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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 ** This Feb. 1, 201,1 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

BYOP: Colorado discovers the implications of 'bring your own pot'

Now appearing on swank invitations in a certain state: "BYOP". That stands for "bring your own pot." The new acronym has shown up on public radar through the Colorado Symphony, which has organized three marijuana-friendly symphonies, including one dubbed "Classically Cannabis." Published May 28, 2014

**FILE** U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown, New Hampshire Republican, speaks after getting the endorsement from former New Hampshire Govs. Steve Merrill (far left) and Craig Benson (far right) and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (not seen) in Nashua, N.H., on May 27, 2014. Brown is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Associated Press)

Scott Brown intends to be Kelly Ayotte's 'wing man' in Washington

The place was a diner in the capital of the Granite State. The intense occasion: an endorsement, and some public evidence that there's some unity in the New Hampshire Republican Party. On Tuesday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte formally endorsed Scott Brown in his quest for U.S. senator in her state in an eaterie adjacent to Nashua city Hall. Published May 28, 2014

Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican, said President Obama "elected to pull out of Afghanistan based on arbitrary timetables, as opposed to building on the progress and sacrifices of both our Armed Forces and the Afghan people." (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Picking conflicts based on politics

Amid the saber rattling, cat calls and assorted bombast that followed President Obama's foreign policy-laced commencement speech at West Point comes a moment of practical lucidity from Rep. Michael T. McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Published May 28, 2014

Illustration: Afghanistan by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

Despite 'fear porn' in the media, 71 percent of the world report they're happy

Despite 'fear porn' in the media, a massive new Gallup poll finds that 71 percent of the planet report they regularly feel much happiness, among other positive emotions. The pollsters based this number on interviews with 138,000 people around the planet - 1,000 respondents in each of 138 countries. Published May 27, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2013 file photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton adjusts her glasses during a Global Townterview at the Newseum in Washington.  Clinton says in an excerpt from her upcoming book that she wishes she could go back and revisit some of her decisions but she is "proud of what we accomplished" at the State Department. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Inside the Beltway: The masterful marketing of Hillary Clinton

Brace for impact: Here comes the Hillary Clinton presidential brand, and it's a doozy. Her much ballyhooed new memoir "Hard Choices" — which has been available for pre-sale for almost a year — will be published in 13 days. Published May 27, 2014

Phil Robertson, the Duck Commander from A&E's popular "Duck Dynasty," was suspended for his unfiltered opinions about sin, sex, gays and blacks in an interview. (Associated Press photographs)

Duck commander Phil Robertson among 'Republican leaders' on Thursday

Many are ready to stride on stage at the three-day Republican Leadership Conference, which begins Thursday in New Orleans. There's a new entry on the roster, though: “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, simply billed as "patriarch of the Robertson family" by the organizers of the event. Published May 27, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson is contemplating a 2016 presidential run. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Can a doctor be president?

"I find it amusing when people ask why a doctor is speaking out on public policy. Why don't they ask why a lawyer is speaking out on public policy, or why is a businessman speaking out on public policy? Why does anyone speak up on it?" asks Ben Carson, in "Can a Doctor Be President" — a video released Monday. Published May 26, 2014

A political scientist has offered alternative historic perspective on the GOP primary race between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin (pictured). (Courtesy of Matt Bevin)

Inside the Beltway: McConnell victory not so impressive

So was that big "establishment" Republican win over a conservative challenger in the Blue Grass State really all that crushing? Maybe not, says one academic source, which offers a historic perspective. Published May 25, 2014

The tea party hangs on, despite media attempts to bury it

Much of the mainstream news media can't wait for tea party-backed candidates to lose their races, pack their suitcases and disappear. Of course, declarations that the tea party is dead proved premature once before. It could happen again, and the tea partiers themselves still have some very staunch, high profile defenders. Published May 22, 2014

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) at a Memorial Day tribute to veterans and veterans in Congress held by the Washington Times at the Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Inside the Beltway: Rep. Ralph Hall — the veteran of Congress

"I come from a military family — my father fought in World War I and my brother fought in both theaters in World War II. I have personally taken up arms in defense of our great nation and I was proud to do so. Serving my country in this way taught me discipline — to focus my work ethic, fight for what I believe in, and to never give up," Rep. Ralph Hall tells Inside the Beltway. Published May 22, 2014

** FILE ** Former Rep. Allen West, Florida Republican. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: What Americans want in a president

Behind closed doors and inundated with demographic data, campaign strategists are trying to figure out what voters want in a president this time around. Insider political prowess does not lead the list regardless of party, however. Published May 21, 2014

**FILE** In this photo from Aug. 1, 2011, House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (center), Texas Republican, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), Virginia Republican, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill on the debt deal agreement. (Associated Press)

New motto: Jeb Hensarling discovers the 'Main Street competitive economy'

It is a delicate maneuver to appear available for a major job on Capitol Hill without compromising civility. Such is the case of Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who has declared on at least three occasions that he's not angling for the post of Speaker of the House, but if it, uh, just happens to come up this fall, the Texas Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has not quite shut the door. Published May 21, 2014

Rep. Mike Coffman is among the military veterans in Congress who will gather Wednesday for a patriotic salute to the nation's vets. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: One for the vets

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee plus Reps. Michele Bachmann, Don Young, Joseph Heck, Ralph Hall, Sam Johnson and Mike Coffman are among the lawmakers who will step forward to salute military veterans Wednesday evening. Many are vets themselves. Published May 20, 2014

Keynote speaker  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses attendees at the Second Annual Champions of Jewish Values Awards Gala in New York Sunday, May 18, 2014. Right is Christie's wife Mary Pat. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Chris Christie gets fierce and presidential over America's role in the world

The glittering Manhattan event with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson is over. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's promising press reviews about his keynote speech at the gathering continue. He struck a fierce, presidential and emotionally charged pose before a very influential audience, speaking out about America's role in the world, and in the future. Published May 19, 2014

A presidential foundation and astute historians can do much to guard the legacy of Ronald Reagan in a chaotic age. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation)

Inside the Beltway: Who's minding the authentic 'Reagan'?

There are those who zealously guard the legacy of Ronald Reagan, in an era when just the Reagan name is bandied about by press and politicians as a multi-purpose, brandlike entity. There's Reaganesque, Reagan-like, the anti-Reagan. The list goes on. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, however, is there to ensure the Reagan legacy remain authentic, and true to the values of the man who inspired it. Published May 19, 2014