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Special Report

John Kerry Saves a Boatload of Green

Law of the Sea

Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry is able to save a boatload of green by parking his yacht in the blue waters off Rhode Island. 

The Boston Herald reports Kerry saved almost $440,000 in sales tax when he bought the $7 million ship in Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts. He keeps another $70,000 a year by mooring the swanky 76-footer in Newport and avoiding his state's luxury tax.

Kerry's office denies any profit motive, saying the boat is based in Newport for "long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes -- not tax reasons."

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

If you're feeling generous, you could get the chance to celebrate President Obama's birthday with the president himself at a private party in Chicago. 

The Sun Times reports a real estate mogul is throwing the dinner for President Obama's 49th birthday on August 4. But an invite also requires a $30,000 donation to the Democratic National Committee. With that kind of an entry fee, we're guessing a birthday gift is optional.

The president is scheduled to attend a fundraiser the next day for Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giounoulius, whose family bank was taken over by the government. Meanwhile, Republican opponent Mark Kirk is once again facing questions about his truthfulness; this time regarding details surrounding a three-decades old sailing incident on Lake Michigan. 

The Chicago Tribune reports Kirk often speaks about a near-death experience when his sailboat capsized and he was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. But the paper says there are inconsistencies that suggest parts of the story have been exaggerated; like Kirk saying he swam up to a mile in 42 degree water with a body temperature a near-fatal 82 degrees.

Experts say both claims are highly improbable. Kirk's campaign didn't respond to our request for comment.

Unhappy Camper

MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz had some criticism for the White House while speaking to the Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports Schultz complained to the gathering, "I busted my ass for Obama. He doesn't come on Ed. He goes to Bret Baier on Fox News in my time slot."

Talking Points Memo adds Schultz said that MSNBC, "did a hell of a job fighting for health care."