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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan


Watchdogs headed for heavy budget cuts

The automatic spending cuts looming at the first of next year might end up eliminating some waste, but they also will take a giant bite out of the waste-watchers themselves — the auditors whom taxpayers count on to weed out fraud and keep tabs on government money. Published September 19, 2012

High-tech, science grads favored in visa proposals for immigrants

A big immigration deal is still elusive but Congress is suddenly rushing to take a smaller nibble at the issue, with the House slated to vote on a Republican proposal later this week that would open up tens of thousands of green cards to foreigners who promise to bring their science and technology skills to the U.S. Published September 18, 2012

Skeptics say Middle East attacks organized

Pressure is increasing for Congress to conduct its own independent investigation into last week's attacks on diplomatic posts in Egypt and Libya as lawmakers and even Libya's president dispute the Obama administration's assertion that the attacks were merely mob violence spawned by an offensive film. Published September 17, 2012

In this Sept. 14, 2012, photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns in the rain at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. President Obama and Romney are embarking on a week heavy with travel through battleground states and appeals key constituencies, with both campaigns wrangling over unrest in the Middle East and who is best equipped to rejuvenate the economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama’s convention bounce begins to fade

President Obama came out of his nominating convention surging in the polls, both nationally and in key states he will need to carry to win in the Electoral College — but the high already is beginning to fade, and pollsters said he didn't fundamentally alter what's still a neck-and-neck race. Published September 16, 2012

**FILE** U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (center) speaks June 7, 2012, with Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Gen. John Allen (left center), the head of NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan, upon arriving at Kabul International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

White House details 'destructive' spending cuts

With excruciating detail, the White House's budget office on Friday laid out exactly where it will have to cut $109 billion from federal spending in January, including $11.1 billion from Medicare and $54.7 billion from defense spending. Published September 14, 2012

Walking with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the Republican vice presidential candidate, returns to Capitol Hill to vote on a stopgap spending bill that avoids a government shutdown but carries a price tag $19 billion higher than the budget he wrote as chairman of the House Budget Committee, in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House passes stopgap bill at Democrats' spending level

After fighting all year for a lower spending number, House Republicans reversed course Thursday and passed a bill funding the government at the level Democrats had pushed for all along. The vote that averts the kind of government-shutdown showdowns that have become increasingly frequent. Published September 13, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Judging of disability claims flawed, Senate study finds

More than one out of every 20 Americans of working age was collecting Social Security disability payments as of March, but the system designed to judge claims is overloaded and bungles more than a quarter of the cases, according to a new report by a Senate investigative subcommittee. Published September 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney arrives in Jacksonville, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney condemns attacks, says Obama goofed on response

Mitt Romney late Tuesday condemned reported attacks on two U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East and said President Obama bungled the American response by trying "to sympathize" with the attackers. Published September 11, 2012

Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin talks to firefighters Tuesday in Oak Creek, Wis. (Associated Press)

Ryan not adding fuel to Republican ticket

A month into his vice presidential candidacy, it's clear Rep. Paul Ryan has had an impact. What is yet to be determined is whether the Wisconsin Republican's impact helps or hurts the Romney ticket on Election Day. Published September 11, 2012

** FILE ** Bradley Birkenfeld, a whistle-blower in the tax evasion case against Swiss bank UBS AG, holds a news conference outside the Schuylkill County Federal Correctional Institution in Minersville, Pa., Friday, Jan. 8, 2010, before reporting to the federal prison. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

IRS pays $104 million to whistle-blower

The IRS awarded the largest whistle-blower award in history — $104 million — to a former banker who gave information that helped expose a $20 billion offshore banking scheme, the recipient's attorneys said Tuesday. Published September 11, 2012

**FILE** A statue of former Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin stands outside the Treasury Building in Washington on Aug. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

Budget deficit tops $1 trillion for fourth time

With three weeks still to go in the fiscal year, the federal government already has notched its fourth straight trillion-dollar deficit, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. Published September 10, 2012

President Obama steps off his campaign bus during an unannounced stop at Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama, Romney both draw bright lines in the sand over budget deals

With congressional gridlock unlikely to change in this year's elections, both President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spent the weekend saying they are willing to compromise to get budget deals done — though both drew bright lines they said they won't cross. Published September 9, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (center) greets a supporter as he arrives at the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Richmond. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dean Hoffmeyer)

Romney promises to get tough with Iran

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said this weekend that President Obama failed to lessen the risks of a nuclear-armed Iran because he came into office promising to meet with, rather than confront, that nation's leaders — and vowed to impose "crippling sanctions" himself. Published September 9, 2012

Republican presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the audience at a rally with the GOP team at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Va., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Rich-Joseph Facun)

Romney: Obama and GOP erred on defense cuts

Mitt Romney said this weekend that his fellow Republicans erred by agreeing last year to automatic defense spending cuts in lieu of a broader debt dealing, and said as president he'll fight to keep military spending the same portion of the U.S. economy as it is now. Published September 8, 2012

President Obama accepts his party's nomination for a second term as President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention in the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (Barbara Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Obama appeals to voters for more time

Accepting his party's nomination for re-election, President Obama on Thursday said voters face the most momentous election of a generation and told them they must choose between locking in his vision of a government that works to boost the most vulnerable, or side with Republicans in rolling back his agenda. Published September 6, 2012

President Obama speaks at a campaign event in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Obama predicts 'barrage of negative ads'

After canceling his stadium-sized speech, President Obama on Thursday told the thousands of supporters who missed out on seeing him that he's still counting on them to do the legwork required to get him re-elected. Published September 6, 2012

President Obama joins former President Bill Clinton onstage Sept. 5, 2012, after Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Andrew Geraci/The Washington Times)

Clinton returns to back Obama at DNC

Democrats rushed to clean up a party platform mess Wednesday and moved to officially re-nominate President Obama for a second term in office as his predecessor, former President Bill Clinton, said voters this year must choose between Republicans' "winner-take-all" vision of success and his own party's "shared prosperity." Published September 5, 2012

Benita Veliz, a student who had her deportation halted under President Obama's non-deportation policies, addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Arena in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012. (Andrew Geraci/The Washington Times)

Young face put on illegal migration at DNC

Democrats broke yet another barrier Wednesday when they invited an illegal immigrant young adult onto the stage at their nominating convention in Charlotte — part of a historic Hispanic outreach program that the party hopes will cement ties to the fast-growing ethnic voting bloc in the country. Published September 5, 2012

Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa calls for a vote to amend the platform the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012. (Associated Press)

Democrats scramble to restore Jerusalem plank to platform

The White House scrambled Wednesday to alter the Democratic Party platform after they adopted a version that left out references to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and made no mention of God. Published September 5, 2012

First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 4, 2012, its opening night, at the Time Warner Arena in Charlotte, N.C. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Michelle Obama hails husband as 'man we can trust' during DNC speech

First lady Michelle Obama pleaded with voters Tuesday to reward her husband with re-election, telling delegates at the Democrats' convention that President Obama comes from humble beginnings and was able to reach the White House by taking advantage of the same kind of government assistance he is defending on the campaign trail. Published September 4, 2012