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‘Religious freedom’ Republicans are providing cover for Paul Ryan’s war on a Christian chaplain

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan forced the resignation of the official House Chaplain, and Republicans are helping to cover up why. Father Patrick Conroy complied with Ryan’s demand, and submitted his letter of resignation earlier this month. He has told reporters he still does not know why the Speaker wants him gone.

Neither does anyone else, as Ryan has refused to tell anyone, only “saying that Conroy had not met the pastoral needs of lawmakers,” The Hill reports. No lawmaker has stood by that claim in public.

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After news broke Thursday of the firing, conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans condemned the act. Democrats Friday morning (photo) filed a resolution to create a committee to investigate the firing.

Republicans, including some who claim to be devoted to religious freedom, blocked its passage Friday by a vote of 215-171. Here’s video showing Democrats standing together united as House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) introduces the resolution:

The committee Democrats wanted to create would have determined the reason or reasons for firing Father Conroy. And while no one is certain, there are two prevailing theories being promoted by both Democrats and Republicans.

One is that Ryan is still angry over a prayer Conroy delivered the morning the House debuted Trump’s massive tax cuts for the rich bill. In it, Conroy quoted Scripture in a manner some believe was an attempt to help protect the poor.

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The other theory is that Conroy allowed a Muslim to deliver the daily opening prayer.

One Jesuit priest, referring to The Hill’s report Thursday said if true, “a Catholic Speaker of the House fired a Catholic chaplain for praying for the poor.”

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Mitch McConnell says he’s in ‘total coordination with the White House’ on Trump’s impeachment

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said clearly on Thursday what many have assumed: When articles of impeachment come over from the House of Representatives, as is expected, to his chamber, he will be acting virtually as President Donald Trump’s defense attorney.

“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel,” he said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. “There will be no difference between the President’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”

He noted that, unlike the many other issues that come to his chamber, he’s unable to block impeachment. If it comes, he has to hold a trial, he admitted somewhat ruefully.

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UK’s Boris Johnson looks set for big win in ‘Brexit election’

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Thursday's snap election, an exit poll showed, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU next month after years of political deadlock.

The Conservatives were forecast to win a thumping 368 out of 650 seats in parliament -- which if confirmed would be the party's biggest majority in three decades -- according to the survey published as polls closed.

The pound jumped by about two percent against the dollar on the projected results of what all sides had painted as the most momentous election in Britain in a generation.

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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