Gleanings for May 12, 2022

When Hunter Biden joined his father on Air Force One for a 14-hour flight to Beijing, father and son never discussed Hunter’s business affairs in China. So say they both.

It has long been a liberal/left position that corporations should not be allowed to contribute to political parties. “America faces a crisis of corporate capture of democratic government, where the economic power of corporations has been translated into political power with disastrous effects for people’s lives,” warns the America Progress think tank among other left-leaning organizations.

Disney employees “shared their outrage on social media” when the company failed to come out against a bill that would limit discussion of sexual matters in classes for the very young and give parents more power over what is taught. Disney responded to the pressure by “reassessing our approach to advocacy” according to CEO Bob Chapek, and opposing the bill, using the economic power of the corporation to fight a dastardly attack on all woke corporations, but surely not an attempt at “a corporate capture of democratic government.”

President Zelensky of Ukraine repeatedly asks its allies to ban imports of Russian oil.

President Biden announces a ban on U.S. imports of Russian oil. NPR March 8, 2022.

Germany Clears Way For Ban on Russia’s Oil.” Headline in the WSJ. Germany is prepared to stop buying Russian oil which should clear the way for an EU ban.

“The U.S. is pressing its European Union allies to avoid steps that could lead to a protracted increase in oil prices,” the report continues. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that a full European ban on Russian oil would push up oil prices, hurt the global economy, and “actually have very little negative impact on Russia.” She has not threatened to resign if the President ignores her warning.

Six months into fiscal year 2022 border agents logged at least one million “encounters” at the Mexican border with illegal immigrants. Many are being put on planes at night and dispersed around the country to await adjudication of their status.

About 200 Ukrainian war refugees were turned back at the U.S.-Mexican border last month. Some have been sent to a shelter in Mexico City to await adjudication of their status.

The Squad and at times its individual members (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayannna Pressley, Rashid Tlaib, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush) variously label Israel an apartheid state, want an end to U.S. spending on Israel’s defense from rocket attacks, and call for “boycott, disinvestment and sanctions on Israel” to force a change in U.S. policy towards Israel. Their solution to the Taliban’s oppression of women is to blame the rise of the Taliban on America, and call for acceptance of Afghan refugees.

In Israel, 55 per cent of women aged 15-64 participate in the labor force. In Afghanistan, The Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is insisting that women stay at home, do not travel or, with a very few exceptions, show up for work, or receive advanced education.

In Israel, sixty of the 167 judges currently sitting on the nation’s thirteen federal courts are women. In Afghanistan, women who served as judges before the Taliban takeover say they will be executed if found; several have escaped the country.

Israel’s human rights record is an on-going concern of the Squad. None of its members is among the 12 co-sponsors of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s S. 1642 – Protect Women’s and Girl’s Rights in Afghanistan Act 2021.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the press, “I have never asked the President to resign, I never thought he should resign.”

“It would be my recommendation he should resign.” Audio of McCarthy speaking, released shortly after he denied ever having said that.

At a meeting with House Republicans, whom he hopes to lead as Speaker if the Republicans gain control of the House, McCarthy received a standing ovation.

Rules developed pursuant to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act aimed to ensure banks would make loans available to lower-income individuals and small businesses in the areas in which they do business, which in 1977 meant the areas around their bank branches. With the rise of online banking, and the closing of branches, banks now do business in lots of places in which they have no branches.

So regulators are planning to catch up with the new reality by requiring banks to meet their obligation if they make 100 mortgage loans or 250 small business loans in a particular area for at least two years. Details laid out in a 700-page proposal.

The loans are aimed at increasing the access of lower-income borrowers to auto loans, and helping poor communities deal with climate change, presumably caused by tailpipe emissions.