1. Wonkblog goes over Sen. Ron Wyden's tenure as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and how many of his efforts have been stymied again and again.

2. Politico writes about the fallout that just one paragraph in the more than 1,600-page spending bill can cause. The one in question was about sage grouse.

3. Also in the spending bill? A provision that will make famous officials pay for official portraits themselves.

4. Sen. John McCain's thoughts on omnibus spending bills: “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it."

5. The Marshall Project's Christie Thompson explains why judicial elections have started to look like House and Senate races in size and intensity.

6. The White House talked to federal agencies about the possibility of a shutdown.

7. And now for something completely different: Here's a story about the fall of Cat Fancy Magazine.

8. And here is a government shutdown clock, just in case.