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What Is a Banker's Promise Worth?

Jim Hightower on

Bruce King, former governor of New Mexico, often baffled people with his convoluted use of words. Like the time he vetoed a loan shark bill he'd previously agreed to sign. "But, Governor," squealed the lenders' lobbyists, "we had your commitment!" Unfazed, King said, "Now, boys, we all know that a commitment is not a promise."

In this case, King's linguistic backflip was virtuous, for it killed a bad bill. But now come banking giants themselves doing a shameful backflip on their widely publicized scout's honor promise to do the right thing for humanity on a true life-and-death issue: climate change.

It was only two years ago that Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street behemoths loudly proclaimed their conversion to environmental responsibility. In ads, interviews and speeches, they solemnly vowed they would no longer finance new coal, oil and other fossil fuel projects, which are the major cause of global warming. The bankers promised to protect the "fragile ecosystem and the rights of Indigenous Peoples." Hooray!

But that was so yesterday -- way back in 2022. Today, the prevailing political winds are coming from howling right-wingers denouncing environmental values and "woke capitalism." So, the pusillanimous bankers are now saying that a promise is not forever (or even two years) -- as they default on their enviro responsibility. Instead, they're refocusing on a messy mix of fossil fuels, and -- maybe -- they'll toss in a few clean energy projects. Or not.

Chase bank weaseled out of its latest climate action commitment with corporate claptrap, declaring that reducing fossil fuel investments "will not successfully achieve the necessary transition of the global energy system." Yeah, so why bother? Forget what we promised way back when.

Then Wall Streeters wonder why people distrust and despise them!

THE DEBACLE OF 'GOD'S ARMY' AT EAGLE PASS

Perhaps you heard about the recent surge of invasive foreigners into Eagle Pass, Texas -- the Rio Grande border town that finds itself at the hot center of the U.S.-Mexico immigration crisis.

 

Only, this "invasion" (as Donald Trump's MAGA crowd likes to call it) was not by Latin Americans, but by Anglos descending on Eagle Pass from the North! Indeed, it was an invasion by Trumpista partisans claiming to be "God's Army." Organized as a Christian Nationalist crusade, they boasted that a mighty convoy of 700,000 trucks from all across the U.S. would be streaming toward Eagle Pass to "Take Our Border Back."

What a show of strength! But just when you think the whole country has gone full-tilt bonkers, reality shows up. "God's Army" actually consisted of about 20 trucks, a babbling rant by Sarah Palin, and a forlorn crowd of ... maybe 200 people. Seriously. That was it. The greased pig contest for children at a small county fair in Texas draws more than that.

And, very significantly, many of the Trump "patriots" who came from afar were stunned to find that his frantic claims of hordes of rampaging criminals flooding into the U.S. didn't exist. "That's kind of eye-opening," said one who'd made the long trek to repel the "invaders." And a 29-year-old local resident expressed the rude truth about the loudly ballyhooed caravan: "What is all of this for? For show," he exclaimed!

Adding to the sleazy spectacle, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had convened a dozen other immigrant-bashing GOP governors in Eagle Pass to take advantage of the caravan's political glow. Imagine their chagrin that their number of high-powered governors, political staffers and media entourages outnumbered the crowd.

For an honest depiction of God's Army, go to Vote Common Good: votecommongood.com

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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