I want to give a big shout out to Aliza, who covered for me last Sunday, when PG&E decided that my neighborhood, nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, surrounded by protected open spaces, was at too much risk of fires from winds reaching 60 mph. And this is despite the our utilities being underground. So our electricity went off abruptly Saturday afternoon and stayed off for 24 hours. We were the lucky ones. My husband's oldest friend lives in Marin County, and though there were no fires near his place, he lost power for four days. It wasn't just no lights or internet for him either. His apartment had an electric-powered instant hot water heater, so he didn't get a shower for that time either. Our air quality, however, due to ongoing fires, is horrific, and for someone sensitive like me (I've had asthma all my life and have come close to dying a couple of times due to it), it means that the risks extend far beyond just the nuisance of losing electricity, as this video shows.
And PG&E and SoCalEdison want Californians to know this is now our new "normal." We are the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world and millions of us are held hostage to...wind. Not even hurricane-force winds. Just wind. We can't expect the infrastructure to be upgraded fast enough to protect us from power outages. They don't care about those whose very lives rely on having power. They don't care if you can barely afford to feed yourself normally and lose your perishables due to shutdowns.
(ABC Reporter Dan) Noyes: "What do you say to people who just can't afford to restock their fridges and are losing all this food they've had in their households after these shut offs?"
(PG&E President and CEO Bill) Johnson: "These events can be hard on people, really hard on people, particularly people who have struggles anyways and there are community-based things you can do, food banks, these kind of things. But for us, you know the main thing is we didn't cause any fires, we didn't, for these people we didn't burn down any houses, the Kincade fire is still under investigation, I got that, but one of the things we did was give them the opportunity to actually refill their refrigerator 'cause their house is still there."
"Go to a food bank and be thankful we didn't burn your house down." is NOT a good corporate response. But that's what we get. In the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world.
Maybe that is our new normal.
ABC’s “This Week” — Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Steve Scalise, R-La.; Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Alexi McCammond and Julie Pace.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Tom Cole, R-Okla.; Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Panel: Tom Brokaw, Helene Cooper, John Harwood, Rich Lowry and Anna Palmer.
CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif. Panel: David Drucker, David Nakamura, Nancy Cordes and John Hudson.
CNN’s “State of the Union” — White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. Yang. Andrew Yang and Evelyn Yang. Panel: Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Scott Jennings, Terry McAuliffe and Mary Katharine Ham (guest anchor: Dana Bash).
CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” — David Petraeus; Tom Mueller and Allison Stanger; Jimmy Lai.
CNN’s “Reliable Sources” — Michael Barasch, Vincent Novak and Bruce David Martin; Irin Carmon, Colby Hall and Aisha Moodie-Mills; Rachael Bade and Melanie Zanona; Bill Frischling; and Sarah Barnett.
“Fox News Sunday” — Conway; Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Juan Williams.
Fox News' “Sunday Morning Futures” — Steve Bannon; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii); Emily Jashinsky; Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); Sidney Powell; Lee Smith.
So what's catching your eye this morning?