If By Whiskey – FT#117

If By Whiskey – FT#117

Show Notes

The If By Whiskey Fallacy is committed when someone either takes such a non-committal stance on an issue that they could be supporting either side, or redefines the terms of the question to answer in the way they want to answer.


We started out by discussing the Trump admin redefining sex/gender, and banning words

Then we talked about this tweet from Don Jr:

Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Boris Johnson explaining that he’s not a nationalist if you mean bad things when you say that:

Followed by Johnson, in the Q&A following the speech, claiming he didn’t say certain things about Turkey and the EU:


Fallacy in the Wild

In the Fallacy in the Wild we looked at this clip from The Simpsons:

Then we discussed this clip from Pulp Fiction:

And we finished with this clip from Frasier:


Fake News

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

    1. The first time I heard about Diamond and Silk was from our great First Lady. Very popular First Lady, I have to say. She was on the cover of so many magazines until she met me. Then they said “Keep her off covers”. She was a great, great, beautiful woman, she was on so many magazines and then she meets Trump and they say “Let’s keep her off”, even though their sales – what they don’t figure out, Mike, is that their sales would have doubled, tripled, quadrupled.
    2. Now Arnold Schwarzenegger’s a big movie star, right? And he… I mean I said that sounds like a great idea, he should be able to do well, I wanted to see it do well. Although I’m not that sure about that. You know, I had a choice. You understand this Mike? If he did really well, really well, they’d say “What the hell do we need Trump for?” If he did really poorly, maybe I won’t make any money if that happens, but if he did really poorly I can say “see, I’m the only one that can do it”. Well he did really poorly, he got no ratings.
    3. She was a beacon of light and a great source of wisdom and common sense. That’s what we need more of, isn’t it? Common sense. What do you think Mike? If there was a bit more common sense maybe we wouldn’t have left $85 billion of the most beautiful military equipment in Afghanistan for the Taliban to use, including three brand new Black Hawk helicopters, and hundreds of thousands of guns and binoculars and other military things. But your sister, Diamond, was taken from us too soon.

Mark got it wrong again this week, and is back below 50%

The Fair Tax Act is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the mad tax policy the maddest GOP members of Congress support, which McCarthy will probably have to bring up for a vote because he sold his soul to win the leadership.


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

  • In what must be one of the most frequently reused headlines since we started this show, it’s been a bad couple of weeks in court for Trump. To be honest I can’t remember the last time Trump had a good week in court, but even he doesn’t usually end up owing almost a million dollars for having such bad lawyers. Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who last September threw out Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton accusing her of rigging the 2016 election – yes, the one Trump won – ordered Trump and his attorney Alina Habba to pay $938,000 in a scathing ruling that included lines like “This case should never have been brought. Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start. No reasonable lawyer would have filed it”. Meanwhile, in a separate case, New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked another judge to impose sanctions on Trump’s legal team after showing that Trump, several of his children and his lawyers lied multiple times in depositions and in written responses to questions posed in the fraud case currently underway. Which is particularly impressive, since Trump pleaded the fifth more than 400 times during his depositions in the case. The judge questioned the Trump team’s initial response, saying “In my 35 years practicing law, I have never, never… seen a pleading with such excess verbiage as the 300-page-or-so answers of the 15-or-so answers to the complaint” and has actually asked Trump’s lawyers to have another go. Perhaps this time they won’t take the unusual step of claiming there’s no such thing as the Trump Organisation like they did the first time despite Alina Habba announcing herself in court, during this case, as representing Donald Trump and the Trump Organisation.  
  • Okay so in the saga of Car-a-lago Lynne Patton’s term – she’s a right-wing what? commentator? Journalist? Nah the equivalent, along with Lara Trump and Erin Elmore on RightView’s ex-president’s daughter-in-law’s podcast, of the UK’s Loose Women; washed up z-listers employed to up the gender balance when it comes to whinging ignorantly about Huffpost hot topics. Through a pointless expenditure of energy and creativity (just think with brains like that they could be addressing world poverty and peace) These three maintain that no-one would store classified documents in a private garage next to their corvette – a dozen or so you remember, rather than the proper way to do it – 10s of thousands in a publicly accessible golf club. No one would do this so its obviously cos the Dems planted them there – Obama did it – in order to get rid of Biden now he’s served his purpose of winning the election maintaining the Senate and holding the House to a tiny majority. We’re reminded of foresight attributed to Trump in the good ol days of Q posts – who incidentally has gone silent since June last year after a two year hiatus prior to that – and the QAnoners who’d be able to see that Trump foresaw the election results fifteen years before Hilary was born etc etc. Look if the Dems had actually revealed that they’d win in 2020, hold the senate and reduce the GOP to a hamstrung whiny infighting majority in the house that took 15 goes to elect a leader, and with a septuagenarian older than Trump yet, they’d have been laughed at in the face. So yeah okay it was all planned and hidden and everything, but hey if it works is it such a bad idea?
  • Another guy who’s had a bad week recently, legally speaking, is Richard “Bigo” Barnett, who was convicted on eight counts, including four felonies, for his part in the insurrection and now faces up to 20 years in prison. You’ll remember Bigo as the guy who was photographed with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. His lawyers tried various tactics throughout the trial including suggesting he couldn’t get a fair trial in DC because a jury made up of mostly Democrats wouldn’t be a jury of his peers, then claiming he was just caught up in the surge into the Capitol and was looking for a bathroom when he stumbled, all innocent-like into Nancy’s office. The fact that, while there, he left a note on her desk saying “Nancy, Bigo was here bi-otch” and then tried to copyright the phrase after he was arrested didn’t really help their case, nor did Bigo’s understanding of the Bill of Rights when he claimed he was just a patriot. The prosecutor asked him “You love the Constitution?” “Love it!” Bigo said. “First Amendment?” the prosecutor asked. “Yes,” he said. “Second Amendment?” “Yes” “Love the Third Amendment?” “Yes,” and then the prosecutor asked “What’s the Third Amendment?” and Bigo paused and said, “I don’t know.” 
  • What you’d get if you typed “A photo of an angry overweight embittered wannabe politician made of pillows, with a large outdated moustache” into an AI image generator: Mike Lindell,
    apparently didn’t foresee that one day he wouldn’t be the leader of the RNC. “The pillow guy? That’s kind of a joke.” said by one of the voting RNC members must have been music to Lindell’s second-pluck duck-stuffed ears, after all it didn’t seem to phase the GOP when Trump ran for nomination by the party, so “Well, why wouldn’t I win? I am more qualified”. You gotta admire Lindell’s determination, his sheer manifestation would surely be enough but dammit if reality didn’t intervene at the party’s winter meeting in Dana Point, California where he garnered only 4 of the 168 votes; Ronna McDaniel won the election with 111 votes. Still he outdid Kevin Phillips Bong (Silly Party) who as you’ll recall polled no votes at all, not a sausage, bugger all.  Despite his crushing defeat Lindell remains plumped up and fluffy, “Do you even know how this works?” he responded to the criticism that he’d whipped very few votes. “Wake up!” Which is rich coming from a dreamer who sells sleep materials! Still could be worse we could have got Ronna McDaniel… oh no wait…
  • In an impressive unbroken run of freaking out about made up stuff, Fox ‘News’ is outraged at XBox for their latest update, which according to one host, shows that “They’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at an earlier age – make them climate conscious now”, to which his co-idiot then replied “You’re right – they’re going after the children!” So, what news led to this I’m sure entirely justified panic about children knowing about stuff? Surely an insidious new game that indoctrinates young minds under cover of entertainment and forces them to offset carbon emissions to unlock achievements and win premium downloadable content? Not quite. You see, the XBox power settings include a power saving shutdown mode that draws less power than the standard standby mode. The new update will make that more energy efficient version the default, thereby saving their users a little bit on their electric bills and saving a substantial amount of energy when you add all the XBoxes together. Evil bastards. 
  • “Can you not vet the ads on Truth?” asked one user in a post on Trump’s own Truth Social social media platform directly to Trump. “I’ve been scammed more than once.” Well two things – what did you expect, and what do you think they’d do? oh three – why did you do it the second time? Apparently advertisers, real advertisers of real verifiable products and reputations aren’t that enamoured of advertising on Truth Social. It’s difficult for them to get all the information they need about how well the adverts are doing cos the monitoring systems are a bit antiquated, that and whilst its important for advertisers to be associated with leading politicians, Bob Hoffman, an advertising industry veteran and the author of The Ad Contrarian, a newsletter critical of the industry says “It’s not in their best interest to get involved in that quagmire.” Truth is burning through about $1.7 million each month and they only raised about 37 million to start with so advertising revenue is sorely needed especially as two federal investigations have also put about $1.3 billion of much-needed funding in jeopardy. Whilst the demographic is somewhat narrow, older, right-wing, dare we say self-confessed conspiracy-theoristy and hyperpartisan soccer-momish? So consequently not much of a draw for the big advertising guns especially since Truth Social’s first avowed intent voiced by Devin Nunes (remember him?) was to “displace the Big Tech platforms”. However if you want to buy the chance to win a solid gold 1,000-dollar bill given away free by Trump and aren’t bothered by the snake-oil salesmen who are running the competition with its not gold, not free, not given by Trump, non-1,000 dollar bill, then the platform could use all the gullible help and cash you can give it. 
  • I’m thinking of moving to the US and becoming a political consultant, since it seems like the easiest job in the entire world, largely because the politicians themselves are so fundamentally lacking in self awareness that they are prepared to pay huge amounts for obvious answers they just can’t figure out for themselves. Take, for example, the Pennsylvania GOP, who have hired DC based firm Public Opinion Strategies to solve the mystery of why they did so poorly in the 2022 midterms. The quest for a solution to this conundrum is expected to set them back a cool 100 grand, and involve focus groups, voter interviews and other research. It’s worth it, of course, because currently the brightest minds in the Pennsylvania Republican party are completely stumped about why they shat the bed in the midterms and wisdom so esoteric can only be gained through great effort and financial sacrifice. If, at the end of this odyssey, the consultants don’t come back with “You ran Dr Oz and Doug Mastriano and your party just set women’s rights back 50 years” then they might have overpaid, and I would have told them for half the price, is all I’m saying.
  • In Britain Rishi Sunak continues to insist he is upholding “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level” after sacking Nadim Zahawi as Tory Party Chairman for breaking the ministerial code. Not because former chancellor Zahawi had to pay a 3 million pounds-odd fine to the taxman for things he didn’t declare whilst he was Chancellor, nor for the fact that he untruthfully called the Independent newspaper’s investigations into the fact that he had not declared various receipts of monies that would require the payment of millions of pounds worth of tax as a “smear”, but cos he had not declared that he was under investigation by the revenue when he was given the job of chancellor. Of course Zahawi maintains that oh if by “under investigation” you mean they were asking questions and looking into my past business dealings then sure, but I wasn’t “under investigation”. It’s a kind of reverse Al Capone trap – he was tried for tax evasion in lieu of being able to pin any actual moiders on him and Zahawi was found guilty of breaking the ministerial code about be untruthful in lieu of being able to do him down for undeclared earnings from offshore accounts. That of course is at the heart of the Tory’s soul, “no offshore tax loopholes closed under EU law in our country we’ve taken back control” cos why else do you think they fought so hard to get out of Europe! Sunak of course said he acted as soon as he knew, which I suspect contains an oh if by knew you meant had any inkling of in an official breaks-the-promise-of-integrity-and-accountability kind of way then I didn’t “know” cos I didn’t have the job of Prime Minister at the time. Worryingly on the face of it, on the other side of the house Labour’s Starmer gave a speech using such phrases as “Labour is not the party of protest but of public service” on the eve of an act banning strikes for public service workers being presented to parliament and the largest and most widespread strike by public service workers; you know, the very people for whom the Labour party was founded to represent. I fear that Tory-light Starmer is pandering to the worlds of media barons and business to show that Labour is an electable proposition despite the people’s actual propositions for electing Labour, decent pay, supporting the strikers rights, taxing the rich, curbing the obscene profits of energy companies, and voting for Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Let’s face it with these media barons you can be sure the revolution will not be televised – unless there’s money in it.

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

Jim Cliff

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