22 Dec Invincible Ignorance – FT#39
Invincible Ignorance describes a situation where, no matter how much evidence is presented or how clearly they are wrong, a fallacious arguer simply refuses to waver from their original position.
We started out with this clip of Trump talking to Hugh Hewitt in 2015:
And we followed that up with this clip where he refuses to accept the Central Park 5 were innocent:
and finally we talked about this brilliant video where the Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper asks Trump supporters about ‘the transcript’:
In Mark’s British Politics Corner, we talked about Theresa May’s various Withdrawal Agreements, and then this clip of Nicky Morgan getting the maths wrong on nurses:
In the Fallacy in the Wild, we looked at this clip from South Park:
Then we discussed this clip from Family Guy:
And finally we talked about this tweet that beautifully encapsulates the fallacy:
i still think my favourite thing that’s ever happened to me on the internet is the time a guy said “people change their minds when you show them facts” and I said “actually studies show that’s not true” and linked TWO sources and he said “yeah well I still think it works”
— Catherine na Nollag (@cafernblue) December 10, 2019
Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game which, as a special Christmas treat, featured six crimes that Rudolph the Red Faced Lawyer has confessed to in interviews, two of which I made up:
- He confessed on Trump’s behalf to campaign finance violations when he told Sean Hannity that Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen for the payments to Stormy Daniels, and the next day told Fox and Friends that Michael Cohen had made it go away so it didn’t come out during the campaign.
- He confirmed that asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was purely in Trump’s personal interest when he tweeted “The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges.”
- He confessed to perjury when he told Tucker Carlson that he’d told Robert Mueller only the things that Trump and he’d agreed upon in advance, so “I held back some things that could be misinterpreted. Truth isn’t truth, maybe they have a different version of the truth than we do.”
- He confirmed Trump’s corrupt intent in removing Ambassador Yovanovitch when he told The New Yorker magazine “I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way. She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”
- He confessed to violating both the Foreign Agents Registration Act and FEC regulations when he admitted to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he helped Ukranian businessmen Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas funnel foreign money into Republican political campaigns.
- He confessed to taking part in a criminal conspiracy to receive classified information when he said on Fox and Friends that he had access to the Ukraine call transcript before the White House released it. When Brian Kilmeade asked if he’d read it, he said “Let’s say it was read to me.”
Click below for the answer
Mark missed out on the chance to score two points this week, so now he’s on 15/39, or roughly 38%.
And finally, here are the stories we really didn’t have time to talk about:
- Yes, as we’ve already mentioned, the House has voted to impeach Trump (yay!) Much has been made of the fact that the votes were largely along party lines, although that’s partly because Republican Justin Amash was kicked out of the GOP for signalling that he would vote in favor of impeachment, and Democrat Jeff Van Drew found that his Democratic supporters weren’t feeling so supportive when he didn’t support impeachment, so he went over to the dark side. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is trying something. After Mitch McConnell announced on TV that he had no intention of upholding his oath to act impartially, Nancy has decided to exercise her right not to send the Articles of Impeachment to the senate until they agree on a set of fair rules for the trial. The GOP senators are fine with this, since they didn’t want the trial anyway, but Trump is quite keen to have everyone say he’s totally exonerated, so this might put a bit of pressure on the leadership to make the court a bit less kangarooey.
- One day in the future East Africa will be like Wakanda from Marvel’s Black Panther and the world will be running to visit, holiday and trade there. But no, wait, the future’s right here, right now, well in the US anyway – the government website lists Wakanda in the dropdown of countries it trades with; there it is, right below Panama and Peru. and look frozen Chinese water chestnuts are tariff free if the U.S. decided to import them from Wakanda. Cows are also tariff free. But it’s not proof that the Trump administration really is made up of fantasists, merely further proof that it’s not known for its attention to detail. A USDA spokesperson chalked it up to a lack of attention to detail. “Over the past few weeks, the Foreign Agricultural Service staff who maintain the Tariff Tracker have been using test files to ensure that the system is running properly. The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down.” a shame really cos if it was up any longer, Trump would doubtless claim as Cabot Phillips tweeted that he “ made America so great even fictitious super-hero countries wanna do business with us.” Let’s face it even the late Stan Lee would have something obvious to say about that.
- The Supreme Court have agreed to hear the three cases regarding the release of Trump’s tax returns – you know, the ones he said he’d release after the election. The hearings will take place in March, and the decision is expected by the end of June, at which point we will learn one of two things: The extent of Trump’s financial fraud against the US government, or the extent to which Trump’s Supreme Court is OK with upholding the flimsiest of legal arguments in order to protect their orange master. Here’s hoping Ruth Bader Ginsberg is feeling strong for at least another six months.
- Okay we know the Clintons are capable of playing the long game – but here’s the ultimate impeachment conspiracy theory – as reported by Brian Karem, the White House correspondent for Playboy – (which is a job-title to give one pause in itself!) Anyway he tweeted that he’d been told not by The Onion but by a White House source that “Hillary Clinton purposely lost the election with the aid of Russian hacking so the Democrats could then impeach Trump”. So hats off to Hillary for deciding to not have Trump in the White House not by winning the election in 2016 but by deliberately taking a dive in order that he would get impeached. On the one hand; isn’t this an admission by the Trump administration that the American people wanted Hillary so bad that she had to conspire deliberately with Russia, get Comey to announce the reopening of the email enquiry and do a stage dive at the 9/11 memorial in order to guarantee losing. And on the other hand; thank god it got discovered now after 3 years cos them Clintons would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids – rooby rooby rooo!
- Ivanka attended the Doha Forum in Qatar, a conference for diplomats, policy makers and business leaders to discuss the critical challenges facing our world. Prime Ministers, Presidents and government officials st on panels about violent extremism and climate change, and weathered hard hitting interviews with the world’s top journalists. Meanwhile, Ivanka was interviewed by her own spokeswoman, former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, who asked her questions like “You’ve been in Morocco recently – can you tell us more about the trip and highlights?”. Yes, it would have been unfair to treat her like someone who deserves to be there, but there is an alternative. Don’t send her to things where other people know what they’re doing. Just stay in the White House instead.
- Am I the only one who wants not impeach Trump, but rather section him under the mental health act for getting so incensed that 16 year old activist Greta Thunberg got Time magazine’s Person of the Year award, that his team – and I’ll read this slowly so it sinks in – photoshopped his face onto her body and made a fake Time cover with him as the winner. This I think makes the 4th fake Time cover he has – glimpses of the others were seen in a televised tour of the White House he conducted early on in his presidency.
This is a 71 yr old man – he is the President of arguably the most powerful nation on the planet (well not so much now ironically since he filled that office) and he is that jealous of a schoolgirl that he has his publicly-funded publicity team put him on the cover instead of her – and not like all of him in a suit or anything but just his gnarly-wrinkled-arse-of-an-orange-deflated-balloon face pasted over her fairly small hoody-wearing body. It’s just not right people wake up for Chrissake!! As Greta said “The real danger is when politicians and CEOs are making it look like real action is happening, when in fact almost nothing is being done, apart from clever accounting and creative PR,”
- Evangelical magazine Christianity Today has finally had enough, and came out with an editorial supporting Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. Yes, it’s way way too little, and way way too late, but it’s not nothing. Yes, it’s weird that it was Ukraine that did it and not mocking disabled people, caging children or rawdogging porn stars while his third wife nursed their newborn son, but let’s be the bigger person and welcome them to the party, even though they’ve got here just as the host is looking at his watch and standing by the door with coats in his hand hoping the last drunks left will get the hint and leave his fucking house. Trump, naturally, took it very well, tweeting “A far left magazine, or very “progressive,” as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!” And yes, he did use the popular shorter version of Christianity Today’s name, ET.
- In an election that saw the socialist millionaires in London, who wanted to give their millions away to the poorer regions, get beaten cos those people from poorer regions voted for the Tory billionaires in London to not only keep their money but take as much as they want from them in the future, cos, following the Leave campaign’s successful “Take Back Control” in 2016, Boris’s “Get Brexit Done” basically got more likes than Corbyn’s “For the Many not the Few”. However Tory party grandee Michael Heseltine, a former deputy Conservative prime minister, told a rally in central London last week that “‘Get Brexit Done’ is the greatest delusion of them all; a Tory majority simply opens the door to protracted negotiations. And Tony Travers, a politics expert at the London School of Economics said “A more honest rendition would be, ‘Getting Brexit started,’ We don’t know that much more about Brexit than we did before the election. Noting that there have been “impossible-to-follow” debates between politicians on whether there will be customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. “If people who are really interested in politics can’t work out the truth, whether papers are needed to move stuff backwards and forwards between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, you can see how remote we are from facts.” And yesterday I saw a cartoon of Pooh and Piglet as Boris and Dominic Cummings – Pooh says “How exactly do we get Brexit done” and Piglet says “I don’t know I only write the slogans”. Well as we announced last episode we’re now definitely packing our bags for Ukraine … do po ba chennya!
That’s all for this week, thanks for listening!