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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

Patrick Gavin, a journalist, has written and directed a documentary about the White House Correspondents Dinner - and called it "Nerd Prom, the Movie"

White House Correspondents' Dinner becomes 'Nerd Prom, the Movie'

Patrick Gavin has written and directed "Nerd Prom: Inside Washington's Wildest Week." The exuberant but incisive documentary debuts in the nation's capital on Thursday, and it is no exercise in celebrity worship. The audacious Mr. Gavin has focused on the "unadulterated self-celebration" surrounding the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Published April 7, 2015

The Stop Hillary PAC has new money, and lots of members. (Stop Hillary PAC)

Stop Hillary PAC raises $1.4 million, draws 827,000 supporters

One group has looked askance at a presidential bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton for almost a year. And they're still not ready for Hillary. Indeed, the Stop Hillary PAC is approaching its first anniversary and reports a few numbers that suggest the public is unnerved as well. The "Stop Hillary" clan now claims 827,000 supporters and has raised $1.4 million for their cause. The organizers have been frank about their mission since founding the group last May — and they have a single focus to prevent Mrs. Clinton from reaching the White House. Published April 6, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul will strike a distinctly presidential pose when he announces his 2016 intentions on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Step aside: Rand Paul goes presidential

Not long ago it was Gov. Scott Walker who was the presidential man of distinction as he bounded on the Republican stage, grass-roots appeal and leadership prowess on full display. Then it was Sen. Ted Cruz's turn, upstaging his rivals by being the first to declare formally that he is running for president, followed by relentless campaigning that included 10 stops in two states on Easter weekend alone. And now comes another man — a Kentucky lawmaker ready to rumble. Published April 5, 2015

Hailey Giarraffa, 3, of Buffalo Grove, reaches for plastic eggs hidden under a bench at Nutphree's Bakery's first food free Easter egg hunt for children with food allergies at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 28, 2015, in Mount Prospect, Ill. Giarraffa is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts and other food items. (AP photo / Daily Herald, George LeClaire)

80 percent of Americans celebrate Easter - and spend $16.4 billion on Peeps, Paas and ham

Some cheerful numbers to consider this weekend: 80 percent of Americans will celebrate Easter, providing a $16.4 billion bump to the economy - the average celebrant spending $141 on candy, food, flowers, decorations, gifts and apparel. So says the National Retail Federation. Yes, there’s a poll. On Easter Sunday, 58 percent will gather with friends and family, 54 percent cook a holiday feast, 51 percent will go to church. Published April 3, 2015

President Obama waves from Air Force One before departing Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Los Angeles on March 12, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama makes first visit to Utah as president: 'It's about time' say the locals

President Obama is bound for Utah on Thursday, his destinations include Salt Lake City and Hill Air Force Base, where he'll "deliver remarks on the economy." Details from the White House are few. The folks out that way are taking cryptic note of the visit. "Utah will become the second-to-last state the president has visited while in office. It's about time.," notes one editorial. Published April 2, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The Cruz conservative strategy worked

A bodacious announcement, monumental follow-up speeches and relentless campaigning appear to have paid off for Sen. Ted Cruz. He's got "big momentum," according to Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, which gauged the outcome of the Texas Republican's news announcement last week that he would run for president. Published April 1, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second left, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, left, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, center, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, second right, and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier wait for the start of a meeting on Iran's nuclear program with other officials from France, China, the European Union and Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday, March 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

62 percent of conservative Republicans disapprove of nuclear talks with Iran: Poll

As the deadline for nuclear talks with Iran looms, 49 percent of Americans approve of the U.S. negotiating directly with Iran over its nuclear program, 40 percent disapprove says a Pew Research Center poll. "There are deep ideological divisions," the poll says, reporting that 72 percent of liberal Democrats approve of the negotiations, while 62 percent of conservative Republicans disapprove of them. Published March 31, 2015

The New York Times has debuted a new form of storytelling: The one-sentence stories custom-crafted for the Apple Watch.

New York Times debuts 'one-sentence stories'

Those who fret that the news media has become fragmented and frantic should brace for this: "The New York Times has developed a new form of storytelling to help readers catch up in seconds on Apple Watch. One-sentence stories, crafted specially for small screens, will provide the news at a glance across many Times sections, including Business, Politics, Science, Tech and The Arts," the news organization announced with hip brevity on Tuesday. Published March 31, 2015

FILE - This Jan. 16, 2014 file photo shows outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Bernanke has an agreement with W.W. Norton & Company for a book that will cover his years at the Fed and his response to the economic crisis of 2008. Norton announced Tuesday, May 6, that the book, currently untitled, is scheduled for 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke tweets, and now writes a blog 'when the spirit moves me'

"When I was at the Federal Reserve, I occasionally observed that monetary policy is 98 percent talk and only two percent action," observes Ben Bernanke, who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014. The economist may encounter a different landscape now that he's agreed to write a blog for the Brookings Institution, where he is a fellow. Published March 30, 2015

Terri Schiavo, Jeb Bush 10 years later - and the implications for 2016

Tuesday marks a decade since the death of Terri Schiavo, who became a global symbol for pro-life and disability rights for those who followed her family's 15-year struggle to keep her alive following a brain injury. She was 41 when she succumbed to dehydration after a feeding tube was removed following a court order, much media coverage and a public battle between her parents and her husband, who served as guardian. Schiavo has not been forgotten. Her life will be celebrated at a national memorial Mass in Philadelphia on Tuesday, followed by an evening awards event to raise support for the medically vulnerable. Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will celebrate the public Mass, the event will be hosted by independent media maven Glenn Beck. Published March 30, 2015

Could ties predict a victor? A blue silk tie belonging to Jeb Bush (fourth from left) fetched the most at a GOP fundraising auction. (Grafton County Republican Committee)

B to D-plus: The Obama grade drops over Iran and Bergdahl matters

Time for transparency, perhaps? Veteran pollster John Zogby advises President Obama to "get out in front of critics" and explain why the U.S. has, as many critics put it, "caved" on the Iran negotiations, backing off on close scrutiny of the nation's developing nuclear infrastructure. Then there are the complexities of Bowe Bergdahl, and his transition from a released prisoner to a soldier charged with desertion. There are some positive aspects to Mr. Obama's current status, though. Mr. Zogby, who grades the president every week, says that Medicare expansion in some states plus stable favorability rating are good news for the White House. Published March 29, 2015

(Associated Press Photo)

'Termite menace': Hybrid swarm of destructive species set to invade Florida

It's not hurricanes and high water that is threatening Florida. It's termites. Two of the most destructive species of the termite kingdom are now swarming simultaneously in South Florida - and scientists are worried. The Asian and Formosan subterranean termite clans are about to meet, mate and produce an unprecedented number of feisty hybrid offspring - hundreds of thousands of alates, or winged males and females. Published March 27, 2015

Conservative columnist, author and broadcaster Armstrong Williams

The Right Side Forum: What's next with conservative host Armstrong Williams

"The Right Side Forum," an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, will ask this question on its next broadcast: "Ayatollah Khomeini declaration: Death to America". His guests are attorney Alan Dershowitz and national security expert Frank Gaffney. Published March 27, 2015

The salaries of world leaders don't exactly measure up to the likely worth of the world's many billionaires. (associated press)

A list: World leaders with the highest salaries on a planet that is home to 18 million millionaires

There are currently 2,089 billionaires and 16 million millionaires in the world, according to several excruciating studies by the China-based Hurun Report, the Global Wealth Report and Forbes — with several analysts already predicting that the first trillionaire is in the making. Money does not always equal power, however. Compared with the planet's high-rollers, world leaders are not necessarily cruising in the financial fast lane. Using a variety of data sources ranging from Business Inside to China Daily, Forbes contributor Niall McCarthy now reveals the world leaders with the highest salaries. Published March 26, 2015