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October 21, 2014

The Washington Free Beacon's Alana Goodman got a hold of Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor's 1985 college thesis. It's a doozy.

From the report:

"Arkansas has been invaded unwillingly twice. Once in reality and once figuratively," wrote Pryor.

"The Civil War provided the real invasion. The figurative invasion took place in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. That event took a local problem out of the local authorities' hands. The federal government had again forced its will on the people of Arkansas." [Washington Free Beacon]

Yeesh.

Pryor, who is up for re-election in November, and Democratic groups have attacked Republican opponent Tom Cotton's college editorials, making this bit of history look more like fair game, but it's important to note that Pyror's thesis is not an anti-desegregation manifesto. It contains harsh criticism of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, who deployed the National Guard against desegregation efforts, calling the episode an "embarrassing escapade."

Still, Pryor's thesis is sloppy and impolitic. It talks about the Arkansas Democratic Party rejecting "wild-eyed liberals" and contains plenty of neutral to praising language for the "uncanny ability" of Democrats to be in touch with the state by downplaying the national party's social programs and "work[ing] the black community quietly." It even suggests that Democrats in the state may fear progress altogether. The Free Beacon has posted the whole thesis online. Michael Brendan Dougherty

7:45 p.m.

In 2017, Ivanka Trump used her personal email account to send hundreds of emails to White House aides, her assistants, and Cabinet officials, several people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

Many of these emails were in violation of federal records rules, they said, and White House ethics officials found out about her personal email use while responding to a public records lawsuit. Nearly 100 of the emails were about government policies and official White House business, and hundreds were related to her work schedule and travel, the Post reports.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump made Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state a major issue. A spokesman for Ivanka Trump's attorney Abbe Lowell told the Post she did not know about records rules when she sent the emails, and none of her messages contained classified information. "While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who stared before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," Peter Mirijanian said.

Using a personal email account to conduct government business could violate the Presidential Records Act, which requires all White House communications and records be preserved. People close to Trump said she never received reminders sent to White House staffers telling them not to use private email. For more on Trump's use of private email and some of the messages that she sent, visit The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

6:46 p.m.

The 5,800 U.S. troops sent to the southern border to provide assistance to Customs and Border Protection agents should all be home by Christmas, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told Politico on Monday.

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that," Buchanan said. The troops were deployed to the border before Election Day, with President Trump saying they were there to deal with an "invasion" of migrants headed to the United States from Central America. Most of the migrants have said they are fleeing their countries because of extreme poverty and violence, and thousands remain hundreds of miles away. After the deployment, Trump was criticized by Democrats and accused of using the troops as part of a political stunt. Catherine Garcia

6:28 p.m.

At least four people were wounded when a gunman opened fire at Mercy Hospital in Chicago on Monday afternoon.

The victims, including a police officer and a hospital employee, are in critical condition. The gunman is dead, a police spokesman said, and it's not known at this time if he took his own life or was shot by officers.

Witness James Gray told ABC7 Chicago the gunman appeared to be "turning and shooting people at random." The hospital is on the city's South Side, and authorities are asking people to stay away from the area. Catherine Garcia

5:50 p.m.

The Trump administration's decision to add a question of citizenship to the 2020 census may have had some political motivations after all.

Census surveys are confidential, but several lawsuits still alleged including a question about citizenship would discourage undocumented immigrants from taking the census. Now, documents filed in a California suit Friday show the census' inherent confidentiality may have been in danger, The Washington Post reports.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced in March that the 2020 census would explicitly ask if people were U.S. citizens. Lawsuits across the country quickly challenged the constitutionality of the proposal, and critics said undocumented peoples' fear of taking the survey would lead to undercounts. Questions also arose over the motivation behind adding the question, with some worrying President Trump's hostility toward non-citizens would leave the census results vulnerable to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

As activists and attorneys prodded Trump officials over whether the question results would remain within the Commerce Department, as mandated under the Census Act, at least one official was told to stay silent, per the Post. Friday's court filings show a June 12 email to acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore, in which a Department of Justice attorney told him not to "say too much" about the confidentiality issue because it might "come up later for renewed debate."

The first of several trials challenging the question is currently underway in New York. A hearing over what evidence can be used in these trials, and whether Trump officials' motivations in enacting the question can be considered, is slated for the Supreme Court in February. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:09 p.m.

Six people were stuck in an elevator in Chicago's fourth-tallest building on Friday. But firefighters weren't exactly sure where they'd ended up, seeing as a cable had snapped and sent the car plummeting from the 95th floor. And there was no easy way to find out, the Chicago Tribune details.

A pair of Northwestern University law students, a married couple, and two New Zealand tourists stepped into an elevator in the former John Hancock Center just after midnight Friday. But their ride down soon turned bumpy — "like a flight into Chicago," one student told the Tribune. A clacking noise rattled as the passengers fell, and dust poured into the car. Jaime Montemayor, visiting from Mexico with his wife, told CBS Chicago he "believed we were going to die."

The car didn't hit the ground thanks to a few stable cables, but it was hard to tell exactly where it ended up because the blind-shaft elevator had no windows. One student told the Tribune they felt like they'd only fallen "a few floors." Firefighters eventually found the car had plunged 84.

Since the firefighters couldn't safely "come down like Batman" on ropes from the top of the shaft, as one firefighter described it, they had to hack a hole in the wall. Three hours later, the six passengers emerged into an attached parking garage without injury. Read more about the extensive operation at the Chicago Tribune. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:07 p.m.

The founder of the Women's March is joining growing calls for its current leaders to step down.

After Teresa Shook's plan for a march against President Trump took off, she handed the reins over to a group of activists. But in a Monday statement, Shook said those new leaders had "steered the movement away from its true course" because they "have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform."

After Shook launched the idea for a Women's March, activists Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour stepped up to organize it. Millions of people around the world marched the day after President Trump's inauguration, inspiring follow-up marches of the same nature.

Months later, criticism began to arise over Mallory, Perez, and Sarsour's ties to Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments. They've since come short of condemning Farrakhan, prompting conservative calls to boycott future Women's March events. Sarsour has received most of the derision for the Farrakhan ties, as well as other controversial comments.

All of these moves are "in opposition" to the Women's March's principles, Shook said in her Monday statement. So in an effort to bring the movement back to its roots, Shook called for "the current co-chairs to step down" and for leaders who can "restore" the march's "original intent" to step forward. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:00 p.m.

The FBI now classifies the Proud Boys as an "extremist group with ties to white nationalism," The Guardian reports.

The classification was reportedly included in a memo written as part of an internal investigation into a sheriff's deputy in Clark County, Washington, who was fired for wearing a "Proud Boys Girls" sweatshirt. An official at the Clark County sheriff’s department confirmed the memo is authentic, saying that the county was briefed by the FBI and told that the bureau has "warned local law enforcement agencies that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest."

The Proud Boys was founded in 2016 by Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, who once said on his show that he's "disappointed in Trump supporters for not punching enough." Last month, members of the Proud Boys were arrested and charged with multiple counts including gang assault and rioting after violence between Proud Boys and antifascists broke out outside a McInnes speech in New York, CBS News reports. There was also violence between Proud Boys and Antifa members at a Portland rally that same weekend. This memo was written in August, before additional violence occurred in New York and Portland, but it says that Proud Boys have "contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies" and in cities like Charlottesville.

The FBI describing the Proud Boys as extremists had not been reported before, but the Southern Poverty Law Center had previously classified them as a hate group, Al Jazeera reports. Brendan Morrow

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