A way out in Syria. Obama's media blitz. Hatch stays on the fence.
Happy Tuesday. It appears the international community has stumbled on a way out of the Syrian crisis: Have the Syrian regime give all of its chemical weapons to Russia. The potential breakthrough has Congress postponing votes and France rushing to get U.N. approval. And it all started with a rather flippant comment from Secretary of State John Kerry, who suggested the hand over when asked if the Syrians could do anything to avoid an attack. [WSJ] [NYTimes] [WaPost] [LATimes]
-> And if you would prefer a faster version, here are the eight most interesting quotes, including: "If we can do that without a military strike, that is overwhelmingly my preference." [WaPost]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch remains unsure whether to support a resolution allowing a military strike or to oppose it. The rest of Utah's delegation, like the majority of House members, have come down against it. [Trib]
-> Hatch did write an editorial discussing what factors will sway his vote. He wants to know what will happen beyond the immediate crisis, and how it will affect the region and the U.S. economy. [Politico]
-> In his interview with CBS News' Charlie Rose, Syrian President Bashar Assad warned that U.S. credibility is at an all-time low and questioned what the United States would gains from the effort. [WaPost] [Politico] [NYTimes]
-> Kerry fumbled when speaking at joint press conference saying a U.S. attack on Syria would be "unbelievably small," resulting in quick criticism even from supporters. [Politico] [WaPost] White House Officials state the Kerry did not gaffe, but said his statements were meant to be compared to U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Politico]
Tweets of the day: From @SenJohnMcCain: "Kerry says Syria strike would be 'unbelievably small' - that is unbelievably unhelpful"
From @igorbobic: "White House to take an unbelievably small hard look at Russia's Syria proposal."
From @AriFleischer: "POTUS was pushing a boulder up a hill. Now that he's paused, no way he can push it further. There will be no Syria strike."
Happy birthday: to the incomparable Justin Wiley and to Utah Hispanic Republican Assembly's Marco Diaz.
In other news: A memorial honoring the Utahns who died in the Sept. 11 attacks will be dedicated in Kaysville. The memorial also features Utah service members who have lost their life since the 2001 attack. [Trib]
-> NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, who will soon give up his post, will be the keynote speaker for the Salt Lake Branch's 94th annual Life Membership and Freedom Fund Banquet. [DNews]
-> US News releases its college rankings with BYU coming in the 60s and the University of Utah in the 120s. The feds plan to release their own rankings in the coming years. [Trib]
-> The investigation into AG John Swallow will be costly for taxpayers. The Washington, D.C. based firm Akin-Gump will charge up to $740 an hour just for the lead attorney, which is said to be a 20 percent decrease from their normal rate. Locally the firm Snell and Wilmer has been hired by the Lt. Governor's Office and will cost taxpayers $200,000. [KUTV]
-> Take a look at who made former AG Mark Shurtleff's VIP list for a fundraiser, it includes some of people now wrapped up in the wide scandal involving Shurtleff and Swallow. [Trib]
-> Former Salt Lake City Councilman Steve Harmsen is hosting Sen. Mike Lee's fundraiser this Friday featuring his Tea Party cohort Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The $2,000 per person event already has 60 takers. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert will meet with NRA leaders in Washington, D.C. It's unsure exactly what they will speak about, but a University of Utah political scientist speculates that it will be about the governor's veto of HB76, a "constitutional carry" gun bill. [DNews]
-> Utah Lawmaker Todd Weiler is looking to make it illegal to operate an incinerator. Many North Salt Lake residents complained about Stericycle's production of thick black smoke plumes last Friday. [Fox13]
-> Potential 2016 GOP candidates are quietly reaching out to Mitt Romney and senior members of his election campaign. Romney has said that only a couple of these candidates are electable and his top donors agree, and will be cautious will donations. [Yahoo] [ABCNews]
Where are they?
-- Matt Canham and Jordan Bailey
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