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Obama Backtracks on Pledge to Take Public Financing for General Election

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Obama Backtracks

Barack Obama says he backtracked on a pledge to take public financing for the general election partly because he needs funds to counter those 527 committees that may attack him from the right. And he argues John McCain will do nothing to "stop the smears."

But Cybercast News Service reports that Democratic 527s have raised three times as much as their Republican counterparts: $87 million to $24 million.

The director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute says that Obama "wasn't complaining when he went to the American Federation of State and Municipal Employees Union this week, which ran an ad paid for by its 527 to attack John McCain."

Refining Her Stance

California Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters is backing off remarks she made that U.S. oil refineries should be nationalized and run by the federal government.

While speaking to oil company executives at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in May, Waters said: "This liberal will be all about socializing and the government running all of your companies."

But her communications director tells Cybercast News Service: "It was one comment in a long hearing. It's not a developed policy proposal. It was not an intentional statement."

Deadly Decision?

A former member of Guantanamo Bay's military prosecution team agrees with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who says the decision to allow detainees the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts will lead to more dead Americans.

Kyndra Rotunda, who is also an Army Reserve major and an author, says: "We already know that 5 to 10 percent of those released end up back on the battlefield interfering with the mission in Iraq. With this ruling, we could end up with that tenfold."

Rotunda was at a book discussion at the Heritage Foundation in Washington Monday and said that the Supreme Court made a mistake, adding: "We should hold these detainees until the end of hostility."

Not Green Enough

And finally, Washington's new baseball stadium is the country's first green sports facility.

Nationals Park is equipped with environmentally friendly light bulbs, water-saving toilets and 95 percent of the stadium's steel was recycled.

But that is not enough for some activists who protested at the park on Friday night. The reason? ExxonMobil oil company is a stadium sponsor.

One protester said: "You cannot be green if your No. 1 advertiser is the world's biggest environmental abuser." And the director of Oil for Change International said: "It's bad enough the Texans have had the White House for the last eight years. It's our stadium and we are not going to let Texas take it again."

But an Exxon spokesman says that in 2007 his company reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 5 million tons, compared to Toyota's claim that it reduced greenhouse gases by 4.5 million tons by selling one million hybrid cars.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.