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Week In The News: New Pope, Dueling Budgets, Steubenville

Pope Francis. Paul Ryan and dueling budgets.  The Steubenville rape case goes to trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

A worshiper holds up the front page of a magazine showing a photograph of Jorge Mario Bergoglio during celebrations outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP)

A worshiper holds up the front page of a magazine showing a photograph of Jorge Mario Bergoglio during celebrations outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP)

Pope-a-pa-looza this week, and Catholics emerge with a humble-voiced man from Argentina – and hope.  Pope Francis.

In Afghanistan, a rough welcome for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.  Bombs and bombast.  In Washington, dueling budget visions.  Paul Ryan is back, to balance it, he says.  Democrats say that’s not job one.

The big gulp ban in New York gets a judicial “no.”  Knives on the plane get blowback.  China’s new leader takes full power.  President Obama comes to Capitol Hill.

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

Guests

Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report. (@amyewalter)

Kelly O’Donnell, Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News. (@kellyo)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News “Pope Francis began his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome’s main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch.”

The Atlantic “Paul Ryan unveiled the House Republican budget this week with an ominous yet familiar warning: ‘America’s national debt is over $16 trillion.’ Having stated the problem, he then offered a solution, one which differed only marginally from what he’s offered the past two years. Namely: restrain government healthcare spending on Medicare and Medicaid, reform the individual tax code, close loopholes, lower corporate taxes, and promote natural gas and energy independence. The goal? A balanced budget by 2023 that will ensure ‘the well-being of all Americans…and reignite the American dream.'”

The Columbus Dispatch (Senator Rob Portman) “I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married. That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

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A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

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