Dysfunction in DC: the Trump-McConnell feud

(24 August 2017) With Congress set to return after the summer recess, US president Donald Trump is looking increasingly weakened and isolated.  As he tries to shake off the Charlottesville controversy, Trump is now insisting that he will shutdown the US government if Congress does not approve funding for his border wall with Mexico.  The shutdown threat comes as Congress enters into its annual negotiations to raise the debt ceiling which is required under US law.  If Congress cannot strike a deal by the September 29th deadline, the government will default on its debt.

Negotiations will be made more complicated because of an ongoing feud between Trump and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.   There is no love lost between these two men and recent reports are they haven't spoken for weeks.  McConnell has even gone so far as to speak publicly about whether Trump's presidency can survive.  Trump's problem is that he needs McConnell onside to have any chance of passing his administration's agenda.  And yet it seems less the case that McConnell needs Trump, however, as the GOP risks losing seats in the 2018 midterms due to Trump's low popularity. 

While we don't know McConnell's time of birth, his horoscope cast for noon shows how he can act as a thorn in the side of Trump.  McConnell was born with a close conjunction of Mars and Saturn in late sidereal Aries.  This may give him tenacity and a strong, resolute character to persevere against hardship or opposition.  As it happens, this conjunction sits very close to Trump's 10th house cusp or Midheaven ("MC") at 1 degree of Taurus.  The 10th house is at the top of the chart and represents career, status, and achievements.  

Mars and Saturn are both considered to be naturally malefic planets.   When these planets align with key points in another person's chart, it often speaks to tensions and difficulty in the relationship.  McConnell's Saturn can therefore be said to be blocking or restricting Trump's ability to achieve his goals.  In other words, Trump's achievements (10th house) have to come to terms with McConnell's restrictions (Saturn).   The Mars influence provides additional energy in the interpersonal dynamic, although the nearby presence of Saturn suggests there is often a negative tone. 

McConnell's Mars also casts its most malefic 8th house (210 degree) aspect to Trump's Moon-Ketu conjunction within just two degrees.  This kind of Moon-Mars connection between two charts can introduce a level of animosity and conflict that is always there, at least in the background.   A Moon-Mars conjunction between charts can indicate more constructive applications of energy but the 8th house aspect is less positive. 

We can see that the feud is at a very intense level now as Mars approaches its conjunction with Rahu (North Node) this weekend.  Mars and Rahu come under the exact square aspect of McConnell's Mars and indicates intense frustration and conflict.  Trump's chart is no less afflicted as we have seen as Mars prepares to enter Leo on Aug 27 and then conjoin his natal Mars on Sep 1.   We should expect more rancor between them with the very real possibility of the rift growing wider in the coming days.  And with the US horoscope also looking very afflicted by the Mars-Rahu conjunction, it seems likely that the dysfunction and division in Washington could escalate to a new level. 

The Debt Ceiling

It also looks very likely that the upcoming debt ceiling talks will go down to the wire and could even go past the deadline.  A look at McConnell's chart shows why.  In late September, Mars conjoins his natal Rahu at 20 Leo while both Saturn and Rahu remain in alignment with his natal Mars-Saturn.   The focus of this transit is around Sep 25th and offers some evidence for the probability of major tensions in the debt ceiling bill.  Interestingly, House Leader Paul Ryan's chart is similarly afflicted by Mars since it conjoins his Ketu (18 Leo) and squares his relocated Ascendant (19 Scorpio).   This transit could represent a setback or failure in negotiations.

It is even possible the negotiations could become deadlocked and Congress may miss the Sep 29th deadline.   The Mars-Saturn square on October 8 lines up closely with Trump's Moon and with McConnell's Mars-Saturn conjunction.   While this alignment may not be related to the debt ceiling, it does seem to be related to the ongoing battle between Trump and McConnell. 

These difficult transits in the charts of the principal players in DC suggest that the debt ceiling talks will not go smoothly.   If that is the case, financial markets may become nervous and stocks could fall.  It is something to watch as we head into September

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have enjoyed a modest rebound so far this week on rumours that progress has been made on tax reform in Congress.   The Dow finished Wednesday at 21,812.  Indian stocks have also bounced this week after last week's decline.  The BSE-Sensex opens Thursday's session at 31,568.  In last week's market forecast, I thought that we might see some upside in the first half of the week around the eclipse and that has taken place. 

The rest of this week has a somewhat increased risk of downside.   Thursday looks a little more negative than Friday as the Moon conjoins bullish Jupiter at the end of the week.   Early next week looks more problematic as Mars enters Leo and conjoins the North Lunar Node (Rahu).

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.