DAYBREAK DAILY: Questions remain after McDonnell's mea culpa

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‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Issa wants USPS to scrap door-to-door service; Detroit’s woes drag on; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m M-F.

THE FACTS: What he said, per ABC7—WJLA, “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he and his family have paid back more than $120,000 in loans given to him and his small business by the CEO of Star Scientific. The governor said in a statement Tuesday that he was sorry for any embarrassment he caused the state, but flatly denied breaking any laws as it pertains to campaign donations or finance.

"I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens," he said in a statement.”

THE FALLOUT: More to come?, per Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist Jeff Schapiro, “. . . No longer defiant, McDonnell is contrite — a sign there may be more trouble ahead. Just because McDonnell is apologizing doesn’t mean the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal grand jury in Richmond and the city’s prosecutor will drop their investigations.

“A master of reinvention, McDonnell is attempting to transform himself again. This time, he is shape-shifting from pariah to object of pity. He sounds like a man trying to get in front of bad news before it happens. Could the bad news be a federal indictment?”

AND THIS: A question of judgment, per the Washington Post editorial board, “. . . It remains to be seen whether he violated any laws; state and federal investigations have been underway. But the central point, now conceded after too much foot-dragging by the governor, is this: Even if Mr. McDonnell managed to avoid criminality, by lawyerly maneuvering or otherwise, his conduct was unacceptable, unwise and unbecoming of the state’s chief executive. It was not merely embarrassing, as Mr. McDonnell has now said; it was wrong.”

MARYLAND EDUCATION: Troubling times, per the Baltimore Sun, “Maryland's student test scores declined significantly for the first time in a decade, a drop officials attributed to the beginning of a tumultuous time in public education that will bring widespread changes to what is taught from kindergarten through high school. The drops in test scores for both elementary and middle schools were seen in nearly every school district and were as great in the higher-performing districts of Howard and Montgomery counties as they were in Baltimore City.

“Students did worst in math, with state scores dropping an average of 4 percentage points at both the elementary and middle-school grades. The only increase was seen in middle-school reading, which rose 1.3 percentage points. Elementary school reading also slipped about 2 percentage points.”

HE HAS A PROBLEM: In more ways than one, per the New York Times, “Anthony D. Weiner’s improbable campaign for mayor was engulfed on Tuesday by a new scandal involving explicit online messages, imperiling his political resurrection two years after he resigned from Congress over similar behavior.

“Mr. Weiner, appearing solemn and a bit worn as he faced more than 100 journalists at a hastily arranged news conference, acknowledged that his habit of sending sexual images and text messages to female fans had continued for more than a year after he left Congress vowing to seek treatment and change his behavior.”

JOBS AND VETS: Of positive signs, per the Los Angeles Times, “Unemployment among recent veterans has fallen sharply and now is the same as for the rest of the U.S. population, hovering just above 7%, new federal statistics show. The figures suggest that a vexing and stubborn trend of higher joblessness among veterans who left the military after September 2001 has been reversed. It now appears that veterans are being hired at a faster rate than non-veterans.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Barack Obama, to hear his advisers tell it, has finally found The One he has been looking for: John McCain. “We have been looking literally for years for someone we can cut deals with, and finally someone has stepped up,” a White House official said. West Wing aides say they now talk with McCain roughly every other day.

“McCain, to hear fellow Republicans tell it, has finally found The Two he has needed to make such conversations worth the bother: Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat who can actually get things done in the Senate, and Denis McDonough, a White House chief of staff who actually cares what senators say and think and do.”

MIZEUR ON THE MOVE: Vote for me, per Gazette.Net, “Del. Heather Mizeur kicked off her campaign for governor with a series of events across the state emphasizing the importance of service.

“The events included a meeting Friday with supporters in Glenarden for which people were asked to bring supplies for a Capitol Heights shelter for women and children, restoring a playground in Silver Spring on Saturday, cleaning up marshlands in Cambridge on Sunday and reading with campers at a summer program in Baltimore on Monday.”

D.C. FIRE FIGHTERS: Of an audit, per City Paper, “The District's Fire and EMS Department will spend $182,880 figuring out just what's going on with its vehicle fleet, the department announced (Tuesday). The 60-day audit, led by D.C.-based firm BDA Global, will establish a maintenance schedule and other practices for the fleet.”

MEANWHILE: In related developments, per the Washington Times, “Widespread ambulance breakdowns brought on by high summer temperatures have overwhelmed the D.C. fire department — causing it to send 22 ambulances to other agency’s mechanics for repairs and to outsource coverage of special events to private ambulance companies for the coming weeks, according to agency officials.

“At a cost yet unknown by the city, private companies Lifestar Ambulance Service and American Medical Response will provide emergency medical service at Washington Nationals baseball games and events at Verizon Center.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 5-1 against Pittsburgh.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “If you own a Prius, watch out. A tire-slashing spree is rattling the nerves of hybrid car owners in Arlington. 14 Toyota Prius vehicles (and one Smart Car) were all targeted on Sunday night.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is commentator Robert Higdon, former head of the Prince of Wales Foundation, who will be asked about the birth of a new heir to the British throne.

--Skip Wood