Going into the Midterm Elections on 8 November 2022, it was anyone’s guess what would happen. With a Lunar Eclipse that day which also directly incorporated both Mercury (the vote) and Uranus (shocks and surprises) pretty much any outcome was possible. With a Red Wave predicted to topple Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, inflation at record levels, gas prices rising again, and a president with low approval ratings, the Common Wisdom argued for a Republican resurgence. Historically, the Party which holds the White House tends to lose seats in the House of Representatives during its first Midterm, on average 28. Republicans had only to wrest five seats to gain control of the House, and just one to gain control of the Senate, which seemed like a walk in the park, given precedent.
Asteroid Astrology: National
While Uranus exactly conjunct the Moon for the Lunar Eclipse on Election Day warns us to expect the unexpected, loss of control of the US House of Representatives does seem likely. Redistricting alone, in the wake of the 2020 census, should grant the Republicans ten more seats, more than enough to change the balance of power in the lower chamber and wrest the Speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi, even if all current Dem incumbents not caught up in that redistricting shift keep their seats.
So it’s in the Senate where the real drama will unfold. Currently split 50/50, Democrats maintain control (assuming they are all acting together, not always the case with consensus refuseniks like Manchin and Sinema in their ranks) due to VP Kamala Harris’ ability to break any ties in the administration’s favor. Earlier this year, the likelihood of Dems holding their fragile majority, perhaps even picking up a seat or two, seemed fairly high. But recent polling suggests Republicans are closing the gap, threatening Dem incumbents in some states, perhaps failing to pick up seats from retiring GOP senators in others. I’ve chosen three contests to profile, the winners of which will likely determine who ultimately controls the US Senate: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.
After a fairly somnolent summer, the Atlantic hurricane season has been working overtime to make up the deficit, with two powerful storms wreaking havoc up and down the east coast of North America in the last week of September. Hurricane Fiona devastated areas of the Canadian Maritimes on the 24th, while Hurricane Ian pounded central Florida on the 28th with nightmarish winds and massive flooding, traversed the Sunshine State, then refueled in the Atlantic and turned its sights on the Carolinas.
If anyone had told me two decades ago that I would be admiring, let alone praising, someone with the last name of “Cheney”, I’d have said they were nuts. But that’s just the sort of uncomfortable position many progressives find themselves in these days, when contemplating the recent performance of Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of the former Vice President, vis-a-vis the actions of Donald Trump and the bastardization of the GOP.
On Monday, 8 August 2022, FBI agents executed a legal search warrant of former US president Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida, looking for classified documents still in his possession. When leaving the White House in January 2021, Trump absconded with reams of classified material, in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the National Archives has been trying to get them back ever since. In February, 15 boxes of such papers were returned, but investigators had cause to believe this was not the extent of the purloined trove, and a legal pas-de-deux had been danced between the Justice Department and Trump lawyers for months since, with negotiations and subpoenas having little effect.
On Saturday, 30 July 2022, two actresses whose work is embedded in American nostalgia took leave of this life: Nichelle Nichols, 89, who played Lieutenant Uhura on the 1960’s sci-fi series “Star Trek”, reprising the role in several feature films; and Pat Carroll, 95, a staple of television for decades with supporting and guest roles on sitcoms and game shows, most likely known to more modern audiences as the voice of Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”