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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

As the backlash continues against police violence in the aftermath of multiple African-Americans being killed by officers, one wrinkle in the ongoing debate has been the aggressive reaction of law enforcement itself to the public criticism and protest.

Among the recent examples, a New York City police union has urged members to ban Mayor Bill de Blasio from their funerals if they die in the line of duty, saying it would be "an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice" after the mayor's handling of Eric Garner's death at the hand of an NYPD officer. A St. Louis police association demanded that the NFL and St. Louis Rams discipline players who walked onto the field before a game making the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture associated with the Michael Brown shooting. A police union in Cleveland called a Browns player's T-shirt protesting the Tamir Rice and John Crawford shootings there "pretty pathetic."

It isn't unusual for police unions to urge public calm and defend their members' constitutional rights to due process in the event of an officer-involved shooting. What is different in these cases, experts say, is the kind of rhetoric that unions are deploying to counter critics of the police.

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After police unions slammed his decision to wear a T-shirt protesting the police shootings of two black people in Ohio, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins gathered the media on Monday to explain himself more fully.

Hawkins outlined his rationale, speaking without notes, according to ESPN Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi. He touched on his own upbringing and the role of his children in his lengthy comments.

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It wasn't a particular person or fact that earned PolitiFact's 2014 Lie of the Year, but the general mass hysteria that accompanied the Ebola epidemic.

And though PolitiFact doesn't say it, its most prominent examples were conservative figures, which isn't too surprising given the level of delirium on Fox News and elsewhere once the disease, which has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa, claimed one life on American shores.

"Fear of the disease stretched to every corner of America this fall, stoked by exaggerated claims from politicians and pundits," PolitiFact's authors wrote. "They said Ebola was easy to catch, that illegal immigrants may be carrying the virus across the southern border, that it was all part of a government or corporate conspiracy."

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With her presidential bubble rapidly expanding, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) isn't wavering in her insistence that she isn't running for president -- but she also won't go ahead and say she will not run for president.

Her evasions seem sure to keep the political class yapping.

NPR's Steve Inskeep had a little fun with the ongoing speculation about Warren's presidential aspirations in a Monday morning interview with the senator, asking her about the progressive groups that have teamed up to draft her into the 2016 race, presumably against Hillary Clinton.

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is calling all hands on deck to fix his state's huge self-imposed budget crisis, which nearly cost him re-election this year, and the staunch conservative is now receiving an assist from an unlikely source: Obamacare.

The state's well-documented budget troubles came after Brownback's dramatic reductions in taxes since taking office in 2011. With its revenue drying up and cash reserves depleted, Kansas is staring at a $280 million hole in its $6.4 billion FY 2015 budget, which ends in June.

Brownback offered his proposal for closing that hole last week, a mixture of spending cuts and transferring funds from other parts of the budget to fill it. And second biggest of those transfers is $55 million in revenue from a Medicaid drug rebate program that was bolstered under the Affordable Care Act.

The short version then is this: Obamacare is helping Kansas address its fiscal crisis -- even if Brownback's administration seems loath to admit it.

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Don't expect Alabama to soon join the ranks of other GOP-led states that have signed onto Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, but Gov. Robert Bentley (R) opened the door ever so slightly in new comments reported Thursday.

"I wouldn't be opposed to a block grant for the entire Medicaid system," Bentley said, as reported by al.com, after saying something similar in an address to the state legislature. His answer was in response to a question about the Medicaid expansion specifically.

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More than 300 ex-Obama campaign staffers are issuing an open letter on Friday, urging Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run for president in 2016, the New York Times's Nick Confessore reported.

“We believed in an unlikely candidate who no one thought had a chance,” the letter reads. “Rising income inequality is the challenge of our times, and we want someone who will stand up for working families and take on the Wall Street banks and special interests that took down our economy.”

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The government funding bill colloquially called the CRomnibus that the House passed on Thursday night included a GOP-proposed change to an Obamacare program long loathed by Republicans.

A House aide confirmed to TPM that Republican staffers requested the change to the so-called risk corridor program, which is designed to keep premiums stable by making payments to insurers if they lose more money than expected in the law's first few years.

Some health policy wonks picked up on the language, but it received negligible attention compared to the campaign finance and Dodd-Frank provisions that nearly derailed the spending bill in the House on Thursday night.

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The fate of Obamacare will again be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court next year -- and if the conservative justices rule to invalidate tax credits offered through the federal HealthCare.gov, dealing a punishing blow to the law, it isn't at all clear that the White House will have the legal and practical leeway to save it.

That was the conclusion of three academics in a new analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine which outlined the challenges that the Obama administration would face in that worst-case Supreme Court scenario. The most obvious solution to an adverse Supreme Court ruling is to turn every exchange into a state exchange, allowing the law's tax credits to flow again -- but how easy will it be for the administration to do that?

"We're quite pessimistic. The operational, legal and political challenges here are immense," Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor who co-authored the article, told TPM in a phone interview on Thursday. "The more I've looked at this, the more alarmed I've grown."

The problem is three-pronged: Legal, because the Affordable Care Act sets some very specific requirements for state-based exchanges; practical, because states might not have time or authority to act after the Court ruling comes down in June, as expected; and political, because Republican intransigence against Obamacare is currently one of the defining elements of American politics.

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