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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

According to its own ticker, DraftMitt.org has gathered more than 28,000 names of people who want Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016. That isn't anywhere near the 2 million-plus claimed by Ready for Hillary. It's only about a quarter of the interest needed to earn an official response from the White House (if it were on the We The People website, which requires 100,000 signatures.)

But it's not nothing.

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Without extensive media coverage and the armed militia, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy told a GQ reporter for an article in the magazine's July issue that he and his supporters "would be dead" at the hands of federal authorities.

GQ's Zach Baron spent time at the ranch in April, which is when the Bundy Ranch standoff was at its peak. And at one point, Baron reported, Bundy thanked him, the rest of the media and the estimated 1,000-plus armed militia members who showed up at the ranch for saving his life.

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The House Ethics Committee has quietly done away with the requirement that lawmakers disclose their all-expense-paid trips on annual financial forms, National Journal reported on Monday.

Trips paid for by private groups are now no longer required to be noted on annual financial-disclosure forms filed by Congress members, according to the Journal. The move was never announced publicly; the Journal said that it discovered the change in a review of the disclosure filings.

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Everybody is looking for distance between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Every current political issue is run through her. Reporters are parsing her media appearances and recently released book for any arm-lengthening by Clinton from the current administration.

It's going to be a real question for her campaign, should she decide to run. Republicans want to tie her to the most unpopular elements of the Obama White House, while Democrats remain fond of the 44th president. As the administration's former secretary of state, the questions are inevitable and they will require a certain balancing act on Clinton's part.

So what might she do to set herself apart? Veterans of two previous presidential campaigns that faced the same question offered TPM a guess: Hillary Clinton can say that she will, as one strategist put it, "get shit done."

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The president of the conservative group that pushed Arizona's anti-gay "religious freedom" bill earlier this year took Hobby Lobby's victory Monday at the Supreme Court as a vindication of sorts for that since-vetoed legislation.

"This decision underscores the purpose of Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act – to balance a compelling governmental interest with every American’s freedom to live and work according to their faith," Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said in a statement. "The Court’s ruling exemplifies how the CAP-supported SB 1062 would have protected individual liberty, while protecting against unlawful abuse of religious freedom."

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While the company Hobby Lobby triumphed at the U.S. Supreme Court in challenging Obamacare's contraceptive mandate on Monday, the Court does not seem to have flung open the floodgates for anti-LGBT discrimination as some had feared it might.

Instead, legal observers noted, the ultimate resolution has been left for another day on whether a private business could lawfully discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. But Justice Anthony Kennedy offered gay rights advocates a glimmer of hope on that front as well.

The Court ruled 5-4 that the government could not mandate "closely held" private companies with sincerely held religious beliefs, like Hobby Lobby, to cover certain kinds of birth control for their employees. That decision hinged in part on the religious freedom rights of a private corporation. Prior to the ruling, LGBT rights advocates had worried that a broad decision could open the doors for more anti-gay discrimination bills like the Arizona bill that stirred national debate earlier this year.

Based on initial readings of the Hobby Lobby decision, LGBT advocates seemed to have dodged a bullet. The Court's ruling, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, is explicitly narrow in effect. But some advocates worry that those pushing anti-LGBT bills will see an opening to introduce new bills and file new lawsuits to legitimize discrimination. Whether they'd win, though, is much less clear.

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