Thought-Terminating Cliché – FT#64

Thought-Terminating Cliché – FT#64

Show Notes

The Thought-Terminating Cliché occurs when someone uses a well known or common phrase as a way of ending the debate and accepting no further thoughts on the matter.



We started out with this example from Trump:

Then we moved on to this clip:

And finally this compilation of right wing voices talking about gun control after mass shootings:


Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark is having to take a few weeks off from the podcast due to work, so Jim talked about Rishi Sunak deflecting a question about cuts to the International Aid budget by saying that we should all be proud of the job we do.


Fallacy in the Wild

We talked about this clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

We followed that up with this clip from Anchorman:

And finally in this section we looked at this clip of The Big Lebowski:


Fake News

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

  1. I wouldn’t say I’m a good loser, no, but then I haven’t had a lot of practice, right? I win. I’m a winner. If you’re a winner it means you see a lot of losers because you can’t have winners without losers and when you… some people say I shouldn’t say losers, it’s not… but it’s a great word and some people can’t handle it. But I like to win.
  2. They said “Ladies and gentlemen the next is for reality television. It’s been a spectacular show, he’s a spectacular host, it’s been an amazing year” and I stood up and started walking because I think there was nobody even close, and they said “The winner…” I had already stood up, I felt like a schmuck, they said “The winner is Amazing Race.” I said Amazing Race? That’s a terrible… that’s nothing!
  3. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I’m not happy if I’m not winning. And I am a whiner and I’m a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win. And I’m going to win for the country and I’m going to make our country great again.

Click below for the answer

Our guest host Rachel got it right this week, so she maintains her 100% record!


Sidney Powell is not a logical fallacy

We talked about the lawyerly incompetence and insanity that is Sidney Powell


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

  • As we all know, Trump is a yuge supporter of the troops, having singlehandedly got them that yuge raise which turned out to be the standard annual amount, totally rebuilding a military which had run out of bullets, and being responsible for finally getting VA Choice passed after years of other Presidents failing, by somehow going back in time and convincing Obama to sign the law in 2014. In fact in Trump’s own words, there’s nobody bigger or better at Military than him.  So if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Trump would never hold the military hostage to get what he wants.  On a totally unrelated matter, Trump gave his Thanksgiving speech sitting behind a Fisher Price “My First Presidents Desk” and had a tantrum. When #DiaperDon trended on Twitter, he tweeted “Twitter is sending out totally false “Trends” that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world” and then decided that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act if Congress didn’t include a clause repealing Section 230 so that he could punish Twitter for being mean to him. The NDAA authorises funds for a 3% pay raise for service members, health care, school support and child care for military families, and support for Gold Star families. But fuck all that, because someone called Donny a whiny little baby and the whiny little baby couldn’t handle it.
  • In the days before Trump tried to join the Dictators Club and cosied up to Putin, those days of brightening international accord when the Red Bear of the USSR got all westernised, brought down the Iron Curtain, embraced capitalism, and agreed to let the US and everyone else fly reconnaissance planes over Russia to check for stuff like oh I dunno, nuclear weapons. In that optimistic post cold war era of the 90’s the Open Skies treaty was signed which allowed each of the 34 nations to keep a friendly eye on each other and prevent the build up of distrust, disharmony and oh nuclear weapons! Well not only is Trump taking the ball away now he’s lost, he’s tearing up treaties and literally burning the US’s own reconnaissance planes on the way out. Cos apparently as Mike Pompeo – human meat-slab and presidential wannabe says – “it saves the US money and means we’ll be safer” – both outrageous, are stinking, life-threatening lies – so yes he’ll be a fine Republican candidate!
  • After Trump pardoned US traitor Mike Flynn, it was reported that he was also considering pardons for his children and even Rudy Giuliani. Bad news for Rudy is that I’m betting that one would only happen if he succeeded in stealing the election for Trump, and it’s not looking good.  And neither is Rudy.  Anyway, now Axios is reporting that Trump is just randomly offering pardons around like canapes at a White House super spreader Christmas party, frequently interrupting conversations to suggest adding the person he’s talking to to his pardon list, like a power-mad Santa who definitely can’t be arsed to check his list twice. One source told Axios they “felt awkward because the president was clearly trying to be helpful but [they] didn’t believe they had committed any crimes”. I’m absolutely convinced Trump will try pardoning himself before being dragged kicking and screaming from the White House, but now I’m also wondering if he’s going to try some kind of blanket pardon for everyone he’s ever met.
  • I know it’s the behaviour of a madman and quite frankly the last thing we expected of someone appointed to uphold the sanctity of the law but Attorney General Bill Barr has gone against 4 years of what passed for normality under Trump and actually said something that’s not simply sycophantic Trump-toadying. Yes he came right out and in effect blasphemed – well trumphemed – saying that the Justice Department had not found sufficient evidence that would shift the results of the 2020 race. “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Fair play to the guy – make an objective ruling based on the evidence presented – you know, kinda like the guardian of the law is expected to. The right wing media are up in arms (almost literally in Michigan) bastions of independent fairness and equality; Newsmax bleated – “Some of us are wondering if he is a warrior with the Constitution or if he’s just a bureaucrat.” and Fox  Business added “For the attorney general of the United States to make that statement—he is either a liar or a fool or both.” This is how far the blindfolded carrier of the scales of justice and impartiality has strayed from being an objectively good thing – you know like truth and facts. Trump will of course fire Barr unceremoniously behind his back whilst calling him playground names – as befits the dignity of the office of the President
  • Before he went into hospital, Rudy clearly decided last week that he was hogging the spotlight too much on his super spreading tour of local legislatures, and so he wheeled out his star witness in Michigan, Melissa Carone, a woman who recently finished a year’s probation for harassing her ex-boyfriend’s partner by continually emailing her sex tapes she’d made while they were together.  However, it would be totally fallacious to dismiss her testimony simply because of that, so instead let’s dismiss it because it was a bunch of evidence-free bullshit that’s already been ruled ‘not credible’ by a judge.  Carone claimed not to be drunk for her testimony, but if you compare her demeanor to her appearance on Lou Dobbs’ show a couple of weeks prior, the difference is striking. In Michigan she was belligerent and combative to the point that even Rudy fucking Giuliani tried to get her to calm down a bit. It didn’t work of course – once the Karen’s out of the tube you can’t get it back in – and when Republican State Representative Steven Johnson pointed out that the poll book is not off by 30,000 votes as she claimed, she said “What’d you guys do, take it and do something crazy with it”?  The fact that this is the best they’ve got is why Trump is now 1 and 51 in post election lawsuits.
  • Have you ever switched on the TV and accidentally seen a band that’s somehow still performing even though they’ve dropped out of fashion years ago, gained weight, or broke up and reformed cos all of them have died except for the one nobody likes. And having watched all 45 minutes of it come away feeling your whole life has been somehow tainted? You have? Well you’re not alone. In a throwback to those 70s TV specials for washed up singers, Ol’ Donald Springsteen stood behind the mic and ran thru his greatest hits, his worn out grooves of stolen elections, voter fraud, dead electors, massive coverups and Yoko being responsible for the breakup.  Social meeja loved it – some of it – “Tell us the old stories Donny!” “Make us feel like we’re winning”, “Like the old days when we could safely lick each other’s sweaty faces and not have to deny worrying about death!” The inevitable “this is all untrue” stickers stuck on every single post only inflamed the righteousness of his diehard fans. It’d be something to stir your sympathy if it wasn’t so tragically deluded, as well as ignorantly working against Republican interest. Keep singing the old tunes Donald everyone on your side will believe voting is fraudulent so won’t do it and the Dems will win the runoffs in Georgia and control both houses.  Biden will come into office humming the old Abba hit: “thank you for the music for giving it to me”. 
  • We’re less than four weeks out from the Georgia Senate runoffs, and three of the four candidates went to debates this week. The fourth, David Perdue, was a chickenshit little baby who didn’t want to get his ass handed to him by Jon Ossoff like the last time, so instead Ossoff shared the stage with an empty red lectern and we didn’t get to hear Perdue answer questions about the almost 2600 stock trades he’s made during his term as Senator, some of which were suspiciously well timed. Speaking of insider trading, Kelly Loeffler did show up for her debate with Raphael Warnock. At least we think it was Kelly Loeffler, but it might have been a malfunctioning experimental hybrid of Loeffler and a Roomba, since she only seemed to have one setting. That involved saying ‘The American Dream’ in almost every sentence, no matter what she was asked, and never being able to utter the words “Raphael Warnock” without first saying “radical liberal”. Anyone watching while only half paying attention probably assumed CNN was glitching and kept rewinding to the previous answer whenever Kelly was asked a question.  So, if you don’t want a chicken and a robot vacuum running Georgia and a turtle running the Senate, vote blue on January 5th!
  • As the nation stands on the brink of voluntary self-isolation from the European Union, on the threshold of freedom from being able to travel across the entirety of the continent for as long as you like and not have to go home after 90 days and then not go back again for another 3 months, freedom to pay VAT and import duties on any underpants you bought in the Munich branch of Marks and Spencers when you do go home, freedom from having to pay 48% extra for English lamb you might eat in a restaurant in Paris. At this pointless moment in British history Gavin Williamson Secretary of State for Education and damp 14 year-old voice-breaking bullied playground oik showed he is the best the world-class globally embracing British education system can produce and said (do a singsong-y playground whiney chant here) “ner ner ner ner ner we got the vaccine, all cos of Brexit, just cos we’re better” Yes he actually said we got the vaccine first cos we’re a better country than everyone else. JesusHFuckingChrist – where have all the actual grownups gone! Oh there they are, running Europe, looking goggle-eyed at the giggling snot-nosed inbred self-entitled bunch of idiotic tosspots supposedly in charge of what’s increasingly a disUnited Kingdom! Whilst I’m off to prove I’ve got Swedish ancestry on My Grandma Olaf’s side I’ll leave you with a truth-revealing game you can play – wherever someone uses the words “the economy” in explaining why things must happen, or aren’t happening, simply replace them with “rich people’s yacht money” as in “The economy is to blame for the unavoidable collapse of Phillip Green’s Arcadia group with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.”

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

Jim Cliff

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