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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

Kevin Spacey arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

'Dirty tricks and Machiavellian schemes': Kevin Spacey to produce presidential series for CNN

His fictional presidential character Frank Underwood is a fixture on Netflix. Now, actor and producer Kevin Spacey takes his political perspective to CNN where he'll produce what the network calls "a thrilling, six-part mini docu-series." Mr. Spacey will be joined by co-producer Dana Brunetti and Trigger Street Productions - both involved in the making of "House of Cards." Also in the creative mix: Raw, a film and TV production company with previous which has worked for the BBC, Discovery Channel and A & E, among others. Published March 9, 2015

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will join Sens. Rand Paul and Corey Booker, to introduce marijuana legislation before the U.S. Senate. (AP Photo).

Rand Paul, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand bring 'sweeping' medical marijuana bill to the Senate

It has been described as "sweeping bipartisan legislation," and here it is: Sens. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, plus Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York gather at high noon Tuesday in the U.S Senate to announce the "Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act" — legislation that will end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, allowing patients, physicians and retailers to participate in associated programs "without fear of prosecution." Advocacy groups are poised as a complicated situation unfolds with the "Carers" act. Published March 9, 2015

One analyst wonders if Hillary Clinton's emails will be scrutinized by the press as closely as recorded White House telephone conversations made by Richard Nixon preceding Watergate. (Associated Press)

The poll numbers are in: 'Clinton's troubles are costing her politically'

Happy for something to do, press and pundits are mulling over Hillary Rodham Clinton's private email system that was in use during her time as Secretary of State, trying to ferret out the future implications for 2016 and the Democratic Party in general. But here and now, the situation is affecting voters. Poll numbers are in. Published March 8, 2015

Actor Alec Baldwin , shown here with wife Hilaria, has been cast to play the mayor of New York City in a new HBO drama. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, file)

HBO casts Alec Baldwin to play the mayor of New York City

There were rumors that veteran actor Alex Baldwin had enough political ambition to run for the mayor of New York City. This is close enough. HBO has cast Mr. Baldwin to actually play the Big Apple mayor. He'll take on the role of "Joe Byrne, a billionaire real estate developer philanthropist, and celebrated socialite/tabloid fixture, who is unexpectedly rocketed into NYC politics when tragedy strikes the incumbent mayor and he is drafted to replace him," notes Mike Fleming, a reporter for Deadline Hollywood. Published March 7, 2015

The picturesque old Snowshoe Club in Concord, New Hampshire will be the site of the next presidential showcase - 'Politics and Pies' - with first ever guest Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Concord Republican Committee)

Trust the crust: NH Republicans launch 'Politics and Pies' at the old Snowshoe Club in Concord

Only in the Granite State, perhaps. Move over "Politics and Eggs," an event that has attracted big name candidates to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for two decades. Please welcome "Politics and Pies," a feisty reply organized by the Concord Republican Committee in the state capital. The inaugural meeting on Sunday afternoon will take place at the Snowshoe Club a few miles outside of town — a rustic, red-shingled cottage founded in 1892 as a men's gathering spot. Their first guest is Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Published March 7, 2015

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2014 file photo a farmer drives his tractor past a soybean field toward grain storage bins near Ladora, Iowa. U.S. agriculture has a big appetite for freer trade with Cuba, and soybeans are one of the main products Cuba now buys from the United States. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Presidents in the dell: Walker, Bush, Cruz, Trump head for the first ever Iowa farming summit

The heartland still rules - and so does the farm. A dozen GOP presidential hopefuls are headed for the first ever Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday at the bodacious Iowa fairgrounds near Des Moines - and intended as a showcase for agribusiness and livestock markets. Ready to weigh in on ethanol, cattle and row crops: Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Rep. Lindsey Graham, Gov. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore. All must do their homework. There will be a discerning audience that also includes Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, Rep. Steve King and Gov. Terry Branstad - and a thousand savvy locals. Published March 6, 2015

Veteran NBC newsman Lester Holt is currently filling in for "Nightly News" anchorman Brian Williams, who has taken leave while questions about his credibility are sorted out by the network. (NBC News)

While Brian Williams waits out suspension, NBC News veteran Lester Holt ups the ratings

The substitute has bested the regular. NBC News veteran anchorman Lester Holt has upped the ratings at his network while substituting for Brian Williams, currently waiting out his six-month suspension from the job. Nielsen numbers reveal that Mr. Holt draws 10.1 million viewers each night — a rare milestone, and one that rival networks have not reached in eight seasons, according to AdAge. Mr. Holt has also increased the much coveted 25-54-year-old viewing audience by 6 percent, and NBC now leads CBS ad ABC. Published March 4, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon, author and founding publisher of American CurrentSee Ben Carson has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a White House bid. (Associated Press)

What's really behind Ben Carson's appeal

The political marketplace is often a shrill, cluttered place. But when likely presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaks, people pause. They heed his words. Why is that? "There's a calmness, a humbleness about him. He has the ability to listen. Americans haven't really seen these qualities on the public stage before," Terry Giles tells Inside the Beltway. Published March 4, 2015

Just-cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the production line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Got $1,000,000,000,000? The world's first trillionaire already in the making

Analysts predict that the world's first trillionaire will emerge on the planet — and it may be sooner than we think. This is someone who is worth at least this much: $1,000,000,000,000. The world may appear to be in chaos, but the wealthy charge on, "despite plunging oil prices and a weakened euro," reports Forbes magazine, which has identified a record 1,826 billionaires. Combined, they have a net worth of $7.05 trillion, which would pay less than half of the current federal debt. But no matter. The list includes 290 newcomers, 71 of whom hail from China. Published March 3, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton will both be in Washington on Tuesday. They are shown here during a diplomatic moment in 2010, when Mrs. Clinton was still Secretary of State. (Associated Press)

Political moment du jour: Benjamin Netanyahu, Hillary Clinton — both in D.C. at the same time

In 24 hours, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will step before a joint session of Congress to have his say about Israel, its security and its place on the planet. But wait. Of political note: Hillary Rodham Clinton will also be in town on Tuesday for the 30th anniversary of Emily's List, the pro-choice group which has thus far raised $400 million for Democratic women candidates. Mrs. Clinton will receive the "We Are Emily" award at a major hotel. The pair, essentially, will be about 20 blocks apart; the press will have much to speculate upon. Published March 1, 2015

A new website for conservative book lovers is up and running, with plenty of resources. (Salem Communications)

What's right to read? A new Conservative Book Club site reveals all - from Limbaugh to Huckabee

Those weary of politically correct book lists and elitist commentary have a new destination. The Conservative Book Club — founded 51 years ago — has a spiffy new online presence devoted to book reviews, news, and previews about hundreds of conservative-themed books and authors. Yes, there’s a Top-10 list - the top three this week are "Killing Patton: The Strange Death of WWII's Most Audacious General" by Bill O'Reilly; "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy" by Mike Huckabee; and Rush Revere and the American Revolution by Rush Limbaugh. Published February 28, 2015