Skip to content

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is locked in a fierce battle with Kentucky seatmate Rand Paul over extending the phone-snooping powers of the Patriot Act, which Mr. Paul opposes. (Associated Press)

Patriot Act phone snooping likely to expire after McConnell gambit backfires

At the end, senators were fighting over the chance to be the ones filibustering the Patriot Act in Saturday morning's dramatic session, underscoring just how unpopular the law is and how difficult a time Republican leaders will have in trying to keep it intact as they race an end-of-month deadline. Published May 24, 2015

A drone flies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 8, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Obama bans discrimination by drones

The Obama Justice Department issued new guidelines Friday for how the government should operate drones, including declaring a ban on flying them "to engage in discrimination," ticking off race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and "gender identity" as out of bounds for drone targeting. Published May 22, 2015

FILE - In this May 5, 2015 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Supporters of President Barack Obama’s trade agenda hope to fend off hostile Senate amendments Friday, May 22, 2015, and send a major trade bill to the House, where another fierce debate awaits.  Legislation to renew the Patriot Act is also on the calendar, as is a bill to renew authority to commit federal funds for highway and bridge construction. McConnell is intent on keeping the anti-terrorism Patriot Act from lapsing while Republicans control the House and Senate. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Fight over NSA snooping, Patriot Act goes down to wire

Senators on Friday raced their own holiday-imposed deadline for preserving key Patriot Act powers, with Democrats accusing Republican leaders of trying to force a choice between having to back the NSA's controversial bulk collection powers or else letting other wiretapping and lone-wolf terrorism tools expire. Published May 22, 2015

"We will continue to fight for the rule of law by asking the district court to carefully review the administration's withheld documents and hold the DOJ accountable so they provide reliable information about this case," said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. (Associated Press)

Texas demands Obama prove he's halted deportation amnesty

Texas asked a federal judge Wednesday to consider imposing a fine on the Obama administration lawyers who misled the court over President Obama's amnesty, filing papers saying the Justice Department is still trying to hide details of how Homeland Security botched the rollout of the program. Published May 21, 2015

President Obama is pressing for fast-track powers now so that he can finalize an Asian trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that he's negotiating with 11 other countries. A European trade deal could also be on the horizon. (Associated Press)

Senate averts trade filibuster, delivers big win to Obama in fast-track fight

Braving their party's liberal wing, pro-trade Democrats joined Republicans on Thursday to head off a filibuster and put the Senate on course to approve fast-track trade negotiating powers for President Obama, delivering an impressive win on the White House's biggest domestic priority. Published May 21, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks to Brad Magg, left, owner of Goldie’s Ice Cream Shoppe and Magg Family Catering, during a meeting with small business owners, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at the Bike Tech cycling shop in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Hillary Clinton's campaign hires illegal immigrant 'Dreamer'

Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has hired an illegal immigrant "Dreamer" to work on her 2016 bid, activists said Wednesday, in a move that sees the Democratic front-runner check off yet another wish-list item for Hispanic voters. Published May 20, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 13, 2015. The House debates and votes for final passage on NSA Surveillance legislation, known as the USA Freedom Act. The measure seeks to codify President Barack Obama's proposal to end the NSA's collection of domestic calling records. It would allow the agency to request certain records held by the telephone companies under a court order in terrorism investigations. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

John Boehner: Obama VA has left veterans 'to die'

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday that the Obama administration hasn't fired enough people in the wake of last year's veterans health-care scandal, and said it's up to the president to come up with a real plan to fix the VA. Published May 20, 2015

(Associated Press) **FILE**

Pentagon waste: $1M spent at strip clubs, casinos

One Navy petty officer managed to spend six times his allotted per diem at strip clubs using his official government travel charge card, according to a new Pentagon audit Tuesday that found Defense Department employees made more than $1 million in bogus charges at strip clubs and casinos in just one year. Published May 19, 2015

A man fills out paperwork before selling a handgun to a first-time gun owner at Metro Shooting Supplies, in Bridgeton, Missouri. In 2000, 51 percent of Americans said guns made homes more dangerous, according to Gallup, the polling firm. By last year that had dropped to 30 percent, with a full 63 percent now saying guns made a home "safer."

U.S. gun manufacturing soars as Americans worry about security

The American firearms industry is as healthy as ever, seeing an unprecedented surge that has sent production of guns soaring to more than 10.8 million manufactured in 2013 alone — double the total of just three years earlier. Published May 19, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to gather enough votes for at least a short-term extension of the Patriot Act. He supports the National Security Agency's phone-snooping program, which has generated heated debate in the Republican Party. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Mitch McConnell struggles for Senate votes to save NSA phone-snooping program

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he would schedule a vote this week on a rewrite of the Patriot Act, setting up a final showdown on the NSA's bulk-data programs and putting pressure on civil liberties advocates to muster the 60 votes needed to end the snooping. Published May 19, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton, with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea (The Washington Times) **FILE**

House GOPers demand IRS investigate Clinton Foundation

House Republicans on Tuesday demanded the IRS open an investigation into the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status, questioning whether the organization has broken faith with its charitable mission by hiding some donations. Published May 19, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington, March 23, 2015. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Judge orders Hillary Clinton's emails to be released on rolling basis

A federal judge rejected the State Department's plan to delay posting former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails, instead issuing an order Tuesday insisting the Obama administration release the thousands of messages on a rolling basis -- with the emails related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack given priority. Published May 19, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican (Associated Press) **FILE**

Boehner demands Obama do-over on Islamic State war request

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that President Obama should withdraw his current war request from Congress and "start over," coming up with an entirely new strategy to fight the Islamic State after this weekend's setback in Iraq. Published May 19, 2015