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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

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, South Carolina Republican. (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

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

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

Book reveals secrets and lies behind the Benghazi scandal

In bookstores Tuesday: "The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don't Want You to Know," by Aaron Klein. He tells Inside the Beltway that his investigative book shows the Obama administration "has lost all credibility and will not hesitate to outright lie to the American public, even at the expense of our safety" — and that the administration "cannot be trusted with U.S. national security." Mr. Klein has much on his mind. Published September 8, 2014

Wary Americans: Only 22 percent say the economy is going to improve

Yes, about that U.S. economy: Wary Americans remain in a defensive posture when it comes to their pocketbooks, and for good reason. A majority still have some serious financial issues, with only 22 percent feeling confident that the economy will improve - with Democrats more hopeful than their Republican counterparts. Published September 8, 2014

Midterm results in state elections offered a mixed bag, with teacher unions prevailing in California, while Republicans retained two hotly contested governorships in Wisconsin and Florida, where education issues played a role on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The cost to educate young illegal immigrants over $761 million - a bill for all 50 states

The complexities of illegal immigration continue. One new estimate places the annual cost for state governments to educate unaccompanied minor immigrants at $761,405,907 a year, this according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a non-profit interest group which based its findings on federal data. Tax-payer funded classes conducted in Spanish or indigenous languages, plus free school meals contribute to the cost. Published September 8, 2014

President Obama has been called "Deporter in Chief" by a Hispanic advocacy group critical of his immigration policy. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

Hispanics vexed with the 'Deporter in Chief'

"The president meets the press. Will he meet with undocumented immigrants?" asks Pablo Alvarado, director of National Day Laborer Organizing Network, a Los Angeles-based grass-roots membership group. "We feel strongly that undocumented immigrants are the most qualified people to persuade President Obama to do the right thing at this moment." Published September 7, 2014

A presidential campaign ad from 2007 by Mitt Romney has found a new fan base, resurfacing online with the title, "You Were Warned," heeded by those seeking clarity during alarming times. (Associated Press)

Mitt Romney's old Jihadist warning gets a replay

A Mitt Romney presidential campaign ad from Oct. 12, 2007 has found a new fan base: It has resurfaced online with the title "You Were Warned," heeded by those seeking clarity in alarming times, and as the 13th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches. Published September 4, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Christie took a spin on the international stage Wednesday, bringing state business to Mexico City and testing his diplomatic savvy as he considers a run for U.S. president in 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Hola? Chris Christie won't speak any Spanish during his trade mission to Mexico

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being prudent during his three-day trade mission to Mexico. Though it may seem an unlikely match, there's a certain coziness between his state and the border nation: New Jersey exported $2.1 billion in goods to Mexico in 2013; the Garden State also imported $3.4 billion from Mexico. And of interest: Mr. Christie won 51 percent of the Hispanic vote during his 2013 re-election. Published September 4, 2014

Vice President Joseph R. Biden galvanized the press and jolted the public when he vowed to pursue the Islamic State "to the gates of Hell" during an appearance at a New Hampshire shipyard Wednesday. (Associated Press)

He's fiery, he's passionate: The press fixates on Biden's big 'hell' moment

Well it's one way to galvanize the press and jolt the public. Several hundred news accounts appeared within an hour of Vice President Joseph R. Biden's vow to pursue the Islamic State "to the gates of Hell" during an appearance at a New Hampshire shipyard on Wednesday. Published September 3, 2014

Incoming Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan (Washington Post photo)

The Washington Post makes room for a Republican publisher

Changes of command often occupy the most complicated areas of the media marketplace. In quick succession, a family dynasty is about to end at The Washington Post when Katharine Weymouth steps down as publisher on October 1, to be replaced by one Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Ms. Weymouth was advised of impending change by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos in mid-August; the news organization went public with it on Tuesday. Published September 2, 2014

FILE - This Aug. 20, 2014, file photo shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as he speaks at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance headquarters in Louisville, Ky. The top prize of the November midterm elections is control of the Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s administration, with Republicans needing to pick up six more seats to take over. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Endangered Democrats: 9 out of 10 'most vulnerable' senators are Dems

It's not easy to be named to a has-been list, but such is life for lawmakers, even powerful lawmakers. Roll Call has issued its top 10 list of the "most vulnerable" senators; a list for House members will be issued Wednesday. For now, though, nine Democrats and one Republican — Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — are on the endangered list. Published September 2, 2014

This Jan. 23, 2013 shows then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifying on Capitol Hill on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Here comes Benghazi, The Investigation

The 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is nine days off, bringing a certain disquiet to the nation, along with newly realized resolve. Recent polls consistently reveal a public that is more hawk than dove; Americans approve of airstrikes against Islamic State fighters, while majorities say the Obama administration's approach to the challenge is not aggressive enough. Published September 1, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2011 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton, listen to speakers in Washington. The Clintons will headline the annual steak fry on Sept. 14, 2014, for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, making a big return to the leadoff caucus state as the former secretary of state considers another presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

O'Hillary: The Ready for Hillary superpac journeys to Ireland, raises $50,000

O'Hillary? Or oh, Hillary? Fundraise for Hillary Clinton in Ireland: faith and begorra, that’s exactly what Ready for Hillary did. The independent grass-roots activist group traveled all the way to Ballsbridge — that’s an exclusive suburb of Dublin — to raise $50,000 for Mrs. Clinton, a potential White House candidate. Published September 1, 2014