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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Will Georgia Turn Blue? - The two major parties here don’t agree on many things. One of them is that it is only a matter of time before Georgia goes from being a Republican stronghold to a state that is up for grabs.

In next year’s elections, Democrats will be looking to speed that process along with a couple of candidates who bring fresh faces and familiar names.
They are Senate contender Michelle Nunn, an executive who is also the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, and gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter, a third-term state senator who is a grandson of former president Jimmy Carter. The Washington Post has more here.

Baucus Exit Impacts 2014 Senate Battle - President Obama’s nomination of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) as U.S. ambassador to China is the latest shake-up in the tumultuous battle for the Senate majority.
Democrats believe the nomination will increase their chances of winning seats in Montana and potentially in Louisiana, where vulnerable Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is in line to pick up the Energy Committee gavel thanks to Baucus’s exit. 
Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win the Senate majority in 2014, and are counting on victories against Democratic incumbents in states like Arkansas, North Carolina and Louisiana to get them there. has more here.


U.S. Aid Helps Colombia Kill Rebels - The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.

The secret assistance, which also includes substantial eavesdropping help from the National Security Agency, is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget. It is not a part of the public $9 billion package of mostly U.S. military aid called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000.
The previously undisclosed CIA program was authorized by President George W. Bush in the early 2000s and has continued under President Obama, according to U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic officials. Most of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program is classified and ongoing.  You can read more here.

Seagram chairman, WJC head Edgar Bronfman dead at 84Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman, the chairman of the Seagram Company and long-serving president of the World Jewish Congress, died at his New York home on Saturday aged 84.

Montreal-born Bronfman took control of the Seagram empire from his father, Samuel Bronfman who had founded the liquor company in 1924. He then expanded its operations, acquiring Tropicana and moving Seagram into the chemicals business by making it DuPont's largest minority shareholder.
The son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, he was also president of the World Jewish Congress from 1981 until 2007. has more here.

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