ELECTION 2016 UPDATE : Sept. 28, 2016

By Edith Hathaway © 2016

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PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE – Round 1 of 3

The first 2016 Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump surpassed all previous records for U.S. Presidential debates. It was viewed by some 80.9 million people, plus another four million or more via live streaming and other media venues. This superseded the previous record Oct. 28, 1980 – at 80.6 million – for the one televised debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. For the 2016 debate, most television audiences watched  all the way through the 90 minute duration, with the exception of some Spanish-speaking audiences on Univision and Telemundo. The corporate media consensus, dominated by the liberal elite corporate media assigned an overwhelming victory to Clinton. But polls differed as to the winner, with national polls generally giving the debate win to Clinton. Public Policy polling of 1002 pre-screened respondees gave Clinton 51%, Trump 40%.  A CNN poll of 521 people directly following the debate gave Clinton 62%, Trump 27%, and 11% undecided.

Online polls by major media outlets generally gave the win to Trump. This same phenomenon happened just after each of the Clinton-Sanders debates. Those polled on-line gave the win to Sanders by consistently large margins. A CNBC post-debate poll of one million people showed Trump at 67%, Clinton 35%. A TIME poll of ca. 1.6 million gave Trump 55%, Clinton 45%. A Fox News poll of over 13,000 gave Trump 50%, Clinton 34%. A Fortune poll of over 600,000 gave Trump 53%, Clinton 47%. Meanwhile, one ongoing and unofficial poll is based on the value of the Mexican peso. When it falls in value, Trump is seen as winning. When it rises, Trump is seen as losing to Clinton. The day after the debate it was up by 2.3% – a Trump debate loss.

The Clinton-Trump debate occurred on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, 9 pm EDT at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. Each presidential candidate has a primary residence in New York, so in this case we can assign the woman candidate to Ascendant lord Venus and the male candidate to 7th lord Mars. Hillary Clinton was also the first of the two candidates to speak. The debate was moderated by Lester Holt, anchor or NBC’s Nightly News and Dateline NBC. The journalist/moderator can be assigned to either Mercury or Jupiter. We will assign Mercury to Lester Holt, since journalism as a profession generally belongs to Jupiter. And with Sun so close to Jupiter here, the business and leadership (Sun) of journalism is in the spotlight.

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Click here for a brief review on how to read the North and South Indian charts.                                  

The Ascendant at 9:00 pm is 3:43 Taurus, in Krittika nakshatra, symbolized by the razor and ruled by the deity Agni, god of fire. We can be sure this will be a debate with cutting words and heated emotions, especially with Moon in a water sign receiving an 8th house aspect from Mars. Indeed it was contentious, if not also lively throughout. At 9:04 pm EDT, moderator Lester Holt begins the formal debate process: “We’re calling this opening segment achieving prosperity and central to that is jobs…. Beginning with you, Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American workers?” Thus, Clinton is the first to speak. At 9:04 pm EDT the Ascendant moves to 4:57 Taurus, and by 9:06 pm EDT to 5:34 Taurus.

When Trump starts to speak, at ca. 9:06 or 9:07 pm, the Ascendant has moved to where Mars at 5:43 Sagittarius (Trump) is almost exactly on the 8th house cusp. This is a disadvantageous position, and already puts him on the defensive. One of the protective factors in his favor, however, is that Mars, as ruler of the 12th house situated in the 8th house qualifies as a Viparita Sarala Raja yoga. Literally meaning “a crooked Raja yoga,” this yoga increases one’s protection from adversities and is often associated with a rise in status or a gain in wealth. Even so, the 8th house position is not easy, especially right on the house cusp. The time-line is given here, along with Holt’s debate script: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/scott-whitlock/2016/09/26/liberal-lest-holt-and-hillary-tag-team-trump-e-mails-barely

After the initial pleasantries, there were rapid and combative exchanges between Clinton and Trump covering matters of race, the economy and national security. However, though the debate aimed at being substantive, it failed to achieve that goal, even with Saturn in Scorpio in the 7th house, aspecting the Ascendant and giving the aura of seriousness to the proceedings. Transiting Jupiter in Virgo also aspects the Taurus Ascendant; thus with both Jupiter and Saturn (Dharma and Karma planets, respectively) aspecting the Ascendant, there is a good chance for this event to succeed commercially, as did happen. Further, for Taurus Ascendant, Saturn is considered a Raja Yogakaraka, ruling both a trinal and an angular house, 9th and 10th houses from Taurus Ascendant. Saturn is also Digbala (best angular house for Saturn). So the success of this event is shown, at least commercially, if not in other ways. By Shadbala ranking, Saturn ranks highest, with Mars in 2nd place.

Venus (Clinton) rules the Ascendant and is in the 6th house in its own sign of Libra, creating another Viparita yoga – a Viparita Harsha Raja yoga. This gives a distinct edge and also some protection to this debater and competitor. She is a lawyer and the 6th house is associated with lawyers. Venus, at 10:05 Libra, is also Mulatrikona, literally in its “root trine.” These are areas of the zodiac where a planet does especially well. For Venus, this occurs from 00 to 15 degrees Libra. Thus, Clinton, known to thrive in debate situations, is very comfortable on this very large debate stage. Note that the planets representing the two candidates, Venus and Mars, reside in two out of three Dusthana houses (Houses 6, 8 and 12), considered the most difficult houses in any Vedic chart.

In the classic rules for Prashna (horary), Venus cannot make any further aspects to other planets in this chart. This is due to the restrictions of Deeptamsha, or range of orb allowed for each planet, qualifying their ability to contact and thus affect each other. For example, Deeptamsha for Venus is 7 degrees and that of Mercury is 7 degrees. Add these two numbers and divide by two: you get 7. This means that Venus cannot aspect Mercury (22:36 Leo) since it is more than 7 degrees away from a sextile to Venus at 10:05 Libra. Classical Vedic aspects are normally only forward in the zodiac, but Tajika rules for Prashna permit forward and backward movement through the zodiac, as in Western tropical astrology.

The Vedic classics are mostly silent on how to deal with Rahu and Ketu in Prashna. There is no assigned range to Rahu in Deeptamsha. However, Saturn is often associated with Rahu, and Mars with Ketu. Saturn’s Deeptamsha range is 9 degrees and for Mars: 8 degrees. If we use the Saturn range for Rahu, the range of orb allowed for planetary aspects is fulfilled at 8 degrees. The same is true for Ketu. Venus (10:05 Libra) and Ketu (17:13 Aquarius) are within 7 ½ degrees by harmonious trinal aspect. Since Ketu is in the 10th house and has some control over Mars (Trump) as its nakshatra lord, this gives Venus (Clinton) some connection with those who have control over Mars (Trump). Venus and Rahu are within 7 degrees 8 minutes of arc in a harmonious sextile. As with the Venus-Ketu trine, Rahu (as Mean node) transits in retrograde motion towards the sextile with Venus, resulting in a positive outcome for Clinton. She is helped by some kind of connection to the journalist in question, through whatever means. Rahu is closely contacting Mercury in Leo (the journalist Lester Holt) in this chart, and Rahu is by nature unpredictable and unclear in how it operates, other than the tendency to magnify whatever it touches. Could this be some unseen actors helping Clinton to connect with Holt?

It was reported that the Clinton campaign lobbied aggressively for Lester Holt to give tough questions to Trump and go easy on Clinton. If so, it appears they were largely successful, as Holt gave only minor softball questions to Clinton. As The Hill reported, “Lester Holt emerges from debate bruised and partisan.”

“…When Holt wasn’t being invisible, he was targeting Trump’s weaknesses while avoiding Clinton’s. That’s not to say the Republican nominee shouldn’t have been challenged or fact-checked. But as we’ve seen throughout this general election campaign, only one candidate is getting fact-checked while the other largely gets a pass.”      http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/media/297978-nbcs-lester-holt-emerges-from-debate-bruised-and-partisan

With Trump lacking the discipline and preparation to make his points more effectively and go after Clinton at key moments, he lost several major opportunities to attack her during the debate. Meanwhile, Clinton, the seasoned and well-prepared debater did make her attacks at every opportunity, aided by Lester Holt.  The conservative media called him “a disgrace,” and counted how many times he interrupted Trump – 41 times, and Clinton only 7 times. Predictably, Holt was generally praised by the liberal media. CNN Money said Holt “walks a fine line at debate, and wins praise.”

With Jupiter in an earth sign (Virgo), as with the Ascendant (Taurus), we see the commercial benefits of this event, which overtook all previous records in terms of audience viewership. Can we say the same is true of the quality of the debate? And if not, why not? Why cannot those same qualities be associated with substance in this instance?

For one thing, this waning Moon is at 24:57 Cancer, and Moon is also Day lord of Monday, giving it some extra power to define the event. Though it has dignity in its own sign and in the 3rd house of communications, it makes no further classical aspects to the other eight Vedic planets before leaving the sign. Western tropical astrologers call this “Moon Void of course,” meaning nothing important can be expected to happen as a result of this event. Vedic astrologers consider that the Moon still aspects other whole sign houses until it leaves the sign, and as the fastest moving planet. But we might also say that the business of this event is pretty much concluded in advance of the event. The Moon is in the Sarpa Drekkana segment of the water sign, indicating that some deceptive practices may have been involved. This could relate to reports that the Clinton campaign lobbied the moderator heavily on Clinton’s behalf. The Moon is in Ashlesha nakshatra, owned by Mercury. Both Moon and Saturn are in Mercury-owned nakshatras, giving more power to the journalist/moderator Lester Holt (Mercury) over the event. Mercury also owns the house in which Sun and Jupiter reside (Virgo). In fact, Mercury owns two financial houses in this chart, Houses 2 and 5.

As discussed, Mars (Trump) resides in the 8th house in Sagittarius. This house is owned by Jupiter, a great planetary friend of Mars. Jupiter is well located in a trinal house (House 5: Virgo). Mars resides in a Ketu-owned nakshatra and Ketu in turn is well located in an angular house (House 10: Capricorn). Mars would be destroyed in the 8th house if it did not also own House 12, one of the three Dusthana houses, as mentioned earlier regarding the Viparita Raja yoga. Sign lord Jupiter in turn is tightly combust the Sun (to be discussed shortly). Since Jupiter is within one degree of the Sun, the beneficial effects of Jupiter’s combustion give some immunity both to Trump and to the affairs of Jupiter (the media). This degree of combustion also can make Trump less aware of what he does not know, and also more aggressive later on about being at times unfairly attacked. For instance, Trump was correct about Stop & Frisk, but Holt and Clinton both said he was wrong, and Holt’s intervention in this case was both improper and incorrect. In many cases the liberal media can be found perpetuating this factual error.

Mars resides in Mula nakshatra, ruled by Ketu. Even if Ketu is well situated in the 10th house of maximum visibility, paradoxically the purpose of Mula nakshatra is to destroy the ego while developing a more spiritual foundation of life. Mula is ruled by Niritti, goddess of disaster and negation. Ketu is also concerned with destroying the ego and bringing spiritual liberation, as is the 8th house. So now, setting aside the fact that Clinton was predictably prepared, that moderator Holt appeared neutral but was actually much tougher on Trump, we have to acknowledge that Trump’s ego was badly bruised by this experience in which – for once – he could not do what he had done so effectively in all the many primary debates: slay his opponents with a few devastating words or phrases.

At the same time, we have to see that Trump was not demolished by this debate, though some pundits have said he was. Why is this? We have already discussed the protection Mars receives as 12th lord in the 8th house (Viparita Raja yoga), and the strong house positions of both nakshatra lord Ketu and sign lord Jupiter. Further, Mars at 5:43 Sagittarius is closely approaching not only the Galactic Center, but the USA Ascendant at 8:59 Sagittarius (Kelleher chart: July 4, 1776, 6:30 pm LMT, Philadelphia, PA). Trump remains larger than life for the American and international public, and maintains his respectability, in spite of having not done his best, and being trounced by Clinton and Holt in this debate.

Note too that the only upcoming aspects Mars can make by Prashna rules are a sextile to Venus in over 4 degrees and a square to Sun and Jupiter also in 4 degrees. But in the end, since both Venus and Sun are moving faster than Mars, the one aspect Mars can make effectively is an inharmonious square aspect to Jupiter (the media), which is evident in his pre and post-debate remarks about his hostility to what he calls “corrupt media.” That is the bottom line for Mars (Trump) here, while for Venus (Clinton), the only possible allowed Prashna aspects that may be fulfilled are a sextile to Rahu in the 4th house and a trine to Ketu in the 10th house. Rahu also rules Swati nakshatra, where Venus resides. Swati is “the sword” and is ruled by Vayu, god of the Wind. It is associated with independence and swift movement, qualities which Clinton exhibited tactically throughout the debate. With Venus aspecting its nakshatra lord, the connection between them is fortified.

All this equates with Clinton entering this debate in a strong position, amply supported by the corporate media, with an election outcome unlikely to be affected by this debate, however commercially successful it was. The two candidates are in a harmonious sextile to each other, but Mars cannot catch up to Venus, who is separating faster than Mars is able to move. The two planets do not meet in the heavens while in these signs. Some might say this is Clinton already heading to an election victory and leaving Trump behind. But this is just one event.

Bloomberg Politics showed a graph of the debate indicating that after ca. 10 pm EDT, or even 10 to 15 minutes earlier, Trump started losing ground with voters in battleground states while Clinton is shown gaining ground. See http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-09-27/how-clinton-beat-trump-in-their-first-debate-by-the-numbers

The astrological parallel is that by 9:46 to 9:50 pm EDT transiting Saturn was exactly opposite the Ascendant. This gave even more weight to the proceedings and put Trump increasingly on the defensive. He is represented by the 7th house and its lord Mars. Though Saturn is excellent for Taurus Ascendant chart, it pushes his opponent (ruler of the Taurus Ascendant) into gear, and brings obstruction to Trump, especially in the last 45 minutes or more of the debate, when even his supporters and campaign staff agreed he was weaker than at the start of the debate.

THE MEDIA’S ROLE IN ELECTION 2016

There is an ongoing story of media bias with Election 2016. Was this debate decided in advance by the media? The debate chart suggests that it was. As mentioned, journalism and the media as a profession is symbolized by Jupiter. Jupiter, in turn, is within 34 minutes of the Sun in the debate chart, or just over half a degree. This is a very combust Jupiter, which means the planet cannot be seen from the earth with the naked eye. When we interpret a combust planet, we have to consider that we do not really see it, as it is travelling so close to the Sun in the same belt of the zodiac.  We are not really sure it is there in our lives, and/or we can lose perspective about its capacities, either assigning it too much power or too little, usually the former – as we want to make sure Jupiter is really there. So we tend to give it all kinds of power, even as we may resent doing so. A combust planet is considered weakened, especially within 5 degrees either side of the Sun, and especially in lower longitude from the Sun. (Combustion does not apply to Moon, Rahu and Ketu.) But when a planet is within one degree of the Sun, as is this Jupiter, it may even take on extra power and glory. American media mogul and talk show host Oprah Winfrey has her Venus within 12 minutes of the Sun, or 12/60th of a degree.

In this debate chart, note also that Jupiter and the Sun are in a beneficial trinal house (House 5: Virgo) surrounded by two benefic planets, Mercury in House 4 and Venus in House 6: a Shubha Kartari yoga. This yoga is an auspicious combination that strengthens and protects the house and the planets they surround. Jupiter also rules two money houses, Houses 8 and 11. An exact trine of Jupiter to the Ascendant occurs between 9:19 and 9:22 pm EDT, and generally a Jupiter aspect to the Ascendant is positive, even if Jupiter is a neutral planet to Taurus Ascendant and not favorable as 8th lord. But this exact aspect only 20 minutes into the program and applying prior to that time reflects major financial gains from this specific event for the major media organizations. Sponsors are already lining up for the remaining ad spots for the next two debates, Oct. 9 and Oct. 19, 2016. They are of course hugely expensive.

We have seen how the sign and nakshatra lords of planets have power and control over an individual planet, affecting its ability to perform at a high level. In the debate chart, Jupiter’s sign lord Mercury is in Leo closely conjunct Rahu, while Jupiter’s nakshatra lord is the Sun, a planet whose size and light is already overwhelming it. At least Jupiter and Sun are great good planetary friends, so they are not in conflict. Meanwhile, with Rahu in Leo magnifying everything it touches, and contacting Mercury in Leo – this Rahu amplifies the communications of the hour. This is obviously an incredibly powerful moment for the media and the attention it is receiving, including for moderator Lester Holt (Mercury), who has a bigger than ever audience. Mercury and Rahu are both in Purva Phalguni nakshatra, associated with “having the best share” and with the deity Bhaga, also associated with “the fortunate share.” This nakshatra is owned by Venus. Thus both Mercury and Rahu are strongly impacted by Venus (Clinton), giving some astrological weight to the loud complaints from conservative media that Holt was overly solicitous of Clinton.

The sign ruler of Leo is the Sun, so this Mercury is feeling the weight of obligation to corporate bosses (Sun) and to whatever perceived obligation to journalism (Jupiter) and/or to patriotism (also Jupiter), which can get confused with each other. During Election 2016 season, many journalists have been rightly accused of propagandizing, often supplanting the duties of a journalist with their perceived notion of duties to patriotism and what they think is best for the nation. For example, in the days after Hillary Clinton collapsed on Sept. 11, 2016 and looked seriously unwell, many liberal journalists joined forces with Clinton surrogates, rushing to defend her to an excessive degree we have come to expect from the liberal media. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour was among those, with her piece “Can’t a girl have a sick day or two?” As one pundit put it: “Amanpour was talking about media bias while being biased.”

Amanpour essentially gave various historical precedents while rationalizing lack of transparency about the true state of a presidential candidate’s health, since so many previous presidents got away with it, duping the public in the process. But never mind, even so they did some good deeds while in office. This is one example among many confirming the ways in which journalism (Jupiter) is weakened into outright propaganda during the EARTH period, as it becomes more and more corporatized (Saturn). And to review, the EARTH period is when the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions occur predominantly in earth signs. This runs from 1921 to 2199, but is especially strong after Feb. 18, 1961, when the FIRE to EARTH Mutation period ends. See http://edithhathaway.com/trump-it-up/#more-625

The EARTH period brings with it some surprising twists and turns in the media – as during Election 2016 we find that the conservative media (Fox News, Wall Street Journal and others) is becoming less biased and more reliable than the once vaunted liberal elite media, who have lost a lot of credibility bashing Trump while in almost total and uncritical devotion to Clinton. In a few cases that have become public, journalists have lost their jobs for publishing (or even linking to) negative coverage about Clinton, especially most recently about her physical health – a dangerously totalitarian trend. A Gallup poll Sept. 15, 2016 indicated that only 32% of Americans trust the print and TV media to be truthful, honest, and fair. Trust rates go down to 14%, 26% and 30% with Republicans, 18 to 49 year olds, and Independents.

This has caused a lot of hand-wringing and defensiveness among those working in corporate media, including well before the Gallup poll. In his Aug. 8, 2016 piece in the The New York Times, Jim Rutenberg blames it on Donald Trump, who has been “a shock to the journalistic system … testing the norms of objectivity in journalism… [which is why, he says, important investigative coverage of Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State is being ignored due to the fact that] balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped on to his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy.” He also blames the over $2 billion in free media coverage given Trump. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/business/balance-fairness-and-a-proudly-provocative-presidential-candidate.html?_r=2

In another notable rebuttal to the public’s greater distrust of the media, Washington Post writer Paul Farhi offers this on Sept. 23, 2016:

“Fact is, there really is no such thing as ‘the media.’ It’s an invention, a tool, an all-purpose smear by people who can’t be bothered to make distinctions…. Consider: There are hundreds of broadcast and cable TV networks, a thousand or so local TV stations, a few thousand magazines and newspapers, several thousand radio stations and roughly a gazillion websites, blogs, newsletters and podcasts. There’s also Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and who knows what new digital thing. All of these, collectively, now constitute the media.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/dear-readers-please-stop-calling-us-the-media-there-is-no-such-thing/2

Journalist Paul Farhi is completely discounting the consolidation of corporate media in recent decades and talks as if this were the 1950s, when there were actually hundreds of media organizations. But with deregulation policies from the early 1980s, by 1983 there were 50 major media companies owning 90% of all U.S. media outlets. Now there are just six major media companies owning 90% of all U.S. media. Corporate media has an outsize influence on broadcast news across all media, including the Internet; and though the Internet has somewhat more variety and independence, corporate media would like a greater share of that arena as well. Currently Google and Disney are vying to purchase Twitter, while Google’s search engine is accused for months (by Zerohedge, Daily Caller, and others) of covertly pursuing a pro-Clinton agenda instead of maintaining their neutrality as a media organization. Studies show the Google search engine limiting searches on anything negative about Clinton, her health, criminal investigations, etc. while making it easier to search negative topics on both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Google has adamantly denied the charges. Meanwhile, in his book When Google Met WikiLeaks (2014), Julian Assange reveals Google’s close ties both to the U.S. State Department and to former Secretary of State Clinton.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES AND ELECTIONS – THE LONGER VIEW

The first-ever presidential debates in the U.S. began in 1960 between Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon. They were also the first-ever televised presidential debates. Though Nixon and Kennedy had four televised debates, the first one on Sept. 26, 1960 was the most decisive one. Nixon looked grey, ill, overworked and uncomfortable, while Kennedy looked tanned, rested, self-confident and relaxed. He also seemed to have a sure sense of how to use the new television media, addressing the audience directly, while Nixon avoided looking directly at the camera. They each had a good command of the facts, though their responses to the questions were judged a certain victory for Nixon by radio audiences, and a certain victory for Kennedy by television audiences. Though Nixon did better in the succeeding debates, the first debate had the most impact and the most television viewers – an estimated 70 million and possibly up to 74 million according to Broadcast magazine. By 1960, 88% of the U.S. population (then 200 million) had televisions, up from only 11% in 1950, so in 1960 radio listeners were fewer. Nixon had been ahead by 6% in summer 1960, but Kennedy’s popularity and fame increased from this point onward, along with the myth of style over substance, even if the substance of these debates was not lacking.

The Nixon-Kennedy debates marked the Coming of Age of broadcast television’s importance in American politics. Gone were the debates in book form that won Abraham Lincoln the presidency in 1860 over Stephen Douglas. Previously, Lincoln had debated his opponent in 1858 when they competed for a Senate seat in Illinois. This famous debate was then transcribed and turned into a book that sold in six states. Lincoln won in all six states. In the 1920 to 1960 era, radio was the major broadcast media, and the League of Women Voters (founded in 1920) sponsored many political debates on radio prior to sponsoring TV debates from 1976 to 1984. Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. President 1933-1945 was to radio what John Kennedy, U.S. President 1961-1963 was to television: a perfect and natural fit. Even so, FDR refused to debate other presidential candidates on radio, citing the possibility of revealing national secrets.

The Saturn return is considered a very powerful event in astrology. Saturn is the planet of Truth and Karma. Its transits and its returns are considered pivotal in bringing home certain truths and realities for events or projects started 28 or 29 years earlier. The same is true for an individual reaching the ages of 28-29, 58-59, and 86-87. The average orbit of Saturn around the Sun is 29.6 years, but this can be rounded off to 28 years when assessing various phenomena including U.S. Presidential Elections, which in the U.S. occur at four-year intervals. Thus the 28-year time blocks symbolizing Saturn’s orbit around the Sun can be used to gauge important events, such as presidential debates and their effects on the election. This is true even if tr. Saturn is not in the exact same sign, thus not strictly speaking returning to that sign position.

In such a way, the 28 or 29 year mark manifests in mundane astrology as the Reality Check for the endeavor begun or proposed 28 or 29 years earlier. In 2016 we observe the second Saturn return (28 years) from 1960, when the very first presidential debates occurred. In 1988, at the first Saturn return (28 years) from 1960, there were a number of key turning points regarding both the debates and U.S. Presidential elections in general. We can learn a lot by observing them as we enter the final stages of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election – 28 years later.

After the trail-blazing 1960 debates, no debates took place for the next 16 years. In 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson refused to debate his opponent Barry Goldwater and won in a landslide. Richard Nixon refused to debate in his subsequent runs for the presidency in 1968 and 1972, due to the mostly disastrous results for him in the 1960 debates. The League of Women Voters (LWV) sponsored the presidential debates in 1976, 1980 and 1984, but they battled increasingly against the wishes of the candidates and their campaign handlers, who had extensive conditions. In 1980, Ronald Reagan had campaigned heavily on deregulating most major industries, including the media networks controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Reagan proposed to the LWV that the broadcasters control the debates. To this, the LWV President Dorothy Riddings expressed her concern that the broadcast networks would give in to the many demands of each candidate. She replied: “Broadcasters are profit-making corporations operating in an extremely competitive setting, in which ratings assume utmost importance….We firmly believe that those who report the news should not make the news.”

Enter Roger Ailes, who as Ronald Reagan’s media advisor in 1980 and previously Nixon’s media advisor in 1968, believed that those who report the news SHOULD make the news! This concept would soon rip apart the very foundations of journalism in the process of seeking commercial gain. Ailes long dreamed of creating a dedicated Republican television station and got his wish in 1996 when Rupert Murdoch invited him to be the founder and CEO of Fox News. Fox News went on to become the most wildly profitable news network in broadcast television, at least right up to the forced resignation of Roger Ailes July 21, 2016. (This was due to a lawsuit involving charges of sexual harassment in the workplace over many years.) As mentioned earlier, Fox News seems to be gaining traction among viewers as a more reliable and unbiased source of the news, over and above the liberal elite media, even if Fox obviously backs Republican candidates. They provide better and better critical coverage on candidates from both major parties.

We note how the first of the fall 2016 Presidential debates outdid all previous presidential debates for audience ratings, the last one being Carter vs. Reagan in 1980. Coincidentally, it was Reagan who set in motion the deregulation policies of the FCC, and finally achieved them in summer 1987, in time to take effect on the 1988 presidential election. Reagan’s deregulation of the financial industry, ironically implemented so boldly by Democratic President Bill Clinton, 1993-2001, imploded in fall 2008 – 28 years after Reagan’s election. By repealing the Glass-Steagall Act (the U.S. Banking Act of 1933), Clinton enabled rampant speculation by financial institutions worldwide, using their clients’ money and risking average taxpayers’ funds.

Below are some important factors from the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election. While reviewing this list, consider the impact of each factor on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, since the leap from 1988 to 2016 is a full Saturn return and a Reality Check. In the language of Vedic astrology, it reflects on Saturn as the planet of truth, reality, time, Karma, duty, longevity, death, adversity, sorrow, separation, and endurance. The Karma phala (fruits of the karma) come due with a full orbit of Saturn. It is a time of completion, and if debts are to be paid, a time of reckoning. What was started 28 years earlier should become known, for better or worse; thus the need to see it in full force, acknowledge it and if necessary, act on it, perhaps altering the course that has been set.

In this case we return to Saturn in Scorpio, the sign of secrets and scandals, often related to sex and/or finances. Consider the secrets that have been revealed in 2016 to date, such as the hacked DNC and Clinton campaign emails released July 22, 2016 by Wikileaks, and the subterfuge used to divert our attention from these emails, blaming Russia for intervening in U.S. elections – when there is insufficient evidence to make such a claim, says NSA Director James Clapper. (Even so, Clinton continues to repeat the lie during the first debate.) Consider the outcry from citizens across the nation over alleged fraud in the Democratic primaries, largely ignored by state and federal officials until the DNC and Clinton campaign emails get hacked. Consider that the Dept. of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency issue a statement July 28, 2016 proposing to take over the U.S. election process as “critical infrastructure,” thereby bypassing citizen oversight. The DHS and NSA introduce this topic from the Aspen Institute on the last day of the Democratic National Convention. Will anything revealed about Donald Trump surprise us more, or be as damaging to the American electorate?

All this comes as we contemplate what was set in motion in 1988, including some of the first major vote-rigging believed to have occurred in U.S. Presidential elections. Tr. Saturn continues in Scorpio from now through Jan. 27, 2017, and again June 22 to Oct. 27, 2017.

  • 1988: Negative campaign ads: Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater create some of the most brutal but effective negative campaign ads ever seen or used in U.S. politics. Working for George H.W. Bush, their attack ads on Democrat Michael Dukakis, including the infamous “Willy Horton ad” quickly erase his 17 point lead over Bush. Dukakis does not properly defend himself from the attacks, and Bush goes on to win in Nov. 1988 with 53.4% to his opponent’s 45.6%. Bush wins 40 states, while Dukakis wins 10 states plus the District of Colombia. Prior to this, Democrat Gary Hart had been leading as the Democratic candidate, but quickly loses support due to an extramarital affair that becomes known, while rumors of the same about George H.W. Bush have less impact, partly due to strong offensives from Bush and his campaign.
  • 2016: Unprecedented sums are being spent on campaign ads in 2016: $1622 million is raised by all candidates, in combination with SuperPacs. As of Sept. 21, 2016 Clinton has the largest campaign war chest. She has raised $516.8 million, Trump $205.8 million, Gary Johnson $8.4 million, and Jill Stein $1.9 million. (Source: OpenSecrets.org.) Clinton is outspending Trump 52 to 1 on ads, notably TV ads. Despite the number of brutal ads attacking Trump, they do not seem to damage Trump overmuch in the polls. Trump has over $2.1 billion in free air time, thanks to his ability to raise ratings whenever he is on the air from June 2015 onward as a presidential candidate. Television ads do not reach Millennials, who get their news from the Internet and social media. Overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, along with Independents, and once galvanized by Sanders’ progressive agenda, Millennials are the largest demographic in the U.S. but may not line up behind Clinton. Nevertheless, she has the most money to spend and since Citizens United (2010) we know elections can be bought.
  • 1988: End of equal coverage of different points of view on broadcast media: The Fairness   Doctrine is abolished Aug. 5, 1987 by the FCC, fulfilling the long-held aims of the Reagan administration to deregulate the broadcast industry, among many others: This directly impacts the next Presidential Election of 1988. See http://edithhathaway.com/1391-2/#more-1391  Right-wing radio talk shows foment more anger and dissent among voters, who are emboldened to take stronger stances on the issues. Increasingly over the next several election cycles, but notably by 2000 (a Jupiter cycle), the electorate is more and more polarized. Democrats and Republicans elected to Congress are also increasingly unable to work together and increasingly outnumbered by lobbyists. By the Obama administration, 2009-2017, there is virtual gridlock most of the time.
  • 2016: Election 2016 is widely considered the most contentious of any presidential election in recent memory, polarizing the electorate to an unprecedented degree. Donald Trump is accused of racism and fomenting hate speech, while Hillary Clinton is not trusted, appearing above the Rule of Law in many regards, while others get punished or imprisoned for even minor infractions. Trump represents a sector of the American public Tyler Durden describes in Zerohedge Sept. 20, 2016: “America is bitterly and irreparably divided over race, ideology, faith, history and culture, and Trump’s half of the nation rejects the modernist gospel that America’s diversity and multiculturalism are her greatest treasures. To the contrary, Trump’s half wants secure borders, ‘extreme vetting’ of immigrants, especially from the Mideast, and foreign and trade policies marked by an ‘Americanism’ that seems to be an antonym for globalism.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-20/trump-press-death-struggle
  • 1988: The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD): This organization is formed in 1987, calling itself a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation. Not actually nonpartisan, it is comprised of leaders and operatives of the two major political parties – the Republicans and the Democrats, further maintaining the Duopoly and making it more difficult for third party candidates to compete or participate in the presidential debates without a 15% minimum in five separate national polls, to be determined by the CPD. On Oct. 3, 1988 the League of Women Voters withdraws its sponsorship of the presidential debates, saying they “refused to help perpetrate a fraud.” This was after the George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agree to a “Memorandum of Understanding” with many specific demands concerning the debates.
  • 2016: Third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are unable to reach the required 15 percentage points in the polls, thus are ineligible to participate in the presidential debates. The goals of the Democratic and Republican parties since 1988 continue to protect the duopoly of the two major political parties. In fall 2015 Stein and Johnson file a lawsuit challenging the parameters of the CPD rules. The case is decided against them in Aug. 2016. Despite protests at the debate site Sept. 26, 2016 from Jill Stein and her supporters, there is no change. However, Jill Stein does appear in a debate format Sept. 27, 2016 on Democracy Now! Ralph Nader and others protest the ongoing exclusion of third party candidates from public debates. With minimal visibility and funding, they cannot reach a larger public. Vote fraud expert Richard Charnin questions whether corporate media is reporting the true polling numbers for Stein and Johnson, as Stein would take votes from Clinton, Johnson from Trump. Statistics show high unfavorability ratings for both Trump and Clinton, with many voters dissatisfied with the two major party candidates. A Gallup Party Affiliation survey Sept. 18, 2016 shows 42% Independents, 29% Democrats, 29% Republicans. On Sept. 29, 2016, National polls (Rasmussen) show Clinton: 42%, Trump: 41%, Johnson: 7%, Stein: 2%. In a two-way national poll (LA Times/USC Tracking) Clinton: 43%, Trump 47%. [Update Oct. 1, 2016: Trump had complained of a defective microphone, and was mocked by Clinton and her campaign for blaming his debate performance on the microphone.  But on Friday Sept. 30, 2016, the Commission on Presidential Debates made a public statement, with no further details: “Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall.”]
  • 1988: Vote rigging through computerized voting machines: Electronic voting machines are now more widely used as of the 1988 U.S. Presidential election, coinciding with the first major alleged vote-rigging in U.S. Presidential elections specifically via voting machines – though not detected until 2010. At that time applied mathematician and vote fraud expert Richard Charnin obtains raw data from U.S. Presidential Elections: 1988 through 2008. In 2010 he studies and documents the data in great detail, basing his methods on what he calls “solid, unbiased mathematical analysis.” Charnin concludes that starting in 1988 and continuing through 2008, there is an average 8% swing to the Republican candidate. According to Charnin, if a Democrat wins the presidency, he wins by a lesser margin than he would have due to vote-fixing that favors the GOP candidate. Other vote fraud experts participate in vote fraud research and verification of U.S. elections, including Greg Palast, Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis. But there is little public attention to vote fraud in the U.S. via voting machines until after 2000 and 2004, when many citizens seriously question the results of those two elections. Bev Harris becomes a vote fraud activist from 2003, after discovering how easy it is to manipulate the codes in a voting machine, and how relatively undetectable to outsiders. In 2003 Harris founds Black Box voting. See http://blackboxvoting.org/  She is featured in the documentary film Hacking Democracy (2006), which shows citizens investigating the many irregularities found with electronic voting machines during the 2000 and 2004 elections.
  • 2016: See coverage here, including a list of Selected References: http://edithhathaway.com/election-update-june-27-2016/#more-1307     In 2016 Richard Charnin is among those documenting evidence of extensive and blatant election fraud in the 2016 Democratic primaries and caucuses, through voting machines, purging of voter rolls, closing down of polling stations, and a myriad of ways to obstruct certain blocks of voters. He observes little to no vote fraud in the Republican primaries. In every instance, the results are shown to favor Hillary Clinton to the detriment of Bernie Sanders, whose supporters are specifically targeted in state after state across the U.S. From his previous research of U.S. elections 1988 to 2008, Charnin notes that for the first time he is witnessing large scale theft of votes by Democrats from Democrats. Justice.served.org: “It is irrefutable that Bernie Sanders is the true winner of the Democratic Nomination.” Lawsuits are currently in the works, the ongoing status of which can be viewed at http://trustvote.org/ and/or http://justice.served.org  A major lawsuit is filed by vote fraud lawyers on July 11, 2016: Johnson v. Edison Media Research (EMR). After two months, the defendants’ lawyers refuse to submit the raw data on behalf of EMR, which works closely with the Media Consortium (ABC News, Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News), i.e. all the major U.S. media organizations. At that time, as expected, corporate lawyers dismiss the case on behalf of the defendants, who have withheld their raw data for years and since 2004 have been providing Exit poll data to the Media Consortium. The case will be pursued and fought by the plaintiffs – a true David and Goliath situation. An update at Trustvote.org Sept. 28, 2016 gives the latest news, also explaining the lawsuit as follows (bold font is theirs):

“As you know, there was a highly significant, unexplainable difference reported in the exit polls in the Democratic primary for twelve states this year between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Although Bernie appeared to be winning more votes than Hillary, based on the voters leaving the polls, at the end of the day there was a huge discrepancy in 12 states between the exit poll data and the official vote awarded Clinton. When attorney Cliff Arnebeck, an associate of attorney Robert Fitrakis requested that EMR [Edison Media Research] release its raw data on the Democratic primary, EMR not only refused to release the raw data but canceled all further exit polls for the remaining primary elections. An emergency exit poll that TrustVote.org sponsored in three counties in California, Alameda county, Santa Clara county and Contra Costa County revealed that Bernie Sanders won over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by 7.9% rather than 3.1% as shown in the California Secretary of State’s website. It appears that the votes in these counties were electronically manipulated…. If we prevail in this lawsuit, we will be able to see the raw data collected by EMR during the last primary. Bernie Sanders will be able to see the more accurate percentages of votes that he really received before the exit polls were edited. And both the USA and the rest of the world will become aware of the editing of American exit polls that happens routinely in the higher office elections in the US on a regular basis.

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SELECTED REFERENCES

  • http://edithhathaway.com/category/forecast/ [Scroll down to find the author’s previous 8 articles on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, starting from May 2015. Other topics with political forecasts are also available.] 
  • Edith Hathaway, In Search of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology, 2012. [See Chapter 1 for more on the FIRE, EARTH, AIR and WATER periods that run for several hundred years each. Emphasis is on the EARTH period, 1921-2199, when the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions occur predominantly in sidereal EARTH signs. This chapter is titled: Historical Context and Collective Destiny, 56 pp.]

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[This article appears in the Oct. 2016 issue of Astrologic magazine, an on-line magazine.]

               Copyright © 2016 by Edith Hathaway. All rights reserved.