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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

George Washington's apple brandy goes up for sale - made from the historic apple varieties he once favored. (Mount Vernon)

George Washington's official apple brandy goes on sale - $150 a bottle

There an autumnal link 'twixt president and spirits. On sale Friday at George Washington's Mount Vernon, it's - of course - George Washington's Apple Brandy, an assertive libation double-distilled in copper pots heated by wood fires then aged in "toasted" barrels for two years. The meticulous craft distillers behind it all used the same varieties of apples that George used: Hewes Crab, Roxbury Russet, and Newtown Pippin. So huzzah. Published October 23, 2014

A recreation of George Washington's apple brandy soon goes on sale at Mount Vernon, made with the same historic apple varieties he favored. (Portrait by Gilbert Stuart)

'Big Three' broadcast networks ignore midterm elections

The ever watchful analysts at the Media Research Center have caught the "Big Three" broadcast networks — ABC, NBC and CBS — playing some serious hooky. Now that Democrats are struggling to gain a foothold in the upcoming midterm elections, the network don't seem to be much interested in covering the horse race. Published October 22, 2014

Fox News has won the ratings race for 150 months. Prime-time anchor Megyn Kelly is now drawing a larger audience than veteran Bill O'Reilly. (Fox News)

It's no illusion: Study finds conservatives overwhelmingly trust Fox News

Political differences are pronounced when it comes to choice of news sources. Conservatives remain fiercely loyal to Fox News, liberals cuddle up to National Public Radio and The New York Times. Ideology plays a pronounced role in the phenomenon, according to an extensive new survey and analysis of "political divisiveness" among Americans released by the Pew Research Center. Published October 22, 2014

Newly minted Ebola czar Ron Klain's appointment may be more politically than medically motivated, according to a longtime associate of Mr. Klain's. (Associated Press/Revolution)

Ebola Czar Day One: Mr. Klain's debut

Political point man or medical manager? That is the persistent question for Ron Klain, who officially begins his tenure as the nation's "Ebola response coordinator" on Wednesday. Published October 21, 2014

Twitter (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire via AP Images)

Liberals more likely than conservatives to dump a friend over politics

Politics brings out certain petty behaviors in people, particularly those who frequent Facebook and Twitter. To like, or not to like, to friend — or horrors — unfriend? A retweet can be a personal matter, indeed. Politics and ideology play a pronounced role in the phenomenon, this according to an extensive survey and analysis of "political divisiveness" among Americans released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The study found that liberals are more likely to dump a friend than conservatives over partisan leanings alone. Published October 21, 2014

Monica Lewinsky has emerged as a columnist, public speaker and a social media wrangler who attracted 34,000 followers upon registering with Twitter on Monday. (Associated Press)

Monica Lewinsky to America: 'Here we go'

She has become a media presence. That would be Monica Lewinsky, who has shed her previous public identity as the White House intern who had a dalliance with former President Clinton in favor of a 41-year-old with serious press credentials. She is now a columnist for Vanity Fair, a public speaker and a social media wrangler. Miss Lewinsky joined Twitter on Monday and secured 34,000 followers in the space of three hours Published October 20, 2014

In this Oct. 1, 2014 photo, placards advocating a position to keep casino gambling in Massachusetts rest against a wall in the entrance to the Plainridge Racecourse harness racing track in Plainville, Mass. The Plainridge Park Casino is under construction adjacent to the harness racing track in Plainville. Voters will decide in the Nov. 4 election whether to repeal a 2011 law that opened the door for casinos in the state. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Pew Research poll finds motivated conservatives twice as likely as liberals to vote on Nov. 4

Conservatives are twice as likely as their liberal counterparts to go to the polls Nov. 4. No really. "Although overall turnout among the public is likely to be around 40 percent, 73 percent of those who hold consistently conservative attitudes are likely to vote in the midterm, as are 52 percent of those with mostly conservative views," reports the Americans Trends Panel, a substantial new gauge of the upcoming midterm election by the indefatigable Pew Research Center. Published October 20, 2014

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, is among a growing number of GOP figures calling for President Obama to take a tougher approach to the Ebola crisis, including travel restrictions for West African countries ravaged by the disease. (Associated Press)

Ebola: Americans agree with Republicans this time

Much of the nation is in agreement with the GOP's call for temporary travel restrictions and stricter entry regulations when it comes to West African nations now burdened with Ebola and its management. Published October 19, 2014

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Obama attend two fundraising events in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Back to normal: White House fundraising begins again

It took the Ebola crisis to dampen White House enthusiasm for relentless fundraising. After a previous week filled with six moneymakers around the nation, President Obama canceled three similar events this week to tend the growing public distress over the disease and its threat. But prudence, perhaps, has ended. Published October 16, 2014

Veteran stand-up comedian and host Michael Loftus on the set of "Flipside", a new political show produced by conservatives who vow they won't bash America. (Image from ForProfit Productions)

'The Flipside' rocks TV: Conservative creators vow new show won't bash America

Those weary of annoying liberal chatter and America bashing in the comedy realm have a new alternative. That would be "Flipside", a weekly half-hour broadcast dicing through politics and culture, but produced by a group of stalwart creatives who have some serious conservative underpinnings, with a few dashes of libertarianism. Published October 16, 2014

Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Better late than never: The war on the Islamic State gets a name

The press has wondered what to call the Islamic State war since August. Now they can relax. The Pentagon has at long last given the operation a name, and that name is "Inherent Resolve." Not bad. That'll do. Thank you Joint Chiefs of Staff. Published October 14, 2014

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman is giving Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican, a run for his money, but tea party activists say Mr. Orman is "independent" in name only and the Mr. Roberts is the conservative choice. (Associated Press)

Greg Orman: 'Independent' in name only

Election drama in Kansas continues. The bout between incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and independent hopeful Greg Orman grows intense with news that Democrats are in serious wooing mode, seeking to attract the partyless challenger into their fold. Published October 13, 2014

President Barack Obama waves as he steps out of Air Force One upon arriving at JFK International Airport in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. The president is in New York to attend fundraisers.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Message to Congress: Come back, get to work, vote on ISIS

Maybe lawmakers figure that their favorability ratings are just so low that nothing much matters anymore. They are wrong. Voters want them back in the U.S. Capitol acting like responsible elected officials. Nearly four out of five Americans — 78 percent — say House and Senate members should return to Washington for a vote to authorize the use of military force against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. Return now. Please. So says a Reason-Rupe poll, which also reveals a little something about the voters themselves. Published October 9, 2014

Back when military conflicts had names, U.S. Army troops in Afghanistan in December 2009 carry out Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force)

The war with ISIS has no name: And why is that, exactly?

In the age of branding and cultural concerns, the U.S. military and the federal government are very meticulous when it comes to naming weapons, conflicts, agencies, operations. But there's been a lull in these combative times. Published October 8, 2014