DAYBREAK DAILY: Maryland rivals rip Anthony Brown over insurance exchange

ABC7 WEATHER: Partly cloudy with highs in the upper 40s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Police chase in Arlington leaves cars damaged; President Obama to honor JFK and his legacy; U.S. Rep. Trey Radel arrested for cocaine possession; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

OPPORTUNISTIC: Of an opening, per the Baltimore Sun, “Two rival campaigns for governor took aim Tuesday at Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown over his role in the glitch-riddled launch of Maryland's health insurance exchange, contending that he mismanaged implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Fellow Democrat Douglas F. Gansler's campaign contends that Brown — who took a leading role in setting up the state-operated market for buying health insurance — "dropped the ball" in the effort to get the exchange up and running Oct. 1.

“Gansler's running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey of Prince George's County, led the charge by issuing a statement expressing hope that Gov. Martin O'Malley has taken over the job from Brown — the front-runner in the race. . . Republican gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig, was quick to add his criticism. Craig, the Harford County executive, released a statement saying, "The hard work of cleaning up the mess that is Obamacare is better left to anyone but Anthony Brown." Gansler and Brown declined to be interviewed for this article. Brown's campaign manager, Justin Schall, issued a statement saying that Brown finds it "disappointing that Doug is joining Republicans in attacking the president's health care plan."

MEANWHILE: “Numbers tell the story, per the Washington Post, “Maryland is wrestling with stubborn technological problems with its online insurance exchange, posting weak enrollment even as other states have signed up thousands of consumers for plans under President Obama’s new health-care law.

“In October, the exchange’s first full month of operation, 1,278 people signed up for the private plans, and 465 signed up in the first week of November. Those low numbers raise questions about whether Maryland will achieve its enrollment target of 150,000 by the end of March. The state has about 800,000 uninsured residents.”

CREIGH DEEDS: Just the facts, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “State Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed multiple times early Tuesday during an altercation at his Bath County home, and his son, Gus, is dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police are investigating the attack as an attempted murder-suicide. Gus Deeds had been released Monday after a mental health evaluation performed under an emergency custody order, an official said.

“Deeds, 55, the 2009 Democratic nominee for governor, was stabbed in the head and torso but was alert and had given statements to authorities, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman said at a 3:30 p.m. news conference in Charlottesville. He was listed in fair condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. At 8:15 p.m., Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, tweeted that Deeds was out of surgery and resting at the hospital.”

SHE DON’T LIE: Cocaine, per ABC7-WJLA, “Henry "Trey" Radel, 37, is an energetic and self-proclaimed conservative member of Congress. He represents Southwest Florida cities like Fort Meyers and Naples. And the freshman Florida Rep. has been charged with cocaine possession after what a federal law enforcement official described Tuesday as a "buy and bust" operation.

“In a statement expressing regret soon after his charge was made public on Tuesday, the 37-year-old Republican lawmaker issued a statement saying he was “profoundly sorry” and "I struggle with the disease of alcoholism and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.” He was scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in District of Columbia Superior Court.”

SUPREME SPLIT: Of abortion, per the New York Times, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an emergency application asking it to block a Texas law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The decision was effectively 5 to 4 and split along ideological lines.

“The effect of the ruling, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the four dissenters, was to leave 24 counties in the Rio Grande Valley without abortion clinics. “It may,” he added, “substantially reduce access to safe abortions elsewhere in Texas.” Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., wrote that the challengers to the law had not met a heavy procedural burden in asking the Supreme Court to alter an appeals court’s provisional decision to let the law go into effect while it considers an appeal.”

NUCLEAR OPTION: Reid puts it on the table, per The Hill, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Tuesday that he is considering changing Senate rules to prevent Republicans from filibustering President Obama’s judicial nominees. “I’m at the point where we need to do something to allow government to function,” Reid said when asked if he would consider using the nuclear option, a controversial procedural tactic for changing Senate rules.

“The proposed rules change would not affect Supreme Court nominees, said Democratic sources. The tactic would allow Democrats to change the Senate’s rules with a simple-majority vote.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The Army should use photos of “average-looking women” when it needs to illustrate stories about female soldiers, a specialist recommends — images of women who are too pretty undermine the communications strategy about introducing them into combat roles. That’s the gist of an internal Army e-mail an Army source shared with POLITICO.”

WEDDING BELLS: Mayor Gray does this thing, per City Paper, “Adams Morgan residents Robert Robertson Jr. and Carlos Taylor had good reason to be nervous ahead of their Wilson Building wedding Tuesday, but Mayor Vince Gray confessed to some jitters of his own. After all, it was his first time officiating a wedding. "I'm auditioning today," Gray says.

“So, how'd he do? As an officiant, the mayor has a tendency to build towards false climaxes—LL thought the couple had been married three times before they actually were. On the other hand, his staff handed out information sheets about the happy couple ("Rob and Carlos are both Sci-Fi and fantasy geeks"), so a mayorally-sanctioned wedding apparently comes with the weight of Gray's PR operation behind it.”

ANGRY MAN: Law’s the law, says he, per the Frederick News-Post, “Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has vowed to call every Maryland legislator in protest if a proposed bill curtailing enforcement of immigration law is introduced in the state's 2014 General Assembly. State Sen. Victor Ramirez, D-Prince George's, announced Tuesday plans to introduce the Maryland Trust Act, which would eliminate local law enforcement agencies' involvement in detaining immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.”

WEIRD BANKING: Just the facts, per Gazette.Net, “At least two parents of Rock Terrace School students have received notification from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office that records from bank accounts under their children’s names have been subpoenaed for a grand jury investigation. A Nov. 11 letter from the office to a parent said a grand jury subpoena “has been issued for bank account records maintained in the student’s name at Education Systems Federal Credit Union.”

“The subpoena is part of the county state’s attorney’s office investigation into how Rock Terrace staff handled money students earned while in a work-study program that went into bank accounts at the credit union. Montgomery County Public Schools and the state’s attorney’s office began investigating the school after parents raised allegations that staff misappropriated funds their children earned.”

CLEAN WATER: Kind of, anyway, per the Washington Times, “The Potomac River earned an overall grade of C on its 2013 State of the Nation’s River report card, a step in the right direction from its previous D, conservationists said, but a score that leaves much room for improvement . Pollution is down and fish populations are up, according to the Potomac Conservancy’s report, but the growth rate of underwater grass — a key indicator of a healthy river — dropped below 40 percent for the first time in seven years.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards beat Minnesota 104-100.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “Want to get a start on your holiday shopping this weekend? The Tanger Outlet mall near National Harbor is slated to open this Friday. Officials expect up to 40,000 people to descend on the mall on opening day, and shuttle buses will run from nearby parking lots to bring shoppers to and from the complex.

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth, who will discuss the assassination of President Kennedy, 50 years ago this week.

--Skip Wood
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