This might be interesting. I don't know how to read these beads, though, so it might turn into a big, fat nothing burger, too. We'll see.
On Wednesday, the White House will present its budget, one widely presumed to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits "going forward" and to do who knows what all damage to remaining social programs -- which have already been severely impacted by state and local budget cuts since the advent of the Permanent Recession, and have not in any way kept pace with the social needs of the American People as they are forced further and further into poverty and destitution.
Many people have pointed out that even Granny Starver Paul Ryan's budget doesn't (directly) harm the old, the halt, the blind and the lame. Obama's does. Or at least it's reported to in advance of its anxiously awaited release.
"Nixon goes to China" and all that.
There's not a lot that We the People can do about these machinations of the High and the Mighty. We can do almost nothing about them through elections. The political/electoral process in this country -- a process which was never amenable to the public interest or the public good -- has reached what looks like a terminal phase. It has become fundamentally useless as a means for accomplishing public interest ends. Only special interests can be accommodated. There are plenty of signs there is no chance for recovery from this condition. Both the major political parties are beholden to the richest players at the table, both do their bidding; neither is more than marginally conscious of the People and the public interest.
When the People become restless, the state cracks down with ever greater cruelty and violence. We live in what is effectively a police state set up and operated on behalf of a relative handful of vastly wealthy individuals and institutions.
The so-called "progressive" position under the current circumstances is to preserve what can be preserved of what remains of the New Deal social programs and to advance "cultural values" issues, such as same-sex marriage and so on.
In other words, preserve the status quo on vital issues -- to the extent that's possible -- and make incremental advances on the cultural margins, apparently so that generations to come will be culturally capable of and conditioned to doing the right thing on those vital matters.
In my view, there's nothing truly progressive about these positions at all. There's nothing progressive because there is nothing new in holding on to the tattered remnants of a more and more irrelevant social program status quo, nor is there anything new in extending rights to smaller and smaller segments of previously marginalized population segments. They may be desirable on their own account, but they are not "progress." One is quite self-consciously standing still.
So we now have a media frenzy and internet freakout over the White House's proposed "reforms" -- ie: cuts -- to Social Security and Medicare and doG-knows what other abominations the new federal budget contains.
But is it a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing?
Wouldn't surprise me.