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

Americans generally agree that police departments collectively fail to treat racial and ethnic groups equally, according to a new Pew poll, taken in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

The poll found 32 percent of Americans said police across the country do an excellent or good job of treating people from different racial and ethnic groups equally. In contrast, 65 percent said that the police did an only fair or poor job.

A majority of whites found police departments lacking, though not to the same degree that blacks did: 58 percent of whites said that police performed only fair or poor on racial equality, while 91 percent of blacks said the same.

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New York Times Magazine boldly wondered this month if the "Libertarian Moment" had finally arrived. They splashed their cover with an image of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), widely seen as the man precipitating that moment and the most talked-about 2016 presidential candidate outside of Hillary Clinton.

But what if there is no movement for the moment? Who are the libertarians, really? That was the question posed by the Pew Research Center in a Monday blog post. And their findings could create some skepticism about whether there actually is any libertarian movement to speak of.

"There are still many Americans who do not have a clear sense of what 'libertarian' means," Pew's Jocelyn Kiley wrote, "and our surveys find that, on many issues, the views among people who call themselves libertarian do not differ much from those of the overall public."

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) could use all the help he could get as he seeks re-election, currently trailing his Democratic opponent by 15.5 percentage points, according to TPM's PollTracker average. But even he has limits, which now apparently include Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) after Perry's indictment on abuse of power charges.

Corbett's campaign pulled the video of Perry's endorsement for Corbett from its website, the Associated Press reported last week. A spokesperson told the AP that the campaign didn't want Perry's indictment to be a distraction.

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American journalist James Foley, who was murdered last week by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, had been missing for nearly two years at the time of his death. Any attempts to communicate with his family had been stopped by his captors.

So Foley asked another hostage who was about to be released last June to memorize a message, according to the Free James Foley group. The message was delivered shortly after, and the group posted the letter Monday on Facebook.

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In a return volley of litigation Friday, the state of Oregon sued the software company that developed its failed health insurance exchange under Obamacare, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The suit, filed in Oregon state court, accused software giant Oracle of "fraud, racketeering, false claims, and broken contracts." Oregon's website performed so poorly during Obamacare's first enrollment period that customers were forced to use paper applications. Less than 50 people signed up in the first two months.

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Mark Begich has promised Alaska voters that he will be a thorn in President Barack Obama's side. He has feuded publicly with, even talked down to, a top Democratic senator. He has run television ads emphasizing his relationship with Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

But despite all those things, Sen. Mark Begich is still a Democrat. So his might be the most unconventional campaign of the 2014 cycle, putting an Alaska-size distance between himself and Washington, D.C. And the party appears content to let him. Begich's race is one of a handful that will determine who holds the Senate next year. With the odds-makers giving Republicans the edge for now, it could be the Democrat on the last frontier who upends their well-laid plans and saves Obama from facing an antagonistic Congress for the last two years of his presidency.

This is the message he's taking to voters to make it happen, though.

“I’ll be a thorn in his ass," Begich told the Washington Post last month. “There’s times when I’m a total thorn, you know, and he doesn’t appreciate it.”

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President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to review the federal programs that send military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement, the New York Times reported Saturday.

The review will probe whether the programs -- like the 1033 program, which sends military gear to police free of charge -- should continue and, if they should, whether police receive the proper training for operating the equipment.

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Wyoming looks like it might be the latest Republican-run state to come around on Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

The Associated Press reported this week that Gov. Matt Mead (R) and the state's top health official had met with federal officials to discuss a possible deal to expand the low-income insurance program under the law. Mead will present the options early next year the state legislature, which has thus far rejected the expansion, according to the AP.

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Embattled conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza drew a connection this week between ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the police shooting of a black unarmed teen and the Islamic militant group that has terrorized parts of Iraq and Syria.

D'Souza made the comments, flagged by BuzzFeed and Right Wing Watch, in an interview on NewsmaxTV. He linked a "common thread" between the Ferguson protesters and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which beheaded an American journalist this week.

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A St. Louis County police officer who had worked on crowd control in Ferguson, Mo., has been suspended after an online rant surfaced in which he disparaged a variety of groups, from LGBT people to Muslims to victims of domestic violence.

The officer, Dan Page, a 35-year veteran, also described himself as "a killer," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. CNN reported that the video appeared to have been taken in April at an event for Oath Keepers, the right-wing law enforcement group that is aligned with the Patriot movement.

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