Commentary

The two best editorials of the weekend

Number One comes from Raleigh’s News & Observer and it rightfully blasts the fact that state lawmakers are poised to override Governor Cooper’s veto of a bill (bought and paid for by the small loan industry) that will allow the sale of junk credit insurance to borrowers:

“Unlike deer or other animals fancied for hunting, Republicans in North Carolina are seeing to it that it’s always open season on consumers.

They’re in the process of overriding a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper of a proposal — sneaked into an unrelated bill on the last day of this year’s General Assembly — to help lending companies sell more high-interest-rate consumer loans. These loans often prey on lower-income people, who can’t qualify for loans from mainstream lenders at more reasonable rates.

The bill was helped along by lawmakers who enjoyed some of the $500,000-plus donated by those connected to the lending industry to politicians and political groups since 2013, with 92 percent of it going to Republicans….

It’s true, of course, that consumers are responsible for their actions, that they should not let their desire for goods they don’t really need cause them to go into debt they can’t afford to carry. But all people of all ages and all income levels are faced each and every day with displays in malls and breathless pitches of all kinds and they also are pressured by their children, who want what they believe all others have. Toward the end of having all they want, even affluent consumers with good incomes will go into debt, no more resistant to that temptation than those of lower incomes.

But people who don’t have as many assets or higher incomes are more vulnerable to being gouged by lenders who know exactly what they’re doing, and that’s why laws exist to protect them. Now, under Republicans, those laws are going away.”

Number Two comes from the Greensboro News & Record and it’s the latest to blast the absurd “garbage juice” scheme rammed through the General Assembly earlier this summer over the objection of scientists:

“In rejecting the measure, Cooper declared: ‘Scientists, not the legislature, should decide whether a patented technology can safely dispose of contaminated liquids from landfills.’

He was exactly right. This scheme mimicked the ‘SolarBees’ episode, in which the legislature directed the use of solar-powered water-mixers to break up algae blooms in Jordan Lake, a polluted Triangle reservoir, instead of approving regulations to clean it up. After $1 million was spent, the experiment was halted as a failure.

Aerosolization likely won’t get that far. Just as the House put HB 576 on its calendar for a possible override vote this week, landfill operator Republic Services announced it would not use the method….

The House pulled the bill from its calendar Thursday, putting it on Monday’s calendar instead, but it may prefer not to vote on a distasteful measure that seems to be losing support. This bill should be left on the shelf while scientists take time to examine this process to determine its practicality and potential health impacts.”

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