Election 2008: Trick or Treat?

When I started this blog, I decided to call it Astrology Mundo (world) in the hopes of taking a broad view and attracting readers and commenters from all over the world. Obviously, my mandate is limited by the fact that this is an English-language blog.

As we count down to the U.S. election, a lot of allegations about the candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are spreading like wildfire through the blogosphere, and I don’t want to get burned. I’m interested in truth and transparency, but I’m not going to be the vehicle to spread rumors. Therefore, I’m not approving comments that appear to be motivated purely by political concerns, despite my desire to be broad-minded.

For the record: I don’t know who will win the Presidential election. Because of the aspect between revolutionary Uranus and restrictive Saturn that is exact on Election Day, there could be an “upset” of some kind.

The potential for a grand deception or a perfect storm also exists, as Mars in Scorpio will be squaring a stellium of Neptune, Chiron, and North Node in Aquarius, as Neptune turns direct.

Ray Merriman, the dean of financial astrology, decided to stop talking about the election in recent weekly columns because of the angry e-mails he was getting from folks who disagree with him. He’s got a forecast up this week, though, that reverses his earlier prediction that McCain will win.

His feeling is that Obama has become more Saturnian (responsible, conservative) and McCain more erratic (Uranus) as we’ve moved closer to the election.

As I mentioned earlier this year, I was fascinated by the premise of the underrated Kevin Costner film Swing Vote. In that movie, the Republicans start acting like Democrats and the Democrats espouse policies normally associated with the GOP, all in an effort to win the vote of one man (Costner).

Since the financial crisis erupted on Sept. 9, the Republicans have pushed through a program of government intervention that appears to take a page from the Democrats’ playbook. Although Congress, at the behest of President George Bush and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has spearheaded what I’ve dubbed “welfare for Wall Streeters,” Republican voters continue to rail about possible “socialism” under Democrat Obama. They don’t seem to understand that government control of our financial system is accelerating under a Republican Administration.

As Nancy’s Blog has astutely observed, the culture wars are back in full force as Pluto makes its last pass through Sagittarius before entering Capricorn for good on Nov. 27. So the fur is going to continue to fly.

Rest assured, though, the Saturn/Uranus opposition will be informing politics for the next few years. If McCain and his vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin win the election with their “maverick” persona, the people will react in a Saturnian (conservative) way.

Likewise, if Obama is elected, I predict he will be too conservative for his supporters, who may be disillusioned as Neptune conjuncts the U.S. Moon in Aquarius during the next two years. Indeed, the financial crisis and the amount of money pledged to prop up the fragile banking system may put the kibosh on any plans that Obama had to bolster social welfare. This typically means using government money to improve services for seniors, children, the disabled, and the needy.

A huge problem with both candidates, who are in overdrive trying to woo Main Street with a populist (from populi, Latin for the “voice of the people”) message: The political system in the U.S. and our politicians are beholden to powerful corporations.

Sure, I think it’s great that Joe Biden is from Scranton, my Dad’s gritty hometown. Trouble is, Biden represents Delaware in the Senate and has strong ties to the credit-card companies based in that state that have raped consumers with interest rates of 30%.

As informed voters know, McCain was caught up in the savings-and-loan scandal of the late 1980s and was one of the Keating Five, a group of Senators punished by their colleagues for improper conduct in connection with Charles Keating, the former head of Lincoln Savings and Loan. The New York Times has also exposed McCain’s ties to lobbyists from the Indian casino gambling industry.

While candidates of all political stripes go out of their way to cast themselves as ordinary guys and gals for fear of being labeled part of the “elite,” the reality is they are dutiful servants of our plutocracy.

With Pluto in Capricorn, the bottom line is: We’re all on our own. Our government will not be able to help us — either because it goes bankrupt trying to honor its overly optimistic financial promises or because it’s dismantled by radicals on the right or the left, or by a fringe coalition.

It’s interesting when you read about home-schooling and private school vouchers, both of which take kids out of public schools, to see that supporters range from conservative Christians to lefty tree-huggers.

Sarah Palin’s fellow travelers in the Alaska Independence Party, who are working for the state’s secession from the Union, are the harbingers of this anti-government sentiment on a federal level. What’s going to be amusing is when the folks who have been preaching that it’s time to “get government off our backs” will be begging for handouts. It’s going to get ugly, no matter who is elected.

Still, the optimist in me says we’ll go back to the spirit of Yankee mutual aid celebrated by Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America. A case in point: When I was recently was cat-sitting for a friend in New York City, I discovered a whole lending library of books that the co-op has in the basement. At least people the people in that building will have something to read after the local library shuts down because of government cutbacks.

So build and cultivate your networks (the U.S. Moon in Aquarius), folks. But that’s what’s going to get you through the next four years, no matter who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Addendum: I was Googling trying to find a de Tocqueville quote about volunteerism and mutual aid and I stumbled upon this one, which is quite apt as the Bush Administration starts talking about the need for another government stimulus package with the election less than a month away:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

Buddy, Can You Spare a Bailout?

Wall Street’s excited about the prospect of a new regulatory agency along the lines of the Resolution Trust Co. of the 1980s, which helped nearly 800 insolvent savings and loans gradually sell off their mortgages.

We’re getting quite close to the Mercury retrograde of Sept. 23. Things announced under a Merc retrograde often don’t come to pass or the terms of the deal change significantly. So, though my financial advice is for entertainment purposes only, view any rally on Wall Street right now as an exit opportunity.

There’s a full Moon at 21 Taurus on Nov. 13 that falls on the New York Stock Exchange Sun. The full Moon (Taurus/Scorpio) squares nebulous Neptune and the North Node. If this isn’t the evaporation of wealth (Taurus), I don’t know what is.

Interesting that an RTC-type agency is being considered by our Republican Administration. I thought the Republicans were the party that promised to “get government off our backs.” Clearly, when those in need are banks and brokerages on Wall Street, the GOP has no problem having Uncle Sam play sugar daddy.

Let’s see how the government reacts when this credit crisis trickles down and lots of folks can’t make their student loan payments because they’ve lost their job in a depression. Will the party in power be feeling so generous then?

Evidently, I’m not the only who’s thinking about these things. Check out Jim Moore at Huffington Post on the Republicans turned socialists.

I don’t expect our government to stand idly by and let the financial system melt down. But if bailouts for Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and possibly others are the “carrot,” where is the stick? How about some regulations on banking industry interest rates and fees in exchange for the government largesse?

Case in point: The other day I went to a McDonald’s to use the ATM because I know the ones there only charge 99 cents. When I went online later that day and saw the $100.99 deduction on my bank account, I noticed there was also a $2 fee that went to the Actors Credit Union, which operates the ATMs in several Manhattan McDonald’s.

What was the $2 charge for? For looking at my balance on the screen in the McDonald’s before I made the withdrawal! At no point when I asked to see my balance was I told that I was going to be charged for it and that I was going to pay twice the fee assessed for withdrawing money. This is ridiculous, folks!

My other thought about the creation of a neo-RTC: It might not be good for the McCain campaign. Why? Because there are a lot of folks out there not old enough or too old to remember that John McCain was involved in a scandal involving an S&L called Lincoln Savings & Loan, which was run by Charles Keating.

Five U.S. Senators were accused of “improperly aiding” Keating, according to the Wiki. One of them was John McCain. The Arizona senator was ultimately “cleared of impropriety but criticized for poor judgment.”

Of course, I wouldn’t want to be reminded of all the mistakes I made in the 1980s, but then I’m not running for President either.

Just to put in a plug for my favorite market maven (I promise you I’m not on his payroll and I know for a fact that he can’t buy into astrology): I was surfing yesterday using the keyword “bailout” and discovered that Barry Ritholtz has a new book coming out called The Bailout Nation: How Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy. Talk about prescient!

Now, if only the rest of us bloggers can turn our daily musings into a potential best-seller!

Why McCain Will Win: The View From Brazil

Sometimes I receive comments that are so well-researched that I decide to make them a post. This happened with Sasha during the Democratic National Convention and I’m going to do it now with Gian Paul, who has responded to Kimberly’s question about why he thinks John McCain will be the next U.S. President.

Kimberly, let me note that Gian Paul, a Swiss native now living in Brazil, confessed to not being familiar with the Keating Five, the 1980s scandal involving the U.S. savings and loan crisis that engulfed McCain. Bu since Gian Paul is working purely with natal charts and transits, I don’t think it matters.

Over to Gian Paul:

Kimberly, it is my pleasure to respond to you. My belief that John McCain will be elected on Nov. 4 is based on the candidates’ transits on that day. I am totally indifferent to who wins. This is because of my conviction that every nation at a given time in history gets exactly the government that it deserves.

Here, in Brazil, we have “Lula,” President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In Switzerland, my country of origin, we always have seven people who form the government and, interestingly, the opposition usually is included.

Imagine if the U.S. had a similar system. You would have Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Sarah Palin (plus two others) making up your next government! That’s the Swiss way.

I have a special affinity with Neptune. Thus, I permit myself to imagine the sometimes unimaginable.

Now let’s talk astrology. Look at where Neptune will be on Nov. 4. Then consult the charts of Obama, Palin, and Vladimir Putin, whom I consider to be the “New Tsar” of Russia.

Two stand out: the charts of Palin and Putin. Forget McCain. Neptune leaves him tranquil on Election Day. My prediction is that he will be “sucked” into the White House like it or not.

What matters is that Palin gets to the spot that is “one heartbeat away from the Presidency.” And as I will hopefully prove, then history can freely run its course. Neptune, according to my longtime observations, is extremely influential in U.S. history. What’s more, two days before the Presidential election, the nebulous planet goes direct.
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To follow my analysis, you also need the natal charts of the New York Stock Exchange (May 17, 1792 8:52 a.m. N.Y.) and what I consider to the “true horoscope” of the U.S. (July 6, 1775 11 a.m. Philadelphia).

On Nov. 4, Neptune transits Palin’s Sun. Soon thereafter, it reaches her Mars and then her Saturn. Obama will not receive any Neptunian influences until after the Inauguration (of the others, I predict). And then Neptune will be opposite his Uranus. Better that he not be President then.

As for Putin, on the U.S. Election Day, Neptune opposes exactly his Pluto. No small beer. (McCain can drink to that!)

On Nov. 4, Uranus opposite Saturn in the sky gets as close as it can to squaring the U.S. Sun while the transiting Sun exactly opposes the U.S. Uranus. Now that must be the change many are expecting.

Obama will be remembered for his prophetic skills. First, he predicts more of the Bush Administration (McCain no doubt has the qualifications for that), and second, he promises change. You will have it, folks. Just be a bit more patient. With Neptune in the picture, things tend to go not very fast…

The changes you always blessed Americans are subconsciously expecting are in the making and very visible already. The ice cap on the North Pole is rapidly melting away. Putin recently has made it clear that Russia will not ask for anyone’s permission to start drilling for oil up there. And Mother Nature appears to be obliging.

The New Tsar has a liking for sporty women. He recently married a gold medalist. And now, here comes Sarah the Moose Hunter.

Here’s another Neptunian insight: Sarah could be called “the surprise that came in from the cold.” Possibly even Old Man McCain was so surprised that he forgot the vetting process. So what? It’s all destiny anyway.

Now, as I am already on a speculative spree, let me suggest something really outrageous: How will the “lady that came in from the cold” react if the New Tsar one day declares that that the Old Tsar had no right whatsoever to sell a piece of “Mother Russia” (Alaska) to the Americans, moose hunters included!

Watch out! Has your reformed CIA correctly read what’s going on in Georgia (the one in the Caucasus, not next to Alabama)? Or has Dick Cheney, concerned about oil, not seen beyond the problem of a few Russians being homesick. The New Tsar is testing.

Watch out for Putin’s nuclear assistance to Iran, and then Pakistan, great hideaway for America’s enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden. Why did President Bush have to close a nuclear deal with India now? Just to irritate the Pakistanis?

If I were an Indian politician, I would think of how to get some more concessions out of the Bush Administration. One idea: worsening the U.S. mortgage mess. Maybe the employees of the outsourcing firms that handle data processing for U.S. banks could be persuaded to go on strike. Now that would be a real nightmare for the banks!

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to Neptunian pursuits here in Brazil. Nice talking to you, as you say in America.

Thanks, Gian Paul. Folks, I’ve edited this post a little and trimmed some things, but here you have it. If, as Gian Paul is predicting, it comes down to Sarah the Moose Hunter vs. the Russian Spymaster-Turned-Tsar, I hope they can resolve their differences with a biathlon or some other athletic competition.

If anyone has more interest in the natal chart of Alaska, I refer you to my post “All Eyes on Alaska.”

As for my prediction: Gian Paul will start his own astrology blog!