Okay, fine. We'll show you our work on Syria before dropping any bombs, the United States says, offering to detail exactly why it's convinced Bashar al-Assad nerve-gassed hundreds of his own people in a new low in the yearslong Syrian civil war. (There are new lows daily, actually. A new report says Assad's jets dropped napalm on a school filled with students.)

Wait, what? Britain backed out on an attack? Our "special" ally doesn't have an executive branch, so its elected national assembly gets to weigh in meaningfully on matters of war and peace. And Parliament said hell no. Conservative prime minister David Cameron isn't happy—and neither is Barack Obama, who was very much hoping British support would legitimize whatever he was already planning to do.

And now our own generals are privately expressing strong doubts about the effect and tactical wisdom of a strike on Syria. After months of planning NOT to get involved, the sudden shift in footing is freaking out officers fretting about fresh chemical attacks and a wider regional war involving Israel.

Maybe it's still cool, though. Because France! France still really wants to drop some bombs. Is this going to be like some 1984 shit where we pretend idiot Americans never called French Fries "Freedom Fries"?

Edward Snowden's NSA leaks have turned up, for the first time, a clear accounting of the United States' "black budget," a measure of the billions it lavishes on intelligence programs every year. The intelligence community has resisted sharing, in public, its successes, failures, and doubts. The CIA is the king of hill, and spending is back near Cold War levels.

An unassuming man quietly buying up property in a small North Dakota town of 24 people has been outed as a clever white supremacist trying to build a colony for him and his racist ilk. His would-be neighbors are not amused.

The Justice Department has made a somewhat sane choice: It's going to let Washington and Colorado get to work on their legal, regulated marijuana markets before deciding whether to place a federal jackboot on either state's smoke-irritated throat.

Being poor—the stress and insecurity associated with it—affects your cognitive skills in the same way that staying up all night does. Except it's like pulling an all-nighter every day. The good news is that getting money seems to bring you back to normal.

Melting glaciers are a terrifying symbol of runaway climate change. However! Archaeologists keep finding all manner of neat-o artifacts where the impossible ice once stood.

The no-fly list curated by the federal government was slapped by Portland's federal court, with a ruling that people on the list have a constitutionally protected right to the ubiquity and convenience of air travel.

Seamus Heaney, poet laureate of the bogs and the dirt and an Irish national treasure, has died at age 74.