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Special Report

Pressure Mounts on Congressman Charlie Rangel Over His Personal Finances

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Financial Wrangle

Congressman Charlie Rangel was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Monday, as well as Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee. This as The New York Times is calling on the New York Democrat to give up the chairmanship of that committee because of questions surrounding his finances and ongoing ethics investigations.

"His temporary yielding of the gavel is an urgent necessity for a Democratic Congress elected two years ago on promises of an ethical housecleaning," the newspaper said. "If Mr. Rangel refuses temporary hiatus from his chairmanship, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should remove him permanently."

Last week Rangel acknowledged he failed to disclose and pay taxes on at least $75,000 in rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. His accountants have since uncovered discrepancies in the personal financial disclosure documents he files every year to Congress.

Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi has said she will not remove Rangel from the chairmanship.

Across the Aisle

A study by The Washington Times finds John McCain has a far more bipartisan record than Obama since Obama came to the Senate in 2005.

The study shows Democrats made up 55 percent of McCain's political partners over the last two Congresses. He was the chief sponsor of 82 bills on which he had 120 Democratic co-sponsors out of 220 total sponsors.

For Obama, Republicans made up only 13 percent of his co-sponsors over the same period. He sponsored 120 bills and gained 522 Democratic co-sponsors but managed only 75 Republican co-sponsors.

Inflating the Truth?

The facts appear to be getting in the way of some of Barack Obama's claims on the economy. Economic expert Donald Luskin writes in The Washington Post, "Obama is flat-out wrong when he frets that 'the personal savings rate is now the lowest it's been since the Great Depression.' The latest rate is 2.6 percent higher than the 1.9 percent rate that prevailed in the last quarter of Bill Clinton's presidency."

Luskin, who is listed as a McCain adviser but says McCain has never asked him for advice, says Obama's claim that the home foreclosure rate is the highest since the Great Depression is impossible to verify because there is no consistent data on foreclosures going back that far. And, he says the foreclosure rate "was setting records for the day — the highest since the Great Depression in 1999, at the peak of the Clinton-era prosperity."

Luskin says comparing current rates to the Great Depression is quote "akin to equating a sore throat with stomach cancer... 2.75 of a percent are in foreclosure. During the Great Depression more than 50 percent of home loans were in default."

Acting Up

Actress Lindsay Lohan is taking aim at Governor Sarah Palin. On her MySpace Web blog, Lohan urges readers to vote for Barack Obama while writing, "I really cannot bite my tongue anymore when it comes to Sarah Palin... is our country so divided that the Republicans' best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?"

Lohan than references a fellow actress saying, "In the words of Pamela Anderson, 'She can suck it,'" adding that the Republican vice presidential nominee should not "pose for anymore tabloid covers, you're not a celebrity."

Lohan fails to mention that Obama himself has posed for a number of tabloid covers including Us Weekly and People magazine.

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