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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

President Obama pauses at the door of Air Force One; he leaves on a weeklong trip to Illinois and the West Coast on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Fundraising, legacy and showbiz is calling: Obama heads west for a week

Rev up Air Force One, it's fundraising time again, along with symbolic moments and scenic views. In 48 hours President Obama departs the nation's capital for points west and an extended stay. Here's what's on the big travel agenda, beginning Wednesday: Published February 7, 2016

Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first Super Bowl on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. Much has changed in the U.S. since that first game. (Associated Press)

Unnerving numbers: How America has changed since the first Super Bowl

With the 50th Super Bowl upon us, one federal agency has a reminder about how much America has changed since that very first game, staged in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Behold, some startling numbers about the nation, all from official federal sources: Published February 7, 2016

Logo courtesy of NFL and CBS Sports.

Beer, cheer and a big TV: Americans drop $15.5 billion on their Super Bowl splurge

It is a big, bustling, hungry audience: media analysts anticipate that 189 million U.S. fans are expected to watch the fiftieth Super Bowl on Sunday, with another 100 million tuning in worldwide. Big game culture is in force: the National Retail Federation says Americans will spend $15.5 billion on team apparel, decorations and of course the traditional menu of pizza, nachos, beer, hoagies, chili and other goodies - like chicken wings. Americans will scarf down 1.3 million of them according to the National Chicken Council, a meticulous industry group which says this figure is up by 3 percent since last year. Not to be outdone, Dominos expects to sell 12 million pizzas. Published February 6, 2016

President Reagan riding his beloved horse "El Alamein" at his western home Rancho Del Cielo in 1986. (National Archives)

HAPPY GIPPER DAY: 11-foot statue, 21-gun salute for Ronald Reagan on his 105th birthday

Saturday marks what would have been Ronald Reagan's 105th birthday, a significant and heartfelt occasion still celebrated with much ado. Consider the major event at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, complete with the Camp Pendleton Marine Division Band, a color guard, the blessings of a chaplain, a brass quintet, a 21-gun salute, an aircraft flyover, the placing of a White House wreath at the grave site and remarks by Brigadier Gen. Edward D. Banta, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and Marlin Fitzwater, Reagan's press secretary. Published February 4, 2016

Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first Super Bowl on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. Much has changed in the U.S. since that first game. (Associated Press)

Five decades later: How America has changed since the first Super Bowl

With the 50th Super Bowl almost upon us, one federal agency has a reminder about how much America has changed since that very first game, staged in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Behold, some startling numbers about the nation, all from official federal sources: Published February 3, 2016

Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio took 60 percent of the vote in the Iowa Republican caucuses. (Associated Press)

GOP equation, reality check: 'Two Hispanics and a black man' take 60% of the Iowa vote

The insular political press consider themselves a "powerful weapon that benefits Democrats," writes John Nolte, editor-at-large for Breitbart News. "But if this same media truly believed in science and objectivity, the results in Iowa would forever end their relentless smears against conservatives as racists. Tuesday night, one of the whitest and most conservative states in the country -- Iowa -- gave 60 percent of the Republican vote to two Hispanics and a black man." Published February 2, 2016

Political advertisers favor a Clinton Vs. Bush match in 2016 (AP PHOTOS)

The most profitable matchup: Political advertisers hope it's Clinton vs. Bush

The 2016 race is projected to generate $6 billion in political advertising, drawing keen interest from those who create and manage the campaign. And some candidates are more lucrative than others, apparently. "A Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton presidential race would be best for business for the nation's leading political advertising firms," notes a new survey of national political ad agencies. Published February 2, 2016

Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has begun his campaign for the White House in earnest.

Libertarian hopeful Gary Johnson: 'I reach out to anyone with a vote and an ax to grind'

For those voters fatigued with Iowa and already bracing for New Hampshire, there's always Gary Johnson to consider. Let us recall that the Libertarian presidential hopeful garnered 1.2 million votes when he ran in 2012 -- about 1 percent of the total vote. This time around, Mr. Johnson is not jetting from one state to the next like his establishment rivals; his campaign budget is very slim. Nevertheless, the tenacious candidate is presenting his case with considerable verve -- and he's casting a wide net. Published February 1, 2016

Even Gov. Terry Branstad said fellow Iowans are likely to make up their minds who to vote for as late as Monday. (Office of Gov. Terry Brandstad)

The great Iowa stampede now underway

Step aside, the last-minute Iowa caucus stampede is underway. Fourteen Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls race though Iowa on Monday — their hoofbeats punctuated by speeches, melodrama, proclamations, accusations, vows, handshakes and all the other hallmarks of a ramped-up campaign. In the 48 hours preceding the vote, the candidates collectively staged 104 town halls and meet and greets; all three Democrats and three optimistic Republicans will stage some sort of "victory" party in Des Moines in the evening. But it ain't over until it's over. Published January 31, 2016

Former President George H.W. Bush visited the CIA on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of his swearing in as the Agency's director in 1976. (CIA)

George H.W. Bush pays a call on the CIA

The CIA had a noteworthy visitor Friday. Former President George H.W. Bush returned to the agency's headquarters just outside the nation's capital to mark the 40th anniversary of his swearing-in as Director of Central Intelligence, and almost to the day. "He is credited with restoring focus and boosting morale in the institution, and he remains one of the most beloved Directors in the agency's history," the CIA stated in a historic overview. Published January 29, 2016

Conservative columnist, author and broadcaster Armstrong Williams

The Right Side Forum with Armstrong Williams looks at Snowzilla and its aftermath

The Right Side Forum, an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, this week will address "Snowzilla , the Aftermath." His guests are Ron Busby, Sr., president of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and Michael A. Jackson Maryland state delegate, and former Prince George's County sheriff. Published January 29, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., smiles while listening to a question from the crowd at a campaign event, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Maquoketa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Obama, Bernie Sanders plan a private meeting in the Oval Office

On the docket for Wednesday, late morning: A private meeting at the White House between President Obama and Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders. There are sparse details and only neutral comments from those who might know the details. Speculation has intensified, however. Published January 26, 2016

It's the Trump Burger, introduced at Iowa's historic Northside Cafe - containing a third pound of beef - and a half pound of ham. (Northside Cafe)

Behold the Trump Burger

Take a half-pound of ham, a third-pound of beef, grilled onions, homemade bread, and what have you got? It's the Trump Burger, now offered at the historic Northside Cafe, located in Winterset, Iowa -- about 15 miles southwest of Des Moines, and the birthplace of John Wayne. The 139-year-old eatery confirmed Tuesday that the new entree is a huge hit. "Customers just love the Trump Burger," a spokeswoman tells Inside the Beltway. Published January 26, 2016