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Special Report

Which Presidential Candidate Will Rein in More Spending?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

A Little Too Frank?

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is suggesting that Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation's housing crisis is a racially motivated attack on the poor.

Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts said Monday at a mortgage foreclosure symposium in Boston, "They — Republicans — get to take things out on poor people. Let's be honest: the fact that some of the poor people are black doesn't hurt them either from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people."

Frank also dismissed charges that Democrats failed on their own or blocked Republican efforts to rein in mortgage companies, adding, "If I could have stopped a Republican bill during the Bush years, I would have started with the war in Iraq."

The Bottom Line

An analysis of the presidential candidates' tax and spending proposals shows Barack Obama would create a larger deficit than John McCain by the end of his first term.

The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says by 2013 Obama would outspend McCain by at least $27 billion and by as much as $119 billion. The projected deficit for 2013 is already $147 billion, so both men would leave the country in the red.

But Obama's proposals would push the deficit to $433 billion. Under McCain the deficit would fall somewhere between $314 billion and $406 billion.

Tax Analysis

When Todd and Sarah Palin released their 2006 and 2007 tax returns Friday, the Associated Press reported, "The McCain-Palin campaign had said the tax returns would be released Monday, but it suddenly put them out Friday afternoon — a time long used by government to reveal embarrassing news because few people watch TV or read newspapers Friday evening and Saturday."

But the AP never said why the Palins' tax returns were embarrassing. A later dispatch noted the Palins owe the IRS some interest but that's all.

What's more, when Joe and Jill Biden released their tax returns three Fridays earlier, the AP said nothing about Friday being the release date for embarrassing information.

Macho Man

In what appears to be his latest display of masculinity, the Russian prime minister has released a new DVD entitled "Let's Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin."

Just minutes into his 56th birthday Wednesday, Putin unveiled the martial arts instructional video. It is a collaborative effort between the former KGB agent and judo black belt and former world and Olympic judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita.

Portions of the video shown on Russian television depict a black-clad Putin talking about the history and philosophy of the sport as well as a white-robed Putin demonstrating moves against a practice partner and throwing an opponent to the mat.

Last year Putin was photographed by Russian media with his shirt off while fishing and last month he was photographed shooting a tiger in the Siberian forest.

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