By Margaux Stack-Babich and Bill Dedman
Today's reading from the world of investigative reporting.
Story of the day: "Poisoned Places," a report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, has found that "regulators in Maine and nearby states have taken months and even years to sanction facilities violating the Clean Air Act – even those the government itself has called high priority violators." Bureaucracy and lack of resources are blamed for the laborious pace of reform, but the environmental and health issues at stake continue to worsen for communities, not only in New England, but nationwide. "The EPA's own internal watchdog has expressed concern about the level of attention being paid to high priority violators. A 2009 report by the agency's inspector general found that 'in many instances EPA and States are not addressing high priority violations . . . in a timely manner,' thereby allowing 'continued emissions from facilities (that) may result in significant environmental and public health impacts, deterrence efforts being undermined, and unfair economic benefits being created.'"
Notes: Links open in a new window. More reading: previous daily collections.
- The Washington Post: Million-dollar wasteland: a Washington Post investigation finds that, in D.C. loan program, mortgage defaults abound
- The Associated Press: In the super PAC era, do handshakes even matter? "The ads have affected primary results more than other forms of campaigning, including personal appearances by candidates, campaign speeches or town hall meetings, according to an analysis by The Associated Press"
- Bloomberg: Johnson & Johnson pushed Risperdal for kids without approval, memo shows
- McClatchy Papers, Charlotte Observer: Big banks have picked their candidate, and it's Romney - based on analysis of the federal campaign donation data compiled by Center for Responsive Politics. Note that the contributions come from individuals, not from the banks themselves.
- Dayton Daily News: Home health care program rife with fraud: former nurse tells how she cheated the system for years
- The Associated Press: Ron Paul wants big spending cuts as president, spends big on first-class travel in Congress
- ABC News, The Blotter: F-22 raptor pilots suffer more apparent oxygen problems
- Center for Public Integrity: 'Outsider' candidate Santorum collected millions in corporate PAC money
- CNN: For years, doctors around the country taking an exam to become board certified in radiology have cheated by memorizing test questions, creating sophisticated banks of what are known as "recalls," a CNN investigation has found
- Texas Watchdog: Texas windstorm agency must surrender a number of documents it has battled for months to withhold, the state Attorney General's office has ruled
- The Los Angeles Times: U.S. intelligence report on Afghanistan sees stalemate: The sobering judgments in a classified National Intelligence Estimate appear at odds with recent optimistic statements about the war by Pentagon officials
- The Independent: Echoing similar events stateside, an investigation has found Britain's two state-owned banks have hired seven separate lobbying and public affairs companies at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in taxpayer money
- Center for Investigative Reporting, CaliforniaWatch: Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers
- The Oregonian: Federal highway dollars pay for Southern Oregon bus shelters that cost as much as a house
- ABC News, The Blotter: Scientists: UN soldiers brought deadly superbug to Americas
- Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting: U.S. spent $140 million of Haiti earthquake aid on controversial food exports, undermining Haitian farmers. Over at Foreign Policy, a photo-essay reveals life on the inside of Haiti's little known 1%, who control 50 percent of the country's economy, and its top 500 taxpayers generate 80 percent of its tax revenues."
- MinnPost: Changes in the way grants are awarded to public radio have left Minnesota's network of small, educational stations frustrated as they cut back on high-quality programming; critics allege the move was based entirely on politics — and now it appears the strategy backfired.
- ABC News, The Blotter: Days before a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina was raided by police because of allegations of animal abuse, the company had been tipped off that it was under investigation
- ABC News, The Blotter: Pakistani fertilizer kills American troops in Afghanistan
- The Washington Monthly: The Yaz Men: Members of FDA panel reviewing the risks of popular Bayer contraceptive had industry ties
- Center for Public Integrity: EPA's Toxics Release Inventory doesn't offer full picture of pollution
- Wired, The Danger Room: Almost 1 In 3 U.S. warplanes is a robot
- The Texas Observer: Crumbling under corruption: Mexico's bus line operators targeted by organized crime
- Reuters: TV broadcasters enjoy spoils of political wars: One winner in 2012's political races already has been decided: local television stations
- Bloomberg: Treasury statements omit projected TARP losses, government watchdog group claims
Keep up on the latest investigative reporting with the Twitter feed of the same name.
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Margaux Stack-Babich writes about investigative reporting for msnbc.com. Bill Dedman is an investigative reporter for msnbc.com.