The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Apr 15, 2014 4:24am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Jordan Mazza and Janine Elliot

PRESIDENT OBAMA
LA Times’ Kathleen Hennessey: “Obama: Religious intolerance has ‘no place in our society’” President Obama on Monday called on Americans to stand up against religious bigotry as he offered his support to the families of those killed in shootings at two Jewish community centers in the Kansas City area. “Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers,” Obama told religious leaders at the White House for the annual Easter prayer breakfast. “No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray. And as a government, we’re going to provide whatever assistance is needed to support the investigation.” LINK

UKRAINE
The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee, James Marson, and Lukas I. Alpert: “Obama, Putin Talk as Unrest Roils Eastern Ukraine The U.S. stepped up efforts to dissuade Russia from intervening in Ukraine’s increasingly unstable east, with President Barack Obama telling President Vladimir Putin Monday that a diplomatic solution to the crisis is still possible even as he warned against further escalation.  Russia requested the call, the first between the presidents since March 28, after Mr. Putin annexed Crimea. LINK

The New York Times’ Andrew Higgins: “Ukraine Falters in Drive to Curb Unrest in East” Ukraine’s failure to enforce its own ultimatums and its appeal on Monday to the United Nations to send peacekeepers laid bare a grim reality for the shaky government in Kiev, where political leaders and security forces have few reliable ways to confront Russian-backed separatists in the restive east. A deadline set by Ukraine’s acting president for the start of a “large-scale antiterrorist operation” in the east passed without any clear police or military intervention. Meanwhile, pro-Russian militants seized yet another government building in the Donetsk region, bringing to at least nine the number of eastern towns now swept up in an insurgency. LINK

The Hill’s Justin Sink: “Putin denies Russian involvement in Ukraine during call to Obama” A defiant Vladimir Putin told President Obama his accusations of Russian meddling in Ukraine are mere “speculations” that are “based on inaccurate information,” as the two leaders discussed the brewing crisis in the country. In a phone conversation described by a senior administration official as “frank and direct,” Putin and Obama traded accusations of blame for violence that has gripped cities in the Eastern regions of the former Soviet republic. According to the White House, President Obama expressed “grave concern” that Russia was supporting the armed separatists who had taken control of government buildings. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Obama urges Putin to defense Russian separatism in Ukraine” President Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call Monday to compel pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to lay down their arms and surrender buildings they have seized in 10 cities. Seeking yet again to calm the situation a day after a Russian jet fighter buzzed a U.S. warship in the Black Sea, Mr. Obama “reiterated the importance of Russia withdrawing its troops from Ukraine’s border in order to defuse tensions,” the White House said. With their relationship worsening since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last month, Mr. Obama told the Russian leader that a diplomatic solution “cannot possibly succeed in an environment of Russian military intimidation on Ukraine’s borders, armed provocation within Ukraine, and escalatory rhetoric by Kremlin officials.” LINK

EDWARD SNOWDEN
The Hill’s Rebecca Shabad: “Rep. King: ‘Awarding the Pulitzer to Snowden enablers is a disgrace’” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Monday blasted the decision to award Pulitzer Prizes to the two major newspapers that exposed the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations through documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The Washington Post and The Guardian newspaper both won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service. The winners were announced just after 3 p.m. on Monday. Glenn Greenwald won for his reporting on the NSA and Snowden, published in The Guardian, where he no longer works. Barton Gellman won for his reporting on similar coverage in the Post. Both journalists worked with Snowden, the former NSA contractor, early on when he began leaking highly classified U.S. government documents last June. LINK

IMMIGRATION
The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Study: Little hope for GOP on immigrants” An influx of immigrants has boosted the Democratic Party, and that trend is set to continue. Even in places where Republicans support legalization of illegal immigrants, the party hasn’t been able to stem those changes, according to a study being released Tuesday. James Gimpel,  a professor at the University of Maryland, said in a report being released by the Center for Immigration Studies that many of those in the recent wave of immigrants trail native-born Americans on education and skills and favor a broader scope for government action, which makes them “ideal recruits for the Democratic Party.” LINK

SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL
Politico’s David Nather: “Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Do’s and don’ts” Sylvia Mathews Burwell will start her new gig with a lot of goodwill. Everyone knows she’s not the Health and Human Services secretary who fumbled the launch of Obamacare, but the competent head of the wonky Office of Management and Budget. And then, something else will break. And then, Burwell could end up the one up on Capitol Hill, taking one for the team at the next round of Obamacare hearings, just like Kathleen Sebelius used to. LINK

SOCIAL SECURITY
The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher: “Social Security stops trying to collect on old debts by seizing tax refunds” The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old. The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century. LINK

GOP
ABC News’ Alexander Mallin: “Boehner’s GOP Challenger Charges ‘Electile Dysfunction’ In Video” A new parody video out this week from one of John Boehner’s Republican primary opponents is accusing the House Speaker of “electile dysfunction.”  In a not-so subtle spin of Boehner’s last name, Tea Party candidate J.D. Winteregg recruited a team of actors to stage a Cialis-style commercial that takes jabs at everything from Boehner’s smoking habits to his skin color. LINK

NY Daily News’ Adam Edelman: “Republicans warn of ‘Bush fatigue’ ahead of possible Jeb Bush presidential candidacy” At least a handful of Republicans aren’t enthusiastic about a potential 2016 Jeb Bush presidential candidacy. A growing group of GOP senators are warning that voters could experience “Bush fatigue” if the former Florida governor — and brother and son of former U.S. Presidents George W. and George H.W., respectively — were to run. “It’s time to turn the page,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe told The Hill. “Looking at it practically, there are others who could do a better job in terms of winning the election.” LINK

The Hill’s Molly K. Hooper: “Lawmaker: If Jeb runs, ‘I’m with him’” A Republican lawmaker says if Jeb Bush opts to run for president in 2016, “I’m with him.” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehitnen (R-Fla.) told The Hill that the the former Florida governor would garner her support in what is expected to be a crowded GOP primary.The big brother of former President George W. Bush has been testing the waters recently of pursuing a bid to the White House. Ros-Lehtinen said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would likely opt against running in 2016 if Bush were to toss his hat in the ring “Maybe some folks don’t think that [Bush is] as conservative as he should be, but he’s a very pragmatic conservative and compassionate man as well,” Ros-Lehtinen said. LINK

OTHER
USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Chelsea Clinton goes from ‘no way’ to ‘maybe’ on political bid” Chelsea Clinton  is no longer an automatic “no” when it comes to running for office someday.  The former first daughter is now willing to leave the door open — a teeny, tiny bit — to a political bid, according to an interview with Fast Company. LINK

Bloomberg’s Julie Bykowicz: “Rove’s Super-PAC Reports Raising $5 Million in One Month” Karl Rove’s pro-Republican super-political action committee banked more money last month than it did in all of 2013. American Crossroads raised $5.5 million in the first three months of this year, almost all of it in March, the group said in a written statement yesterday. The surge comes after a relatively quiet 2013 in which it raised $3.6 million throughout the entire year, U.S. Federal Election Commission reports show. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Obama Condemns ‘Intolerance’ Following Jewish Center ShootingLINK

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