Morning Reads

Good morning — and happy International Lefthanders’ Day, lefties!

On this date in 1942, Walt Disney released Bambi, his fifth animated feature. And in 1981, Ronald Reagan released trickle-down economics on the world when he signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act which slashed tax rates for the wealthy. In the following years, he would go on to sign a number of tax hikes to address the ballooning budget deficits that followed.

Third night –> As Ferguson, Missouri, saw its third straight night of protests over the police shooting of Michael Brown, the St. Louis police department’s aggressive, military-style crowd control techniques are becoming a controversy all their own. At Business Insider, Paul Szoldra looks at the scene with the perspective of a military vet. ALSO: The Riverfront Times caught video of police firing tear gas at protesters who were “standing in their own backyard” with their hands raised in the air. ALSO, TOO: At MSNBC, Trymaine Lee interviews Dorian Johnson, a witness who was walking with Brown at the time of the shooting. His testimony is riveting. Johnson’s lawyer said that investigators had declined an opportunity to interview him.

So much for that –> Mark Felsenthal reports for Reuters that the White House “is loosening restrictions on lobbyists who want to serve on federal advisory boards.” He calls the move “a setback to the president’s efforts to tamp down special interest influence in Washington.”

Gaza –> The clock’s ticking down on the final day of a three-day ceasefire, but negotiators in Cairo continue to work on a long-term agreement to end the hostilities. The British government announced that it would suspend a dozen arms export licenses to Israel if “significant” fighting resumes. Ha’aretz has details on both of those stories. ALSO: AFP reports that an unexploded Israeli shell detonated in the Gazan city Beit Lahiya as police attempted to disarm it, killing five, including an Associated Press videographer. AND: At TomDispatch, Sandy Tolan writes that, “over the last eight years, Israel and the U.S. had repeated opportunities to opt for a diplomatic solution in Gaza. Each time, they have chosen war, with devastating consequences for the families of Gaza.”

Delicate feelings –> Brad Reed reports for BGR that the cable giant Comcast “really, really doesn’t like it when you talk about the enormous piles of cash it’s burning to jam its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable through the regulatory process.” Reporters have been raising questions after news surfaced that the company would be paying $110,000 to sponsor a dinner honoring FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Comcast dismissed the suggestion that the contributions “have anything to do with currying favor” as “insulting.”

Republicans v. capitalism –> Slate’s Phil Plait writes that several GOP Reps. are trying to throw a wrench in the works of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company in order to protect existing contractors in their home districts.

Plus ça change –> Terrell Jermaine Starr reports for AlterNet that the NYPD’s statistics for misdemeanor arrests in Bill de Blasio’s first six months as mayor look a lot like they did under Michael Bloombergincluding their racial skew — despite the fact that police reform was one of de Blasio’s big campaign promises.

Throwing the book –> Prosecutors weren’t looking for prison time for a 58-year-old grandmother arrested for protesting outside a drone base, but the judge decided to make an example of her and sentenced her to a year in prison. Frida Berrigan reports for In These Times that the woman will appeal.

Big Government –> At The Daily Beast, Tim Mak profiles the unaccountable bureaucrat who wields massive power over our nation’s beer labels.

Clown show –> Tea party fave Chris McDaniel hasn’t given up his quest to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi. Among the thousands of “irregular” votes the campaign has identified as crossing over to vote for Cochran is the McDaniel campaign’s own attorney, reports Geoff Pender in The Clarion-Ledger.

Criminal genius –> A Florida man is facing murder charges after asking the Siri application on his iPhone where he could hide a body. Police also used the phone’s location data to establish that his alibi was false. James Vincent has the story at The Independent.

R.I.P. –> Lauren Bacall dies Tuesday in New York at age 89. The LAT has a nice profile of the actress.

Here is arguably her most famous moment on the silver screen…

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