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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

The White House strove Monday to explain why Obamacare's ugly opening act could still be salvaged. They exuded confidence that the technical problems of the last few weeks could be fixed and that the expected pattern for enrollment meant that people would still be able to get enrolled for coverage in time.

But there was one catch. Senior administration officials acknowledged that they're still taking stock of HealthCare.gov's underlying problems and analyzing what exactly it's going to take to fix them. That reality belies the public assurances that the problems will be fixed -- and pronto! Simply put, while progress is being made, Obamacare isn't out of the woods yet.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue suggested Monday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) should reconsider his role as congressional troublemaker.

At a breakfast meeting with reporters in Washington, sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Donohue responded to an initial question about Cruz and his growing influence within the Republican Party by saying the Chamber would look for ways to work with him. A reporter followed up by noting that the conventional wisdom is that the business community wants the Texas senator "to sit down and shut up."

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The conservative Heritage Foundation released last week a new report on insurance premiums under Obamacare, and the conclusion was that favorite of conservative talking points: people are going to pay more for insurance under Obamacare.

Only the foundation left out one key variable in the equation, one that undermines their conclusion that "individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges."

They didn't account for the financial help that the Affordable Care Act gives uninsured people to purchase insurance, one of the law's central provisions.

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The ACLU sued the Obama administration Thursday, demanding that the Justice Department respond to its request for information about evidence derived from secret surveillance being used in criminal prosecutions.

The lawsuit stemmed from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the organization filed in March. The ACLU alleged Thursday that the administration had failed to comply fully with its request.

The surveillance in question -- authorized under the 2008 amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and commonly known as FAA -- was at the heart of the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this summer. At issue is whether the Justice Department must disclose to criminal defendants that some of the evidence against them was originally derived from warrantless surveillance under the FAA.

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With the dust settled after the 2013 government shutdown, Obamacare -- the law that catalyzed the drama of recent weeks, as Republican sought to stop it -- remains entirely untouched.

The shutdown and threat of default did not stop the rollout of Obamacare on Oct. 1. And though the GOP sought to slay the Obamacare dragon with a whole host of weapons, the only concession that they won is a meaningless one. The Obama administration will have to verify the income of people who receive financial help to buy insurance through the law.

They were supposed to do that, anyway, though the administration had scaled back the scope this summer. Even conservative wonks like the Washington Examiner's Phillip Klein acknowledged that what was included in Wednesday's deal was a "watered-down" provision.

But for posterity's sake, let's remember the numerous ways that Republicans aimed to kill the law they loathe so deeply. It should be noted that some of these ploys were combined together in the GOP's various proposals.

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Sahil Kapur contributed to this report.

For a certain block of House conservatives, the ones who drove Speaker John Boehner toward a government shutdown and near-default against his will, the lesson of the last few weeks isn't that they overreached. Not that they made unachievable demands, put their leadership in an impossible position, damaged their party's position with the public and left a deep uncertainty about whether the GOP conference can recover and legislate.

No, what they're taking away from the 2013 crisis is: They didn't go far enough.

They aren't angry with Speaker John Boehner for ultimately capitulating to Democratic demands. They're frustrated with their more mainstream colleagues who put him in that position.

"I'm more upset with my Republican conference, to be honest with you. It's been Republicans here who apparently always want to fight, but they want to fight the next fight, that have given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight," Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told reporters Wednesday. "So if anybody should be kicked out, it's probably those Republicans... who are unwilling to keep the promises they made to the American people. Those are the people who should be looking behind their back."

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