POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Iowa Butter Cow Really Upstaging New Hampshire Lard Pig

Presidential candidates are flocking to the Iowa State Fair, where they will mock democracy by swearing allegiance to a butter sculpture and pledging to make "Cotton-Eyed Joe" the national anthem. Bill and Hillary Clinton's two-week Hamptons rental costs $100,000, but it's not clear if the house comes with it all. And happy birthday to America's largest welfare program, Social Security, and may it continue to throttle the entrepreneurial spirit of our senior citizens. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, August 14th, 2015

JEB BUSH NOT ACTUALLY SURE WHO HE MET WITH - Black Lives Matter activists, black people, same thing. Dana Liebelson: "[T]he Bush campaign said the candidate had privately met with advocates for the [Black Lives Matter] movement before the event, an assertion that appeared in multiple articles about the disruption. But that description is misleading, The Huffington Post has learned. There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated. Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization. Kevin Hooks, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League, told HuffPost he set up the meeting at the Bush campaign's behest. ... Hooks told HuffPost that the campaign was earnest in its outreach attempts and willing to talk to anyone, but 'people didn't really want to talk to them.'" [HuffPost]

JEB BUSH KNOWS A CIGAR GUY, IF YOU NEED ONE - Jesse Ventura violated one of the central rules of the Governor Gift Gang: no blabbing. Marc Caputo: "'Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura said Thursday he was 'astounded' that Jeb Bush's campaign would deny a decades-old gift of Cuban cigars. ... Bush’s presidential campaign denied the claim, saying the cigars weren’t from Cuba. ... [Ventura] vividly recalls telling the president [Bill Clinton] that he opposed the Cuban embargo, which Clinton had signed into federal law in 1996. 'I hate to feel like a criminal every time I go to smoke a Cuban cigar,' Ventura said he told the president. 'Jeb approached me and told me to keep it down.' 'Don’t bring that up, I don’t want that up. I’ll send you all the Cuban cigars you need,' Bush said privately to his Minnesota counterpart, according to Ventura. Ventura said he later walked over to Bush and put an empty aluminum Romeo y Julieta cigar tube in the Florida governor’s top pocket and said 'there’s my brand.' Ventura said that, 10 days later, 'I got a box of Romeo Julieta Cubans delivered to the Capitol in Minnesota.'" [Politico Florida]

Paul Ryan press guy Doug Andres does falconry, apparently.

HILLARY TO ESCHEW VACATION HOTSPOTS IN IOWA, GO TO HAMPTONS - It will be a huge relief to feign interest in fancy ballet flats for a while instead of corndogs. Emily Smith: "Following Hillary Clinton’s recently announced plan to help the middle class, she and Bill are again renting a house in the Hamptons for the last two weeks in August for a rumored $100,000. The Clintons are renting a four-bedroom home from Republican art collector Andre Nasser and his real estate guru wife, Lois, at 44 Broadview Road -- a hidden cul-de-sac in Amagansett that boasts wealthy neighbors, including Harvey Weinstein…. But this year, the Democratic presidential candidate is making the most of her time in the playground of the rich by organizing a string of campaign fundraisers, titled 'Hillary in the Hamptons,' to rub shoulders with wealthy donors. ... Also on Aug. 30, fashion designer Tory Burch will host a luncheon for Hillary in Southampton." [NY Post]

@stabenow: Hey @clairecmc, when @HillaryClinton wins you can shotgun a beer and I'll chug this fine Michigan brew!

@clairecmc: You're on Deb! #PlentyLadylike

THIS IS SO TRUE, JEB BUSH - Well done at the Iowa State Fair. @EvanMcSan: Jeb: "I've avoided the one thing you have to avoid."

Reporter: "corn dog?"

Jeb: "How you eat it."

Truly, Jeb stood on the shoulders of giants.

HUFFPOST HILL FACTS OF LIFE - Here's what really happens in Iowa: political fortunes are divined by an all-knowing butter obelisk that apportions the most bales of hay to whichever candidate is dumbest.

FERNER FROWNER - Matt Ferner: "This summer, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed a bill that significantly decreases criminal penalties for marijuana possession in the state. But for some prisoners already serving time on marijuana charges, the state's old draconian drug laws continue to apply. Take the case of Bernard Noble. A 49-year-old father of seven, Noble is serving more than 13 years behind bars in Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro. His crime: being caught with the equivalent of two joints' worth of marijuana in 2010. He has no chance of parole. The state Board of Pardons and Parole rejected Noble's petition for clemency in May simply because he hasn’t served 10 or more years in prison yet -- state law requires inmates to have been in custody of the Department of Corrections for a minimum of 10 years before they’ll consider an inmate’s application for clemency." [HuffPost]

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HILLARY CLINTON WANTS KIDS, PEOPLE WITH KIDS, TO STAY IN SCHOOL - Shahien Nasiripour: "Hillary Clinton wants to help student parents complete their degrees by raising federal funding 17-fold for a roughly 15-year-old program with spotty results. The Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state wants to expand the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, which gives colleges federal money to help them with their students' child care needs. ... Roughly 25 percent of college students are also parents, according to Young Invincibles, a Washington advocacy organization, and 25 percent of student parents live in poverty. Student parents leave school with debt loads roughly 25 percent higher than non-parents, according to Clinton's campaign. Student parents also have less time to study, and many attend schools that don't offer child care services, the campaign said. To help them, Clinton is promising to increase funding for the federal child care program to $250 million, which her campaign says will create another 250,000 spots for college students' children." [HuffPost]

TRUMP HEARS HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAIL THING IS A BIG DEAL - Mark Hensch: "GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump predicts he will face Vice President Biden instead of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. Trump said on Friday he believes Biden will edge out Clinton once her campaign is undone by the controversy over her use of a private email server while secretary of State, according to Breitbart. 'I think so,' Trump said when asked if he can picture a fight with Biden in next year’s general election. 'It just looks like Hillary is going to not be able to run,' he said…. 'I hear this thing is big league,' Trump added of the email controversy." [The Hill]

Hillary Clinton picked up an endorsement from the machinists union, Dave Jamieson reports.

TESTER AND MANCHIN DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR ADS - Andrew Taylor: "Opponents of President Barack Obama's nuclear pact with Iran tried turning up the heat this week on undecided Senate Democrat Jon Tester with a TV ad saying politician like him would have 'blood on their hands' if they supported the deal. But the burly Montanan came out in favor, the latest of a string of Democrats to shrug off ad campaigns from opposition groups. ... So do lawmakers feel like the ads are tightening the screws? It is August, after all, when fewer eyeballs watch TV and many people are on vacation. 'No pressure at all,' said Manchin spokesman Jonathan Kott, adding that his boss is leaning toward supporting the agreement. 'I know he is aware of the ads and campaigns, but he hasn't heard about them from constituents.'" [AP]

SCOTT WALKER HAS AN AMAZING HEALTHCARE PLAN - It sounds like something we've heard of before, but we just can't quite place it. "The president’s policies must be replaced with a plan that will send power back to the people and the states, fix the decades-old problems of rising medical-care and health-insurance costs, and support economic growth instead of punishing workers and small businesses," Walker writes in the National Review. "We must do all of this while ensuring affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and removing the fear that something as simple as changing jobs could result in loss of coverage." [NRO]

Here's every 2016 Republican candidate matched with a Taylor Swift song, from IJReview.

STATE PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHAPTERS DOIN' FINE - Samantha Lachman: "The Planned Parenthood Federation of America stressed Friday that multiple investigations into its state affiliates have fallen flat, as the reproductive health organization battles allegations that it has illegally profited from fetal tissue donations for research. The investigations were launched after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, began releasing hidden-camera videos in July that supposedly depicted Planned Parenthood physicians and staff members discussing the sale of fetal parts…. 'In every state where these investigations have concluded, officials have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing,' said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement Friday." [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Check out McSweeney's on Trump through history.

WHITE MEN CAN'T TRUMP - Republican campaigns have inured their white male supporters to the same old strategy: bounce passes, free throws, maybe an occasional three. But Donald Trump has the GOP fanbase out of their seats by relentlessly dunking on his opponents. His windmill jams are tasteless; instead of apologizing, he hangs from the rim, screaming. [w/ HuffPost's Zach Carter & Julia Craven]

COMFORT FOOD by @MattDRamos

TWITTERAMA

@JennyRogersDC it seems sort of cruel that we require our presidential candidates to be fit but then expect them to eat fried candy bars

@AlexJamesFitz: *opens the Joe Biden official playlist*

wait this is just the slayer discography

@MHBaskin: Remember when @realDonaldTrump was on S2 of Sex and the City in an episode called "The Man, The Myth, The Viagra"

@JGreenDC: Activate congrats Twitter for @randpaul, who has landed a coveted endorsement from his dad

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