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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Conservatives have long searched for an effective message against Social Security. Now, they seem to have found a new one to try as they set up a fight over the 80-year-old program in the coming Congress: The disabled are robbing the retired.

Social Security advocates describe it almost invariably as the "divide-and-conquer" strategy: Pit the program's two funds -- the retirement and disability programs -- against each other. The disability fund won't be able to pay its full benefits starting in late 2016, and House Republicans passed a rule earlier this month stating that they won't allow a transfer of tax revenue from the retirement fund to cover the shortfall, as has been done multiple times on a bipartisan basis, most recently in 1994, unless Social Security's overall solvency is improved.

Republicans have been clear that they intend to use the need for reallocation as leverage to force a debate about the disability program -- and perhaps, some conservatives hope and Democrats warn, Social Security as a whole.

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It sounds like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney covered a wide range of topics at their meeting Thursday in Utah -- except the one on everybody's mind.

Bush was asked about the meeting on a Friday at an event in San Francisco, the Washington Post reported. He said the two potential 2016 contenders, who are expected to vie for many of the same donors and voters if they both decide to run, chatted about the National Football League -- but they didn't really touch on the fact that they could be political opponents soon.

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A former Israeli ambassador to the United States said Saturday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should cancel his upcoming March address to Congress on Iran at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner's request.

"The behavior over the last few days created the impression of a cynical political move, and it could hurt our attempts to act against Iran," former ambassador Michael Oren said, according to Ynet News. "It's advisable to cancel the speech to Congress so as not to cause a rift with the American government. Much responsibility and reasoned political behavior are needed to guard interests in the White House."

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The Islamic State has purportedly beheaded one of the two Japanese hostages it is holding, according to a report Saturday morning.

The SITE Intelligence group reported that hostage Haruna Yukawa had been beheaded in a newly released video.

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In a cherished presidential cycle tradition, Donald Trump is trying to insert himself into the 2016 conversation.

For starters, he gave a sit-down interview to the all-important Des Moines Register, which was published Friday. In it, he took some shots at presumptive GOP frontrunners Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, while lamenting that he didn't run in 2012, when he also teased at a presidential bid before backing out.

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In a big unexpected twist in the new Congress, Senate Republicans are reportedly crafting a plan to do away with the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court justice nominees.

Politico reported Friday evening that the plan, though in its early stages, was being led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).

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With a fight over Social Security brewing in the new Republican Congress, advocates are worried that a possible GOP angle is to turn Social Security into a perennial crisis in much the same way raising the debt limit has become. By setting up a series of forcing events, the argument goes, Republicans would be able to create an ongoing crisis atmosphere around Social Security that would create a pretext for dramatic changes to the 80-year-old program.

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Like President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry won't meet with Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu when he comes to Washington, D.C., in March to address Congress at House Speaker John Boehner's invitation.

According to Reuters, the State Department said that Kerry wouldn't meet with Netanyahu because of the March 17 Israeli elections. Netanyahu will address Congress on Iran on March 3. The department also confirmed to TPM that Kerry and the prime minister would not meet.

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President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Netanyahu comes to Washington, D.C., in March to address a joint session of Congress at House Speaker John Boehner's invitation.

Boehner's invitation for Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran was described by experts as an "unprecedented" rebuke of Obama, but White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that the president would not meet personally with Netanyahu because of the upcoming elections in Israel.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country," she said in an email to TPM. "Accordingly, the President will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress."

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In a closed-door meeting Wednesday with Republican lawmakers in Montana, Ohio Gov. John Kasich made a forceful argument in favor of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

Kasich was in Montana as part of his national tour to advocate for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but the most lively discussion, per the Tribune's account, focused on Obamacare. Montana's GOP-led legislature rejected Medicaid expansion in 2013, though Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock unveiled a new expansion plan this week.

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