GOP officials skip D.C.'s MLK event. Lee says Obama could face 'consequences' for unilateral Syria action. NSA may have grabbed SLC phone records, too.
Happy Thursday. Tens of thousands of folks gathered at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday to hear a slew of speeches commemorating The Rev. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech and the 1963 March on Washington. But noticeably missing from the program was a Republican voice. Organizers say they reached out to several GOP officials inviting them to speak but they passed. Republican aides say the invites came too late. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Sen. Mike Lee said he's heard horror stories about Obamacare during his recent town halls and raised the idea that President Barack Obama could face consequences if he takes military action against Syria without congressional approval. [Trib]
-> Lee isn't alone. More and more members of Congress want a say in any potential military strike, and that group includes Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. More than 116 House members signed the letter urging Obama to obtain congressional authorization. [Trib]
-> A top-secret NSA inspector general's report suggests the agency nabbed phone records during the Salt Lake Olympics in addition to the content of text messages and emails. [Trib]
-> Scientists and the Republicans are increasingly separating themselves from each other, a recent poll shows. The survey reveals that just 6 percent of scientists call themselves members of the GOP. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @elforesto: "Dang, domestic governing is hard. Who can I bomb for a quick distraction and bump in the polls?" - every US president since WW2"
From @SinistralLDS: "Glad there are news organizations who spend time talking about the 50th anniversary of MLK and his dream."
Happy birthday: to the Bockorny Group's Todd Thorpe, former Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright, ex-Utah GOP staffer Adam Piner and super-lawyer Melissa Galleto.
In other news: Utahns joined yesterday in celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech with an event at the Capitol and bell ringing statewide. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [StandEx]
-> SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams will hold his first "open door" meetings where residents can meet with him on a first-come, first-serve basis. [Trib]
-> The UTA is taking big steps to making travel easier and cashless for commuters with its new FAREPAY electronic card. The cards can be purchased online and, coming soon, at 250 stores statewide. [Trib]
-> The Herriman City Council has unanimously selected fireman Clint Smith as the new interim mayor; Smith will serve until January. [Trib]
-> Th Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development Division is gathering public comments on the needs for low- and moderate-income city residents. [DNews]
-> Bryan Schott says Utah's political parties are suffering from "Stockholm syndrome," aligning with their special-interest hostage takers. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah lawmakers are expected to take up the issue of how search warrants will be served on Utah homes after civil rights groups have raised concerns with past police raids. [Trib]
-> Motorists should expect heavy traffic and and extra police watching for speeders and drunken drivers this Labor Day weekend. Most construction on Utah roads will be suspended over the holiday. [Trib]
-> West Valley City's new police chief Lee Russo says he got the job by being open and frank, and hopes to open lines of communication within his department and community. [DNews]
-> Elementary students in Salt Lake City started a statewide campaign to encourage more students to walk and bike safely to school this year. [Trib]
Nationally: The Obama administration says that U.S. intelligence has gathered sufficient evidence to prove the Syrian government is responsible for the chemical weapons attack. The administration is planning to release this evidence as soon as today. [WaPost]
-> Former President Bill Clinton will speak to defend the Affordable Care Act next week at his presidential library in Arkansas. [CNN]
-> The New York Times website is still struggling after attacks apparently by the Syrian Electronic Army, which has claimed credit for the hacking on Twitter. [WaPost]
-> The IRS has finalized the rules for the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. [CNN]
-> Tea Party activists are looking to gain momentum from the IRS scandal to make their voices heard. Donations have tripled, and the staff has doubled for the Tea Party Patriots, "the largest tea party umbrella group" in the past two months. [WSJ] [DNews]
Where are they?