Utah's NSA center could be secretly open. Lee helps keep Cruz going during pseudo-filibuster. Count My Vote defends the legality of its ballot measure.
Happy Thursday. Former President George H.W. Bush has become the latest member of the Bush family to express support for same-sex marriage when he served as an official witness at the ceremony of two of his female friends in Maine. While his son, former President George W. Bush opposes gay marriage, his son's wife and daughter are outspoken supporters. [USAToday]
Topping the news: It's quite possible that Utah's new NSA data center is already up and running, just as some critical senators are trying to put limits on the information the spy agency can warehouse and search. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee helped fellow his colleague and close friend Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Cruz's pseudo-filibuster that lasted over 21 hours. Lee discussed many topics, from random trivia questions, to songs he listens with his sons and even wanting to be a legal pirate. [Trib] [DNews]
Tweet of the day: From @gopTodd: "Wondering if the whole 'Derek Miller for LG' thing is a designed distraction. 'Hey, look over here!'"
Happy birthday: To state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, state Rep. Angela Romero and Steven Hunter.
In other news: Count My Vote organizers took a letter signed by 15 past presidents of the Utah State Bar attesting to the constitutionality of the group's proposed election reform to the lieutenant governor's office. [Trib]
-> The Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for Utah Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Carolyn McHugh. President Barack Obama nominated McHugh, with the support of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, to an opening on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. [Trib]
-> Utah's three U.S. House Republicans have signed on to the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, a bill that would protect religious organizations and people who advocate for traditional marriage. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on Sen. Ted Cruz's remarks about green eggs and ham. [Trib]
-> A former U. professor has designed a no-cost fuel and zero emission car that can reach up to 30 mph and has a range of 50 miles. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert spoke with outdoor retailers saying Utah's tourism will grow and to keep their business here. [StandEx]
-> Colorado's senators have asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to exempt a team of Utah National Guard engineers from furlough to help with the rebuilding of some 200 miles of highway damaged by floods. [Trib]
-> A Salt Lake County councilman wants the Council to ask Herbert to shut down the medical-waste incinerator owned by Stericycle. Other members want to know what the consequences would be if it were shut down, and how and where would the medical waste be disposed of. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake City Council will hold an outdoor public hearing on Friday in Sugar House to receive input on the Sugar House circulation and streetscape amenities plan. [Trib]
-> The state Legislature has created a new way to track bills online as they wind their way through the House and Senate. [UtahPolicy]
-> Bryan Schott says Lee's fight against Obamacare is an example of a society who refuses to accept a 'No.' [UtahPolicy]
Nationally: The Senate unanimously voted to open debate on the House's budget bill that defunds Obamacare. The vote gives the Senate 30 hours to discuss the bill and is one of many procedural hurdles that the Senate must go through. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes] [CNN]
-> House GOP members are considering a plan to keep the government open but then shifting the fight against Obamacare to a law that raising the nation's debt limit. [WaPost]
-> The new date for the debt limit is now Oct. 17 according the Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. If Congress cannot agree on a budget by then, for the first time the United States would not meet its financial obligations. [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> D.C.'s insurance exchange isn't operating properly and people looking to buy coverage will have to wait until November to see the prices. [WaPost]
Where are they?