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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

France 2 has posted exclusive video of the police raid Friday on a Parisian kosher market, which left the perpetrator dead and freed a number of hostages who had been held for hours.

The video, which lasts for less than two minutes, shows police amassing at the entrance to the market. As the door opens, a body appears to be lying on the ground just inside. One officer enters the store and gunfire erupts. A figure is seen moving inside the store. The video then pauses as somebody exits the store entrance amid gunfire.

Once the video begins again, officers are seen streaming into the store and hostages flee from the scene. Toward the end, officers are seen dragging people away from the storefront.

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ABC News reported Friday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was interviewed last month by federal investigators probing the 2013 closures on the George Washington Bridge that have hounded Christie ever since.

The interviews were conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey at the governor's mansion, according to ABC News's Josh Margolin.

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Republicans are seizing a once-every-20-years opportunity to force a crisis in the Social Security disability program and use it as leverage to push through reforms, a long game that they have been quietly laying groundwork for since taking control of the House in 2010.

In less than two years, the Social Social disability insurance program will start being unable to pay its full benefits and House Republicans said this week that they aren't going to simply give it more revenue from the retirement side, as has been done historically. It's the latest episode in a protracted campaign over the disability program -- and it raises the question of what exactly Republicans plan to do now.

The last time this happened was 1994, and liberal analysts say that another simple reallocation between the disability and retirement funds, as has been done 11 times in the past, would keep both funds solvent until 2033. That meant that conservatives had to act now if they wanted to squeeze the crisis for all it's worth. For the last few years, they've been highlighting instances of fraud and other problems with the program, setting the stage for the big move this week.

Democrats are sounding the alarm, warning that Republicans have taken a "hostage" and will leverage it to pursue broad changes to Social Security as a whole. With memories still fresh of their failed effort to privatize Social Security in 2005, conservatives wonks are less sure that the new GOP Congress would have the political will to do that, though they wouldn't necessarily mind if it did.

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Up to 9.6 million people would lose their health insurance under Obamacare if the Supreme Court rules later this year that the law's tax subsidies are not legal in the 30-plus states that use HealthCare.gov, according to a new study.

RAND Corp, a non-partisan think tank, estimated that coverage in the HealthCare.gov states would drop from an estimated 13.7 million in 2015 to 4.1 million if the Court rules against the Obama administration. The study also projected that premiums in the HealthCare.gov markets would increase by 47 percent.

The analysis puts the stakes of the latest challenge to President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement into stark perspective.

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House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on their first big Obamacare bill of the year, which would change the law's work-week standards and allow more employers to avoid its employer mandate. But the bill is getting some serious pushback from an unlikely source: the conservative National Review Online.

The bill would repeal the law's 30-hour work week definition and raise it to 40 hours. That is the standard that determines employers' responsibilities to cover their employees under Obamacare's employer mandate.

In an editorial with the subhed, "Don’t raise the cutoff to 40 hours," the magazine's editors criticized the new Congress's proposal, which the White House has already threatened to veto.

"Republican leadership has an odd idea for one of its first big policy pushes of this Congress: a change to Obamacare that threatens to make the law worse," they wrote.

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When Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott (R) takes office Jan. 20, he will be poised to engineer a remarkable political turnabout on Obamacare that was unimaginable even a few months ago. As one of the attorneys general to lead the legal charge to kill Obamacare, Abbott would have been among the last people anyone would have expected to soften on Medicaid expansion. But in what is shaping up as a sort of Nixon-to-China moment, Democrats and health care providers now believe that the state's prospects for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare are much improved.

Texas is the biggest "get" left for the program, which is expected to account for roughly half of the law's health coverage expansion. More than 1 million people have been left without insurance under Obamacare because outgoing Gov. Rick Perry (R) refused to expand Medicaid. That would make it a huge coup for ACA supporters: Texas accounts for about one-fourth of the Medicaid coverage gap nationwide.

Abbott is a most unlikely source of hope for Obamacare proponents. As Texas attorney general, he joined with other attorneys general in the lawsuit that eventually led the Supreme Court in 2012 to give states the option of not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. His public pronouncements haven't differed much from his very conservative predecessor's, but in private, expansion advocates have seen glimmers of hope. During a meeting with state legislators last month, the incoming governor said he would seek out more information about the Medicaid expansion plan that conservative Utah has been negotiating with the federal government. It's a huge reversal, as Texas was one of the states that industry groups had more or less written off in late 2013, at least for the foreseeable future.

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President Barack Obama would veto the House GOP's bill to repeal the Obamacare provision that defines the work week as 30 hours, the White House said Wednesday in a formal statement.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on the bill that would increase the work week definition from 30 hours to 40 hours under Obamacare. The White House said that the bill would "increase the deficit, reduce the number of Americans with employer-based health insurance coverage, and create incentives for employers to shift their employees to part-time work -- causing the problem it intends to solve."

As TPM previously reported, the GOP's plan to redefine the work week as 40 hours would strip an estimated 1 million workers of employer-sponsored health insurance and increase the deficit by $74 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.

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House GOP leaders made clear at their first press conference of the new Congress Wednesday that they are finished talking about House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's 2002 speech to a white nationalist group.

The first question of the conference was directed at Scalise about the speech and the group's founder, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

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With a little-noticed proposal, Republicans took aim at Social Security on the very first day of the 114th Congress.

The incoming GOP majority approved late Tuesday a new rule that experts say could provoke an unprecedented crisis that conservatives could use as leverage in upcoming debates over entitlement reform.

The largely overlooked change puts a new restriction on the routine transfer of tax revenues between the traditional Social Security retirement trust fund and the Social Security disability program. The transfers, known as reallocation, had historically been routine; the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said Tuesday that they had been made 11 times. The CBPP added that the disability insurance program "isn't broken," but the program has been strained by demographic trends that the reallocations are intended to address.

The House GOP's rule change would still allow for a reallocation from the retirement fund to shore up the disability fund -- but only if an accompanying proposal "improves the overall financial health of the combined Social Security Trust Funds," per the rule, expected to be passed on Tuesday. While that language is vague, experts say it would likely mean any reallocation would have to be balanced by new revenues or benefit cuts.

House Democrats are sounding the alarm. In a memo circulated to their allies Tuesday, Democratic staffers said that that would mean "either new revenues or benefit cuts for current or future beneficiaries." New revenues are highly unlikely to be approved by the deeply tax-averse Republican-led Congress, leaving benefit cuts as the obvious alternative.

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