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

The National Football League might not have any better friend than ESPN, the sports broadcasting colossus with which the league has a $15.2 billion Monday Night Football contract (for starters). But even in the friendly confines of Bristol, Conn., the league hasn't been able to escape criticism after a week that saw one star player belatedly suspended indefinitely for hitting his wife and another indicted for injuring his child.

ESPN anchor Hannah Storm anchored a special edition of SportsCenter on Sunday morning that focused on the league and particularly its handling of domestic violence cases involving its players. Storm concluded the hourlong program -- which led into the channel's NFL pregame show -- with an impassioned monologue on the league's approach to domestic violence.

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More than 20 school districts in the United States have been equipped with military-grade equipment through the federal program that provides such gear to local and state authorities free of charge, according to civil rights groups.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Texas Appleseed, a legal advocacy group, sent a letter on behalf of a coalition of civil rights groups to the federal agency that administers the program on Monday. The letter requested reforms be made to the 1033 program, which has come under significant scrutiny after the heavily armed police response to protests in Ferguson, Mo., last month.

The letter cited "published reports" that have showed military equipment being transferred from the Pentagon to the school districts. It said the total number of transfers from the Defense Department to U.S. schools "is difficult to determine."

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At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Census Bureau will release new data on health insurance in America. But as a measure of the new reality established by the Affordable Care Act, which remade the health insurance system in the United States, the numbers will be essentially meaningless.

But they will come in handy later.

The problem with the new numbers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt, is that they cut off at March 31. That means 3 million people-plus who signed up in the law's final weeks of enrollment will still count as uninsured, even though they have since been covered.

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The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, who was indicted on child injury charges last week, would be allowed to practice with the team and is expected to play in its next game on Sunday.

"This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing," the team's owners said in a statement. "Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward."

The Vikings deactivated Peterson for last Sunday's game after he was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child. He allegedly hit his 4-year-old son with a switch over the summer, according to reports. A doctor who later examined the boy "told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand," according to the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis.

"Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas," Peterson's Texas attorney Rusty Hardin said Friday.

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It is one of a handful of races that could determine which party controls the Senate next year, but analysts -- including the veritable Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight -- agree that the polling in the Alaska Senate race is an absolute mess.

It's nobody's fault. Just a historical fact. But it complicates the process of capturing the dynamics of the battle between Republican Dan Sullivan and incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK).

"Alaska is a hard state to poll accurately," Silver wrote in his Sunday review of the polling there. He also concluded that in seven statewide races since 2000, Alaska polling has overestimated the Democratic candidate by 7.2 points compared to election day returns.

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Within political circles, the big question for the 2014 midterm election is: Who's going to control the Senate for the rest of Obama's presidency? Will Republicans get to be a fully formed thorn in the president's side? Or will the deadlocked status quo that's been so maligned over the last four years simply continue?

But are the people who will actually decide the outcome -- voters -- seeing the same storyline?

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent took a enlightening look at this question last week. In particular, he examined with the help of a Democratic pollster one of the key constituencies for the November elections: Democratic voters who don't usually turn out in midterm elections. It is widely believed that those voters need to show up for Democrats to give their party its best chance of keeping the upper chamber.

But, according to Sargent and some focus grouping and polling by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, at least some of those voters don't see the election in those terms.

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has reportedly beheaded another Western hostage, British aid worker David Haines.

The SITE Intelligence Group said that ISIS had released a video purportedly depicting Haines's killing.

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said this week that technological advances could lead to an "Orwellian world."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sotomayor told a crowd Thursday at Oklahoma City University that technology was already able to “listen to your conversations from miles away and through your walls."

“We are in that brave new world," she said, "and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too.”

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Hillary Clinton will be in Iowa on Sunday, and the national press is dispensing with the formalities: She is running for president. No if's, and's or deeply personal decisions about it.

"Let’s just get this out of the way now: She’s running," BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote Friday in a preview of sorts for Clinton's appearance Sunday at Sen. Tom Harkin's 37th steak fry in Indianola, Iowa.

Amy Chozick of the New York Times wrote a detailed piece on Friday, a thorough reading of the proverbial tea leaves. Some were superficial -- Hillary is taking yoga (to prepare for the physical rigors of a campaign) -- while others were substantive. She has been asking Wall Street types what they think of President Obama's fiscal policies and inquiring about the best people to know in Iowa.

“It’s very obvious what’s she going to do,” Sue Dvorsky, a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told Chozick. “Clearly she’s going to run.”

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't have many friends right now as his league is consumed by its players' off-field scandals. He's been accused of lying about what he knew and when about suspended running back Ray Rice hitting his now-wife and an independent investigation is underway.

But he still has at least one ally in league circles: Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

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