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.


Think tanks are often hailed as independent bastions of research and policy, but the special relationships these institutions have with donors blur the lines of independence and raise questions about corporate influence in politics. (New York Times)

Beyond the usual anti-terrorism efforts that are now pervasive in airline travel, the Drug Enforcement Administration has a separate operation that has "profiled passengers on Amtrak trains and nearly every U.S. airline" — and it's lucrative. According to this investigation, DEA units have seized more than $209 million in cash they believed to be tied to drug trafficking from 5,200 people at the 15 busiest airports in the U.S. (USA Today)

How many children are Tasered by school police officers? It's hard to tell. This investigation found at least 84 incidents of children being Tasered by school police — and that number is probably a huge underestimation, because there is no organization that tracks use of Tasers in schools. (Huffington Post)

The feature story of the New York Times Magazine this week is unprecedented — it takes up the entire print issue. It is the story of the Arab World in the 13 years since the invasion of Iraq and how the crisis there has influenced events in nearly every corner of the world. (New York Times Magazine)

While working as a chief economic advisor in the White House, Gene Sperling received hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal loans from an old law school friend who was a top partner at a powerhouse law firm in Washington D.C. (ProPublica)