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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 top White House official said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama could consider sending U.S. ground troops to help in the rescue of thousands of minority Iraqis who have been trapped on a mountain by Islamic extremists.

The New York Times reported that Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said that the use of American ground troops could be one of the options presented to Obama to aid Iraqi forces in rescuing thousands of Yazidis, a minority religious community in Iraq. The Yazidis have been stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq for more than a week after fleeing a nearby town and being surrounded by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which considers the Yazidis to be "devil worshippers."

Rhodes distinguished between using U.S. troops to fight ISIS, which has wreaked havoc in recent weeks and carved out a self-described caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and a humanitarian mission to help the Yazidis.

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The Ferguson, Mo., police department said Wednesday that those protesting after the police shooting of an African-American teen should disperse by dusk because "those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days in the evening hours."

Since Sunday evening, protests over the police shooting have seen officers shooting tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. There have also been reports of gunshots fired at police. Brown was shot this Saturday during a confrontation with police. Local and federal authorities are investigating the shooting.

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The Republican Senate candidate in Iowa seemed to lend some weight to the fringe conspiracy theory about the United Nations' Agenda 21, a favorite of tea party icon Glenn Beck, according to a video published Wednesday by Yahoo News.

Ernst was asked in January at a county GOP event about Agenda 21, a non-binding sustainable development plan approved in 1992 that has fixated some on the far right as a means of imposing some kind of New World Order.

Based on her response at the time, via Yahoo, Ernst seemed familiar with the subject and took it seriously.

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This post has been updated.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a mainstay in Iowa as he builds support for a presumed 2016 presidential run, but he was forced to back out of a conference with Iowa conservatives last Saturday. Paul had a "family commitment," he had told event organizers, per the Des Moines Register.

Then the New York Post reported on Monday that Paul had been hobnobbing with actor Alec Baldwin and numerous other celebrities on Saturday afternoon at a fundraiser at a library in the Hamptons.

It seemed to leave some of the Christian evangelical leaders who organized the Iowa event a little perturbed, according to the Register.

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Democratic voters are more motivated than Republicans to back their candidates after the House GOP authorized a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, a new poll shows.

The McClatchy/Marist poll found that 88 percent of Democrats said the lawsuit, which challenges some of Obama's execution actions on Obamacare, made them more likely to vote for a Democrat in the midterm election. Republicans, by comparison, were 78 percent more likely to vote for a GOP candidate.

Among the ideological bases, liberals were 72 percent more likely to vote for a Democrat because of the lawsuit, according to the poll, while conservatives were 63 percent more likely to vote for a Republican.

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President Barack Obama said in a statement on Tuesday that the police shooting of a black teen in Missouri was "heartbreaking." He also urged "reflection and understanding" amid tensions between protesters and police following the teen's death.

The 18-year-old teen, Michael Brown, died Saturday. Protests, sometimes resulting in violence, occurred in Ferguson, Mo., outside St. Louis, on Sunday and Monday. Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Justice Department to monitor the situation.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called President Barack Obama Tuesday to stress that she was not trying to attack him in a recent interview with The Atlantic, Politico reported.

A Clinton spokesman told Politico that the presumptive 2016 Democratic frontrunner called Obama to “make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him."

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As war between Israelis and Palestinians raged in Gaza again in recent weeks, President Barack Obama signed a bill to provide another $225 million to Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. But what if the U.S. government is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a system that isn't nearly as effective as it is claimed to be?

It seems unthinkable by the official record. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest praised the system by saying it has "saved countless Israeli lives." Time magazine wrote in 2012, a year after the system's premiere, that Iron Dome was the "most-effective, most-tested missile shield the world has ever seen."

The federal government has so far given its closest Mideast ally about $700 million to develop the system, the Defense Department told TPM, and the Israeli military says Iron Dome — which fires missiles to take down incoming rockets heading into Israeli population centers — has a success rate of about 85 percent.

But independent research by an MIT professor who specializes in ballistics has called that official figure into question. In fact, according to the analysis by Ted Postol, the Iron Dome system might actually disarm as little as 5 percent of the rockets it attempts to intercept. The number could be higher, depending on a number of variables, but the bottom line argument is that the system is not nearly as successful in stopping rockets being fired into Israel as official sources suggest.

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On Monday night, Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb of 21,000, has looked something like a war zone in television and online news coverage. Police decked out in riot gear. Tear gas billowing from the street pavement. Protesters chanting then fleeing as police fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

The catalyst was the police shooting on Saturday of an 18-year-old African-American man, and the fallout has left the nation transfixed by Ferguson. Here's what we know -- and don't know -- about what's happening there.

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