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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Stephen Dinan

A slimmer New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen here at a Wednesday town hall meeting, could reveal that he still has an appetite for a White House run. (Office of Gov. Chris Christie)

Christie says bridge scandal won't affect presidential decision

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that the bridgegate scandal won't affect his decision on whether to run for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2016, saying that's "simply not the way I would make a decision." Published March 28, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice gestures as she speaks to the media during a press conference at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 28, 2006.  Rice said Friday that southeast Asian nations had made "an important evolution" in dealing with Myanmar's junta and called for the quick release of dissident Aun San Suu Kyi.   (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Condoleezza Rice blames Obama for 'vacuum' that's led to Putin

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a closed-door address to a group of Republicans this week, issued a spirited defense of a broader role for the U.S. in the world, saying President Obama’s leadership has left a vacuum that’s been filled by “dictators like Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Vladimir Putin in Russia.” Published March 27, 2014

A tank maneuvers near a former Ukrainian military base in Perevalne, outside Simferopol, Crimea, March 27, 2014. Russia last week completed the annexation of Crimea following a referendum in which an overwhelming number of residents voted to break off from Ukraine and join Russia. The vote, rejected by Ukraine and the West, was hastily called after Russian forces had overtaken the peninsula.(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

POWDER KEG: Russia puts 80,000 troops outside Ukraine

U.S. lawmakers are increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine and the prospect of an additional land grab, as both houses of Congress voted to slap sanctions on Russia and extend loan guarantees to Ukraine. Published March 27, 2014

Ukrainian tanks are transported from their base in Perevalnoe, outside Simferopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Ukraine has started withdrawing its troops and weapons from Crimea, now controlled by Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

House and Senate pass aid to Ukraine, sanctions on Russia

Saying they hoped to head off rather than spark a deeper confrontation with Russia, both houses of Congress voted Thursday to codify sanctions on top Russian officials and extend loan guarantees to Ukraine. Published March 27, 2014

Democrats push for House vote on immigration

House Democrats announced an official petition drive Wednesday to try to pressure Republicans and force a final congressional vote on immigration — but they are facing criticism from immigrant rights activists who say the move is political theater and that the real problem is President Obama's deportation record. Published March 26, 2014

House Oversight Committee Republicans' new report accuses Lois G. Lerner of "reckless handling" of sensitive taxpayer information because she forwarded it from her government account to a private email. (Associated Press)

House lawyer: IRS's Lerner can be held in contempt

The House's chief counsel has concluded that that Lois G. Lerner, the former employee at the center of the IRS targeting scandal, can still be cited for contempt of Congress, according to a memo released Wednesday. Published March 26, 2014

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, prior to testifying before the House Oversight Committee hearing probing whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the government’s tax agency. Earlier this month, IRS official Lois Lerner was called to testify about the controversy but refused to answer questions by committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and invoked her Fifth Amendment rights at least nine times. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Lawmakers told IRS probe will take years

The Internal Revenue Service's tea party targeting program is still withholding approval of 19 organizations' nonprofit status, nearly a year after the scandal was revealed, the agency's commissioner testified Wednesday to Congress — where he faced fierce criticism from lawmakers who said he is stonewalling. Published March 26, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, following a closed-door Republican strategy session. Boehner is one of a number of U.S. officials named on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sanctions list.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Boehner calls latest Obamacare delay 'a joke'

The Obama administration's latest delay in the enrollment deadline for Obamacare has enraged Republicans, who said while they're getting used to the tweaks, it underscores the many problems with the law. Published March 26, 2014

Reid won't allow floor votes undoing parts of Obamacare

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid signaled Tuesday that he won't allow any votes to undo parts of Obamacare, leaving Democrats to have to face voters in November without any chance for a do-over on thorny issues such as the individual mandate. Published March 25, 2014

Lauren Wright of Washington, D.C., right, and other birth control supporters rally outside the Supreme Court as the court hears oral arguments in Affordable Care Act challenges, the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, which mandate that private insurance plans must cover birth control, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Federal court says Obamacare built on quicksand

A federal appeals court seemed skeptical Tuesday of the Obama administration's position that it can give Obamacare subsidies to Americans regardless of what kind of exchange they are in, in a case that could threaten the fundamental deal underpinning the Affordable Care Act. Published March 25, 2014

President Barack Obama Obama, accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaks during their joint news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama doubts Russian retreat in Ukraine, threatens tougher sanctions

President Obama acknowledged Tuesday that it will be difficult to roll back Russia's military land grab in Ukraine, even as Congress seemed to break a political logjam in Washington that has held up financial aid to the embattled European nation. Published March 25, 2014

White House turns to cat pictures to sell Obamacare

With the deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges just days away, the White House is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas — including turning to cat GIFs, or animated videos made of multiple still photos. Published March 24, 2014

Deja Vu: About 5,000 people demonstrated Sunday in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, in favor of holding a referendum on secession and absorption into Russia, just as Crimeans did earlier this month before their region was annexed. President Obama this week will work for a united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press)

A Ukraine divide: Congress, world leaders debate how to counter Russia

President Obama will try to forge a consensus on Ukraine when he meets this week with top allies in Europe, but he has had trouble winning unity even back home, where Democrats and Republicans are sparring over the outlines of U.S. policy, including military and financial aid. Published March 23, 2014

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chirikov, pool)

U.S. officials on Putin's list mock his sanctions on travel and banks

Sens. John McCain and Dan Coats joked that their vacation plans for Siberia are off after they found themselves on a list of nine U.S. officials and lawmakers hit with sanctions Thursday by Russia, in a tit-for-tat retaliation that signaled an escalation in the diplomatic battle over Ukraine. Published March 20, 2014

Reid

Reid ups stakes in CIA-Senate clash with request for forensics test

Majority Leader Harry Reid escalated the Senate's battle with the Obama administration over CIA snooping this week, saying he's ordered a forensic examination to try to get to the bottom of accusations that the spy agency improperly searched congressional computers. Published March 20, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Republicans have blocked an attempt by Democrats to chastise Issa for his conduct at a committee hearing. Issa abruptly adjourned a hearing of the House Oversight Committee Wednesday. He instructed committee staff to turn off the microphone of the committee's top Democrat, congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. The hearing was on the improper targeting of tea party groups by the Internal Revenue Service. Cummings was trying to say that Republicans have overblown the controversy.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

House issues subpoena for gun sting operation documents

Saying they've been stonewalled for a year, the House's top investigator sent a subpoena Thursday demanding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turn over documents on a storefront sting operation that went badly awry. Published March 20, 2014