Asteroid Astrology: National

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Aster-Obit: Dianne Feinstein

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) passed away peacefully at her Washington DC home on 29 September 2023, bringing an end to an era.  Her health had been in decline for some time, but the death itself was sudden and unexpected.  At 90, with some thirty years in the Senate, Feinstein had become a Washington institution, initially elected in 1992 as California’s first female Senator, and first female Jewish Senator in the US.  Reelected five times, in recent months ill health had kept her absent from Judiciary Committee meetings for long periods, imperiling the Democrats’ fragile majority and delaying numerous judicial appointments.  In February 2023 she announced she would not run for reelection when her term expired in 2024.

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McCarthy Ousted as Speaker

After a grueling nine months as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, attempting to herd the mangy strays of the GOP caucus, on September 3, 2023, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) lost the job he had coveted all his adult life, as a motion to vacate passed by 216-210, booting him from the Speakership.  Eight MAGA Republican radicals joined Democrats to remove McCarthy from his lofty perch, the first time ever that a sitting Speaker has been fired.

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AAA Profile: Vivek Ramaswamy – Truth Hurts

On Sunday, 3 September 2023, Republican presidential nomination contender Vivek Ramaswamy was muffled by the collapse of a huge banner reading “TRUTH” as he stumped in Lancaster, New Hampshire.  Footage of the event shows the massive backdrop slowly folding forward onto the unexpecting Ramaswamy, in a moment of cosmic irony worthy of a Wes Anderson film.  Unhurt, except perhaps in his pride, the incident has led to a plethora of Tweets and internet memes calling attention to the aptness of the visuals, for a candidate who can’t seem to keep his stories straight about his opinion of the prior president.

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Hurricane Idalia Swamps Northern Florida

On 30 August 2023 the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season kicked off with a bang, as Hurricane Idalia battered the northern Florida coast with 125 mph winds and a 7-foot storm surge, making landfall as a category 3 storm at Keaton Beach, in the Sunshine State’s Big Bend region, at 7:45 AM EDT.  Earlier projections had seen the storm coming ashore somewhat further south, in more populous areas, but despite the already swampy terrain and smaller communities in its path, Idalia is estimated to have caused some $9 billion+ in damage.  Thankfully, loss of life was minimal, with three traffic-related fatalities attributed to Idalia’s effects.

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Jacksonville Dollar Store Shooting

On Saturday, 26 August 2023, a 21-year-old white male, clad in a tactical vest, shot up a Dollar Store on King Road in Jacksonville, Florida, killing three black persons before turning the gun on himself when police arrived on the scene.  Ryan Christopher Palmeter had been remanded to state care in 2017 after a mental health breakdown which should have precluded his access to firearms, but was able to legally purchase the AR-15 style assault rifle and Glock semiautomatic pistol used in this crime, earlier this year.  Palmeter, who has a history of racism, adorned the rifle with swastikas and ordered all “non-Black” people to leave the store when he entered.  Police are investigating the murders as a hate crime.

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Deja Trump: Third Indictment Released

Here we go again.  If you’re counting, this makes three criminal indictments in four months, in three separate jurisdictions.  I’m going to step out on a limb here and opine that this has got to be a record.  On August 1st, 2023, Special Counsel Jack Smith dropped the other shoe he was holding, indicting Donald J. Trump on four charges in relation to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election:  conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

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