Morning Must Reads: We’re Back!

After a brief hiatus, Swampland's "Morning Must Reads" have returned.

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Photo-Illustration by Dan Winters for TIME

After a brief hiatus, Swampland’s “Morning Must Reads” have returned.

-Hagel attempts to become the next Secretary of Defense before a skeptical Senate panel, Jay Newton-Small writes.  The Weekly Standard produces “Hagel’s Greatest Hits.”

–Prettier in Print: this week TIME discusses how quirky White House petitions can advance Obama’s agenda, how to fix the Grand Ole Party, and 10 Questions for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The cover story, “Game of Drones,” examines the use of unmanned aircraft in America.

-Obamacare is back in the news.  The WSJ reports that Obamacare may drive up costs for union health care plans, and Marco Rubio believes it could be a hindrance to immigration reform.  Oddly enough, labor loves immigration.  Strategy to “Delay, Repeal, and Replace” Obamacare this week is brought to you by the Weekly Standard.

-Ahead of the March 1 sequester, military contractors Northrop Gruman, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton tighten their belts. Last Sunday House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said he expected the $110 billion in cuts to happen, David Rogers of Politico writes today why many House Republicans agree.

–After raising the ordinary income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 35 percent on household income above $450,000, Obama may in his State of the Union address seek new revenue from capping deductions, Reuters reports.

-Scandal surrounds Sen. Robert Menendez.

-Al Gore goes on The Daily Show and Jon Stewart grills him on how a climate-change activist could sell his TV channel, Current TV, to the oil-backed company Al-Jazerra.

-Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray promises to keep his hands off of DC’s $417 million Rainy Day fund.  It must be raining in Texas, because Republican Gov. Perry has decided to take $3.7 billion from their fund to pay for water and transportation infrastructure improvements.

-The Washington Post Fact Checker calls Obama’s claim of skeet shooting, “curious,” and concludes “verdict pending.” The NYT runs a video on Nate Silver’s poker tips.   I think they both miss the election.