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First Read Flash: More questions than answers

NBC News: "Many questions about Monday's shooting deaths of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard remain unanswered and with the main suspect among the dead,
Navy Yard Shooting - 09/16/2013
Police who responded to shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, leave the facility.

NBC News: "Many questions about Monday's shooting deaths of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard remain unanswered and with the main suspect among the dead, some of the specifics may never be nailed down."

Associated Press: "The motive for the mass shooting -- the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 -- was a mystery, investigators said. But a profile of the lone gunman, a 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, was coming into focus. He was described as a Buddhist who had also had flares of rage, complained about the Navy and being a victim of discrimination and had several run-ins with law enforcement, including two shootings."

Washington Post: "...for those who survived, who saw or heard what happened from narrow vantage points — crouched under a desk, standing flat against a wall, prostrate on the floor beneath a table — the memory is indelible."

MBNSC: "The head doctor at a trauma center handling victims of the deadly Washington Navy Yard rampage gave an emotional plea to end gun violence in America. 'I may be the chief medical officer of a very large trauma center, but there’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries, there’s something wrong,' said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janis Orlowski of MedStar Washington Hospital Center during a press briefing. 'The only thing I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it.'"

New York Times: "Janet L. Yellen told friends in recent weeks that she did not expect to be nominated as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Although she had been the Fed’s vice chairman since 2010 and would make history as the first woman to hold the job, President Obama’s aides made clear throughout the summer that he wanted Lawrence H. Summers, his former chief economic adviser. Now, awkwardly, it appears that the president may have to circle back to Ms. Yellen after Mr. Summers withdrew from consideration on Sunday, bowing to the determined opposition of at least five Senate Democrats. On Monday, Ms. Yellen became the front-runner by elimination, officials close to the White House said."

Charlie Cook writes that this year's partisanship and gridlock may only lead to more gridlock in next year's midterms. "The GOP’s brand is showing no sign of recovering from what led to the party’s thumping in 2012, and second-term fatigue does seem to be plaguing Democrats. We could be seeing an election in which the two forces cancel each other out, with little change in the House, and Republicans picking up three, four, or five Senate seats but still coming up short of the six they need to gain a majority. Under those circumstances, it might be questionable in 2016 whether the electorate would want a third Democratic term in the White house, but it is equally unclear whether voters would choose to turn the executive branch over to Republicans. At the very least, Americans might want to prepare themselves for Washington to muddle along for the next three years until the 2016 election."

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board has some tough words for Republicans who want to bring the government to the brink of a shutdown over Obamacare funding. "Some Republicans think they are sure to hold the House in 2014 no matter what happens because of gerrymandering, but even those levees won't hold if there's a wave of revulsion against the GOP. Marginal seats still matter for controlling Congress. The kamikazes could end up ensuring the return of all-Democratic rule."

CALIFORNIA. San Francisco Chronicle: "A caustic political battle has erupted between the state's leading Republican hopeful in next year's governor's race and his former team of high-priced GOP consultants, a development that some experts say could make it even harder for a Republican to beat popular Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, should he decide to run. At issue is the work of a team led by veteran strategist John Weaver and media consultant Fred Davis, whose past clients included Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Jon Huntsman. Until last month, they were on the payroll of former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, a candidate for governor from Santa Barbara County. The breakup was anything but amicable."

ILLINOIS. Chicago Tribune: "Bill Daley abruptly ended his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor Monday, saying a lifetime in politics had not prepared him for the 'enormity' of his first run for office and the challenge of leading the state through difficult times. Daley, a member of two White House administrations, a presidential campaign manager and the son and brother of two former Chicago mayors, dropped out of the race less than four months after declaring his political resume gave him the best credentials to replace Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn."

NORTH CAROLINA. Raleigh News & Observer: "Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of Dunn may have a serious primary challenge from the right next spring. Jim Duncan, the chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party and co-founder of the grassroots organization, The Coalition for American Principles, is contemplating a challenge to Ellmers....Ellmers was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement and as an outspoken critic of Obamacare. But she has received some criticism from the party's right that she has been too close to House Speaker John Boehner and has been insufficiently aggressive in fighting implementation of Obamacare."

VIRGINIA. Richmond Times Dispatch: "A rising GOP star, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., pledged support for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor during a fundraising event in Richmond Monday designed to generate cash and excitement for the Republican cause....Rubio, a possible presidential contender in 2016, told the crowd of roughly 400 at the Richmond Marriott that no less than the “American Dream” is at stake, beginning with the Virginia election — one of only two governor’s races in the country this year. Rubio said the November election is not just about electing a Republican over a Democrat, but ensuring that the commonwealth is run by a candidate like Cuccinelli who supports free enterprise and limited government."

The Washington Post notes that Democrat Terry McAuliffe is still dwarfing Cuccinelli in fundraising, with more than double the cash on hand for the final stretch.  "The race for money in the Virginia governor’s campaign again went to Terry McAuliffe, with the former head of the Democratic Party raking in nearly $7.36 million in July and August, according to reports released by his campaign and a nonprofit group that tracks campaign contributions. His Republican rival, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, raised about $5.69 million, according to an analysis of campaign donations released Monday by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. As the candidates head into the final stretch, McAuliffe has more than $5 million in cash on hand, while Cuccinelli has about $2.24 million.