Appeal to Stupidity – FT#106

Appeal to Stupidity – FT#106

Show Notes

The Appeal to Stupidity is committed when someone dismisses or devalues education, intellect or reason in order to make their uneducated, idiotic, unreasonable claim sound more plausible.


We started out by discussing Trump’s claim that his natural grasp of foreign policy is better than the experts:

We followed that with this clip of Trump mocking Biden for listening to scientists:

And we closed with this awful Matt Gaetz tweet:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked (again) about Michael Gove’s infamous ‘experts’ claim:

Then he talked about the first TV debate between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Mainly about this clip of Liz dismissing Rishi’s knowledge of the economy as ‘Project Fear’:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from 12 Angry Men:

Then we discussed this clip from Miami Vice:

And we finished with this clip from the Superman IV: The Quest for Peace:


Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game:

  1. Who would even imagine that the “DOJ”, or rather the Deep State Justice Department, would be listening to testimony from a “debunked” social climbing scam artist wanabee media pundit who lied to the Unselect Committee about ketchup and other made up stories. She doesn’t know me and I don’t know her. She “lost it” when I told her she couldn’t come work for me in Florida.
  2. Joe Biden’s second bout of Covid, sometimes referred to as the China Virus, was sadly misdiagnosed by his doctors. He instead has Dementia, but is happily recovering well. Joe is thinking of moving, part time, to one of those beautiful Wisconsin Nursing Homes, where almost 100% of the residents miraculously, and for the first time in history, had the strength and energy to vote – even if those votes were cast illegally. Get well soon, Joe!
  3. Remember during the campaign I would say, with great conviction, that if these people get into office, we will end up being “Venezuela on Steroids.” Guess what, another one, of many, Trump predictions that is true, or turning out to be true! “Trump was right about everything,” as the now well known phrase (chant) goes.

Mark got it wrong again this week, and has dropped below 48%


The public hearing season finale was not a logical fallacy

We talked about the last public hearing (for now) of the Jan 6th Committee.


The stories we really didn’t have time to talk about

  • We finally got the news we’ve been waiting for last week when the DOJ confirmed that they are investigating Trump in their criminal probe of the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and Merrick Garland made it very clear that they do not consider anyone to be outside the scope for prosecution, even if they did used to be President. So far the empanelled Federal Grand Jury has heard testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, and Mike Pence’s aides Greg Jacobs and Marc Short, and this week we hear that White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin have also been subpoenaed, which is, as January 6 Committee member Adam Kinzinger put it, “Probably bad for former President Trump”. Back in November 2020, when Trump lost the election, quite a few people were asking us “What’s going to happen to the podcast now?” since, with Trump out of office, we would surely run out of things to talk about.  Well, I don’t think we’re going anywhere just yet.
  • Clapton, Bana, Morecambe, Idle, or even the original Marty McFly Stoltz, we can all get a bit lazy when bothering to distinguish one Eric from another especially when you don’t know your guitarists from your surreal comedians or someone you wouldn’t like when they’re angry. None’s more seemingly ignorant or perhaps just plain lower-than-a-snake’s-belly cunning than Trump of course, who happily endorsed Eric in Missouri’s GOP Senate primary – no other name, just Eric; “I trust the Great People of Missouri, on this one, to make up their own minds, much as they did when they gave me landslide victories in the 2016 and 2020 Elections, and I am therefore proud to announce that ERIC has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” I guess when you’re too busy making it about yourself you can easily overlook that both the male Republican candidates are called Eric! Of course each of them wasted no time in claiming it was them who Trump had anointed in his name. Not unlike in that scene with Idle in Life of Brian when the followers fight over the dropped gourd and sandal each claiming they’re the chosen ones, a war of words has broken out between the Erics Greitens and Schmidt, Schmidt’s a RINO according to Greitens and Greitens is a sex-scandaler with his hairdresser according to both the Republicans and the Democrats. Meanwhile Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who is ahead of Eric but behind Eric jokingly congratulated Eric McElroy, a much lesser-known GOP Senate candidate in Missouri. As a side note Josh Hawley, not an Eric, but a runner, is apparently endorsing Hartzler’s running as well.
  • As Red states go, Kansas is right up there. They voted 56 to 41 for Trump in 2020, and the last time they voted for a Democrat was 1964. So it’s quite a big fucking deal that a ballot measure in this weeks Kansas primaries, which would have allowed the State legislature to outlaw abortion, failed dramatically, with over 60% of Kansans voting pro-choice. Seemingly aware that they’re wrong and everyone hates them, the pro forced birth lobby tried to trick people into voting their way with a text message campaign advising people to vote yes to the ballot measure if they wanted to “give women a choice”, when a yes vote would have actually removed the right to an abortion from the State constitution. The texts were anonymous, so can’t conclusively be tied to former Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, whose political action committee is the only major group campaigning in favor of the amendment, but when the Kansas City Star called him up to ask about it he aborted the call rather than facing the consequences of his decision. And in case you’re still fuzzy about which partner forced birth laws are designed to punish, check out GOP West Virginia House of Delegates member Chris Pritt, who argued last week that expecting Dads to pay child support is a bad thing because it will inevitably lead them to pressure their partners to get more abortions, so the best way to solve that problem is clearly to still force people to have babies but remove the requirement for financial support after the birth.
  • Okay Jim cue the laugh track we’re about to talk about Republican claims of voter fraud in 2020 again, and that can only mean one thing, howls of derisive laughter! Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been investigating more than two hundred cases raised by Cyber Ninjas, yep that crap sorry crack outfit of digital warriors who’d alerted authorities to so many instances of votes being cast in the name of apparently dead voters. Brnovich’s review states that of the 409 cases brought “many were very surprised to learn that they were allegedly deceased.” He found that there were only a “handful of potential cases.” Brnovich called some of the claims “so absurd the names and birthdates didn’t even match the deceased” and of the handful only one could be linked to a “dead voter.” and even then the dead person’s ballot was not counted towards the results of the 2020 election, and a spokesperson for Brnovich indicated “the facts of the case did not support prosecution” of the individual who cast the vote. Just to remind you, and cue the next laugh, in Maricopa County Cyber Ninja’s review found that Biden not only won the election, but that Trump’s margin had been overcounted by 261 votes. And we still don’t know whether they are still paying $50,000 in daily fines after failing to comply with an order to provide audit materials to an Arizona newspaper – since January! Bwahahahaha no stop now it’s starting to hurt.     
  • Joe Manchin is an asshole. A rich, capricious, fossil-fuel-funded, houseboat-owning, spotlight-hogging, vote-blocking, contrary asshole. But he’s our asshole, and very occasionally having him instead of an actual Republican in the West Virginia Senate seat pays off. After he blocked the Democrat’s ambitious Build Back Better plan, because, as I mentioned, he’s an asshole, he made it very clear to Chelonian Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, that there was no longer any hope for a reconciliation bill which would benefit the Democrats and technically anyone who enjoys having a liveable climate. As part of an agreement that saving the planet was definitely off the table, McConnell allowed 17 Republicans to sign on to an unambiguously good bill called the CHIPS act which sadly has nothing to do with getting Jon and Ponch back on TV, but in fact builds up US computer chip manufacturing infrastructure, increasing technological competitiveness with China. Literally minutes after the CHIPS act passed the Senate, Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer announced the Inflation Reduction Act, which doesn’t do all that much to reduce inflation, but is, as it turns out, a budget reconciliation bill that includes almost $370 billion of climate spending which is designed to reduce pollution by 40% by 2030, as well as $64 billion aimed at lowering healthcare costs.  Honestly it’s not great that you have to trick Republicans into letting you do the bare minimum towards fixing the climate crisis and healthcare, like putting your dog’s medicine in block of cheese, but at least they’re stupid enough to fall for it.
  • On July 25, west Michigan’s WWMT-TV News Channel 3 was apparently testing the on-screen graphics generator and gosh darn it the numbers got broadcast ahead of the actual results of Michigan’s GOP primary race for governor. Insert Facepalm emoji here cos in the alternate universe of Republicans in elections once you put numbers up and then more numbers arrive that are actually the verified results overseen by actual electoral officials rather than a television journalistic outlet who report the stuff not run it, you’re in for trouble. So natch Ryan Kelley who lost by 25%age points and Michigan Senate candidate Mike Detmer who lost by 16% are contesting the results something about its been stolen in the worst perversion of democratic blah blah blah yada yada yada. Bear in mind these people lost to other Republican candidates who won the seats so what’s the beef? It seems this particular Stolen Election stance is getting a bit tired? Or perhaps it’s really something Kelley at least should be getting therapy for? After all, he was arrested on June 9th on misdemeanour charges that he committed crimes during the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C. He has pleaded not guilty. D’uh!
  • I feel like if I was a politician protesting my innocence of a crime I’d been accused of committing, like say, stealing a car, and I was asked to vote on a bill that was designed to combat car theft, I’d take it as an opportunity to show just how very against car theft I am. I’d make a big deal about how car theft is really bad and I’m happy to do everything I can to help stamp it out.  That’s not the way Congressman Matt Gaetz decided to go. Instead, he voted against the renewal of a sex-trafficking bill, for reasons known only to him, his friend and cooperating witness Joel Greenberg, and an unknown number of underage women. Gaetz has also been an unwitting helper in the fight for abortion rights this month, following his low rent stand up routine at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit, where he said “Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.” Attacking people based on looks is a bold move for someone with an actual fivehead, and Houston based abortion rights activist Olivia Julianna owned Gaetz in a brief twitter fight about his comments which went viral enough that she helped to raise over $2 million for abortion funds across the country in less than a week.
  • In a depressing suspension of life as we know it; Ginger Spice hugging Nadine Dorries, fuel price rises, heat, strikes, inflation, lending rate, profits for shareholders over pay for workers, are not being addressed by the government except in some perverse game of Anything You Can Ignore and Lie About I Can Do Better being played by the prospective leaders of the Conservative Party. Outside observers, and we are pretty much all outside observers in this competition, would be forgiven that this was a general election given the amount of media airtime the bickering and infighting is getting whilst only 0.3% of the population that is the 160,000 strong Conservative Party Membership can actually take part. In what is becoming a malformed rerun of the 2019 election when Corbyn’s Labour Party were promising more and more outlandish things with each passing week if only you’d vote for them, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are promising an increasing array of severe cuts, restrictions, privations and curbs on rights, wages, and services in order to appeal to rooms barely filled with middle-age, middle-class, greybeard, white-faced, blue-rinsed, blood-vessel-busting curmudgeons that in reality would have neither a Woman and certainly not an Asian running their Little England! Apparently whilst in France I can sign up to Conservatives Abroad in order to vote, hmm I wonder how the Labour Party Membership registrar would feel about that!

That’s all for this week, thanks for listening!

Jim Cliff

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