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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

** FILE ** Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Roosevelt Institute Honors after receiving the groups Freedom Medal, the institutes highest honor, during a dinner in Washington, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Progressive-Palooza: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren head to 'Netroots Nation' this week

It must be an election year - which could worry one political party in particular. Vice President Joe Biden himself is among the Democratic heavyweights who will attend Netroots Nation, which begins on Thursday in Detroit and is billed as "the largest gathering of progressives and the Democratic activist base" by organizers. Published July 15, 2014

National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee has raised $7.2 million, though the good doctor has not yet committed to making a run for the White House. (The Washington Times)

Inside the Beltway: America still dreams of 'President' Ben Carson

There's something about Ben Carson that gives many Americans great pause. Perhaps it is his plainspoken logic and calm demeanor that resonates with those who wish the former pediatric neurosurgeon and best-selling author would run for president. They are willing to put their money where their thoughts are. In less than a year, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee has raised $7.2 million; Dr. Carson is not involved with this new political action committee, which now boasts 95,000 individual donors and 17,000 volunteers. Published July 15, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will meet with President Obama in Dallas to discuss the situation at the state's border with Mexico.  (Associated Press)

Rick Perry's burden: Texas already spent $500 million on border crisis

Critics say Texas Gov. Rick Perry is trying to politicize the border crisis only to bolster a potential White House run in 2016. Yes, there could be some of that going on, but Mr. Perry also has a succinct reason for speaking out, loudly and often, about the surge of young illegal immigrants: The Lone Star State has already spent a half-billion dollars on the situation. Published July 14, 2014

Maryland Republican Dan Bongino says President Obama should play less golf in times of crisis.  (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Inside the Beltway: Surprise: the world still likes America

"A country's brand is a valued commodity, especially when that nation is the world's largest economic and strategic power. And, in 2014, America's image remains strong in much of the world," states a surprisingly forthright, massive analysis of "global attitudes" from the Pew Research Center which found, essentially, that much of the planet still likes America. Published July 14, 2014

Sandra Fluke, the former Georgetown University law student who testified on birth control and was subjected to denigrating comments by radio host Rush Limbaugh, is running for the California state Senate to represent the coastal communities of Los Angeles. She finished second in the primary behind another Democrat, Ben Allen.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Inside the Beltway: White House grade slips to 'F'

Inquiring minds wonder if there's a "G" in the grading repertoire. And that does not stand for "good." Pollster John Zogby has given President Obama an "F" this week for the White House performance on the global stage, and the researcher has no imminent good news for the president. Published July 13, 2014

In this June 25, 2014, photo, a ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle. Ladybugs are used to control pests that could otherwise damage the plants. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Pot reluctance: Presidential hopefuls get skittish talking about weed

Political observers say presidential hopefuls in both parties are increasingly reluctant to weigh in on the legalization of marijuana, either for medicinal or recreational use. It's complicated. The law enforcement backgrounds of many elected officials creates some hesitation around the pot issue. Published July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014, following various court decisions. The court ruled on birth control, union fees and other cases. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Got justice? 60 percent of Americans say Supreme Court 'gets too mixed up in politics'

Despite low public profiles, justices in the U.S. Supreme Court have not escaped public scrutiny. The nation pays particular attention when high profile cases draw media attention, and controversy. And now the public has weighed in on the court itself. A new survey finds that 60 percent of Americans now say the entire Supreme Court "gets too mixed up in politics." Published July 10, 2014

Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and a former fighter pilot, is among the "national security" candidates who've won campaign support of former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton. She is running for a U.S. House seat in Arizona.

Inside the Beltway: Bolton bolsters the 'national security' candidate

Americans must have considerable interest in supporting "national security candidates" as the planet grows more dangerous and the midterm elections approach. John R. Bolton reports that between his political action committee and super PAC, he's raised a cool $2.3 million in the second quarter of the year, with a record $4 million to date and $3 million cash on hand. Published July 10, 2014

Ralph Nader has penned an open letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, criticizing the California Republican's "fanciful wrath," among other things.  (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: What will become of the Obama legacy?

The president has some 30 months left in office, and the dreaded "L" word looms — "L" as in "legacy." As his days in the White House dwindle down to the proverbial precious few, Mr. Obama's legacy building is likely to commence sooner rather than later. The hunt will be on for authentic achievements with quantifiable gains and laudable forays across the aisle. When analysts and pundits finish squawking about it all, the historians will emerge to sort things out, a process that can take decades. Published July 9, 2014

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Journalists to Obama: Whatever happened to that new 'era of openness'?

Thirty-eight national journalism groups have written their own headlines about the state of press relations with the White House, and the federal government in general. In an open letter to President Obama, the Society of Professional Journalists and other organizations have demanded a change of policy for federal agencies that allows more access, and less official intervention from public information offices. Published July 9, 2014

Scott Brown

Inside the Beltway: President Obama's script change in the Texas immigration drama

It appears that some adult over at the White House at last understood that even a hastily called meeting between President Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to discuss the border crisis was unavoidable, and necessary. Mr. Obama is in the Lone Star State for a trio of highfalutin Democratic fundraisers Wednesday. But their big, likely brief rendezvous and photo op did not come about without much dialogue and theater. Published July 8, 2014

Group:  ViewsAmerica
Source: Winnipeg Free Press - Winnipeg, Canada
Provider:  CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate

Pew Research Center: One-in-10 Americans couldn't care less about politics

White House, Congress, campaigns, elections? Whatever. From the august Pew Research Center comes this headline: "One-in-10 Americans don't give a hoot about politics. These folks are simply bystanders, disengaged from the din of politicians, and the political marketplace. Judging by census statistics, those who lead a politics-free life could number 35 million people. Published July 8, 2014

Sarah Palin says any political talk show she hosts "would have to be interspersed with a whole lot of fun and real life and inspiration."

Inside the Beltway: As the border crisis burns, Obama lets the fundraising begin

There was a recent Republican rodeo not 5 miles from the Mexico border: The most stalwart members of the House Homeland Security Committee and Texas Gov. Rick Perry staged a field hearing in McAllen, Texas, with the immigration crisis and the fates of thousands of hopeful but illegal young immigrants at the top of their agenda. They pined for a presidential visit — and still do. Published July 7, 2014

Illustration Elephant by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times

GOP strategist: There's 'light at the end of the tunnel' for the Republican Party

The news media relishes the chance to issue dire reports that the Republican Party is in complete shambles — divided, disillusioned, fatigued. Yeah, well. Things are not as bad as they are portrayed, and while the Grand Old Party is quite capable of short sprints on the campaign trail, it’s also in it for the long march. Published July 7, 2014

Libertarians to voters: Declare your independence from the Republican and Democratic parties

"The Republicans and Democrats have maintained their power partly by fostering the illusion that they are significantly different from each other. Supporters are told that if the other team gets elected, the world will end. In reality, the Republicans and Democrats are so similar that it doesn't matter which of them are in power," the party says. Published July 4, 2014

Image from the Associated Press.

Stalwarts: 72 percent of conservatives say religion answers 'all or most' of today's problems

Stalwart conservatives say that religion can still answer "all or most of today's problems," this according to a new Gallup poll which places conservatives among the nation's most pronounced believers. Three fourths of conservatives - 72 percent - say faith is a key problem solver, compared to 36 percent of liberals and 58 percent of moderates. Among Americans overall, the number is 57 percent. Published July 3, 2014

A big cicada makes interesting noises - but may not appeal to Americans as a food item. (Associated Press)

Climate-minded scientists propose Americans start eating 'food insects'

Be prepared. Be very prepared. A veritable swarm of academes hopes to steer Americans toward eating bugs. Whoops. We mean "food insects." Consider that crickets, they say, contain as much omega-3 fatty acids as salmon. The idea was presented recently before the Institute of Food Technologists' annual meeting in New Orleans. Published July 2, 2014

Former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown announces his plans to run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Portsmouth, N.H. Brown hopes to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Big doings in New Hampshire: Scott Brown's 'Kick Off with Mitt'

The big moment has arrived for Scott Brown. On Wednesday, he'll receive the glittering endorsement and kindly nod from Mitt Romney himself as the sun sets upon a picturesque New Hampshire farm, a powerful jumpstart for Mr. Brown's quest for the U.S. Senate seat in the Granite State. Published July 2, 2014