This is awkward. Russia—the world's most homophobic country and also Syria's biggest BFF ever—is hosting this year's G20 economic summit. President Obama, on thin ice with Vladimir Putin over not just Syria but also Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, has to publicly make nice privately trying to build his case for strikes against Bashar al-Assad.

Russia's working the crowd, too. It's talked about sending a missile shield to Syria. And guess who else doesn't much like the idea of American assault? Our creditors (that one's for you, Tea Party!) in Beijing.

Oh, hell no! Now they're trying to scare us all with warnings, naturally from anonymous government officials and intelligence experts, that an increasingly desperate Syria might start dropping virus- and germ-tipped bioweapons. Doing so, of course, would require restarting a program that's been dormant for the past 30 years.

Skeptics of a strike would also like to remind us about the fine people our presumed military action might be helping: Anti-American Islamists and vengeful, bloodthirsty rebels whose ranks increasingly include criminals. They might be a minority of the rebels, but they probably speak the loudest.

Surprise! The new president of Iran maybe trolled the entire nation of Israel yesterday. (That or his Twitter was hacked.) He tweeted a Rosh Hashanah blessing that included a photo of a praying Iranian Jew.

People with money—lucky them!—no longer have to suffer the indignities of modern airport security.

About the economy... It's sort of good that unemployment applications have hit another five-year low. It's also sort of good that the pervasive services sector has been expanding at a pace not seen since well before the last recession.

Jeff Cogen's top aide, Marissa Madrigal, just jumped from the Multnomah County chair's listing and affair-scandal-battered political ship. She's taking a slightly lower-paying job elsewhere in the county—an emotional defection that raises further questions about Cogen's ability to put on blinders and continue leading the county.

The "Bush Doctrine," purporting to permit preemptive war, has now been invoked by a Florida man accused of shooting three neighbors, killing two. He was worried they would try to murder him first.