Susan Rice, please report under the bus!


Rachel abandons her too: Early on last evening’s program, Rachel Maddow even mentioned Susan Rice—although she stuck to the script here too:
MADDOW (11/12/12): Senator Kerry had mostly been talked about as a potential replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The [Washington] Post reporting tonight that that nomination for secretary of state is instead almost certain to go to United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.

Republicans tried to make into a scandal Susan Rice’s Sunday news show comments after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, her comments that the attack was thought to be linked to Islamist protests in Benghazi and around that part of the world rather than an organized terrorist attack.
Strange! Did Susan Rice really say “that the attack was thought to be linked to Islamist protests in Benghazi and around that part of the world rather than an organized terrorist attack?”

That’s a very murky presentation—from Our Own Rhodes Scholar! But no, that isn’t what Rice really said. That’s a version of the script which emerged with great fervor from Fox.

Timidly, Rachel tweaked Fox’s script. Good God, but this child is a coward!

What your lizard brain is saying: Your lizard brain is telling you that we just have to be wrong.

Rachel Maddow is on my side! That's what your lizard brain says.


  1. TDH is the only one without a lizard brain. The rest of us suckers who read his blog weren't so lucky.

    Actually, he does have a lizard brain but he just doesn't know it. Unlike the rest of us with balanced views, where we criticize people who express views we generally favor when they do something stupid and don't when they don't, TDH lurks in wait primed for hearing the name Rachel and anything, anything whatsoever, he can use as a hook. This one's pretty much in the whatsoever category. (Corn-Matthews was not, but then that's just my lizard brain protecting one of our heroes.)

    1. re excerpts of Lizard brain literature online below that aligns with Somerby's use, or so it seems to me.

      Are the commenters here today e.g. urban l,mch, Greg discussing the same conception of lizard brain?


      excerpt: "Another type of judgment is, well, sneakier. It's that moment when someone walks into a room, and based on their appearance we receive an internal warning that might say 'beware' or 'I don't trust her'. All based on appearance. This is judgment also, judgment that happens on a barely conscious level. This is the Lizard Brain at work."

      ((( e.g. Rachel looks and sounds like us (or how we want to see ourselves) and is on our team, so she must be doing a great job at telling us how to think. And she of course knows it's "never our fault". S.G.)))

      excerpt: "But the Lizard Brain is not known for its finesse. In the Lizard Brain's world, things are pretty black and white, and never our fault."

      excerpt: "The ability to suspend judgment, especially the 'barely conscious' reactions presented by the Lizard Brain, is an important first step in transforming any environment in a positive way. "

      excerpt: "The virtual absence of prefrontal cortical activity in post-debate analyses should remind us that without critical thinking, we are not much more than that little nub of neurons that constitutes the lizard’s entire brain."

      excerpt: "The bottom line in this election—indeed, what’s literally on the line—is a civil, secular system of governance in which the ability to profit from one’s ideas has always been fueled by a generosity of education. It’s this fundamental notion that has underwritten our civic commitment to public libraries, public schools and universities, public research facilities, public health institutions, affirmative action, the First Amendment, public broadcasting and, yes, even Big Bird."

      excerpt: "The amygdala isn't going away. Your lizard brain is here to stay, and your job is to figure out how to quiet it and ignore it. This is so important, I wanted to put it on the cover of my new book. We realized, though, that the lizard brain is freaked out by a picture of itself, and if you want to sell books to someone struggling with the resistance (that would be all of us) best to keep it a little more on the down low."

      Sam Gunsch

  2. Fox News Sunday, 9/16/12, via Media Matters:

    WALLACE: Let's talk about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi this week that killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens. A top Libyan official now says that the attack on that consulate, on Tuesday, was quote, his words: "Pre-planned." Al-Qaeda says the operation was revenge for our killing a top Al-Qaeda leader.

    RICE: Well, first of all, Chris, we are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent. Those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control.

    But we don't see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment.

  3. urban legend, like you, I am put off by this continual "lizard brain" stuff. So, if we don't see things precisely as Bob Somerby does, we have lizard brains? Gee, that's helpful.

    One can be careful and critical in terms Bob Somerby would agree with (I think) without invoking the Clinton-Gore years obsessively or obsessing about Rachel Maddow -- or invoking lizard brains. For instance:

    So why do we visit this site? Well, our allegedly "lizard" brains sort out the good stuff from the venomous and obsessed, or try. There is indeed good stuff here. Could be much more, if Mr. Somerby let his own perspectives shift and expand.

    1. I agree there has been a lot that's very, very good. For perspective and perhaps insight, go back to, say, the early 2000s and compare his typical 1000 word entries then, often excellent work on the MSM (including targets like Dowd and Collins, ostensible and snooty liberals who we with the lizard brains nevertheless agree are thoroughly deserving of attack), with the more strained attacks on the young MSNBC hosts that seem to require 3000 words. The general rule is, the more words it takes the weaker the argument.

  4. The "Lizard Brain" bit is alway trotted out when Bob himself knows he doesn't have much of a case. This is a perfect example, Maddow is hardly throwing Rice under the Bus, but merely presenting them in the context of the general perception of the remarks as they were exploited/misrepresented by Fox and others. Would Maddows be up in arms if Rice was appointed? Hardly.
    Maddow has done a lot that She can be called to account for, but Bob works himself into a lather over nothing. But this campaign year may well be remembered as the pettiest of seasons. Oh that we had reason to believe things might improve.....

  5. somebody ought to throw all these liberals interventionists, R2P warriors, ready to send someone's kid to war, under the bus. Figuratively, of course, figuratively

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