Thursday’s Mini-Report, 5.29.14

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* VA: “White House press secretary Jay Carney… Carney said the president believed Shinseki had ‘performed overall well’ and ‘put his heart and soul’ into providing care for veterans. But he also emphasized that the president was waiting to see the results of an internal investigation led by White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors.”
 
* Sign of the times: “Barry McCaffrey, the retired four-star Army general and an ally of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki … characterized Mr. Shinseki as the ideal person to fix the problems at the VA.” McCaffrey then called for Shinseki to resign anyway.
 
* Shinseki’s new op-ed: “After 38 years in the Army, I am honored and privileged to serve veterans as the secretary of Veterans Affairs, and I remain committed to providing the high-quality care and benefits that veterans have earned and deserve. And we will.”
 
* School lunches: “The White House blasted House Republicans after the Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that loosens nutrition standards on school lunches promoted by first lady Michelle Obama. White House press secretary Jay Carney said lawmakers had ‘moved forward with a provision that replaces the judgment of doctors and nutritionists with the opinions of politicians regarding what is healthy for our kids.’”
 
* Vaccines matter: “The ongoing measles outbreak in the United States has reached a record for any year since the disease was eliminated in this country 14 years ago, with 288 cases of the potentially deadly infection reported in 18 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.”
 
* Egypt: “With nearly all ballots counted, Egypt’s former military chief has won a crushing victory over his sole opponent in the country’s presidential election, his campaign said Thursday…. Retired field marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi won more than 92 percent of the votes, compared with 2.9 percent for his sole opponent and 4 percent of invalid votes, according to a tally released by his campaign.”
 
* According to new revisions, GDP shrank in the first quarter by 1%. That’s certainly not good news, but given the larger circumstances and key details, it’s really not a big deal, either.
 
* I wouldn’t mind hearing more about this: “One of the biggest disputes between Edward Snowden and the NSA is whether Snowden tried to raise internal concerns about abusive electronic surveillance as Snowden says he did, before deciding to release details about those programs to reporters. Today, the NSA released an email that they claim proves he didn’t.”
 
* An important legacy: “President Obama’s 49 appeals court appointees have dramatically altered the landscape. As of the Senate’s recess on May 23, nine of those courts had majority Democratic appointees and four had Republican majorities.”
 
* So dumb: “The Washington Redskins asked their legions of fans to send a message Thursday to Harry Reid, who’s been on a campaign lately to shame the team and its owner into dropping its racially charged nickname. It did not go over well.”
 
* Who initially thought this product was a good idea? “The National September 11 Memorial Museum has pulled its controversial commemorative cheese platter from its shelves after an outcry at the museum’s opening. The USA-shaped platter featured hearts over New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, where the planes crashed on 9/11.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Thursday's Mini-Report, 5.29.14