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The Catholic Church’s Bogus Healer and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend. 

It all began in Lafayette. When a Louisiana diocese was rocked years ago by a pedophiliac priest, a bishop came in to “heal” the community. The bishop later led the U.S. church’s response to the national scandal. “His background gave the Catholic Church tremendous credibility at a moment of crisis. There was just one problem. The story wasn't true.” — Minnesota Public Radio via @callmeKi

That time the U.S. shot down a passenger plane — and tried to cover it up. Iran Air Flight 655 veered into a naval skirmish July 3,1988, when it was shot down by a U.S. Navy captain, killing all 290 people aboard. “Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed ‘deep regret,’ not an apology.” — Slate via @ericuman

The hidden cost of North Dakota’s oil and gas boom. The state’s former tourism director summed it up this way: “We’ve been so poor for so long, then all of a sudden, we won the goddamn lottery. You know what happens to lottery winners who aren’t prepared to spend a lot of money. You read about them three years later. They’re in court, or they’re in bankruptcy, or they’re divorced, or their kids committed murder or took drugs. That’s the way we are.” — Center for Public Integrity via @mjbeckel

The next subprime bubble: used car loans. Auto loans to consumers with bad credit rose 130 percent in five years, fueled by Wall Street investors and some of the same bundling of toxic deals seen in the subprime housing crisis. — New York Times via @amzam

Thank you for your service: how one company sues U.S. soldiers worldwide. With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands— ProPublica via @paulkiel

“It’s my commission. I can’t ‘interfere’ with it, because it’s mine. It is controlled by me.” ICYMI: The NYT’s deep dive into the demise of an ethics commission created — then halted —by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after it began looking into groups tied to his administration. Cuomo’s office responded: “A commission appointed by and staffed by the executive cannot investigate the executive.” — New York Times via @laura_nelson

Gov. Cuomo also gets featured in this week’s podcast. ProPublica's Justin Elliot explains the apparent conflicts he found from Cuomo’s term as attorney general, when he relied on mortgage industry lobbyist Howard Glaser to advise his office during its investigation into (yep) the mortgage industry. 

 

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