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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

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Judges attend lavish conferences on taxpayer dime amid budget cuts

Even as courts warn of job cuts and furloughs to their employees due to the sequester, federal judges continue to attend taxpayer-funded conferences at lavish resorts, according to a top senator who is calling on the courts to change their priorities. Published August 5, 2013

Tea party warns of 'bait and switch' on immigration

Tea party groups on Friday warned House Republicans they fear GOP leaders are preparing to "pull a bait and switch" that will ultimately allow a broad immigration bill pass that legalizes illegal immigrants. Published August 2, 2013

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he and the ICE agents are "considering our options" after a judge tossed out their suit trying to halt the administration's nondeportation policies.
(Associated Press)

ICE agents weigh appeal in deportation policy fight

Immigration agents are weighing an appeal after a judge this week tossed out their lawsuit trying to halt the administration's nondeportation policies, saying the federal courts don't have jurisdiction over a personnel matter, agents said Thursday. Published August 1, 2013

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, discusses a plan July 24, 2013, on Capitol Hill to move mail to cluster box and curbside delivery in a move to cut costs at the cash-strapped Postal Service by up to $4.5 billion a year. With the Postal Service facing billions of dollars in annual losses, the tradition of mail delivery to the door could be virtually phased out by 2022 under a proposal in Congress. At left is the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. (Associated Press)

House issues subpoenas to get Benghazi documents from State Department

As they prepared to head home for summer vacation, House Republicans fired off three subpoenas Thursday seeking more information from the State Department on the terrorist attack last year in Benghazi, Libya, and on the science the Environmental Protection Agency used to impose new clean air regulations. Published August 1, 2013

Immigration activists arrested at Capitol

Seeking to revive the chances for getting an immigration bill done this year, dozens of immigrant-rights activists staged a sit-in and got arrested at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday — and they vowed to repeat the civil disobedience throughout the country the rest of the summer. Published August 1, 2013

** FILE ** National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 18, 2013. Clapper is apologizing for telling Congress earlier this year that the National Security Agency does not collect data on millions of Americans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Declassified documents show NSA snooping had 'compliance' problems

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on Wednesday declassified three documents that showed there have been "a number of technical compliance problems" with the government's phone-snooping program, as the Obama administration fights to preserve what it says is a critical tool in the war on terror. Published July 31, 2013

** FILE ** Janet A. Napolitano leaves a mixed legacy as secretary of homeland security. Her celebrated response to weather emergencies, for example, is balanced by the unpopular addition of strict airline security measures. (Associated Press)

Judge tosses immigration agents' suit against Napolitano

A federal judge dismissed immigration agents' lawsuit trying to overturn the administration's non-deportation policies, arguing the court didn't have jurisdiction because it was a personnel matter subject to collective bargaining. Published July 31, 2013

**FILE** From left: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden participate in a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 19, 2013. (Associated Press)

Congress will leave for summer recess with little accomplished

Congress is slinking toward an August exit from Washington with little to show for the past few weeks, and House Republicans suffered a major setback Wednesday when they had to pull their first domestic spending bill of the year from the floor, realizing they didn't have the votes to pass it. Published July 31, 2013

President Obama responds to a reporter's question as he leaves a meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 31, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama, Democrats vow unified stance on debt

President Obama emerged from closed-door meetings with House and Senate Democrats on Wednesday with a new mantra for his focus the rest of this year: "Jobs. Middle class. Growth." Published July 31, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy told intelligence and law enforcement officials that "the trust of the American people is wearing thin." (Associated Press)

Obama open to changes at NSA; intel officials fight to maintain secrecy

The Obama administration signaled Wednesday that it is ready to accept some changes to the National Security Agency telephone snooping program, as intelligence officials fought fiercely against congressional critics to preserve what they say is a vital tool in rooting out terrorist plots. Published July 31, 2013

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting fewer illegal immigrants this fiscal year, but a larger percentage of them have no criminal records. The numbers suggest that the Obama administration is struggling to meet its stated goals. (ICE via Associated Press)**FILE**

Top GOP donors tell party to legalize illegal immigrants

Nearly a hundred top Republican donors and Bush administration officials sent a letter to the House GOP on Tuesday urging lawmakers to pass a bill that legalizes illegal immigrants, arguing that the current system is already allowing them to stay and so it makes sense to register them and bring them into the system. Published July 30, 2013

**FILE** Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 6, 2013. (Associated Press)

House GOP accuses IRS of obstructing investigation into abuse of power

House Republicans on Tuesday accused the Internal Revenue Service and President Obama's hand-picked new leader of the agency of trying to "delay, frustrate, impede and obstruct" their investigation into abuses of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, and pointedly warned that it could be breaking the law. Published July 30, 2013

**FILE** James Comey will be nominated by President Obama to replace FBI Director Robert Mueller. (Associated Press)

Senate approves Comey as new FBI chief

The Senate on Monday approved James B. Comey Jr. to become the new director of the FBI, giving an overwhelming bipartisan boost of approval to someone who has served presidents of both parties. Published July 29, 2013

** FILE ** An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan on a moonlit night in January 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

FBI says it doesn't need warrant to use drones

The FBI has told Congress it does not need to get a warrant to conduct surveillance with drones, in a letter laying out some of the top federal law enforcement agency's policies for how it uses unmanned aerial vehicles. Published July 29, 2013