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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Karzai: C.I.A. promises to continue sending cash - Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has received assurances from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Kabul that it will continue delivering cash, as it has for the past decade, to his offices.

"Yes, we received cash from the CIA for the past 10 years. It was very useful, and we are very thankful for this aid," the president said during a news conference Saturday in Kabul.

"Yesterday, I thanked the CIA's chief in Kabul and I requested their continued help, and they promised that they will continue. "

Karzai's comments follow last week's report by The New York Times that the CIA has been dropping off shopping bags full of money every month or so for more than a decade to the offices of the Afghan president. has more here.


Syria reports being bombed by Israel again - Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in recent days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.
Though there was no official confirmation that Israel had carried out the attack, the Israeli military later announced that it had deployed two of its Iron Dome rocket defense batteries near its northern border, in response to what it called “ongoing situational assessments.” has more here.

Cuccinelli leads McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race - Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has an early lead over businessman Terry McAuliffe in their race for governor, a new Washington Post poll shows, even as most voters in the commonwealth have yet to engage in the nationally watched contest.
Six months before Election Day, Cuccinelli (R) has a slender 46 to 41 percent edge over McAuliffe (D) among all Virginia voters and a significant 51 to 41 percent lead among those who say they’re certain to cast ballots in November. But those numbers may change before then: The poll found that barely 10 percent say they are following the campaign “very closely” and that nearly half of the electorate says they’re either undecided or could change their minds.  The Washington Post has more here.


Incoming NRA President says they are the front line of a “culture war” that goes beyond gun rights - The incoming leader of the National Rifle Association has a long history with the powerful gun rights lobby and a penchant for bold statements that are sure to enflame an already explosive national debate over gun control.

James Porter, an Alabama attorney and first vice president of the NRA, assumes the presidency on Monday after the group’s national convention wraps up in Houston. He didn’t wait until then to ignite a new furor over gun control, telling the NRA grass-roots organizers on Friday they are the front line of a “culture war” that goes beyond gun rights.

“(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors,” Porter said.
Porter, 64, whose father was NRA president from 1959-1961, is part of the small, Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Porter, Porter & Hassinger. The firm’s website notes its expertise in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits.

Porter takes over the organization as the NRA finds itself in a national fight over gun control in Washington, D.C., and state capitols around the country.  You can read more here.


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