Maybe it matters how we talk about abortion

Mike Huckabee called the shootings "domestic terrorism" and abortion "dismembering of human babies."

Mike Huckabee called the shootings “domestic terrorism” and abortion “dismembering of human babies.”

On Friday, an evidently deranged man in Colorado Springs killed three people and injured nine others in an armed standoff with police at Planned Parenthood. “No more baby parts,” a senior law enforcement official reported him as saying. It appeared to be a reference to a series of undercover videos shot by an anti-abortion activist in which Planned Parenthood administrators discussed fees associated with the donation of fetal tissue for research. Or, as Carly Fiorina described it in a nationally televised Republican presidential debate:

“Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says ‘we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'”

That video doesn’t exist, you can’t abort a “fully formed” fetus, and no one ever said that about harvesting a brain. But she was just describing something she felt strongly about, in terms that, if they were true, would probably justify armed intervention.

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Carson campaign to fact-checkers: Google it

Dr. Ben Carson describes an episode of the 1980s TV series The Incredible Hulk.

Dr. Ben Carson describes an episode of the 1980s TV series The Incredible Hulk.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer last week, Ben Carson said that Mahmoud Abbas, Ali Khamenei, and Vladimir Putin all knew each other at Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University in 1968. It seems unlikely that the president of Palestine, the supreme leader of Iran and the homecoming king of Russia would all become friends at communist college—serendipitous even. And, lo and behold, it didn’t really happen. At least it didn’t in that nitpicking, fact-checker sense that there’s no evidence for it. When Politifact asked the Carson campaign where they got their information, they responded:

Thanks for your inquiry. We are not in the habit of providing Googling support to the media. If there is a specific aspect of Dr. Carson’s statement that you wish to challenge, please let us know and we can go from there.

There’s a unicorn in my refrigerator. Prove me wrong, dicks.

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Internet has its way with Jon Kyl

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl on the set of his extremely unpopular children's show

If you are a regular viewer of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, which at this stage of American discourse are types of news, you probably already heard about Jon Kyl’s claims regarding Planned Parenthood. During debate on the Senate floor, Kyl said that abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.” That number turns out to be off by a mere 2900%; abortion is actually about 3% of what Planned Parenthood does, which puts them well below such organizations as Courtney Love.* Shortly afterward, a spokesman from Kyl’s office told CNN that the Senator’s remark was “not intended to be a factual statement.” See, Jon Kyl wasn’t lying: he was merely making a statement that he did not consider accurate but his listeners did, as part of a persuasive argument he conducted in his capacity as a United States legislator. The absurdity of this defense has not escaped the internet, and Senator Kyl has consequently achieved the highest grade of infamy possible in contemporary western culture. He has become a meme.

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