Well this is nice. A government shutdown once again looms, but it looks like our friends in Washington are all through with the brinksmanship of last year. A spending bill unveiled yesterday, and likely to pass, will get us through September. Republicans have given up on many of their most-extreme demands, and it's not the type of austerity the "sequester" would usher in. But agencies would still be funded "tens of billions of dollars" less than President Obama and other Democrats had hoped.

Meanwhile, the ongoing discussion over Iran is far less sanguine, with Senators on the precipice of voting on fresh sanctions for the nation just as the nation freezes it's nuclear program and readies for more talks.

In a case that feels awfully familiar, two officers in southern California have been acquitted of murder and manslaughter, after a mentally ill man they severely beat died in 2011.

The winds, it seems, are constantly shifting in the acrimonious labors talks between Portland Public Schools and the city's teachers' union, Portland Association of Teachers. One day both sides are heralding progress, the next students are storming a school board meeting and the district's first-ever teacher strike seems a real possibility. The groups will continue mediation on Thursday, which is good.

Egyptian governance: Still really confused, but the people are voting on a constitution.

UGH, FLORIDA: A disagreement over texting during previews for the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Lone Survivor escalated into one man shooting the other in the chest. Standing his ground, no doubt. I hate you so much, Florida. Lovely ecosystem, though. Many lizards.

Secretary of State John Kerry's really been pushing for Israeli-Palestinian peace in recent weeks. Israel's defense minister doesn't care for it. "The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone," Moshe Yaalon says.

Fascinating dynamics down in Mexico, where vigilante groups have formed to try and eradicate drug cartels the government has been ineffectual against. Now, the government's attacking the vigilantes (who it's possible might be connected to a drug cartel themselves).

Germany wants assurances the US won't spy on its leaders and citizens. Nope.

Hopefully hyperbole? One physician estimates a third of Mississippi's population will have diabetes by 2030.

BREAKING: Life in North Dakota isn't always so grand.

A pleasant day awaits you:


Go and frolic out of doors. I'ma be right here.