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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Jennifer Harper

Veteran NBC newsman Lester Holt is currently filling in for "Nightly News" anchorman Brian Williams, who has taken leave while questions about his credibility are sorted out by the network. (NBC News)

While Brian Williams waits out suspension, NBC News veteran Lester Holt ups the ratings

The substitute has bested the regular. NBC News veteran anchorman Lester Holt has upped the ratings at his network while substituting for Brian Williams, currently waiting out his six-month suspension from the job. Nielsen numbers reveal that Mr. Holt draws 10.1 million viewers each night — a rare milestone, and one that rival networks have not reached in eight seasons, according to AdAge. Mr. Holt has also increased the much coveted 25-54-year-old viewing audience by 6 percent, and NBC now leads CBS ad ABC. Published March 4, 2015

What's really behind Ben Carson's appeal

The political marketplace is often a shrill, cluttered place. But when likely presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaks, people pause. They heed his words. Why is that? "There's a calmness, a humbleness about him. He has the ability to listen. Americans haven't really seen these qualities on the public stage before," Terry Giles tells Inside the Beltway. Published March 4, 2015

Just-cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the production line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Got $1,000,000,000,000? The world's first trillionaire already in the making

Analysts predict that the world's first trillionaire will emerge on the planet — and it may be sooner than we think. This is someone who is worth at least this much: $1,000,000,000,000. The world may appear to be in chaos, but the wealthy charge on, "despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro," reports Forbes magazine, which has identified a record 1,826 billionaires. Combined, they have a net worth of $7.05 trillion, which would pay less than half of the current federal debt. But no matter. The list includes 290 newcomers, 71 of whom hail from China. Published March 3, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton will both be in Washington on Tuesday. They are shown here during a diplomatic moment in 2010, when Mrs. Clinton was still Secretary of State. (Associated Press)

Political moment du jour: Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton — both in D.C. at the same time

In 24 hours, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will step before a joint session of Congress to have his say about Israel, its security and its place on the planet. But wait. Of political note: Hillary Rodham Clinton will also be in town on Tuesday for the 30th anniversary of Emily's List, the pro-choice group which has thus far raised $400 million for Democratic women candidates. Mrs. Clinton will receive the "We Are Emily" award at a major hotel. The pair, essentially, will be about 20 blocks apart; the press will have much to speculate upon. Published March 1, 2015

A new website for conservative book lovers is up and running, with plenty of resources. (Salem Communications)

What's right to read? A new Conservative Book Club site reveals all - from Limbaugh to Huckabee

Those weary of politically correct book lists and elitist commentary have a new destination. The Conservative Book Club — founded 51 years ago — has a spiffy new online presence devoted to book reviews, news, and previews about hundreds of conservative-themed books and authors. Yes, there’s a Top-10 list - the top three this week are "Killing Patton: The Strange Death of WWII's Most Audacious General" by Bill O'Reilly; "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy" by Mike Huckabee; and Rush Revere and the American Revolution by Rush Limbaugh. Published February 28, 2015

FILE - In the Feb, 13, 2015, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, stand together at a ceremony before the signing of the bill authorizing expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, at the Capitol in Washington. Boehner and McConnell are facing a dilemma. After winning control of both congressional chambers, Republican leaders vowed to keep the government funded and to block President Barack Obama from overhauling immigration policies.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Voters say Congress should pass legislation - even if Obama frowns upon it: Poll

Voters want Congress to be Congress, and they're not particularly keen on White House over each. A new poll conducted after President Obama vetoed the bipartisan Keystone XL pipeline bill reveals this: Voters "want Congress to keep doing what it wants even if the president doesn't like it." Published February 26, 2015

Americans are under the perception that George W. Bush is more of a "hawk" than his brother Jeb Bush. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

They don't know him: Two thirds of Americans can't say if Jeb Bush is a hawk - or dove

A pivotal moment at the Conservative Action Political Conference comes Friday when Jeb Bush steps before an audience who are still trying place him in the presidential spectrum. Yes, he has name recognition, a posh political pedigree and is a quick study. The 6-foot-3 Mr. Bush is not easy to intimidate. But in a world bristling with lone wolves, restless nations and asymmetric warfare, is he hawk or dove? The public is not sure, says William Jordan, assistant editor of the YouGov Poll. Published February 26, 2015

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will be among the speakers as the annual spectacle that is Conservative Action Political Conference kicks off with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance at 8 a.m. Thursday. (Associated Press)

CPAC: 72 hours of speeches, spectacle - and serious politics

Jumbotrons, spotlights, patriotic colors, soaring music, American flags and a cast of some 200 celebrated speakers who stride across the broad stage every 20 minutes. And so it begins: the 72 hours of conservative togetherness that is CPAC — the Conservative Action Political Conference — awakens with a prayer, a presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance at 8 a.m. sharp Thursday. Published February 25, 2015

New input: In upcoming GOP presidential debates, CNN has partnered with Salem Media, the nation's largest Christian and conservative news organization. (cnn)

Conservative, Christian media gets presidential showcase

In a hybrid partnership with CNN, three of the dozen sanctioned GOP debates also will be aired by the Salem Media Group, the nation's largest provider of Christian and family-themed content with conservative values. Published February 25, 2015

Rudolph W. Giuliani

Poll: 62 percent of Republican voters don't believe President Obama 'loves' America

Analysts, critics and pundits continue to wonder if President Obama "loves" America, a question recently suggested by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Here comes the poll, this a Rasmussen Reports survey of 800 voters released Tuesday. Fifty one percent of the respondents disagree with the idea. But there are those who don't. "Voters overwhelmingly say they love this country, but one-out-of-three doesn't believe President Obama feels that way," the poll states. Published February 24, 2015

New input: In upcoming GOP presidential debates, CNN has partnered with Salem Media, the nation's largest Christian and conservative news organization. (cnn)

Conservative, Christian media gets a presidential showcase: Salem joins the GOP debates

The Republican presidential primary debates are getting significant new input from the conservative realm. In a hybrid partnership with CNN, three of the dozen sanctioned GOP debates also will be aired by the Salem Media Group, the nation's largest provider of Christian and family-themed content with conservative values. Published February 24, 2015

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks in Washington. Paul is sprinting into the 2016 presidential primary season even with big challenges looming.The libertarian-minded Republican senator from Kentucky is set to visit several Western states this month before reintroducing himself to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as operatives try to strengthen his national political network. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The libertarian mind commands some notice - and a 'manifesto for freedom'

A big chunk of American voters now say they are "independents," according to a recent Gallup poll — 43 percent, in fact, with Democratic and Republican leaners trailing along behind. Just in time for those independents, and people curious about third-party candidates, here comes "The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom," to be introduced at the Cato Institute on Tuesday in the nation's capital. Published February 23, 2015

An Oscar statue is seen as preparations are made for the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. The Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 22. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Academy Awards audience down 16 percent - the lowest ratings in six years

Viewer turnout was tepid for the 87th Academy Awards despite the fact that host Neil Patrick Harris sang, joked and shed his clothes as a surprise side show. The early ratings, in fact, were the lowest in six years. Nielsen reports that 36.6 million viewers tuned in to see the big doings. Last year, 43.7 million did the same - this is a substantial 16 percent drop. Published February 23, 2015