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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** Illegal immigrants file into a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Tucson, Ariz. (Associated Press)

U.S. releases illegal immigrants who are sex offenders

The news last week that federal authorities had to release 2,837 convicted sex offenders back onto the streets has renewed focus on a Supreme Court case that requires the government to release immigrants whose home countries won't take them back. Published September 15, 2013

New Jersey employs a system called Public Safety Assessment to help judge's determine which defendants should be granted bail. Advocates say the algorithm PSA depends on eliminates racial bias from the process. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Feds' 'Predator App' nabs first sex crimes suspect

The federal government's new "predator app" that enrolls the public in helping spot child sex crimes suspects was operating for little more than a day before it nabbed its first capture, authorities said Friday. Published September 14, 2013

Ron Binz (From Ron Binz' Public Policy Consulting website)

Energy nominee Ron Binz plots with lobbyists to win confirmation

President Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is coordinating his campaign with two lobbyists for energy companies, a Democratic strategy firm and several other green-technology strategists, according to emails that show an unprecedented effort to gain a position on the obscure board. Published September 12, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama pauses after speaking to members of the media during his meeting with Baltic leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Greens, lobbyists and partisans helping Ron Binz, Obama's FERC pick, move through Senate

EXCLUSIVE: President Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is coordinating his campaign with two lobbyists for energy companies, a Democratic strategy firm and several other green-technology strategists, according to emails that show an unprecedented effort to gain a position on the obscure board. Published September 12, 2013

Lois Lerner, head of the Internal Revenue Service unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status, was put on administrative leave after she declared her innocence but refused to answer congressional questions about the targeting. (Associated Press)

Emails show IRS' Lois Lerner specifically targeted tea party

Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner's emails released by a House committee Thursday. Published September 12, 2013

Immigrant activists arrested in Hill protest

More than 100 female immigrant-rights activists, including some who are in the country illegally, were arrested after they shut down Independence Avenue in front of the Capitol on Thursday, demanding Congress pass a legalization bill. Published September 12, 2013

Homeland Security's new app to help catch sex predators.

Feds launch predator app on iTunes to catch child sex criminals

Taking crowdsourcing to the next level, the federal government unveiled a new "predator app" Thursday that is designed to enlist Americans in urgent hunts for potential sex predators by pushing photos and descriptions of suspects onto their mobile phones. Published September 12, 2013

** FILE ** Linda Norman (right) and Joanna Galt, both from Florida, hold their banners during a "Exempt America from Obamacare" rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obamacare has been amended or delayed 19 times: study

President Obama has already signed 14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law, and he's taken five independent steps to delay the Affordable Care Act on his own, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, released Wednesday. Published September 11, 2013

** FILE ** "Every public official has to use her best judgment in ensuring appropriate use of personal emails," says Environmental Protection Agency ex-chief Lisa P. Jackson. (Associated Press)

Technology entangles federal officials in open-records quagmires

Lisa P. Jackson, the former EPA chief who used both secondary and private email accounts to conduct government business, said she never intended to violate open-records laws and said only those who want to "theorize that there is a hidden agenda" would see her actions negatively. Published September 10, 2013

President Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Obama asks Congress to delay Syria vote, give diplomacy a chance to work

President Obama and his Western allies faced off against Russia on the international stage Tuesday, battling over how exactly to force Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, even as the president pleaded with Congress to give him time to see the diplomatic efforts through. Published September 10, 2013

**FILE** House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

Issa accuses law firm of meddling in congressional investigation

The House's top investigator accused a prominent Washington law and lobbying firm of trying to meddle with Congress's investigation into transparency when one of the company's lobbyists pleaded that lawmakers not ask their client any questions at a hearing Tuesday. Published September 10, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at his meeting with elected region leaders in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Sept. 10, 2013. (Associated Press/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Putin: Obama must back off for Syria plan to work

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his government's plan to have Syria turn over chemical weapons will only work if President Obama calls off his plans for military strikes — something the White House has rejected. Published September 10, 2013

**FILE** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, accompanied by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (right), Texas Republican, and Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

McConnell to vote against Syria strikes

The top Republican in the Senate said Tuesday he will oppose President Obama's call for strikes on Syria, saying the president has not made a credible case and that direct U.S. national security interests are not at stake. Published September 10, 2013

** FILE ** U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

All sides claim win in Syria-Russia chemical weapons offer

Even as Capitol Hill waited to see how the Russian chemical weapons offer played out, lawmakers on both sides of the question of Syria strikes claimed credit for helping force the Assad regime's hand. Published September 10, 2013

**FILE** Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (Associated Press)

Ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson denies trying to avoid sunshine laws

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson told Congress on Tuesday that she didn't abuse her official email accounts, nor did she use her own private account to try to circumvent open-records laws. Published September 10, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Senate puts off Syria vote

The Senate has put off a key test vote on the resolution authorizing President Obama to attack Syria, with Majority Leader Harry Reid saying Monday it's more important to get the debate right than to get it done fast. Published September 9, 2013

Dollar bills are on display at the Diversified table during a job fair at the Radisson Martinique hotel, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 in New York. The insurance company is giving away dollar bills to attract sales representatives. The Labor Department said Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, that  first-time claims for jobless aid fell by 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 421,000 in the week ending Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Government red ink jumps 25% in August

The federal deficit surged nearly 25 percent in August to reach $753 billion through the first 11 months of the fiscal year, but the Congressional Budget Office said Monday it expects the final year-end total to be lower. Published September 9, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, heads to the Senate floor on Sept. 6, 2013, to introduce a resolution for the authorization of military action in support of President Obama's request for a strike against Syria. (Associated Press)

Senate moves to Syria debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid officially moved to bring the Syria war debate to the chamber floor Monday afternoon, and said there will be an early test vote on Wednesday. Published September 9, 2013