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.
When “Casablanca” was released in 1942, no one expected it would stand out among the hundreds of films churned out by Hollywood yearly, let alone achieve the iconic status it has. The film did reasonably well at the box office, but it wasn’t until it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that people began to take it seriously. Over the decades, “Casablanca” has earned an enduring place in movie-lovers’ hearts, with its star-studded leading players, supporting cast of popular ‘40s character actors, memorable dialogue, and iconic theme song, “As Time Goes By.” “Casablanca” regularly makes it to the top of the lists of the most popular movies of all time, and was one of the first films nominated by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It remains a personal favorite, and I never miss an opportunity to watch.
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.
On November 14, 2022, Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will celebrate his 74th birthday, the first as King. Having served the longest apprenticeship in British royal history, Charles had been heir apparent for seventy years before his mother passed away in early September and the Prince of Wales finally came into his inheritance. It had been a long road. Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, Charles became half of the fairytale wedding of the 20th century, followed by scandal and divorce, and a second, controversial marriage with the love of his life. While kicking his heels for three-quarters of a century, Charles established The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, founded in 1979, which awards money to grant applicants in six categories: heritage and conservation, education, health and wellbeing, social inclusion, environment, and countryside. He is also a noted proponent of efforts to combat climate change and species extinction.
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.