Wiretap: The astonishing horror of ISIS captivity

In a terrifyingly sad and astonishing story in the New York Times, Rukmini Callimachi tells of the lives of James Foley and the other hostages held by ISIS in the days before the beheadings. It is a story of torture, of raised hopes of release, of ransom, of hopes dashed, of Secret Santas, of more torture, of captors who brought the hostages chocolates, of captors who brought the hostages only pain. The Times pieced the story together from five hostages who had been released, locals who witnessed their treatment, relatives who had been contacted by ISIS, and a former ISIS member who was stationed for a time in the prison where James Foley was held.

Chris Christie has “no second thoughts” on his Ebola quarantine policy, even if the scientific evidence suggests that it is entirely wrong. Via the Atlantic.

Dan Balz explains why the coming elections in Colorado will tell us so much about the presidential election in 2016. Via the Washington Post.

Clinton and Warren together, at last. They shared a stage, although not exactly at the same time. What does it mean? Not as much as you’d think. Via Joe Klein at Time.

What would happen if you paid teachers $125,000 a year? Just what you’d expect to happen. Vox examines a school that did just that.

Republican scare tactics aren’t about making you afraid, writes John Cassidy in the New Yorker. They’re about linking Democratic candidates to Barack Obama.

The pope and the precipice: Ross Douthat writes in the New York Times about the limits facing Pope Francis in attempting to reconfigure Catholic teaching on the issues of sex and marriage and gay rights.

In his own words: Ben Bradlee on liars and why you should never believe the first version of anything. Via the Washington Post.

SPOILER ALERT!!!! If you’re a “Boardwalk Empire” fan and you haven’t seen the ending, don’t read this piece on the emperor who, finally, has no clothes. Via Rolling Stone.

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