Well, that was fun! The 118th Congress kicked off with a bang on January 3rd, and an impressive showing of just how incapable of governing the House GOP majority truly is. Far from running the country, they couldn’t even pick a Speaker! Pardon me while I indulge in a bit of schadenfreude, a marvelously descriptive turn of phrase which in German means “shameful joy,” taking pleasure in the misfortune of another. I really should be mourning the tragic state of politics in America, and I do, truly. But somehow, I can’t help smiling at Kevin McCarthy’s discomfiture.
Asteroid Astrology: National
One standout in the 2023 GOP Congressional Freshman class is Representative-elect George Santos (R-NY), the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House. In November 2022 Santos managed to flip a redrawn district in metro New York from Blue to Red, adding to the slender House GOP majority. But he did so under what seem to be increasingly false pretenses, with virtually no part of his life history and resume holding up to public inspection.
Well, he’s done it again – Trump continues to break records, right and left. He’s now the first former US President to be referred for criminal charges. On Monday, 19 December 2022, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol gave Americans an early Christmas gift, when it voted unanimously to send four criminal referrals for Donald J. Trump to the Justice Department, based on his actions that day and in the preceding months since the 2020 election. The House doesn’t have the power to file charges on its own behalf, but can recommend legal action to the DOJ, known to be deep into its own investigation of the insurrection planned, prompted and encouraged by the disgraced 45th President.
The US is poised to formally enshrine marriage equality in law, as opposed to allowing the practice via Supreme Court fiat. Same sex marriage, first legalized in Massachusetts in 2003, was validated in all fifty states by the Obergefell v Hodges decision in 2015. But recent events with the overturning of Roe v Wade and its abandonment of federally guaranteed reproductive freedoms have shown just how fragile governance by judicial rulings can be, and advocates have been pushing hard for legal codification of the right to same-sex unions.
Just before midnight on Saturday, 19 November 2022, a man clad in body armor with an AR-15-style long rifle entered Club Q, an LGBTQ+ watering hole in a strip mall on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was hosting a drag show that evening. He began shooting into the crowd, but was tackled two minutes later by two patrons and subdued until police arrived. In those two minutes, he had killed five and wounded 18 others.
On November 20, 2022, US President Joe Biden turns eighty years old, the oldest person ever to serve in that office. Although he has not made his candidacy official, Biden routinely offers, when asked, that it is his “intention” to run for reelection in 2024, just shy of 82, which would make him 86 when he hands off to the next president in January of 2029. We’ll see.