The likelihood of direct US military involvement in Syria's civil war increases as more and more evidence emerges an attack Wednesday night might have involved chemical weapons. The Syrian government still denies it's waged chemical attacks.

And then Russia? Backwards and insane on gay rights, but sensible on the Syria thing.

Ugh. I'm trying to steer clear of alarmist generalizations, but the nation's teens aren't making it easy with all this psychopathy. First there were kids in Oklahoma who shot a jogger, allegedly, because they were bored. Now we've got teens in Spokane suspected of beating an 88-year-old veteran to death.

How many times do you think we can mention Ben Affleck being cast as Batman on Blogtown today? I bet Henriksen's got a good seven or eight pro-Affleck screeds in him. The guy loves Afflecks. Ben, Casey, dad Tim. It matters not.

Surprise! The federal government is very close to a complete shutdown again! And, hey! It looks like a stop-gap solution will probably have to do. It would be a shame for this Congress to reverse its record and create meaningful policy.

Prism revelation of the day: The National Security Agency spent lots of your money to make internet companies' compliance with the surveillance program as painless as possible for their bottom line.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced he'll retire, a bit of news that sent the company's stocks into the stratosphere (well, up 9 percent). More pressing for me, this morning, are the great poses Ballmer's often captured in. He's a very emotive man, and nearly a billion dollars richer since he announced his retirement. I bet his hands are flying hither and thither right now.

Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner—plagued by no end of sexual harassment claims—is probably on the way out. Pity the Shari's waitresses poised to suffer the 70-year-old's ceaseless, unhurried advances in his retirement.

Ireland today saw its first legal abortion. The country passed an abortion law last month.

The weekend looks okay. Solidly okay.


And finally, what internet cartoon character out there has anything on catbug, right now? Seriously.