Morning Must Reads: April 25

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

In the News: Obama proves foreign policy critics right; Kerry warns Russia; Ukraine leaders say their trying to avoid casualties; Boehner mocks GOP on immigration; and Rand Paul courts wealthy libertarians

  • Obama’s foreign policy failures are proving his critics right [TIME]
  • On Thursday: Ukraine halts military push fearing attack from Russia: “Moscow’s saber-rattling—launching new land and air military drills—left Ukraine’s new government in a quandary: whether to risk pressing ahead with what it calls its antiterrorist operation in the restive east, or risk more bloodshed and provoking an invasion….The Pentagon called those drills “exactly the opposite of what we have been calling on the Russians to do.” [WSJ]
  • On Friday: “The Ukrainian government Friday brushed off Russian threats of intervention in a tense standoff in eastern Ukraine, declaring that Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Russian militiamen occupying government buildings would continue.Ukrainian troops clashed with pro-Russian militants at barricades and checkpoints Thursday in eastern Ukraine, with fighting centered around the breakaway city of Slovyansk, a separatist stronghold.” [Washington Post]
  • Secretary of State John Kerry gives a warning to Russia, from National Journal: “Having failed to halt a legitimate political process,” he said, “Russia has instead chosen an illegitimate, coercive armed violence to try to achieve—with the barrel of a gun and the force of the mob—what could not be achieved any other way.”
  • Congressional updates: John Boehner mocks GOP on immigration [Huffington Post]
  • “During an appearance at a local rotary club in his congressional district in Ohio, Mr. Boehner adopted the voice of what sounded like a whiny child and said of Republicans on Capitol Hill: ‘Here’s the attitude: ‘Ohhhh, don’t make me do this. Ohhhh, this is too hard.’” [Washington Times]
  • More on Boehner from Businessweek: John Boehner says so long to his friends
  • Rand Paul and wealthy libertarians connect as he weighs running: “As he has risen in prominence as a Republican presidential contender, Mr. Paul is avidly courting a small but influential cluster of wealthy libertarians. His pursuit offers an intriguing window into an eclectic network of potential donors who have made fortunes in Silicon Valley start-ups and Wall Street hedge funds, a group that could form a vital donor base if he makes a bid for the Republican nomination.” [NYT]
  • “This fall, as high school seniors prepare to apply to college, many will scan the rankings provided by U.S. News & World Report. They’ll compare colleges’ class sizes, tuition prices, the student-faculty ratio, and—potentially—their sexual-assault statistics. That is, if some members of Congress get their way. Earlier this month, a dozen House members, including two Republicans, sent a letter to U.S. News & World Report asking the publisher to include sexual-assault and prevention data in its venerated annual college rankings.” [National Journal]
  • Elizabeth Warren’s book tour: ‘Run, Liz, run!’ [Politico]
  • New Republic: Racist Nevada Rancher reveals depths of conservative white supremacism denial
  • Mississippi governor bans abortions at 20 weeks [NBC News]
  • Misdemeanor convictions are no big deal, right? Think again [TIME]
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