Circular Reasoning – FT#73

Circular Reasoning – FT#73

Show Notes

The Circular Reasoning fallacy is committed when someone makes at least two claims, each of which is offered as evidence for the other.


We started out by talking about the GOP’s circular excuses for not wanting witnesses in the first impeachment trial, such as this from Trump:

Then we talked about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explaining that weed shouldn’t be legal because it’s not socially acceptable to smoke weed at weddings.


Mark’s British Politics Corner

Mark talked about Boris Johnson’s claim that the vaccine isn’t responsible for the drop in COVID, it’s the lockdowns, so we should totally continue lifting the lockdowns:

Then he covered this unbelievable story about the Home Office rejecting an asylum seeker.


Fallacy in the Wild

We talked about this clip from Catch-22:

We followed that up with this clip from Idiocracy:

Then we looked at this clip from Superstore:

We also discussed this clip from Erik the Viking:

And we finished with this incident from the 2006 soccer World Cup Final:


If you’d like to win some Fallacious Trump Merch and a t-shirt, there’s still time to go to the competition page and do exactly what it says there!  Don’t forget to email me a link to your design!


Fake News

Here are the statements from this week’s Fake News game, which featured times Trump pretended to be someone else:

  1. (John Miller: People, 1991) He treated his wife well and he treated — and he will treat Marla well. He’s somebody that has a lot of options, and, frankly, he gets called by everybody. He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of women.
  2. (John Barron: Time, 1994) It’s true, women are just drawn to Donald, it’s really like they can’t — I’ve never seen anything like it, frankly. And they flirt with him all the time, whether they mean to or not, they just can’t help themselves.
  3. (Carolin Gallego: NY Magazine 1992) I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women — all women love Donald Trump.

Click below for the answer

Mark got it right yet again this week (he’s on a roll!), and is currently on 48%


Grifting is not a logical fallacy

We covered the various ways Trump stole money from his most fervent supporters.


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

  • I’m very upset this week, because our favorite indicted incompetent fraudster, Jacob Wohl, claimed he had some inside information on the whole Matt Gaetz situation, but unbelievably, he has been unable to follow through with actual information. Meanwhile, Gaetz, who looks like Beavis got frozen in carbonite, has had a bit of a bad week. His wingman, Joel Greenberg, who is facing charges of sex trafficking, bribery and fraud, is now cooperating with authorities, which probably isn’t great for Gaetz, who, incidentally would be a lock to play the Big Giant Head in the inevitable Third Rock From the Sun reboot.  It’s also been revealed that the FBI seized Gaetz’s iPhone during the winter, but they needn’t have bothered, since neither Gaetz nor Greenberg took the time to check the box that makes their Venmo accounts private, which means everyone could see the payments from Gaetz to Greenberg and the subsequent payments of suspiciously similar value from Greenberg to various young women with subject lines like ‘tuition’, ‘school’, ‘stuff’, and ‘other stuff’.  I mean ‘stuff’ is bad enough, but I think ‘other stuff’ can get you some serious prison time. 
  • For fans of Fox News there’s now even more Greg Gutfeld available in his new Fox TV show simply entitled Gutfeld! Yes with an exclamation mark like its a failed turn-of-the-90s Broadway musical about getting to grips with morbid obesity. The show’s logo is orange and in “jokey” typeface which makes it look exactly like the Garfield logo – and allegedly it’s a late night comedy show – although the logo is the funniest thing about it – and even that doesn’t work cos Gutfeld doesn’t sound like Garfield. Only last week Jim and I were saying, yet again, that the right simply can’t do jokes, don’t get humour, cos they take everything that’s said in jest or otherwise as a personal affront to their rights and a diminishing of them as human beings and get very serious and angry about it. So in an attempt to show that the right do do funny – this show. And of course it fails – it isn’t – yep they can’t do funny! Look Greg just cos you are making several joke-shaped statements in a row in the place in a show where other late night show hosts who actually are actual comedians do it, alternating with right-wing lectures about how everything’s awful and they’re coming to get you and curb your freedoms won’t actually interest the folks in Montreaux’s Rose-based Award department one bit. Horrifyingly of course the ratings will justify the expense of the airtime cos none of that matters to an audience bereft of Trump’s aged-uncle Charlie-Bunker-phoning-into-Fox-News-for-hours-at-a-time act, who are in dire need of a string of mindless spittle-flecked diatribes. Consequently it will run and run, but please don’t tune in if you’re after something funny – better to sit and watch the microwave with the door open – again – oh hey pretty much like Greg’s audience!
  • Desperate to convince Trump that he’s still relevant, the National Republican Senatorial Committee made up an award just so they could give it to him. Committee Chairman, and bad guy from The Hills Have Eyes, Rick Scott, headed to Mar-a-Lago, presumably figured out which green Trump was on, and handed him a small silver bowl, which he told him was the inaugural “Champion For Freedom Award”. The bullshit trinket, which I’m willing to bet will also be the last Champion For Freedom Award the committee can ever be bothered to award, probably made Trump feel good for a couple of minutes before he remembered he’s just a sad lonely bitter old man who nobody likes, and chucked the bowl in a cupboard alongside his Bay of Pigs award and the trophy he got for being Michigan Man of the Year.
  • Ivanka Trump – yeah remember her – big fan of POTUS45 apparently remember him? her dad – well it opened doors at the time. Anyway she apparently has been executed by Trump cos that what she told QAnoner in her secret message, dressed up as a picture on Twitter, of her being injected by a nurse. Of course she didn’t mention a vaccine at all oh no she said “got the shot” – which of course is deep-state speak for being terminated. So several questions occur to normal human beings – like how can you interpret a picture of someone at a hospital with a nurse putting something in her arm not as getting a shot of vaccine!! And if she had been executed how would she post this tweet, and why are QAnoners maintaining that the QR code that appears in one of the photos she posted on Twitter, returns a number that, when plugged into the DuckDuckGo search engine, returns the web address for the 8kun board that QAnon’s anonymous leader used to post updates – when it doesn’t. Weee—eelll we  all know why – cos they’re fucking insane anti-vaxxers and confused about how to feel now both Donald and Daughter have backed the vaccine and bloody got it put into them Bill Gates George Soros rant fume! No need to worry though cos our saviour Lin Wood, currently seeking a GOP leadership role in South Carolina, will fight whatever needs fighting when the Storm arrives with his religious approach to his disinformation. “I will NOT take the CCP Flu vaccine [because] from a spiritual viewpoint, I trust God’s promise of protection.” Well good luck Lin cos the almighty has his work cut out in South Carolina with its average of 2 thousand new cases a day for the last 3 months – do your research ya sheeple!
  • According to documents obtained by Punchbowl News, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who looks exactly like Sidney Powell cosplaying as Dog the Bounty Hunter, has teamed up with body language expert Congressman Paul Gosar to form an ‘America First Caucus’, whose mission statement contains enough racist dog whistles to summon all the racist dogs in America. Actually, they’re just racist regular whistles, because fuck being subtle about it, they decided. In the Immigration section they describe America as “a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and the infrastructure section claims they will “work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture”, whatever the fuck that means. MTG’s spokesman confirmed on Friday that the caucus would be launching ‘very soon’, and then less than 24 hours later emailed CNN to say that the Congresswoman ‘had no plans to launch anything’. I wonder what changed?  
  • Touche Turtle being voiced by Dum Dum; Mitch McConnell; has torn up centuries of belief in the old maxim that “he who pays the piper calls the tune” in a response to uppity major Georgia-based corporations who are questioning the wisdom/human rights violation of Georgia’s new restrictive voting law. “My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don’t pick sides in these big fights,” McConnell said at a news conference Monday. On Tuesday having been reminded by the whole internet of his status as a longtime recipient of corporate donations, and outstripping most other members of Congress by some measures when it came to political donations, he of course said ‘no no no I didn’t mean in terms of donations – still give us all your money just don’t ever get involved in commenting on what we are doing that’s incendiary’ and I quote ”I just think it’s stupid”.
    Well there’s the integrity of the GOP demonstrated right there give all the money you like but don’t expect that it will mean you wield any influence at all on the decisions made by the politicians you are supporting. Actually sounds good and noble and honest – it’s not what he meant of course, and it will ultimately mean simply that the GOP will get less funding. Way to go Mitch; call your donors stupid, if you had any viable dentition I’d warn you not to bite the hand that feeds you, but I’d fear being incendiary that close to your dripping House of Wax face!
  • Pillow magnate and fat Ron Burgundy, Mike Lindell is launching his new free speech based social network today! After the threat of legal action forced him to drop the name Vocl, he plumped for ‘Frank Speech’ instead, which sounds like the kindest possible review of a Trump Rally.  Lindell has promised that people will have ‘ten times more followers’ on Frank, sensibly neglected to say what platform he’s comparing that to, but the big news this week is that the speech might be a bit less free than advertised.  In fact, posts will be censored significantly more than pretty much any other social network, since, as Lindell claims, “You don’t get to use the four swear words: the c-word, the n-word, the f-word, or God’s name in vain”. Oh Mike, you sweet innocent child, boy have you underestimated people’s creative ability to swear and blaspheme! Mike claims they will have a very clear explanation on the site of all the things you won’t be allowed to say, and I’m going to have a LOT of fun getting banned for saying stuff that isn’t on the list.
  • In Britpol it’s been another action-packed week for the Crony party sorry Tory party desperate for the news cycle to move on; there are now 8 separate enquiries appertaining to Tory party activities as spear-headed by ex-prime minister, brexit-fuckwit, face like a condom filled with pink blancmange; David Cameron over the supporting/giving preferential treatment to/ funding/ lobbying for and generally diverting public funds to support failed financial services company Greensill Capital – 8 count them 8 enquiries. And then we find that Health Secretary Matt Hancock himself has a large and heretofore undeclared share-holder interest in a health company that received a huge government health contract. In years gone by the mere intimation that dodgy dealings were afoot would have ministers doing the decent thing and resigning their posts if not actually sliding the revolver across the dining table and asking to be left alone in the drawing room. Now…. yeah not so much – the lovely word sleaze used to describe what parties were tinged with or mired in, not actually constructed out of, in steaming great lumps. But of course with a thumping majority and therefore absolute power, if you’re going to do corruption you might as well do it absolutely!

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

Jim Cliff

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