The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday February 19, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin and Will Cantine

CONGRESS ABC News' Chris Good: " Sequestration: DC's Weird Idea Of Cuts" It's the dirtiest word on Washington right now: "sequester." Formerly wrapped up in the "fiscal cliff" that was poised to wreck America's economy at the end of the year, the dreaded 'sequester" is the spending half of that taxes-and-spending equation: It amounts to across-the-board budget cuts that will strike in March barring an agreement on deficit reduction. LINK

The Washington Post's Jonathan Bernstein: " Leaving The Senate Remains Appealing" Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (R) will not be seeking a second term. Just a few weeks into the 113 th Senate, Johanns is already the fifth senator retiring in 2014. LINK

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: " Democrats' Man For Battles Will Lead New Senate Charge" Guy Cecil, who led the way to unlikely Senate victories for Democrats in 2010 and 2012, has a goal for next year: "To hold the majority, that's it," he said. LINK

The Boston Globe: " Scott Brown 'Thinking About' Run For Governor" Former Senator Scott Brown, appearing in a candid interview on Fox 25 Monday night, said he is "thinking about" a run for governor next year, even as he gets used to being at home in Wrentham, away from the limelight. LINK

The Washington Times' Cheryl K. Chumley: "Nancy Pelosi says drone strikes on Americans can stay secret" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the White House doesn't necessarily have to confess to killing American citizens by unarmed drones. It all depends on the situation, she said in reply to a Huffington Post reporter who asked if President Obama's administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike, the Washington Examiner reported. LINK

GUNS The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer: " Pro-Gun Lawmakers Are Open To Limits On Size Of Magazines" Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, is haunted by many things that emerged from the investigation of the December mass shooting at a Newtown elementary school. It is that conviction that has helped put fresh scrutiny on the size of magazines as Congress debates new gun laws. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Jessica Garrison: " State program to seize illegal guns gaining notice" By law, Alexander Hernandez should have surrendered his gun to the state of California three years ago after a judge issued a restraining order against him for alleged domestic violence. He didn't. LINK

CLIMATE AND ENERGY USA Today's Bill McKibben: " Pipeline project defines folly: Opposing view" A year ago, President Obama sent the Keystone pipeline project back for more review. In the months since, Mother Nature filed compelling public testimony: The hottest year in American history. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Tom Fowler: " BP Faces New Bout of Spill Liability" BP PLC already has agreed to pay more than $30 billion in fines, settlements and cleanup costs for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Now it is placing a big bet that by going to trial next week, it can hold down the cost of one of its last major potential liabilities for the disaster. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON Politico's Katie Glueck: " Hillary Clinton To Speaking Circuit" Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will start giving paid speeches later this year, POLITICO's Playbook reported exclusively Monday. Clinton, who has picked the Harry Walker Agency to represent her, is likely to start the paid speaking circuit in the spring and is expected to rake in fees that clock in at the six-figure range - making her among the best-paid speakers "in the history of the circuit," POLITICO's Mike Allen reported. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Instant Index: Michelle Obama's Midlife Crisis; Burger King Hacked" LINK " Chicago Teen Killed Day Of Obama's Anti-Violence Speech" LINK " President Obama, Tiger Woods Play Golf Together" LINK

BOOKMARKS The Note: LINK The Must-Reads Online: LINK Top Line Webcast (12noon EST M-F): LINK ABC News Politics: LINK George's Bottom Line (George Stephanopoulos): LINK Follow ABC News on Twitter: LINK ABC News Mobile: LINK ABC News app on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad: LINK

More ABC News