Ad Hominem – FT#21

Ad Hominem – FT#21

Show Notes

Ad Hominem is Latin for ‘to the man’ and describes an argument where the focus of the attack is not on the views a person holds but on the person themselves. It is an attempt to distract from the matter at hand by introducing irrelevant details aimed at discrediting the individual.

We started out with this from the Donald, on Senator Elizabeth Warren:

Then we talked about his claims about Senator Richard Blumenthal’s war record:


In Mark’s British Politics Corner, we talked about David Cameron mocking Jeremy Corbin’s clothing:

And Theresa May mocking his views on education:

Then we discussed this article by Owen Jones about Tony Blair.


In the Fallacy in the Wild, we talked about this Time Warner Cable commercial:

Which reminded us of the excellent DirectTV ads we used as examples in our Slippery Slope episode

And then we discussed this scene in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible:

Proctor: I—I have no love for Mr. Parris. It is no secret. But God, surely, do I love.
Cheever: He plow on Sunday, sir.
Danforth: Plow on Sunday!
Cheever: I think it be evidence, John. I am an official of the court. I cannot keep it.
Proctor: I—I have once or twice plowed on Sunday. I have three children, sir, and until last year my land give little.


Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game, all of which were from Trump’s insane, rambling CPAC speech:

1. When I meet with prime ministers, when I meet with presidents — and I get along with them — because they know that what’s taken place over many years — not just the Obama administration; long before that — they can’t believe, themselves, that they got away with it. They can’t believe it. An impossible thing. And they like me.

2. So we’re great friends now, Lindsey and I — I mean, I think he likes me a little bit better than I like him, but that’s OK. We had some rough moments during the campaign, but now he does whatever I tell him, so we’re friends. He’s a good — and even little Marco Rubio says nice things about me. It’s true; can you believe it? It’s true.

3. But he called me up the other day, recently — let’s say four weeks ago or so. He said, “I just want to tell you you’re a great President and you’re one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.” That’s what he said. Now, that’s what he said. Will he admit it? No, I doubt it. But that’s what he said. “And you’re doing a great job.”

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right again this week, so he’s now on 35%.


Jim interviewed Ron Placone, progressive comedian, regular guest on the Jimmy Dore Show, and host of the live streaming news show on YouTube, Get Your News on With Ron.

They talked about the differences between progressives and democrats, the importance of comedy and satire in making sense of the news (and keeping us sane) and what hope there is for the future.

You can find out more about Ron at his website,


And finally, here are the stories we really didn’t have time to talk about…

  • Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee the day after our last episode came out. Honestly we could spend an hour talking about how that went, but we don’t have an hour, so here are the most important points in 60 seconds: Despite Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz’s attempts at open witness intimidation over Twitter, Michael Cohen appeared before congress and began with a prepared statement where he called Trump a racist, a conman and a cheat, and alleged that Trump knew about Roger Stone’s dealings with WikiLeaks before the first release of Hillary’s emails. He claimed that Trump closely monitored the Trump Tower Moscow deal well into 2016 and presented documentary evidence of the hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels, including checks drawn on Trumps personal account, saying others were also drawn on other accounts and signed by Trump, Allan Weisselberg, and Don Jr. Speaking of Don Jr, during the testimony he retweeted a journalist who said Cohen was “a man with nothing left, with no reason to lie or obfuscate at all” Whoops! Cohen claimed that Trump had asked him to threaten people as many as 500 times, including threatening the schools and colleges Trump attended to never release his grades or SAT scores. Republican Senators used their questioning time to get Cohen to admit he’s lied in the past, forgetting that those lies were claims that Trump didn’t commit any crimes. Democrats actually asked some questions. Jamie Raskin got Cohen to accuse Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow of editing the Trump Tower Moscow testimony to make it less truthy, while Alexandria Ocasio Cortes had Cohen admitting that Trump committed insurance fraud by inflating the value of his properties, and claiming that witnesses to this included Allan Weisselberg and someone brilliantly called Matthew Calamari.  
  • In what reads like an end credits sequence or a roll call of the departed from a war, A House of Representatives panel led by Democrats has sent 81 document requests to a list of Trump associates ranging from press cheerleader Hope Hicks to evil empire Cambridge Analytica – even good old embassy-bound Julian Assange gets a look-in. House judiciary committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler told ABC “We do not now have the evidence all sorted out and everything to do an impeachment, Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.” We-ell maybe sometimes it does sound like almost a hundred fishing reels being cast out at once – but I don’t care –  it is as music, sweet music, to my ears!
  • Trump just can’t understand people who don’t name their companies after themselves, which is why he said this while sitting next to Apple CEO Tim Cook this week.  It’s almost a year since he called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson “Marillyn Lockheed”. Rumor has it he’s been trying to set up a meeting with Larry Google and Mark Facebook. 
  • Jerrold Nadler also said “Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical and constitutional rules and norms, and it seems  “as the saying goes” “many people think he’s right” A Quinnipiac University poll shows 64% of registered voters said Trump had committed crimes before entering office and nearly half of voters — 45% — think he committed crimes while serving as President. Despite Trump’s popularity in the GOP, even a third of Republicans said Trump had engaged in criminal activity before his presidency. Perhaps this is what Jerrold means by persuasion? – Well take heart Donald – you’ll be okay; nobody believed the poll that put you in the White House in the first place…..
  • After Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar made remarks about pro-Israel politicians pushing for allegiance to a foreign country, Republicans immediately started calling her anti-semitic and publicly demanding something be done.  Many Democrats agreed that Omar’s comments were unacceptable, so they drafted a resolution condemning anti-semitism, and added in condemnation of islamophobia, homophobia, racism and all forms of bigotry.  Suddenly Republicans were all ‘No, wait, that’s not what we meant. Let’s not go crazy, we just wanted the brown lady to shut up.” and 23 Republican members of Congress voted against the anti-bigotry resolution, while white supremacist Steve King voted ‘present’, because he just couldn’t quite decide whether hate is bad.
  • Just when you were thinking the Jarvanka and Ivared had immense integrity, experience, wisdom and verisimilitude, or how else would they have been granted top White House security clearance for the jobs they obviously fought so hard to prove their suitability for, it turns out that Trump leaned on chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant the clearances so it didn’t look like he was favouring his family… which of course no-one suspected at all ever *eye roll* – just like we all think there’s been No Collusion… ah what the hell he’s got an honest face!!
  • Trump finally made it to Vietnam, just 55 years after he was first invited, but talks with Kim Jong Un didn’t go so well this time, and Trump came away without even a pretend agreement like the one he had last time. Less than 48 hours after the talks fell apart, satellite imagery revealed that North Korea has been rebuilding one of it’s long range rocket launching sites. Maybe next time, elect someone who’s good at making deals.
  • Yaaay Jacob Wohl is apparently eyeing the election in 2020 – our beloved liar-in-waiting and Trump fan-boy stressed that the accuracy of the information he spreads is “not the important part.” All that matters is how far those claims travel, and how many people believe them. This from the guy who’s completely shit online lies about Robert Mueller that we laughed ourselves silly about many episodes ago, did not translate into the real world where real people asked him real questions about actual evidence. The interview with him in USA Today includes the line “ Wohl said he yearns for the days – before he was born…” So do we Jake, so do we!!

If you’d like to hear Jim’s guest appearance on the Drop the Pilot Podcast, you can check it out here.

Meanwhile, if you have 5 seconds to spare, please go and vote for us at and maybe we’ll win some new podcasting gear!

See you all next time!

Jim Cliff

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