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Special Report

'House'-keeping

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday announced the formation of the "Clean House Team" to "address the Republican culture of corruption" on Capitol Hill. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, who is praised in the press release for a commitment to a high ethical standard, will head the task force.

But as it turns out, it was reported back in May that Clyburn took a trip to the beautiful Northern Mariana Islands in the Western pacific back in 1997... that trip paid for by none other than the disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

New Numbers

Fifty-eight percent of Americans think the president should have the power to authorize electronic surveillance inside the United States without a warrant. Fifty-seven percent believe the country would become more vulnerable to terror attacks if the Patriot Act expired. And an astounding 61 percent said they are willing to give up some personal freedoms if it meant reducing the threat of terrorism... that number remaining steady over the last four years.

Sixty percent of those questioned said they wouldn't mind having their international calls monitored. Yet despite these numbers the poll shows that a significant number of Americans are worried that their civil liberties are being threatened with 29 percent reporting they are very concerned, 30 percent saying they're somewhat concerned.

Falling Fatalities

Despite recent criticism of President Bush's policies on mine safety, the number of mining fatalities in the United States has dropped every year President Bush has been in office, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. In fact since 2001 mining deaths have averaged 63 per year, 30 percent lower than during the Clinton administration.

The trend hasn't been reflected in much of the news coverage. After the Sago mine tragedy, for example, a Hurricane Katrina, 27,000 people displaced by the storm found shelter in Houston, where they received health care, child care and assistance finding permanent housing and employment. Many chose to stay. But that did not stop two liberal advocacy groups from ranking Houston seventh in a list of cities practicing the worst treatment of the homeless.

The report — by The National Coalition for the Homeless and The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty — cites Houston's laws banning sleeping in public, begging, sleeping on tables, using public restrooms for bathing and prohibiting people with offensive bodily hygiene from using public libraries.

— FOX News' Dominique Pastre contributed to this report