New Mexico

So now Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, has weighed in, capping a week in which Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Energy Secretary Steven Chu did, too. Their timely warning: Congress--and the nation--are stiffing energy innovation research and need to get serious as the year’s budget struggles near. Gates’ remarks are the most noteworthy--and pointed.

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Peter Beinart has a terrific column on how and why al Qaeda has gotten so much less dangerous: Once upon a time, al-Qaeda's modus operandi was to launch multiple, simultaneous attacks. That way, even if one attack failed, the entire operation wouldn't. On 9/11, the network deployed 19 hijackers on four planes; on 12/25, by contrast, it managed only one. Second, the underwear attack failed because Abdulmutallab wasn't particularly well trained. The 19 Sept.

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Last Saturday’s debate on the Stupak anti-abortion amendment to the House health reform bill provides an X-ray of the complex interplay between region and religion within the Democratic coalition. When it comes to social issues, religion matters among Democrats, not just Republicans. Of the 64 Democrats who supported the Stupak anti-abortion amendment, 35 (55 percent) are Catholic. In the Democratic caucus, by contrast, Catholics make up only 38 percent of the total.

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The Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, released yesterday, painted a cautiously optimistic portrait of the state of the nation’s economy. The New York Times, reporting on the Beige Book, heralded a “slow and still fragile recovery” that is “taking hold across the country.” But even if the data bear out this anecdotal assessment, don’t think that a robust recovery is going to appear in your metro area anytime soon. Here’s why: In many parts of the country there are few signs of recovery. Of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, only Dallas (covering Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico) re

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Drama Club

The morning after the presidential election, a group of top Obama staffers and consultants gathered for brunch at a restaurant a few blocks from their Chicago headquarters. The mood was understandably emotional, and, before long, chief strategist David Axelrod rose to offer a valedictory. According to one person in the room, Axelrod lavished praise on his operatives for their discretion, for their collegiality, and for their resistance to all manner of Washington-think. But, even as Axelrod spoke, a burst of Washington-style drama was making a mockery of these virtues.

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Survey Says...

At three o'clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 24, John McCain announced a bold move. He was suspending his campaign and rushing back to Washington to deal with the escalating financial crisis, even if it meant skipping a scheduled debate with Barack Obama that Friday night. The McCain campaign heralded the ploy as evidence that its man was a decisive leader who would put duty to his country above partisan politics. But the move ran into instant p.r. trouble. Barely two hours after McCain's announcement, a snap poll appeared in the inboxes of reporters and political activists.

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Our model does not make any specific adjustments for early voting, but it is presenting a major problem for John McCain in three states in the Mountain West region, where Barack Obama has a huge fraction of his vote locked in.In the wee hours of this morning, Public Policy Polling released data from Colorado and New Mexico. The toplines are strong for Obama, giving him leads of 10 and 17 points, respectively in those states.

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I just checked the CNN site a few minutes ago (around 5:35 AM eastern), and there are still only 85 percent of precincts reporting there. (Obama up a fraction of a percent.) Why is New Mexico so damn slow to tally its results? Is it the Indian reservations there? The geographic remoteness of some of these precincts? Anybody? --Noam Scheiber

Super Tuesday Primer: New Mexico

The next stop on TNR's Super Tuesday Primer is the lovely state of New Mexico: "Only the Democrats are holding their New Mexico caucus on Super Tuesday, as the New Mexico Republicans must wait untll June 3 to vote. There have not been any public polls in New Mexico for “months and months,” says University of New Mexico professor F. Chris Garcia, and so it’s going to be a tough one to call..." Click here for your complete Super Tuesday rundown for New Mexico. Check out our Super Tuesday Primer for analysis of new states every day leading up to February 5. --The Editors

Leaving Normal

In the historical race to the bottom that is Nixon v. Bush, the late trickster would seem to have the edge: He was an unimpeachable lawbreaker-- actually, an impeachable one--a claim that doesn't quite stick to Bush. But, in the last month, Bush has been closing fast. While he may not have any second- rate burglaries under his belt, his record now includes his very own version of the Saturday Night Massacre, thanks to the purging of eight U.S. attorneys.

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