K4zw8el802c2lczjp9fi

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

This post has been updated.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) faced the music Thursday following the revelation that members of his administration had been involved in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last year.

But while he hit all the necessary notes -- apologizing to the people of New Jersey, announcing he'd fired members of his staff and claiming the ultimate responsibility for what happened -- Christie routinely slipped into moments of cognitive dissonance and rhetorical flubs that suggested the scandal has left the governor at least slightly shaken.

Read More →

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he didn't know who initiated the George Washington Bridge lane closures, though it has been revealed that members of his staff were likely involved.

"I don't know," Christie said when asked point-blank. "I guess time will tell, but clearly there was knowledge of this action, whatever it was, prior to the beginning of it with Bridget Kelly."

"I was lied to. For that, she's been terminated."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) emphatically denied Thursday that he was a political bully who used his position for intimidation.

Asked by a reporter if the revelations that his staff had been involved in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge confirmed perceptions that he was a bully, Christie said it did not.

"No, I'm not," Christie said. "But politics ain't beanbag. Everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that."

"On the other hand, that's very, very different from saying, you know, that someone is a bully. I have very heated discussions and arguments with people in my own party and on the other side of is the aisle. I feel passionately about issues. I don't hide my emotions from people. I am not a focus-group-tested, blow-dried candidate or governor. Now, that has always made some people, as you know, uneasy. Some people like that style. Some people don't."

"I am who I am," he said, "but I am not a bully."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday that he was "blindsided" by revelations that members of his staff were involved with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September.

"I was blindsided yesterday morning," he said at a press conference to address the issue. "I was done with my workout yesterday morning. I go a call from my communications director at about 8:50, informing me of this story that had just broken. ... That's the first time I knew about this, the first time I had seen any documents that were revealed yesterday."

Christie apologized for the episode at the press conference's outset and announced that he had fired the staffer who was tied to the closures.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) apologized Thursday for the George Washington Bridge scandal that has embroiled his administration.

"I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey," he said at a press conference called to address the revelations that members of his staff had been involved. "I apologize to the people of Fort Lee, and I apologize to the members of the state legislature."

"I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. There's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for their appropriate role in government and for the people that we are trusted to serve."

Read More →

Updated: January 13, 2014, 3:05 PM

The world of the George Washington Bridge scandal is continually expanding. More of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) allies are being tied to the drama, and more of his enemies are jumping into the fray.

With thousands of pages of documents recently released in the scandal, the cast of characters involved in it has expanded. Here's an updated breakdown of everybody you need to know and what role they've played.

Read More →

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The revelation that one of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's top advisors was directly involved with discussions to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September has been the top news story for almost every major news outlet Wednesday. Except for one: The Fox News Channel.

Read More →

2013 was a rough year for Republicans. President Obama was inaugurated for his second term. Congress, the only branch of government where the party has any kind of control, was surpassingly unpopular. The government shutdown left the Republicans holding the bag and taking the blame from the American people.

Maybe that helps explain why a historically low number of Americans identified with the Grand Old Party last year.

Gallup released its annual party identification report Wednesday, which is an average of periodic polls throughout the year. On average in 2013, just 25 percent of Americans said they identified as Republicans. That's down from 28 percent in 2012, and it's the lowest figure that the polling firm has found since 1983, when Gallup was still conducting interviews face to face.

Read More →

The Obama administration is planning an ad blitz for Obamacare during the Winter Olympics next month, according to Politico.

The administration told the news outlet that significant ad spots had been purchased in markets with high rates of uninsured. They will run during NBC's coverage of the Sochi Olympics from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23. The ads will be catered toward young uninsured people and their families.

The buy was motivated in part because viewership for other sports or primetime programming typically decreases during the Olympics, Politico reported.

The administration did not confirm the full dollar size of the ad campaign.

To anyone who will listen, the White House has been emphasizing and re-emphasizing that the key to Obamacare's success isn't what raw number of people signs up for health coverage -- it's who signs up.

That has partially been a case of backtracking after HealthCare.gov's early troubles had made the administration's raw enrollment goals difficult to achieve. But it's also true. Insurance carriers can't discriminate against older and sicker people anymore, so they need young (and presumably healthier) people to balance them out.

And now we've gotten some of the first numbers from state-based Obamacare marketplaces, providing the initial glimpse of the demographics of the first wave of enrollees. Here are the percentages of enrollees between ages 18 and 34, from six states, including California, the most populous:

  • California: 21 percent
  • Colorado: 18 percent
  • Kentucky: 32 percent*
  • Maryland: 25 percent
  • Rhode Island: 20 percent
  • Washington: 18 percent
At first glance, those figures don't look all that great. But the full story is a bit more complicated. (The Obama administration hasn't released any demographic data on Obamacare enrollees from the 36 states being served by HealthCare.gov yet.)

So let's break down the numbers.

First off, how many young and healthy enrollees Obamacare actually needs to work economically has become a source of serious and often conflicting discussion. There's no bright line, some percentage above which the insurance market is guaranteed to flourish and below which it is doomed to a death spiral.

Read More →

TPMLivewire