Archive for Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conservative politicians tied to biggest lies

April 17, 2011


“If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood. And that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” — Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., April 8, 2011

“(The statistic Kyl used) was not intended to be a factual statement ...” — Statement from Kyl’s office to CNN, later that day

Actually, about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortion-related. The overwhelming majority of the organization’s work involves cancer screenings, contraception and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Granted, the 3 percent figure is self-reported and Politifact, the nonpartisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website, suggests it could nudge higher depending on how you crunch the numbers. But it also rules that Kyl “vastly overstated” the organization’s involvement in abortions. In other words, he lied.

Conservatives seem to do that an awful lot.

No, the capacity for mendacity is not exclusive to any party or ideology. Yes, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid have all, at one point or another, been at variance with the truth. But when it comes to serial lying, to the biggest, most brazen, most audacious lies, the lies repeated ad nauseam until people mistake them for truth, when it comes to the most absolute contempt for the facts and for the necessity of honest debate, it’s not even close. Conservatives have no equal.

Consider: Politifact has six categories for judging veracity. A statement is either true, mostly true, half true, barely true, false, or “Pants On Fire,” after the old schoolyard taunt that begins “Liar! Liar!” Politifact uses this designation for statements that are not only untrue but also make some “ridiculous claim.”

I reviewed 100 such statements on Politifact’s website. By my count, of the 70 that originated with an identifiable individual or group (as opposed to a chain email or miscellaneous source), 61 were from the political right. That includes Rush Limbaugh saying President Obama is going to take away your right to fish, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer saying beheaded bodies are being found in the desert, Sarah Palin claiming death panels will stalk the elderly — 90 percent of the most audacious lies coming from conservatives.

And that word is used advisedly here. There is little that is truly conservative about what we are seeing.

No, this is extremism, true believers so rigidly committed to their ideological crusades that they feel justified in vandalizing reason and sacrificing integrity in furtherance of their cause. The end justifies any means. So, as was the case with Jon Kyl, if you can’t prove your point with the facts at hand, make up some facts and prove it with those.

It says much about the intellectual state of what passes for conservatism and the intellectual state of the union itself that this sort of behavior has become business as usual, just another day in the Zeitgeist.

This cannot end well. To continue down this path is to carve out a future of intellectual incoherence and international irrelevance, to doom ourselves to yet more of a fractured political discourse that is loud, ignorant and incapable of reason, much less resolution.

And maybe Sen. Kyl’s claim was “not intended to be a factual statement,” but just so you know? Mine is.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on His email is


independant1 6 years ago

honest politician, honest op ed writer - peas in a pod

Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

Got some proof to back that up? Or are you one of the conservatives Pits is talking about?

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Don't the right to lifers just murder the individual private abortion providers?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Those aren't "right to lifers". Those are "antiabortionists". Real "right to lifers" value all life, including the lives of physicians and women. They also value quality of life as much as quantity of life.

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

Or "anti-choicers" since that is what it comes down to. They don't want women to have the right to make that choice for themselves. They think the government has a stake in controlling individuals' lives. So much for small government conservatives.

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

While Pitts' column is appreciated, many of us have recognized this for years.

The right wingers lie via their control of the main stream media in order to attain power to benefit their financial backers - a minority of parasitic wealthy individuals & monopolistic corporate interests. Their true aim is to dismantle the great Middle Class which arose as the result of New Deal and Great Society policies and replace it with a wage slave/consumerist populace.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

scotty, you forgot to include the phrase "running dogs of the imperialist oppressors" into your rant. You'll never score that Order of Lenin at this rate.

TopJayhawk 6 years ago

Actually I prefer "Capitalist pig-dog."

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Is ridicule a persuasive argumentitive technique?

jayhawklawrence 6 years ago

Whether Democrats or Republicans lie more is an unwinnable argument.

It is almost as bad as husbands and wives arguing about who works harder. It can only get worse.

The more disturbing question I have pondered is how often are they also deceiving themselves?

I am afraid that in most cases, they probably don't even know.

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Another disturbing question is why they are so easily able to lie with virtually no accountability.

independent_rebel 6 years ago

They ALL lie. It doesn't matter if a person is a Democrat or a Republican. Elected politicians all lie. The biggest lie, in my opinion, is that if you vote for "me" or "us" we will take care of all your needs. That lie from the Democratic side has been told for generations, yet people with common sense understand that the Democrats (i.e. Big Government) can't do that, and even if they could, they wouldn't, because they have nothing else to run on. They must keep their constituents slaves to their message.

Republicans aren't any better.

Rich Noever 6 years ago

Independent you nailed it. It is curious to watch dems and repubs throwing bombs at each other when their leaders have two things in common; they are power hungary and are not very bright..

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years ago

Unfortunately the point of Pitt's writing today is lost on many.

"This cannot end well. To continue down this path is to carve out a future of intellectual incoherence and international irrelevance, to doom ourselves to yet more of a fractured political discourse that is loud, ignorant and incapable of reason, much less resolution"

Extremism in any form is detrimental to the future of our nation.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Exactly, Kathy. They need to read the whole column. He said that Democrats have their share of lies, but that Republicans seem to have bigger ones. It's not a competition; it's just wrong.

I am waiting to get the email from some of my conservative relatives telling me that abortion is 90% of Planned Parenthood's business. And it will happen. And when I give them the snopes or fact check's response, and Kyl's handler's response, they will continue to rant. They will tell me that they have a right to their opinion, despite the facts. They don't realize when they defend their opinions with "facts" that are not true, they sound stupid, and I guess they are stupid. Unless they are a politician, then I would say they are deceitful liars. Kyl lied. That makes him a liar. I'm tired of "untruths" and "not meant to be factual" or any other made up phrases for, at the worse, lying, or, at the least, trying not to admit you made a mistake. Man up, politicians. Grow some balls, and some morals.

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years ago

Tomatogrower says "It's not a competition; it's just wrong."

Fascinating that these few words are so simple yet the concept is lost on extremists. Competition? No. Intolerant? Yes. Wrong? Absolutely.

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents. " Robert Kennedy

oldvet 6 years ago

"extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! "

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Since "The Donald" (remember those here who ridiculed President Obama as "The Exalted One.........wonder what they have to say about one who calls himself "The Donald!?!) is now a birther, I say he should have to prove his ridiculous hair is his own. Some of us have our doubts, after all.

pizzapete 6 years ago

Adolf Hitler..."The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies."

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"You can fool some of the people all of the time or fool all of the people some of the time." Same basic concept. The Republicans seem to have chosen the part that says "You can fool some of the people all of the time." Why? Because those "some of the people" will swallow their rhetoric whole cloth and believe it to their last dieing breath. This is a solid base.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Mother Jones news magazine came out this week:

"The Republicans Fact-Free Nation"

I am convinced too many politicians get their NOT FACTS from their campaign contributors which many times are CEO"s from any given corporation or "president" from a PAC organization.

Problem: Neither politicians nor the news media research for the truth. Media too often simply repeat as if politicians and special interest groups are the ultimate source of truth.

Planned Parenthood facts are not hard to come by.

Taxpayers lost out big time on single payer medical insurance due too UNTRUTHS coming from capitol hill,the medical insurance industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who was "laundering" $1.4 million health care dollars a day distorting the truth.

Social Security Insurance and Medicare Insurance are receiving the identical treatment from basically the same sources.

Why all of this? Because Wall Street and other associated privatized industries or organizations stand to profit big time and these same culprits contribute big time to election campaign cookie jars.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

How to eliminate much this corruption?

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Bribery of elected officials at city,state and national levels is the most stinky of all bribery!

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

How Much Do You Know About Planned Parenthood?

I'd say too many have little idea surrounding Planned Parenthood services and use extreme political rhetoric as a source of information. In fact elected officials seem to be among the most uninformed.

Education and birth control allows us to prevent abortions. Let education and birth control do the work. Don’t eliminate education and birth control.

Planned Parenthood advises and/or treats many health issues not only for women… also for men.

What do you know about sex? What do you know about sexuality? We hear about sex and sexuality almost every day, but much of what we hear is inaccurate and can be confusing. Planned Parenthood provides clarity on these matters aka education.

Planned Parenthood Services for both men and women: Contraception — 35 percent of services in 2009
STI/STD Testing and Treatment — 35 percent of services in 2009
Cancer Screening and Prevention — 16 percent of services in 2009
Other Women's Health Services — 10 percent of services in 2009
Abortion Services — 3 percent of services in 2009

Planned Parenthood provides valuable healthcare to all without discrimination.

Planned Parenthood is being grossly misrepresented by too many members of congress which instead represents misinformation. How can so much congressional intrusion represent less government?

Perhaps it would be wise to keep a close eye on any political party that feels it is necessary to keep reminding voting taxpayers that it is the party of “less big government”. In fact it may be only political rhetoric.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Of course birth control allows us to PREVENT ABORTIONS, pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy.

There are many health issues that only affect women. This section focuses on women's health issues

What do you know about sex? What do you know about sexuality? We hear about sex and sexuality almost every day, but much of what we hear is inaccurate and can be confusing. A basic understanding of sex and sexuality can help us sort out myth from fact and help us all enjoy our lives more.

There are many health issues that only affect men. This section focuses on men's sexual health issues.

Ezra Klein

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

100 days of the GOP congress, running on the promise of JOBS JOBS JOBS.

Actions in congress...

Legislate morality in a nanny state, taking away individual and states rights

Cut the taxes for the most wealthy while cutting aid to fixed income seniors

Cut nearly 700,000 jobs through budget cuts

And not one single jobs bill.

You may hate Pitts, in fact I do, I think he is a nutcase in the same vein as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton.

However, hating any of those people does not change the fact that the GOP has not created a single job.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"You may hate Pitts, in fact I do, I think he is a nutcase in the same vein as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton."

Oh, come on, while I can see some comparisons among the three you list here, Pitts is merely opinionated (that's his job,) and those opinions generally have a good deal of factual basis. He's not a pathological liar, as you seem to be making him out to be.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago


It is very unfair to ask liberty one to back up anything he says with facts.. If he had to do that, he would have nothing left to live fore.

PalinPalms 6 years ago

This is redickoulus it is not a lie when a Republican says it ! You just have to look at the meaning of the of the word Republican > Republican > Representative > Represents > Re-presents . get it you take you so called facts an re-present them in the way they need to be heard. duh!

As a posed to democrat you see the democrat party can not tell the truth in any way because it starts with demo just like demon and of course it ends in rat so duh!

it says this in the bible, I read it.

pizzapete 6 years ago

Reading does not equal understanding. I read your post, for example, but have no idea what the heck you're going on about.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

They're being sarcastic. It's called "satire".

jafs 6 years ago

It would be more interesting if you had a comment about the content of the article, of course.

And, the statistic mentioned.

"the capacity for mendacity is not exclusive to any party or ideology"

jafs 6 years ago

Searching in vain for some substance in this one as well.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

So tell us BAA, did Kyl lie or not? Were death panels a lie or not? Is Obama going to take away your right to fish or not?

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Facts = far left talking points and BAA would rather not have to hear them over and over again.

Who puts any stock at all in what BAA has to say about any subject in light of this admission?

repaste 6 years ago

evidently it was " worth the time or the space it would take to refute his partisan view" not only once but repeatedly.

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

But it was nice of him to prove the point of the article. Wonder if BAA appreciates the irony? "Loud, ignorant and incapable of reason." Indeed!

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Facts are facts. Answer my question. Were they lies or not? We aren't talking opinions here. Where in the health bill was a death panel? When did Obama say anything about not allowing you to fish? For that matter what has he done to limit your gun rights? It's already proven that Kyl lied. If you are against abortion, the health care bill or gun control, that's your opinion, but if you back your opinion with lies, you are a liar, and your opinion doesn't count. Sorry. Why can't they back up their arguments with facts?

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

If you back your opinions with lies, then you are a liar. Love it Tomato!

Guess we can all see who the liars are, right? They keep outing themselves over and over.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

If you can not counter the message, kill the messenger. Very weak of you.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Wow, leonard pitts trying to justify handouts by tossing his fellow liars under the bus. I'm shocked I tell you. Shocked!

Liberty275 6 years ago

Which words did you have trouble understanding?

Yes, I'm correctly identifying far right conservatives and Pitts as liars. I'm also pointing out that Pitts is harping on that trait (one shared in abundance by the far left) to help justify the planned parenthood entitlement handout.

booyalab 6 years ago

The over 90% figure is correct when it comes to services for pregnant women. The 3% figure makes no sense considering over a third of their revenue comes from abortion.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Can you give us a link to your resource on these "facts"?

Scott Drummond 6 years ago

Guess not. Just another deluded victim of right wing propaganda.

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

The 3% figure referred to office visits. 3% of people walking through the door are there for abortion services. The rest, pregnant or not, are there for something else.

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

Planned Parenthood says that 3% of it's services are abortions. Fine. Does that mean that they perform 3% of the abortions in the U.S. It sounds like it, but not really. That's giving some information to deflect attention away from the question at hand. I've looked through several of the Planned Parenthood links and nowhere do they state what percentage of abortions done in the U.S. do they perform. I even asked that question several days ago in a different thread. Of the many posts, not a single person responded to my inquiry. Is there some problem with that information being readily available? It sounds like when a politician responds with an answer that's a non answer. "I believe Obama was born in the U.S." (but if you want to believe otherwise, that's O.K.). We have credible information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. (what we're not saying is that we have more credible information that they don't). Planned Parenthood performs 3% of the abortions in the U.S. (plus an additional percentage that we won't tell you).

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"Of the many posts, not a single person responded to my inquiry. Is there some problem with that information being readily available?"

Since when did this forum become your research assistants? Just out of curiosity, why does "percentage of all abortions in the US that are done by PP" matter? (And just to let you know, I think it may be less than you think.) I doubt anyone is trying to "hide" anything by not being able to come up with that number. PP itself may not be able to do so. I suggest if you want to crunch numbers you track down the numbers and do it yourself. I'm not into doing research for free for lazy people.

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

I wouldn't say I'm lazy. I've said in the past I'm somewhat new to the world of computers, having spent the past several decades working quite hard at businesses that did not require computers. I still haven't figured out how to cut and paste. I would characterize my past request for information as a polite request.
Why does it matter? Well, by stating that 3% of the services provided are for abortions, it sounds like they are minimizing their role in the abortion business. I was trying to get information so I could compare what they "sound" like vs. say what the congressman "sounded" like (90%). If the percentage of abortions done by Planned Parenthood was say 5%, I might look at them very differently than if the number is say 50%.

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

P.S. Eric Turner is a guitarist for a Glam Band named Warrant. (?) You don't happen to have any additional information, do you?

jafs 6 years ago

Either way, the congressman was simply wrong in asserting that 90+% of what PP does is provide abortions.

So, I'm not sure what your point is here.

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

As I stated, it "sounds" like planned parenthood is minimizing it's role in the abortion business. I'm not sure if that is true or not. I was simply asking a question. I'm not at all clear why the question was met with hostility.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Because you didn't ask for answers, you demanded them like you have some kind of right to make that demand and force people to justify themselves, for whatever reason. Reread your original post.
You have a hypothesis; that the largest percentage of abortions in the US are performed by Planned Parenthood. You demanded that people refute it for you. When no one did, you took that as some kind of admission that your hypothesis was true. Get this straight from someone who has done professional research.; lack of answers is NOT an answer. If you wish to prove or disprove this hypothesis, do it yourself.

jhawkinsf 6 years ago

First off, my original post, my request for an answer was in a previous thread. I thought it quite polite, as I truly did not know the answer. Sure, I have a hypothesis, that's the percentage of abortions done by Planned Parenthood is more than 3% but less than 90%. That's a large spread. You say you've professional research, I'll defer to your experience. I dropped out of high school midway through my junior year, opened my own business and worked long hours for multiple decades. I wouldn't know how to begin professional research. I did hit the links provided by other posters and did not find the answer to the question I had. So I asked. I've also admitted my computer skills are very limited because I never had the need nor the time to learn. I apologize. You said the number you thought the number was less than I thought. With a range 3%-90%, I'm not sure that's possible.
You once made reference to an another person, saying I sounded like him. I don't know that person, but in a good naturedly manner asked who that person might be. These chats are a fun little diversion for me. I'll always strive to be polite and avoid name calling and insults. I can't force others to follow suit, but I hope they will.

jafs 6 years ago

I don't see it that way.

The discussion was about how much of what PP does is abortion related.

Kyl's comment was completely incorrect, and vastly overstated the amount, and, when confronted about it, he said it wasn't meant to be "factual". The absurdity is overwhelming.

Your question is a different one.

And, I don't know the answer.

You might try googling some possibilities - % of abortions in the US done by Planned Parenthood, or some such.

parco814 6 years ago

Nothing says "Sunday Blessing" like a Leonard Pitts column. He's got the facts, he's got brains, he's got a national audience, he's got a Pulitzer, and he's got black skin. Put all those together and you couldn't ask for a better nemesis for tormenting rightwing message board trolls, who thrash themselves into a futile frenzy, predictably and pathetically.

Mike Ford 6 years ago

duh, I've known that conservatives are the biggest liars since I was four and watched Nixon leave office. I was glad he quit interrupting my cartoons when I lived in Elyria, Ohio. Not crooks right????

independant1 6 years ago

the use of abortion as a contraceptive method???

A barbaric practice except when sanctioned by the state.

Just to differing degrees - Compare the practice of this medical procedure in China to that in USA.

If one thinks abortion is not birth control does that make one conservative? I think not.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

The practice of abortion in China vis a vis the practice of abortion in the US is apples and oranges. The most you can say is that they are both fruit. There are many factors involved in one nation's practices that do not exist in the other. I am not saying that abortion is not practiced as "birth control" in the US as it is used as a remedy for birth control failure. However, abortion is not compulsory in the US as it is in China. I also think, given the size of the population in China and it's economy, compulsory abortion is understandable. I am not saying I agree with the policy, only that it's understandable. That policy has given rise to some unforeseen problems, especially gender specific abortions and the resultant shift in population to a preponderance of males, which might tickle the hearts of the followers of John Norman but creates it's own social problems.
"If one thinks abortion is not birth control does that make one conservative?" I'm still trying to figure out what you mean by this. Most conservatives do think abortion is a form of "birth control" and I don't disagree with them. Abortions in the US are done for one of two reasons; either the birth control method has failed or the fetus has potential birth defects. I'm sure gender specific abortion does happen in the US but since most woman who practice it won't admit it there's no real way to tell how frequent it is. I can say that I trust women as a whole to believe it's more rare than not. And in actuality, if women in the US did practice gender specific abortion, what does that say about our society as a whole? That we value males over females? Yeah. Get anybody in this country to actually admit that..

independant1 6 years ago

Abortion, euthanasia or birth control?

Can be a tough decision for one needing the procedure, after the fact birth control. rape/incest/birth defect

Has the procedure has become tertiary birth control method made available by the government to all comers? Does that remove a tough decision for some?

My ethical dilemna. Grew up with Downs Syndrome family friend. Should his birth have been prevented? It's up to the mother, right?

jafs 6 years ago

That's a very good question.

Our increasing technology, eg. the ability to detect potential birth defects, often leads us to the ability to act without necessarily providing us with the ethical understanding to guide that ability.

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