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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

Donald Trump has appointed Katrina Pierson as his national campaign spokeswoman; she is a Texas-based tea party official and former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz.

Donald Trump's tea party connection

An interesting hire: Donald Trump has named Katrina Pierson as his national campaign spokeswoman. She ran for Congress in Texas, is a former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz, a member of the Dallas Tea Party and Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Board and founder of the Garland Tea Party. The Trump campaign calls her a "passionate advocate for freedom" and a heavyweight thinker on state and federal budgets, civil liberties, community organizing and health care. She's got appropriate style for the marketplace. Published November 12, 2015

Oh, those pesky polls: Approval of Congress at 41-year low

Alas, a new Gallup poll reveals that 86 percent of Americans disapprove of the U.S. Congress, tying a 41-year record for such negative sentiments. The survey was conducted after Rep. Paul Ryan took over as new House speaker, incidentally. A paltry 11 percent of the respondents actually approve of the lawmakers; that includes 8 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats. Published November 11, 2015

Historic Defense Dept. image of a Dust Off air evacuation crew in action during the Vietnam War. The primary transport was the The Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" helicopter - the air ambulance.

Hooah: Vietnam-era 'Dustoff' air ambulance crews nominated for Congressional Gold Medal

Sens. John Cornyn and Joe Manchin have introduced legislation to award an elite group of Vietnam veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal. That would be the tenacious "Dust Off" crews, who drew their name from the U.S. Army 57th Medical Detachment's radio call sign and fearlessly flew unarmed air ambulances into combat to rescue and evacuate the wounded. Their airborne mission has roots dating back to World War II. Published November 11, 2015

Dust Off air evacuation crews showed great heroism in the Vietnam War and other conflicts, and the heroes are being recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal for their service.

Voting vets: 14.7 million strong, mostly Republican

Analysts tend to quibble over whether military veterans vote primarily Republican. The unembellished numbers suggest that they do. According to National Election Pool final exit polls, 59 percent of veterans voted Republican in both the 2014 congressional elections and the 2012 presidential election, compared to the 39 percent who voted Democratic in both elections. Published November 10, 2015

Fox News prime time host Bill O'Reilly  (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invsion/AP, file)

Bill O'Reilly tops voter poll for most preferred GOP debate moderator

The next Republican debate looms on Tuesday night, and at last a pollster has asked GOP voters who they really want on the podium as moderator. Given a choice of seven primarily conservative or right leaning broadcasters, and here is how they ranked them, according to a new Vox Populi survey: Fox News prime time host Bill O'Reilly was in first place with 25 percent of the vote/ Published November 9, 2015

A hefty majority of Republicans maintain that America is still the greatest nation on Earth. Democrats, not so much. (National Park Service)

According to Republicans: U.S. still 'greatest nation on Earth'

Those annoyed with repeated claims that America's best days are in the past can take comfort in the fact that 61 percent of Republicans still maintain that the U.S. remains the greatest nation on earth -- compared to 34 percent of Democrats. For all Americans, the number is 40 percent. Published November 5, 2015

NASA Astronaut during a space walk (Image from NASA)

Polish up the resume: NASA puts out a call for new astronauts

Amazingly enough, NASA will soon be hiring astronauts again, what with space flights to Mars on the far horizon, and a push to return human spaceflight launches to American soil. The federal space agency notes there are more human spacecraft in development in the U.S. "than at any other time in history," and will begin accepting applications on Dec. 14. And the rides here? Published November 5, 2015

Ben Carson has overtaken Donald Trump on the Republican favorability scale this week, the polls say. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Civility: Ben Carson's secret weapon

Following GOP presidential polls is like following the stock market; candidate stock goes up and down, and woe to the White House hopeful who dwells on their negative numbers. Even-tempered Ben Carson is now surging in the Republican ratings, and is No. 1 in three polls, to the annoyance of his more outspoken rival Donald Trump. Published November 4, 2015

Independent media maven Glenn Beck says he could organize a historic debate for the Republican Party which could draw 41 million viewers and listeners. (Mercury One)

Glenn Beck's plan to overhaul the GOP debates

The GOP debate wars continue. In an open letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, independent media maven Glenn Beck points out that the mainstream media treat the GOP debates as "comedies, as propaganda and as ratings and revenue opportunities, even as they mock conservative candidates." Mr. Beck also notes that his online empire -- which includes Blaze TV, and the Blaze Radio Network -- now reaches, at a minimum, 41 million viewers, listeners and readers. Published November 3, 2015

Marco Rubio heads for 'life of the party' event in New Hampshire, and a surge in the polls

Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republican hopeful who recently tangled with Jeb Bush during the third GOP debate, will cement his role as the up and coming young star at a new political event on Wednesday. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics launches "Life of the Party," a public policy series designed to draw in a coveted, often oblivious voting bloc. Published November 3, 2015

You're fired? Donald Trump makes a strong case for Republicans pushing back against the news media. (Associated Press)

Republicans prepare to fire the media

Voters must wonder if the 2016 presidential debates are entertainment, a sports match or a significant public affairs event. Overcome with ratings lust, the pushy broadcast media has packaged the debates as brash combat, complete with whirling graphics and monumental sets. Moderators have taken liberties with candidates and content. Now comes the pushback. GOP front-runner Donald Trump -- who knows the business better than the broadcasters -- has announced he will negotiate directly with the networks over the fate of debates, which could benefit from less raucous frills and more gravitas and authenticity. Mr. Trump's rivals are having their say as well. Published November 2, 2015

Jeb Bush's new book is based on his own emails as governor of Florida.

Jeb Bush compiles a 644-page book made up of his own emails

The press has not been kind to Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush in recent days - but he is pushing back, embarking on an intense campaign tour Monday complete with new video. Mr. Bush is also releasing a new book which offers a contrast, perhaps, to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's camp. Published November 2, 2015