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Everything you would only do in the privacy of your own home, Jon Kyl prefers to do on a subway car. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement
April 15, 2011 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Last week during the Senate budget negotiations, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), gave a speech that included the following statement: "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." That statement is drastically different from the statistics reported by Planned Parenthood, which list 90 percent of its services as preventive in nature, compared with 3 percent that are abortion-related. When asked about this apparent discrepancy, Jon Kyl's office replied that "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." And that is when things got noisy.

Jon Stewart had the first jab on this past Monday night, and then Stephen Colbert followed up, provided some of his own statements not intended to be factual. And then continued his Twitter feed and the new hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement, with a few of Stewart's tweets archived here and at Know Your Meme.

On this past Wednesday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) spoke in defense of women's rights, adding a jab at Kyl's "factual statement" reply.

Then on Thursday, one of Kyl's aides claimed responsibility for the original reply, and Kyl issued a new statement, citing a report (PDF) from non-profit pro-life group.
posted by filthy light thief (136 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
from non-profit pro-life anti-abortion group.

Pet peeve.
posted by inigo2 at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2011 [72 favorites]


Meh. 90% of statistics are made up on the spot anyway. This is a well known factual statement.
posted by brenton at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is not how you handle a PR blunder. I know, because I've been watching West Wing, and C.J. Cregg would be all over this bullshit.
posted by muddgirl at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2011 [35 favorites]


ingo2 - I was debating on the phrasing there, also thinking about "anti-choice," or "we only care until you're born, and then good fsking luck kid."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I prefer the term "antichoice," yeah - "antiwoman" works, too.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:04 AM on April 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


"his remark was not intended to be a factual statement."

This.... this used to be called "lying" at one point, right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:05 AM on April 15, 2011 [161 favorites]


filthy light thief: "And that is when things got noisy."

With rioting and the dragging into the streets, yes?
posted by boo_radley at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


from non-profit pro-life anti-abortion pro–forced pregnancy group.

That's even better.
posted by Zozo at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [19 favorites]


(Sorry; don't mean to derail on that point. But it was the least offensive comment I could make on this whole deal. How is outright lying during that debate tolerated and accepted? Every time Kyl speaks going forward, someone should shout out "He lies! And admits it!" Grrr....)
posted by inigo2 at 9:07 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


"his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." = a lie?

"A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others.

To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth.
posted by GreyFoxVT at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's the dumbest PDF I've ever read:
Planned Parenthood touts its “preventive services” but they all seem to have failed to prevent the problems they claim to solve. Rates of non-marital births and sexually transmitted diseases are increasing, and rates of abortion remain very high or are increasing.
That couldn't possibly have anything to do with the rise in "abstinence-only" education, could it? The only explanation is that Planned Parenthood has failed and sucks and needs less money to try to prevent those things. It's the only logical conclusion.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2011 [39 favorites]


This.... this used to be called "lying" at one point, right?

I don't think politicians have ever "lied." I think they have always "misspoken."
posted by rtha at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


This.... this used to be called "lying" at one point, right?

Actually it used to be called "Making shit up".
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:09 AM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is pretty much what Fox "News" and the conservatives do nonstop. They keep repeating what they want the truth to be and eventually people accept it as fact.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:10 AM on April 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


Why would he try to make factual statements? In today's world, who would want to be in the reality-based community?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:11 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the whole strategy of the birthers, the climate change denialists, the gun lobby... the list is endless. The cult of denial is founded on people who forgot they were making shit up.
posted by londonmark at 9:14 AM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


"his remark was not intended to be a factual statement."

This.... this used to be called "lying" at one point, right?


I believe it's also always been called politics.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:14 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The reality is even worse than what the pro-life survey said: 100% -- yes, every one -- 100% of people who have had a doctor-assisted abortion have gone to a abortion providing doctor. The extreme proclivity of abortion providing doctors to actually provide abortions is a stunning proof of just how awesome my ability to skew statistic is.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:15 AM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


That report does not support Kyl's original statement (abortion is 90% of what PP does"), so it's still non-factual.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:15 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I have to keep going (from the PDF):
Planned Parenthood is extraordinarily wealthy in its own right, and does not need tax dollars to continue to operate. According to its most currently published annual report, PP has nearly one billion dollars of net assets ($1,197,300,000.00 assets, and $202,600,000.00 liabilities).
Planned Parenthood has 860 clinics. That's about $1,000,000 per clinic. It costs $400,000 to make a Yogurtland, and all that is is a bunch of yogurt dispensers and bowls. I can't imagine it doesn't cost at least double that much to make a clinic, plus the necessary cash-on-hand to run such a large operation. By their definition, anyone who's paid off their mortgage is "extraordinarily wealthy".
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:16 AM on April 15, 2011 [18 favorites]


"Pro-coat-hanger" was always my favorite, because that's what winds up happening, no more no less.
posted by notsnot at 9:18 AM on April 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


I can fly.

not intended to be a factual statement.
posted by jonmc at 9:18 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


from non-profit pro-life anti-abortion group.

Pet peeve.


I hate to tell you, but "anti-abortion" does not have the negative connotation you seem to think it has. It has the same political slant as the term "pro-life."
posted by John Cohen at 9:20 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


"I prefer 'anti-choice'"

I prefer "freedom-hater"
posted by kingv at 9:20 AM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


This week John Kyl gave late night comedians one of their best gifts in years.
posted by caddis at 9:20 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


"his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." = a lie?

"A lie (also called prevarication, falsehood) is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others.


But that's exactly what he did! He made an untruthful statement about Planned Parenthood with the intent to deceive everyone listening to him. Just because afterwards he says "oh, I wasn't trying to tell the truth" doesn't make it not a lie.
posted by inigo2 at 9:20 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I hate to tell you, but "anti-abortion" does not have the negative connotation you seem to think it has. It has the same political slant as the term "pro-life."

I know it has the same political slant, sure. But that doesn't make those terms equal.
posted by inigo2 at 9:21 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Leaving aside the moral problems with lying, not making a factual statement (intentionally or not) while on the Senate floor debating legislation that will impact the lives of real people is downright wrong and irresponsible. I am appalled by Kyl's carelessness (but grateful for the new meme he provided for us). Some would argue that it's his staff's fault, but if he wants to lead he needs to take responsibility for all of his statements and actions of his staff.
posted by willhopkins at 9:23 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think what happened in response Jon Kyl's lie on the Senate floor was great. It would be swell if public figures were afraid enough of the consequences of lying to the American public that they stopped doing it. In order for that to happen, we'll need one of these freaking hullabaloos twice a day for the next few years.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:24 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Meme dispersal (and diffusion) like this is one of the things Twitter is great at. Many people who had never heard of Jon Kyl before now know that he thought Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the best in the series.

The other thing Twitter does really well is live reporting. On twitter, I'm able to follow a minor league hockey game, a regional town hall and protests, all from house.
posted by drezdn at 9:24 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Colbert said it best when he remarked... "He did not intend it to be a factual statement; just to have it entered into the official record as one."
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:24 AM on April 15, 2011 [36 favorites]


this used to be called "lying" at one point, right?

That was exactly how The Daily Show called it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2011


For the rest of us, lying to Congress is a felony.
posted by grounded at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2011 [99 favorites]


The GOP: "Remarks not intended to be factual statements"
posted by jefficator at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


filthy light thief: And that is when things got noisy.

boo_radley: With rioting and the dragging into the streets, yes?

At first I wrote "funny" instead of "noisy," but then I found more updates (Gillibrand's comments, the aide taking the fall, and Kyl finding his "real" citation -- "Ninety eight percent of Planned Parenthood’s services to pregnant women (abortion, adoption and prenatal care) are abortion" -- ignoring all the other services Planned Parenthood provides).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:25 AM on April 15, 2011


grounded: For the rest of us, lying to Congress is a felony.

Congress would be a quiet, empty place if there was more sound fact-checking and less grand-standing with sweeping comments.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


his remark was not intended to be a factual statement."

Just a talking out of his ass statement.
posted by stormpooper at 9:27 AM on April 15, 2011


Give him a break. The dude works as a congressmen. No one, and I mean no one, expects those people to be truthful, or smart, or even knowledgeable about the things they vote on. Right? If he isn't cheating on his wife in some you-must-be-joking way he's doing better than we expected.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:27 AM on April 15, 2011


The #notintendedtobeafactualstatement hashtag has been comedy gold.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:27 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congress would be a quiet, empty place

Typically, it already is. The chamber is empty except for the person speaking 99.5% of the time.

Naturally, Congress made it illegal for us to show this fact on TV.
posted by schmod at 9:28 AM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've been attending counterdemonstrations against the antichoicers here in Olympia for some time now. It didn't take me many tries before I gave up on talking to antichoicers entirely. These people are not interested in facts or reason or logic in any way, shape or form - after all, one does not arrive at an antichoice point of view by giving the matter any kind of detailed thought. To me, this matter is not a debate, it is not a discussion, it is not an negotiation. A citizen's right to their own organs is not up for compromise - attempting to compromise with antichoicers has meant a steady whittling away of a woman's right to choose over the last thirty years.

So at these demonstrations, I'm not interested in dialog with maniacs any longer. This is not a disagreement between reasonable people, this is the difference between being on the wrong side of history or not. These people aren't antiwar, anti-death penalty vegans who've never taken an antibiotic, they aren't "prolife" in the slightest. Facts have nothing to do with their beliefs and the only fact we have to keep in mind here is that they're all about punishing women for exercising their own sexual agency, full stop. That's 100% of their platform. You don't need to listen to the words coming out of their mouths - all they're really saying is "SLUTS! SLUTS! GOD, I HATE THESE SLUTS SO MUCH!"

Speaking of which, those losers have been out in front of our Planned Parenthood for about an hour now. I'd better get down there and mix it up. Ever since the House started in trying to strip Planned Parenthood's funding, we've been collecting hella donations. The community has truly shown its colors and I'm proud to be a part of it. Much as I hate these misogynist bums, I hope they never quit - they're our top fundraisers, after all.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:29 AM on April 15, 2011 [85 favorites]


Gentlepeople, if elected Tribune, I promise you this:

All statements made by lawmakers will be checked for accuracy within 24 hours.
All lawmakers must wear electroshock collars.
If a statement is found to be inaccurate, said lawmaker will receive a shock exactly 24 hours later directly proportional to how far said statement was from the truth.

This initiative will be wholly funded by advertising from the forthcoming C-SPAN reality program, Shock to the Democratic System.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:33 AM on April 15, 2011 [33 favorites]


Here's to "Not intended to be a factual statement": the "no controlling authority" of the new millenium.
posted by hwestiii at 9:34 AM on April 15, 2011


Just because afterwards he says "oh, I wasn't trying to tell the truth" doesn't make it not a lie.

Yeah--isn't that just what we used to call "admitting to a lie"? I guess once you excise the concept of lying from our vocabulary, there are all kinds of knock-on effects...
posted by saulgoodman at 9:35 AM on April 15, 2011


from non-profit pro-life anti-abortion group.

Pet peeve.


For more neutral language, AP Style has the two sides down as "pro-abortion rights" and "anti-abortion rights."
posted by zerbinetta at 9:36 AM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I love politicians. That's a non-factual statement.
posted by blucevalo at 9:36 AM on April 15, 2011


EatTheWeak: Occasionally I drive past one of our Planned Parenthood locations, the one on Northgate in Seattle. It always has the most desultory protestors I've ever seen out in front of it. The last two times I drove past, I think it was two college-age people, one holding up an 8.5x11" printout of a 14 week pregnancy as visualized by fetoscopy, sitting on the curb sharing a cigarette and chatting. It makes me giggle. If I wasn't always hurrying on my way to go do something else, I'd take my 4 year old and my 5 month old baby and walk past them and go inside and write them a check.
posted by KathrynT at 9:37 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


AP Style has the two sides down as "pro-abortion rights" and "anti-abortion rights."

Not only is that neutral, that's actually what they are. I can't stand these people just as much as any rational person, but I'm not going to take a page out of their book and call them "anti-puppies and ice cream" or whatever. They sound like children, and I don't want to emulate that.
posted by spaltavian at 9:38 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Somehow, I think the news that the old bastard was just making shit up won't cause the shrill idiots outside of the local Planned Parenthood center to tone down their screams at some lady just there to pick up some contraceptives.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Kyl's office replied that "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement."

Of course it wasn't. This is the GOP MO. Be truthy, not truthful.
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on April 15, 2011


"We're pro-life!"

Ooooh, you look it too! You're just full of life.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:39 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kang: Abortions for all.
[crowd boos]
Kang: Very well, no abortions for anyone.
[crowd boos]
Kang: Hmm... Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.
[crowd cheers and waves miniature flags]
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:40 AM on April 15, 2011 [24 favorites]


The Republican/corporatist propaganda machine is their greatest weapon. This is just an extreme example of how it works: introduce a meme, keep repeating through multiple outlets until it looks to the targets like it's coming from all directions, and that a consesus has developed, and shouldn't you believe it to, because it fits right into your preconceptions, and everyone else believes it! it seems to be based on the CIA's old Mighty Whirlitzer model. Neutralizing it has to be job one for the left wing. And this is a good example of how to do that: with ridicule.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:40 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The dude works as a congressmen. No one, and I mean no one, expects those people to be truthful, or smart, or even knowledgeable about the things they vote on. Right?

The sad thing is, you probably are right.

And that is exactly why we are in the mess we are in. We should be expecting our representatives to be knowledgeable and truthful about the things they vote on -- because that is what we have elected them to do. If we have such low standards for them, why should they do better?

On the other hand, imagine what would happen if we did expect our representatives to do better, and if we called them on it when they didn't?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


EatTheWeak: Much as I hate these misogynist bums, I hope they never quit - they're our top fundraisers, after all.

I hope they do quit, the issue becomes a non issue, and Planned Parenthood can get proper funding. You may say that I'm a dreamer ...
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Said it before, say it again: is anyone (other than the opt-out voters) surprised at all? Anyone? Bueller?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:44 AM on April 15, 2011


A friend sent me the Colbert link yesterday and it immediately reminded me of this essay by Scott Adams on understanding engineers. Specifically
They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them.
posted by Mitheral at 9:44 AM on April 15, 2011


That Colbert segment was one of the funniest things I've ever seen on his show.
posted by odinsdream at 9:45 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be honest, it wasn't a lie so much as the new, technical definition of "bullshit": a statement whose truth value is utterly irrelevant, only its value towards getting the speaker what he wants. This to me is much worse than a lie; liars oppose the truth, bullshitters don't care about it at all.

What drove me crazy was the immediate finger-worshipping for Colbert that went on. Colbert responded to this outrageous act by mocking it on Twitter, and progressives responded by...linking to Colbert. The story went from being, "This Senator got caught not only lying but admitting that he was lying" to "Ha ha look at the funny thing Stephen Colbert is doing!" (Hence the term "finger-worshipping". Instead of looking at what the finger was pointing to, they praised the finger.) Colbert's tweets got a lot of attention, but none of them give any kind of context. In fact, when I and a few other folks tweeted about Kyl's statement, we got responses telling us to go check out the lols on Colbert's feed.

It became indicative of pretty much the entire problem with the young progressive left. They don't get angry, they just make funny photoshop pictures and keep on letting these shitheads control the debate and the country.
posted by Legomancer at 9:46 AM on April 15, 2011 [34 favorites]


We get the government they deserve. [weeps]
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:49 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know for a fact that Jon Kyl's daughter has had an abortion in a facility in the Bronx because I have a friend who works there who was talking all about it in light of these events. Him and his daughter went in last November and my friend didn't recognize him until earlier this week when this story broke. Apparently, this guy came by a couple of times and would hit on the single women in the waiting room, bragging about being an important decision-maker. My friend said that Kyl didn't say a single word to any of the staff, but would instead tell his daughter what to say. *




*this anecdote is not intended to be a factual statement. Any similarities to any real people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
posted by fuq at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2011 [23 favorites]


finger-worshipping

"When the sage points to the stars, the fool only looks at his finger."



yes, yes, 'and argues about it 24/7 on cable news shows', hardy har har. . .
posted by Herodios at 9:54 AM on April 15, 2011


Years ago, I was watching Prime Minister's Question Hour (oh, yeah, I can nerd with the best of ya) when Tony Blair was leader of the opposition and, I think, John Major was Prime Minister. Some question was asked and the Prime Minister gave his answer and Mr. Blair rose to be recognized and cited evidence that contradicted the Prime Minister's reply.

Then he said, "The Prime Minister lies."

Immediately, there was a huge hubbub. It is a violation of the rules of the House of Commons (and both of the US legislative bodies) to say that a Member is a liar. The Speaker, Betty Boothroyd at the time, I believe, and said, "Oh, no... no, no, no... we don't say he lies."

Tony turned to the Speaker, gave one of those mysterious half-bows that you can only do if you are born British and said, "Madam Speaker, I apologize for misspeaking. I meant to say, of course, that the Prime Minister is most gravely in error." The smirk on his face showed that that phrase was very much intended to be morally equivalent in every respect with his original statement.

MeFites, I submit to you that Sen. Kyl was most gravely mistaken.
posted by driley at 9:58 AM on April 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


Years back the San Jose CA PP, which always had protestors with gory signs out front, convinced it's supporters to sponsor the protestors with donations. A bunch of people signed up. So PP people would go outside and tell the protestors that their presence was raising money for PP. Their numbers dropped dramatically.
posted by njohnson23 at 9:59 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


When was the last time anyone was actually prosecuted for lying to Congress?
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:01 AM on April 15, 2011


This is pretty much what Fox "News" and the conservatives do nonstop. They keep repeating what they want the truth to be and eventually people accept it as fact.

Is this intended to be a factual statement? Like, conservatives rarely sleep, or they learn to talk in their sleep so they can keep repeating what they want the truth to be pretty much nonstop? Or is it an exaggeration for emphasis meant to make a point?

Not to excuse Kyl, because there's little chance that Daddy-o meant that literally, and Kyl likely meant for people to take what he said literally. But in a thread mocking someone for hyperbole that crossed over into dishonesty, I think the irony is amusing.
posted by layceepee at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When was the last time anyone was actually prosecuted for lying to Congress?

My sarcasm meter is busted right now, so in case you're not kidding -- Barry Bonds. Trial just concluded Wednesday. (Unless you meant successfully prosecuted; I don't know the answer to that one.)
posted by inigo2 at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


For more neutral language, AP Style has the two sides down as "pro-abortion rights" and "anti-abortion rights."

For actual accuracy, it should be "pro-choice" and "anti-slut".
posted by Malor at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ah man, what a joker. This guy's staff is just Kylling me.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:14 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


layceepee: It is a factual statement and not hyperbole.

The "movement conservatives" literally fund hundreds of different sock-puppet organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Enterprise Institute--to mention only in passing whole media outlets like the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times and various other conservative organizations that orchestrate bulk purchases of conservative-leaning books to create the impression that these fringe political theories enjoy more credibility and have a wider popular audience than they actually do--all of this has been documented and reported again and again by sources both inside and outside "movement conservative" circles.
Think tanks may have a decided political leaning. There are twice as many conservative think tanks as liberal ones, and the conservative ones generally have more money. One of the important functions of think tanks is to provide a way for business interests to promote their ideas or to support economic and sociological research not taking place elsewhere that they feel may turn out in their favor. Conservative think tanks also offer donors an opportunity to support conservative policies outside academia, which during the 1960s and 1970s was accused of having a strong "collectivist" bias.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


When was the last time anyone was actually prosecuted for lying to Congress?

I'm sure Senator Kyl will be subject to the same rigorous investigation Roger Clemens has faced.
posted by gladly at 10:19 AM on April 15, 2011


If we keep running with this meme, eventually Kyl is going to start threatening people with defamation. Which will be hilarious and ironic.
posted by naju at 10:27 AM on April 15, 2011


"The Education Minister is guilty of a terminological inexactitude"

Parliamentary language is fantastic.
posted by knapah at 10:28 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When was the last time anyone was actually prosecuted for lying to Congress?

The Speech or Debate Clause has this covered. Except in extreme circumstances, a Congressperson or Senator can say whatever they want in the House or Senate. You're going to have to pick a different angle.
posted by rhizome at 10:28 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Argh, the time code link doesn't work in the inline player. I keep forgetting that.
posted by knapah at 10:28 AM on April 15, 2011


I always picture Think Tanks like Lobbyist dunk tanks with hair triggers so sensitive that all they have to do is think about lobbing softballs at each other to take turns swimming in it. Only the tanks aren't full of water, they're full of gold doubloons, and tickets cost a hundred grand a pop. Also, the Lobbyists are naked, for some reason.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:33 AM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


VOTE INNUMERACY IN 2013!
posted by hydrophonic at 10:37 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Much as I think most people in Congress should be fed to animals, my very own rep., Jackie Speier, has been quite vocal in support of Planned Parenthood.

In all seriousness, I would vote for her to be president.
posted by ambient2 at 10:39 AM on April 15, 2011


Jackie Speier is awesome.
posted by rtha at 10:42 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been attending counterdemonstrations against the antichoicers here in Olympia for some time now. It didn't take me many tries before I gave up on talking to antichoicers entirely. These people are not interested in facts or reason or logic in any way, shape or form - after all, one does not arrive at an antichoice point of view by giving the matter any kind of detailed thought.

Of course, we all know why YOU support abortion rights, EatTheWeak. Placenta recipes not scratching the itch anymore, you gotta take it to the next level?

hold on, lemme get my bib, I'll meet you there
posted by FatherDagon at 10:43 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Walmart. :D
posted by zarq at 10:46 AM on April 15, 2011


FatherDragon: Can I interest you in an umbilicorice whip?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:49 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


XQUZYPHYR this side of the pond it is known as being Economical with the truth.
posted by adamvasco at 11:00 AM on April 15, 2011


I don't think politicians have ever "lied." I think they have always "misspoken."

"Asked if he regretted the flap, Kyl said Thursday: 'I misspoke when I said what I said on the floor - and I said so.'" *
posted by ericb at 11:01 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is pretty much what Fox "News" and the conservatives do nonstop. They keep repeating what they want the truth to be and eventually people accept it as fact.

Next up -- Fox News: "Senator Jon Kyl (D - Ariz.)."
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I always picture Think Tanks like Lobbyist dunk tanks with hair triggers so sensitive that all they have to do is think about lobbing softballs at each other to take turns swimming in it. Only the tanks aren't full of water, they're full of gold doubloons, and tickets cost a hundred grand a pop. Also, the Lobbyists are naked, for some reason.

I got your think tank right here: the climactic scene of The Magic Christian.

There's something in the air . . .
posted by Herodios at 11:07 AM on April 15, 2011


This is the whole strategy of the birthers, the climate change denialists, the gun lobby... the list is endless.

Temporary derail: Arizona Legislature Approves Presidential 'Birther' Bill; 'Circumcision Certificate' May Be Used To Prove Citizenship.
posted by ericb at 11:09 AM on April 15, 2011


forthcoming C-SPAN reality program, Shock to the Democratic System.

It would be a better show if instead a shock was given each time there was a not intended to be a factual statement.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:10 AM on April 15, 2011


Next up -- Fox News: "Senator Jon Kyl (D* - Ariz.)."

*not intended to be a factual statement
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:10 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fox News: not intended to be a factual statement
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:13 AM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I remember when I thought the internet was going to make it *harder* for people to get away with lying.

Ah, the mid-'90s. No matter how cynical you were...you had no fucking idea.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:16 AM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


The Republican/corporatist propaganda machine is their greatest weapon

You know who else had such a machine?

Willi Münzenberg. A fine German Communist from whom Joseph Goebbels learned his trade.

"The key relevance of Münzenberg for our own day is this: he understood the key importance of influencing opinion-formers. He targeted especially intellectuals, taking the view that intellectuals were especially easy to influence because they were so vain. His contacts included many of the great literary figures of the 1930s, a large number of whom were encouraged by him to support the Republicans in the Spanish civil war and to make that into a cause-célèbre of Communist anti-fascism. Münzenberg’s tactics are of primary importance to the manipulation of opinion in today’s New World Order. More then ever before, so-called ‘experts’ constantly pop up on our TV screens to explain what is happening, and they are always vehicles for the official party line. They are controlled in various ways, usually by money or by flattery."
posted by rough ashlar at 11:16 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Not intended to be a factual statement' is a fairly apt shorthand for the Republican party in general.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:18 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


The dingo kyl'ed my baby.
posted by storybored at 11:20 AM on April 15, 2011


ericb: " Temporary derail: Arizona Legislature Approves Presidential 'Birther' Bill; 'Circumcision Certificate' May Be Used To Prove Citizenship."

I would just like to point out that Countess Elena called this, two years ago.
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think everyone should pitch in and buy the Senator a couple hundred copies of How to lie with statistics, since he clearly needs lessons on how to do it right.
posted by yeolcoatl at 11:24 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


NO FACTUAL STATEMENT INTENDED!!
posted by Rhaomi at 11:26 AM on April 15, 2011


my contribution to the Twitter meme (retweeted a whole 3 times):
The GOP does not qualify as a Criminal Enterprise under RICO #notintendedtobeafactualstatement

pitch in and buy the Senator a couple hundred copies of How to lie with statistics,
I read that book in 8th grade - it went far toward teaching me skepticism - but every right wing 'think tank' has copies in every office.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:28 AM on April 15, 2011


Oh, and in honor of mattdidthat, I say we call them "Girthers"
posted by zarq at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2011


The Internet did make it harder for people to get away with lying.

The overwhelming apathy of the American public and general spinelessness of the left wing picked up the slack and then some.
posted by Zozo at 11:33 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the things Kyl cites is this column by Abby Johnson, a former PP exec. Anyone know anything about her? Aside from the fact she's flogging a book?
posted by klangklangston at 11:35 AM on April 15, 2011


I always picture think tanks as huge armored machines, lumbering over the intellectual landscape, occasionally pausing to machine-gun a hamlet of independent thought, or to lob an ignorance-shell at some upstart idea.
posted by MrVisible at 11:38 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


It became indicative of pretty much the entire problem with the young progressive left. They don't get angry, they just make funny photoshop pictures and keep on letting these shitheads control the debate and the country.

This is pretty much what Fox "News" and the conservatives do nonstop. They keep repeating what they want the truth to be and eventually people accept it as fact.

You don't need to listen to the words coming out of their mouths - all they're really saying is "SLUTS! SLUTS! GOD, I HATE THESE SLUTS SO MUCH!"


Overgeneralizations and caricatures don't exactly clear a path to the high ground in a discussion about honesty.
posted by brain_drain at 11:41 AM on April 15, 2011


Surely this....

...will make Republicans see how dishonest and corrupt their congressmen are. But after Mark Foley, I'm thinking most of them are probably beyond help.
posted by JHarris at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2011


Apparently, this guy came by a couple of times and would hit on the single women in the waiting room, bragging about being an important decision-maker.

What a douche--hitting on women at Planned Parenthood.

Then I clicked on his picture---ewwwwww 20xs.

F'in gross.
posted by stormpooper at 12:02 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"from non-profit pro-life anti-abortion group.

Pet peeve."

Well, when you really think about it, everyone is pro-life and everyone is anti-abortion. I think everyone wants to live in a world where no one has abortions. The difference being that the "pro-life" people want it to happen because women can't have abortions and the pro-choice folks want it to be because there is no need for anyone to have an abortion because everyone has and uses effective birth control.

I fully support a woman's right to have an abortion but I really wish there was never a need for them to have one.

The implication of the term "pro-life" is that everyone else is "anti-life" which is absurd. The implication of the term "anti-abortion" is that everyone else is "pro-abortion" and that is equally absurd. No one in their right might take a pregnancy test and thinks, "Oh boy, I hope I'm pregnant because I'll get to have an abortion. They're so awesome!"

For me, "pro-choice" works just fine. "Anti-reproductive rights" fits better than "pro-life" but is kind of mouthful.
posted by VTX at 12:04 PM on April 15, 2011


Have some sympathy here, folks. Have you ever tried to pull a number out of your ass? No matter what jelly you use, it can hurt.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:27 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


These people are not interested in facts or reason or logic in any way, shape or form - after all, one does not arrive at an antichoice point of view by giving the matter any kind of detailed thought. To me, this matter is not a debate, it is not a discussion, it is not an negotiation.

People who think you support baby murder don't want to negotiate either. This is one of those issues were the beauty of compromise seems to break down from either side.

It's also kind of unfair to say they don't think, plenty of intelligent thoughtful people are pro-life, the issue is full of shades of grey and is not at all clear cut.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:27 PM on April 15, 2011


It's also kind of unfair to say they don't think, plenty of intelligent thoughtful people are pro-life, the issue is full of shades of grey and is not at all clear cut.

EatTheWeak was talking about anti-abortion protesters, not just those who hold anti-abortion views.
posted by fryman at 12:44 PM on April 15, 2011


Still too broad a brush.

Update on Kyl: This statement was not meant to be a statement.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:49 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Update on Kyl: This statement was not meant to be a statement.

This is such shit. Other senators should throw in mentions to this whole event next time they speak, just to restore it to the Congressional Record.
posted by inigo2 at 12:53 PM on April 15, 2011


There's a great word for this that's used rather often in France: "mythomanie". For a person, "mythomane". A mania for myths; creation of a mythology parallel to reality. The grandiose and bombastic employ it to impress and cut off all thinking and rational judgement. Ninety percent! Wow, that's huge, it must be true!

The English translation is a bit less evocative: pathological lying. The French "mythomanie" encompasses more than the clinical English refers to, and implies a purpose: winning others over with gold-dusted bullshit, so to speak.
posted by fraula at 12:56 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: "EatTheWeak: Much as I hate these misogynist bums, I hope they never quit - they're our top fundraisers, after all.

I hope they do quit, the issue becomes a non issue, and Planned Parenthood can get proper funding. You may say that I'm a dreamer ...
"

Well you're not the only one.
posted by Splunge at 1:01 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, great. Next we'll hear from the dreamer agenda, about how they hope for world unification via proselytization. Watch out for their invitation to "join us"...
posted by hippybear at 1:18 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


From OxCAF above: That couldn't possibly have anything to do with the rise in "abstinence-only" education, could it?

I'm as pro-choice as they come but is there any actual research on this? I couldn't find any - I totally don't mean this in a trolling "GOT A CITATION??" way I just mean I'd really like to read an article about that if abstinence-only education is in fact on the rise.
posted by windbox at 1:27 PM on April 15, 2011


The whole pro-life thing is a sign of the right's great job at creating loaded terms that get repeated. We finally have one though, Paul Ryan is promoting Wealthcare over Healthcare.
posted by drezdn at 1:33 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, when you really think about it, everyone is pro-life and everyone is anti-abortion. I think everyone wants to live in a world where no one has abortions.

I am no more anti-abortion than I am anti-appendectomy. One is not ickier than the other for me. And I like living in the real world, and any real world without abortions -- lots and lots of abortions -- sounds hellish to me.

So emphatically no -- everyone is not anti-abortion. I am proudly pro-abortion. And I know I'm very much not alone in feeling this fine way.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 1:57 PM on April 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


So emphatically no -- everyone is not anti-abortion. I am proudly pro-abortion. And I know I'm very much not alone in feeling this fine way.

I think the conceit is simply that no one is pro-abortion in the sense of "Yay abortions!" Even those who steadfastly support the right to an abortion would still rather not see it be a necessity; better education and contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancies, and we always hope that wanted pregnancies are healthy.

Put another way, even the pro-choice side wants to see a reduction in abortions, but they're generally going about it the more sane way.
posted by explosion at 2:06 PM on April 15, 2011


EatTheWeak: I prefer the term "antichoice," yeah - "antiwoman" works, too.

I've been using forced birth.

ClinicEscort's recent tweets from CLPP included suggestions for engaging people in the middle:

Typical breakdown of views on abortion

'Change test question from "AB shld be legal" to "I can accept decision even if mine would be diff"'

'Don't list reasons why a woman has an AB; illustrate decision-making process: "talking to loved ones, weighing other responsibities"'

"choices" sounds trivial/whimsical: red car or blue car. using the word "decision" reminds people there's a whole process involved.

'Language matters. "Should govt health cover AB?" gets 60% no. "Amt of $ a woman has shouldnt determine if she aborts" gets 54% agree'
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


The pro-choice side isn't monolithic, of course. Personally, as a pro-choice person, I don't necessarily want fewer abortions - I want there to be just as many abortions as are needed. Maybe there should actually be MORE abortions? Maybe the lack of abortion centers in South Dakota and Montana (for example) is actually preventing abortions that would otherwise occur? Perhaps waiting periods and monetary need is preventing needed abortions?

I don't know that number, and I would never presume to say that there "should be" less. I want every woman who needs an abortion to get one, however many that is per year.

Of course I am also in favor of other types of family planning services, and if those happen to lower the number of needed abortions, then so be it. But to me, abortions are just one more tool in a reproductive planning toolkit.
posted by muddgirl at 2:19 PM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Should be "needs and/or wants." "Needs" is sort of a tricky word because I support the right of women to decide NOT to get an abortion that others may consider "needed."
posted by muddgirl at 2:20 PM on April 15, 2011


Put another way, even the pro-choice side wants to see a reduction in abortions, but they're generally going about it the more sane way.

What unites us pro-choicers is wanting to see a reduction in unwanted pregnancies. There is great diversity among us about how icky abortion is. My point is that some significant portion of us don't think abortion is icky at all, and it riles us when we hear that surely everyone considers it a troubling and disturbing choice. Some of us don't feel that way at all.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 2:23 PM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


The implication of the term "anti-abortion" is that everyone else is "pro-abortion" and that is equally absurd.

I'm sorry, but I think that's a correct implication. Republican policies consistently increase the number of abortions performed, and reduce their safety to boot.

The real target of the anti-abortion laws is women. If you look at what Republicans do, instead of what they say, their policies universally deny education, access to birth control, and good prenatal planning programs like Planned Parenthood. This is not accidental; this is deliberate. The real goal is try to force women back into subservience, making it dangerous and risky to engage in sexual behavior. The overall goal is to force sexually active women into marriage out of fiscal necessity.

The fact that these policies actually increase the number of dead fetuses is acceptable collateral damage.

This fight is so nasty and ongoing because one side is not trying to accomplish its claimed goals. Again: look at what they do, not what they say.
posted by Malor at 2:25 PM on April 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


The overall goal is to force sexually active women into marriage out of fiscal necessity.

Actually, after a couple moments' thought, I think maybe it would be slightly more accurate to say that the goal is to punish sinful behavior; forced marriage is a desirable first-order effect of that goal.
posted by Malor at 2:30 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]




EatTheWeak, thanks for being out there against those jerks. (I'm adoring all the "Olympia <3's Planned Parenthood" signs, too.)

I always want to be the bigger person, but at least once or twice while bicycling past on my way to the library or whatever I've just given them the finger.
posted by epersonae at 4:56 PM on April 15, 2011


My pleasure, epersonae, truly. I love this town - those rats don't get to pull that shit round here without a fight. (their sorry asses helped us raise ~$300 today, btw!)

If you ever wanna hop off your bike and say hey, I'm the bald, bearded maniac hassling cars for honks every Friday. We've also got hella spare signs and baked goods - you could even hang out awhile and join in if you wanted! (pro-choice meetup!) Know what the fantastic thing about counterdemonstrating against antichoicers is? No matter how much of a lunatic you act like trying to get donations and honks and whatnot, it is fucking impossible to look more deranged than an antichoicer with a gore sign.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:37 PM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Kyl Raped and Murdered a Girl in 1990.
posted by moorooka at 3:29 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement
The Terrible Facts About Senator John Kyl
posted by adamvasco at 8:29 AM on April 16, 2011


Pro Life sounds like the magazine for the aspiring hooker.
posted by marienbad at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


and Pro Choice is clearly their home-shopping channel.
posted by marienbad at 9:20 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So does that make a Pro Tip a condom?
posted by Splunge at 12:32 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Kyl believes Palm Sunday is a national day of masturbation. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement
posted by telstar at 4:26 AM on April 17, 2011




I'm not sure. I've been told that John Cornyn hunts US war veterans for sport. I'm not sure, but I think we ought to find out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:50 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sen. Kyl Erases His False Statement On Planned Parenthood From Congressional Record

The original statement from Kyl: "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." After Kyl amended his remarks, the congressional record now reads: "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does."
posted by crunchland at 3:04 PM on April 22, 2011


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