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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks July 6, 2012, at Bradley's Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H., about job numbers. (Associated Press)

Romney: Jobs figures underscore Obama failure

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday that the latest jobs numbers released Friday, showing anemic job growth and an unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2 percent, are the latest proof that President Obama's economic plans have failed the country. Published July 6, 2012

** FILE ** This June 11, 2012, file photo shows Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter, Michigan Republican. (Associated Press)

Michigan Republican McCotter quits Congress

Rep. Thad McCotter, one of Congress's quirkiest members, resigned his seat Friday evening, closing out a dismal chapter that had seen him go from one-time, long-shot presidential hopeful to lame-duck congressman who couldn't even file enough valid signatures to run for re-election. Published July 6, 2012

"This is clearly a penalty that affects less than 1 percent of the American population. And it is a penalty you only pay as a matter of choice," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. (Associated Press)

Health care law 'here to stay,' president insists

President Obama defiantly insisted Thursday that his health care law is "here to stay" — and so, apparently, is the controversy over whether the massive plan is enforced by a penalty or a tax. Published July 5, 2012

White House spokesman Jay Carney pauses June 27, 2012, during his daily news briefing at the White House. (Associated Press)

Health care law 'here to stay,' president insists

President Obama defiantly insisted Thursday that his health care law is "here to stay" — and so, apparently, is the controversy over whether the massive plan is enforced by a penalty or a tax. Published July 5, 2012

A combine cuts a path through the wheat field Saturday on a farm in Westfield, Vt. (Associated Press)

Farm payments hit as report lays out abuse

The federal government paid out $10 billion in direct farm payments over the past decade to farmers who in a given year didn't grow the crop they were being paid to grow, according to a government audit released Tuesday. Published July 3, 2012

President Obama responds on Friday, June 15, 2012, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House when he is interrupted while announcing that his administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. (Associated Press)

Obama's halt on deportations already under way

Federal immigration authorities have begun granting tentative legal status to illegal immigrants under President Obama's deportation halt — and in some cases are even ignoring the administration's eligibility rules to stop deportations for those who shouldn't qualify, according to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Published July 2, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks June 19, 2012, in Holland, Mich. (Associated Press)

Romney goes against GOP on 'tax' label

In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill spent four days laying out an attack on President Obama's health care law as a massive tax increase. Published July 2, 2012

** FILE ** Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, reads from a book on June 20, 2012, at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, quoting the president's right to assert executive privilege after learning that President Obama has done so in the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking case, refusing to turn over related documents to Congress. The committee proceeded with its markup to vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for his failure to produce those documents. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Issa's secret gunwalking wiretaps revealed in Congressional Record

Rep. Darrell Issa managed to push the details of a secret wiretap application from the botched "Fast and Furious" gunwalking operation into the public domain this week when he entered summaries into the Congressional Record, apparently using Congress' protection under the speech and debate clause to get around legal boundaries. Published June 29, 2012

** FILE ** Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. (AP Photo)

Roberts strikes balance with 'tax' interpretation

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. ignored President Obama's words and thereby found a way to uphold the president's health care law in Thursday's Supreme Court ruling. Published June 28, 2012

Holder

House could arrest Holder with inherent contempt power

Despite voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, there's little House Republicans can do in the short term to compel him to turn over documents — unless it wanted to revisit a long-dormant power and arrest him. Published June 28, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference in New Orleans, Thursday, June 28, 2012. The Obama administration and House Republicans refused to find a middle ground in a dispute over documents related to a botched gun-tracking operation, and the GOP plunged ahead with plans for precedent-setting votes Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in civil and criminal contempt of Congress. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

House holds Holder in contempt over 'Fast and Furious' documents

The House on Thursday cited Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for contempt of Congress in a historic vote weighted with political significance — though it does little to break the stalemate over his decision to withhold documents regarding the Justice Department's actions in a botched gunwalking operation. Published June 28, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined by other House GOP leaders, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, June 27, 2012, following a political strategy session. Boehner defended the contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, commented on the looming Supreme Court decision on the health care, and updated progress on student loans and the transportation bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sides dig in as contempt vote on Holder looms

The House careened toward a Thursday vote to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress after Republicans rejected the Justice Department's final offer for turning over a limited set of documents, saying it wasn't sufficient to complete their investigation into Fast and Furious. Published June 27, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

'Audit the Fed' bill advances in House

The House oversight committee voted Wednesday to demand a broad audit of the Federal Reserve System by congressional investigators — a major move that lawmakers said is designed to bring accountability to the murky workings of the independent central bank. Published June 27, 2012

** FILE ** A foreclosed house with a sale-pending sign is shown in Tigard, Ore., in March 2011. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Tax cheats got $1.4 billion in stimulus loans

Tax cheats were given $1.4 billion in government-backed mortgage loans under President Obama's economic stimulus, and the government doled out at least an additional $27 million in tax credits to delinquents who took the first-time-homebuyer tax break, according to a government audit released Wednesday. Published June 27, 2012

President Obama waves to supporters June 25, 2012, after arriving on Air Force One at Logan International Airport in Boston. (Associated Press)

Obama gains power and pressure for enforcement

The good news for President Obama out of Monday's Supreme Court immigration ruling is that the justices all seemed to agree that he has broad discretion over whom he chooses to deport. The bad news for him is that he is about to face extreme pressure to grant a blanket exemption to most illegal immigrants, particularly those who now will be found by local police in Arizona. Published June 25, 2012

Supreme Court upholds key plank of Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law as an unlawful infringement on federal power, but it upheld the most important plank, which allows police to stop and question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Published June 25, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington is pictured in March 2009. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court nixes Montana curb on campaign spending

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Montana's century-old campaign-finance restrictions, in a decision that reaffirmed the high court's earlier ruling that corporations and unions are entitled to free-speech rights in political campaigns. Published June 25, 2012

Obama loses on issue of police immigration stops

An irony of the Supreme Court's ruling Monday on Arizona's law is that the part about which President Obama and his top advisers most complained is the one part the court upheld. Published June 25, 2012