Cheer and jeers from around the news:

• Cheers to Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, for joining with 17 other state attorneys general, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to target fraudulent home foreclosure-rescue companies. These unsavory firms are victimizing desperate people and must be stopped.

Dubbed “Operation Loan Lies,” this effort is the first concerted attack on this profitable scam, which offers struggling homeowners hope to straighten out their mortgages, for sizable upfront fees. People pay and nothing gets done. Real rescuers, after all, don’t ask for money first.

Several such firms were recently ordered to stop operations in Maine after bilking homeowners here out of $36,000. We urge Mills to sue these companies to recover these funds, plus punitive damages.

It’s time they play the victim for a change.

• Jeers to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine, which donated $100,000 to the repeal campaign for same-sex marriage, according to recent public filings. A diocese spokesperson said these funds come from a particular donor, and have been earmarked for “defending church policy or dogma.”

With parishioners mournful from plans to close two venerable churches in Lewiston, the news that the diocese has ample funding to wage political battles, but not to keep the doors of its houses of worship open for its flocks, is a bitter pill.

We respect the diocese’s commitment to this cause and its priorities of defending its values and traditions. But its steep financial commitment to a political effort — regardless of its source — should make parishioners wonder what its fiscal priorities really are.

• On another religious front, cheers to the Vatican for endorsing the latest Harry Potter movie. This leaves our own beloved Rev. Doug Taylor as perhaps the last voice emanating from the wilderness that sees these films as some kind of symbol of society’s moral degradation.

Taylor’s first salvo against Harry Potter was novel. Now, some seven years hence, they’re almost as long-in-the-tooth as the child actors in the Potter films. It was about time for the Vatican to recognize that taking a firm stance in this unwinnable culture war was foolish.

There are two movies left after the Half-Blood Prince. Will the Rev. Taylor also learn by then?

• And finally, jeers to the weatherization funding released by the federal government. Maine got $26 million, while Texas got $327 million and California (soon to change its name to CalifornIOU) got $185.5 million. So, Maine desperately needs oil to heat its homes, while Texas has plenty of oil and needs air conditioning to cool down those hot days. For this, there is a $301 million difference in federal funding. 

There is something wrong with this picture, we think.

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