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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Homeland Security: Airport scanners are safe

The Homeland Security Department has completed a review of the Transportation Security Administration's new airport scanners and says they are safe enough, according to a report the agency's inspector general issued Tuesday. Published February 28, 2012

**FILE** President Obama meets Feb. 14, 2012, with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the White House. (Associated Press)

Audit: Government still wasting 'tens of billions' each year

A year after the government's chief investigators identified 81 areas where the government double-spends or could cut costs, President Obama and Congress have solved just four of them, the Government Accountability Office said in a follow-up report Tuesday. Published February 28, 2012

** FILE ** Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signs autographs outside his campaign bus after a campaign rally at Tri-City Christian Academy in Chandler, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Arizona set to test Romney's appeal to Hispanics

With this weekend's endorsement by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Mitt Romney has amassed the backing of what could be considered the trifecta of hard-liners on illegal immigration — and he will put that to the test with Hispanic voters Tuesday in Arizona's GOP primary. Published February 27, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Mike Johanns, Nebraska Republican (Associated Press)

Earmark ban facing a fight over definition

The Senate this week could face a showdown over exactly what is an earmark, after one senator vowed to challenge money set aside in the pending transportation bill by the chamber's top lawmaker, Sen. Harry Reid. Published February 26, 2012

**FILE** Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Associated Press)

Arizona's Gov. Brewer endorses Romney

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination on Sunday, saying he is the most electable candidate in the field. Published February 26, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a Republican presidential debate Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Romney questions 'which team' Santorum played for in Senate

Pursuing his attack on rival Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney Thursday blasted the former senator's defense that he often had to vote against his principles while serving in Congress in order to "take one for the team." Published February 23, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum argue a point Feb. 22, 2012, during a Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Ariz. (Associated Press)

Rivals target Santorum in debate

Under fire after a strong February, former Sen. Rick Santorum found himself on the defensive as his opponents said his tough conservative talk on the campaign trail was belied by his record during his time in Congress, particularly on spending. Published February 22, 2012

In this July 13, 2010, photo, Greg Casady of Council Bluffs, Iowa, holds a sign in favor of recent legislation in Arizona while demonstrating in support of recent legislation dealing with illegal immigration at the Fremont, Neb., Municipal Building. A federal judge on Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, rejected a portion of the city of Fremont's ordinance that would have denied housing permits to illegal immigrants, but upheld a requirement that employers verify the citizenship status of people they hire. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Mark Davis)

Some GOP candidates fail to perform immigration checks

Rick Santorum has called for every business in the country to use E-Verify, the government's database for screening out illegal immigrant workers, but his own presidential campaign has not signed up to use the program. Published February 21, 2012

**FILE** Mark McAfee (right), founder of Fresno, Calif.-based Organic Pastures Dairy, leads a Nov. 1, 2011, protest in front of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., against the FDA's ban on interstate transport of raw milk. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Feds: Fresh milk 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized dairy

The federal government said Tuesday that fresh milk is 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized milk — a finding that bolsters the government's argument as it goes after farmers who sell unpasteurized milk across state lines. Published February 21, 2012

** FILE ** In this Feb. 16, 2012, file photo, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Romney extends lead in GOP fundraising

Mitt Romney's campaign raised $6.4 million in January, Newt Gingrich raised $5.6 million, and Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul each raised $4.5 million, showing all four men competitive in the fundraising segment of the Republican presidential fight. Published February 20, 2012

Mitt Romney is among a pack of repeat Republican presidential contenders in the past 50 years. The former Massachusetts governor speaks to a crowd gathered Friday at Guerdon Enterprises in Boise, Idaho. (Associated Press_

Romney shows trouble keeping supporters from 2008

Mitt Romney's second go-round at a presidential run is not going so well. Nine states have voted so far, and in six of them the former Massachusetts governor has received fewer votes than he did four years ago. Published February 19, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associated Press)

Justice says Supreme Court should revisit campaign finance

The Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a Montana law that had banned corporations from running political ads, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the case makes it likely the Supreme Court will have to revisit the Citizens United ruling that has unleashed a flood of ads this year. Published February 17, 2012

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (left), Montana Democrat, and House Ways and Means Committee Charman Rep. David Camp, Michigan Republican, raise their hands Feb. 16, 2012, on Capitol Hill as the bipartisan House and Senate conferees gather to sign the compromise agreement. (Associated Press)

Congress passes payroll tax cut

Acting with striking bipartisanship, Congress on Friday passed a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut and renewed enhanced unemployment benefits, sending the bill on to the White House and delivering a major victory to President Obama. Published February 17, 2012

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin listens during a news conference about a compromise deal on the payroll tax cut, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Deficit is loser in payroll tax deal

After a year of budget-hawking, Congress last week undid much of that progress in one swoop, adding more than $100 billion to the federal deficit in 2012 by extending the payroll tax cut but not paying for it. Published February 17, 2012

** FILE ** Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

CBO says jobless benefits encourage joblessness

Generous unemployment benefits are a great way to boost the economy in the short term but are leading hundreds of thousands of workers to stay out of the workforce longer than they would otherwise, according to the latest report by Congress's official scorekeeper. Published February 16, 2012

CASA de Maryland faces challenge over tax-exempt status

A public interest group that pushes for immigration controls has asked Maryland to investigate the tax-exempt status of CASA de Maryland, a high-profile immigrant rights group that the Immigration Reform Law Institute says repeatedly engaged in political advocacy, breaking the law governing nonprofits. Published February 14, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks about the "Community College to Career Fund" and his 2013 budget, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Social Security reserves forecast to run dry in 2022

Social Security's bank account will go bust in 2022 — the first time the program's combined trust funds will run a deficit, according to President Obama's budget released Monday. Published February 13, 2012

**FILE** Morgan the cow stops to eat grass on her way to being milked at a rally held by Grassfed on the Hill at Upper Senate Park in Washington on May 16, 2011. The rally was held to protest the sting operation the FDA conducted against Pennsylvania dairy farmer Daniel Allgyer and his private buying customers. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk

The FDA has won its two-year fight to shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh, raw milk to eager consumers in the Washington region, after a judge this month banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines, and he told his customers he'll shut his farm down altogether. Published February 13, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a caucus, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Romney wins Maine caucuses by slim margin

Mitt Romney won Maine's caucuses on Saturday, with the announcement coming just hours after he also won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll in Washington — a one-two punch that boosts him during the next two weeks, when there are no more contests. Published February 11, 2012