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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey participate in a joint news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Panetta said the U.S. military did not intervene during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya last month because it was over before the U.S. has sufficient information on which to act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Panetta: Benghazi intelligence too sketchy to send troops

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday that a U.S. commando team was mobilizing as the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was unfolding last month, but the lethal assault was over by the time the team arrived. Published October 25, 2012

**FILE** Libyans gather Sept. 12, 2012, at the gutted U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack the previous day that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. (Associated Press)

Boehner demands that Obama disclose more details on attack in Libya

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday demanded that President Obama explain why his administration has struggled to handle the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a move that could raise the political peril to the White House. Published October 25, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, argued Wednesday that the social safety net is beleaguered by government rules and misplaced priorities. (Associated Press)

Ryan: Government rules crippling social safety net

Seeking to lay groundwork for a rewrite of the social safety net, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Wednesday the federal government must stop measuring its programs by dollars spent and instead grade them by how many people are lifted out of poverty. Published October 24, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) and his running mate, Paul Ryan, greet supporters Oct. 23, 2012, before a rally in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

Romney says Obama campaign 'taking on water'

Mitt Romney said Tuesday the debates have "supercharged" his supporters and left President Obama's campaign "taking on water" as he traveled out west, seeking to shore up his support in several states before returning to the eastern battlegrounds. Published October 23, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney answers a question during the third presidential debate at Lynn University. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Debates boost Romney favorables

Mitt Romney crossed a major threshold this week, moving above 50 percent in his favorability rating, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls — and for the first time in the campaign he leads President Obama on that measure. Published October 23, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama react to moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Obama, Romney tangle on al Qaeda, foreign policy in final presidential debate

Mitt Romney accused President Obama of failing to protect the military from budget cuts and squandering U.S. leadership in the Middle East, leaving America standing by as al Qaeda has surged to become active in a dozen countries, as the two men faced off Monday night in their final debate. Published October 22, 2012

In debates, some issues more equal than others

President Obama says on the campaign trail that global warming "isn't a hoax," and it was one of his big three legislative priorities coming into office in 2009 along with passing a stimulus and his health care law — and the only one of those three he didn't get done. Published October 22, 2012

Poll: Obama has edge; enthusiasm favors Romney before final debate

Mitt Romney's first debate bounce has evaporated and President Obama once again has taken a slim lead in The Washington Times/Zogby Poll released Sunday night — though the survey showed Mr. Romney's backers are far more energized about him than the president's backers are about their candidate. Published October 21, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shares a laugh with his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., after greeting him at Daytona Beach International Airport for a joint campaign event on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Romney: Obama has 'incredible shrinking campaign'

Mitt Romney charged Friday that Democrats have resorted to "silly word games" to try to win the election after President Obama on Friday accused him of "Romnesia" in changing his earlier stances. Published October 19, 2012

Bruce Springsteen

Celebrities share stage with White House hopefuls

Pleading for voters to give President Obama another chance in office, rock star Bruce Springsteen hit the campaign trail in Ohio and Iowa on Thursday, hoping his star power could persuade undecided voters to give the Democratic incumbent a second chance. Published October 18, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican

Welfare spending jumps 32% during Obama's presidency

Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obama's stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday. Published October 18, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y. (Associated Press)

Not backing down, Romney clarifies debate remarks on illegals

Mitt Romney on Tuesday appeared to open a new avenue for illegal immigrants to get legal status, but his campaign quickly shut the door Wednesday, saying he still only supports a very narrow pathway that would require joining the U.S. military. Published October 17, 2012

President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Cornell College, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Day after debate, Obama, Romney keep on punching

Fresh off his more animated debate performance, President Obama joked Wednesday that he is still trying to get the hang of the face-to-face showdowns with Mitt Romney, even as the Republican nominee said Mr. Obama appears to be "running on fumes" in the run-up to Nov. 6. Published October 17, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Romney opens door on immigration

Amid the attacks and countercharges in Tuesday's debate, Mitt Romney appeared to make some news in saying he will seek to create ways to grant a path to citizenship to younger illegal immigrants brought here as children. Published October 16, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama spar during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Obama, Romney clash on jobs, energy and Libya at second debate

A combative President Obama, seeking to redeem himself from an earlier poor debate performance, went toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney Tuesday night at their second debate and accused the Republican nominee of fabricating attacks and distorting both of their records on everything from energy policy to terrorism. Published October 16, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Coburn calls out Senate cohorts as biggest waste in government

The Senate's top waste-watcher says the federal government is bloated with extra spending — including in the halls of Congress itself, where he says senators and staffers are collecting salaries while failing to do very much work. Published October 15, 2012

**FILE** Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (Associated Press)

Arlen Specter, former Pa. senator, dies at 82

Former longtime Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who as a Republican pushed two conservative justices onto the Supreme Court and then later switched to the Democratic Party and became a deciding vote for the health care law, died Sunday. Published October 14, 2012

**FILE** A statue of former Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin stands outside the Treasury Building in Washington on Aug. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

Final 2012 federal deficit tops $1 trillion — again

The federal government officially closed out the fiscal year with a $1.089 trillion deficit — the fourth straight trillion-dollar year in the red — according to the Treasury Department's final count, released Friday afternoon. Published October 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as he arrives in Richmond, Va., Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney says Biden 'doubling down on denial' on Libya

Mitt Romney said Friday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden raised more questions than he answered in this week's debate when he denied he had been told about security warnings in Libya ahead of the terrorist assault that killed four Americans, including the ambassador. Published October 12, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden listens to Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Biden muffs Obama's tax plans during debate

Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday seemed to open the door to adjusting President Obama's tax increases to only apply to those making $1 million or more a year — a much higher threshold than the $250,000 level they had pushed previously. Published October 12, 2012