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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Lauren Wright of Washington, D.C., right, and other birth control supporters rally outside the Supreme Court as the court hears oral arguments in Affordable Care Act challenges, the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, which mandate that private insurance plans must cover birth control, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Federal court says Obamacare built on quicksand

A federal appeals court seemed skeptical Tuesday of the Obama administration's position that it can give Obamacare subsidies to Americans regardless of what kind of exchange they are in, in a case that could threaten the fundamental deal underpinning the Affordable Care Act. Published March 25, 2014

President Barack Obama Obama, accompanied by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaks during their joint news conference at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama doubts Russian retreat in Ukraine, threatens tougher sanctions

President Obama acknowledged Tuesday that it will be difficult to roll back Russia's military land grab in Ukraine, even as Congress seemed to break a political logjam in Washington that has held up financial aid to the embattled European nation. Published March 25, 2014

White House turns to cat pictures to sell Obamacare

With the deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges just days away, the White House is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas — including turning to cat GIFs, or animated videos made of multiple still photos. Published March 24, 2014

Deja Vu: About 5,000 people demonstrated Sunday in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, in favor of holding a referendum on secession and absorption into Russia, just as Crimeans did earlier this month before their region was annexed. President Obama this week will work for a united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press)

A Ukraine divide: Congress, world leaders debate how to counter Russia

President Obama will try to forge a consensus on Ukraine when he meets this week with top allies in Europe, but he has had trouble winning unity even back home, where Democrats and Republicans are sparring over the outlines of U.S. policy, including military and financial aid. Published March 23, 2014

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chirikov, pool)

U.S. officials on Putin's list mock his sanctions on travel and banks

Sens. John McCain and Dan Coats joked that their vacation plans for Siberia are off after they found themselves on a list of nine U.S. officials and lawmakers hit with sanctions Thursday by Russia, in a tit-for-tat retaliation that signaled an escalation in the diplomatic battle over Ukraine. Published March 20, 2014

Reid

Reid ups stakes in CIA-Senate clash with request for forensics test

Majority Leader Harry Reid escalated the Senate's battle with the Obama administration over CIA snooping this week, saying he's ordered a forensic examination to try to get to the bottom of accusations that the spy agency improperly searched congressional computers. Published March 20, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Republicans have blocked an attempt by Democrats to chastise Issa for his conduct at a committee hearing. Issa abruptly adjourned a hearing of the House Oversight Committee Wednesday. He instructed committee staff to turn off the microphone of the committee's top Democrat, congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. The hearing was on the improper targeting of tea party groups by the Internal Revenue Service. Cummings was trying to say that Republicans have overblown the controversy.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

House issues subpoena for gun sting operation documents

Saying they've been stonewalled for a year, the House's top investigator sent a subpoena Thursday demanding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turn over documents on a storefront sting operation that went badly awry. Published March 20, 2014

President Barack Obama listens as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 17, 2014. President Barack Obama said a Mideast peace solution remains elusive but he's hoping to see progress in coming days and weeks. Obama spoke as he sat down Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the path forward.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Abbas tells Obama window for Israel peace deal is closing

President Obama pushed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for a breakthrough in the peace process, saying all sides know what sacrifices need to be made as they hurtle toward a U.S.-imposed April deadline for concrete progress. Published March 17, 2014

One specialist on background checks said that if the Office of Personnel Management allowed investigators to troll online, they could have spotted troubling signs with Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked details of many of the government's most secret spy programs. (Associated Press)

Rules that bar feds from trolling Facebook, Twitter could have weeded out Snowden

Most businesses regularly "Google" job applicants to see whether any red flags appear, but federal agencies generally shun checking social media websites — giving up a tool, analysts say, that could be helpful in weeding out everything from disability and immigration fraud to unsavory people trying to gain top-secret security clearance. Published March 16, 2014

Sens. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, (left) and Dean Heller, Nevada Republican, were working together on a bipartisan bill in last year to restore unemployment benefits that fell one vote short of overcoming a GOP-led filibuster. (Associated Press)

Senators reach deal on unemployment benefits

Senators said Thursday they have reached a deal on a bill to renew federal unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless, announcing a bipartisan agreement that appears likely to have enough votes to clear a filibuster. Published March 13, 2014

A Cardinal is sprinkled with ashes by Pope Francis during the Ash Wednesday mass at the Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. (AP Photo/Max Rossi, Pool)

Boehner invites Pope Francis to address Congress

House Speaker John A. Boehner sent an open-ended invitation Thursday asking Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress, in what would appear to be a first for a leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Published March 13, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2014 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democratic Senate candidates are gambling they can turn voters against two obscure billionaire brothers who are funding attacks on them and the president’s health care law. Democrats are denouncing Charles and David Koch two of world’s richest people. The pair’s political network is spending millions on TV ads hitting Democrats in North Carolina and several other states. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Kochs are paying huge sums to try to “buy” elections and advance a self-serving agenda of low taxes and less regulation.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Harry Reid: 'I'm not afraid of the Koch brothers'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid renewed his crusade against the Koch brothers Thursday, and demanded that Republicans disavow the two men who have spent tens of millions of dollars to back conservative causes. Published March 13, 2014