Complex Question Fallacy – FT#108

Complex Question Fallacy – FT#108

Show Notes

The Complex Question Fallacy is committed when someone asks a question which includes the answer they are expecting or only allows people to answer in one way.


We started out by discussing Trump’s ‘push polls’ which, despite being phrased as questions, were actually propaganda.

We followed that with this clip of Trump’s Christmas Eve call with a child in which he questioned the existence of Santa with a complex question:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about some of the complex questions Keir Starmer asked Boris in PMQs, such as this one:

Then he looked at MP Kit Malthouse accusing MP Angela Rayner of using loaded questions when in fact she wasn’t:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from Community

Then we discussed this clip from The Bad Guys

We also talked about this clip from The Simpsons

And we finished with this clip from Mrs Merton:


Fake News

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

  1. A strong man came up to me, tough kind of a guy. And said, “I want to thank you, Mr. President, for saving our country.” and he had tears coming down his eyes. He had — this wasn’t just a statement because he had tears coming down. Unless he was a real wise guy. But he had tears coming down his eyes. And he said, “I want to thank you, Mr. President, for saving our country. And I want to thank you for all of the horrible things that you have to go through because it’s so unfair to you and it’s so unfair to all of the millions and tens of millions of people that voted for you.” It’s true.
  2. I say hello to the people that work at the polling booths. And a woman comes up to me in New Hampshire she said, “You know Mr. Trump, I’ve been doing this for 40 years. And in 40 years, we used up like three people come in and then another three, four people. And it was just very light. Here we have lines.” And I looked at the lines. The lines were five blocks long, five abreast coming in to vote. We’ve taken in millions and millions and millions of people within the Republican Party. They came out from the Democrats.
  3. I was in Minnesota, and a soldier came up to me. Big guy. In uniform. Straight out of central casting. And he said to me – looked me right in the eye and said “Sir. I don’t vote Republican. My father has always voted for Democrats. My uncles. Always Democrats. But we’re all voting for you because of everything you’ve done for the troops. The Democrats hate our country and our military and you’ve brought it back Sir.” I get that all the time. So many people come up to me. The enthusiasm for what I’ve achieved is tremendous.

Mark got it wrong again this week, and is on 47%


A special master is not a logical fallacy

We talked about Trump’s filings to get a special master to let him have all his documents back. Or something. God, his lawyers are terrible.


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

  • Old Uncle Joe has reached that part of the road trip where if you kids don’t shut the fuck up he’s going to turn this car around. He’s had enough of pretending that reaching across the aisle is a good thing when the people across the aisle are all traitorous lying sacks of elephant shit. And more importantly, he’s discovered that when he calls a fascist a fascist, his approval rating actually goes up. He tested the waters at a Democrat fundraiser in August when he said the extreme MAGA philosophy was “like semi-fascism” prompting complaints from fascists that he’d hurt their fascist feelings and from the rest of us that he’d used the unnecessary qualifier ‘semi’. He then delivered a blistering prime time address to the country from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall last week, in which he called out MAGA Republicans as a “threat to Democracy”, which seems pretty fair since they literally attacked the seat of Democracy in an attempt to stop Democracy happening just last year. But the people who call Democrats satanic pedophiles said Biden went too far in insulting thousands of Americans, and that it was the most divisive speech ever made by a President. And we know these people are aware Trump exists, because they voted for him. They must just have extremely short memories. Which tracks, actually. Meanwhile, Lauren Boebert tried to call it divisive, but she’s too stupid to use hyperbole, so she called it one of the most “decisive speeches” in American history, and then accused Biden of cognitive failure.
  • Despite a little bit of a “ooh she’s of Russian heritage and there were top secret documents there” report a tremendously funny story about one Anna de Rothschild, a young woman who visited Mar a Lago in a Mercedes AMG, joined the club, and spoke about the about vineyards and family estates and growing up in Monaco. Apparently they were lapping it up – she’s even got a picture with Trump who woulda loved having that name on his membership rolls of course! As part of its investigation, the FBI obtained copies of fake passports from the U.S. and Canada that bear Inna Yash-chy-shyn’s photo and the name Anna de Rothschild she used at Mar-a-Lago. The Post-Gazette also published images of a Florida driver’s license for “Anna de Rothschild” that indicates she used an address for a $13 million Miami Beach mansion where she has never lived. “I think there is some misunderstanding,” Yashchyshyn told the news outlet during an interview, in which she claimed she didn’t know Anna de Rothschild and that the documents with that name were fabricated by a former business partner who intended to harm her. “That’s all fake,” she said, “and nothing happened.” Well you can see why Trump didn’t say anything, she’s his perfect woman – young, chiselled cheekbones, Russian descent, blagging her way to hanging out on the golf links with the right and powerful, calling it all fake, being investigated by the FBI, look out Melania I sense divorce papers!!
  • Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker is the gift that keeps on lying, and this week he revisited one of his old and much debunked claims about working in law enforcement. But this time, he brought the receipts, posting a picture on Twitter of his Cobb County Special Deputy Sheriff card with the caption While ⁦@ReverendWarnock⁩ was calling law enforcement “thugs and bullies” I was proud to serve the blue as an Honorary Agent and Special Deputy Sheriff of Cobb County for many years. When I was six or seven I got a CHiPs playset so I could ride my chopper bike and pretend to be Erik Estrada. It came with a bright blue plastic helmet and a police badge which gave me exactly the same arrest powers as Herschel Walker’s Special Deputy Sheriff card. Former DeKalb County DA J. Tom Morgan said “It’s like a junior ranger badge and said that many Georgia Sheriffs had stopped handing things like that out, fearing people might use them to impersonate law enforcement officers. Meanwhile, in a recent appearance on Newsmax, Walker was asked how he feels about the attacks levied against him questioning his mental health and he put any worries to rest by answering, in part, “My bike is not bent so anyone can ride my bike, like he seems to have Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden riding his bike because he’s seems to be voting for whatever they say”. Walker is currently polling neck and neck with Raphael Warnock, an actual smart person with no serious head injuries. 
  • In lovely downtown Nebraska, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, the Northwest Public Schools’ student newspaper of 54 years; Saga, was closed down following articles written therein on the origins of Pride Month and the history of homophobia. It also included an editorial opposing a Florida law that bans some lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. All very worthy student newspaper kind of content, engendering the kind of robust debate that schools usually pride themselves in instilling in their student body, you’d think – but this is the USA of 1822 sorry 2022. Free and Brave officials overseeing the district, which is based in Grand Island, have not said when or why the decision was made to eliminate the student paper. But an email from a school employee canceling the student paper’s printing services said it was “because the school board and superintendent are unhappy with the last issue’s editorial content.” Some school board members have made no secret of their objection to the Saga’s LGBTQ content, including board President Dan Leiser, who said that “most people were upset” with it. Board Vice President Zach Mader directly cited the pro-LGBTQ editorials, adding that if district taxpayers had read the last issue of Saga, “they would have been like, ‘Holy cow. What is going on at our school?’” What’s going on? Well nothing, except a violation of students’ right to free speech, and the press freedom that is protected in the U.S. Constitution. But just so long as “some board members” and “most people” and “district tax payers who might see it” are not presented with things they’d rather not have to think about that’s all right, hang the constitution, well just the bits that don’t suit them!
  • Brace yourself, it’s one of those good news things again. Alaska held a special election to fill the Congressional seat of Republican Don Young, who died in March having spent 49 years in the post. Former Governor, VP candidate and noted dumbass Sarah Palin was up for the seat, but lost out to a Democrat, and the first Alaska Native ever elected to Congress, Mary Peltola. Since this election was the first in Alaska to use their new Ranked Choice Voting system, Republicans have come out in force to say how bad and evil it is, since they didn’t win. Senator Tom Cotton, who looks like Norman Bates but less fun to spend an evening with, pointed out that 60% of Alaskans voted for Republicans and ended up with a Democrat. He’s technically not lying, but the reality is that in the penultimate round, Peltola had around 40%, Palin had around 31%, and moderate Republican Nick Begich had around 28%. When Nick got eliminated, his votes were redistributed based on voters second choices, and it turns out a lot of his supporters were like ‘Sure, we’re Republican voters, but we don’t want Palin, she’s a fuckwit’ so Peltola picked up enough second choice votes to take her to 51.5% and the win. She’ll have to stand again in just a couple of months for the midterms, but if she’s up against Palin again it’s looking like it might be OK.
  • In a move to tackle student debt Joe Biden has introduced some write-offs of student loans for those borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 for couples who file taxes jointly, they will be eligible for debt cancellation. Fair play, surely it’d help those people to be able to spend more in the economy in the long term and not be hampered by debt. Outrage inevitably followed from the likes of the usual GOP suspects Marjorie Taylor Green, Mike Kelly and Vern Buchanan, how do we know that, well the White House tweeted those Republican’s outrages along with information about them benefiting themselves from having Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven during the Covid pandemic. Greene, who said on Newsmax that “it’s completely unfair” for student loans to be forgiven, had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven. Mike Kelly, who tweeted that Biden’s move was poised to benefit “Wall Street advisors” at the cost of “plumbers and carpenters,” had $987,237 forgiven, and Vern Buchanan, who according to the White House had more than $2.3 million in PPP loans forgiven, tweeted that Biden’s move was “reckless” and a “unilateral student loan giveaway.” The White House also highlighted criticism and PPP loan forgiveness amounts from Mullin (more than $1.4 million) and Hern (more than $1 million). Of course the GOP are retweeting back that that’s not fair and all a bit UN-nuanced – yep pretty much like their original tweets of course, but we say – Way to go Joe! Re-truth them Truths!
  • Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters has called for a teacher in his state to have her teaching certificate revoked so that she can never teach there again. It’s a serious move, usually reserved for teachers who get convicted of felonies or violent crimes, or credible accusations of child abuse or inappropriate contact with students. In this case, High School English teacher Summer Boismier is accused of  – checks notes – giving her 10th Grade students access to the Brooklyn Public Library so that, if they wanted, they could borrow some books. Ryan Walters, again – the Secretary of Education, said “What we have here is someone who’s decided to be a left wing activist and to try to indoctrinate kids, and we’re not going to allow it here in the state of Oklahoma.” In case you’re a normal person, scratching your head and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on here, the problem is that while the kids weren’t required to borrow specific books or even any books at all, the QR code this teacher posted in her classroom pointed towards the Brooklyn Public Library’s fantastic Books Unbanned project, which allows students across the country access to books their small-minded local school boards and, in this case, the entire state of Oklahoma, have outlawed. In solidarity, a group of local parents have started putting up lawn signs with the QR code to encourage kids to read these books. If you live in Oklahoma and you’d like one or if you’d like to help fund more signs, you can email
  • So the Tory party all drew their long knives and got rid of Boris saying he was no longer fit for office, and the party needed a reset, but that was nearly two months ago, which in politics is like as long ago as when the primordial forests that are now oil were just seedlings. Since then they’ve been tearing lumps out of each other and shoving a Truss under our noses and into our faces. And anyone who isn’t a supporter of the victorious (with the smallest margin ever for a Tory leader btw) said Surgical-Support-Woman has been ousted from the cabinet. So much for resetting the cronyism and favouritism that populated the cabinet in Boris’ time! And moreover Ms Hernia-Treatment even praised the blonde buffoon’s achievements (the usual fact-checked-to-death lies about vaccine rollout saying boo to Putin first and other shit) as being admired from Kyiv to Carlisle, albeit to stony silence in the house! All in all we are now down to the remaining backwash of ministers that have no experience in office, or they wouldn’t have voted for Liz, fronted by a marionette made of barrel-scrapings protecting profits over people’s livelihoods cos that’s what the donors want, and all she wants to do is dress up like Thatcher and get selfies with the Queen. So that’s alright then, you’ve done that, you can toddle off back to the cheese-counter now Liz, before we all die of capitalism.

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

Jim Cliff

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