Mshuham2

Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously associate editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

I’ve reported on-and-off this year on a group of border vigilantes that has made headlines for their mass “arrests” of migrants and asylum seekers, and for their unofficial ties to “We Build The Wall,” the GoFundMe-powered private border wall group.

Through that reporting, I discovered that one of the vigilantes, who goes by the moniker “Viper,” has a little-known pursuit on the side: Wild West re-enactor.

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President Trump this week installed a hardliner with plenty of enemies in the U.S. Senate as a pinch hitter temporarily leading the government’s immigration and naturalization agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Daring establishment Republicans on Capitol Hill to object, Trump skipped over the Senate confirmation process by using a loophole in federal law.

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A top White House official who has championed the environmental benefits of carbon dioxide apparently intervened to quash scientific research on the coming climate crisis.

The Washington Post and New York Times reported Saturday that the Trump administration refused to allow written testimony from a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research analyst about the “possibly catastrophic” effects of climate change to be entered into the congressional record last week.

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It’s difficult to keep up with the fast-moving ticker of regulatory changes overseen by the Trump administration, so it’s not your fault if you missed this one: As part of a larger package, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week adopted the new “Regulation Best Interest,” which requires that stock broker/dealers act in their clients’ “best interest,” a term that is not defined.

Critics say the new standard isn’t any better than the weak, existing one — which requires that brokers recommend “suitable” investments — but that it gifts an unearned sheen of trustworthiness to the industry.

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It smelled a little swampy late last month when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that the Trump administration wouldn’t be waiting for its approval to sell billions of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. The administration used emergency powers to do so, citing the “fundamental threat” posed by Iran’s alleged misbehavior.

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