MORNING READ

FROM THE BLOGS:

Why is Congress so dumb?
Salon's Alex Pareene says
the legislature spends more time hounding donors than researching the bills it votes on

A petty pick
National Review's Jonah Goldberg argues
the selection of Chuck Hagel to lead the Defense Department is intended as payback to the right

Christie's explanation of functioning democracy
National Journal's Ron Fournier says
the New Jersey governor has traction for 2016 because his rhetoric matches the times

Pastor to deliver Inaugural benediction delivered anti-gay sermon
Pastor Louie Giglio advocates "ex-gay" therapy and implores Christians to prevent the "homosexual lifestyle," reports Josh Israel for ThinkProgress

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:

AIG's board opts against suing the federal government
The company was considering challenging the legality of the $182 billion bailout that saved it, reports The Hill's Peter Schroeder

White House won't deport Piers Morgan
The Obama administration cited the First Amendment in responding to a petition on its We the People website, The Hill's Alicia M. Cohn reports