Weekend in politics: Farewell ceremony for Panetta, and more

Phil Pruitt

President Barack Obama and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will host an Armed Forces Farewell Ceremony on Friday afternoon in honor of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.

Meanwhile, former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination to replace Panetta is on track despite Republican demands for more information about Hagel’s paid speeches and business dealings, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday. Still, a date has not been set to vote on the nomination.

Former President Bill Clinton will speak Friday at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Leesburg, Va. President Obama addressed the conference on Thursday, and encouraged Democrats to remember what led them to turn to public office — a wish to improve their communities. "If we keep that in mind every single day," he said, "I have no doubt that we will continue the extraordinary progress that we've made already."

President Obama’s drone war is certain to be a topic on television talk shows over the weekend. Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Yahoo News reporter Olivier Knox the deadly drone war against suspected extremists, including Americans overseas, may not be legal and that it may be creating more terrorists than it is killing.

And then there is this: On Saturday, first lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral in Chicago of a 15-year-old girl who was shot to death eight days after performing with her high school band at President Obama's inauguration.

And this: Friday marks the 40th anniversary of the Senate forming a special committee to investigate the Watergate incident.

Sources: Yahoo News’ The Ticket, Yahoo News reporter Olivier Knox, Associated Press and Reuters.