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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole

The Lois G. Lerner emails released this month revealed a potentially huge loophole in federal open-records practices when an IRS tech staffer acknowledged that the agency doesn't regularly store — and never checks — instant message chats as official government records. Published July 20, 2014

From left, Raul Amador Sanchez, 7, from Georgia, Alexandra Diaz, 9, and her brother Andy Diaz, 7, both from Baltimore, Md., hold up signs as they join their parent during a news conference of immigrant families and children’s advocates responding to the President Barack Obama’s response to the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the US, Monday, July 7, 2014, on the steps of St. John's Church in Washington. A top Obama administration official says no one, not even children trying to escape violent countries, can illegally enter the United States without eventually facing deportation proceedings. But Homeland Security Sec Jeh Johnson basically acknowledged Sunday that such proceedings might be long delayed, and he said that coping with floods of unaccompanied minors crossing the border is a legal and humanitarian dilemma for the US. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report

Nearly two-thirds of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children requesting asylum this year have had their initial applications approved, the House Judiciary Committee reported Friday in data that suggests those kids surging across the border who ask to stay will likely be able to gain admission to the U.S. Published July 18, 2014

Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said he can't envision a U.S. response to the border crisis that doesn't involving speeding up the process of returning unaccompanied Central American children home. (Associated Press)

Boehner: No bill on border surge

House Speaker John A. Boehner was pessimistic Thursday that Congress will pass a bill to address the surge of illegal immigrant children before lawmakers head home for a monthlong August vacation, as the gap between Democrats and Republicans grows wider. Published July 17, 2014

Deputy Attorney General James Cole testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 17, 2014, before the House  Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs subcommittee hearing on how the Justice Department is investigating allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted conservative political groups for extra scrutiny.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting

The Justice Department is looking into former IRS employee Lois G. Lerner's lost emails and why it took her agency so long to report the missing messages to Congress and other federal authorities, Deputy Attorney General James Cole told the House on Thursday. Published July 17, 2014

President Obama reads briefing material while meeting with advisers inside his cabin at Camp David in 2012. Compared with President Bush, seen right with first lady Laura Bush on a 4-mile walk, Mr. Obama seldom uses the presidential retreat. On weekends, he often opts to play golf. The Bushes founds the grounds to be a good place for family. (WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHS)

Obama may be misreading 2008 deportation law, report shows

The Obama administration may be misreading a 2008 law when it says it has to release most illegal immigrant children from Central America who are surging across the border, according to a new report being released Wednesday by the Center for Immigration Studies. Published July 16, 2014

FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo, detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection,  processing facility in Brownsville,Texas. Immigration courts backlogged by years of staffing shortages and tougher enforcement face an even more daunting challenge since tens of thousands of Central Americans began arriving on the U.S. border fleeing violence back home. For years, children from Central America traveling alone and immigrants who prove they have a credible fear of returning home have been entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool, File)

Overwhelmed feds putting illegal immigrant children at risk

While much of the focus in the illegal immigrant surge has been on border security, the federal government does a poor job of ensuring relatives who claim children who enter the U.S. illegally are giving them the care they need, according to internal audits that suggest problems remain despite years of warnings. Published July 16, 2014

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency is considering a ban on certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used in many industrial and consumer products, as part of the Obama administration's climate change efforts. The Clean Air Act allows the agency to restrict certain pollutants if there are available alternatives, though no HFC alternatives have been suggested. (Associated Press)

EPA showed no bias in records-request decisions: IG

The EPA's inspector general concluded that the agency did not show bias in denying fee waivers on open-records requests from conservative-leaning groups while approving those from liberal-leaning groups, according to an audit released Wednesday. Published July 16, 2014

President Barack Obama, flanked by National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients, left, and senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, meets with with company executives and their small business suppliers to talk about the economy, Friday, July 11, 2014, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Debt from Obama administration will lead to big federal deficits: CBO

Budget cuts and tax increases over the last few years have helped improve the federal government's financial picture for now — but over the next few decades big deficits will return, deepened partly by all of the debt racked up over the last seven years, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday. Published July 15, 2014

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the economy at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va., Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  The first major donations to President Barack Obama's presidential library are rolling in from New York and Chicago, two cities that are competing vigorously to host the future library. Since launching in February, the Barack Obama Foundation has raised at least $850,000 from four major donors, the group said Tuesday. The foundation is voluntarily disclosing donations of more than $200, but only in broad dollar ranges. The nonprofit declined to say how much it has raised in total.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama executive actions seen as threat to Constitution

A prominent law professor and avowed supporter of the Obama White House will tell the House on Wednesday that the president has created one of the biggest constitutional crises in the country's history and will endorse House Republicans' effort to sue to rein him in. Published July 15, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's declaration that "The border is secure" signals congressional gridlock over tens of thousands of children and families who have surged across the border this year. (Associated Press)

Harry Reid declares border 'secure'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pronounced the southwestern border "secure" Tuesday, rejecting a bipartisan push to strengthen enforcement and swiftly deport many of the children surging across the border illegally. Published July 15, 2014

Ronald Robinson, U.S. Army Ret., senior veterans' service representative, AFGE Local 520, testifies to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing to review the Veterans Benefits Administrations progress in achieving VAs goal of ending its disability compensation claims backlog by 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

VA's anti-backlog efforts create new problems with care, claims

The VA's rush to cut a huge backlog of claims from disabled veterans has forced it to cut corners elsewhere, and yet the department is still botching about one out of every 10 claims decisions, top officials and whistleblowers testified to Congress on Monday, signaling that the problems go far beyond the hospital wait times that have plagued it. Published July 14, 2014

Stockman wants House to arrest Lerner over IRS case

A Republican congressman filed a motion Thursday asking that the House order the arrest of former IRS employee Lois G. Lerner — though it's unlikely to ever come to the floor for a full vote. Published July 10, 2014

Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat and author of a proposal that would repeal parts of the First Amendment, said he is looking to restore balance. (Associated Press)

Democrats take aim at First Amendment rights

The Senate Judiciary Committee took the first step Thursday toward repealing part of the First Amendment, giving an early OK to a new amendment that would give government the power to put strict limits on all political campaign spending. Published July 10, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner, right, has dismissed what he says is President Barack Obama's flippant attitude. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

GOP to sue Obama first over health care employer mandate

House Republicans announced Thursday that their first attempt to sue President Obama for breaching the limits of his executive power will be over his decision to exempt businesses from his health care law's employer mandate. Published July 10, 2014

** FILE ** A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador are stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border in Granjeno, Texas. (Associated Press)

McConnell: Border crisis 'getting worse by the day'

After having a few days to look at President Obama's $3.7 billion border-spending request, congressional Republicans are now skeptical, saying the White House is trying to throw money at the problem of illegal immigrant children rather than fixing the policies that are leading to it. Published July 10, 2014

President Barack Obama, center right, meets with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, to the right of the president, and Gov. Rick Perry, top, about border immigrantion during the president's stopover in Dallas on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Pool, The Dallas Morning News, Louis DeLuca)

Immigration courts already swamped ahead of surge of illegals

Immigration courts already have their highest caseload ever, with more than 375,000 awaiting resolution, according to new data released Thursday, just as the Obama administration is adding tens of thousands more cases to the workload from the surge of illegal immigrant children across the border. Published July 10, 2014

Tea Party supporters gather for a rally outside the IRS headquarter in Washington, Tuesday, May 21, 2013. A few dozen tea party activists and their supporters have gathered outside the IRS headquarters in Washington to protest extra scrutiny of their organizations  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

IRS worker suspended for pro-Obama activities

An IRS employee was suspended for 100 days for using his job at the agency's help line to try to convince callers to vote for President Obama, a government watchdog agency announced Thursday. Published July 10, 2014