De Blasio and Wild Fires

Grind for December 14th
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
– Henry Ford

Say What?

The Headline

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio claims anti-cop sentiment was invented by Republicans

The Grind

Speaking Friday on WNYC radio, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described anti-police sentiment as a ‘right wing conspiracy theory.’

“The right wing in this town continues to try and dredge up the notion that people in this city are being negative towards the police,” said De Blasio. In reality, NYPD officers are “being respected [and] empowered to do their job.”

Speaking in response to the mayor’s comments, police union head Ed Mullins said he would follow Iowa’s lead in ignoring de Blasio.

“I am going to treat the mayor the same way the people of Iowa did and totally ignore his comments,” said Mullins. “I’m going to take a lesson from the people of Iowa. It seems to have worked for them, for the whole country,” he said, referring to de Blasio’s short-lived presidential campaign.

The Details

This year has been particularly trying for NYPD officers. All summer, they were plagued by punks attacking them with buckets of water. In September, reports confirmed that complaints against the department had reached a 5-year high, growing 20% since last year.

Last Friday, November 29th, thousands of people attended a protest in Brooklyn with signs reading “F**K the police” and “Punch that cop.”

Ten NYPD officers have committed suicide this year.

“The message is that there are no consequences for your actions,” argues former NYPD sergeant Joseph Giacalone, referring to prosecutors’ reluctance to punish citizens who act out against police officers. “You’re a victim of society and you’re a victim of racism. And the police are the enemy because they are the tool they use to oppress you. That’s basically the message that has been filtered down.”

Mayor De Blasio is just plain wrong. For years, America has been struggling with a widespread disconnect between police and civilians – with protestors accusing police of racism, corruption, and abuse of power.

Disrespect towards police is not a conservative problem or a liberal problem, but a collection of prejudices that affects police and civilians throughout the nation. Unfortunately de Blasio would rather blame the problem on Republicans than actually do anything about it.

Its About Time

The Headline

PG&E settles with wildfire victims for $13.5 billion

The Grind

Beleaguered utility company PG&E finally announced a settlement agreement to resolve all claims associated with a series of wildfires reportedly caused by sparks from the company’s equipment.

The fires resulted in dozens of deaths and the destruction of tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

“We are pleased that PG&E has finally admitted that the victims’ losses exceed $13.5 billion, and that PG&E is responsible,” said lawyer Robert Julian.

The Details

The $13.5 billion settlement, if approved by a bankruptcy judge, will be divided amongst victims and their attorneys. The sum covers the Butte Fire (2015), Ghost Ship Fire (2016), Tubbs Fire (2017), and Camp Fire (2018).

PG&E, which agreed to separate settlements of $1 billion and $11 billion earlier this year, hopes the agreement will improve its chances of a comeback after filing for bankruptcy in January.

“There have been many calls for PG&E to change in recent years…PG&E’s leadership team has heard those calls for change and we realize we need to do even more to be a different company now and in the future,” said PG&E President Bill Johnson. “We want to help our customers, our neighbors, and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these traffic wildfires.”

Did you know… Sharks have been on the planet longer than trees.