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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

Phone image from Associated Press

Ready for the Stress-Phone? It monitors body functions...

The inventor has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to perfect smart phones that are smart enough and connected enough to actually monitor the human body. That would be Cornell University engineering professor David Erickson, who will head a multidisciplinary team of investigators who intend to develop devices with specific diagnostics. Published August 20, 2014

James M. Evans, chairman of the Utah Republican Party and the pointman behind, says the site is part of a national discussion about an improved, better America under a Romney administration. (Associated Press)

Romney's route could still lead to a ballot

He just looks presidential, all confident and centered amid national turmoil, ramped up by incessant media coverage. Yeah, well. That's the Mitt Romney brand. He appears in public as a consistently reassuring presence, campaigning for assorted Republican hopefuls with ease, cheerfulness and focus. Published August 19, 2014

** FILE ** Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. (Associated Press)

Ferguson becomes major media magnet

From President Obama to news officials, everyone agrees that freedom of the press is essential in Ferguson, Missouri — particularly after journalists were arrested, prompting American Society of News Editors President David Boardman to predict, "For every reporter they arrest, every image they block, every citizen they censor, another will still write, photograph and speak." Published August 18, 2014

Candy hearts with clear messages (Image from Associated Press)

Catcalls annoy and offend - but do they warrant arrest?

Americans agree that the street corner practice of catcalling is bad, and a harassment. Then there's the nature of the offense. "Should the police give tickets or even arrest people who make catcalls?" a poll asks. Published August 18, 2014

In this Aug. 13, 2014, photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton holds her memoir "Hard Choices" at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, in Vineyard Haven, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, during a book signing event for her memoir "Hard Choices."  Clinton's split with President Barack Obama over a foreign policy "organizing principle" isn't likely to be the last time differences emerge between the two. How she handles those breaks could be among her biggest challenges to a successful run for president in 2016. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Democrats: Prepare to batten down the hatches

It's not just political factors that suggest Democrats will not do well in the midterm elections, now 11 weeks away. Public dissatisfaction is also coming into play. A new Gallup poll finds that 76 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the nation. A mere 22 percent are satisfied — which is exactly what the level was in 2010, the year of another midterm election when Democrats lost 63 seats in the U.S. House alone. Published August 17, 2014

** FILE ** U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during The Family Leadership Summit, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Ames, Iowa. (Associated Press)

'Witch hunt': Cruz, Jindal rush to defend Gov. Perry after indictment

Defenders of Texas Gov. Rick Perry are stepping forward following his sudden indictment Friday on two felony counts of abuse-of-power charges, relating to the governor's efforts last year to obtain the resignation of a Travis County district attorney. Published August 16, 2014

Demonstrators at the site where Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. News crews reporting on the events have been targeted by police, as have protesters. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

What the press learned in Ferguson

The two reporters who were arrested and detained during riots in Ferguson, Missouri, quickly took to the airwaves to share their experiences in visceral style — and that's exactly what the news industry expected them to do. Published August 14, 2014

Texas is "a place where you give back to your community," says Gov. Rick Perry, who called for volunteer soldiers to protect the border. (Associated Press)

Rick Perry takes on the 'narcoterrorists'

A thousand National Guard troops were called to deploy to the Texas-Mexico border to wrest control of the immigration crisis — but over twice that number have shown up to volunteer for the mission. "I called for a thousand soldiers. Twenty-two hundred of you have already said, 'Here am I. Send me.' I also tell people, this is Texas, what do you expect? Published August 13, 2014

Former CIA officer Will Hurd is running for a U.S. House seat in Texas, in a district that includes the Mexico-U.S. border,

'National security' candidate: Former CIA officer runs for U.S. House seat in Texas

He is a former clandestine officer who's gone into Lone Star politics. That would be conservative Will Hurd, who has joined the list of "national security" candidates who've caught the notice of John Bolton. Indeed, Mr. Hurd is challenging Democrat Rep. Pete Gallego in the 23rd District of Texas, which includes much of the Mexican-American border, in a pivotal area where voter support is much coveted by the GOP. Published August 13, 2014

Former CIA operations officer Will Hurd has earned the support of John Bolton in his quest for the U.S. House seat in the 23rd District of Texas, which includes much of the Mexican-American border.

Ben Carson's pledge of allegiance

Run, Ben, run? The question is a staple whenever Ben Carson makes one of his calm broadcast appearances, thoughtfully answering queries about his potential White House intent, his new One Nation political action committee and the intense grass-roots support that has produced a separate unofficial super PAC with $8 million in donations and 17,000 volunteers. Now the simple are-you-running question has gone to the next level. It's got legs. Published August 12, 2014

Capitol Hill staffer Tonya Williams of Washington, D.C. plays with her newborn pug on the east side of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

60 percent of Americans don't trust the federal government with their 'personal information'

Maybe it can be blamed on alarming media coverage, maybe not. A new Harris poll finds it can be tough to trust anyone with your personal information these days. Harris finds that 60 percent of Americans don't trust the federal government to handle their information confidentially and securely - a sentiment that has grown by eight percentage points in the past year alone. Published August 12, 2014

A new novel by political insider Roger Fleming bases its intrigue on a human trafficking cartel with Capitol Hill protection.

The next 'House of Cards'? Political insider pens Capitol Hill novel

An eager young guy goes to work for a member of Congress, falls wildly in love with a staffer from the opposing party and discovers an illegal human smuggling cartel along the Southern border that's got A-list Capital Hill protection. Mystery ensues, hardball politics erupts and things get odd and dangerous in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, circa 1985. A John Grisham novel? No, it's a Roger Fleming novel, and it's got a potential "House of Cards"-style series written all over it. Published August 11, 2014

The determined military and civilian specialists aboard the specially fitted MV Cape Ray container ship have now destroyed three-fourths of the chemical weapons from Syria. (Department of Transportation)

EPA is declared a 'rogue agency'

But it seemed like such a good idea at the time: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was founded with much fanfare and good will in 1970, when green thinking and eco-mindedness was a righteous thing indeed. Published August 11, 2014

Capitol Hill veteran Roger Fleming offers a tale of fiction about intrigue and illegal immigration so meticulous that it requires footnotes about policy.

The grass grows dangerous

Legalized marijuana could produce some unintended public health and policy problems. Concerned psychologists are speaking up, so much so that the topic earned its own forum at the American Psychological Association's annual convention, which ended Sunday. What lurks for grass lovers? Mental decline, poor attention and memory, plus decreased IQ, they say. Published August 10, 2014

Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, says, "America is not the world's policeman. Cannot be, should not be. But we should be the sheriff." (associated presS)

'Terrorist' a foreign term among broadcasters

Historically speaking, the United States has deemed the Palestinian group Hamas "terrorists" for some 17 years. But American broadcasters? They are skittish about the T-word, say analysts from the Culture and Media Institute. Published August 7, 2014