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Troops Rushed To Border To Guard Against Caravan Leaving Before Migrants Arrive

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The 5,800 primarily active duty troops who were rushed to the U.S.-Mexico border to guard against a impending caravan of migrants from Honduras — a move that’s been widely viewed as a midterms stunt by President Trump — are leaving the border before the supposed caravan even arrives, Politico reported. 

The first round of troops will be sent home in this week, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told Politico Monday. Those service members came from engineering and logistical units who helped put up wire to secure parts of the border. All troops will be sent home by Dec. 15, Buchanan told Politico.

The service members were deployed just before the midterm elections after Trump demanded that the military deployment include more troops than just the National Guard. Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had to reject the Department of Homeland Security’s request to send armed troops to the border in case of conflict with the approaching caravan.

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acdha
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“Look, POTUS needed to look big. Your families will understand about missing Thanksgiving when Republican seats are at risk”
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sirshannon
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weird.

MeFi: FDA grants breakthrough therapy designation to psilocybin

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Psilocybin Could Be Legal for Therapy by 2021: The psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms could soon be legal to use in a clinical setting. "For the first time in U.S. history, a psychedelic drug is on the fast track to getting approved for treating depression by the federal government. Late last month, Compass Pathways, a U.K.-based company that researches and develops mental health treatments, announced the FDA granted them what's called a 'breakthrough therapy designation' for their trials into psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms. Researchers who pioneered psychedelic science agree — this is a landmark moment for their field."
Meanwhile, a millionaire couple is threatening to create a magic mushroom monopoly ...

Compass Pathways has set itself up to be the first legal provider of psilocybin, having recently launched a massive clinical study across Europe and North America to test the drug as a treatment for depression. Last month, Compass's psilocybin received "breakthrough therapy designation" from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meaning the study will be hastened through the drug-development process. That puts Compass well ahead of other institutions working in this field—and a recently filed patent application could help the company stay ahead.

Prior to founding Compass, George Goldsmith and Ekaterina Malievskaia, a married couple, did not have experience in psilocybin research or working in the pharmaceutical industry. They've made headway thanks to tens of millions in dollars from investors including Silicon Valley libertarian Peter Thiel and former Wall Street-executive-turned-cryptocurrency-investor Mike Novogratz, along with the expertise and guidance of many long-standing psilocybin researchers. (Neither Thiel nor Novogratz responded to requests for comment.)

But many of those psilocybin experts now regret having helped the couple. Quartz spoke with 9 psilocybin experts who advised Goldsmith and Malievskaia, but today express concerns about the company's motives and aims. These experts worked with Compass in different professional capacities: some had individual contracts, some were invited to attend Compass-hosted conferences or trips, and others worked (and some still do) for psychedelic research organizations that collaborate with Compass. All 9 raised questions about Compass's intentions and professionalism, and worried that the company's rush to bring the drug to market would create risks for patients. "You build this tower in a rush...and before you know it, it's on fire and we can't put it out," says one academic, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution from Compass. Six had opportunities to work further with Compass but turned them down as a result of their concerns.

These experts are further troubled by the company's business structure: Having first registered as a charity, Goldsmith and Malievskaia set up a for-profit corporation working towards the same ends just one year later, and closed their non-profit less than two years after that. And all 9 of these critics charge that Compass Pathways has relied on conventional pharmaceutical-industry tactics that could help them dominate the field, including blocking potential rivals' ability to purchase drugs, filing an application for a manufacturing patent, and requiring contracts that give Compass power over academics' research and are restrictive even by pharmaceutical-industry standards.
Scientists Cook Up Magic Mushrooms' Psychedelic Recipe
Farming or genetically-engineering fungi is difficult, so mass-producing psilocybin with the kind of quality controls demanded by the drug industry has never before been feasible. Now that the pathway and ingredients are known, the process could potentially be applied on an industrial scale. For their study, the researchers engineered bacteria to reproduce some of the steps involved in synthesizing psilocybin as a test of the process. They ended up with a simplified approach to producing the compound that could be applied on a larger scale in the future.
Magic Mushrooms Can Chemically 'Reset' A Depressed Brain
Researchers from Imperial College London studied the effects of psilocybin on 19 individuals who had treatment-resistant depression. The researchers looked at the before and after changes to the individual's brains as they were treated with psilocybin. They gave the individuals 10 mg of psilocybin and then 25 mg one week later. The researchers found that there were decreased depressive symptoms in all 19 individuals a week after the treatments. After 5 weeks, they found that 47% of the individuals met response, which was their criteria of relatively high depressive recovery.

The authors noted that is merely a preliminary study because the group size was very small and more precise data would require a larger pool of individuals to test. The also noted that this was done with individuals who had tried other means of treatments and did not succeed. Despite the reality, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, remains optimistic about the progress of psychedelic research in treating depression. In a statement made at Imperial College London, he said "We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments."

Magic Mushrooms Are Weirdly Effective at Making Cancer Less Miserable
New research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that a single dose of mind-altering psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, reduces depression, anxiety, and other emotional distress in patients with advanced cancer, while increasing feelings of well-being. Importantly, these effects lasted for months.

It's a potent example of how psychedelics could be used to treat various illnesses, and how the medical community's squeamishness about these drugs—not to mention the various government agencies which have banned them—is in need of a serious re-think. Small trials have shown psilocybin's promise in treating alcoholism, opiate addiction, and depression. This latest research offers some of the most compelling evidence yet for the use of psychedelics to treat complex and profound emotional disorders, particularly in patients with life-threatening illnesses.
Microdoses Of Psychedelic Mushrooms Could Help Stimulate Creative Thought
Microdosing—taking fractional doses of psychoactive compounds—has gained popularity recently as a way to lessen anxiety and stimulate creative thought. Some believe that taking small doses of psychedelic substances can enhance a person's cognitive flexibility, allowing them to think of problems from different perspectives and create novel solutions.

Most of these claimed effects of psychedelics are anecdotal and there is a distinct lack of quantitative experimental data on the matter. Psychedelic compounds tend to be either illegal or extremely controlled, so it is hard to run controlled clinical trials to test their effects. Now, in the first study of its kind, a team of scientists based in the Netherlands has run controlled experiments investigating the cognitive effects of ingesting psilocybin, the active component in "magic" mushrooms.

In the study, the researchers investigated the cognitive effects of psilocybin on a group of 36 subjects. They found that taking small doses of mushrooms (~0.37 grams) improved the subjects convergent and divergent thinking process on a number of tasks, allowing them to both more quickly identify a single solution to a task and dream up potential alternative solutions. The results seem to imply that microdoses of psilocybin compounds can give a person more cognitive flexibility and allow them to engage in thought patterns they would otherwise be unlikely to engage in. The researchers' findings can be read in full in the journal Psychopharmacology.
Michael Pollan: What It's Like to Trip on the Most Potent Magic Mushroom: "I felt as though I were communing directly with a plant for the first time."
When at last I arrived at the writing house, I stretched out on the daybed, something I hardly ever took the time to do in all the years when I was working here so industriously. The bookshelves had been emptied, and the place felt abandoned, a little sad. From where I lay, I could see over my toes to the window screen and, past that, to the grid of an arbor that was now densely woven with the twining vines of what had become a venerable old climbing hydrangea, a petiolaris. I had planted the hydrangea decades ago, in hopes of creating just this sort of intricately tangled prospect. Backlit by the late-afternoon sunlight streaming in, its neat, round leaves completely filled the window, which meant you gazed out at the world through the fresh green scrim they formed. It seemed to me these were the most beautiful leaves I had ever seen. It was as if they were emitting their own soft, green glow. And it felt like a kind of privilege to gaze out at the world through their eyes, as it were, as the leaves drank up the last draughts of sunlight, transforming those photons into new matter. A plant's-eye view of the world—it was that, and for real! But the leaves were also looking back at me, fixing me with this utterly benign gaze. I could feel their curiosity and what I was certain was an attitude of utter benevolence toward me and my kind. (Do I need to say that I know how crazy this sounds? I do!)

I felt as though I were communing directly with a plant for the first time and that certain ideas I had long thought about and written about—having to do with the subjectivity of other species and the way they act upon us in ways we're too self-regarding to appreciate—had taken on the flesh of feeling and reality. I looked through the negative spaces formed by the hydrangea leaves to fix my gaze on the swamp maple in the middle of the meadow beyond, and it too was now more alive than I'd ever known a tree to be, infused with some kind of spirit—this one, too, benevolent. The idea that there had ever been a disagreement between matter and spirit seemed risible, and I felt as though whatever it is that usually divides me from the world out there had begun to fall away. Not completely: The battlements of ego had not fallen; this was not what the researchers would deem a "complete" mystical experience, because I retained the sense of an observing "I." But the doors and windows of perception had opened wide, and they were admitting more of the world and its myriad nonhuman personalities than ever before.

Pertinent Pollan post: The Spirit Molecules

Ed Yong: How Mushrooms Became Magic: Did they evolve a powerful hallucinogen to stop insects from getting the munchies?
These genes seem to have originated in fungi that specialize in breaking down decaying wood or animal dung. Both materials are rich in hungry insects that compete with fungi, either by eating them directly or by going after the same nutrients. So perhaps, Slot suggests, fungi first evolved psilocybin to drug these competitors.

His idea makes sense. Psilocybin affects us humans because it fits into receptor molecules that typically respond to serotonin—a brain-signaling chemical. Those receptors are ancient ones that insects also share, so it's likely that psilocybin interferes with their nervous system, too. "We don't have a way to know the subjective experience of an insect," says Slot, and it's hard to say if they trip. But one thing is clear from past experiments: Psilocybin reduces insect appetites.

By evolving the ability to make this chemical, which prevents the munchies in insects, perhaps some fungi triumphed over their competitors, and dominated the delicious worlds of dung and rotting wood. And perhaps other species gained the same powers by taking up the genes for those hallucinogens. It's not clear how they did so. Some scientists think that fungi can occasionally fuse together, giving them a chance to share their DNA, while Slot prefers the idea that in times of stress, fungi can soak up DNA from their environment. Either way, the genes for psilocybin have spread.
More: Magic Mushroom Drug Evolved to Mess with Insect Brains. For that matter, so did most natural recreational drugs

7 mind-bending facts about magic mushrooms: "From ancient shamans (and Santa Claus?) to scientists studying mental health, humans have a long fascination with 'magic' fungi."

Beyond Psilocybin: Mushrooms Have Lots of Cool Compounds Scientists Should Study

In other news: Competitive Psychedelic Users Are Chasing 'Ego Death' and Losing Their Sense of Self: More and more psychonauts are looking for the ultimate high, but some are ruining their minds in the process.
First written about by LSD advocate Timothy Leary in 1964, he defined ego death as "complete transcendence—beyond words, beyond space-time, beyond self. There are no visions, no sense of self, no thoughts. There is only pure awareness and ecstatic freedom."

Fifty years later, there is an ego death arms race of sorts among the kind of people who like to write about their psychedelic experiences online, with hundreds on Reddit and YouTube boasting about their latest transcendence of self. On message-boards like Reddit's r/Psychonaut, a lively hub of 175,000 subscribers, posts about ego death are often and, in many cases, used to assert dominance. "Ego death is the ultimate goal of life," reads one. "I think [it's] a fair statement that if you've experienced ego death that you're a superior psychonaut," reads another.

Bradley, who's experienced ego death "a handful of times," made a thread on r/Psychonaut a couple of months ago called, "Does anyone else feel like there is a massive ego-death circle jerk on this [forum]?"

Mushroom! Mushroom!
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sirshannon
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finally

By wemayfreeze in ""life is suffering"" on MeFi

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I like Laurie Penny on Peterson: Peterson's Complaint

The mistake that so many critics and commentators have made is to try to defeat Peterson in formal debate. It's not that his ideas cannot be defeated — it's that taking them seriously gives them a credence they do not deserve.

Peterson is not a philosopher of [feminist philosopher Kate] Manne's caliber. He might most generously be read as a prose poet, or a performance artist trying to express the insipid conundrum of modern masculinity via the medium of YouTube televangelism.

There is nothing morally wrong with recognizing that young white guys are not coping terribly well in this frightening and uncertain world they suddenly find they have to share. The problem comes when you announce, as men like Peterson do, that the way white men feel about things is the way things are. Feelings are not facts. Just because young white men are experiencing hurt feelings does not make those hurt feelings rational, or reasonable, or a sound basis for policy-making. It certainly doesn't oblige anyone to dignify those hurt feelings with the status of cosmic wisdom.

Peterson, like a lot of angry white men, appears to experience his feelings as facts and his neuroses as truths. Not everyone is quite so obsessed with hierarchy or quite so terrified of powerful women — sorry, of the negative female archetype, the Great Mother, the Dragon — as Professor Jordan Peterson. But in debate after debate he insists that his paranoid fantasies and esoteric anxieties be debated as if they were concrete facts, and in debate after debate he trounces his opponents, because it turns out you can't really argue someone out of a feeling. Particularly not a feeling of frustration, or anger, or loss.
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sirshannon
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"Just because young white men are experiencing hurt feelings does not make those hurt feelings rational, or reasonable, or a sound basis for policy-making. It certainly doesn't oblige anyone to dignify those hurt feelings with the status of cosmic wisdom."

Ford CEO frankly admits that the car of the future is a surveillance device that you pay to spy on you

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The era of finance capitalism is marked by a curious shift in the desire of the business world: to get out of the business of making things people use, and into the business of getting money for owning, extracting and/or liquidating things.

The thing is, this isn't a good strategy. Not only did the drive to build up financial institutions themselves precipitate the financial crisis (tanking Lehman Brothers in the process, and bringing the rest to the brink of extinction, forced to beg for government handouts), but all the real-economy businesses that tried to become financial institutions also collapsed in the crisis: GM converted its making-cars business to a issuing loans business and nearly croaked as a result; ditto GE.

Since then, the extractive model has shown itself to be a loser for businesses do things that people value: Toys R Us was looted into bankruptcy; so was Sears.

But the dream of extractive rentierism still haunts the managerial classes.

Take Ford CEO Jim Hackett, whose recent Freakonomics Radio appearance celebrated his company's shift from a car business to a debt-issuance business, with Ford Credit now accounting for a third of the company's profits. Hackett vowed to increase that share by using the leverage he could exert over his debtors to force them to let him spy on them (for example, by doubling down on GM's car radio surveillance), and then cross-referencing this data on the data borrowers are forced to supply in order to buy their cars, and with data-sets from corporate acquisitions like the scooter company Spin.

It's funny how these real-economy naifs keep getting taken for rides by finance svengalis, who convince them to convert their making-things-people-need businesses to extracting-value-at-loan-point businesses. Every single time, they end up like the bottom tier of a pyramid scheme, emptying their pockets to benefit the con-artists who kicked the whole business off.

For the CEO of Ford to announce that he will goose his company's debt business with a surveillance business at the exact moment that the world's biggest debt issuers and surveillance businesses are coming under tight scrutiny and fretting about massive regulation as they head into another 2008-grade crisis is pretty perfect rustbelt timing. Welcome to the bottom of the pyramid, Ford. Your financial betters will be along shortly to get rich off of your touching enthusiasm and trust.

“We have 100 million people in vehicles today that are sitting in Ford blue-oval vehicles. That’s the case for monetizing opportunity versus an upstart who maybe has, I don’t know, what, they got 120, or 200,000 vehicles in place now. And so just compare the two stacks: Which one would you like to have the data from?” Hackett said, according to the podcast transcript.

“The issue in the vehicle, see, is: We already know and have data on our customers. By the way, we protect this securely; they trust us,” Hackett said. “We know what people make. How do we know that? It’s because they borrow money from us. And when you ask somebody what they make, we know where they work, you know. We know if they’re married. We know how long they’ve lived in their house because these are all on the credit applications. We’ve never ever been challenged on how we use that. And that’s the leverage we got here with the data.”

Data could be what Ford sells next as it looks for new revenue [Phoebe Wall Howard/Detroit Free Press]

(via @KevinBankston)

(Image: Scary Peeper)

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🖕

Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails about government business last year - The Washington Post

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Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.

White House ethics officials learned of Trump’s repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.

The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughter’s practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign. Trump attacked his Democratic challenger as untrustworthy and dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” for using a personal email account as secretary of state.

Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trump’s personal emails — and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. Trump said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction.

The White House referred requests for comment to Ivanka Trump’s attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell.

In a statement, Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Lowell, acknowledged that the president’s daughter occasionally used her private email before she was briefed on the rules, but he said 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 started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” he said in a statement.

Mirijanian said Ivanka Trump turned over all her government-related emails months ago so they could be stored permanently with other White House records.

And he stressed that her email use was different than that of Clinton, who had a private email server in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y., home. At one point, an archive of thousands of Clinton’s emails was deleted by a computer specialist amid a congressional investigation.

“Ms. Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, no classified information was ever included, the account was never transferred at Trump Organization, and no emails were ever deleted,” Mirijanian said.

Like Trump, Clinton also said she was unaware of or misunderstood the rules. However, Clinton relied solely on a private email system as secretary of state, bypassing government servers entirely.

Both Trump and Clinton relied on their personal attorneys to review their private emails and determine which messages should be retained as government records.

Clinton originally said none of the messages she sent or received were “marked classified.” The FBI later determined that 110 emails contained classified information at the time they were sent or received.

Austin Evers, executive director of the liberal watchdog group American Oversight, whose record requests sparked the White House discovery, said it strained credulity that Trump’s daughter did not know that government officials should not use private emails for official business.

“There’s the obvious hypocrisy that her father ran on the misuse of personal email as a central tenet of his campaign,” Evers said. “There is no reasonable suggestion that she didn’t know better. Clearly everyone joining the Trump administration should have been on high alert about personal email use.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband set up personal emails with the domain “ijkfamily.com” through a Microsoft system in December 2016, as they were preparing to move to Washington so Kushner could join the White House, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

The couple’s emails are prescreened by the Trump Organization for security problems such as viruses but are stored by Microsoft, the people said.

Trump used her personal account to discuss government policies and official business less than 100 times — often replying to other administration officials who contacted her through her private email, according to people familiar with the review.

Another category of less-substantive emails may have also violated the records law: hundreds of messages related to her official work schedule and travel details that she sent herself and personal assistants who cared for her children and house, they said.

People close to Ivanka Trump said she never intended to use her private email to shroud her government work. After she told White House lawyers she was unaware that she was breaking any email rules, they discovered that she had not been receiving White House updates and reminders to all staff about prohibited use of private email, according to people familiar with the situation.

Using personal emails for government business could violate the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all official White House communications and records be preserved as a permanent archive of each administration. It can also increase the risk that sensitive government information could be mishandled or hacked, revealing government secrets and risking harm to diplomatic relations and secret operations.

Revelations about Clinton’s personal email system led to an FBI investigation of whether she had mishandled classified information. The scandal shadowed Clinton throughout the 2016 White House race, culminating in then-FBI Director James B. Comey’s controversial decision to hold a news conference a few months before the election to announce his conclusion that she had been reckless with government secrets but that there was not sufficient evidence she had intended to skirt the law.

During the campaign, Donald Trump said the Democratic nominee’s “corruption is on a scale we have never seen before” and called her personal email use “bigger than Watergate.”

Trump supporters still chant “Lock her up!” at his rallies, and the president, nearly two years into his administration, continues to tweet about Clinton’s emails.

“Big story out that the FBI ignored tens of thousands of Crooked Hillary Emails, many of which are REALLY BAD,” he tweeted in August, referring to a Fox News story about claims that the bureau did not scrutinize all her emails. “Also gave false election info. I feel sure that we will soon be getting to the bottom of all of this corruption. At some point I may have to get involved!”

Ivanka Trump first used her personal email to contact Cabinet officials in early 2017, before she joined the White House as an unpaid senior adviser, according to emails obtained by American Oversight.

In late February 2017, she used her personal email to contact Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon and propose they meet to explore “opportunities to collaborate.” The following month, she emailed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, suggesting that their staffers meet to discuss ways to collaborate on “locational/workforce development and k-12 STEM education.”

While her messages were largely about government work, Trump was not then subject to White House records rules.

When she joined the White House on March 30, Trump pledged to comply “with all ethics rules,” responding to complaints that her voluntary role gave her all of the access and perks of the White House — but none of the legal responsibilities or constraints.

“Throughout this process I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role,” she said in a statement at the time.

But Trump continued to occasionally use her personal email in her official capacity, according to people familiar with the review.

Her husband Jared Kushner’s use of personal email for government work drew intense scrutiny when it was first reported by Politico last fall. The revelation prompted demands from congressional investigators that Kushner preserve his records, which his attorney said he had. At the time, administration officials acknowledged to news organizations, including the New York Times and Politico, that Ivanka Trump had occasionally used a private account when she joined the White House.

But Trump had used her personal email for official business far more frequently than known, according to people familiar with the administration’s review — a fact that remained a closely held secret inside the White House.

“She was the worst offender in the White House,” said a former senior U.S. government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal dynamics.

After discovering the extent of her email use in September 2017, White House lawyers relied on Lowell, Ivanka Trump’s attorney, to help review her personal emails to determine which were personal and which were official business, according to the people.

The White House Counsel’s Office did not have access to her personal account and could not review it without invading her privacy and possibly violating privileged communications with her attorneys, people familiar with the review said.

After his review, Lowell forwarded emails that he had determined were related to official business to Ivanka Trump’s government account, a move he viewed as rectifying any violations of the records law, they said.

Lowell’s review found less than 1,000 personal emails in which Trump shared her official schedule and travel plans with herself and her personal assistants, according to two people familiar with the review.

Separately, there were less than 100 emails in which Trump used her personal account to discuss official business with other administration officials.

The scope of her personal email use had not emerged in response to American Oversight’s records request, which sought Trump’s correspondence with Cabinet agencies in early 2017. Most internal White House communications are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

“I’m disappointed — although not entirely surprised — that this administration disregarded clear laws that they more than anyone should have been aware of,” Evers said.

In many cases, government officials contacted Ivanka Trump first at her personal email address. That was the case with a note she received in April 2017 from Treasury official Dan Kowalski, who was seeking to set up a meeting between the president and the secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international economic group of which the United States is a member.

“I apologize for reaching out to you on your personal email for this, but it is the only email I have for you,” he wrote, according to an email obtained by American Oversight.

“For future reference my WH email is [redacted],” Ivanka Trump replied. “Thanks for reaching out and making this introduction.”

But other times, Trump used her private email to initiate official business.

In April 2017, she used her personal email to write to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s chief of staff, Eli Miller, suggesting that he connect with her chief of staff, Julie Radford. The email chain, obtained by American Oversight, was copied to Radford’s government account.

“It would be great if you both could connect next week to discuss [redacted],”she wrote. “We would love your feedback and input as we structure.”

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acdha
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Don’t worry, I’m sure all of the government records experts who condemned Hillary’s use of this before the rules were set will take an even stronger stance against doing so after it’s clearly banned…
Washington, DC
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sirshannon
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Lock her up!

Texas Students Will Soon Learn Slavery Played A Central Role In The Civil War

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Abraham Lincoln is shown in Richmond, Va., being cheered by former slaves in 1865.

The state's previous social studies standards listed three causes for the Civil War: sectionalism, states' rights and slavery, in that order.

(Image credit: Culture Club/Getty Images)

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sirshannon
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Everything's dumber in Texas. Maybe things are looking up for them, though?
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