Wow, Bernie in the Appalachians

Jaw dropping enthusiasm

When I clicked online to Bernie's kick-off site and looked at the rallies planned in these venerable old mountains, my jaw literally dropped and a gasp of air joined my exploding smile.

"My god, this area is deep red." There exist no Democratic representation in DC from any of these isolated areas where the streams flow swift and most livings are made by toiling on the land.

Open Thread 07-23-15

Good morning 99percenters!
Morning news dump and music by John Lennon

Social Security Has Enough Money To Expand Benefits Now, Trustee's Report Shows
Billions are available now and in the near-future.

The Social Security Board of Trustees has just released its annual report to Congress. The most important takeaways are that Social Security has a large and growing surplus, and its future cost is fully affordable.

The BLM versus White Progressive Skirmish--aka Primary Wars Redux

I don't have much time so I'm going to be brief. This was meant to be a comment in another diary on the subject at the GOS, but I've decided to put this out here on its own.

This all, to me, seems as it's a Sanders versus Clinton proxy war, with genuine anger and sympathy for the fucked up situation that Sommer Foster had to deal with. I feel horrible for the bullying that she had to endure. No one should have to endure that. No one.

Wikileaks reveals US used NSA in effort to suppress revelations about CIA torture and renditions

Yesterday Wikileaks published documentation of NSA spying on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier along with a list of 20 targets in the German Foreign Ministry.

One of the documents is an NSA intercept of Steinmeier's communications after Steinmeier met his US counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

According to the intercept, Steinmeier "seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."

The visit occurred in the context of an escalating and ongoing scandal in Europe over clandestine "rendition flights" conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using the airspace and airport facilities of cooperating European countries, in which it was alleged by leading news publications that European citizens and residents had been abducted outside of any legal process and taken to secret "black site" prisons, where they could be tortured with impunity. After the scandal emerged, European governments defied their publics, continuing to cooperate with the United States while denying all knowledge of rendition flights. These denials relied heavily on the insistence of European governments that they had received confidential "diplomatic assurances" from the United States that nothing illegal was taking place. It was subsequently shown in numerous court proceedings and commissions of inquiry that the activity was illegal.