Earlier today, top Trump adviser KellyAnne Conway continued her attacks on potential Secretary of State Mitt Romney, this time on the Sunday morning shows. She’s not alone with Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee voicing their opposition to Romney, who spent the majority of the campaign season attacking Trump.

It’s unprecedented for aides and allies of a President-elect to be so publicly opposed to someone their boss is considering for one of the most prized cabinet positions. The reason it’s never happened is because it’s downright strange. What in the world is happening?

Applying logic and deductive reasoning, I’ve found only three viable possibilities, with only one of them being not weird. Let’s take a look at the possibilities in no particular order:

It’s Mike Pence vs. Conway/Gingrich/Huckabee

VP-elect Pence has been vocal about his approval of Romney in the cabinet. Assuming that Trump respects his right hand man’s opinion, he may be pulling Trump in that direction with as much force as he can muster. Seeing the stalwart support from Pence, the opposition have expressed their perspectives and feel the only way to stop it is to build a groundswell in the news and among other vocal Trump supporters to pressure Trump into not picking him.

We can assume if Romney gets the nod that Pence has more pull than most of us realized. Then again, it could be pointing to a conspiracy theory about Trump keeping his enemies closer.

Trump’s Revenge

There has been no love lost between Trump and Romney over the last year, which is why it was shocking that they would meet in the first place. Could this be an elaborate ploy with one goal: public shaming of Romney? Trump is known to be very vindictive, but he’s also been known to be instantly forgiving. If this is the case, why would his aides and allies be attacking Romney in public?

Through public shaming, this scenario demands humiliation. That means an apology. If Romney apologizes and then does not get the job, we can pretty much bank on this being the scenario the whole time.

Trump’s Just Testing the Waters

This is the one that wouldn’t surprise anyone. If Trump really doesn’t know for sure who to pick and is trying to get a diverse range of opinions from fans, media, and anyone else with a thought on the matter, this is the way to do it. Whether or not he condones the actions of his outspoken advisers remains to be seen, but he hasn’t seemed to be holding anyone back.

If this is the case, it spells doom for Romney’s chances. Other than a handful of blogs and some private endorsements, there hasn’t exactly been a rallying force behind Romney.

Regardless of who Trump picks, this strange Romney affair has been fun to watch. Whether you love Trump or hate him (does anyone feel anything in between?), you have to admit that it’s already shaping up to be a very entertaining 4-8 years.

Thank you for reading this article. Be sure to hit DaTip Jar – Peter does great work. You can find me over at The New Americana or building the Federalist Party. Or, you can hit me up on Twitter.

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jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrellBy John Ruberry

It’s time to take a break from politics.

Many times while surfing on Netflix I came across a recommendation to watch the seven-part 2015 BBC One miniseries, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which is described as such: “In 1806 ambitious magician Norrell leads a revival of practical magic in England and ignites a fierce rivalry with bold young conjurer Strange.” If that sounds like a dopey show, well, that’s what I thought too. But I yielded to the luring and tuned in. I’m grateful that I did.

Magic in the alternative universe of Strange and Norrell is not smoke-and-mirrors and rabbits being pulled from hats, it’s a neglected scientific discipline that for unexplained reasons was abandoned in England in the early 16th century. But Gilbert Norrell (Eddie Marsan), a magician from York, becomes a national sensation when he brings to life the statues of  York Minster Cathedral and, in his only use of dark magic, brings back from death the future wife of a prominent member of parliament, Lady Pole (Alice Englert).

But just as in another alternative universe where humans can sell their soul to the devil, the dark side, in this case a mysterious being known as the Gentleman (Marc Warren), sabotages the transaction and establishes Norrell’s second rivalry.

Norrell offers his services to fight the French and their allies in the Napoleonic Wars, although only Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) directly utilizes magic at the side of the Duke of Wellington (Ronan Vibert), who is initially skeptical of him. Included in the broad historical sweep of Strange and Norrell is the blind and mad King George III, and although not by name, the anti-industrial Luddites.

The rest of the cast is wonderful, particularly Ariyon Bakare as a mysterious butler and Vincent Franklin as the duplicitous promoter of Norrell and Strange. The special effects, with the exception of the ravens in the last two installments, are first rate.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a welcome diversion from the usual, and it’s a particularly good series for binge-watching.

Besides Netflix, the mini-series is available on many on-demand systems and on DVD.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

As you likely know today is the First Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of the liturgical year for Catholics which officially began yesterday with the Advent vigil mass.

But I suspect some of you might not know that the previous liturgical year didn’t end Friday, but on Saturday morning. The Daily mass celebrated Saturday Morning was the final mass of the Church’s year. It’s also the liturgical anniversary (vs the actual anniversary) of the death of my devout Aunt Lucy who died between the masses so I do my best to make sure I don’t miss it.

So yesterday after work I headed to my church and immediately noticed five unfamiliar faces. A group of nuns in white habits with black veils were at my church, first crowded into our divine mercy chapel and then sitting together at mass.

I didn’t recognize any of the nuns so when mass was over and one finished her prayers I greeted her and asked what order they were from. She told me they were Dominican Nuns of Saint Cecilia from Nashville Tennessee who teach school in Providence Rhode Island.  They were in the area for a hiking trip.

That they were devout was obvious but what jumped out at me the most, every single one of them looked young enough to be my daughter (I’m 53).

This was quite ironic because just a few months ago our parish celebrated the anniversary of the founding of our elementary school by the Sisters of the Presentation. About a dozen of those sisters turned up for the mass as invited guests and there were two things about them that were in stark contrast to the Dominican Sisters at the Saturday Mass.

  • Not a single one of them was in a nun’s habit.
  • Every single one of them was old enough to be my mother

Now I don’t question for one moment the devotion of those older nuns who did yeoman service for the school before they were replaced by lay teachers as they retired but I have yet to see a group of nuns that have abandoned the habit who are not dying out.  As they abandoned the habit, vocations abandoned them.

Meanwhile the sisters in Nashville which did not go down that path apparently has so many vocations that they can be spared to go all the way to New England to teach.  From their website:

The community has continued to experience God’s blessing of new vocations. This past summer, five young sisters professed perpetual vows, with 13 others making first profession. Twelve received the Dominican habit. With the entrance of 15 postulants in August, approximately 50 sisters are presently in the initial four years of formation. The Congregation now totals nearly 300 sisters, the largest number in its history. With this gift also comes the challenge of providing for the needs of a growing community.

It seems at least in the church the orthodox are winning the culture war.

Closing thought.  There is a very devout woman at our parish named Joan.  She has been active in the parish for decades (In fact she was my wife CCD teacher 35 years ago).  Joan is in her mid 80’s and not only makes mass daily but is involved in multiple parish activities on a regular basis.  I remember her being at that Anniversary Sunday mass months ago and mentioned at the time that she was indistinguishable from any of the nuns in attendance.

Yesterday I noticed Joan was in attendance at the mass with the Dominican Sisters.  Devout though she is nobody in attendance would have mistaken her for one of those nuns.

Update: Welcome readers of the Canon 212 blog. Have a peek around. My first short book on the faith. The Hail Mary as Explained to Protestants, is awaiting the Imprimatur from my local Bishop before I go to publish. If you would like to be notified when it is available fill out the form below and I’ll let you know when I have a release date. I am always accepting prayer requests as well, feel free to leave one even if you don’t want the book

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