LOOP: Investigators search offices of Houston archdiocese



SEARCH WARRANT  Investigators executed a search warrant for the chancery offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The district attorney’s office said the search warrant related to the case of a priest who was arrested in September on four charges of indecency to children. Cardinal DiNardo, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, is also President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  READ
GENOCIDE RELIEF  The House unanimously passed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act. The bill would provide funding to organization, including faith-based groups, that are assisting Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The bill has already passed the Senate and will go to President Trump, who has indicated he is willing to sign it.  READ
BISHOPS FOR PRISON REFORM  The U.S. bishops’ conference is calling on Congress to pass the First Step Act, which includes some prison reforms and reduces sentencing for prior drug felonies. The legislation has rare bipartisan support, and President Trump recently announced his backing of the bill.  READ
STOCKS SURGE  The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones posted their biggest one-day percentage gains since March after Fed chairman Jerome Powell eased concerns about future interest-rate hikes. But some economists warn that interest rates could still go up a fourth time this year when the Fed meets next month.  READ
KAVANAUGH BACK TO COACHING  Justice Kavanaugh has been invited back to coaching girls’ basketball. But the Washington Post decided to relegate this story to the “public safety” section of the paper’s website. A Washington Post spokesperson said the categorization was an error and “should not have been” placed under the “public safety” section.  READ
ELECTION FACTOID  Texas has long been considered a very red state, with Ohio known as a perennial swing state. But here’s a little secret: The states that are considered swing states change over time. Consider this fact unearthed from FiveThirtyEight: Republican candidates for House races in Ohio had a 5-point margin over their Democratic opponents. For Texas Republicans, that lead was just 3 points.  
DEMOCRATS BACK PELOSI  House Democrats renominated Nancy Pelosi for the position of Speaker of the House in a 203-32 vote. The final vote is cast by all 435 members of the House next January. She will need 218 votes to get the position, so some of the 32 who case a “no” vote today would need to switch their vote or vote “present” to allow her to gain the gavel. READ
TWITTER RESTORES PUNDIT  Twitter restores conservative pundit Jesse Kelly’s account and denied that they had permanently banned him. Senator-elect Josh Hawley, R-MO, said Congress needs to investigate the tech giant’s apparent uneven treatment of conservatives: “Twitter is exempt from liability as a ‘publisher’ because it is allegedly ‘a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.’ That does not appear to be accurate.” Under the Communications Decency Act, websites are not legally responsible for speech they host. READ
BROKEN PROMISE TO STUDENT VETS?  The Veterans Affairs Department tells congressional staffer that it won’t repay underpaid GI Bill recipients. That conflicts with a promise that VA officials made to a House committee earlier this month. The VA Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence is scheduled to testify this morning before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. READ
PATH TO SAINTHOOD?  A second miracle attributed to Blessed John Henry Newman has been approved by the Vatican, according to Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England. “It looks now as if Newman might be canonized, all being well, later next year,” wrote Egan. READ
SAINT OF THE DAY  Saint Clement was the fourth pope of the Church, living toward the end of the first century. He is known for his letter to the Church at Corinth, in which he tried to reestablish peace between the clergy and the faithful.  READ
DAILY READINGS  “Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” (Rev 19:9)  READ
AMAZING  An autistic boy ran on stage during the pope’s general audience and shook the finger of a Swiss guard, in his colorful uniform. SHARE

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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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