Good morning! August 21 marks a dark day in American history: In 1863, around 400 Confederate guerrillas attacked Lawrence, Kansas, a hotbed of abolitionism and home to raiding parties that had targeted slaveholders in neighboring Missouri. Led by William Quantrill, the raiders had a list of men to kill, but their plan became a massacre that took the lives of around 200 men and boys, most unarmed.
Missed opportunity –> Michael Shear and Eric Schmitt report for the NYT that several months ago the Obama administration sent Special Forces into Syria to rescue James Foley — the reporter beheaded by Islamic State militants — and other hostages, but found none of them where they were believed to be held. ALSO: CNN’s Jethro Mullen and Chelsea Carter report that before the savage execution IS demanded a huge ransom from Foley’s family and employer.
The other St. Louis police shooting –> Greg Mitchell looks at another troubling police shooting just a few miles away from where Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. Police accounts don’t match up with a bystander’s cellphone video. MEANWHILE: Ferguson itself saw a relatively quiet night, reports CBS News, after Attorney General Eric Holder visited the community earlier in the day. AND: At TNR, Yishai Schwartz explains why, under Missouri law, it’s almost impossible to convict a police officer for murder.
Related –> At Salon, Heather “Digby” Parton looks at the future of police militarization — with new crowd-control equipment in the research pipeline.
The earth moved –> Oklahoma experienced 20 small earthquakes on Tuesday, and Emily Atkin reports for ThinkProgress that a huge increase in seismic activity in the area could be the result of fracking. As John Light reported for BillMoyers.com back in July, scientists believe the waste water from the fracking process is causing the quakes.
Leaky –> The US military banned The Intercept because it publishes leaks, and then someone apparently leaked the order banning The Intercept to The Intercept, which has the story.
Bloody –> Nicolas Gaudichet and Dmytro Gorshkov report for AFP that a Ukrainian jetfighter “was blown out of the sky over rebel-held territory Wednesday as fierce clashes between government troops and pro-Russian insurgents left dozens of civilians dead.”
When Democrats attack working people –> Jacob Fischler and Evan McMorris-Santoro report for Buzzfeed that “some of the biggest names from the Obama campaigns” have gone on to new jobs fighting organized labor.
Complacency –> The LA City Council is exploring the idea of boosting voter turnout by entering everyone who casts a ballot into a lottery with a $50,000 jackpot. Joe Pinsker has the details at The Atlantic.
Open carry –> In Texas, a group of heavily-armed African-Americans held a rally against police violence. Fox News is all over the story, natch.
Points for honesty –> Ahiza Garcia reports for TPM that a city councilman in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, “apologized this week for posting racist messages about President Obama on Facebook, citing his own strong engagement with the Republican Party as the reason behind his actions.” He later apologized to the Republican Party for saying as much.
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