Bush goes bald for cancer victim. Lee only Republican against student loan deal. Hatch casts his 13,000th vote.
Happy Thursday. Former President George H.W. Bush shaved his head in solidarity with a two-year-old stricken with cancer. The boy is the son of a Secret Service agent who protects Bush, 89, and he recently was diagnosed with leukemia. That's the same disease that claimed one of Bush's children 60 years ago. [ABC] [Politico] [NBCNews]
Topping the news: The U.S. House voted to keep the NSA phone surveillance programs Wednesday as the House rejected on an amendment to ban the use of the Patriot Act to gather information on those not suspected of crimes. Utah's three Republicans voted to end the program, while Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson voted to keep it. [Trib] [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Sen. Mike Lee was the only Republican to vote against a student loan deal that passed the senate by 81 votes to 18 on Wednesday. Sen. Orrin Hatch used his 13,000th Senate vote to back the bill. [Trib] [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> As Anthony Weiner fights on in the NYC mayor's race despite his second sex scandal, his wife Huma Abedin becomes his biggest protector. [WaPost]
From @SenOrrinHatch: "Casting my 13,000th vote today just as humbling as casting my first yrs ago. True honor & a privilege serving Utahns each and every day -ogh"
In other news: A healthcare town hall meeting at the Hinckley Institute of Politics featuring a panel of state policy leaders, experts and healthcare advocates, aims to answer residents' questions about the Affordable Care Act. [Trib]
-> Fewer Utahns got divorced in 2012 than 2011, according to data from the Utah State Courts. Salt Lake City and Provo issued the most divorce decrees in 2012, and Loa’s 6th District Court issued the fewest. [Trib]
-> The leader of Count My Vote, which wants to change the way Utah picks candidates for elected offices, says the group now has enough funding to push ahead with an initiative petition drive. [DNews]
-> Blueprints of the new NSA data center in Utah suggest that its storage capacity may not be quite as high as previously thought. [Forbes]
-> Leaders of the Finance Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., have promised their colleagues that any suggestions they put forward which deductions and credits they should protect in tax reform will be kept confidential for the next 50 years. [TheHill]
-> Hatch also is authoring an amendment to make sure that Detroit doesn't get any federal bailout as it goes through bankruptcy. [DetNews]
Nationally: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's camp say they intend to embrace the generational and gender differences in the fight against 34-year-old Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is vying for his position. He is also facing competition within his own party from far-right contender Matt Bevin. [NYTimes] [ABC]
-> During his speech on the economy at Knox College., President Barack Obama attacked Republicans for using political distractions and warned the party not to throw the country's economic recovery off course. [Politico]
-> Most Americans are fine with restricting abortions at 20 weeks. [WaPost]
-> Obama nominated Caroline Kennedy to be the ambassador to Japan. [FoxNews]
Where are they?