The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, May 30, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

May 30, 2014 4:48am

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, Will Cantine and Janine Elliot

UKRAINE
Wall Street Journal’s James Marson: “East Ukraine Town Digs In for Fight” Coal miner Andrei Sharenko never fired an automatic rifle in his life, he says, until he saw a Ukrainian army column emerging from the woods across the river from his hometown early one morning last week. “We knew we couldn’t let them across the bridge and into town. My wife and daughters are here,” said Mr. Sharenko, a tough-looking 42-year-old with a buzzcut and scars on his hands from years of toiling underground. LINK

USA Today’s Jim Michaels: “Ukraine Ramps Up Offensive Amid Increasing Violence” After months of hesitation, Ukraine is pressing a military offensive against pro-Russian militias operating in the east, intensifying the bloodshed in a risky gambit to quickly crush the revolt. On Thursday, rebels struck back, downing a military helicopter and killing at least 12 people aboard, including a general, outside the city of Slovyansk. LINK

VETERANS AFFAIRS
ABC News’ Serena Marshall:  ”Shinseki Meets With Veterans Groups, No Sign of Resigning” One day after the bombshell interim Inspector General report showing “secret waiting lists” as a Phoenix veterans hospital, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki met with leading veteran service organizations today. The embattled secretary, who faces an ever-growing list of lawmakers asking for his resignation, showed no signs he has any plans to leave anytime soon, despite a growing outcry fueled by the report, which showed that as many as 1,700 veterans in need of care were “at risk of being lost or forgotten” by not being placed on the official waiting list. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Ben Kesling and Dion Nissenbaum: “VA’s Eric Shinseki Under Fire Amid Scandal” During his 38-year military career, Eric Shinseki recovered from losing half of his right foot to a land mine in Vietnam, went on to be awarded the Bronze Star for valor in combat and became the Army’s chief of staff. His latest battle is to stave off bipartisan criticism long enough to rehabilitate the Department of Veterans Affairs after a report Wednesday that swayed many of his former supporters in Congress to begin calling for his resignation. LINK

USA Today’s Susan Davis: “Lawmakers to Obama: Shinseki Must Go” Confidence in Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki disintegrated further Thursday on Capitol Hill, where a rising chorus of lawmakers in both parties said he should resign and let new leadership address systemic problems at VA medical centers. The disapproval was most potent in the Senate because the chamber would have to confirm a new secretary if Shinseki resigns. LINK

The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman: “Boehner And Pelosi Resist Cries For Ouster Of Veterans Affairs Chief” As the list of lawmakers calling for the resignation of Eric Shinseki as secretary of veterans affairs grew by the hour Thursday, leaders in both parties worked to quiet the politics and find a legislative solution to the crisis of care at veterans’ health centers. Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and the minority leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, both said that replacing Mr. Shinseki would not solve the core issue of unacceptable wait times and secret waiting lists at Department of Veterans Affairs health centers around the country. LINK

The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe and Ed O’Keefe: “Call For VA Secretary Eric Shinseki To Resign Intensify Following Watchdog Report” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki made an impassioned case Thursday to Democratic lawmakers and veterans groups that he can repair the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as calls for his resignation mounted and support from the White House appeared to wane. The White House skirted questions about whether President Obama still has confidence in Shinseki’s ability to lead the department and a spokesman said the president is withholding judgment about who is responsible for the department’s failings until he reviews pending investigations of what went wrong. LINK

Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan: “GOP Leaders’ VA Strategy: Blame Obama” John Boehner and Eric Cantor don’t want to make the Veterans Affairs scandal about Eric Shinseki. They want to make Barack Obama responsible. The “secret wait lists,” supposedly subpar medical treatment and failure to fix a bulky VA bureaucracy, they argue, are just the latest examples that the president is asleep at the switch and disinterested — or unable — to manage the federal government. LINK

Bloomberg’s Michael C. Bender: “More Lawmakers Urge Shinseki To Resign Over Veteran Care” Pressure grew for U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign as an internal report found “systemic” scheduling problems that have stymied health care for veterans, and lawmakers held a rare nighttime hearing to vent their frustration with the agency. “Where in the world is the urgency” to fix the deficiencies? U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski, an Indiana Republican, asked a trio of VA officials at a session that lasted four hours and ended shortly before midnight in Washington. “I have more questions tonight than I did when I walked in here.” LINK

GUN CHECKS
The Hill’s Cristina Marcos: “House takes action on gun checks” The House on Thursday approved a funding increase for the national background check system in response to last week’s mass shooting in Santa Barbara, Calif. Adopted 260-145, the amendment to a 2015 appropriations bill provides an additional $19.5 million in grant funding for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is intended to prevent the sale of guns to criminals and the mentally ill. LINK

CINDY McCAIN & GWYNETH PALTROW
The Los Angeles Times’ Maeve Reston: “Cindy McCain calls Gwyneth Paltrow’s war comments ignorant, selfish” When Gwyneth Paltrow stirred controversy this week by comparing her daily struggles with Internet trolls to the “dehumanizing” experience of soldiers at war, she messed with the wrong woman: Cindy McCain.Hearing about Paltrow’s comments, the wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain took to Twitter, calling the actress “a joke” and stating that “My 2 sons serving in the military should talk to her.” LINK

HILLARY CLINTON
Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Political Passions Stir as Hillary Clinton Prepares Book Release”  Hillary Rodham Clinton is in a purple suit, sitting in a living room, pink flowers just visible in the background, speaking with passion to the camera about her views of the world and what can be done to fight the “cancer of inequality” in the United States. “It doesn’t happen by accident, or wishing for it, or engaging in ideological and rhetorical battles,” she says in a new video. “It happens because people come together.” LINK

FORMER Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
The New York Daily News’ Annie Karni: “Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg slams intolerance by liberals on college campuses during fiery Harvard graduation address” In a fiery address to Harvard graduates, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out Thursday against intolerance by liberals on college campuses — citing how Brown University treated his police commissioner last fall. Delivering the main speech at Harvard’s 363rd commencement in Cambridge, Mass., Bloomberg complained that campuses have become citidels of “modern . . . McCarthyism” where conservative views are too often shunned and shouted down. LINK

DRONES
The Washington Times’ Guy Taylor: “Obama’s Afghanistan pullout may end domination of drones” President Obama’s call to cut the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to 5,000 troops in 18 months will end an era of American drone superiority over the region and jeopardize hard-fought gains against al Qaeda just as the terrorist movement’s original core is rising again, former senior defense officials and national security sources say. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Shinseki Meets With Veteran Groups, Shows No Sign of ResigningLINK
White House Puts Spotlight on Sports-Related ConcussionsLINK

BOOKMARKS
The Note: LINK
ABC News Politics: LINK
George Stephanopoulos’ Blog: LINK
ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics
ABC News Mobile: LINK
ABC News Apps: LINK
ABC News YouTube: LINK

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