US political stalemate continues; Obamacare roll-out underwhelms

(13 October 2013)  As the US government shutdown threatens to move into its third week, one wonders when it is all going to end.  Hopes were raised at the end of last week as the House GOP  tabled on offer to Obama but that was eventually rejected.  Now the focus has shifted to the Senate as both sides attempt to reconcile the need to avert a debt ceiling default on October 17th while trying to make political gains for their respective parties.   As I have suggested in previous posts, a quick win here by President Obama and the Democrats looks unlikely given the difficulties in his horoscope.  Obama's Sun is under the heavy influence of a Saturn transit for much of the month of October, so that would seemingly argue against a full-blown GOP surrender and a big White House win in this latest political scuffle.

I say "seemingly" because there are actually any number of real world events and situations that could reflect the Sun-Saturn tension in Obama's chart.  The current criticisms about his leadership do not necessarily have to reflect the stand-off with the Republicans over the shutdown and debt ceiling.  Other factors may also play into it.  The planets therefore represent a sort of bottom line that is comprised of the sum total of the various influences that may occur.  As I noted a couple of weeks ago, the Obamacare roll-out has not gone smoothly and this is gradually becoming a major source of embarrassment for the President as more Americans are discovering that there health insurance premiums are going up.  Obama had campaigned on the notion that the ACA would actually reduce premiums for the majority of citizens and reduce the government deficit at the same time.  At this point, the evidence suggests that neither of those claims will be true.  Therefore, it is conceivable that public opposition to Obamacare could grow and this may account for some of the negative manifestations we are seeing in the USA and Obama horoscopes.  That could mean that the debt ceiling debate may still be resolved in a timely manner before the Thursday deadline while Obamacare comes under increased scrutiny. But while conceivable, it doesn't seem as likely.  It seems more likely that the a lot of Obama's bad celestial influences will reflect stresses related more directly to the shutdown, the debt ceiling, and the sense that the polarized political system in the US is dysfunctional. 



Let's look at the current Washington impasse from another angle.   The inauguration chart for Obama's second term (Jan 20 2013 12.00 p.m.) supposedly captures something of the essential character of the current administration.   It may also be taken as an indirect picture of the country as a whole for the duration of the term from 2013 to 2017.   One look at this chart and we can quickly see why the US has problems.  Moon is conjunct Ketu in the 1st house in Aries under a very close square aspect from Mars.  The Moon symbolizes the people in a collective sense as well as the national mood.  The conjunction with Ketu suggests changeability and a state of unease.  This Moon-Ketu pairing is definitely not a good thing to see in a national inauguration chart as it increases the likelihood of dissatisfaction and fragmentation. 

The Mars influence makes this much worse and introduces the possibility of violence.  More broadly, the Mars influence emphasizes conflict and rancor and seems to be a very telling description of a country riven with differences.  The two political parties are more polarized than ever as the individualistic and libertarian Republicans are chafing under the attempt by the Democrats to take America in a more collectivist direction following the pattern of most other industrialized nations.   Interestingly, the Mars in this chart is exalted in Capricorn and placed in the 10th house, a possible reflection that much of the friction originates from the well-intentioned initiatives of the government itself such as Obamacare and climate change policy.  

As an added burden, Saturn is also very prominent in this chart as it is setting right on the 7th house cusp and thus also aspects the Moon and Ascendant.  Saturn tends to negate progress so it seems less likely that Obama and the Democrats will be successful in their efforts.  Saturn is very much a planet of tradition and history so it seems likely that the Tea Party appeals to individual liberty and the specifics of the constitution will continue to resonate against the current attempt to modernize the role of government in daily US life. 

Saturn takes on an added role in this chart since it rules the 10th house (Capricorn) of government and leaders.  It is exalted in Libra and this may reflect Obama's special status as a unique historical figure and his desire to raise the spirit of the nation which transcends the divisive, small-mindedness of the past and reflects America's "better angels".  But Saturn is playing a very heavy role here because it is so close to the 7th house cusp.  Perhaps Obama's efforts may therefore be seen as heavy-handed and overly intrusive by a resistant population (Moon).  Saturn's other main influence is on the planet Venus in the 9th house.  The Saturn-Venus 3rd house aspect is quite close and should also be seen as a negative in this chart.  Saturn tends to depress Venusian happiness so this could be seen as an attempt by government to restrain a sense of enjoyment. Venus also rules the 2nd house (Taurus) of wealth, so this Saturn aspect to Venus could be seen as 1) government intervention in the economy through programs like the ACA, a climate change carbon tax or the Fed policy of quantitative easing and 2) weak economic growth especially in areas of consumer spending which is ruled by Venus.  The bottom line here is the second term Inauguration chart is not a good one either in terms of the economy or the national mood.




Obama's current troubles are reflected in the Saturn-Rahu conjunction which has afflicted the Saturn in this chart.  The foreign policy failure over Syria in September occurred just as Rahu conjoined the natal Saturn.  The government shutdown in early October has coincided with Saturn's conjunction with its natal position after its lengthy retrograde cycle in the summer.   When the government shut down on October 1st, transiting Mars opposed the natal Mars.  Government troubles are likely to continue since transiting Saturn will conjoin the 7th house cusp (20 Libra) and exactly aspect Venus (20 Sagittarius) in late October and early November.  With Venus also closely afflicted, the probability rises for economic and financial consequences of government actions -- and inactions.




Thus far, financial markets have been fairly muted in their reaction to the shenanigans in DC.  Stocks declined modestly early last week when things weren't looking good but then rallied strongly on Thursday and Friday when a deal seemed close.  US stocks actually rose on the week, as did most emerging markets like India.  This was in keeping with expectations as I thought the early week Mercury-Saturn conjunction would likely be bearish while some recovery later in the week was also indicated by the Sun-Jupiter aspect.

This week also offers planetary influences on both sides.  Mars tightens its nasty opposition aspect with Neptune.  This may manifest Monday since the Moon is involved and probably later in the week when the opposition is very close.  In between looks more optimistic as Mercury and Venus form more prominent aspects.  Both of these planets are bullish in nature, so that suggests we may see some midweek gains.  All in all, it looks like another roller coaster ride this week. 




 


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