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Interesting look at Political facts that are used
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Interesting look at Political facts that are used - April 15, 2011, 11:24 AM

Colbert vs. Kyl and spread of 'misinformation' - CNN.com


New York (CNN) -- "Not intended to be a factual statement."
This was the sound of the curtain coming back on what passes for political debate too often these days.
The now-infamous statement from Sen. Jon Kyl's office was released after he said on the floor of the U.S. Senate that abortions represent "over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."
It turns out that the actual number is 3%, a mere rounding error of 87%. But it was presented to the American people and enshrined in the Senate Record as a means of arguing that Planned Parenthood should be entirely defunded in the current budget.
This has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with the disproportionate influence of social conservative activists.
Their most compelling argument is that the American people don't support federal taxpayer money paying for abortions, which is true -- and why federal funding of abortion has been banned since 1976.
But the facts are inconvenient, and so they are ignored. Instead, talking points taken from talk radio are repeated until they take on a life of their own and eventually get the validation of a U.S. senator.

The news wasn't that Kyl made a mistake; it was his staff essentially acknowledging that in the current hyper-partisan environment, facts are a secondary concern, even on the floor of the U.S. Senate, even when they are paraded as statistics. The important thing is to scare the hell out of people so that they remember your political point and pass it on.
Like the mirror image of some hippies of old, emotional truth is more important than literal truth. It creates a political tower of Babel.
In this absurd spin cycle, there's one dependable place to look for sanity: satire. And on cue came Stephen Colbert, who took Kyl's statement as a challenge and dialed it up to 11. Using the Twitter hashtag



#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement, Colbert unleashed a steady stream of Jon Kyl mistruths with the requisite denial. Among my favorites:


• Jon Kyl developed his own line of hair care products just so he could test them on bunnies.


• Jon Kyl can unhinge his jaw like a python to swallow small rodents whole.


• Every Halloween Jon Kyl dresses up as a sexy Mitch Daniels.


• Jon Kyl sponsored S.410, which would ban happiness.


• Jon Kyl let a game-winning ground ball roll through his legs in Game 6 of the '86 World Series.


• Jon Kyl once ate a badger he hit with his car.


You get the idea. But the problem is much bigger than Jon Kyl. Colbert is going to have to get a bigger hashtag. Because we're heading to a strange place where Daniel Patrick Moynihan's truism "everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts" no longer applies.
Exhibit B this week: Donald Trump's re-enflaming of the thoroughly discredited birther conspiracy theory. When he repeats this falsehood in interviews, he is too often treated as a man with an unorthodox opinion, not someone repeating a lie on national television.
As a result, more people are duped and the country more divided, not on the many rational reasons to oppose President Obama's policy agenda but on paranoid fantasies cut out of whole cloth.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a man responsible for pushing the birther myth -- and a reported recent Trump adviser -- Joe Farah of the fringe website World Net Daily freely admitted to Salon.com this week that his site publishes "some misinformation."
"Misinformation" is a fancy word for lying with an ideological agenda in mind. It has become more acceptable and more influential with the rise of partisan media. It preys on the gullible and the stupid and the ditto-head alike.
The cycle of incitement that afflicts our politics ensures that this dynamic bleeds into both sides of the aisle. For example, the liberal Campaign for America's Future recently declared that "Congressman Eric Cantor wants to eliminate Social Security," a flat-out "pants on fire" lie, as described by indispensable PolitiFact.
A little-noticed local example of this strangeness caught my eye this week, courtesy of the website ThinkProgress. It seems that Texas state Rep. Leo Berman put forward a bill to ban sharia law in the Lone Star State.
When he was asked why such a step was necessary, he cited the city of Dearborn, Michigan, six times in testimony: "It's being done in Dearborn, Michigan ... because of a large population of Middle Easterners. The judges in Dearborn are using and allowing to be used sharia law."
This would indeed be troubling (and unconstitutional) if true, but when Berman was pressed about the source of his facts, here's what he said: "I heard it on a radio station here on my way in to the Capitol one day. ... I don't know Dearborn, Michigan, but I heard it on the radio. Isn't that true?"
No, it's not, as Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly has been forced to make abundantly clear, stating that "these people know nothing of Dearborn, and they just seek to provoke and enflame their base for political gain."
But the misinformation percolating around the fringes of hyper-partisan media is creeping into state capitals and the U.S. Congress. Ignorance and incitement begin to blur, compounded by the civic laziness of speakers who don't care to fact-check.
"Not intended to be a factual statement" is an instant dark classic, a triumph of cynicism, capturing the essence of Michael Kinsley's definition of a gaffe in Washington: when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
No wonder "people are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke," as Will Rogers once said and Colbert increasingly embodies. But we can't keep depending on comedians to be the voices of sanity.
And don't be fooled. There are real costs to this careless courtship of the lowest common denominator. Without fact-based debates, politics can quickly give way to paranoia and hate. Our democracy gets degraded.
Americans deserve better, and we should demand better, especially from our elected representatives. Empowering ignorance for political gain is unacceptable.




The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John P. Avlon.





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April 15, 2011, 12:04 PM

What else does Planned Parenthood do? If 3% of their budget is abortion procedures, where does the other 97% go?

I'm not familiar with their operations, but I've never heard of anyone going there for just a regular health checkup or whatever.
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April 15, 2011, 12:08 PM

This is what was shown



*Not intended to be a factual statement.
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April 15, 2011, 12:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
What else does Planned Parenthood do? If 3% of their budget is abortion procedures, where does the other 97% go?

I'm not familiar with their operations, but I've never heard of anyone going there for just a regular health checkup or whatever.
Is it possible that you think that way because that is all that you have really heard about or been told about?

Growing up I had a lot of friends that went there to get birth control and their yearly check up. They couldn't afford to go to a regular doctor to get that stuff done. PP also does a lot of consoling and education for to be mothers and others.





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April 15, 2011, 12:45 PM

Well yes, of course, everything I know is based on what I heard, read, and experienced and PP is no different.
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April 15, 2011, 12:53 PM

Planned Parenthood is a needed agency.

If anyone has ever lived in a lower income / lower educated community, then you would especially understand why.

Abortions only constitute a very small percentage of total scope of services they provide.



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April 16, 2011, 07:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubbs View Post
PP also does a lot of consoling .....

LOL, your mis-spelling actually works out funny. Assuming you meant counseling anyway and not consoling.


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Originally Posted by Heist View Post
Planned Parenthood is a needed agency.
But does it need to be Federally funded?
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April 16, 2011, 07:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist
Planned Parenthood is a needed agency.

If anyone has ever lived in a lower income / lower educated community, then you would especially understand why.

Abortions only constitute a very small percentage of total scope of services they provide.
I find it ironic that you rail against social security , yep advocate federal funding of planned parenthood.

it's a slightly different twist on the same socialist game. someone else's poor decisions and bad judgement should not be my financial responsibility.

there are plenty of free and cheap clinics that do not operate on federal funds.


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April 16, 2011, 10:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubbs View Post
Is it possible that you think that way because that is all that you have really heard about or been told about?
Hey, I really appreciated his post because he didn't declare anything, he just stated what he knew based on his life experiences, then asked for education in case he is wrong. If everybody was like that all these lies would stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh View Post
I find it ironic that you rail against social security , yep advocate federal funding of planned parenthood.

it's a slightly different twist on the same socialist game. someone else's poor decisions and bad judgement should not be my financial responsibility.

there are plenty of free and cheap clinics that do not operate on federal funds.
I don't know what Heist's issues are with Social Security but I do disagree that PP and SS are similar by any nature. SS is a means to provide income during retirement and unfortunate disability for everybody that has participated in the growth of this country to make it as great as it is today. Unfortunately, the baby boomer generation and medical advances have stressed this system to the breaking point. And how do you re-structure a system that is already so damn huge without negatively affecting those people that have EARNED those benefits.

PP on the other hand is a welfare system that is similar that is more similar to our public schools system. Both are designed to create a balance between bettering our society and preventing it from excessive deterioration. If we didn't have these programs we would be like 3rd world countries where most people live in poverty in miserable conditions and have a very high rate of mortality. Do you think there aren't ridiculously RICH people in those countries? There absolutely are, but those countries does not invest in the welfare of their people. So the rich enjoy everything they have but the country as a whole is SHIT. We could have that here too, but we would no longer be able to say what a great society this is, only the rich people would have the right to say that.

Socialism is not a term derived by the Devil. Learn more about it and the benefits that it poses for a society before condemning it. I wonder how much people that declare this government as full of Marxists would appreciate privatizing the entire schooling system, removing all farm subsidies, and removing funding for any health services. It would be a fully capitalist country controlled by ... Have to go sorry
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April 16, 2011, 11:22 AM

Good post, Nubbs. No one should be saying things with a disclaimer like that. Hollywood is big enough--we don't need more story-telling and deception in congress.

One little thing on the PP aside: If PP does so few abortions and does so much other work, why did they tenaciously fight to provide abortions and keep their federal funding? I mean hey if it were me running a for-profit biz like PP (PP is very much for-profit) and someone was threatening taking some federal subsidies from me just because of 3% of my total product being objectionable, I'd think business and drop the objectionable service rather than make the whole thing a fiscal Iwojima! I mean, it's only 3%. You're gonna risk tanking the whole thing for a service that comprises only 3% of your output? Hell no, there's a lot more to this story, and the PP/Left is not telling everything up front and honestly either.

No, you can be sure that there is an no-holds-barred ideological battle waged on both sides here, not just a few careless conservatives. Again though, good find Nubbs!


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April 16, 2011, 12:20 PM

Well part of PP's mission is to provide that service, which is allowed by federal law. Abortions are privately paid for, though. We can debate whether the federal government should be funding medical services for any group of people at all, but abortion is a legal medical procedure and should not be restricted (although it is in practice).

Effectively, the reason given for removing federal funding from PP is because it provides a legal service that isn't even federally funded.

There are better ways to save $0.00006 of every dollar in the US budget than effectively shutting down a medical provider that millions of Americans need.


*Not intended to be a factual statement.

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April 16, 2011, 01:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefitzvh

I find it ironic that you rail against social security , yep advocate federal funding of planned parenthood.
The way I see it it's everyone's responsibility to take care of the needy. However it's almost impossible to distinguish between the low life, couch potatoes of our society and ones that truly need it. It's kind of like why are you trying to help out a previous soldiers of yours a job when he can do it himself? Does he deserve special treatment because he is disabled over an unemployed able bodied person? Isn't that socialist to help out the disabled? Isn't it the survival of the fittest? See how it can be turned around?

I'm all for my tax money going towards the needy instead of giving billions in subsidies to the oil companies. I'm also firmly against taking care of the scum that have children just to get a welfare check. How do you separate the two though? Are you willing to burn the whole bed over one tick?


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April 16, 2011, 02:21 PM

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Originally Posted by Rail View Post
Well part of PP's mission is to provide that service, which is allowed by federal law. Abortions are privately paid for, though. We can debate whether the federal government should be funding medical services for any group of people at all, but abortion is a legal medical procedure and should not be restricted (although it is in practice).

Effectively, the reason given for removing federal funding from PP is because it provides a legal service that isn't even federally funded.

There are better ways to save $0.00006 of every dollar in the US budget than effectively shutting down a medical provider that millions of Americans need.
Limiting or eliminating federal funding is not the same thing as shutting down PP. If they were so much about providing the 97% of their services which are not abortion-related and they needed the federal money to survive, they'd drop the 3% of total services delivered in the form of abortion. This ain't about shutting anybody down--PP is a for-profit enterprise--it's an ideological battle and to deny this on the pro-PP side is just as disingenuous and obnoxious as what a few far-right politicians have done, as cited by Nubbs.


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April 16, 2011, 03:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by turkishexpress View Post
The way I see it it's everyone's responsibility to take care of the needy. However it's almost impossible to distinguish between the low life, couch potatoes of our society and ones that truly need it. It's kind of like why are you trying to help out a previous soldiers of yours a job when he can do it himself? Does he deserve special treatment because he is disabled over an unemployed able bodied person? Isn't that socialist to help out the disabled? Isn't it the survival of the fittest? See how it can be turned around?

I'm all for my tax money going towards the needy instead of giving billions in subsidies to the oil companies. I'm also firmly against taking care of the scum that have children just to get a welfare check. How do you separate the two though? Are you willing to burn the whole bed over one tick?
I'm surprised at you turk.

It's nothing like me helping my buddy. I'm not holding jail time above someone's head, forcing them to help him out.

This is precisely what any tax-funded welfare is: forcing me, with the threat of imprisonment, to help those who can't help themselves.

Me helping a buddy because i WANT to is completely different,


as for the second part of your question: I have the solution, though many will hate me for it.

If you have kids, and you later get in trouble for neglect, abuse, etc... you are sterilized. No more popping out kids to increase your checks.


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April 16, 2011, 03:10 PM

I'd also like to remind people that PP made 1 BILLION in revenues from 2006-2007.

100 or so million of that was "excess revenue"

Which, in the nonprofit world, is profit.

They don't.

Need.

Help.


They fucking DO NOT need to take american tax dollars.


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