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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

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

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

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

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

Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican, is the driving force behind LPAC, the three-day Liberty Political Action Conference, which begins Thursday in a lofty Virginia hotel outside Washington, and hosts 800 eager guests. (Associated Press)

Ron Paul rallies libertarians with LPAC

The ever feisty Ron Paul is the driving force behind LPAC, the three-day Liberty Political Action Conference, which begins Thursday in a lofty Virginia hotel outside Washington, and hosts 800 eager guests. Published September 17, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson has won yet another straw poll to be the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee. (Associated Press)

Another grass-roots victory for Ben Carson

The heartland still loves Dr. Ben Carson, even as the public continues to puzzle about his possible plans to run for the White House in 2016. This time around, the author and physician won a small but telling presidential straw poll in the Granite State. Published September 16, 2014

Candy hearts with clear messages (Image from Associated Press)

Study finds people attracted to the smell of those who share their politics

Politics stink? Maybe. A new study reveals that people are attracted to the smell of others with similar political opinions - an idea that also helps explain why couples share political views. This is no random conclusion. Researchers from three universities persuaded 125 participants to evaluated the body odor of 21 "strong" liberal and conservative who were cooperative indeed. All taped little cotton squares in their underarms for 24 hours to get the sample scent. Published September 15, 2014

Former Vice President Al Gore will speak to the United Nations on climate change.

Brace for the climate change mega-storm

One thing is for sure about Al Gore: It never rains on his global warming parade. The former vice president is not about to let go of his climate change zeal, and he takes to the Internet at high noon Tuesday for a lengthy demonstration. Mr. Gore's "24 Hours of Reality" online broadcast is the kickoff for a series of events with hurricane-force winds leading up to the massive United Nations-led climate change summit in New York City next week. So batten down the hatches, folks, for alarmism is on it way. Published September 15, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The White House itch to fundraise continues - no matter what

How quickly the tone changes in the nation's capital. Five days ago, the White House was the epicenter of solemnity and serious talk about the state of national security and America's place in the world. There has been a quick return to the old norm — that is, a traveling President Obama, who is also doubling as campaigner in chief. Mr. Obama, in fact, attended a Democratic fundraiser in Baltimore just 24 hours after the 9/11 anniversary. So fire up Air Force One; the midterm elections are now 50 days off. Published September 14, 2014

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton, listen to speakers in Washington in this Jan. 14, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Hillary Clinton heads to Iowa 'meat and greet' steak fry with vegan husband Bill

Poll numbers suggested this week that Hillary Clinton's lofty approval ratings are waning, and she appears more like a typical political candidate than invincible Democratic rock star. But Iowa is calling, nonetheless. On Sunday, she journeys to the heartland with former President Bill Clinton, both bound for the Hawkeye State's biggest "Steak Fry", this organized by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin for the 37th year in a row. Published September 12, 2014

Two rival U.S. senators spend a week on a deserted island, courtesy of the Discovery Channel. (Photo from Discovery Channel)

Discovery Channel strands two rival U.S. senators on deserted island in shark-infested waters

It was inevitable. The old "survivor" reality TV template has gone political. The Discovery Channel has produced "Rival Survival",which takes a pair of real world political adversaries and maroons them on a remote island for a week. No, really. This is not a joke. "Senators Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and Martin Heinrich, Minnesota Democrat,must put their political differences aside and work together for six days and six nights to find common ground through compromise if they want to survive," the network says. Published September 11, 2014

The third and final installment of the independently produced, liberty-minded "Atlas Shrugged" trilogy will be in theaters on Friday. (John Aglialoro)

Atlas still shrugging: Here comes the film

"This weekend, Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?, the third and final part of the trilogy, will be released in 300 movie theaters across America. I wish it were 3,000 theaters, and that we had tens of millions of dollars for advertising, but that would be wishful thinking," says John Aglialoro, the independent producer who took the trio of critically acclaimed movies, all based on Ayn Rand's monumental 1957 novel, onto the big screen. Published September 11, 2014

Rep. Trey Gowdy is among a dozen lawmakers who will soon take to the golf links to benefit eight charities. (associated press)

The culture shifts: America gets vigilant

It could be a new national motto: Give me liberty, but give me security too. On the 13th anniversary of 9/11, a tempered nation is back in touch with its inner mettle. Published September 10, 2014

A MQ-9 Reaper, armed with GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided munitions and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, is piloted by Col. Lex Turner during a mission over southern Afghanistan. (USAF via Associated Press)

Other nations back U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, oppose taking part themselves

Well, at least it's a sign that American air power, know how and guts still has respect and approval overseas. A new YouGov survey finds that majorities of European allies of the U.S. are just fine with air strikes on Iraq - as long as it's the U.S. that is doing the striking. Reactions to the findings ranged from annoyance to sarcasm. Published September 9, 2014

Almost 7,000 school children assembled at Fort McHenry to form the largest 'living" American flag on record, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner". (National Park Service photo)

Patriot's delight: 6,609 school kids form the largest 'living' American flag on record

It's proof that not everything is melancholy or alarming this week: Three cheers for the National Park Service, which managed to assemble 6,609 appropriately clad children into a "living" American flag at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore to celebrate the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner." Published September 9, 2014

Over 6,000 school children assembled into a "living" American flag at Fort McHenry, all to celebrate the 200th anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner" on Tuesday. (National Park Service)

The president takes it to prime time

A vast audience, eager anchors, controlled circumstances: A presidential speech on prime time TV can be an unparalleled showcase for White House policy — unless the speech is delivered on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, before an intense audience in a nervous season, just two months before a pivotal midterm election. Published September 9, 2014