ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik is running two television and two radio advertisements in New Mexico this week, in a full court press campaign that has been dubbed "Operation New Mexico Freedom." LINK.

Set against the stirring images of flag covered caskets, Badnarik dubs himself the "Peace President." The second commercial begs the questions, "Are you disgusted with the welfare system and illegal immigration? Are you angry with all the gun control laws that we're are forced to live with? Are you fed with our tax laws, our deficit, and our government overspending? Do you want to stop voting for the lesser of two evils?"

The campaign claims Badnarik is now polling at 5 percent across the state, according to a Rasmussen poll (LINK) with Bush at 43 percent and Kerry at 50 percent.

Meanwhile, national Green Party candidate David Cobb campaigned in Bush country, Great Falls Montana. Peter Johnson of the Great Falls Tribune quotes Cobb, "George W. Bush is going to win the Electoral College in Montana by winning the majority of votes," he asserted. "It's not likely — it's a guarantee.

"So we say to progressive voters in Montana: Don't waste your vote on either of the candidates from the 'corporate parties,' but invest your vote in the future of the Green Party, and help us grow the movement for peace, justice, democracy and ecology." LINK

The economy:

The Fed raised short-term interest rates by a quarter of a point, reports the Wall Street Journal 's Greg Ip, reasoning that the rise in energy prices is responsible for the slowing of economic growth. With its statement, "The economy nevertheless appears poised to resume a stronger pace of expansion going forward," the Fed is expected to raise interest rates in its next few meetings, and Ip Notes, "Paradoxically, higher interest rates, which a sitting president normally deplores, might be good news for President Bush's re-election hopes."

Free Matt Cooper:

The New York Times ' editorial board sticks up for Matt Cooper of Time magazine. LINK

And take a look at this — a chance to buy a real "Free Matt Cooper" T-shirt and it wasn't even our idea: LINK

A Freed Jonathan Greenberger:

Special thanks to the wonderful Jonathan Greenberger, a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis. A dedicated, hard-working, super-smart intern of ours, we begged him to stay and quit school but he couldn't. We wish him the best.

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