MuckReads: Romney and Bain, Doctors Who Cheat On Tests, and $100,000 Bus Shelters

Journalism in the public interest.
Jan. 13 2012 1:52 PM

Romney and Bain, Doctors Who Cheat On Tests, and $100,000 Bus Shelters

This week’s top MuckReads from ProPublica.

Mitt Romney
GOP candidate Mitt Romney spent the week answering questions about Bain Capital, the company he helped found in 1984

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured at ProPublica and @ProPublica.

Romney at Bain: Big Gains, Some Busts, the Wall Street Journal
Among 77 businesses Bain invested in during Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, 22 percent filed for bankruptcy or closed by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested. The deals produced great returns for investors, but more 70 percent of the dollar gains came from just 10 of the deals.
Contributed by @WSJ

Members of FDA Panel Reviewing the Risks of Popular Bayer Contraceptive Had Industry Ties, Washington Monthly
A panel charged with reviewing a popular birth control pill had at least four members with undisclosed financial ties to the drug. The panel ruled in favor of the drug by four votes.
Contributed by @sebastianojones


Federal Highway Dollars Pay for Southern Oregon Bus Shelters That Cost as Much as a House, the Oregonian
A few benches and a small roof. Surely can’t be too expensive, right? Turns out five bus shelters being built in the southern Oregon city of Grants Pass are estimated to cost $106,000 apiece, with the money coming from federal highway dollars.
Contributed by @writeo

Haitian Farmers Undermined by Food Aid, the Center for Public Integrity
After the Haiti earthquake two years ago,, the U.S. sent 90,000 tons of food worth $140 million to the devastated nation. Critics allege that it was more about helping Americans than Haitians, and the money could have been better spent buying food from struggling Haitian farmers.
Contributed by @iWatch

The 20 Biggest Donors of the 2012 Election (So Far), Mother Jones
Due to the new rules of campaign finance, people can make unlimited donations to super PACs, or groups not officially connected to candidates but campaigning on their behalf. Here are the 20 people making the most of their freedom, and what they’ve spent their money on.
Contributed by @MotherJones

Doctors Cheated on Exams, CNN
Doctors have been cheating on radiology board exams for years, memorizing test questions and passing them on to future exam-takers. Passing the exam is virtually required to obtain hospital privileges.
Contributed by @charlesornstein

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success—please contribute!

Daniel Victor is ProPublica’s social media editor.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

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Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
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The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.