TheDC Morning: John Bolton spits hot fire

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1.) Bolton slashes Obama (aka Wednesday) — John Bolton spit hot fire to TheDC’s Hot Mic Nicholas Ballasy:

“Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton told The Daily Caller that President Obama’s cuts to the defense budget are an attempt to put more taxpayer funds into social welfare programs, labeling the move ‘exactly’ what the Europeans have done. Bolton said Obama’s actions caused ‘bloated social welfare states’ when they were attempted in Europe …’What Obama was trying to do was take money out of defense and put it into domestic social welfare programs. It’s exactly what the Europeans have done with their social democratic policies and it’s left them with bloated welfare states and insufficient defenses. That’s not the future for America.'”

Bolton is often mentioned as a potential secretary of state, though — and you may find this surprising — not for the Obama administration.

2.) Who said you can go home again? — Mitt Romney may have been born in Michigan and his father may have been governor of the state, but if the Wolverine State has a favorite son, he doesn’t appear to be running for the Republican presidential nomination. TheDC’s Will Rahn reports on Romney’s travails in his native land:

“Once seen as an easy win for Mitt Romney, Michigan’s upcoming Republican primary is quickly turning into an uphill battle for the former Massachusetts governor in his struggle against the resurgent Rick Santorum. Romney’s roots in the Wolverine State initially indicated that he would walk away with the primary the same way he did in 2008 … After a losing several caucuses to Santorum, however, Romney now finds himself trailing the former Pennsylvania senator in three recent polls. And should Romney lose the primary despite his financial and organizational muscle in the state, the race could be become a two-man race that would threaten his perceived front-runner status and throw his much vaunted ‘electability’ into question.”

3.) Media Matters for (an Anti-Religious) America — During the one hour of the day Media Matters’ minions are allowed to avert their eyes from Fox News, it seems like they are supposed to be devoting their energies to bashing — or “monitoring” in Media Matters’ language — religious networks . TheDC’s David Martosko and Alex Pappas report:

“The liberal Media Matters for America organization once accepted a $50,000 grant to monitor and attack religious news outlets, according to tax returns examined by The Daily Caller. The grant came in 2006 from the ARCA Foundation, a 60-year-old philanthropy that funds Democratic causes. The foundation gave Media Matters the $50,000 ‘to support a Religious Broadcasting Project to expand the monitoring and fact checking of religious broadcasts,’ according to its tax return that year.”

If there is one thing that you can take to the bank it is that Media Matters is filled with religious scholars. (On second thought, don’t take that to the bank.)

4.) Pat Paterson on the back — The National Rifle Association never considered former Democratic New York Gov. David Paterson a great friend of gun owners, but Paterson is speaking out in support of a former Marine who accidentally breached the state’s gun laws and now faces three and a half years in prison. TheDC’s Steven Nelson reports:

“During an appearance on WOR Radio, Paterson encouraged Vance to drop the charges. ‘There is a section of the criminal procedure law,’ said Paterson, ‘where a prosecutor just feels that it’s not in the best interest of justice to prosecute. I would recommend and suggest that they read that section over.’ ‘I think it’s just unusually cruel for somebody who has no criminal record and served his country as a Marine,’ said the former governor. “And I think that makes the case closed.’”

Who said the blind can’t see?

5.) Poll of the DAY — America Research Group Arizona GOP primary poll: Mitt Romney 38%, Rick Santorum 31%, Newt Gingrich 15%, Ron Paul 11%. The primary will be held February 28.

6.) BIRTHDAYS — Fifth emperor of the Chinese Song Dynasty Yingzong turns 980; history’s greatest golfer, the late Kim Jong-il, turns 71; rapper Ice-T turns 54; tennis player John McEnroe turns 53 (h/t John McEnroe’s temper).

VIDEO: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns of threat of automatic defense cuts