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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

**FILE** Ben S. Carson (Associated Press)

The Ben Carson surge continues

It appears to be a genuine, independent grass-roots phenomenon, and it keeps growing. More than 100,000 eager fans have contributed to the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, a political action committee that has raised $8 million in less than a year, all of it dedicated to the idea that the author and former pediatric neurosurgeon should definitely, positively run for the White House in 2016. Published July 31, 2014

Former President George W. Bush's book about his father, former President George H.W. Bush, is due to hit shelves on Nov. 11. His publisher describes the book as "heartfelt, intimate and illuminating." The elder Mr. Bush turned 90 in June. (YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Inside the Beltway: Everybody's hot on the Cold War

It is Cold War chic, a fixation on the dire days when B-52s thundered overhead, "peace through strength" proved a viable strategy and diplomacy was terse indeed. Press, pundits and politicians have bandied about Cold War talk with relish, so much so that President Obama himself came out to assure everyone that the United States was not engaged in a new Cold War with Russia. The Russians may not agree. Published July 30, 2014

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, thinks he has good credentials to become president because "time has come around to the point where the people are agreeing with much of what I've been saying for 30 years." (Associated Press)

Ron Paul giving away a Colt AR-15 in the name of 'freedom'

"Each and every one of us has a God-given right — and duty — to defend freedom. That's why Campaign for Liberty is giving away a brand new Colt LE6920MP-B AR-15 equipped with a red dot sight. And so says Ron Paul to fans of his nonprofit activist group, which champions liberty, fiscal responsibility and lots more. Published July 30, 2014

** FILE ** Former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton (Associated Press)

John Bolton endorses Scott Brown, the newest 'national security candidate'

There's some new support for Scott Brown in his quest for the U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire. Citing the candidate's "national security credentials", John Bolton has stepped forward to endorse Mr. Brown, and also contribute a tidy $10,000 to his primary and general election campaign. Published July 30, 2014

Alaskan countryside  (photo from State of Alaska)

Alaska's language challenge: translating tax forms into Siberian Yupik (at $50 an hour)

Alaska is currently wrestling with a native language challenge: how to translate the state's longest tax measure for local populations? Due on the public ballot in August, the tax forms and informational pamphlet that accompanies the measure are some 50 pages long - and both documents must be translated into Yup'ik, Inupiak, Siberian Yupik, Koyukon Athabascan and Gwich'in Athabascan - the local dialects in the region. Published July 29, 2014

** Former President Ronald Reagan. (Courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library)

Third time the charm? Americans wish certain presidents had stayed beyond two terms

For some presidents, once is enough in the White House. A lucky few managed to eke out two terms, and only one stayed on for four. And while Americans get a little nervous when it comes to multiple presidential terms, a substantial amount still wish that certain presidents had stayed on beyond their eight years in the big mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. Published July 28, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, are condemning the use of human shields in armed conflicts. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Republican posse rides out to fire Harry Reid

When Republicans talk about "43" on Tuesday, they won't be referring to George W. Bush. They will be referring instead to the 43 bills passed by the House that are languishing on the hallowed — or hollow — desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Now it's pushback time. Published July 28, 2014

Jane Hampton Cook was inspired to write a book about "The Star-Spangled Banner" after a sports network said it should be omitted from public events. (Vita Images)

Inside the Beltway: Just a little media protection for the White House

Broadcasters have offered lengthy broadcasts about Gaza and Ukraine but scant criticism about the White House role in the double crises. On the "Big Three" networks, in fact, the criticism amounted to less than a minute — in almost six hours of recent news coverage. Published July 24, 2014

A battlefield site in Monmouth, New Jersey. (National Park Service photo)

Some federal help for old American battlefields: $1.3 million to spruce them up

This might be some federal funding that even the most frugal patriot would approve of. The National Park Service has awarded $1.3 million in preservation grants to help protect, document and interpret 75 of America’s significant battlefield lands. Time and urban progress have taken their toll on such sites, which are heavy with history. Published July 24, 2014

** FILE ** Former Rep. Ron Paul describes his new website as a "digital bully pulpit" for early-stage political ideas. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Frugal-phobic Congress offers 828 spending bills

Old habits die hard. During the first session of the 113th Congress, members of the U.S. House authored 496 spending bills, compared with 112 bills that would save money. U.S. senators, meanwhile, drafted 332 increase bills and 56 savings bills. Published July 23, 2014

Former New Jersey Republican Gov. Thomas H. Keane (left) and former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, Indiana Democrat, have overseen a follow-up to the 9/11 Commission Report.  (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: The evolving White House deflection strategy

Press and public are aware that President Obama will appear at five Democratic fundraisers by the time Thursday rolls around, despite alarming events here and abroad. Initially, the White House reasoned that in times of unrest, business as usual rather than crisis management was the tactic of choice on the world stage. But that's not quite good enough now. Published July 22, 2014

Arkansas gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchison has drawn support from GOP powerhouses Mitt Romney and Chris Christie, who will campaign for him in the state next month.

Inside the Beltway: White House fundraising — never a dull moment

Learned presidential advisers reason that in times of international turmoil, it's better for the White House to conduct business as usual rather than shift into crisis mode. Who needs it? With that in mind, perhaps, President Obama is off on a West Coast fundraising jaunt on Tuesday. So fire up Air Force One, please; he journeys to Seattle for two private fundraisers on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. The locations are swank waterfront homes, the guests number in the hundreds, tickets run as high as $32,400 and the hosts include Costco founder Jim Sinegal. Published July 21, 2014

When it comes to unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. illegally, Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, has kind words but stern policy proposals. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Putin popularity soars in Russia

Americans might do well to review the pivotal points of the Cold War when the old Soviet Union was in full aggressive posture, billed as a "bear" on the public stage. Russia appears to be looking for a repeat performance while new polling reveals a confident population, suggesting that persistent rumors of "Cold War Nostalgia" in the nation could be genuine. Some current numbers: President Vladimir Putin now has an 83 percent approval rating among Russians — his best numbers in years, this according to a Gallup poll of face-to-face interviews with 2,000 Russians released Friday. Published July 20, 2014