DAYBREAK DAILY: Sequestration squabbles leave Kaine exasperated

ABC7 TRAFFIC: ‘Good Morning Washington’ has updates every 10 minutes beginning at 4:30 a.m.

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the low 50s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Fairfax County cop involved in fatal head-on car crash after responding to chase, rushed to hospital, where he’s in stable condition; coverage of the Pope’s final day in that capicity; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: President Barack Obama and congressional leaders unveiled a full-length statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks in the Capitol Wednesday, paying tribute to a figure whose name became synonymous with courage in the face of injustice.

LAST-DITCH EFFORT: The show must go on, per the Washington Post, “President Obama will meet with congressional leaders Friday at the White House to discuss a way to avoid the fallout of deep spending cuts, amid intensifying warnings that they could affect the daily lives of Americans in a variety of ways. Obama’s meeting with the top four Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate is scheduled for the day the so-called “sequester” cuts begin to take effect, a point that Republicans emphasized in questioning the administration’s seriousness about stopping the reductions.”

DO IT LIKE WE DO: In Virginia, that is, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “In his first speech before the U.S. Senate, Sen. Timothy M. Kaine D-Va. on Wednesday used the state's new transportation deal as a blueprint for how Congress could reach a compromise to avert sequestration through a balanced approach of cutting spending and increasing revenue. “Just 90 miles from here in Richmond, a Republican governor and a Republican legislature decided to do something to benefit the economy,” Kaine said in his 35-minute speech, referring to the transportation deal that cleared the state Senate Saturday on the last day of the General Assembly session.”

NEW LIFE FOR LINCOLN: The aircraft carrier, that is, per the Daily Press, “The Navy freed up $40 million to allow shipyard workers to continue to prepare the Abraham Lincoln, while the aircraft carrier sits in Norfolk awaiting its midlife refueling and overhaul. The flat top was supposed to steam into Newport News Shipbuilding for the major tune-up on Valentine's Day, kicking off a multi-billion-dollar, four-year project. But the Navy postponed signing a contract for the work because of budgetary uncertainty.”

‘PERPETUATION OF RACIAL ENTITLEMENT’: Of the landmark Voting Rights Act, per the New York Times, “A central provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may be in peril, judging from tough questioning on Wednesday from the Supreme Court’s more conservative members. Justice Antonin Scalia called the provision, which requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal permission before changing voting procedures, a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked a skeptical question about whether people in the South are more racist than those in the North. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked how much longer Alabama must live “under the trusteeship of the United States government.”

MD. GUN CONTROL MOVES ALONG: O’Malley’s plan not gutted – yet, anyway, per the Baltimore Sun, “The Maryland Senate voted Wednesday to move forward with a modified version of Gov. Martin O'Malley's gun-control legislation that could give the state some of the nation's strictest gun laws. The central, and controversial, plan to require a license to buy a handgun survived an effort to strip it from the bill, leaving the essential part of O'Malley's plan intact.”

POLITICO PLAY: “Bob Woodward called a senior White House official last week to tell him that in a piece in that weekend’s Washington Post, he was going to question President Barack Obama’s account of how sequestration came about - and got a major-league brushback. The Obama aide “yelled at me for about a half hour,” Woodward told us in an hour-long interview yesterday around the Georgetown dining room table where so many generations of Washington’s powerful have spilled their secrets.”

VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTINGS: Fallout continues, per the Roanoke Times, “The full Virginia Supreme Court will hear the commonwealth of Virginia’s appeal of two $4 million jury awards for the families of two women killed at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. The appeal, which could overturn a finding that Tech administrators were negligent in handling the highest-casualty school shooting in U.S. history, was granted in writing on Feb. 25, according to court documents.”

OFFICER CRITICAL: But out of surgery, per ABC7 – WJLA, “An Alexandria police motorcycle officer is out of surgery and in critical condition after he was shot during a traffic stop in Alexandria Wednesday. Officer Peter Laboy, 45, was shot near the intersection of Wilkes Street and South St. Asaph Street around noon. Officials say Laboy suffered a gunshot wound to the head among other injuries.”

STUBBORN: And determined, per City Paper, “Jeff Thompson, the alleged financier behind the biggest campaign finance fraud case in city history, is not giving up control of his Medicaid managed care organization quietly. Thompson is currently suing the city in D.C. Superior Court over the proposed sale of Chartered Health Plan, the single biggest provider of health insurance to the city's poor.”

GOOD LUCK WITH THIS: Raise your hand if you think this goal will be achieved, per the Washington Examiner, “. . . If it seems like city leaders want to get cars off the road in the nation's capital, that's because they do -- and it starts at the top. Mayor Vincent Gray's environmental initiative, Sustainable D.C., has a stated goal of cutting in half by 2032 the number of D.C. commuters who drive.”

MULTIPLE MURDER CHARGES: Just the facts, per the Washington Times, “Six teens face murder charges in the fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old who was killed at the Woodley Park Metro Station after confronting a group who robbed him earlier in the night, prosecutors said Wednesday. Previously only Chavez Myers, 17, of District Heights, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Olijawon Griffin. Griffin was stabbed once in the heart during a confrontation on the Metro platform in November.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 96-95 against Detroit; Caps beat Philadelphia 4-1.

MUCH TO DISCUSS: One would think, anyway, per ARLnow, “Rep. Jim Moran (D- Va.) has scheduled a community forum to discuss gun violence. . . Members of the public are welcome to attend the forum, which will be held from 7-9:00 p.m. on March 11 in the Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street) auditorium.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s guests (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) is Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, who will be asked about pay raises for county workers, transportation funding, the death penalty, gun control and more.

--Skip Wood

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