New Mexico

Pelosi lights the 2019 Capitol Christmas Tree
The 2019 tree is a blue spruce from New Mexico

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stands with band members during a ceremony to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Christmas Tree shines bright amid grim impeachment proceedings
‘The Voice’ winner Chevel Shepherd warmed hearts despite cold temps

A band plays during a ceremony Wednesday to light the Capitol Christmas Tree, which is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled, bleak impeachment programming to bring you a brighter alternative. 

As the House Judiciary Committee wrapped up its first contentious hearing in the impeachment inquiry Wednesday evening, the Capitol Christmas Tree shined a bright spot amid the darkness.

Watch: Capitol Christmas Tree arrives on the West Lawn
This year’s tree came from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico

Architect of the Capitol workers erect the Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Lawn Monday. The tree is from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The 2019 Capitol Christmas Tree arrived on the West Lawn Monday, completing its nearly 2,000 mile journey from New Mexico’s Carson National Forest.

Fighting election disinformation is a bipartisan issue
#TrustedInfo2020 campaign urges Americans to rely on state and local elections officials for accurate information

By directing voters to their state and local election officials for accurate information, we can cut down on the misinformation and disinformation that can surround elections, Pate and Toulouse Oliver write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As we head into 2020, Americans should turn to their state and local election officials for their election questions — anything from voter registration and polling locations to voting methods and more.

These officials are the verified, trusted sources for election information. By driving voters to them, we can cut down on the misinformation and disinformation that can surround elections and ensure that all citizens have the accurate information they need to vote.

Campus notebook: China Daily stresses a senator and a drug arrest at the Capitol
Library of Congress’ Veterans History Projects gets senatorial endorsement

Florida Sen. Rick Scott is no fan of China Daily. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This week’s campus notebook reminds us that the U.S. Botanic Garden is technically a legislative branch entity and that methamphetamine is still not welcome in the Capitol Visitor Center. 

A visitor to the Capitol Visitor Center was stopped Tuesday after being found with a glass pipe and a bag containing a “white, rock-like substance.” A field test confirmed the substance was methamphetamine. The suspect was arrested and charged with misdemeanors of possessing meth and drug paraphernalia.

Capitol Christmas tree almost ready to get lit!
60-foot blue spruce from New Mexico is scheduled to arrive at the Capitol on Nov. 25

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is displayed on the West Front of the Capitol last holiday season. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is ready to make its 1,800-mile journey to Capitol Hill, following a rigorous “Bachelor”-like selection process, complete with its own cutting ceremony.

This year’s tree, a 60-foot tall, 21-foot wide blue spruce, comes from northern New Mexico’s Carson National Forest and will soon sit on the Capitol’s West Lawn. This is the third time the state has provided a tree.

Trump thrives amid turmoil, and is banking that voters won’t mind
The president admitted of the even more chaotic environment: ‘I sort of thrive on it’

Supporters react as President Donald Trump speaks during a "Keep America Great" campaign rally on Oct. 17 in Dallas, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s presidency has thrust the United States into plenty of unprecedented territory and it could again if the brash, testosterone-fueled campaign he is sculpting becomes the first featuring an impeached incumbent chief executive.

Political insiders from both parties, echoed by nonpartisan experts, said all summer that forecasting the 2020 presidential race was almost impossible for a raft of reasons. Then came Sept. 24.

The 10 most vulnerable House members in 2020: Democrats dominate
Majority on defense after significant gains in last year’s midterms

Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn, who won her seat in a surprising upset last fall, is the most vulnerable House member running in 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One year out from the 2020 elections, the most vulnerable member of the House is the Oklahoma Democrat whose upset win surprised even astute politicos last fall. She is joined by a California Republican who is under indictment and numerous Democrats running in districts President Donald Trump easily won in 2016.

Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to win control of the House, and they see their path back to the majority running through so-called Trump districts that slipped from the party’s grasp in the midterms. Whether they succeed depends on next year’s political climate and the strength of their candidates. In some districts, the GOP has worked hard to recruit more diverse challengers, especially after Democrats’ success electing women last year.

America can’t afford to sit out the artificial intelligence race
Federal government must lead with purpose, smart policy and appropriate investment

Whether society and government enable or inhibit the artificial intelligence race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade, Chambliss, Samp and Phillips write. (iStock)

OPINION — Artificial intelligence is everywhere. If you shop online or occasionally speak to a voice assistant in the morning, you are already embracing the changes this technology has created. Many people are familiar with the advances of autonomous vehicles or facial recognition technology, and some may be curious, or even anxious, about how they will affect safety or privacy.

Make no mistake, AI is a transformative technology that is influencing our daily lives and will touch every sector of the global economy. Whether society and government enable or inhibit the AI race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade. Regardless of the answer, the technology will forge ahead. To sit out this race, add hurdles or not take it seriously, would not be a wise decision.

Former ‘military brat’ Deb Haaland honors dad at Marine Corps Marathon
The congresswoman’s father fought in the Vietnam War as a Marine

Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico at the starting line of the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon (Courtesy @repdebhaaland / Instagram)

Rep. Deb Haaland grew up a “military brat,” bouncing from base to base as the daughter of a U.S. Marine Corps officer. The New Mexico Democrat’s father, Maj. J.D. “Dutch” Haaland, served in the military for 30 years, and during that time he deployed for a two-year tour in Vietnam, where he earned two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry” in Con Thien.

Haaland wrote her dad letters almost daily. She would later find a trove of those notes after his death in February 2005. As a child, Haaland didn’t exactly understand the stakes of war, but when her dad returned home from Vietnam, she noticed that he would sometimes cry during evening news broadcasts on the war.