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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

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)

NBC veteran anchorman Lester Holt wins the ratings race, bests CBS, ABC rivals

Five months ago, Lester Holt temporarily took over the NBC Nightly News anchorman's chair following the sudden exit of Brian Williams who was suspended following the discovery that he had made false claims as a newsman. Three weeks ago, Mr. Holt was named the permanent replacement. Nielsen now reveals that the Nightly News is in first place in the ratings race. Published July 15, 2015

Sen. James M. Inhofe, unhappy about the Iran nuclear deal, says the American military must remain at Cold War-era levels of readiness. (U.S. Air Force)

Advice on Iran from the Reagan era: Trust but verify -- or else

Skeptical critics of the U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran have deemed the diplomatic deal a historic mistake, a disaster, a catastrophe and a surrender, among many other things. While the toxic fallout continues, one lawmaker recommends the U.S. at least consult the lessons of the Cold War, when finesse, guts and common sense were paramount -- along with a few fully loaded B-52s. Published July 14, 2015

In this Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 photo provided by NBC, from left, Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker appear on the "Today" show, in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Bryan Bedder)

How much do TV anchors really make? (Hint: Not all that much...)

In past years, the public has heard tell of news anchors like NBC's Matt Lauer who earns $20 million a year, and Katie Couric, now pulling in $10 million from Yahoo News. The multi-million salaries of big name anchors is not the norm, according to an annual survey of current salaries released by the Radio Television Digital News Association, an industry group. The average salary for a news anchor is $83,300, though this can range from a minimum of $14,000 to a maximum of $875,000, depending on market size and other circumstances. Published July 14, 2015

A new book by American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks explains the route to a 'fairer, happier more prosperous America.' (Broadside Books)

New advice for conservatives: 'Build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America'

The title says all: "The Conservative Heart: How to build a fairer, happier, and more prosperous America" by American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks arrives Tuesday, with a clear mission and much acclaim. George Will, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Mike Lee are among those praising the new book. It's establishing some new turf for conservatives -- and some pushback against the persistent progressive monopoly as "champions" of the needy and vulnerable. Published July 14, 2015

Citizens United for Israel is in the nation's capital for a major conference that includes 5,000 attendees and plenty of input from presidential hopefuls, pastors, activists and lawmakers. (Citizens United for Israel)

Christians United for Israel draws 5,000 to Washington for summit, GOP hopefuls, some truth

Christians United for Israel is now midway through its 10th annual summit in the nation's capital -- a major two-day event that has drawn 5,000 attendees and a wide spectrum of speakers that includes Sens. Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, John Cornyn, and Tom Cotton; Mike Huckabee, John Kasich and Rick Santorum, with video messages from Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Published July 13, 2015

A majority of Americans believe in "fate" a new survey finds. Horoscopes? Not so much. (YouGov poll image)

Majority of Americans believe in fate: Poll

Horoscopes don't carry as much weight with Americans as the idea of "fate" according to a new survey. A majority, in fact, believe in fate. The world of Leo, Libra, Gemini and the other star signs? Not so much. Published July 13, 2015

Presidential hopeful Rick Perry called on Donald Trump to end his presidential bid on July 18, 2015. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Voters agree with Rick Perry: Get tough on sanctuary cities

He's said it before, and he's said it again. Presidential hopeful Rick Perry is opposed to sanctuary cities, citing the potential for crime should officials overlook the criminals among the undocumented and unauthorized visitors. Published July 12, 2015

In this July 31, 2014 photo, a traveler passes through Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Flying with God: Most major airports have dedicated chapels

Airports may be harried places. But many house holy places. A meticulous analysis of current FAA data reveals that 60 percent of the nation's largest airports have chapels, according to Aleksandra Sandstrom, a researcher and editor with the Pew Research Center. Published July 11, 2015

Armstrong Williams

The Right Side Forum with Armstrong WIlliams focuses on authentic African American manhood

The Right Side Forum," an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, offers a special, one-hour forum broadcast, airing Saturday on News Channel 8 at 10:30 a.m. The topic this week: African American Manhood Today. "There are many African American men who are responsible, productive members of society who help others follow in their footsteps," he comments. Published July 10, 2015

Actor Jon Voight is a member of the low key Friends of Abe, a Hollywood conservative group that plays host to Donald Trump this weekend. (Showtime)

Republicans in Hollywood: 'Some of us have a bigger microphone'

Donald Trump made multiple media appearances this week. But they are overshadowed by the appearance he made Friday before Friends of Abe, a fellowship of Hollywood conservatives founded almost a decade ago by actors Kelsey Grammer and Gary Sinise. Published July 9, 2015

In response to a voter's question at a New Hampshire forum, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush reiterated that "I honestly think we need to provide a path to legalized status, not citizenship, for illegal immigrants." Analysts say it is hard to pin down Mr. Bush on the immigration issue. (Associated Press)

Confident Republicans more satisfied with presidential field than Democrats

Republican voters appear to be more optimistic about 2016 than Democrats at this point. A whopping 71 percent of the GOPers report they are "satisfied" with the field of GOP candidates running for president - despite peevish critics who question the number of hopefuls who have thrown their hats into the ring. Only 57 percent of Democrats are satisfied with their respective line-up of candidates. Published July 9, 2015

FILE - In this June 19, 2015 file photo, the Confederate flag flies near the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. The General Assembly returns Monday, July 6, 2015, to discuss what to do with the rebel flag that has flown over some part of the Statehouse for more than 50 years. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, File)

Gallup poll: 67% of GOP, 27% of Democrats say it's OK for Southern states to fly Confederate flag

In earlier decades, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans said the Confederate flag was more a sign of Southern pride than of racism, and both groups were comfortable with Southern states flying the flag on state capitol buildings, according to a new Gallup poll. This is not the case anymore. There is a stark partisan divide in opinion between the parties, which a Gallup analyst attributes to a shift in the party makeup. Published July 9, 2015

Scott Walker

The Winnebago vote: Campaigning Scott Walker-style -- yes, in a Winnebago

Forget Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Scooby Bus. Gov. Scott Walker is about to show the competition how to campaign in authentic down-home style once he declares his intent to run for president. Once the Wisconsin Republican makes his announcement, he's got big doings planned -- and we do mean big. Published July 8, 2015

Nancy Reagan turned 94 on Monday. (Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation)

Cheerful on her birthday: Nancy Reagan at 94

Nancy Reagan turned 94 on Monday, complete with a birthday cake trimmed with pink posies, her face aglow with an expectant smile. Social media hummed with well wishes for the former first lady, and observations about her continuing place in history. Published July 6, 2015

John R. Bolton tells Inside the Beltway he has some advice for the GOP hopefuls (Associated Press)

John Bolton: The 'only way' to stop Iran is through military force

There's no evidence that Iran will jettison its nuclear program, according to former State Department missile-counter John R. Bolton, who offers a stark reality check as negotiations between Iran and P5+1 -- the U.S. and five other nations -- drag on. "Iran fully intends to continue its nuclear weapons program and is solely interested in getting free of the economic sanctions. There is no evidence Tehran has made the strategic decision to give up its pursuit of deliverable nuclear warheads," Mr. Bolton tells Inside the Beltway. Published July 6, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton peers over a podium while addressing an audience during a campaign stop at Trident Technical College, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ** FILE **

The big debut: Hillary Clinton gives her first national interview to CNN on Tuesday

Hillary Clinton did not choose Fox News for her very first national interview since she announced her White House bid three months ago. That honor goes to CNN, though the network draws a much smaller audience: Fox News typically draws 2.2 million during primetime, CNN 619,000 according to Neilsen. But no matter. Mrs. Clinton will veer off the Iowa campaign trail on Tuesday long enough to sit down with CNN's senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar; the exchange will air at 5 p.m. and again three hours later. Published July 6, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio administered the oath of office to newly elected members of the 114th Congress, as Republicans assumed control of both chambers for the first time in eight years. Mr. Boehner began his third term as speaker. (Associated Press)

Still annoyed: 91 percent of Americans now give Congress a negative job review

The nation appears united about about one thing: Americans remain critical of Congress, with an average nine-out-of-10 overall giving lawmakers are negative review. This includes Republicans, Democrats and independents, according to a new Harris Poll. This is the third month for rock-bottom reviews for Congress the pollster says - a finding often reflected in multiple surveys which reveal that the public is weary of partisan gridlock, a "do nothing" attitude among elected officials and continuing acrimony between the parties. Published July 6, 2015