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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

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

Articles by Jennifer Harper

This May 14, 2012, file photo shows conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh speaking during a ceremony inducting him into the Hall of Famous Missourians in the state Capitol in Jefferson City,  Mo. (AP Photo/Julie Smith, File)

America gets a case of Ebola blame game, with Republicans cast as culprits

Anxiety, distrust, paranoia - beware. Sensational news coverage of Ebola is now out of quarantine, and moving at a rapid pace around the nation. The prospect of travel restrictions to and from affected African nations plus the question of U.S. preparedness is under discussion. Published October 2, 2014

Host Jon Stewart is seen here Oct. 18, 2012, during a taping of "The Daily Show with John Stewart" in New York. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Ebola anxiety: Ben Carson warned the nation two months ago

A serious case of Ebola anxiety is upon us: analysts spout statistics, the press is swollen with alarming coverage, pollsters are diagnosing public distress and Comedy Central host John Stewart saw fit to dump hand sanitizer all over his script on a recent broadcast Published October 1, 2014

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, before the House Oversight Committee as it examines details surrounding a security breach at the White House when a man climbed over a fence, sprinted across the north lawn and dash deep into the executive mansion before finally being subdued.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Journalists jump at the novelty of a Secret Service probe

Bored with the midterm horse races, the press frolicked through a real novelty: raking a clandestine group over the coals. Their inspiration was the bipartisan investigation of a White House security breach conducted by nine Democrats and eight Republicans, all members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and all with much on their minds. Published September 30, 2014

A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Juneau, Alaska (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Clergy-on-the-Ground: Disaster experts mobilize ministers should calamity strike

It is a sign of the times - and a clear-eyed, viable idea from Johns Hopkins University emergency preparedness and response experts, who have led pastors, ministers and other clergy in disaster readiness training in three cities, capping off the outreach in the nation's capital on Tuesday. They specialize in schooling folks of faith who also have a calling to be spiritual boots-on-the-ground during a terrorist attack, mass shooting, natural disaster or other unexpected calamity. Published September 29, 2014

FILE - In this April 17, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at White House in Washington. The Obama administration celebrated when sign-ups for the health care law crossed the 8-million mark after a stumbling start. But most Americans are unimpressed. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that public opinion remains deeply negative. One bright spot: Most of those who signed up say premiums are about what they expected, or lower. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

$5,242 a minute: White House fundraising continues

Yes, there are numbers to justify why Republicans get cranky about President Obama's frequent fundraising for the Democratic Party, particularly when tax payer dollars facilitate glittering events. We know that Mr. Obama has hosted almost 400 political fundraisers since taking office. We also know that Air Force One costs $228,288 an hour to operate, a factor when the West Coast is involved. Like the upcoming gala in the Hollywood home of Gwyneth Paltrow in early October - which marks the 19th time the president has journeyed to Los Angeles for some campaign cash. Published September 29, 2014

The scene was Sept. 27, 1994 - when Newt Gingrich released the "Contract with America" that defined Republican values and ideas, and invigorated the GOP's relationship with voters. (Associated Press)

When the GOP 'loudy and proudly' spoke up: The Contract with America turns 20

The 20th anniversary of the Contract with America is Saturday, marking the moment when a phalanx of Republican hopefuls gathered on the West Front steps of the U.S. Capitol and signed a document penned by Newt Gingrich and Richard Armey that set forth GOP principles and clarified their promises to voters. Published September 25, 2014

In this Aug. 10, 2014, photo, an aircraft for missions targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq lands at the USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. Combined U.S.-Arab airstrikes at the heart of the Islamic State group's military strongholds in Syria achieved their strategic aim of showing the extremists that their savage attacks will not go unanswered, the top American military officer said Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

The 'O-Word'? Wary Democrats omit President Obama from their press releases

When the president of the United States makes a bold move that resonates with the public, the lawmakers within the president's party normally respond with a cascade of celebratory press releases and sound bites. That was not the case for President Obama when he ordered airstrikes on Syria earlier this week. Many Democrats remained on the sidelines in the aftermath — dithering over the proper response to Mr. Obama's sudden switch to commander-in-chief mode. Published September 24, 2014

Tea Party Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Renewed battle cry: 'The Tea Party army is deploying'

The persistent, rambunctious soul of the tea party has not been extinguished. While the mainstream media has eagerly declared the grassroots movement to be dead, dying or irrelevant in recent years, the clan maintains the same attitude it had going into the 2010 midterms. And that attitude is aggressive. Published September 23, 2014

President Obama will be the eco-president when he addresses the U.N. climate summit, but he will reprise his commander role 24 hours later when he gives an address before the U.N. Security Council. (Associated Press)

Obama: war hawk, eco-president

Issue du jour? Piece of cake. Two weeks after he stepped before the nation as the hawkish protector of the homeland, President Obama now greets a global audience as the wonkish protector of the planet, showcased Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Summit. Published September 22, 2014

Voters in Tennessee's 9th Congressional District to decide whether they will send a black woman who embraces the tea party to Congress. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Intelligence community ponders the 'immaculate collection'

"There’s no 'secret' version of the NIS. Our oversight committees, our partners, the public and, for that matter, even our adversaries are all seeing the very same strategic direction I'm giving to the Intelligence Community," says James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence - who also has thoughts on the current intel landscape. Published September 21, 2014

Elliot Crown of New York parades in a costume called "Fossil Fool." The goal of signing a climate deal could better be facilitated more by strategic negotiations rather than distracting protest marches. (Associated Press)

The spectacle of global warming: Much theater, little policy

Climate alarmism creates good melodrama but scanty policy. President Obama soon journeys to New York City, a destination now knee-deep in climate activism and boasting corporate endorsements, multiple sponsors and aggressive branding — amped up with hippie fervor, tubas, costumes, feathers, populist messages and endless social media. Published September 21, 2014

Sarah Palin is one of the confirmed speakers for the ninth annual Values Voters Summit next week in the nation's capital. (Associated Press) **File**

There's 264,220 people definitely not ready for Hillary

The persistent Stop Hillary PAC has marked the formal start of the Benghazi hearings with some noise of their own. The independent political action committee has dropped $100,000 on broadcast ads in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa featuring a 30-second spot that has a simple recommendation: "Stop the silence." Published September 18, 2014

A voter leaves the polls in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, after voting in the South Carolina primary runoff. Voters across the state were deciding the GOP nominations for lieutenant governor and superintendent of education, as well as the Democratic nomination for superintendent of education. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

49 percent of Americans now say they would vote for a gay presidential candidate

Big majorities of Americans - about seven-out-of-10 - say they would be comfortable voting for a presidential candidate who was Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, childless or single. So says a meticulous new Harris Poll which reveals some partisan divides among other demographics. Half of the overall public - 49 percent - would be comfortable voting for a gay presidential hopeful; 36 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents agree with that. Published September 18, 2014

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio was one of three Republicans that voted to end his party's filibuster of the energy efficiency bill. Mr. Portman, who co-sponsored the bill, called its defeat "yet another disappointing example of Washington's dysfunction."

The GOP's youthful Maverick PAC set to host Portman, Cruz, Priebus

The term "maverick" used to belong to Sen. John McCain back in the day. Now it's been expanded to represent a growing batallion of young, aggressive Republicans and conservatives who are ready to rumble, and in touch with their inner maverick, or words to that effect. Founded in 2009, Maverick PAC - or MAVPAC - now boasts 2,500 members. The group gathers Friday in the nation's capital for an annual conference that has attracted a stellar line-up of speakers. Published September 18, 2014

Voters in Tennessee's 9th Congressional District to decide whether they will send a black woman who embraces the tea party to Congress. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

It's not for frugal: Half of the U.S. Senate gets an F in 'fiscal performance'

Alas, almost half of the U.S. Senate has earned an F grade in "fiscal performance" according to the National Taxpayers Union's 35th annual rating of Congress. Indeed, 45 senators received the rock bottom grade on the scorecard, which analyzes their responses to every single roll call vote affecting federal taxes, spending, debt and significant regulations. Published September 18, 2014