Dueling Mandates

Posted by Judith Gayle


The evidence is in. Turns out, what you don’t know CAN hurt you! I’d suggest that’s been proven, now, as it’s evident that most Americans neither understand how their government is currently working, nor how this republic was originally designed to work. The 2014 vote — indicating an electorate largely liberal on issues and, counter-productively, conservative on leadership — hit that nail on the head. Continue reading

‘Evil is relatively rare. Ignorance is epidemic’
-Jon Stewart:

The evidence is in. Turns out, what you don’t know CAN hurt you! I’d suggest that’s been proven, now, as it’s evident that most Americans neither understand how their government is currently working, nor how this republic was originally designed to work. The 2014 vote  — indicating an electorate largely liberal on issues and, counter-productively, conservative on leadership — hit that nail on the head.

Political Blog, News, Information, Astrological Perspective.

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

When I read about the leaked report that someone in the White House had said the American public was stupid, I had to smile: my sentiments exactly, at news of the nation’s stunning miscalculation on which political party has their back. The apparent inability of the public to sort out the difference between those who have an intent to govern as best they can and those who have no intention to even try has brought us to a pretty pass. That the attitude and rhetoric of the winning party in these few days shows a pathological disdain for the desire of the public is quickly proving to be the hammer that drives that nail of public pique and apathy into their coffin.

Mitch McConnell continues to sound as reasonable as possible while saying nothing much, giving the impression that he will (finally) moderate all difficulties to move the country ahead, although those of us on the left know he means into the last century and earlier. Meanwhile, his Bagger’s meet behind closed doors to skewer his plutocratic ambitions. The Baggers offer a cultural challenge, for sure, paranoid as a wild hare and breathless in anticipation of Armageddon but on the topic of corporatism, they align with progressives: they’re a’gin it. And they don’t like the Turtle Man cozying up with the administration on the possibility of ramming through the Pan-Pacific free trade treaty via fast track.

This is a Republican party schism that continues to widen, although not all schisms are created equally. The progressives have had their own problems getting their message into the halls of government but they might have done better had ANY Dem message made its way into those halls over the last few years. The progressive wing isn’t a new creation, like the Tea Party. Some might even say it’s the historical old Dem vanguard, at least since FDR picked up his veto pen, only more recently occulted by oligarchy. That it’s used as an equivalency for the radicalism of the Baggers would be funny, if not so broadly — and sadly — believed.

Harry Reid, in his pitch to be Minority Leader of the Senate, seems to understand that. This week he appointed Elizabeth Warren, who has become the face of progressivism, to a custom made position as a strategic policy adviser in the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, putting the Dem agenda on a more populist footing. Concerns that she will be hampered from speaking her mind didn’t shake Elizabeth’s commitment to look after the little guy. “Nobody’s clipping my wings,” she declared, and I believe her. Of the two parties, she’s aligned with the one that sees the corrupting power of big money as a gigantic problem, not a perk. So besides strengthening his own bone fides, Reid has fired a shot across the Republican’s bow.

And, although the Pub’s have already raised war whoops about Obama making no attempt to “meet them half way,” even gathering steam for (continually-threatened and truly obstructionist) impeachment if he uses presidential authority to impact immigration, the Prez has gone whistling past the graveyard with no intention of slowing down. I’m sure much of this weeks news has long been in the works, but it’s all bubbled up concurrent with a kind of loosening of restraint on the left.

First off, with the tick-tick-tick of this term running out, the President nominated Loretta Lynch, a black woman, to replace Eric Holder. The slight veneer of civility between the parties will likely shatter over her confirmation. Not long after that announcement, Obama came out in full support of net neutrality. His FCC appointee, Tom Wheeler, finds himself in a quandary over what the administration recommends and his lobbyist inclinations to give the edge to big money, but he’s tamped down the rhetoric in the last few days. If he decides not to go with the ‘hybrid’ plan that creates a second tier (faster network) for high rollers, he told Silicon Valley, he’ll need political cover from supporters. Those making book on this come down on the side of the administration. If you find petitions to sign and/or activist op’s, like this one, don’t hesitate.

This week, in order to ensure a livable air quality for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum hosted in Beijing, China has had to go to draconian measures: schools closed, driving forbidden, shops and government agencies closed, hospitals running half-time. This is a country that suffers much the same pollution this nation did as it came into its own after the industrial revolution. Many city-dwellers are regularly forced to mask themselves in order to protect from respiratory irritants. And let’s give the Chinese their due: they both recognized their problem earlier and began to do something about it more quickly than did we. For the first time this century, China’s use of coal is down, and check out this chart to see where they — and we — stand in terms of the (encouraging) solar boom.

So it should not come as a surprise that China’s President, Xi Jinping, and America’s President, Barack Obama, have found commonality as regards carbon emissions. Both are pledging large reductions in the next years, which is seen as a major turning point in the global effort to stem the climate crisis and a move Al Gore is calling a game change. It’s obviously not enough, and too far in the future to make the impact environmentalists deem necessary, but it’s a beginning — both to cooperation in conserving the planet and commitment to sound science. The fact that this represents a non-binding agreement is entirely the fault of Republicans, who would have refused such legislation out of hand.

The howl from the right is audible, given their lock on carbon-based industry. Boehner calls this agreement a job killer, which might be true, short-term, but ignores an uptick in the advancement of clean energy technologies. I suspect there was a howl from horse traders, blacksmiths and livery stables over Mr. Ford’s little project a century ago as well, but we made the necessary updates quickly enough. It should be noted that Chinese intransigence to curb their carbon footprint as the worlds largest polluter, in a race to catch up with western culture, has been the number one talking point the Pubs have leaned on in their argument against curbing our own gluttonous oil appetite. They’ll have to find a new excuse now, thanks to those darned tree-huggers and Commies, popping up everywhere!

Next, ordering changes in enforcement of immigration rules by executive order, Obama aims to step into the immigration fight, as he pledged to do, next week. Because Congress would not act, the Prez is set to allow illegal parents of legal residents to obtain work documents with no fear of deportation (3.3 million) and add protection for (a million) undocumented children. Rules for low-priority deportations will be reconfigured, as well as restrictions for those with high-tech skills. Obama will reportedly tighten up policy on convicted criminals, recent border-crossers and national security risks, as well, while increasing resources.

Flagship for all things xenophobic and racist, this immigration fight will likely shut down all pretense of “negotiation” or “bipartisanship,” as if we expected either. The GOP, despite Mitch’s demurring, has already threatened another budget shut-down along with the aforementioned impeachment as punishment for overstepping the Constitution. I doubt that Obama would go into this fight delusional on Constitutional law, but our High Court is no longer a trustworthy arbiter for the document they pledged to serve so only time will tell what happens next.

Not bad for a weeks work, eh? Pretty progressive. And yes, I know — there are all kinds of things the Prez has done that those of us on the left consider betrayal of liberal principal. For instance, ISIS and al Qaeda have shaken hands, partners again, and they’re toying with the idea of printing their own money for their nifty new Caliphate. I suspect you know the bad news — Obama doubled down on “advisers,” but they’re evidently walking on air because their boots are still NOT on the ground, while the Pentagon warns they may soon be. Jon Stewart gave UN Ambassador Samantha Power a hard time over this ISIS business, you’ll want to watch.

Will Pitt wrote a piece outlining much going on right now that those on the left can’t abide — Obama’s devotion to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Dem push for an XL Pipeline vote in order to help über-moderate Mary Landrieu keep her job in Louisiana, and deployment of 1500 more troops in Iraq — called Who Needs Republicans. It’s a “with friends like these, who needs enemies” essay and all of the things outlined are truly discouraging to those of us that have worked against these happenings to no avail. As he finishes his op/ed, he concludes, “So, to recap: in the ten days since the Republicans took full control of Congress, Democrats in the Senate, House and White House have flexed hard in favor of a ruinous “trade” deal, a poisonous oil pipeline, and an ongoing disaster of a war.”

I find myself agreeing with him in many ways but I won’t — can’t, if I’m to live up to the counsel of my higher angels — become cynical about what lies ahead. In those same ten days we’ve also elevated Elizabeth Warren to prominence, made net neutrality a national priority and named a black woman as candidate for Attorney General. We’ve established a working commitment with a fledgling world superpower to reign in our mutual carbon footprint, finally taking global leadership on climate change, and our immigrant population will gain some relief next week from a deportation policy that has devastated thousands of families.

This is not a perfect world and we don’t live in a perfect nation. Truly, we have yet to be self-reflective enough to discover the reason for our enormous imbalance. Look at the recent vote, with the lowest turn-out since the early 1940s. We had to BEG people to come out for it! How disconnected from our own good is that?

A writer I like very much, Richard Powers, has much the same understanding of politics as does Mr. Pitt but processes a bit differently, through a spiritual filter. In advance of the dismal projections on mid-term votes, he wrote to encourage participation, citing the differences between the parties:

For example, there’s the difference between President Bush and President Gore. If Gore were President we would NOT have invaded Iraq. And I say that with utter certainty. Indeed, the slaughter of innocents on 9/11 might well have been thwarted. And I say that with great confidence (even if you ascribe to the view that 9/11 was an “inside job”). That means that we could have been spared all the madness that has flown from those twin abominations.

The difference between another Scalia and another Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the difference between President Bush and President Gore, just as the difference between another Alito and another Sonia Sotomayor is the difference between sanity and a system in which corporations are persons and ‪filthy lucre‬ is speech. Do you get it yet? If Romney had been elected in 2012, we would have gone to war with Iran, and Syria. And if the Zombie Cult had controlled the Senate in 2013, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would not have passed. (Our health care system is still an immoral racket, but we are, as a whole, better off now than we were before this bill became law. Tens of millions of previously uninsured citizens have been covered, and health insurance racketeers can no longer deny coverage because of “pre-existing conditions.” ) Oh yeah, and if it weren’t for the Zombie Cult and its Death Eater Overlords, we could have had an Ebola vaccine already. Seriously.

Seriously. The difference, whether we see it or not, is the difference between a culture of life and a culture of death.

There is another challenge this week that needs mentioning, one that’s making the GOP’s grinchy little heart flutter faster. The Supreme Court of the United States — or rather, four of its Justices: Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy — have decided to take a case based on the mandate clause of the Affordable Care Act.

As a follower of all things SCOTUS, I have a couple of people I look up to. One is author of The Nine, Jeffrey Toobin. He often shows up on CNN when they need a SCOTUS expert. Another is Linda Greenhouse, long time SCOTUS observer and reporter, who is both even-handed and academic in her review of their decisions. I read a New York Times article this week by Linda, Law in the Raw, that began:

Nearly a week has gone by since the Supreme Court’s unexpected decision to enlist in the latest effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and the shock remains unabated. “This is Bush v. Gore all over again,” one friend said as we struggled to absorb the news last Friday afternoon. “No,” I replied. “It’s worse.”

What I meant was this: In the inconclusive aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, a growing sense of urgency, even crisis, gave rise to a plausible argument that someone had better do something soon to find out who would be the next president. True, a federal statute on the books defined the “someone” as Congress, but the Bush forces got to the Supreme Court first with a case that fell within the court’s jurisdiction. The 5-to-4 decision to stop the Florida recount had the effect of calling the election for the governor of Texas, George W. Bush. I disagreed with the decision and considered the contorted way the majority deployed the Constitution’s equal-protection guarantee to be ludicrous. But in the years since, I’ve often felt like the last progressive willing to defend the court for getting involved when it did.

That’s not the case here. There was no urgency. There was no crisis of governance, not even a potential one. There is, rather, a politically manufactured argument over how to interpret several sections of the Affordable Care Act that admittedly fit awkwardly together in defining how the tax credits are supposed to work for people who buy their health insurance on the exchanges set up under the law.

This argument against the ACA rests on a clerical error. It seems almost impossible that some 10+ million people might be denied health care because of something like that, but we only have to look back to 1866, where — in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company — “corporate personhood” was established, not by ruling of the court but by a precedent set within a court reporters transcription. It still holds today.

In the Greenhouse piece, she finishes:

So this case is rich in almost every possible dimension. Its arrival on the Supreme Court’s docket is also profoundly depressing. In decades of court-watching, I have struggled — sometimes it has seemed against all odds — to maintain the belief that the Supreme Court really is a court and not just a collection of politicians in robes. This past week, I’ve found myself struggling against the impulse to say two words: I surrender.

It would surely make a good many business concerns jubilant to return medical insurance to its previous state of usury but it would do very little for the public at large, and even less for the poor. The Republicans think they have a mandate to run the board with planned gains for corporate America, now that they’ve swept the election and there’s no doubt that they will make life tough for many of us that are efforting toward a less repressive and diminished future for mainstream citizens. They’ll do it with gusto.

Unless the Dems can get a handful of candidates through Congress in the next few weeks, appointments will likely cease for this president’s cabinet, as well as dozens of outstanding openings in the judicial. For you readers that love populism, that want to see oversight and the kind of ‘level playing field’ Ms. Warren speaks of, pray for the health of the two liberal SCOTUS elders, who are helping to hold up an assaulted Constitution by sheer strength of will. And while you’re asking the Universe for boon, you might cover the hearts and minds of a confused and stressed American public, learning about politics the hard way.

Standing back as far as I can, my concern is for those in need, those who require kindness and assistance. The Pubs can scream mandate as much as they want but the real mandate comes from deep within the soul of those whose hearts are open, pliable, available. We are here for one another, we are here not to simply tend our own nest but to create a loving circle of comfort and inclusion from one to another; even enfolding those who do not know their own good or where to look for it. Challenged by our very soul, then, the only mandate worth a moment of our precious time — yesterday, today or tomorrow — comes straight from the heart.

11 thoughts on “Dueling Mandates

  1. Barbara Koehler

    Thank you for today’s essay Judith. I guess this is one of those periods we go through when everything looks bleak, verging on a sense of hopelessness. Can we, will we, muster the necessary will to overcome what has robbed us of our hope? Astrology tells us that in a birth chart the ascendant is the window between the entity (whose chart it is) and the rest of the world. The birth chart for U.S. (Sibly version) has it’s window to the rest of the world at 12+ Sagittarius, as transiting retrograde Chiron approaches (again) another square to that ascendant. Chiron will stop short of exact as he stations direct this month at 13+ Pisces, but he’s close enough for most U.S. citizens to feel all is not well in the world.

    That feeling began in May, 2013, when Chiron was exactly square the U.S. ascendant, around the same time Saturn, Venus and Mercury all came together at 23-24 Gemini (my cherry tree fell down then, shades of G. Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie”), and the 3rd square of Uranus to Pluto took place. I doubt I’m the only American who was sorrowful at that time, it was a nation’s confrontation (ascendant) with awareness that all was not well (Chiron) in the world.

    The U.S. Sibly chart ascendant was dealt a blow on 9/11/01 when transiting Pluto crossed over it, and the ACA chart (Obamacare) which has an ascendant at 2+ Cancer that’s squared by it’s own Sun at 2+ Aries, and it has had much pain and sorrow in it’s short lifetime. Should we be surprised then, that the U.S. SOLAR RETURN chart for this year has the Sun at 13+ Cancer on the ascendant? It’s the same degree as the U.S. natal Sibly chart’s Sun which is right on that birthday chart’s 13+ Cancer ascendant set in Washington DC, in July, 2014. The U.S. Sun (consciousness) on the ascendant (window to the world) would, at best, mark a one year period of discouragement for most of its citizens. That’s because. . . . .

    . . .The solar return Sun in Cancer was opposite the solar return Pluto in Capricorn and they were squared by the Moon (the People) in Libra, and the People are the ones who vote or decide not to. The Moon was opposed by Uranus in Aries making a grand cross, but the interesting thing is that Uranus was at the apex of a yod made up by the sextile between Saturn in Scorpio and Pallas in Virgo. The strategist of war was working with the restrictor of growth (except for corporations), and this put the expectation on Uranus to “adjust”, which it would appear that he did at the election. U.S. solar return Uranus though, was also sextile Venus (love and values) + Hermes (the trickster) in Gemini and they in turn formed a yod to Saturn (government, President) in Scorpio who was then in the position to adjust. From the ascendant in Cancer viewpoint this could be fraught with confusion, however, the ascendant (+ solar return and natal U.S. Sun) were trine Saturn in Scorpio. It suggests that the consciousness of the U.S. (Sun) could work with the restrictive, structuring energy (Saturn), because the Sun was right on the ascendant or the window to the world. Hence, agreement with China re: pollution and foreign immigrants on citizenship.

    On January 4th, the full Moon at 14+ Cancer will be one degree away from the U.S. solar return chart ascendant (+ the solar return Sun and the natal U.S. Sun). The Full Moon in Cancer opposite the Sun in Libra will be squared (decisions, decisions) by the transiting nodes at 14+ Libra (north) and 14+ Aries (south) which is conjunct the transiting Uranus at 12+ Aries WHICH TRINES THE U.S. NATAL ASCENDANT OF 12+ SAGITTARIUS AND THE PRESIDENT’S LEO SUN AT 12+ DEGREES. The ascendant of the FM chart for Washington DC is 8+ Libra and is trine the U.S. Sibly Uranus at 8+ Gemini, which is always the unexpected. I say we keep hope alive and see what develops on or around that Full Moon just after the holidays.

    Chiron may be squaring the U.S ascendant but he’s still trine the U.S. Sun (and sextile the transiting Pluto). Transiting retro Juno [partners] in Leo (soon to conjunct the President’s Sun) positions herself to perfect a yod with Chiron and Pluto days after the full moon, oppose Mercury and Venus, then trine Uranus all before the Aquarius New Moon that conjuncts the President’s Jupiter. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Keep the faith.

  2. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Thank you, Jude, for keeping us grounded and real. It’s amazing the fog we are so often subjected to. i’m grateful to have your help seeing through it. All things being said, what keeps coming back for me is how there are enough with wisdom like you (and Barbara) to be listened to. The key is for me to simply turn down or tune out my own noise noise and listen. The more i listen, the less stupid i am. Hence, my contribution here today is to encourage others reading these words to listen to you, and acknowledge how grateful we are to have you here at Planet Waves.

  3. Barbara Koehler

    Hey Len, talk about fog. . . this is the 2nd thing I’ve needed to correct today. Reckon it was Neptune stationing or the Moon opposite him. Wasn’t MY fault! Please note where I said the full moon in Cancer was opposite the Sun in Libra was supposed to read Sun in Capricorn. Also, I see that transiting Juno was just conjunct the President’s Sun on the 11th so when she is retrograde and a few days after the Cancer FM in January, that will be the 2nd time. I guess we can thank Juno for that little contract with China, huh? Please don’t turn down your noise, okay?

  4. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Good catch regarding Juno, Barbara. Wonder what correlation with November 11 will be found after the January 4/5, 2015 Full Moon. Shall have to make a note of that. Thank you!

  5. aWord

    You know Be, I had a co-worker once upon a time, who worked in a different location than I so we often communicated by phone. He’s an engineer, I’m not — but (must be my Moon/Eris conjunction) I understand “engineer speak” with ease. He would throw various “mistakes” into conversation esp when he was going on at length about something just to see if I was listening.

    Well, I always was and I always stopped him, and all I wanted to say now was that it’s AOK – we get the blurps and hiccups….when the fingers are faster than the astrology….and when Neptune gets in the way!!! :)

    This is all good news, Jude you’ve laid the groundwork and Be’s put a a little astro-hope into the mix. Fingers crossed.

    Len, I will have to take a look at that January Full Moon myself. I am not only getting important aspects one after another, but they correlate back to my 1st Saturn return (2nd upcoming). It’s fast and furious these days. :)

  6. Barbara Koehler

    Well, while we wait for that to materialize, today Venus crossed into Sagittarius to conjunct Hermes (as she was in the U.S. solar return event). This coincides with 1992 QB1’s return to 0 degrees of Taurus and Neptune’s station direct. As it happens, trans. QB1 is now opposite the U.S. natal Hades.

    Because trans. Juno is still in a trine to trans. Uranus, and because Uranus was sextile with Venus+Hermes in the U.S. solar return chart, the likelihood that the energy pattern in that return chart is being activated today. I mean sometimes these things are coordinated and choreographed right down to the minute! To carry out the yod (in the U.S. solar return) made up of the sextile of Uranus with Venus-Hermes to the SR chart’s Saturn in Scorpio, Saturn will have to do the adjusting, and Saturn rules timing.

    Again, as it happens, transiting Mars in Capricorn is now sextile the SR Saturn, who rules Capricorn. How helpful is that? With transiting QB1 making a threshold available (now back at 0+ Taurus) to deal with that which is too troubling to face (U.S. natal Hades at 0+ Scorpio), such as carbon emissions or immigration, I see the President (natal Jupiter at 0+ Aquarius) taking the Bull by the horns – even as I’m typing this. With transiting Venus-conjunct-Hermes sextile his Jupiter, the power of persuasion rules. (Obama’s Jupiter opposes Obama’s Mercury, but Obama’s Venus in Cancer trines the U.S, natal Hades).

    Remember, this is where the solar eclipse happened about 3+ weeks ago, at 0 Scorpio 24, the one where Venus and Pallas were conjunct Sun and Moon. The one where Juno was conjunct the U.S. north node in Leo. Just hope the Prez isn’t chewing gum when he makes those calls.

  7. Barbara Koehler

    I’m gonna call it good too Jude! You commented that those 4 New Moons in a row, all in zero degrees of their signs would have a transformative effect as I recall, and now I think so too. Thanks again.

  8. Amy Elliott

    Many thanks for this beautifully-written and informative article, Judith.

    I pray that we may all be preserved from yet worse suffering by growing out of collective ignorance and apathy. I pray that the damage being done by right-wing, corrupt, lying politicians will awaken the populace to its dangers before it becomes irreparable, and that we will all be sufficiently alive thereafter to transform politics with our just anger.

    Being conscious and aware in these days is painful and exhausting, but this is nothing compared to what people will experience if forced, as you say, to learn the hard way. Let us hope that will not happen.

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