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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

Sen. Lindsey Graham will take a break from the campaign trail Thursday and to the U.S. Capitol to formally introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act before the U.S. Senate. (Associated press)

Lindsey Graham sets aside 2016 to step up for the unborn

He's off the presidential campaign trail for the time being, and on to cause close to his heart. On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham heads to the U.S. Capitol to formally introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act before the U.S. Senate. He will be joined at a press conference by pro-life leaders who support legislation meant "to protect children after five months," -- more than halfway through pregnancy, when the baby can feel pain. The coalition points out that even fetal surgeons acknowledge this phenomenon by "routinely anesthetizing their small patients before surgery." Published June 10, 2015

David Petraeus is among those representing America at the annual Bilderberg Conference, which gets underway in Austria on Thursday. (Associated Press)

David Petraeus among the Bilderbergers

There's a fair amount of fuss about the Bilderberg Conference, which gets underway in Austria on Thursday and attracts titillating media coverage, angry protesters and public curiosity about the idea that 140 powerful people from 22 nations are meeting to figure out what the world should do at this alarming juncture. Henry Kissinger, David Petraeus, James D. Wolfensohn and Richard Perle are among those representing America. "USA" and "US elections" are on the organization's 15-item to-do list, along with Russia, terrorism, globalization and cybersecurity -- but there's nothing on climate change. Published June 9, 2015

Dan Danner, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, said a change of leadership in the Senate was crucial for American business. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

National Federation of Independent Business president Dan Danner to retire at end of year

There will be a changing of the guard at the National Federation of Independent Business later this year. President and CEO Donald A. "Dan" Danner, announced his plans on Monday to retire after 22 years with the nation's leading small business association. Mr. Danner has spent the last seven of those years at the helm, and will remain with the NFIB until the end of 2015. Published June 8, 2015

Sen. Joni Ernst, shown here on her prized Harley Davidson, will lead a 40-mile motorcyle ride on Saturday - joined by Gov. Scott Walker and Rick Perry. (Image from Sen. Joni Ernst)

GOP motorcycle ride and pig roast draws seven presidential hopefuls - and major media coverage

This pig roast could trump a certain steak fry - and it will certainly go down as a moment in Republican pop culture history. That would be "Joni's First Annual Roast and Ride," a bodacious event on Saturday organized by Sen. Joni Ernst that includes a 40-mile motorcycle ride across the Iowa countryside - boasting good cheer, thudding Harleys and a full police escort, led by the Republican herself. Next up on the agenda: "a big pig roast," the lawmaker says, and political rally of the old school variety with much speechifying and a country rock band. Published June 5, 2015

Voters are ready for 2016 combat: Republicans would most like to see a debate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Carly Fiorina. (Associated Press photographs)

Voters already primed for serious 2016 candidate combat - including a Clinton-Fiorina debate

Though Election Day is well over 500 days away, voters are already primed to encounter political theater of the presidential kind -- Republican vs. Democrat, weaponized sound bites flying and fact-checking in progress. Two-thirds of the nation would like to see a debate between Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and her GOP rivals -- including Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson Published June 4, 2015

The draw of a pig roast and a Harley: Seven GOP hopefuls head to Iowa with Joni Ernst

The chances are good that Gov. Scott Walker is going to jump on a Harley Davidson at Joni's First Annual Roast and Ride, this organized by Sen. Joni Ernst -- described by the lawmaker as a patriotic motorcycle ride across the Iowa countryside to honor military veterans with full police escort -- followed by a "big pig roast" in the town of Boone. Seven GOP presidential hopefuls will be front and center for this bodacious event on Saturday, and Mr. Walker is one of them. Recall that his home state of Wisconsin is also home to Harley Davidson; he recently took the brand over to China, donned black leather and aviator sunglasses, revved up a hog and road into Shanghai himself to make the sale. So he may lead the line this time as well. Published June 3, 2015

Happy fans cheer while Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in Burlington, Vermont. (associated press)

The Bernie Sanders Effect: Fawning media coverage normalizes socialism

There's yet another trend in the trendy news media, identified by more than one concerned critic. Consider a new Investor's Business Daily editorial titled "The soft-soaping of socialism in the U.S." The publication focuses on the happy-go-lucky press coverage of a certain Vermont independent making a vigorous run for the White House as a Democrat. Published June 2, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. gives a thumbs-up as he greets supporters after announcing his bid for presidency, Monday, June 1, 2015, in Central, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Lindsey Graham: Defense hawk, pro-life hero, bachelor president

The news that Sen. Lindsey Graham is a bachelor has emerged in the news, right along with his announcement that he's running for president - the ninth in the ever-expanding Republican field. Indeed, the South Carolina lawmaker's single status garnered over 500 press mentions. Published June 2, 2015

Image from Hillary for America

Message for Hillary: And now it's showtime - with some truth in the script

Hillary Rodham Clinton's strategists have 11 days to come up with something perfectly spectacular. After weeks of quiet little meet and greets and a few paltry quotable quotes for the press, the leading Democratic presidential hopeful at last will stage a bustling public event for one and all on June 13 in New York. Published June 1, 2015

The new Democrat: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announces his intent to enter the 2016 presidential race. (Associated Press)

The $8 billion history of Martin O'Malley: He raised taxes and fees 83 times

He's telegenic, vigorous, a deft speaker: Martin O'Malley looks the part of an earnest and energetic presidential contender who could hold his own on a global stage. But now that he's officially in the 2016 race, those who recall his years as the Democratic governor of Maryland have a few numbers to share. According to a tally by the House Republican Caucus of Maryland, Mr. O'Malley raised taxes and fees 83 times in his eight years in office, to the tune of $8 billion. Published May 31, 2015

Columnist and broadcast host Armstrong Williams

The 'Right Side Forum' with Armstrong Williams addresses FIFA scandal, Baltimore riots and floods

The "Right Side Forum," an hour-long conservative live news and talk show hosted by columnist Armstrong Williams, will look at a number of topics on its next broadcast: Journalists will join him to explore major events of the week that captured their attention. Among them: the FIFA indictments, the $20 million cost of recent riots in Baltimore and water - from flooding and drought, to the Obama administration's new drinking water rules. Published May 29, 2015