDREN AT PLAY: No joke, per the Washington Post, “Washington stumbled toward a shutdown as the Republican Party’s rebellious right wing on Thursday blocked a strategy by House Speaker John A. Boehner for navigating a series of deadlines to keep the government funded and avoid a first-ever default. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team revealed the first step of that plan to rank-and-file lawmakers early Thursday, urging conservatives to shift their ¬assault on President Obama’s health-care law to the coming fight over the federal debt limit.

“That would allow lawmakers in the meantime to try to reach an agreement on a plan to fund federal agencies into the new fiscal year, which begins Tuesday, and avoid a shutdown. But about two dozen hard-liners rejected that approach, saying they will not talk about the debt limit until the battle over government funding is resolved.”

MEANWHILE: See above, per The Hill, “Feuding in the Republican Conference moved to the Senate floor on Thursday as Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) accused two colleagues of risking a government shutdown as a publicity stunt.

“The reason you don’t want to send a bill over to the House, who could possibly put in place some very good policies for us here, is that you want the American people and the outside groups that you’ve been in contact with to be able to watch us tomorrow,” Corker said to Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), two Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Shut down the government! Blow through the debt ceiling! Subject the United States to fiscal chaos or financial ruin if your party can’t get its way on unrelated ideological priorities! With apologies to Nike, maybe it’s time for the House Republicans to stop threatening and “Just do it.”

“Like an insistent teenage driver, determined to see how fast he can take that blind curve on a rainy road at night, the GOP seems unwilling to abandon its particular brand of brinkmanship until it winds up in the emergency room. If that’s the case, mightn’t it be better to let the crash happen, if only so the reconstruction can start?”

PICKING A FIGHT: Well, kind of, per City Paper, “David Catania isn't the first councilmember to tangle with Washington Post editorial writer Jo-Ann Armao. He may be the first, though, to compare her to the title character in The Wizard of Oz. For those who missed the movie or James Franco's 2013 prequel, Catania provided a recap at (Thursday’s) education committee hearing. The wizard—"a harmless, elderly illusionist," per Catania—was not as influential as he wanted people to believe. What he lacked in power, though, he made up for in bluster.

"Who is our wizard?" Catania asked from the dais. "Our wizard is Jo-Ann Armao, who, as I mentioned, is not a District resident." If you thought Catania still had a chance to court one of the city's most influential voices on education, there it goes. Ahead of his hearing on why the Office of the State Superintendent of Education chose grading standards that presented math scores in a positive light, the editorial board, long an ally of the school system, slammed Catania for grandstanding.”

MARYLAND AND OBAMACARE: Bring it on, per Gazette.Net, “Larry Gross has been preparing for Tuesday for quite a while. That day marks the opening of Maryland’s new health care exchange system, a key part of the federal Affordable Care Act. Individuals and families can start shopping for health insurance Tuesday, while small businesses with from two to 50 full-time employees in Maryland can start applying Jan. 1.

“We’ve actually been preparing for this for a couple of years now,” said Gross, executive director of market development for Rockville-based Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. Kaiser is one of several health care companies offering plans through the exchange, called Maryland Health Connection. With the system being new, Gross expects a few bugs and delays, though it’s hard to know what to expect.”

RETURN TO SENDER: Complexities, per the Frederick News-Post, “Lately, county commissioners have been struggling to get some people to accept county's money or its appreciation. Last week, state officials returned a $200,000 check to Frederick County with a letter calling the attempted grant repayment "premature."

“Then, on Thursday, two former members of the board of trustees for Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living stopped in at the county commissioners meeting to return their certificates of service recognition. Joseph Berman and Sonja Sperlich received their copies in July, after county commissioners decided to sell Citizens and Montevue and abolish the board of trustees.”

VIRGINIA RACE 2013: Of an endorsement, per the Washington Times, “The political arm of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor Thursday, handing the Democrat a key boost from the business community in the state’s largest jurisdiction while undercutting his Republican opponent’s most effective line of attack thus far.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Former President George H.W. Bush was an official witness at the same-sex wedding of two longtime friends, Helen Thorgalsen and Bonnie Clement. Thorgalsen posted a photo on her Facebook page showing Bush signing the marriage license as a witness.”

* * Public Service Announcement -- Saturday, September 28 is the Green Apple Day of Service, an international effort to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments. Local NGO Global Communities will team up with IMPACT Silver Spring to clean up Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring. More than 100 volunteers are expected to pitch in and help Broad Acres, the school with the highest concentration of students living in poverty in Montgomery County. Learn how you can support the project at * *

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) are Ralph Northam, the Democrat running for Lt. Governor in Virginia, and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

--Skip Wood