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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

A new "Ronald Reagan Official App" features the 40th president's speeches, quotes, dairy entries, historic photos, videos and more. (RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION)

Inside the Beltway: Congress bottoms out in Gallup job approval poll

"Americans' job approval ratings for Congress in 2013 averaged 14 percent, the lowest annual average in Gallup's history. Congressional approval has averaged 33 percent since Gallup began measuring it in 1974, with the highest yearly average of 56 percent reached in 2001," reports Frank Newport, director of Gallup. Published December 11, 2013

Ron Paul is convinced that "the big government establishment of both parties" wants him and his followers to shut up and go home.

Inside the Beltway: The handshake heard 'round the world at Mandela service

Journalists love nothing more than small events that yield big speculations and fancy headlines. Such was the case with President Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro on Tuesday during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. The moment spawned close to 3,400 news accounts within four hours, the headlines rife with question marks and wishful conclusions. A minuscule sampling: Published December 10, 2013

John Downey (left) and Richard Fecteau recently received the CIA's highest honor, the Distinguished Intelligence Cross. They were imprisoned by the Chinese for 20 years. (CIA)

Inside the Beltway: Tea party brews straw poll

It's never too early for a nice juicy straw poll, particularly if it's of the presidential variety. The Tea Party Patriots have already drawn 250,000 voters to a survey listing potential 2016 hopefuls of interest to liberty-minded folk. The grass-roots group intends to drawn a million votes by March. Who's leading this early, early match-up among undeclared candidates? Published December 9, 2013

Time flies when the show's a good one: veteran newsman Chris Wallace marks his 10th year as host of "Fox News Sunday" this weekend and plans to offer a retrospective of sorts in the broadcast. (FOX NEWS)

Inside the Beltway: 'Guns Save Lives Day'

Timed to coincide with Bill of Rights Day, and coming a day after the first anniversary of the Newtown shootings: it's "Guns Save Lives Day," organized by one Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. He has made some major national broadcast advertising buys — "hundreds of thousands of dollars" worth, he says — to promote this newly designated day, and its very specific aim. Published December 5, 2013

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, currently on a national book tour, did not immediately react to news that MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigned because of his comments about her. (Fox News via Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Conservatives ponder next 'character assassin'

While Sarah Palin quietly continued her national tour to promote her new book "Good Tidings, Great Joy," MSNBC host Martin Bashir quietly resigned from the network Wednesday, three weeks after broadcasting blatant slurs against the former Alaska governor. Published December 4, 2013

** FILE ** Is former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown planning to run for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire? Looks like it. The Granite State Republican Party has asked him to be the host at its Christmas party. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, currently holds the seat. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Public frets that U.S. global prestige is fading

It's complicated: The public is weary of the U.S. role as the world's policeman, but it also frets about the nation's declining prestige on the global stage and disapproves of both President Obama's foreign policy practices and any attempts at nation building overseas. Yet Americans approve of aggressive participation in the world economy and favor drones in the military arsenal. Published December 3, 2013

The White House Youth Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, maybe just in time. A new Gallup poll reveals that Americans who have not yet turned 30 know the least about Obamacare. (THE WHITE HOUSE)

Inside the Beltway: Stringent advice from a reporter to Obama on Term 2

"President Obama needs to fire himself. Not literally, of course, but practically: He needs to shake up his team so thoroughly that the new blood imposes change on how he manages the federal bureaucracy and leads," says Ron Fournier, a veteran national news correspondent and editorial director for National Journal. Published December 2, 2013

** FILE ** Jeff Zients, outgoing point man for the Obamacare site repairs. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Oh, the irony of private sector velocity' on website repairs

"While there is more work to be done, the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness, and will continue their work to improve and enhance the website in the weeks and months ahead," states a progress report released Sunday with much fanfare following an 11-hour fix-it session conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. Oh, the irony. Published December 1, 2013

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is showering Black Friday shoppers with fliers showcasing Democrats up for re-election who endorsed Obamacare, such as Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. (National Republican Senatorial Committee)

Inside the Beltway: Republican Black Friday special

Attention shoppers: The Grand Old Party has a message for you. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is intent on grabbing the attention of Black Friday bargain hunters in Louisiana, Michigan, Alaska, Iowa and Georgia — all home to Democrats who are now vulnerable for re-election in 2014 because of their fierce endorsement of Obamacare. Published November 28, 2013

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had a Thanksgiving message for "the bold, the loyal, the warm-hearted" Americans on Nov. 23, 1944. (Stanford University)

Inside the Beltway: Will Thanksgiving succumb to shopping?

"The first thing we can thank God for this Thanksgiving is that we Americans still have Thanksgiving. This holiday, so bound up with our history and our traditions, is in danger. Most department stores have long since put up their Christmas — correction, holiday — decorations and filled the air with 'Yuletide' carols," declares Bob Morrison, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council. Published November 27, 2013

Hollywood, the friendly place: DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg hosts President Obama during the last of seven Democratic fundraisers on Tuesday. Proof? A fundraiser hosted by Mr. Katzenburg last year brought in $15 million. (Invision via Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: In Hollywood, Obama finds friendliest stage of all

The dream meeting between President Obama and the glittering kingpins of Hollywood on Tuesday has been billed as "the entertainment summit." It's more like the star-studded finale to a fundraising extravaganza, with the word "Obamacare" stricken from the script. It will mark the seventh moneymaking event in a mere 48 hours for the seemingly tireless president. Published November 25, 2013

While President Obama jets around the West Coast, the official White House Thanksgiving turkeys are on their way to Washington to be "pardoned"; they ride upon cedar shavings in their own van. (Minnesota Turkey Federation)

Inside the Beltway: Obama plan — raise money, then pardon the turkey

Ah, the glittering White House fundraising amid political discord: We're talking seven events in 48 hours to raise money for Democratic lawmakers gearing up for the 2014 midterms. President Obama departed the nation's capital Sunday, bound for a pair of fundraisers in Seattle. But, hey, a West Coast visit always includes California, and Mr. Obama jets South on Monday to headline the moneymakers. Published November 24, 2013

A bill has been introduced to award the Congressional Gold Medal to members of the OSS, created in World War II by Army Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan. (U.S. ARMY)

Inside the Beltway: Congressional gold for clandestine heroes of OSS

They had legendary good spirit and the inner mettle to grapple with grim reality as well. That would be the Office of Strategic Services — the OSS — a clandestine agency created during World War II by Army Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan that was the predecessor of the CIA. The inventive determination of those 13,000 uncommon warriors who fought against Nazis and other American enemies seven decades ago has not been forgotten, however. Published November 21, 2013

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has a new book, a vigorous message and heartland appeal as he negotiates potential presidential-hopeful status in 2016. (Sentinel Books)

Inside the Beltway: Scott Walker — heartland he-man with a plan

The title of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's brand-new book tells all: "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge" is all about practical success and the inner mettle of an unapologetic Cheesehead determined to defeat his state's $3.6 billion deficit, rising unemployment and escalating property taxes. Published November 20, 2013

Armstrong Williams (Credit: Howard Stirk Holdings)

Conservative columnist Williams to buy two television stations

Conservative columnist, commentator and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams can add broadcast ownership to his professional resume. The Federal Communications Commission has approved the sale of two local television stations in Michigan and South Carolina to Mr. Williams, a decision he has been waiting for since late February. Published November 20, 2013

A poll says contemporary voters may pine for what would have been: Here's Mitt Romney's "transition" White House website, which disappeared when he lost the 2012 election to President Obama. (Romney Readiness Project)

Inside the Beltway: 'Miss me yet?' now applies to Mitt Romney

"Smaller, simpler, smarter. Believe in America." That was the official motto of "Office of the President-Elect," a website launched by Mitt Romney's campaign in late October 2012. It was publicly visible for a time, but quickly deactivated after Mr. Romney lost the election. Now the public appears to have had a Romney renaissance of sorts. Published November 19, 2013

Former President George W. Bush will step back into public view Tuesday when he appears with Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show." "I think he may be looking to be in the role of an elder statesman now," historian Bruce Buchanan says. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Step aside, here comes George W. Bush

An alarm must have gone off somewhere, signaling former President George W. Bush to step out of his polite, self-imposed exile and back onto public radar. Indeed, Mr. Bush makes a noteworthy debut Tuesday evening, joining NBC "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, the sole late night guy who wears an American flag pin. Published November 18, 2013