The New Yorker Cover Smirks At Newt Gingrich

Ahh…..he is just such a chubby little guy…

Venus, Moon Sky Show Tonight–No Telescope Required–“Ghostly Image Of Full Moon Materializes”

This will be special to see—get a mug of hot chocolate and venture outside tonight for the show.

The action begins shortly before sunset. Around 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm local time, just as the sky is assuming its evening hue, Venus will pop into view, glistening bright in the deepening twilight. No more than 6 degrees to the right lies the crescent Moon, exquisitely slender, grinning like the Cheshire cat with his head cocked at humorous attention. This is a wonderful time to look; there are very few sights in the heavens as splendid as Venus and the Moon gathered close and surrounded by twilight blue.

But don’t go inside yet, because the view is about to improve. As the sky fades to black, a ghostly image of the full Moon materializes within the horns of the lunar crescent. This is caused by Earthshine, a delicate veil of sunlight reflected from our own blue planet onto the dusty-dark lunar terrain. Also known as “the Da Vinci glow,” after Leonardo da Vinci who first understood it 500 years ago, Earthshine pushes the beauty of the conjunction over the top.


Meanwhile, Jupiter will be looking down on it all from a perch overhead in the constellation Pisces. In ascending order, Jupiter, Venus and the Moon are the three brightest objects in the night sky, able to pierce city lights and even thin clouds. Almost everyone, everywhere will be able to see them.

Newt Gingrich vs. Virginia

I am placing my money on the State of Virginia.

After not making the ballot in Virginia, Newt Gingrich’s spokesman said he would “work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

But there’s a problem, CNN notes: “Virginia state law specifically prohibits voters from writing in candidates not on the ballot in primary elections.”

Bishop Robert Morlino Takes Verbal Slaps Day After Christmas

Two verbal slaps awaited the ever-repressive Bishop Robert Morlino this morning as he read the local paper.  The Wisconsin State Journal printed two Letters to the Editor that made it quite clear where Morlino has again slipped away into his own cloistered mind while leaving parishioners out in the cold.

Over and over Morlino provides fodder for his detractors, and one must wonder if he aims to provoke for the sake of controversy, or if indeed this style of incompetent leadership is the best his abilities allow for when it comes to local Catholics. 

Either way it is a continual embarrassment and stain on the Catholic Church.

The bishop of the Diocese of Madison is quite right, of course, when he urges that we ban the singing of “All Are Welcome” at the Mass, for the simple reason that, well, all are not welcome. No room for sinners on the glory train to paradise!

But Bishop Robert Morlino doesn’t go far enough. We’re going to have to refrain from singing other misleading songs, including several old standbys of the Christmas season.

How can we in good conscience, for example, sing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” when it clearly states that the savior came to “save us all from Satan’s power”? Dangerous nonsense!

“It Came upon the Midnight Clear” contains similar apostasy, to wit: “Peace on the earth, good will to all”!

And although most don’t know it, unless they’ve made it all the way to the third verse, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” clearly states that “Light and life to all he brings,” referring to our lord.

We’ll also have to exclude certain portions of the book of Isaiah and large chunks of the Gospels themselves, including that business with the loaves and fishes, where everybody gets fed, regardless of whether or not they say the right words to the creed.

I have every confidence that the bishop will take care of this problem in the fullness of time.

— Marshall J. Cook, Madison

The latest pronouncement from Bishop Robert Morlino, this time regarding his preference for excluding the hymn “All Are Welcome” from the liturgy, offers yet more evidence he has lost sight of the essential message of the Gospels.

The God whose incarnation we celebrate in this season made everyone with whom he came in contact feel welcomed in his presence.

It’s a shame that the bishop seems determined not only to restrict salvation more narrowly than the God he worships, but also to confuse his opinion with his authority in deciding how others express their worship of the same God. I am certain Jesus would offer him a gentle but unmistakable rebuke.

— Jonathan E. Martin, Madison

New Information On Newt Gingrich’s Messy Divorce

This story matters as evangelicals in Iowa ponder their decision come next Tuesday night.

Newt Gingrich claims that it was his first wife, not Gingrich himself, who wanted their divorce in 1980, but court documents obtained by CNN appear to show otherwise.

The Republican presidential candidate, now in his third marriage, has been peppered with attacks and questions about his divorce from Jackie Gingrich for the past three decades.

Questions about his past — and what that past tells voters about his personal behavior — have re-emerged as he has returned to the political scene 13 years after he resigned as speaker of the House.

A new defense that has arisen as Gingrich entered the presidential race this year is the insistence that she, not he, wanted the divorce.

“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.

“Although defendant does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken, defendant has been hopeful that an arrangement for temporary support of defendant and the two minor daughters of the parties could be mutually agreed upon without the intervention of this court,” her petition said. “All efforts to date have been unsuccessful.”

When CNN presented the information found in the divorce file to the Gingrich campaign, its spokesman stood by the contention that it was Gingrich’s ex-wife who asked for the divorce in 1980.