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— An excerpt from Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s letter to President Obama, passed to White House adviser Valerie Jarrett when Mr. Obama arrived in Texas for, among other things, a Democratic National Committee fundraiser expected to generate $1 million.

GAINING STATURE

Uh-oh. Rand Paul’s prowess as a politician must be worrying people. Like clockwork, telltale media bashing has begun on the “tea party” favorite now running for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky. The local press has already labeled Dr. Paul - an ophthalmologist who received his medical degree from Duke University - as a “college dropout.” Now Gentleman’s Quarterly claims Dr. Paul was a rowdy prankster, and one-time member of the NoZe Brotherhood, a secret society of nonconformists and liberals at Baylor University.

“Paul himself is remembered for some of his shenanigans: he drunkenly attempted to dig up a school time capsule. All they ended up doing was knocking over the monument that sat atop the time capsule, or when he and a NoZe brother, blindfolded and tied up a female student, and tried to force her to take bong hits. When she refused, they stopped at a nearby creek and made her bow down and worship their god, ‘Aqua Buddha,’ ” explains Stefanie Adlerstein McNamara, a spokeswoman for the magazine.

CULTURAL MOMENT

Deep-fried butter, doughnut burgers. Been there, done that. The Minnesota State Fair is now offering “Deep-Fried Spam Curds” that involve, well, Spam and cheese curds.

Dallas resident James Scott, meanwhile, respectfully suggests that his own Texas State Fair offers “Deep Fried Fried,” explaining, “Take some batter, fry it, then batter the fried batter, then fry it.”

POLL DU JOUR

- 63 percent of U.S. voters say that if the federal government forgives mortgage debts of troubled homeowners, it is unfair to owners who regularly pay on time.

- 58 percent of voters overall oppose the government forgiving the mortgage debts.

- 75 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of unaffiliated voters oppose the proposal.

- 47 percent of Democrats favor it, 38 percent oppose the idea.

- 67 percent of Republicans say forgiving the debts would be “bad for the economy.”

- 49 percent of Democrats say the proposal would be “good for the economy.”

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Aug. 5-6.

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