Renaud Lambert, writing in Counterpunch, wonders if Spain's own far-left, pro-worker party, Podemos, can do in Spain what SYRIZA did in Greece. You won't find their program very aggressive, either, and why shouldn't it be? After all, liberals don't have to convince mainstream folks they're harmless; they have to remind mainstream folks of what they really want, which is a fighting chance at a good life. But Mr. Iglesias give signs that he gets that -- he won his leadership post within the party after telling the party not to get too bogged down in matters such as exactly how leaderless it should be, because nobody will run through a wall for thinky-think stuff.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed legislation that would spend $200 billion annually over the next five years strictly on America's aging infrastructure. That figure would be four times the amount the next Transportation appropriations bill aims to spend. But his proposal actually falls short (by about $120 billion annually) of the recommendation made by the American Society of Civil Engineers (who seem nonetheless sanguine about it), and I don't understand why Mr. Sanders won't come out and say we need to tax millionaire income a lot harder to pay for it -- which latter item has been a problem with him, as his previous tax hike proposals have been similarly meager. Maybe he's not the left-wing dream supporters of a potential Presidential run hope he is.
Citizens for Tax Justice finds the Paul/Boxer
tax amnesty repatriation-for-infrastructure proposal to be a perverse way of rewarding corporations who ship their profits overseas so they can avoid their obligations to America. CTJ reminds us that "repatriation holidays don't raise revenue -- they lose it," by taxing profits at a much lower rate than the rate to which they'd otherwise be subject, and they induce corporations to shift more of their profits overseas. No guff from the peanut gallery about ZOMG TEH TAX RATE IZ TOO HIGH!!!!! -- the biggest corporations buy enough tax breaks from our politicians that they barely pay a third of the corporate tax rate, on average.
Marin County, California man asks his neighborhood school to bar unvaccinated children. He has good reason -- his own son has been battling leukemia for three-quarters of his young life already, and the many rounds of chemotherapy have left his immune system too fragile to handle immunizations. Hence, if he catches something from a student whose parents are too dumb to see through thoroughly-discredited, celebrity-promoted "science" about the supposed relationship between vaccines and autism -- a relationship, I feel compelled to note again, "discovered" by a scientist who invented data to suit his ends -- he could die, thanks (I feel compelled to note again) to the unusually high number of University of Google graduates who appear to populate Marin County.
Finally, we learn how Nebraska -- you know, the state with two Republican parties, one of which happens to call itself the Democratic party -- became the only state in the union with entirely public electric utilities. Big corporations had just about taken over the state's electricity by the 1930s, but a series of state- and federal-level initiatives turned the corporate tide back; now Nebraska has a diverse set of public providers giving its citizens local control and low-cost power, with more and more of it coming from renewable energy sources. Lesson: people power gives us the best chance of getting the best results.