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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 bill that would allow for LGBT discrimination on the basis of "religious" freedom has cleared the Arizona House and is now headed to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.

The bill passed 33 to 27 in the House Thursday, according to KSAZ. It had passed the state Senate Wednesday. Brewer now has five days to sign the bill, veto it or, if she does nothing, it will become law, the Arizona Republic reported. She has not yet made any public comments about the bill.

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UPDATE, 12:35 p.m. ET: The Medicaid funding bill failed again Friday in the House, but more votes have been scheduled for next week.

Less than a month ago, the prospects for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Arkansas looked dire. The state had already expanded the program this year, but the legislature needed to approve its funding again. Conservatives confidently predicted that they had enough votes to block next year's funding. Insurance for more than 80,000 people hung in the balance, creating the real possibility that people could actually lose coverage that they had gained under the law.

But, after a week of political horse-trading and inexplicable posturing, the program -- and that coverage for low-income Arkansans -- is on the verge of being saved.

The Arkansas Senate, where conservatives had pledged to make their stand, approved the funding Thursday by the 75-percent majority necessary under state law to keep federal money flowing for the program.

The House is expected to vote Friday, and most local observers anticipate it will pass. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is sure to sign it once it clears that chamber.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) thinks part of the reason Barack Obama was elected president was "because of guilt" -- a guilt that wouldn't exist for a female presidential candidate.

“I think there was a cachet about having an African-American president because of guilt," Bachmann told conservative columnist Cal Thomas in comments flagged by the Huffington Post. “People don’t hold guilt for a woman."

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California has signed up more than 825,000 people in Obamacare coverage, the state reported Wednesday, topping its total enrollment goals with six weeks to go in the open enrollment period.

About 728,000 people had enrolled by the end of January, according to the state's Obamacare marketplace, and more than 100,000 additional people have signed up in the first two weeks of February.

According to a September presentation, California was expecting a little less than 700,000 enrollments by March 31.

“These enrollment numbers mean that with six weeks to go, California has already exceeded its projected base enrollment for the 2014 open-enrollment period," Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said in a statement. "While this is a strong showing, our goal is not pinned to meeting projections, but to making sure every Californian gets covered."

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Mitch McConnell has spent the last six months beating off attacks from his Republican primary challenger, who alleges that the Senate minority leader hasn't done enough to stop -- repeal, really -- Obamacare.

Which makes a new ad in support of McConnell, released Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a little hard to explain. The words "repeal" or "stop" are nowhere to be found. Instead, the ad touts that McConnell "is leading the fight to fix this Obamacare mess."

The ad starts by reiterating some of the conservative scare lines about the law -- losing a doctor or skyrocketing premiums -- and then praises McConnell for his work to "fix this Obamacare mess" by lowering costs and reducing red tape. It ends with a message urging voters to support the senator.

Ironically, that almost sounds like the "fix, don't repeal" message that Democratic campaigns want to utilize to fend off Republican attacks over the health care reform law, as TPM reported.

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A Virginia Republican lawmaker with a history of making provocative and outlandish public comments is urging Congress to impeach the federal judge who overturned his state's same-sex marriage ban last week.

Delegate Bob Marshall sent an email asking supporters of traditional marriage to contact their congressional representatives, according to WVEC, and petition for the removal of U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen, appointed to the federal bench by President Obama in 2011.

He named U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, as one particular member to target.

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The Obama administration's malice toward traditional marriage is of historic proportions, according to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Cruz lamented the use of court decisions to overturn same-sex marriages bans on a conservative radio show Monday, Politico reported, but he also wagged his finger at President Barack Obama.

“But it’s also manifested from the federal government, with the Obama administration,” Cruz said. “This administration is the most hostile-to-traditional-marriage administration this country has ever seen.”

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The growing specter of legalized gay marriage, which has been advanced by numerous court decisions starting with the Supreme Court's overturning of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, seems to have put a scare in GOP lawmakers.

So they've started legislating, introducing a string of similar bills that claim to defend religious liberty, but would effectively allow for lawful discrimination against same-sex couples by businesses or government employees on religious grounds.

The bills have appeared in Congress and at least six state legislatures. One cleared the Kansas House last week and a South Dakota House committee is scheduled to consider another Wednesday, while a Tennessee Senate committee at least temporarily killed its bill Tuesday. Advocates say that they combine to form a newly invigorated push for anti-gay discrimination.

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