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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

Air Force One over Mount Rushmore. (u.s. air force)

Analysts track Air Force One to reveal White House itinerary: $6.8 million flight to India

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation continues to update its ongoing Presidential Travel Study that tallies the cost of President Obama's journeys aboard the magnificent but pricey Air Force One. The president's trip to India and Saudi Arabia brings his grand total to 38 trips to 85 nations — or 150 days spent abroad, the watchdog group says. This particular trip cost tax payers $6.8 million, incidentally, based on the $228,288 per hour price of operating the aircraft. In comparison, former President Bill Clinton made 34 trips to 86 countries, and spent 158 days abroad at this same point in his presidency, while George W. Bush went on 36 visits to 93 countries, for a total of 143 days abroad, also in the same relative time frame. Published January 28, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, wife Tonette and their two sons, Matt and Alex, are all Harley Davidson fans. (Office of Gov. Scott Walker)

Scott Walker flexes muscles, forms American Revival PAC

Our American Revival: The title suggests camaraderie, patriotism and purpose. It is also the name of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's new political action committee, launched Tuesday and raising the volume on rumors he would run for president in 2016. Well, sure. Mr. Walker has been delicately developing his political brand, starting with "Unintimidated: A Governor's story and a Nation's Challenge," his 2013 memoir. But it's a very crowded marketplace, and memoirs plus PACs are very much a part of the equation. Published January 27, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie takes a question about the "epic" incoming snowstorm, with help from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and other officials. (associated press)

Brent Bozell: Broadcast networks ignored March for Life - and prefer hipsters to pro-lifers

The march for what? Nineteen pro-life organizations and the Media Research Center have joined together to call out the "Big Three" broadcast networks for essentially ignoring the Annual March for Life, which drew thousands of participants, four lawmakers and a host of significant activists to the National Mall last week. CBS was the sole broadcaster that acknowledged the event in a single 15-second segment. NBC and ABC were mum. Published January 26, 2015

A New York snow scene following a major blizzard..  (AP Photo/The Syracuse Newspapers, David Lassman)

The Manhattan snow storm: A rush of 'blizzard buddies' - and the Great Kale Panic of '15

Only in New York, perhaps? As snow falls and gale force winds howl down city streets, some residents of the Big Apple now seek "blizzard buddies." That's right. They don't want to face Winter Storm Juno alone. Scores of romance-minded New Yorkers have taken to Craigslist with unapologetic invitations for companionship, amour and cocoa - among many other things. Published January 26, 2015

"Intelligent' computer keyboard can identify users by the pattern of their key taps. (American Chemical Society)

True cybersecurity: 'Intelligent' computer keyboard identifies users by pattern of their key taps

Protective computer passwords have some competition. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a novel intelligent computer keyboard that not only cleans itself - but can identify users by the pattern and style of their fingertips and keystrokes. The "human-machine interfacing" device, reported in the American Chemical Society's academic journal "Nano," could provide a foolproof way to prevent unauthorized users from gaining direct access to computers. Published January 24, 2015

Image from the Public Religion Research Institute

53 percent of Americans say God rewards 'athletes of faith' with good health, success on the field

Sunday is often associated with both church and devoted football watching. Now there's an intersection of the two: 53 percent of Americans and 56 percent of sports fans say "that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success on the playing field." So says a new survey of public sentiment about sports and religion conducted by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service. Published January 24, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attends a gathering to announce that Seton Hall University and the parent company of Hackensack University Medical Center are planning to build a private medical school, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Nutley, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Chris Christie on 'last-ditch effort' to regain his mystique, says New Jersey analyst

He was once intensely popular, and his signature style wooed the media and voters both in and out of his home state. Those who watch him closely think New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is about to lose his mojo. "It's been fascinating to see the Christie strategy unfold over the past two years. It's been a bit like watching a ping pong match," says one New Jersey pollster Published January 23, 2015

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is one of 23 potential GOP presidential hopefuls heading to the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Saturday to test their messages.  (Associated Press)

A mighty conservative summit in Iowa: 23 speakers but no Bush, no Romney

They will be liberated from the domination of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush for a few hours - 23 high-profile speakers headed for the bodacious Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Saturday will be free to test their messages and strike a presidential pose without feeling like also-rans. Published January 22, 2015

Panoramic photo composite of the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 18, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

68 percent of Americans oppose use of tax dollars to provide abortions: Poll

The Republican Party appears to have the jitters over pro-life legislation for complicated reasons. The public, meanwhile, has their own conclusions about abortion according to a new poll titled "Abortion in America," conducted by Marist College and the Knights of Columbus. Published January 22, 2015

Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivers a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas Legislature, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rick Perry to speak at CPAC in February - emphasizing 'ideas and opportunity'

CPAC will welcome former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in their speakers lineup at the annual gathering of conservatives in February, The Washington Times has learned. "If 2014 taught us anything, it's that Americans are looking for a positive vision for this country, and 2016 will be no different. Republicans have the chance to be the party of ideas and opportunity," says Mr. Perry. Published January 22, 2015

Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., does a sound check as he prepares to give the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Tea party leader suggests emerging unity between establishment GOP and the grassroots

There's emerging unity between tea party and establishment Republicans says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express. The national political action committee organized an official grassroots response to the State of the Union address by Rep. Curt Clawson, a Florida Republican who won his office in a special election by 40 percentage points last year, with much bedrock conservative support. Mr. Budowich finds evidence of this unity in the response itself. Published January 21, 2015

President Barack Obama shakes hands after delivering the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

31.7 million viewers: State of the Union address was least watched in 15 years

Nielsen reveals the preliminary news about President Obama's State of the Union address: It garnered an estimated audience of 31.7 million people across 13 cable and broadcast networks, making it the least watched address in the last 15 years, when former President Bill Clinton‘s finale garnered drew 31.4 million viewers in 2000. Published January 21, 2015

Lobbyist buzzes Washington over extraterrestrials and a government 'truth embargo'

Those now completely weary of politics as usual in the nation's capital can consider this less-traveled road manned by one Stephen Bassett, a registered lobbyist and activist who has not given up his pursuit of aliens, as in the extraterrestrial variety. He brings his case to the National Press Club, and now seeks a congressional hearing. Published January 20, 2015

Fox News, a trusted source among conservatives, is among the networks covering the State of the Union speech. (Associated Press)

70 broadcasters, hours of coverage: State of the Union address takes over networks

There is no escaping President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address on Tuesday. Despite a declining audience in recent years, the primetime speech will be carried live by virtually all broadcast and cable news networks, each touting their own style, talent and fancy technology. Most feature companion multi-platform coverage at their websites, through social media and in some cases, on radio and in Spanish. Most will also air the official Republican response from Rep. Joni Ernst which follows the main event, and most coverage gets underway at 8 p.m. ET. Mr. Obama's speech begins an hour later. Published January 19, 2015

Critic suggests White House cancel State of the Union address - too 'big, noisy, overhyped'

"Are we ready for a big, noisy, overhyped prime-time production that has outgrown its simple origins and usually leaves us feeling both gorged and disappointed? If not, you may want to skip the State of the Union address and prepare for something humbler, like the Super Bowl," says Steve Chapman, a Chicago Tribune columnist, who notes that President Obama has already revealed much of his speech to the nation. "Cancel the State of the Union," says Mr. Chapman. Published January 19, 2015