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1.) The unintended consequences of the Libyan war – In a comprehensive interview with TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein, Professor Peter Chilson explains the ins and outs of Mali’s jihadi conflict, including how the war in Libya aided the Islamists in taking over the north of the country:
“The collapse of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime in October 2011 put thousands of Libyan-trained Malian and Nigerien Tuareg mercenaries into play with a new arsenal they looted from the arsenals of the fallen Libyan regime. In fact, the fall of Gaddafi set North and West Africa awash in looted arms. Jihadist groups allied with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Tuareg rebels took advantage of sudden influx of arms. Gaddafi’s former mercenaries in particular took what they could from these arsenals — vehicles, automatic weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers — and returned to Mali and Niger to launch yet another rebellion in their fight for an independent state.”
Read the full interview for the best primer on the conflict you are likely to find on the web.
2.) Bloomberg uncensored – America’s most nagging parent, Michael Bloomberg, has a potty mouth, TheDC’s Caroline May reports:
“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had his eyes less on the evils of guns and big gulps at a Christmas party last month than on the assets of a female party guest. In a New York Magazine profile of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, author Jonathan Van Meter recalls how in researching Quinn’s prospects as a candidate for mayor at ‘a Christmas party for the rich,’ he was introduced to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who subsequently ignored praise for his gun-control advocacy to instead admire a woman’s backside. ‘Later in the evening, the host interrupted me to point out that the mayor himself had just arrived. Did I want to meet him? Sure,’ Van Meter writes. ‘My friend and I followed the host over, shook Bloomberg’s hand, and my friend thanked him for his position on gun control. Without even acknowledging the comment, Bloomberg gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown standing nearby and said, Look at the ass on her.’”
Bloomberg sounds exactly as you imagined in private.
“With record numbers of college graduates underemployed in jobs that don’t actually require degrees, economists warn that even aspiring janitors may have to get master’s degrees to compete for jobs, if trends continue. A study released Monday by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity found that about half of all employed college graduates are working at jobs for which they are vastly overeducated. Some 37 percent of employed graduates didn’t need to attend college at all to successfully perform their current jobs. … ‘We jokingly predict that colleges will offer a master’s degree in Janitorial Studies within a decade or two and anyone seeking employment as a janitor will discover no one will hire unless proof of possession of such a degree is presented,’ [the authors write].”
4.) Immigration evasion – Chuck Schumer isn’t particularly interested in answering tough questions, TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“Shortly after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled their plan on Monday to overhaul the immigration system, supporters began evading questions about the proposal’s impact on working-class Americans’ wages and job chances, which have already been stalled by the real-estate bubble, automation and international competition. New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, the leading member of the eight-member Senate group that drafted the framework to reform immigration, dived away from The Daily Caller’s question about the deal’s impact on wages and job opportunities. Instead, he said immigration would be good for the economy and the federal government.”
You can run, you can hide, but sooner or later, you are going to have to answer Neil Munro.
6.) Today in North Korean News –BREAKING: “Finnish President Hopes for Development of Friendly Relations with DPRK”