The Buck Stops & Skips Over 45

I’m glad that brilliant journalist Yamiche Alcindor asked 45 a question that all journalists and other Americans should have been asking since before the pandemic became a pandemic — what happened to the federal agencies created to respond to similar crises better? That was a reasonable question. We’ve had pandemics before. We have much greater technologies and medical expertise than we had during previous moments in time. “Experience is a good teacher”, R&B artist Miki Howard once sang to open her song Love Under New Management. She was lamenting about bad love experiences, but it applies to bad life experiences, too. We should always learn from our experiences-good and bad.

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Simply put, any civil society should learn from past mistakes. Natural disasters happen. Smart people learn from those disasters to be smarter the next time. Smart leaders set policies and practices to mitigate the disasters’ impact next time.

When Ebola struck Africa, President Obama exercised LEADERSHIP, when he directed resources there AND operated with compassion & competence. PRESIDENT Obama his team understood that viruses can’t be stopped by walls. They coordinated efforts with other world leaders. They led and learned simultaneously. They implemented tools to be better equipped for inevitable future occurrences. Trump & friends have/had no clue.

During, and since the Obama administration, the Trump/GOP has worked to undo EVERYTHING OBAMA. Yamiche’s (I like to be first name friends with brilliant people) question wasn’t “nasty”, but, it wasn’t expected by the propaganda machine. Media Matters for America raised the question about the undoing of this Obama-era group in February, and the “mainstream” media seemed to think it wasn’t important. Why not? That was when Trump was calling the soon-to-be pandemic a hoax, concocted by Dems and liberal media. Were the networks afraid of Trumps’ thumbs? Why? He already hates every news outlet & journalist, except: Fox & Friends & Fox talkers (except he sometimes hates Chris Wallace); Breitbart; Presidential freedom honoree Limbaugh; Russia;sometimes Wall Street Journal; Sinclair Broadcasting Company; and, a few others, who are deeply committed to regurgitating Trump lies. Why be polite now, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN…? The press secretaries have gotten better at avoiding questions; now, the newest one avoids press conferences completely. But, Trump consistently gets on tape to refute his own statements. And Faux News gives its followers whiplash- but won’t admit they were wrong.

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When the National Guard is deployed during natural and man-made disasters, OUR government should mobilize. A functioning government would have been fired up and ready to go when Wuhan (as Dean Koontz called it in a novel — Coincidence?) was first leaking through China’s propaganda firewall. But, trump continued his attempts to erase the Obama administration & pin a pandemic on the Dems & liberal media. Yamiche, rightfully, asked trump about the pandemic response team, and, once again, he feigned ignorance. That unnecessary act has cost us immeasurably. And, he and his GOP continue to use the courts to undo Obamacare — among other things.

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Yamiche did what more journalists should do — ASK FACT-based questions. It would have happened during the, now extinct, weekly press briefings. Other journalists & morning/evening talk show hosts should ask good first and follow-up questions. Call a lie a lie. Stop allowing book- & self-promotion fluff, when team trump gets a microphone. Softball questions get us lies and propaganda. That’s dumb and dangerous journalism.

Propagandists cherry pick talking points and ignore facts. That is how propaganda gets multiplied. Yamiche is a GREAT journalists & did her homework. Elected officials who frequently lie and ignore facts is what’s dirty. If Yamiche gets skipped over, when she has a question (and she ALWAYS has a question), other journalists should step in. Everybody can’t be FOX News. Thank God.

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We could have been best…

45’s response underscores his incompetence. To claim to be so “smart”, it’s amazing how often he doesn’t know stuff, or blames others for bad decisions that happen on his watch.

He did it.

The buck doesn’t stop with trump. It is deplorable to witness how often he “doesn’t take responsibility” for things. His authority allowed the dismantling of the pandemic department that Yamiche and Media Matters for America named. In the press conference, 45 looks back at Dr. Fauci, and others, to see if he can pin the blame. He feigned ignorance about the closure, as he’s prone to do. But, the world knows better. Trump lies — just play the tape.

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And the lies continue.

Days ago, Trump was calling COVID-19 a hoax, concocted by Dems and the media. His worshippers double-dutched his message, and honored his truth. FOX and it’s friends played the tape that trump recorded: Deny. Blame the libs/Dems/snowflakes/media. Deny. Trump should have been removed for the big lies he’s told, but he’s been protected by a GOP senate majority. We need checks and balances, not a bob and weave democracy.

We have seen his script before. Every guilty misdeed of this administration or act that challenges his agenda begins with it being called a hoax.

It hasn’t changed and won’t change until we keep up the yamicheing — challenge; ask deeper questions; do that homework; challenge lies with receipts. We shouldn’t do anything less or exempt elected officials. The reason the WH press secretary, whats-her-name, and the previous whats-her-name avoided WH press briefings is because of their fears of getting yamiched.

And he’s enabling lies and bigotry & xenophobia because he feels he can lie, be a bigot & spread xenophobia. This is reprehensible — and the GOP sit silently, when they’re not contributing to it.

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All journalists used to be more responsible than those willing to attempt to FOX/Faux us. We should know better, and push media to do its homework. We should reject networks, media outlets and journalists who can’t take a few moments to fact-check. Google is free! I wrote about good journalists, like Yamiche. Good journalists used to aim for being great. They frowned upon the antics of those like #FauxAndFriends. The irony that we went from hoax to #NationalEmergency — in days — should piss everybody off. That politicians and pundits carried the hoax line for days contributed to advancing this virus. This is dangerous when a liar-in-chief has power that gets expanded with the declaration of a national emergency. We must beware and be informed.

Journalistic integrity used to be the rule, not the exception. It’s dangerous to have people with influence, who are ok with lying. Glad there are people, like Yamiche, who lead with facts. I wrote about some of the good journalists — Past and present. I’ll add Yamiche to the list. We need more of them.

Lessons learned

This is insane and a wake up call. There will be more epi/pandemics. Time to start buying stock in the stores that are sold out and the products that you want, but stores don’t have. We have had epidemics before. We have had pandemics before. We have also had more competent leaders who took steps to mitigate the spread — before now.

Unfortunately, we also have too many people who stop washing their hands and forget to be more conscious about hygiene & cleanings after the latest pan/epidemic fades from the headlines. How many of us have seen people use public & private bathrooms & leave without washing their hands? Exactly.

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Fast fact: Throwing money at the stock market & corporations you gave tax relieve to won’t cure a pandemic.

Julius Caesar is attributed with saying it first, “Experience is the teacher of all things.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 New International Version (NIV) reminds us, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Both phrases should give US hope.

We should practice learning through each experience, so when that “thing” enters our sphere again, we are better equipped to deal with it. We’ve seen the impact of incompetent leaders before — and now.

Speak up!

We must persist. The rational majority have ceded air time to the irrational minority. We must flood the systems with persistent truth & be a sustained challenge to those who practice lies and deception. Fight fiction with facts. Stand up like Yamiche and other sound journalists do. Turn off networks and people who practice being untruthful.

Hopelessness needs to give way to the hopeful. We cannot expect what’s broken to fix itself. This is the people’s nation, not a playground for a privileged few. We need a nation with new management. It’s our job to hire responsible local, state and federal management teams, through our votes. We should never cede power to the incompetent again.

And keep washing your hands — just don’t wash your hands of civic engagement.

I invite you to take 2 to 5 minutes for a glimpse of what I think about issues of the day. Nonpartisan, yet, some might not agree - just don’t be disagreeable.

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