Monthly Bomb Report

February 28, 2010

Here is a summary of bombing reports for February 2010. These reports were collected from news sources world wide. Sources were searched for bomb reports without regard to any criteria. No attempt was made to confine reports to Muslims or to Middle Eastern locations although one, or both, of these criteria apply in many cases. There’s a notable increase in bomb incidents outside the Middle East this month. Maybe bombs are the new falafel.

Because these headlines are contemporaneous with the events, the numbers of persons killed or wounded may not agree with later reports. In a few cases, the bombs did not detonate.

  • Feb  1 – Woman Bomber Kills 46 Shi’ite Pilgrims in Baghdad
  • Feb  1 – Bomb Kills Two Soldiers in NW Pakistan
  • Feb  1 – Sixteen Pakistanis Killed in Bomb Attacks
  • Feb  1 – US Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Bomb Explosion
  • Feb  2 – Russia Bomb Hurts Rail Worker
  • Feb  3 – Pakistani Bombing Kills 3 US Soldiers
  • Feb  3 – Fifteen Injured in Darwin Australia Bomb Blast
  • Feb  3 – 43 Shia Pilgrims Killed, 140 Injured in Four Karbala Blasts
  • Feb  3 – Afghan Bomb Attack Kills 2 US Soldiers
  • Feb  3 – Motorcycle Bomb Kills 20, Injures 117 in Iraq
  • Feb  4 – Four Karbala Bomb Attacks Kill 43, Injure 123
  • Feb  4 – Bomb Explodes at LAN Chile Office in Buenos Aires
  • Feb  5 – Bomb Kills US Soldier in Western Afghanistan
  • Feb  5 – Two Suicide Bombers Kill 27, Injure Dozens in Karbala
  • Feb  5 – Southern Afghanistan Bomb Attack Kills 3
  • Feb  6 – Bombs Kill at Least 22 in Pakistan
  • Feb  6 – Basque Terror Group ETA Bomb Cache Found in Portugal
  • Feb  8 – Two NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Bombing
  • Feb  8 – Senior Afghan Policeman Held for Planting Bombs
  • Feb  8 – Bomb Hits Truck Carrying Thai Soldiers; 7 Wounded
  • Feb  8 – Four Policemen, 2 Civilians Killed by Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan
  • Feb10 – Suicide Bomb Kills 17, Mostly Police, in Pakistan
  • Feb10 – Somalia Bomb Kills Two Government Soldiers
  • Feb 11 – Bomb Blast Kills Two in Adelaide Australia
  • Feb 11 – Two Suicide Bombers Kill 15, Wound 20 in Islamabad
  • Feb 11 – Five US Soldiers Wounded by Kabul Suicide Bomber
  • Feb 12 – Twin Suicide Bombings Kill 9 Police, 5 Civilians in Peshawar
  • Feb 12 – Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 12 Near Khyber Pass
  • Feb 12 – Homeless Man Carries Bomb into Florida Hospital; No Casualties
  • Feb 13 – Somali Official Survives Bomb Attack
  • Feb 13 – British Soldier Killed Trying to Clear Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan
  • Feb 13 – Seattle Trash Can Blown Up
  • Feb 13 – Pune, India Blast Kills 9, Wounds 57
  • Feb 13 – Bomb Wounds Two at Baghdad Political Headquarters
  • Feb 13 – Two Wounded by Blast at Baghdad School
  • Feb 13 – Two Wounded in Karrada, Iraq Bombing
  • Feb 13 – One Injured by Baghdad Bomb
  • Feb 14 – 5-gallon Cooler Blown Up in Seattle
  • Feb 14 – Two Killed, 15 Injured in Pakistan Bombing
  • Feb 15 – Two Students Killed, 8 Injured in Colombo Sri Lanka Bombing
  • Feb 15 – Iraqi Political Party Office Bombed; No Injuries
  • Feb 15 – Bomb Defused Near Thai Supreme Court
  • Feb 15 – Baghdad Bomb Injures Two
  • Feb 16 – Bomb Explodes at Athens Office of JPMorgan Chase
  • Feb 16 – Car Bomb Explodes Outside Iraqi Crime Lab, Killing Two
  • Feb 16 – Pipe Bomb Found on Woodland Hills CA College Campus
  • Feb 16 – Roadside Bomb Detonates Near US Convoy in Baghdad; No Injuries
  • Feb 16 – Senior Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture Official Killed by Bomb
  • Feb 16 – Mosul Suicide Car Bomb Kills 2, Injures 25
  • Feb 16 – Baghdad House Destroyed by Bomb; 3 Injured
  • Feb 16 – Two Separate Explosions in Mosul Kill 2, Injure 6
  • Feb 16 – Child Wounded by Bomb Blast in Western Mosul
  • Feb 16 – Eastern Mosul Blast Wounds Three
  • Feb 16 – Mosul Blast Kills 2, Wounds 2
  • Feb 17 – Two Arabs Charged with Bomb Possession in Fort Worth
  • Feb 18 – Khyber Blast Kills 30, Wounds 70
  • Feb 18 – Ramadi Suicide Bomber Kills Self; No Other Casualties
  • Feb 18 – Afghanistan Roadside Bomb Kills Marine
  • Feb 18 – Thai Bomb Wounds 13
  • Feb 18 – Bomb Detonated by Safety Officials in Branson MO
  • Feb 19 – Mosque Bomb Kills 29 in Pakistan; Dozens Wounded
  • Feb 20 – Suicide Bomber Kills 13 in Ramadi
  • Feb 21 – Two Escape Injury by Petrol Bomb in Portglenone Ireland
  • Feb 21 – NATO Soldier Killed by IED in Afghanistan
  • Feb 22 – Car Bomb Attack Kills 6 Pakistani Security Troops
  • Feb 22 – Afghan Tribal Chief, 14 Others Killed by Suicide Bomber
  • Feb 22 – Adult, Three Teens Arrested in Clearwater FL Acid Bomb Attacks
  • Feb 22 – Three Children Injured by Bomb in Russian City of Besla
  • Feb 23 – Nine Dead, 20 Wounded in Multiple Afghan Bombings
  • Feb 23 – British Woman Among Eight Dead in Pakistani Market Bombing
  • Feb 23 – Salem OR Teen Attempts to Blow Up Family Tree
  • Feb 23 – Five Children Hurt in Northern India Bombing
  • Feb 25 – RAF Airman Killed in Blast Outside NATO Afghan Airbase
  • Feb 26 – Livermore CA Man Arrested for Detonating Pipe Bombs
  • Feb 26 – Palo Alto CA Bomb Squad Detonates Pipe Bomb; Source Unknown
  • Feb 27 – Pakistani Suicide Bomber Kills 4, Including Child, 2 Police
  • Feb 27 – Mexican Army Disarms Nitroglycerin Cell Phone Bomb Near School
  • Feb 28 – Roadside Bomb Kills 11 in Helmand Afghanistan
  • Feb 28 – Four killed, Twelve Wounded in Pakistan Bombing
  • Feb 28 – Bomb Explodes Near Bangkok Bank HQ; No Injuries

“Don’t Bring Home a White Boy”

February 27, 2010

The full title of this story could be “Don’t Bring Home a White Boy: And Other Notions That Keep Black Women from Dating Out,” the title of a recently-published book by Karyn Langhorne Folan.

Ms. Folan’s thesis is simple enough: Urban black females are three times as likely to have finished college as their male counterparts. If we assume that parity in education is an important element in finding a boyfriend, if not a husband, educated black females are at a distinct disadvantage.

Ms. Folan’s book is an attempt to offer educated black women an alternative to the shortage of available black men: date white men.

This, she says, is not easy for most black women because racial bias is a two-way problem. Educated black women, she says, are going to have to get over some old personal and family prejudices if they hope to find a man who is simpatico.

Folan, who is married to a white man, said it wasn’t easy when she first started dating her husband, Kevin. He was “so white.” Friends and family didn’t help much with their comments, either. Even black men she didn’t know would chide her in public for being in the company of a white man. “Come back, sister. Come back,” one of them yelled at her.

Lorraine Spencer of Arlington, Virginia says she still gets snide comments from friends and relatives, though she has been married happily to a white man for fifteen years.

But I wouldn’t bet too much on the notion that educated black women are going to find lovers among the white population. Among white Americans, the proportion of female college graduates already exceeds that of males by 22.6 percent. That’s a long way from the 200% disparity in the black community but it still doesn’t bode well for either black or white educated women. Since white women outnumber black women by a ratio of about eight to one, there is going to be a lot of competition for college-educated white males from overwhelming numbers of white females.

Some women, black and white, are going to have to “trade down” and settle for a man with considerably less education (and probably less earning power) or simply decide to get along without any men in their lives.

This is either good news or bad news for the lesbian community. I’ll get back to you.


“It’s the Economy, Stupid”

February 26, 2010

During Bill Clinton’s campaign for president, James Carville posted these words in Clinton’s office. Clinton was running against George Bush the Elder whose re-election was considered a slam dunk after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, ending the Cold War, and the stunning speed and success of Operation Desert Storm. Carville wanted to remind Clinton there was one issue on which the seemingly invulnerable incumbent was very vulnerable. Turns out he was right.

Yesterday, our current president in a callous disregard for American priorities ignored not only Carville’s sage words but also the opinion of the American public. Current polls show that over half of all Americans consider the economy the most important issue facing American today: double-digit unemployment; underemployment estimated as high as 30%; a 1.4 trillion-dollar deficit, and a population deeply concerned that our current economic woes may be a harbinger of permanent change—that the American economy will never recover its former luster, and that we are descending into second-world status. There is deep-seated concern among Americans that, whatever our station in life, prospects for our children and grandchildren are much poorer than were ours.

So what does our genius Community Organizer, part-term Senator, and totally half-assed neophyte president do? He calls a “summit” on his stalled health care miasma.

On Thursday, he met with 40 “congressional leaders” to carry on a “dialog” about what could be done to save his health care plan. He had the chutzpah to tell these congressmen that his health care overhaul was “absolutely critical” to a sustained economic recovery without saying a word about why.

Hey, they made it, not I.

Adding insult to his dog and pony show, Mr. Obama spoke for 4 of the 7 hours of the “dialog.”  If the remaining time were equally divided, each of the benumbed congressmen would have had less than 5 minutes to state his or her case. Not that it would have made any difference because Obama clearly wasn’t listening. He wants his health care bill and he wants it NOW. His ever-faithful sidekick, Harry Reid told reporters, “It is time to do something and we are going to do it.” Well Harry, go do it then. You obviously don’t give a shit what the people or many of your congressional colleagues think anyway. If you have the votes to fuck us, then fuck us. Otherwise please shut up.

The Republicans, when given a few small opportunities to speak, were typically Republican—that is, Discount Democrats. ‘Oh, these are good ideas,’ they say hollowly, ‘but we can do it cheaper.’ Guys, how about asking the fundamental question here? “What is the problem we’re trying to solve?” Sure, health care is expensive, and sure some people can’t afford it but I have this nagging suspicion that it’s expensive and unaffordable because the government’s already too involved in the health care business.

And while we’re talking about it, why am I already getting stuck with the bill for people who can afford chrome wheels and 60” LCD TV’s but “can’t afford the high cost of health care.” I think a lot of those 30 million people who are “uninsured” are uninsured by choice. Why should they shell out $400-$500 a month for health insurance? They already know that if they get anything from an earache to a myocardial infarction they can check in to any emergency room and get it taken care of for nothing.

Barry, you’ve made health care reform the centerpiece of your administration. Please, please, keep up the good work because the more you talk about health care while people are standing in lines waiting for jobs, the less likely you’ll get re-elected.

By the time you’re thrown out of office, there will be plenty of “community organizing” jobs available, mostly as recruiters for the People’s Liberation Army.


The Millennials: A New Take on Pascal’s Wager

February 25, 2010

Pascal’s Wager is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

Wikipedia

It’s the “nothing to lose” part of Pascal’s wager that always bothered me. Anyone who has sat through an interminable, pointless sermon, listened to a choir singing flat, or an entire congregation droning through “Onward Christian Solders” or the Nicene Creed would argue that he has a lot to lose, namely time that could be used more productively: watching football, playing golf, drinking, sleeping.

I think people today are making Pascal’s Wager with a subtle change. Pascal said that one should live his life as if God exists. Today’s generation has taken a pragmatic tack: Just in case, claim that you believe in God but don’t bother doing anything that takes any real effort, like going to church (except maybe Christmas eve) or giving them money for building funds or bailing out indicted priests.

No need to take my word for it. Take a look at the research recently released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.  I really like these guys. They seem to have no axe to grind. Their data-gathering and statistical methods are rigorous. You can check out Religion Among the Millennials or just trust my summary.

The Millennials are the generation born after 1980. The oldest among them are just turning 30.

First, 25% of them claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. This is the highest percentage of religiously unaffiliated youth in the history of polling in this country.

Oddly, however, 45% of Millennials claim to pray daily. This is higher than their parents’ generation (40%).

Millennials are leaving their parents’ churches. Eighteen percent of the unaffiliated Millennials come from families that are religiously affiliated.

Only 37% of Millennials who are affiliated with a religion consider their affiliation to be “strong.”

Only 33% of Millennials attend church regularly. Interestingly the percentage of Millennials who regularly attend historically black protestant churches is 55%.

Only 53% of Millennials say they know God exists, with no doubts.

But here are the really surprising findings. Belief in:

Life after death — Millennials – 75%; Total Population – 74%
Heaven — Millennials – 74%; Total Population – 74%
Hell — Millennials – 62%; Total Population 59%
Miracles — Millennials – 78%; Total Population 79%
Angels and Demons — Millennials – 67%; Total Population 68%

I think it works this way: there are a lot fewer believers out there than any of the polls show. BUT, when asked questions about their religious beliefs, people figure, just in case there is a god, I’m going to give an answer that makes me appear to be a believer. But I’m not going to waste my time acting like one.


News from the Front

February 24, 2010

The latest piece of military maneuvering in Afghanistan makes me wonder if they’re teaching battlefield strategy at our military academies any more.

On February 3, the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces (mostly NATO and US troops) operating in Afghanistan made the dubious decision of announcing, well in advance, their intentions to drive the Taliban out of Marjah, a village in southern Afghanistan.

Operation Moshtarek actually got under way on February 13, giving the Taliban occupiers of Marjah ten days to set up ambushes, booby traps, mines, entrenchments, sniper positions, and forward observation posts before the foreign devils arrived.

USMC Lt. Gen. John Paxton briefs Senate Armed Services Committee on Operation Moshtarek

It seems to have worked out well for the Taliban as relatively few (maybe 120) have been killed or captured. About 13 ISAF troops have died, so we are close to maintaining that ever-important 10 to 1 kill ratio. Also this week saw the death of the 1000th American in Afghanistan since this whole mess started 8 years ago.

ISAF troops are meeting with unusually stiff resistance. Two weeks ago they were saying it would it would take a month to clear the booby traps and mines out of Marjah. Now, it looks like it will take longer.

For civilians around Marjah, the scene is one of unremitting chaos. Hundreds have died and at least 40,000 are trapped in the midst of the fighting. Aid workers said the number civilian casualties will be unknown until health officials can move freely in the area.

Civilians who managed to survive and escape to medical care in secure areas all had the same story: their wounds were caused by shooting and bombs from “foreign soldiers.”

“There is no difference between Taliban and the civilian people. The Taliban are the rural people. They are our people,” said one victim who was moved two miles to a hospital in a wheel barrow.

“We were not unhappy with the Taliban,” said another. “The government didn’t do anything for us.”

“They shot me. They came at night. They were foreigners,” said a twelve-year-old victim. “I was outside in the field with a friend.”

So much for winning the hearts and minds.

And Operation Moshtarek seems to suffer from the same lack of long-range planning that has plagued our entire involvement in Afghanistan. After we “win,” what happens?

We can’t stay in Marjah forever and there is no question the Taliban will move right back into town when the Americans leave. Similarly, there’s no question the Taliban will move into the rest of Afghanistan when the Americans leave.

So what are we doing there in the first place?

Afghanistan represented a chance for Mr. Obama to take on one of the most questionable commitments of the Bush administration. His response has been to send another 30,000 troops with no overarching mission other than to survive until he begins withdrawing them in 2011.

He’s still yammering about health care like we give a shit.


“Girls Gone Wild: the High School Years”

February 23, 2010

By now, you’ve heard the story about the laptop computers distributed by the Lower Merion Pennsylvania school district.

Here’s the official version:

In order to keep Lower Merion high school students “connected” with school resources at all times, over 2000 students were issued MacBook computers. These are laptops they could take with them, presumably to do research, write papers, and submit homework.

What Merion officials neglected to tell students was that certain school officials could remotely turn on the built-in cameras on the laptops. This feature allegedly was employed to identify the users of stolen computers.

Last week, 16-year-old Blake Robbins was confronted by an assistant principal at Harriton High School who accused him of selling drugs and taking pills. The assistant principal  said he had webcam images to prove it.

Lower Merion school officials claim they had remotely activated the laptop cameras only 42 times in 14 months, recovering 18 missing MacBooks.

End of official version.

The aggregate bullshit score for this story comes in at a whopping .92, a mark usually achieved only by politicians actively campaigning.

  1. Why was the camera on Robbins’ computer activated? The computer was not reported stolen.
  2. Lower Merion Home Ec teacher Ella MacKenzie believes in doing surveillance the old fashioned way

    Lower Merion school superintendent Christopher McGinley said only two people in the “technology department” had access to the camera activation feature. So how did the assistant principal gain access to the incriminating pictures of Robbins?

  3. What was Robbins really doing? He claims he was eating candy or gum. What did the school officials see on the video that caused them to confront Robbins, particularly when they had to realize that the confrontation would reveal the secret of the spy cameras?
  4. The district claims the cameras were turned on 42 times. If the only people with access to the camera control feature were the techies in the basement, you can bet they were smart enough to erase the records of “unofficial” camera activations. Some of those cameras were probably on (and recording) 24/7.
  5. "See Kevin, I told you they were real. Jesus Christ! How does she do that?!!"

    Let’s see. Two computer geeks in some school basement, watching over the IT equipment. They probably live in their parents’ basements on Coke, potato chips, and pizza. Neither has had a date in the past four years. Hmmm. 2000 students, half of whom are female. (We’ll assume our geeks aren’t gay). Of these 1000 females, at least 100 would probably be rated as ‘hot.’ Laptops sitting open in their bedrooms, cameras (and sound) on. You get the picture. I’ll bet Rodney and Kevin have recorded enough good material for a new porn series Girls Gone Wild: the High School Years.

  6. Jail time for these guys? I’m betting on it. Too bad the lid was blown off. Another 6 months and they could have taken the raw footage to Thailand and lived like royalty on, well, the royalties.
  7. Blake’s sister, Paige Robbins, said “I can say that on behalf of all of my girlfriends at Harriton, we were very scared, because we don’t check to see if the lid is closed when we’re changing. We take them in the bathroom when we’re in the shower to listen to music. So, we’re all petrified. We don’t know who’s on the other end watching us do whatever.” God, I hope Rodney and Kevin had the good sense to ship copies of those videos overseas.
  8. Naturally a lawsuit has been filed. The legal papers say: “As the laptops were routinely used by students and family members at home, it is believed that many of the images captured and intercepted may consist of images of minors and their parents or friends in compromising or embarrassing positions, including in various stages of dress or undress.” Ya think?
  9. Do they still teach the Constitution in high school civics classes? Or, more to the point, has anyone officially connected with the Lower Merion school district ever read the Constitution. Nah, I didn’t think so either.

Lower Merion staff meets to celebrate success of "Laptop in Every Lap" program


News McNuggets

February 22, 2010

“Even less information than you get from USA Today!”

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France has denied citizenship to a man because he allegedly forced his wife to wear a full Islamic veil, the French immigration minister said in a statement Wednesday.

See, there really are Fashion Police!

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The U.S. and its allies are announcing the precise target of their first big offensive of the Afghanistan surge in an apparent bid to intimidate the Taliban.

Brilliant, just fucking brilliant. Tell the bad guys right where you’re gonna be and when. Yeah, that’ll intimidate them.

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Opium poppy fields form the ethnic and financial foundations of the Taliban insurgency.

True enough. They also form the ethnic and financial foundations of the entire Afghan population.

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U.S. President Barack Obama still plans to meet the Dalai Lama despite China’s warning that such a meeting would hurt US-China ties.

Reminds me of what Stalin said when one of his aides suggested he consider what the Pope might do. “The Pope,” said Stalin? “How many divisions does he have?”

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“One day he is a conservative, the next a moderate, and another day he is the great compromiser. He has no core on economic issues.”

I hate quotations like this. It could apply to anybody in congress.

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Instead of employers cutting just over 7 million jobs from their payrolls since the economic downturn began in December 2007, it’s expected that the Labor Department’s new estimate will be a loss of 8 million jobs.

What’s another million out of work? Pass the sherry, Michele.

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Saudi women’s rights advocates are outraged after a 12-year-old girl was sold by her father into marriage with an 80-year-old man.

Saudi women’s rights advocates?

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The political landscape looks increasingly favorable for Republicans to pick up House and Senate seats in November, with some handicappers predicting major gains of 25 to 30 seats and Republican House leaders expressing confidence that they can win the 40 seats they need to take back the majority.

You Democrats needn’t lose any sleep over this. The Republicans could fuck up a two-car funeral.

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Debra Medina, a Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate said on the Glenn Beck Show that there were “some very good arguments” that the U.S. was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

See. I told you the Republicans could fuck up a two-car funeral.

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The public has lost much of its enthusiasm for health care reform, and how Mr. Obama has managed it.

This brilliant insight comes from America’s newspaper of record, The New York Times.

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Vice President Joe Biden made his latest eyebrow-furrowing prediction Wednesday night, declaring confidently that another Sept. 11-size terror attack is “unlikely” in the U.S., despite signs that al Qaeda and and other terrorist groups are actively planning more attacks.

John Nance Garner, Franklin Roosevelt’s first VP, once said the office of vice president was not worth a pitcher of warm spit. Apparently neither is the vice president.

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A friend in Tallahassee said he had to lift his shirt to expose his colostomy bag to the TSA in Philadelphia.

Next question. What’s the TSA do if the colostomy bag contains over 4 oz of a liquid?

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Fred Morrison, 90, the man most often credited with inventing the Frisbee, died Feb. 9.

Why is it the assholes like Bernie Madoff get all the publicity?

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The weakening of faith has also been a “significant contributing factor” in the sexual abuse of minors, the pope said.

Oh, I get it Your Holiness. Part of the reason there was so much sexual abuse is because people weren’t attending church as often as they should. (Note to minors: Stay the fuck away from Catholic churches).

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Atlanta Progressive News senior reporter Jonathan Springston was fired by the paper because he insisted on reporting news events based on facts.

Jonathan, Jonathan. Didn’t they tell you in J school, “never let the facts get in the way of a good story?”

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John David Dingell Jr.,  83 is setting out for  a 28th two-year term in Congress.

Did this guy ever in his life hold an honest job?

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