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‘The Lizard Brain is in this country’: MSNBC Guest Insults Voters in the Off-the-Rails Tirade

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'The Lizard Brain is in this country': MSNBC Guest Insults Voters in the Off-the-Rails Tirade

Thank goodness for the staff at NBC News, holding me up to date in the most bizarre ways.

On Thursday, during their post-debate coverage, they hosted a presidential historian who told me that my beloved country had a “lizard brain.” I was a little confused — but I didn’t need to worry, because a quick search on the word led me to a 2019 NBC News video illustrating the idea.

The “lizard brain” is a pop-psychological way of referring to the more primitive parts of the human brain.

Though the word and the idea have been around for a though, it has taken the swell-headed harness of Seth Godin — one of the most redundant individuals in our current pseudo-intellectual TED talk-level cultural dialogue — to bring it into cultural circulation.

“Wild animals are wild animals, because they have just a tiny little brain, and that tiny little brain keeps them alive. It’s about terror and vengeance and replication and rage and ‘let’s go,’ Godin told NBC News.

“And human beings have the same brain, but we’ve developed to have this other brain in front of us, the one that makes ballet, the one that makes big ideas. But the brain is sluggish compared to our wild animal brain, our lizard brain. The lizard brain is right next to our spinal cord, and that’s how it will go. And it immediately fills our brain with chemicals.

My lizard brain makes me slightly irritated that this guy — a marketing guru whose only commodity is self-promotion — plays a real part of an intelligent discussion in the English-speaking world. In other news, my anguished, white-haired lizard brain is still obviously making me vote for Donald Trump.

So says Jon Meacham, presidential historian and MSNBC analyst. Say what you’re going to do about what happened on Thursday night, Meacham is an experienced, respected author.

Will the liberals like this appreciate the country in which they live?

He is best known as the scribe behind the often non-terrible Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.”

At the very least, the book is consistent. It wasn’t Meacham on Thursday.

“Well, it was remarkable to see it in person,” Meacham said of his observations of the debate. “In fact, I’ve never seen a general election debate in the room. And there was a man running for president of the United States, and the other man was auditioning for a Fox show.

Ho ho, man. I can see what you did there. He seemed to know that this wasn’t exactly Pulitzer-winning presidential historian stuff, because then: “And that may sound like an attempt at glibness, but it was the inherent reaction that I had to watch over the president, who lives in this wilderness of mirrors, to borrow a term from the Cold War, where there are those code words.”

You could not have seen what he did there: “The wilderness of the mirrors” was a term used by former CIA Counter Intelligence Chief James Angleton to describe Soviet disinformation campaigns.

As The Intercept reports, the intelligence operative — who was dishonoured by domestic spy operations against domestic activist groups in the 1960s and 1970s — said that he described “a multitude of stratagems, deceptions, artifices, and all the other disinformation devices used by the Soviet bloc and its co-ordinated intelligence services to confuse and divide the West … an ever-flowing environment.

Now, what did that mean? Something like Russia, something like misinformation, a bla-bla-bla-coded language, and thus Trump is bad.

According to a transcript of the Media Research Center coverage, Meacham then embarked on a curious debate about how Trump ‘s success was an exercise in reaching out to his base. Ok, I guess that’s just what he was looking at, anyway.

Meacham will inform MSNBC viewers that “the reason for the victory of Trump’s cult in the Republican Party has been the amount that has been shown to be … not just Republicans in their states or districts that support the president, but strongly support the president. That adverb — these are adverb republicans, I think of them sometimes.

“They’re shocked to see that if you’re with Trump, God, you’re with him, maybe it’s just that demography is here,” he said.

“There are not enough of them. But I’m going to say this tonight, because I’ve had this reaction. It could have been seen in person, as opposed to the way it has been experienced for the world, there is a lizard brain in this world.

“Donald Trump is the result of a white man, an anguished, anxious white man’s brain lizard. And there may be a twitch there, ‘You know what, we’ve sent this disruptive figure, Biden, maybe that 47-year-old thing helps a little bit.’ I don’t think there’s enough of those guys out there, but I think just as an observer of that—I think Trump’s doing well with his base tonight. The issue for America is how big the foundation is.

You’ve got to give it to Seth Godin: I understood what he was doing. It could have been thin, “Who moved my cheese? “-level brain food gruel for people who find Tony Robbins engrossing, but I knew that.

To the degree that one completely understands precisely what Meacham said Thursday night (actually early Friday morning — something that may have accounted for the fact that Meacham was not the best Pulitzer-winner), it was essentially this:

Biden is president, Trump seemed to be the host of Fox News.
Trump used deception techniques or something from the Soviet period.
Trump has such a broad fan cult that he surprises—”adverb Republicans”—but there aren’t enough of them to win.
“In this country, there is a lizard brain.”
Trump’s followers are simply part of “the anguished, insecure white guy’s lizard brain,” but “[t]he question for America is how big that base is.”

In short, if you’re a Trump fan, you’re a racist Fox News watcher with a lizard brain.

You will not be shocked to hear that MSNBC did not carry Meacham because he was a disinterested spectator or a “undecided elector.” Yes, if you remembered him, it is likely that he was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Given that he’s an experienced author who worked on the DNC’s prepared remarks, he was able to say that Trump’s supporters were racists in more coherent terms, asking “if we’re going to remain captives of the darkest American forces or whether we’re going to free ourselves to write a lighter , stronger, nobler tale.”

He invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s paraphrased quotation, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it is bending towards justice,” because, of course, he did: to bend the arc involves all of us. It needs us, the people, and it needs the President of the United States, with sympathy, grace, a great heart, and an open mind.

For liberals like Meacham and Godin, Joe Biden is going to be such a president. With our voices and our votes, they cry, let us now write the next chapter of the American storey, one of hope, of love, of justice. If we do, they say, we can only save our country and our souls.

And save us from the brain of the lizard, obviously.

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Albany man charged with Attempted Murder in Central Avenue shooting

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Albany man charged with Attempted Murder in Central Avenue shooting

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 40 years later, the rape and murder of a 77-year-old woman has been solved after detectives took another look at the case and made a breakthrough using DNA evidence, Raleigh police said Wednesday, September 22.

According to police, Alma Jones was raped and killed in 1977. In 2011, 34 years after the crime was committed, the “case was revived when the box it was stored in had been discovered during a transfer of older case boxes.”

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Federal arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie in connection with Gabby Petito investigation

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Federal arrest warrant issued for Brian Laundrie in connection with Gabby Petito investigation

You can find the latest on the investigation involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie hereDownload the WFLA app for breaking news push alerts and sign up for breaking news email alerts.

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Brian Laundrie in connection with the ongoing investigation into the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito, the FBI said Thursday.

According to the FBI in Denver, the U.S. District Court of Wyoming issued the federal arrest warrant “pursuant to a federal grand jury indictment” related to Laundrie’s “activities” following Petito’s death.

Court documents obtained by WFLA show Laundrie was indicted for the “use of unauthorized access devices” following Petito’s death. According to the documents, Laundrie used a Capitol One Bank debit card and a personal identification number for two Capitol One Bank accounts “knowingly and with intent to defraud” between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 in Wyoming. Using the accounts, he obtained “things of value aggregating to $1,000 or more.”

“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” the agency said in a statement. “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”

Petito mysteriously disappeared during a cross-country road trip she was on with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. Police say Laundrie returned home to North Port alone on Sept. 1.

Petito’s family officially reported her missing on Sept. 11.

Her white van that the couple had been traveling in was later recovered by police from the Laundrie home. Police later identified Laundrie as a person if interest in the Petito case.

Laundrie was reported missing by his family last Friday, Sept. 17, sparking a massive search that is still ongoing as of Thursday, Sept. 23. According to North Port police, family members said they last saw Laundrie Sept. 14.

A body found in Wyoming over the weekend matching Petito’s description was positively identified as the 22-year-old this week. The preliminary findings of the autopsy ruled her manner of death a homicide, but the cause of death is still being determined.

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US lawmakers seek answers as scammers continue to target seniors

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US lawmakers seek answers as scammers continue to target seniors

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — United States lawmakers say the pandemic made many of the nation’s seniors more susceptible to scams.

“For many people, the pandemic made this terrible isolation that much worse,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said.
Casey says scammers saw an opportunity and launched attacks against seniors to steal hundreds and thousands of dollars.

“A lot of money and a big cohort of Americans being affected by this,” Casey said.

The Federal Trade Commission says in 2020, 300,000 fraud claims were filed by those over 60 years old, representing more than 600 million dollars in losses.

Kate Kleinert is a scam victim and lost nearly $40,000 to someone posing as a love interest.

“But the loss that hurts the most was losing his love and losing the family I thought I was going to have and what my new future was going to be,” Kleinert said.

“Your heart just goes out to people that this happens to,” Rep. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said.

Scott says it’s hard to hold these scammers accountable.

“It devastates you because it’s very difficult for law enforcement to find these people and to track them down,” Scott said.

The FTC says three types of scams stand out.

“Romance scams, followed by prize sweepstakes scams, and followed by business impersonator scams. The economic harm is enormous,” Lois Greisman, FTC Consumer Protection Bureau AD said.

Lawmakers and experts agree, educating seniors about the scams can help, while law enforcement also cracks down on robocallers and fraudsters on social media.

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Senate Republicans hold out on debt ceiling as shutdown looms

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Senate Republicans hold out on debt ceiling as shutdown looms

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A week away from a shutdown, Democrats and Republicans are still sparring over a path forward to fund the government.

One main sticking point: Democrats’ push to attach a debt ceiling hike to the spending plan. Senate Republicans are refusing to support that measure even though economists warn failure to raise the ceiling could damage the economy.

“Republicans won’t agree to pay our past bills, the debts we owe,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said.

“Give me a break,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., retorted on the Senate floor. “If they (Democrats) want to tax, borrow and spend historic sums of money without our input, they’ll have to raise the debt limit without our help.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., agreed.

“They can do it if they want to do it, and they should, but I’m certainly not going to help them do it,” Hawley said.

The House of Representatives has already passed a bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling, but Democrats need at least 10 Republicans on board to get the measure through the Senate.

Brown and Democrats say there’s too much at stake to not raise the debt ceiling. The U.S. Department of the Treasury says the government could run out of money to pay its debts by mid-October if Congress does not act.

“I don’t want to vote for it. I didn’t want to vote for it when Trump was president but I did because my obligation is to pay our bills so that we can make veterans VA benefit payments, we can make Social Security payments,” Brown said. “It’s what we do as patriotic Americans.”

Despite Republican pushback, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says he will hold a vote on the entire package by next week.

“Every single member of this chamber is going to go on record,” he said.

Democrats have not announced a backup plan if Republicans block the passage.

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Local organization says ‘enough is enough’ regarding gun violence

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Local organization says ‘enough is enough’ regarding gun violence

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local organization says enough is enough after more than a dozen gun shots are fired near their store Wednesday afternoon.

“Being an executive director for an organization can be stressful enough, you worry about your staff you worry about about everyones livelihood but it’s an added burden to worry about their lives everyday,” says Pamela Howard, Executive Director at the Historic Albany Foundation.

The Historic Albany Foundation is a charity organization that preserves and protects buildings and their historical value. They sell all different items inside their 10,000 square ft warehouse. You can find everything from fireplace mantels, bathtubs to small antiques!

They’re located at 89 Lexington Ave in Albany, an area that’s far too familiar with gun violence. “You got 15 shots fired, thankfully no one being hit but what are the chances of a stray bullet coming through my window?,” says Pamela.

“First we try to tell ourselves that it was fireworks and we want to think that but we know it’s not and I think what is troublesome to as well is that when we look outside, the neighborhood doesn’t really react. We can’t always get a read on whether it was gunfire or fireworks,” says Pamela.

“People in the community should certainly be outraged…one shooting incident is one too many,” says Albany Police Officer Steve Smith. Smith says recent data shows shots fired incidents are down 15% compared to last year. “We’re not waving the flag to success yet. We still have a lot of work to do. It’s important to know solving these issues can’t just be a police problem — we need our community to come together as a whole and work with the police department.”

Pamela says there have thought about moving, but ultimately, it’s just not feasible for the organization. “…People may not shop here because they don’t want to come on this street.  Even though our warehouse does incredibly well, how much better could we do in a safe neighborhood? [Also,] who would want to buy our building and come to this neighborhood for all the reasons we want to leave it?”

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Civilian task force looking at Bennington police on track

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Civilian task force looking at Bennington police on track

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 40 years later, the rape and murder of a 77-year-old woman has been solved after detectives took another look at the case and made a breakthrough using DNA evidence, Raleigh police said Wednesday, September 22.

According to police, Alma Jones was raped and killed in 1977. In 2011, 34 years after the crime was committed, the “case was revived when the box it was stored in had been discovered during a transfer of older case boxes.”

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Hochul asks for more rent funding, landlords running into obstacles

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Hochul asks for more rent funding, landlords running into obstacles

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul has asked for more federal funds to help tenants and landlords financially impacted by the pandemic because money is quickly running out.

Landlords like Debbie Pusatere, who are owed back rent from tenants, are financially beginning to get payments from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

“It’s great. It’s helping the tenants. It’s helping us,” Pusatere said.  

With funds quickly running out and an extended eviction moratorium, Pusatere said she’s concerned she may find herself in the same position come January because renters are still out of work and unemployment benefits have run out.  

“Let’s take the next step. Let’s not stop at third base. Let’s get a home run,” Pusatere said.  

$1.6 billion of the $2.7 billion in funds from ERAP are in the process or have already been paid out.  

“The fact that New York State has gone from being at the back of the pack to the front of the pack, kicking this money out the door, it’s really a positive sign,” said Assemblyman John McDonald.  

McDonald said the state running out of emergency funds is a good thing because it shows the federal government the need of the state and the ability to quickly get it into the hands of landlords.

“Yes, there’s probably a concern that does this mean my opportunity is gone? And the reality is that, Hey, New York is, we’re getting it done,” McDonald said.  

But for landlords like Pusatere, there’s an even larger problem looming that still leaves her in debt.  

“The majority of my money that I’ve lost is tenants who’ve never applied that just up and left,” Pusatere said.  

Starting October 1, landlords can apply for a piece of $250 million set aside to help people in a situation like Pusatere’s. She’s only been able to get $12,000 in rent so far. She’s still owed $160,000 from her renters.  

“A lot of us have a huge tax bill due in two weeks. I can’t cover that yet,” Pusatere said.

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New downtown Troy live performance venue to join city movement reviving the Riverwalk

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New downtown Troy live performance venue to join city movement reviving the Riverwalk

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local business owners say COVID has kept them down for too long. Now it’s time to shake things up.

“There’s seemingly a path to getting to normal life, or we’re even there in a lot of regards. You know, that pent-up energy kind of like encourages me to do other things at this point,” says August Rosa.

Rosa already owns Pint Sized in Albany and Saratoga. He now announces a third location opening in Troy that will double as a performance venue. Rosa says although bars and live music suffered some of the worst of the pandemic, he’s not worried about success because it is Troy.

“It really came from the needs of Troy, because there aren’t a lot of spaces to present live music, art events, stuff like that,” he explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

The combined space at 275 and 277 River Street will function on one side as the third Pint Sized location while the other half will stand as the “No Fun” performance venue. Rosa says the space will focus on an entirely open concept for live performances and art installations across the walls.

“We hosted events at our other two locations, but they weren’t necessarily conducive to those events because of the space. This too is relatively small, but for a moderate event of say 150 people, it can bring those music, art, or like cultural performances to downtown and still have that intimate, personal feel we’ve cultivated at Pint Sized,” Rosa says.

“We are hopeful. I think the word is hope. I think people are looking at this as an opportunity to get in, be set, so that when we’re on the outside of COVID, they are going to be successful,” says Troy Deputy Mayor Monica Kurzejeski. “I think people are seeing COVID as an opportunity to take a pause too, to see what worked and what didn’t work and then come out of it potentially different.”

She says filling River Street vacancies comes at the perfect time. The newly unveiled plan for Monument Square will shape much needed economic development and accessibility for Troy.

“I think that’s the biggest excitement about this project for me is the continuity of the Riverwalk blending into the park, blending into the amenities of the public plaza, and then getting everybody up to River Street,” she explains.

Rosa says coming out the other side of the pandemic, he believes his and other new businesses will do well thanks to the many city efforts to engage people in downtown.

“Before I ever start a new project, I make sure what we’re trying to do sits well with the current business environment, and Troy always looked good to us when we were in the mindset to expand. Things like the Monument Square project, the Riverwalk accessibility, the farmer’s market, things like that are more of an added bonus when choosing our space,” Rosa says.

“I think we’re going to be filling a void that’s needed here and it’s going to work in harmony with all the other cool stuff that’s happening in town,” he goes on to say.

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Queensbury students call for better handling of racism, sexism at high school

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Queensbury students call for better handling of racism, sexism at high school

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.

In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.

“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”

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Kids’ Arts Festival returns to Schenectady this Saturday

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Kids’ Arts Festival returns to Schenectady this Saturday

SCHNECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The 27th annual Kids’ Arts Festival is celebrating creativity, culture and community this weekend. The festival is taking place on September 25 from noon to 4 p.m. along the Jay Street Marketplace and around City Hall in Downtown Schenectady.

Normally attracting more than 3,000 kids with their families, the festival brings free hands-on arts activities and performances.

“This year, we have a great mix of golden-oldie favorite art activities and new ones that let our imaginations soar,” said Betsy Sandberg, chair of Kids’ Arts Festival. “Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra will bring their arts-in-education program to Downtown Schenectady thanks to funding from The Upstate Coalition for a FairGame, which supports arts and cultural organizations in three New York State casino regions.”

Other performers and student groups include the Rock Camp Kids, the Electric City Puppets, Dueling Saxophones, and Dance Me Elite performers. A poster contest offers $100 prizes in three age groups. Happiness is the contest’s theme, and official entry forms and plenty of supplies for drawing will be available at Electric City Art Gallery.

In 2020, the festival went virtual and provided four hours of virtual arts programming.

The rain location will be inside Proctors Theatre. All required COVID safety protocols will be in place if the event moves indoors.

A complete list of activities and entertainment are available on the festival website.

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