2011 Phrase of the Year

The winner of 2011's Phrase of the Year wasn't even a contest. It could only be John Kyl.

Every year, the U.S. government passes its annual budget. Sounds simple, right? Well this April, instead of passing a budget, the government almost shut itself down. Yep, the U.S. government was mere hours from grinding to a halt because the Democrats and Republicans couldn't agree on a budget. Must have been some pretty huge disagreements, right?

Not really.

As the clock was ticking closer to the deadline, a number had more or less been agreed upon. The only sticking points were a few tiny budget items that Republicans wanted to do away with, like funding for family planning.

Why were Republicans willing to risk so much to stop giving poor people pap smears and birth control? Because Planned Parenthood gets some of those funds. And Planned Parenthood also does abortions.

This story is funny because no federal funding could be used for abortions anyway - that was already forbidden. It's funny because a near shutdown over such small things demonstrates just how broken our political system is. But the funniest part is yet to come - enter Republican Senator from Arizona, John Kyl.

While speaking in the Senate (see video above) about the utter necessity of defunding contraceptives, breast exams, and STD testing for low-income people, he let out this gem:
"If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does."
This was, of course, a blatant lie pulled out of Kyl's rectum. About 3% of Planned Parenthood's services are abortion. Keep in mind that this is entirely irrelevant to the discussion about funding, because abortions aren't funded anyway. This STILL isn't the good part.

The bit Kyl gets the Phrase of the Year award for comes when his office responds to criticism about the wildly false statistic, saying that Kyl's remark

"was not intended to be a factual statement."


Everyone making fun of Kyl's lie was just being mean and oversensitive; we should have known not to assume his words were based in reality.

This spawned the Twitter hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement, championed by Steven Colbert, who spent the day tweeting things like:

John Kyl is the only person who can sneeze with his penis. He calls it a "sneenis." #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

John Kyl, being the classy and totally non-sleazy guy he is, took it upon himself to delete the offending non-factual statement about Planned Parenthood from the Congressional Record. But his "not intended to be a factual statement" response exploded and is still, 8 months later, part of the vocabulary of politically-aware Americans. Even though the quote itself came from a staff member rather than directly from Kyl himself, I'll give Kyl the credit and award him the funniest 2011 Phrase of the Year.

Just because I like him so much (#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement).


  1. Well that pretty tragic to be honest, unfortunately these kind of people are all over the world in positions they really shouldn't be in. One can only hope that sense prevails most of the time. It's great we have people like Colbert though! Makes thing a bit easier.

  2. @InfinitePlans, yeah, I laugh because I'd have to cry if I didn't.

  3. Haha I remember Colbert's awesome piece on this!

  4. Wow! Thats messed up! God bless America!

  5. Makes no sense some dumb people in the world.

  6. Awesome post! Have a very happy new years!

  7. Well, you can expect sense from conservatives.

  8. yeah... politicians will be politicians anywhere.
    funny, but sad, really

  9. That is pretty insane. That they would fight over something meaningless, that someone would be allowed to say such a blatant lie, and that people thought that spin on it would work. I'm glad you have people like the Colbert to pick up on it and turn it into the hilarity it is.