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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

Senior administration officials would not rule out military action in Syria to combat the extremist Islamic group driving the ongoing crisis in Iraq when asked about such action in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

The officials were asked specifically about military strikes in Syria being part of any potential action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has made gains in northern Iraq in recent days and has been advancing toward the capital Baghdad.

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President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the United States is prepared to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to address the ongoing crisis and has positioned military assets to make targeted strikes if necessary.

He emphasized that "American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq."

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More than half of the 8 million people who signed up for health coverage through the insurance marketplaces set up under Obamacare were previously uninsured, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 57 percent of those who signed up through HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts did not have insurance prior to signing up. Among the others: 16 percent already had an individual market plan, 14 percent had employer-sponsored insurance and 9 percent were covered by a public program like Medicaid.

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As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton aggressively advocated for a long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, according to a report Wednesday from the Daily Beast.

Clinton was joined by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and then-CIA Director David Petraeus in pushing President Barack Obama to keep thousands of troops in the country before the U.S. military pulled out in 2011. Clinton was "particularly aggressive," the Daily Beast reported -- citing officials familiar with the negotiations for a status-of-forces agreement with Iraq.

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A Utah county passed a resolution this month asserting that the authority of federal agents, specifically those of the Bureau of Land Management, to enforce state or local laws -- even on federal land -- would not be recognized within its borders.

The Carbon County Commission approved the resolution unanimously on June 4.

"Any such attempted exercise of law enforcement powers by an official of a land management agency IS NOT RECOGNIZED by Carbon County," the resolution stated (caps in original), "and shall be deemed AN IMMINENT THREAT TO THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS OF CARBON COUNTY."

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Obamacare premiums look like they will increase modestly in 2015, at an average of 8 percent, according to an analysis released Wednesday based on publicly available information.

Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm, put out the report, which drew on initial 2015 premium filings in nine states. If the trend documented by Avalere holds, it would severely undermine the claims from Obamacare critics earlier this year that premiums would "skyrocket" in Year Two.

There was already isolated evidence that premium increases would be fairly tame, but Avalere's analysis is the first comprehensive look at the public data currently available.

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Of all the beliefs seemingly held by the California man who allegedly shot a Bureau of Land Management ranger this weekend -- and those include traces of 9/11 trutherism, conspiracies about fluoridated water and anti-Semitism -- perhaps one of the most puzzling is Brent Douglas Cole's apparent assertion that he is "a statutory Attorney General of the United States."

The Southern Poverty Law Center linked Cole, 60, who allegedly shot a BLM ranger and a California Highway Patrol officer on Saturday near a campground within the Tahoe National Forest, to a profile in which he described himself that way. (Cole was also wounded in the shootout, and state and federal authorities are investigating the case.)

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The kissing congressman, Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), said this week he might not retire from Congress at the end of this year after all, as he said he would do when he was caught kissing a staffer on camera.

Politico reported late Tuesday that McAllister said he was "55 percent to 45 percent toward running." He must decide by Aug. 22.

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The man accused of shooting two law enforcement members in California, including a Bureau of Land Management ranger, has had at least one previous run-in with law enforcement and has described himself as the target of a massive government conspiracy.

Brent Douglas Cole, 60, was named by the Nevada County Sheriff's Office on Monday as the suspect in Saturday's shooting that also left him wounded.

Anna Ferguson, assistant district attorney for Nevada County, confirmed to TPM that Cole was also facing misdemeanor charges in Nevada County Superior Court for allegedly carrying a loaded firearm. He was charged on Jan. 26.

On Tuesday, the Union newspaper in Grass Valley, Calif., published an article that quoted from court documents in the case. The documents showed Cole believed he was the target of a massive conspiracy:

Officers acted without warrant or any probable cause to seize my person using a swat team style assault, and then started looking for something to charge me with. I was attacked and molested, unconstitutionally arrested, unlawfully incarcerated, repeatedly intimidated and coerced to plead guilty to having committed a crime, held in secret for five days, and my property and liberty taken from me since January 26, 2014. I am being persecuted for being a gun owner, and for exercising my inherent Right by unwitting or unknowing accomplices of a seditious conspiracy against rights instituted by foreign powers inimical to the United States of America.

That's in line with online profiles, reviewed by TPM, that appear to belong to Cole and suggest someone obsessed with multiple conspiracy theories, including 9/11 trutherism, fluoridated water and anti-semitic beliefs.

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