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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

A Chris McDaniel spokesman seemed to lose his temper a bit when he was confronted about possibly improper campaign coordination related to the ongoing effort to overturn McDaniel's loss in the Mississippi GOP Senate primary.

"Off the record, when did you stop beating your wife?" McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch told the Clarion Ledger's Sam Hall, invoking a well-known rhetorical device of presupposed guilt.

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As condemned Arizona killer Joseph Rudolph Wood III lay dying for nearly two hours on the execution table in state prison, his lawyer frantically pleaded over the phone with a federal judge to halt the botched lethal injection.

A transcript released Thursday of the call reveals a 30-minute conversation in which public defender Robin Konrad sought a stay of execution for Wood after the execution had already begun and appeared to be going wrong. Konrad spoke on the phone with federal district Judge Neil Wake and Assistant Arizona Attorney General Jeff Zick.

The execution was supposed to last 10 minutes, but about 10 minutes after it began, Konrad said, Wood began to breathe and opened his mouth. "He has been gasping and snorting for over an hour," she said, citing an attorney at the scene.

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Conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court might have already tipped their hand on the latest substantial legal threat to Obamacare, according to one Yale law professor. And if they did, it would be good news for the Obama administration.

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday that Obamacare's language did not allow people shopping on HealthCare.gov to access tax credits if they purchase insurance through the federal website. If that decision were to become law, affecting the 36 states served by the federal exchange, it would strip subsidies from nearly 5 million people and send their premiums skyrocketing. Without some sort of administrative rescue from the Obama administration, it would significantly gut the law.

Another federal appeals court in Virginia ruled the opposite way on the same day. Legal analysts have said it is at least possible that the case will end up in front of the Supreme Court, which largely upheld Obamacare in 2012. But the court's conservative streak has struck down some of the law's other provisions.

Abbe Gluck, a law professor at Yale University, highlighted some passages this week for a piece for Politico that showed how the court's conservative justices seemed to have already interpreted the issue in the 2012 ruling.

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One of the academics whom U.S. Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) plagiarized in his 2007 master's thesis said Thursday that he was "mildly flattered" -- though he added that the work Walsh plagiarized was already out of date at the time.

"Why the United States Should Spread Democracy" was one of the works that Walsh appropriated without citation, the New York Times reported Wednesday. It was written in 1998 by Sean M. Lynn-Jones, a scholar at Harvard University's Belfer Center.

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A majority of Americans believe that either they themselves or other people are better off under Obamacare, according to a CNN poll released Wednesday.

The poll found that 18 percent of Americans said they are better off under the health care reform law. But even if they said they personally are about the same or worse off, another 35 percent said that other families are better off because of the law.

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More than 10 million uninsured adults obtained health coverage during Obamacare's first open enrollment period, according to a study published on Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, which included researchers from Harvard University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that the number of uninsured Americans had dropped by 5.2 percentage points by the second quarter of 2014, which corresponds with 10.3 million adults gaining coverage.

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This post has been updated.

U.S. Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), appointed to the post earlier this year and facing a difficult campaign in November, appears to have plagiarized major portions of his 2007 master's thesis, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Walsh, an Iraq war veteran and Bronze Star recipient with more than 30 year of military service, received a master's degree from the United States Army War College. He was required to complete a "strategic research project," according to the Times. Walsh's paper (PDF) was titled: “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy."

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A Ukrainian rebel leader told Reuters in an interview published on Wednesday that pro-Russian separatists possessed the type of missile system that U.S. officials say shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Alexander Khodakovsky, the leader of the Vostok Battalion in eastern Ukraine, one of the top fighting units for the separatist forces, said that it was a widely known fact that rebels had such weaponry. The rebels had previously seized non-operational "Buk" missiles from the Ukrainian military, but he said that it was possible that operational systems had come from Russia.

He referred to a Buk missile system that had come from Luhansk, one of the two rebel strongholds. The other is Donetsk, where Flight 17 crashed. He added that the missiles might have been transported out of the region, which Ukrainian officials have previously claimed.

"That BUK I know about. I heard about it. I think they sent it back," he said. "Because I found out about it at exactly the moment that I found out that this tragedy had taken place. They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence."

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and his office stymied investigations into political allies and associates being undertaken by an independent commission that Cuomo created to stop public corruption, the New York Times reported on Wednesday after a three-month investigation by the newspaper.

The most obvious interference, according to the Times, came when the commission sent a subpoena to Buying Time, a media company through which Cuomo had spent $20 million on ads since 2002. The commission was looking into the company's relationship with the New York Democratic Party, and it did not know of the firm's ties to Cuomo when it issued the subpoena.

A top Cuomo aide, Lawrence Schwartz, quickly scuttled the order. "This is wrong," he told a commission chairman, according to the Times. "Pull it back."

The episode was, according to the newspaper's investigation, part of a broader pattern of behavior by the governor's office. Cuomo disbanded the commission a full eight months before it was supposed to finish its work, claiming a legislative reform package that many criticized as watered down was the culmination of its duties.

In a 13-page statement to the Times, Cuomo's office dismissed the premise of the newspaper's investigation as "legally, ethically and practically false."

"Your fundamental assertion is that the Commission was independent. It wasn't," the office wrote. The statement also said that many of the companies for which Cuomo's staff had reportedly interfered did eventually receive subpoenas. That included Buying Time, according to the Times.

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After apparently watching too many James Bond marathons, the Michigan Republican Party equipped some of its staff members with eyeglasses outfitted with high-tech hidden cameras to track Democratic candidates.

The Detroit News reported last week that Michigan Democrats had come into possession of a disk recorded from a secret camera that had been used to spy at a campaign fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The amateur snoops ate appetizers, discussed the interior design of the private home where the fundraiser took place and chatted with other attendees.

The Michigan Republican Party did not deny their methods and in fact volunteered to the News that the trackers had been using spyglasses with a secret camera installed in the frames.

“Republicans do it; Democrats do it,” Darren Littell, communications director for the state GOP, told the News. “People use different ways to get the footage. ... This is a newer approach.”

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