Of course the two biggest stories of the month took place around this time, first the break-down of the Copenhagen talks and secondly the health care bill that finally passed the Senate on December 24th.
This was the text of a news story appearing on the 19th as the talks in were breaking down, a defeat in part to U.S. global leadership:
It's 2.30 am and dejection is palpable in the halls of Copenhagen's Bella Centre, home to the last two week's climate talks. Obama has left; there's another draft deal being passed around; Gordon Brown says he's happy; the G77 block of poor nations is crying bloody murder; delegates are leaving in droves, looking tired and depressed. The sense, generally, is that the last two years have been a waste of time.
Outside, meanwhile, hundreds have gathered carrying big yellow signs that scream "climate shame".
The draft text is the most vague we've seen so far, with all specific targets for cutting emissions stripped out, replaced by a list of the commitments that various nations have already made. Speaking to the US press before jetting back to Washington DC, Obama himself suggested it was "a case where instead of taking one step forward we may have taken two steps back". A week ago, given the number of world leaders involved, this degree of failure seemed impossible. Now, it seems inevitable.
This raises the question that will reverberate down the corridors of time about whether the government of any nation is really serious about climate change. The climactic configurations of the next few years point to conflicts and difficulties to be resolved, and this is surely one of them.
Then the Senate health care bill that came up also in this latter part of the month of December is also huge for America – the first major change in health care in many years and an attempt to fix an extremely dysfunctional system as is widely perceived. The final bill that passed in the early hours of Christmas Eve, the same day as the Quarter Moon, is also very much a mixed bag; some have praised it as at least a first step while others revile it and say that it does not go nearly far enough. The relevant transits, of Saturn in conjunction to the U.S. Midheaven while Pluto squares this same point, and touched off by the First Quarter Moon exactly square transiting Pluto, speak to the issue being transformative for the way that government in this country operates and is viewed. The Pluto transit to the U.S. Midheaven is all about the transformation of that government by trials that will test its efficacy, and on that regard it could be said that: (a) the system worked, a bill was produced and that (b) the system did not work very well for the common man, but more for the moneyed interests that are also at stake here, that is, the insurance industry's profits, which are considered sacrosanct.
Either way it is plain to see that things are changing rapidly today in America.
Over the next few months, the significant transits are the same ones that we have already seen, namely the Saturn – Pluto square that aligns with the U.S. Midheaven, effective for the next nine months at least, plus the Uranus in square to the U.S Midheaven, opposed by Saturn, which really comes into its own in late May 2010, and the Uranus – Pluto square, which is active over the coming several years, and which becomes exact for the first time in June of 2012. Taken in sum, these transits mean nothing less than the transformation of America, and of the American life style, a transformation that was began in 2001 with the Saturn – Pluto opposition that was active then across the U.S Ascendant. This touched off the transit of Pluto through the First House of the U.S. chart, and eventually in opposition to the U.S. Sun degree (beyond 2012).
In the near future, the Solar Eclipse of January 15th conjuncts U.S Pluto, while transiting Pluto still squares the U.S. Midheaven, so more that fireworks are obviously indicated, with the forces for progressive change still duking it out with the forces for conservative reactivity. The remaining debates on health care promise to be every bit as bloody as the first have been, and maybe even more so, as the State of the Union message looms in the same mid-month timeframe.