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Jennifer Harper

Jennifer Harper

To read Jennifer Harper's Inside the Beltway columns, click here. Contact her at [email protected].

Articles by Jennifer Harper

The government may be shut, but the "business of handsomeness" in the nation's capital shouldn't be compromised, says a fancy retailer offering a 15 percent discount to federal workers now on furlough. Members of Congress, however, need not inquire. (Grooming Lounge)

Inside the Beltway: Potholes more popular than Congress

How low can Congress go? Alas, voters have a more favorable opinion of the IRS, jury duty, hipsters, potholes, cockroaches, mothers-in-law, toenail fungus, public radio fundraising drives, motor vehicle departments, hemorrhoids and even "dog poop" than they do of Congress. Published October 8, 2013

"We don't have that data," White House press secretary Jay Carney says, echoing others, including the president, who don't know how many people have signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Obama's trillion-dollar question

So how many people actually have signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act? Uh-h-h-h, no one seems to know. In the past week, President Obama and officials within his administration avoided answering the trillion-dollar question by either claiming the numbers weren't available yet or that they had no access to the data. Published October 7, 2013

Could controversy and political correctness cause the Washington Redskins to be redefined as Redskins, as in the potato variety? There's already a "Redskins Mr. Potato Head" out there at the team store. (PPW TOYS)

Inside the Beltway: Redskins as in spuds

President Obama's comment that the Washington Redskins should consider changing their name to avoid offending Native Americans has generated much discussion, both pro and con. Published October 6, 2013

Attractive underwear models were hired to help sell Obamacare in Denver this week by Colorado HealthOP, a nonprofit insurance group. (Colorado HealthOp)

Inside the Beltway: Stripping down for Obamacare

Attractive women wearing nothing but a smile and flesh-colored underwear emblazoned with the motto "Are You Covered?" strolled the most popular shopping areas of Denver in the name of the Affordable Care Act this week. Published October 3, 2013

** FILE ** President Barack Obama arrives to speak about the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job, suspending all but essential services. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Naughty number? Obamacare hotline's vulgar suggestion

Dialing for depravity? There's more than a glitch involved in the great national campaign to get Americans to sign up for Obamacare. The new toll-free consumer number associated with the Affordable Care Act uses an unfortunate sequence of numbers that unfortunately spells out 1-800-F***-YO. Published October 3, 2013

Actor Sean Astin invites listeners to meet "occasionally interested people" on his online radio show soon to be on regular airwaves. (Invision via Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Just blame the shutdown on the GOP

Republicans have been almost universally blamed for the government shutdown in melodramatic reports from the White House, amplified by a sympathetic liberal media. The press, however, literally teed up the blame game many days ago. Published October 2, 2013

Doves and peaceniks no more: These Democrats relish the role of bullies

Democrats, who have long posed as the party of peaceniks and doves, have been anything but during the great rhetorical war of 2013. In fact, the party of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter has been mad as hell as of late, leading an offensive of bombastic insults and rhetorical bullying that has dominated the government shutdown. Published October 2, 2013

Filmmaker kills idea for Hillary Clinton documentary

So much for one of the three "Hillary" film projects destined for American audiences. Charles Ferguson, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind the project, has backed out following his encounters with Hillary Rodham Clinton's associates. Published September 30, 2013

An exuberant Scott Brown rocks out in New Hampshire ballroom Cheap Trick in August, prompting some to wonder if the ex-U.S. senator will run for office in the Granite State. (Scott Brown)

Inside the Beltway: Festering anger at the federal government

Confusion over Obamacare, shutdown hysteria and continued partisan discord have yielded results: Public anger at the federal government is at the highest point on record. So says a Pew Research Center survey gauging the ire and frustration of Americans. Published September 30, 2013

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback told members of the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, "We just need to be America again." (American Conservative Union)

Inside the Beltway: Conservatives with grit

What? Something else was going on besides the House Republican war on Obamacare? Well, yes. Conservatives displayed newfound resolve and grit at the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, an intense one-day gathering in Missouri that attracted scores of lawmakers, public officials and astute heavyweights. Among their messages to an enthusiastic audience: Published September 29, 2013

CPAC arrives in St. Louis on Saturday for an intense one-day session featuring 59 speakers and some grass-roots zeal. (American Conservative Union)

Inside the Beltway: Republicans ready to rumble at CPAC

"The nation is looking for a change in leadership. Many Americans wake up every day wondering if we are descending rather than ascending as a nation. And most of our citizens want to rally behind hopeful alternatives to our current path," American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas tells Inside the Beltway. Published September 26, 2013

Gretchen Carlson (Fox News) **FILE**

Inside the Beltway: Conservatives value their values

The mainstream press continues to rant about the divisions in the Republican Party and the bodacious behavior among certain conservatives. But those very same conservatives will soon gather in a show of unity and resolve, boasting an all-star lineup. Lest critics forget, the Values Voter Summit is scheduled for mid-October in the nation's capital, and the tenacious heavyweights are ready to rumble, whether journalists pay attention or not. Published September 25, 2013

The Conservative Political Action Conference says a screenshot that appeared to confuse South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (pictured) with Dr. Ben Carson is a Photoshopped fake.

Inside the Beltway: Observations du jour

"The GOP establishment is so mad they have momentarily stopped attacking Sarah Palin," declares National Review contributing editor Jeffrey Lord, commenting on Republican reaction to Sen. Ted Cruz and his determination to derail the Affordable Care Act. Published September 24, 2013

Example: White House press secretary Jay Carney is one of several ex-journalists who now work for the Obama administration. (Associated Press)

News media's revolving door to Obama White House blurs lines of objectivity

News media and politics in the age of Obama have grown uncomfortably close. So many journalists have found employment in the Obama administration that the phenomenon has become a story itself, with a dozen news organizations tracking the cross-pollination between the two and speculating on the implications. Published September 24, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, is facing a moment of truth in his fight to defund Obamacare, according to many media outlets. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Inside the Beltway: Cruz crucible

The press has proclaimed that it's the moment of truth for Sen. Ted Cruz — the day of reckoning, the week that will make or break his career. Or words to that effect. Journalists have pulled out the handy dramatic narrative that places the Texas Republican in a high stakes trial by fire as he seeks to defund the Affordable Care Act, while keeping the federal government open for business. Published September 23, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, unleashed a torrent of criticism against Republicans for their stance on Obamacare and the budget. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Inside the Beltway: GOP adults in the room

"Anti government ideologues," "wolf in wolf's clothing," "legislative arsonists," "totally irresponsible, completely juvenile," "destructive." And so goes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's assorted descriptions of some Republicans or Republican activities, uttered by the California Democrat in a single interview with CNN on Sunday. Published September 22, 2013

What press honeymoon? President George W. Bush was dealing with an unfriendly news media from his first 100 days in office. (George W. Bush Presidential Library)

Inside the Beltway: Obama's lousy press

Presidential historians often say that unfriendly news coverage typically comes with the territory for a second-term president. Indeed, President Obama has been negotiating an unfamiliar, unfriendly media landscape in recent days, one that has sprouted negative reviews of his leadership, and not necessarily from his conservative critics. Published September 19, 2013

Inside the Beltway: In God they don't trust

Will they lean left and favor progressive Democrats? A political phenomenon has emerged with the launch of the Freethought Equality Fund, the first political action committee that supports candidates who are humanists, atheists or agnostics — and advocates for the rights of "nonbelievers" and the separation of church and state. Published September 18, 2013