Red Baiting – FT#107

Red Baiting – FT#107

Show Notes

The Red Baiting Fallacy is committed when someone calls their opponent a communist or a socialist based on little or no evidence and in order to avoid engaging with their actual arguments.


We started out by discussing Trump’s claim that Kamala Harris is a Communist:

We followed that with this clip of Trump making a brilliant pun about the owners of NBC:

And we closed with this example from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Boris Johnson calling Jeremy Corbyn Vladimir:

Then he looked at MP Jonathan Gullis calling Mick Lynch a Marxist


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from M*A*S*H

Then we discussed this clip from Seinfeld

And we finished with this clip from Field of Dreams


Fake News

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

  1. Where’s Ronny? He was the White House doctor. He was a great doctor. He was an Admiral, a doctor, and now he’s a Congressman. I said, “Which is the best if you had your choice?” And he sort of indicated doctor, because he loved looking at my body. It was so strong and powerful. But he said I’m the healthiest president that’s ever lived. I was the healthiest. I said, “I like this guy.” I don’t know who the hell he is at the time.
  2. The contrast between the Trump administration’s amazing success and the Biden administration’s breathtaking failure could not be more stark. Let’s look at the facts. I got gasoline, gasoline for cars, put it in the tank. Thank you very much. $1.87 a gallon I got it down to. They have it now at $5, $6, $7. A friend of mine from California called me this morning. He just paid $8.55, he told me. California. And you’ll follow. You’ll follow. It’s not even believable.
  3. The Republican Party are the only ones who can fix the carnage and devastation that is going on right now in American cities. Democrat run cities. They’re all Democrats. They just don’t know what to do about it and frankly they don’t care, so the blood of hard working Americans runs through the streets while murderers and rapists walk free, because Joe Biden and Crazy Nancy Pelosi refuse to do anything to stop it. In fact they encourage it.

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


A raid on Mar a Lago is not a logical fallacy

We talked about that time the FBI raided served a legal warrant on Trump’s clubhouse to get the documents back that he stole when he left the White House


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

  • Dr Oz has been having a bit of trouble campaigning against Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman for a Senate seat. Mostly because he’s really bad at campaigning and Fetterman is amazing at it and never runs out of ways to point out that Oz is from New Jersey. But one of Oz’s team came up with a slam dunk idea last week. A surefire way to not only prove to the electorate that multi-millionaire TV star Dr. Oz is completely relatable to the average working class Pennsylvanian voter, but also to show he understands how hard their day to day life is under Joe Biden’s inflation crisis. He recorded a video at popular local grocery store Wegmans, where he started out by getting the name of the store wrong and then announced he’d been sent by his wife to buy vegetables for crudites. He proceeded to wander round collecting random veg and just piled them in his arms like a contestant on Crackerjack – see Mark’s not the only one who can make 40 year old niche British TV references. Anyway, Oz collected broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and pre-made guac and salsa, which he figured came to over $20 before even getting any tequila!  How can the average hard working Pennsylvanian be expected to afford their regular crudites? To be fair, unlike most of Oz’s campaign videos, this one did go viral, but mostly because people were asking why the fuck he was planning on dipping raw asparagus in salsa, what crudites are, and why he didn’t just buy the $13 veggie tray instead. Fetterman, of course, had fun making fun, and raised over half a million dollars for his campaign in the process.
  • In what seems to be the perfect UK/US crossover just as surrealist inspiration Isidore Ducasse wrote ‘As beautiful ‘as the chance encounter on an ironing board of a sewing machine and an umbrella.’ Actor and failed London Mayoral candidate and right wing opinion-haver-for-money Laurence Fox has landed his first acting role since the Inspector Morse spinoff Lewis, playing Hunter Biden in a Breitbart film called My Son Hunter, presumably Jared Kushner was busy or too fat? Delightfully the teaser looks terrible, though not as bad as Tucker Carlson’s testicle-tanning masterpiece; and if we know anything about teasers it is that you put all the best bits in it – cos clickbait – so the actual film is gonna be a stinker. In a press release received by a warning is given that the film contains “sex, prostitution, drugs, cronyism, money laundering, a laptop from hell … the selling out of America, the Big Guy, Corn Pop, more sex, additional drugs and… family”. And we thought the far-right didn’t like trigger warnings… Laurence Fox must be laughing all the way to the bank, he gets to align himself with more right-wing nut-jobs, break into America and never have to darken the Mayor’s waiting room in London again. Let’s hope they paid him upfront and not after waiting to see him act.
    The film company’s CEO, Larry Solov goes on; “My Son Hunter is a film they never wanted you to see, which is precisely why Americans must.” Now if that’s not gonna get us watching it here at Fallacious Towers I don’t know what is! 
  • Trump once claimed he would be the greatest jobs-producing President ever, and while he actually left office with the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover, he, his business and his administration have certainly created a lot of work for lawyers, judges and prison guards.  Guards at Rikers Island will soon be welcoming Trump Organisation CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has pled guilty to 15 felonies involving tax fraud at the firm, for which he faces a measly 5 months in prison. You may remember a few of the crimes he committed, as we’ve mentioned them before – they included giving Weisselberg and other executives untaxed benefits including apartments, cars and private school fees. All told, it amounted to avoiding $1.7 million of taxes. If you’re wondering if that 5 months deal includes a bit of testifying against Trump, the answer is kind of, but not really. He will likely be required to testify against the company, but not against Trump himself or his family members, and it’s not part of a formal cooperation agreement, so prosecutors don’t get to go back on the deal if he doesn’t give them what they want. So it’s not great, and it sure sounds like they could have held out for more, especially since these crimes are very well documented and would likely have been an easy case to prosecute if it went to trial, but I’ll reluctantly take anything that might jeopardize the future of the Trump Org, and anyway, we’ve still got Steve Bannon’s sentencing hearing to look forward to.
  • In the UK in the old days before they became a constant thing, we used to have culture wars each Spring when various ‘concerned groups’ got het up about the works nominated for the Turner Prize art competition, dismissing them as stupid, frivolous, attention-seeking, without any merit whatsoever and morally corrupt. Cue the Dallas CPAC where one of the “booths” gives you a silent disco headset that plays harrowing testimony from people arrested for participating in the Capitol riot on January 6. Freelance journalist Laura Jedeed shared footage on Twitter where instead of dancing, you stand around and watch an orange jump-suited guy in a cage crying and chalking up days on a blackboard. Whilst previous years CPAC attendees chanted “lock her up” about Hilary and her emails this year they actually locked someone up to evince wallet-opening sympathy! Tommy Vietor of Crooked Media called it “A weeping insurrectionist pajama-boy art installation.” and The Atlantic staff writer McKay Coppins added “right-wing victimhood as performance art is actually the whole point of CPAC, so this makes sense”.
    Playing weeping pyjama-boy is Brandon Straka, who turned state’s witness and did not serve any time, and has now spent more time locked up in a fake prison than he ever did for being involved in the January 6 insurrection. WUSA9 reported that one person Mr Straka shared information about with the FBI is serving a 60-day jail sentence, with prosecutors saying his information was “valuable”. So is it irony at play here?…naaaah the right don’t do that! Stupidity? Gullibility? Don’t know, but I do know I would’ve preferred one of those living statues who only move about when you put money in their hat, at least that way you could see how valuable Straka really was!
  • They say a fool and his money are soon parted, and that also seems to be true for far-right pro-forced-birth assholes. Kansas anti-abortion activist and conspiracy theorist Mark Gietzen has maxed out his credit cards to the tune of $120,000 to pay for a partial recount of the vote for a proposed amendment to the state constitution which would have restricted abortion access. That’s the vote which the pro-choice side won by 18 percentage points so… good luck with that.  It’s only a partial recount because Gietzen couldn’t afford the $229,000 it would have cost for a full recount, despite offering to put his house up for collateral. So instead of all 105 counties, they are only recounting votes in 9 of the most populous counties in Kansas, which represents about half of all the votes cast.  Unfortunately for Gietzen, those are mostly urban population centers, so the pro-choice vote in those counties prevailed by 31 percentage points. So yeah, really really good luck with that.  And if Kansas State Elections Director Bryan Caskey is listening – I’m sure he is, he’s a big fan – I’d just like to say: Bryan, I think it’s very unfair of you to refuse to take Mr Gietzen’s house as collateral. He’s clearly very passionate about this and if that’s a risk he wants to take, I think you should let him.
  • Chief US District Judge Mark Walker has suspended partial enforcement of Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” a bill that Republican Gov. and rejected-cos-it-was-simply-too-damn-frightening demogorgon-face-model Ron DeSantis endorsed and signed into law in April. The bill restricts how companies and schools discuss race and would limit the way that private companies carry out mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings. Companies that have 15 employees or more could face civil lawsuits if someone accuses them of violating the law. Judge Walker blocked the employer portion of the law, saying like Hawkins in Stranger Things the First Amendment was being turned Upside Down “Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”  Misunderstanding the communication as only a deSantis comms Director could; Taryn Fenske announced “Judge Walker has effectively ruled that companies have a first amendment right to instruct their employees in white supremacy. We disagree and will be appealing his decision.” Well far be it from us to deny your first amendment right to freely express your thoughts using the power of speech to disagree, you’re wrong Taryn. And if you weren’t being paid shitloads of money to have vote-seeking demobatshit opinions on behalf of a fat, hairless, tone-deaf upside-down Eddie Munson running for President in 2024 you’d be able to admit it too. 
  • If you, dear listener, are the kind of person with a strong enough stomach to occasionally flip over to Fox News to see what snake oil they’re selling today, or if you follow a single Republican on Twitter, you’ve probably heard that Joe Biden and his evil team of Democrats are quadrupling the size of the IRS by hiring 87,000 new gun-toting IRS agents who are coming for you, and who’s job description requires that they are prepared to use deadly force against you specifically, while they audit you and then drag you, bleeding, presumably, off to jail. However, as a now jaded listener of this very show, you may already suspect that this is a steaming pile of bullshit. And I’m happy to say you would be right. The number kind of stems from the $78 billion of additional funding the IRS will be getting thanks to the fantastic, and now fully passed, Inflation Reduction Act. A Treasury report back in May said that that kind of investment would allow the IRS to hire around 87,000 new employees. However, much of those would simply be replacing the current employees who are due to retire in the next 5 years, which is over 40,000 employees. The additional employees would simply raise the total workforce back to the levels that were at around a decade ago, before chronic underfunding depleted their numbers. And of course, not all employees are agents.  These new hires would also include IT professionals, cafeteria workers, support staff and so on. Only about 5% of the current IRS is made up of agents. Finally, they’re not coming for you.  Unless you earn over $400,000 that is. And if you do, have you considered becoming a patron over at Yes, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee, by the way, said “The proposal would direct that additional resources go toward enforcement against those with the highest incomes, rather than Americans with actual income of less than $400,000.” So you can see why Republicans are freaking out.
  • In Teeny Tiny Britain this week Liz Truss; the Binatone-robot TheresaThatcherMayWannabeMargaret powered by the same technology that the Excel95 Track and Trace system ran on, is in sore need of upgrading. The automaton-appeal to the red-meat-slavering right-wing seems to be working fine; one minute she’s slagging off the media, the next she’s accusing British workers of not grafting enough, a third she’s asking what’s wrong with profit at the expense of people, and the 4th she’s bemoaning the quality of education provided by the very school that she attended! However the human – well what passes for human – bit is in need of updating. Unfortunately the Trussbot only has a 3.5” floppy drive and the operating system therefore runs to 746 disks, so we’re only as far as one apology to the media, a garbled denial of a resurfaced article advocating charging people for visits to their doctor that’s been paid for already by their national insurance and free at the point of access NHS, something about wearing really cheap earrings and a memo addressed to her about imagining there are actual voters at the other end of the camera and not just the cover of Vogue. Whilst Gove says Truss is taking a holiday from reality, the one British worker who has never grafted in his life is on his second holiday in as many weeks and is only responding to things he can be arsed to – so we haven’t heard from Boris at all for a fortnight. It’s been bliss – almost, apart from all the poo in all the sea off all the British coastline, the 10% inflation and the bread and water shortage that you can’t do anything about cos of the transport strikes and the fuel subsidy not being passed on by the insanely rich fuel companies; yeah but apart from all that – it could be paradise! Paradise? Oh shut up!

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

Jim Cliff

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