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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

Saturday night with Rolling Thunder: lots of Harleys, good will, dedication (Photo by Jennifer Harper/The Washington Times)

Rolling Thunder on a Saturday night: Harleys, good will, dedication and talk of the big ride

Perfect, spotless Harley Davidsons were lined up by the hundreds around several northern Virginia hotels on Saturday night - chrome polished to mirror finish, American flags in abundance, good will in the air. In 10 hours the nearby Pentagon parking lot would fill up - the only area large enough to use as a staging area for Rolling Thunder's 28th annual "Ride for Freedom," the inimitable event that draws attention to veterans and military issues, plus POWs and those missing in action. The organization took some time together before hand however - to focus on a little business, say some prayers, recognize a few of their own and share a meal. Published May 23, 2015

Armstrong Williams

The 'Right Side Forum' with Armstrong WIlliams to address the rebuilding of Baltimore

The "Right Side Forum," an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, will look at "Rebuilding and Business: The challenges business leaders face in 'blighted' communities" along with lingering local outrage over a number of distressing events. Mr. William's guests are Edwin Avent, Baltimore-based entrepreneur and co-founder of Black Professional Men, Inc.; J. Wyndal Gordon, Baltimore's "Warrior Lawyer" and K. Marques Mullings, executive vice-president, Howard Stirk Holdings. Published May 22, 2015

Rolling Thunder founder Artie Muller has brought attention to veterans' issues for years; here he is greeted at the White House by President George W. Bush in 2008. (white house)

'Never forget': Rolling Thunder founder stays true to his mission for POWs, MIAS, vets

Rolling Thunder is revved and ready. Indeed, the capital of the free world will soon reverberate with the thud of several hundred thousand motorcycles, assembled for the annual Ride for Freedom on Sunday, piloted by patriots who have a mission on their minds. Despite the spectacle of noise, power and prowess, none of these riders forgets that the Washington visit is to draw attention to the visceral question of POWs and those still missing in action, along with the ongoing needs of military veterans. Published May 21, 2015

The late senator Howard Baker's mountainn mansion in Tennessee is going up for auction (Furrow Auction)

Howard Baker's 'mid-century modern' mansion goes up for auction in Tennessee, furniture included

Up for auction next month: the Tennessee estate of the late Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., consisting of a 6,175-square-foot main home, plus cottage, guesthouse, pool and more, all on 11 acres in Huntsville. The home is unmistakably "mid-century modern" in style, with grand river and mountain vistas beyond the huge windows, some streamlined expanses of brick and some sumptuous, old school-style drapes of the era. Baker called this splendid property his "center of the universe," and for good reason. Published May 21, 2015

For soldiers, man's best friend is a great healer

There was a noble tribute this week for hero humans and hero dogs just a block from the U.S. Capitol. The famous, powerful and political gathered to celebrate K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit that pairs rescue dogs with military veterans who must deal with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Among the many who attended was retired USMC Captain Jason Haag and Axel, a splendid German Shepherd who was there for him in some very dark moments. Published May 21, 2015

Phil Griffin, left, president of MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, center, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show," and Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," take part in a panel discussion on the show at the NBCUniversal summer press tour, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Cable woes: MSNBC sinks to a 10-year low of 50,000 viewers a night

The network has hit a ten-year-low with an average audience in the demo of just 50,000. From 4 p.m. to midnight, none of MSNBC's shows was able to break 100,000 viewers in the demo, which has long been considered a cut-off for viability in cable news, Published May 20, 2015

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference gets underway in Oklahoma City on Thursday, drawing many GOP presidential hopefuls. (Oklahoma GOP)

GOP presidential hopefuls, Oklahoma-style

Oklahoma Republicans have their own brand of bodacious glitz, billing the Sooner State itself as a "united state built by an unwillingness to fail" -- and a global crossroads in the middle of the heartland. Now there's a showcase for such thinking: The Southern Republican Leadership Conference gets underway in Oklahoma City on Thursday, and has proven to be a powerful draw. Published May 20, 2015

Fox News has revealed its coverage and organizational plans for the first GOP presidential debate (Fox News)

Fox News announces its plans for the first Republican presidential debate in August

The countdown is on for the very first Republican presidential debate, set for August 6 in Cleveland - to be moderated by anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. There will be much fancy interplay with Facebook revealing "how the issues of the day are resonating," plus input on questions for the candidates. Michael Clemente, executive vice president of News Editorial, has also revealed the entry criteria for candidates. Published May 20, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Who knew? Republicans surprisingly cheerful about presidential election, says Pew Research poll

Despite persistent press coverage to the contrary, Republicans, and particularly conservative Republicans, are cheerful and enthusiastic about the presidential election next year -- and fairly pleased with the burgeoning field of White House hopefuls. Six-in-10 registered GOP voters, in fact, say they have an excellent or good impression of their party's presidential candidates, this according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. These voters also appear to be engaged and enlightened: Two-thirds say they are thinking a lot about the election itself these days. It is a dream come true for frantic strategists. Published May 19, 2015

Miami Beach Police Sgt. Alex Bello, in charge of the department’s body camera program, wears a body camera during a demonstration at a news conference, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Miami Beach, Fla. Ten police motorcycle officers will be issued body cameras Tuesday, with a total of 30 officers by the end of the month in a three-month pilot program to test the technology. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Police body-worn cameras get a close examination in U.S. Senate hearing

There will be some fact finding on a complex but important subject: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism will hold a hearing Tuesday titled "Body Cameras: Can Technology Increase Protection for Law Enforcement Officers and the Public?" Published May 19, 2015

Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 political movie by Frank Capra,  "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (Image from Columbia Pictures, Inc)

82% of voters say ordinary citizens should run for office, not lawyers and professional politicians

Mr. Ordinary goes to Washington? Americans still dream that some sensible, honest patriot will surface in the heartland, then run for office and rescue the nation. The numbers: 82 percent of U.S. voters say the nation needs to recruit more "ordinary citizens to run for office rather than professional politicians and lawyers" -- this according to a new Fox News poll. That includes 84 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats. Published May 18, 2015

Retired USMC Capt. Jason Haag and his canine partner Axel are among those to be honored Tuesday at a K9s for Warriors charity event. (K9s for Warriors)

Lawmakers, heroes, media and one Irish tenor gather to salute the K9 warriors

There's a noble tribute of note on Tuesday for hero humans and hero dogs, just a block from the U.S. Capitol. The famous, powerful and political will gather to celebrate K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit that pairs rescue dogs with military veterans who must deal with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Published May 18, 2015

A rhino, one of the world's most endangered species due to illegal poaching for its horn. (World Wildlife Fund)

$60K a pound: Illegal rhino horn now declared more valuable than gold, diamonds and cocaine

Could a human hankering for exotic elixirs, curatives and aphrodesiacs turn rhino horn into a $20 billion a year industry and take out an entire species of animals at the same time? Looks like it. A UCLA study from team of international scientists says so - saying the call for substances derived from animal parts has "drastic implications" for rhinoceroses, along with elephants, hippopotamuses and even gorillas. Published May 17, 2015

Rick Perry will be Iowa all week appearing at multiple public events; he plans to reveal his White House intentions on June 4.

Iowa blitz: Clinton, Santorum, Perry and Huckabee to cross paths in the American heartland

Americans still dream that some sensible, honest patriot will surface in the heartland, then run for office and rescue the nation. The numbers: 82 percent of U.S. voters say the nation needs to recruit more "ordinary citizens to run for office rather than professional politicians and lawyers" -- this according to a new Fox News poll. That includes 84 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats. Published May 17, 2015

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of Allied forces in World War II,was one of the few 'political outsiders' who made it to the White House. (Associated Press)

Only four in 200 years: Political outsiders have 'very thin record of success' in White House bid

What with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina already knee-deep in their presidential bids, some wonder what the chances are for non-politicians who pursue the presidency. History has not been kind. "In short, aside from a handful of war heroes, presidential candidates who have never previously held political office have a very thin record of success," reports Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor. Published May 15, 2015

'Right Side Forum' host Armstrong Williams has both political and fashion sense. (GQ Magazine)

Armstrong Williams and the 'Right Side Forum' to ponder Baltimore, the Preakness and the UK election

The "Right Side Forum," an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, will look at a number of topics on its next broadcast: "Baltimore moving forward, Running of the 140th Preakness Stakes, and the Iran/UK elections. "One would think that with a black mayor, black police chief, overwhelmingly black police officers, black Attorney General and the first black President of the United States, that what we are witnessing in Baltimore and other major Democratic stronghold cities would be virtually impossible. Is this about race or a failure in leadership?" Mr. Williams asks. Published May 15, 2015

The co-author of 'American Sniper' has pushed the military thriller book genre even further - the "Sniper Elite' novel series.

'Sniper Elite': Navy SEALS inspire new series of military thriller novels - and a movie deal

First it was the movie, now it's a series. Scott McEwen was the co-author with the late Chris Kyle of "American Sniper," the best selling book that became an Oscar-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood. But Mr. McEwen is not done yet. Now in bookstores, it's "The Sniper and the Wolf," a novel -- and part of a fictional series titled "Sniper Elite," which adapts real stories of American warriors into what the trade calls military thrillers. The genre is pretty ferocious. Published May 14, 2015