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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

A flight medic with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, is hoisted into a medical helicopter with Luca, a Military Working Dog with 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division during a training exercise, Feb. 24, at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The training prepared the flight medics for medical evacuation of working dogs. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Needham, 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Heroic military war dogs get their own float in the nation's biggest Veteran's Day parade

No parade rest here. When the nation's largest Veterans Day parade gets rolling up Fifth Avenue in New York City on Tuesday, the warrior dogs will be a part of it. Six former military dogs who saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan will be aboard a special new float in the big parade - these are canines who sniffed out explosives as "improvised detection dogs" and are each credited with saving the lives of 200 soldiers. Published November 10, 2014

Sixty-three percent of Americans believe having a gun in the house makes it a safer place, a number that has nearly doubled since 2000. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

63 percent of Americans: Guns make a 'safer home'

"The percentage of Americans who believe having a gun in the house makes it a safer place to be — 63 percent — has nearly doubled since 2000, when about one in three agreed with this," reports Justin McCarthy, a Gallup analyst. Published November 9, 2014

Organizers of Portland's Hempstalk Festival have been told they can't hold the 2015 event on city property. (Associated Press)

Up in smoke: Less than a third of conservatives favor marijuana legalization

Not everyone has gotten aboard the marijuana happy train. "Legalizing marijuana remains a much easier task in certain places than others. Chiefly, in contrast to high levels of support among liberals and solid support among moderates, less than a third of conservative Americans think marijuana should be legal," says Gallup analyst Lydia Saad. Published November 8, 2014

Mitt Romney appears before the inaugural Israeli American Council National Conference in Washington on Friday, Nov. 7. (Israeli American Council) ** FILE **

Mitt Romney 'stunned' and 'speechless' over President Obama's letter to Iran leader

Mitt Romney was in the nation's capital on Friday night, addressing an enthusiastic audience of Israeli Americans, and offering his own straightforward take on recent news that President Obama had sent a letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting he both sign a nuclear agreement and join a U.S.-led military effort against the Islamic State. "I was frankly stunned that the President of the United States would write a letter of that nature, in effect legitimizing a nation and a leadership which is violating international norms and is threatening the world," Mr. Romney said. Published November 8, 2014

Fox News reports Republican gains in the Senate in an empty White House briefing room as poll numbers begin to pour in on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Fox News wins the election night ratings race

Well, here's a sobering reality check. Even when politics reach a fever pitch, Americans still pine for crime - or amateur singers. But some stark overnight ratings from Nielsen reveal the ultimate audience winner of the night. Published November 5, 2014

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

Former Obama speechwriter to pen TV series about political 'civil war'

Something else besides an election happened on Election Day Eve. Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for both President Obama and Hillary Clinton, acknowledged that he will soon pen an entire dramatic series based on partisan discord and the collapse of political institutions for Showtime. Published November 4, 2014

Jennifer Laird photographs her "I Voted Today" sticker after casting her ballot on the first day of early voting, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 photo, in Miami. Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott is running against Democrat Charlie Crist in the gubernatorial election Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Voter beware: Poll booth 'selfies' illegal in some some states - and the ACLU has noticed

Is it better to just wear the cute little "I voted" tag - or take a "selfie" in the poll booth, complete with ballot? In New Hampshire, a newly updated law now prohibits voters from taking a digital image or photo of themselves holding a marked ballot, then sharing it via social media. It's means $1,000 fine for violators. Published November 3, 2014

FILE - In this March 15, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice peaks at the California Republican Party 2014 Spring Convention in Burlingame, Calif.  Rice has decided against delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War. Rice said in a statement Saturday, May 3, 2014 that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation. She said her involvement had "become a distraction for the university community" at a "time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families."(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Condoleezza Rice endorses Joni Ernst

It is not surprising that Condoleezza Rice has taken a shine to Joni Ernst. The former Secretary of State has endorsed the Republican hopeful for the U.S. Senate seat in Iowa - who also is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard with some significant experience. She served as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom, overseeing convoys through Kuwait and into southern Iraq throughout 2003, and her political philosophy remains in the can-do realm. Published October 30, 2014

** FILE ** This March 15, 2014, file photo shows former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaking in Burlingame, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Condoleezza Rice endorses Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis

Audiences loyal to NBC's "Meet the Press" know that it is not the austere, heavyweight program it was in the days of the late Tim Russert, or the 10 other moderators that preceded him. Published October 30, 2014

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was among those who joined in the diplomatic uproar over an anonymous "chicken[***] remark about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Associated Press)

The chicken**** heard 'round the world

In a week fraught with distressing news, the press leaped to cover a report from Atlantic Magazine claiming an anonymous "senior Obama administration official" called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "chicken****." In the industrial-strength pantheon of contemporary expletives, that particular word does not see a great deal of use in popular song and story. But no matter. Atlantic's national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg went on to write that "another senior official" agreed with this assessment, then detailed the implications. Published October 29, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at an energy summit in October. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Rick Perry warns of a 'crisis of competence in America'

"The greatest problem of all is that in the face of these troubles so many serious challenges, we don't have the leadership to deal with it. We are experiencing a crisis of competence in America, and the people know it," says Texas Gov. Rick Perry Published October 29, 2014