Special Pleading – FT#25

Special Pleading – FT#25

Show Notes

Special Pleading describes a situation where you have a rule that you apply to everyone else, but make up an excuse to explain why the rule doesn’t apply to you. When you are inconsistent in applying the rules in this way without a valid logical reason, you are using fallacious reasoning.

We started out with the Donald giving this excuse for not hiring American workers at Mar A Lago:

Then we talked about Sean Spicer making excuses for his golfing after he complained about all the golf Obama played.


In Mark’s British Politics Corner, we talked about Theresa May avoiding questions about Brexit:

And then we talked about Russell Brand claiming some nebulous authority in an interview with Jeremy Paxman:


In the Fallacy in the Wild, we talked about this clip from Frasier:

Then we discussed this amazing example from James Randi’s debunking of James Hydrick:

Then we talked about our new competition, which you can enter at https://fallacioustrump.com/deadpool


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

1. I have a great relationship with God. I don’t want to — it’s very personal to me. But you look at my golf courses. I own the most beautiful golf courses all around the world. And I built those — I’m a great builder. But you can’t compete with God.

2. I go as much as I can. Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there’s a major occasion. And during the Sundays. I’m a Sunday church person. I’ll go when I can.

3. People are so proud to be using that beautiful word, God. And they’re using the word God again. And they’re not hiding from it. And they’re not being told to take it down. And they’re not saying, “We can’t honor God.”

Click below for the answer

Mark got it wrong this week, so he’s now on 33.3%.


We played a promo for the excellent Context and Clarity podcast


Then we discussed Trump’s fundamental lack of understanding regarding tariffs, trade deficits and why trade wars are not in fact good and easy to win.


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

  • On April 26th, Trump tweeted:

    The reference to no money paid was presumably in response to an article in the Washington Post reporting that the White House agreed to pay North Korea $2 million for the release of US student Otto Warmbier.  Lorax who speaks for the bombs, John Bolton confirmed that the US did sign an agreement promising to pay the money, but didn’t actually pay any of it.  I mean, you’ve got to admit, when it comes to paying people what he promised them, Trump is remarkably consistent.

  • Our very favourite incompetent slime-balls Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have been doing their surreptitious best undercover work again to smear Democrats  – that is to say its rubbish – this time however they’ve used real people to make allegations against Pete Buttigieg.  The source who spoke to The Daily Beast said Burkman and Wohl flew out to meet him introduced themselves using false names but he recognised them from previous reports about their exploits DUH! and taped the conversation. Another source Hunter Kelly wrote that he did not control the newly created Medium and Twitter accounts that posted allegations under his name. Told the Beast were reporting on apparent efforts by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman to drum up false sexual assault allegations against Buttigieg, Kelly replied, “I was unaware this was happening. But yes it is true.” So one step nearer to reality using real people boys – but still nowhere near the truth. I feel a comedy villain duo series coming on!!
  • Lindsey Graham opened a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing  last week by saying “here’s the Mueller report. You can read it for yourself. It’s about 400 and something pages. I can’t say I’ve read it all, but I’ve read most of it.” This isn’t great, since the hearing was about the Mueller report, and Graham is the fucking Chairman of the committee.  Even worse, though, is that William Barr doesn’t seem to have read it. When Cory Booker referred to the campaign sharing polling data, Barr asked ‘with who?’ and under questioning from Kamala Harris he admitted that he had made his decision not to prosecute Trump for obstruction of justice without reading any of the underlying evidence attached to the report.  Let’s be honest, it would have been difficult, since he made that decision some time in 2018.
  • Great News – The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. to answer questions about his previous testimony before Senate investigators in relation to the Russia investigation, despite Don Jr.’s people moaning about having already talked to them and staying til they got all the answers and complaining “why are we fighting Republicans?” The committee probably wants to reconcile Mini-Cheeto’s “peripheral awareness” of the Moscow Trump Tower project with jailbird Cohen’s testimony that he’d briefed him 10 times on the project. Seems obfuscation and obstruction is after all a genetic trait – as is Collusion!
  • In a move which is exactly what a totally innocent person would do, Trump has asserted executive privilege over the unredacted parts of the Mueller report and all underlying evidence, presumably because he wants to protect people from finding out just how incredibly innocent he is.  This move seems to be in response to the House Judiciary Committee voting to hold Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to show up and testify about how very very innocent the President is. The assertion of executive privilege will probably also prevent former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying about the complete lack of any crimes committed by the President.
  • Great News – Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert – do we really need to say anything more! 450 former federal prosecutors can’t be wrong, but we wait for Trump to come up with 450 new nicknames in order to “prove” them wrong hey!
  • When Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal almost exactly a year ago, one of the reasons was that it only limited Iran’s nuclear capability for 15 years. The US then re-imposed their old sanctions on Iran, and promised new sanctions on any countries trading with Iran.  In a totally unpredictable step, Iran has announced this week that unless the country is allowed back into the international financial system, they will resume production of centrifuges and start accumulating nuclear material. But, on the plus side….  No, can’t think of anything.
  • I love that it seems in Trumpworld that it’s legitimate for him to believe that its okay for him to say that the billions he lost throughout the 80s and 90s – the largest tax loss by any individual in US existence ever (and that’s not a Trump boast) – were for tax purposes – well d’uh we know and it’s a despicable and heinous and immoral act – and appealing to ‘oh they were different times” doesn’t excuse it – hem hem the catholic church, *cough cough* Jimmy Savile. he genuinely believes we are living in the alternate Biff Tannen timeline…Great Scott!

Thanks to our latest patron Alan Firth, and see you next time!

Jim Cliff

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