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Week In The News: Drones, John Brennan, Sequester Talk

Drones and a CIA nominee. Post office cutbacks. Big dance on the budget. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

CIA Director nominee John Brennan, flanked by security, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP)

CIA Director nominee John Brennan, flanked by security, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, to testify at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (AP)

“Drones, what drones?” was almost the tone on Capitol Hill this week as a nominee for CIA chief sat before Congress.  John Brennan got some questions, but no direct hits.

As the Northeast braced for a blizzard, there has been gun talk and gunplay all over the country.  The President in Minneapolis.  A policeman gone bad in LA.  A famous sniper, killed at a gun range.

We’ve got Republicans looking to rebrand.  Boy Scouts struggling with gay rights.  Chris Christie with his weight.  Sequestration looms.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Costa, Washington editor for National Review. (@robertcostanro)

Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@margarettalev)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “In his speech at the Wilson Center, Brennan said that drone strikes are ‘ethical’ because of ‘the unprecedented ability of remotely piloted aircraft to precisely target a military objective while minimizing collateral damage; one could argue that never before has there been a weapon that allows us to distinguish more effectively between an al Qaeda terrorist and innocent civilians.'”

CBS News “Get ready for some big changes in your mail service. After losing $16 billion last year, the postmaster general announced Wednesday that the Postal Service intends to halt Saturday delivery of first-class mail by this summer, Aug. 1. That means most mailers, letters and catalogs would not arrive on Saturdays, ending a 150-year tradition.”

The Star-Ledger “Top House Republican aides privately concede that the politics of allowing the cuts to hit — layoffs, furloughs and a stalled economic recovery — are tough to stomach and they would prefer to make a deal, on their terms of course.”

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Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

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