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 MuckReads@ProPublica.org. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on the website and @ProPublica.
Bain Execs Spent Nearly $5 million on Romney’s White House Runs, Center for Public Integrity
Current and former executives at Bain Capital and their relatives have given about $4.7 million to support Mitt Romney’s presidential ambitions. They started pouring money in as early as 2004, before Romney was officially a candidate. As the Center for Public Integrity notes, Bain has also spent millions lobbying on financial regulation issues and tax benefits.
Contributed by @DafnaLinzer
Secret Document Shows NYPD Targeting Shiite Mosques for Surveillance, Associated Press
A 2006 internal NYPD report recommended increasing surveillance of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on religion, as a way to sweep for Iranian terrorists. The NYPD says it was just a contingency plan—in case of war with Iran. (The AP suggests it wasn’t just a contingency plan.)
Contributed by @peishanhoe
Mapping the Earmarks, Washington Post
Thirty-three members of Congress have helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to dozens of public projects near real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members. This Post interactive maps their influence.
Contributed by @tdetz
Leveling the Field: What I Learned From For-Profit Education, Harper’s Magazine
Almost three-fifths of students at for-profit colleges drop out without a degree within a year. One Harper’s editor enrolled in the University of Phoenix to see why there’s such trouble
Contributed by @ericuman
Hospitals Mine Patient Records in Search of Customers, USA Today
Some hospitals are using patients' health and financial records to help pitch pricey care, to customers with high-paying private insurance. As the hospitals point out, the tactics are perfectly legal.
Contributed by @CharlesOrnstein
Media Gain Access to L.A. County Children’s Courts, Los Angeles Times
An L.A. judge ordered that children’s court proceedings be open to the press, which he argues will bring accountability. But social workers, elected officials, and others are worried that the order overreaches and intrudes on the privacy of children who have already suffered mistreatment.
Contributed by @shelbygrad
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.