You say you want a revolution? Well, many Democrats said nope

So, a Democratic primary candidate who is not a Democrat, who ran mainly against the Democratic Party, got whacked upside the head on Super Tuesday. How… not surprising. Apparently lots of mainstream Democrats weren’t real excited about the prospect of four years of a cranky socialist ranting at them and trying to rule by edict. Especially after four years of a deranged criminal howling at everything.

Trump tries to insult Biden by calling him Sleepy Joe. I’m thinking many might view a lowkey presidency as a feature not a bug.

California is the last big-delegate state that Sanders can easily expect to win. From now on it’s hard slogging for Bernie, and the path to win is easier for Biden.

(rant mode on)
Some of you need to give up the socialist cosplaying. Because socialism isn’t what you think it is and your lack of knowledge about it is embarrassing. Example: Bernie Sanders was an SWP elector in 1980. Republicans will absolutely weaponize that against Sanders. Because SWP wasn’t then and isn’t now weak tea democratic socialism. It’s Marxist-Leninist, Trots to be exact. Communists. Real ones. If doesn’t matter what you think of them. Know that Republicans will attack Sanders mercilessly and effectively on this. And the attacks will be damaging. Because most Americans don’t want socialism. They just don’t

Norway is not socialist nor is it democratic socialism (which apparently can now be defined as whatever the person wants it to mean.) If anything, Norway has a fine and wonderful New Deal-like safety net. And the biggest sovereign wealth fund on the planet. This isn’t even slightly socialist.

Nor will the US ever be socialist. Full stop. We can have a great safety net, affordable healthcare and education. But we won’t ever be socialist.
(rant mode off)

Sanders has had a wide open shot at selling his brand of democratic socialism and at remaking the Democratic Party in his own image. All he had to do was get enough votes to overcome the built-in advantage for the moderate, non-socialist candidate favored by the party’s establishment. Ultimately, most Democratic primary voters have said no thanks.

Healthcare and paid sick leave would slow coronavirus spread in US

Unlike most countries, the US does not mandate paid sick leave. So, workers infected with coronavirus might well continue working because they have to pay the rent. Also, many workers have crappy or nonexistent insurance. Thus, they probably won’t seek medical help until they are in desperate condition, because they can’t afford thousands of dollars in bills.

This seems like a near-perfect way for coronavirus to spread. Which it is indeed doing now, worldwide too. Countries like France have 20 days paid sick leave and a serious plan to stop coronavirus. They say don’t go to a hospital, instead, call a special number and care will be provided. This is a rational, well-thought-out plan.

The US has none of that. Instead Trump babbles about the stock market and Pence is silencing scientists in the government from speaking. Because for them it’s all about gaslighting and PR spin. The Trump Adminstration appears completely unconcerned that people may die in the US from coronavirus.

Most of the following links are from BNO News. They are reliable. Check their Twitter and Coronavirus mini-site (which has links to all news items)

Coronavirus spread

Iceland, Wales, Azerbaijan, Belarus, New Zealand, Lithuania, Nigeria report first cases of coronavirus

Moscow’s deputy mayor says 88 foreign nationals who violated coronavirus quarantine measures will be deported

British passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship dies of coronavirus

2 hotels in Abu Dhabi have been put on lockdown after 2 Italians tested positive for coronavirus. Guests are being screened.

Switzerland bans all events with more than 1,000 people to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Hokkaido in northern Japan declares state of emergency due to coronavirus, urges people to stay at home this weekend

Economic impact

Air traffic is way off. Multiples reports of nearly empty airports and no waits.

Geneva Motor Show just cancelled, 600,000 normally attend. Many more trade shows cancelled too.

BTS (who are ginormous) and many other performers have cancelled concerts in Asia.

Coronavirus spreads to multiple countries. South Korea, Iran hit hard

Coronavirus is highly infectious, can be spread by those with no symptoms, and has a death rate of about 2%. Some areas have infections with no obvious links to China, making it difficult to determine how it is spreading. Worse, it appears reinfection can happen.

Let’s not be alarmist, however this is really serious and will probably get worse. Take precautions. CDC says avoid contact with sick people, avoid touching eyes, nose, moth, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Coronavirus can be transmitted via fecal-oral route, so, yeah, washing hands is absolutely crucial.

There are outbreaks. There are epidemics. And there are pandemics, where epidemics become rampant in multiple countries and continents simultaneously. The novel coronavirus that causes the disease named covid-19 appears to be on the verge of that third, globe-shaking stage.

Amid an alarming surge in cases with no clear link to China, infectious disease experts believe the flulike illness may soon be impossible to contain.

Global spread

South Korea’s prime minister says situation is “grave”, advises people to avoid crowded places.

10 Italian towns are locked down now.

Iran says coronavirus has spread to multiple cities. Singapore has at least 86 cases now.

Economic impact

China is a major importer and exporter. Our worldwide system of Just-in-time production doesn’t really have contingency plans for major delays. US companies are finding that their suppliers may have suppliers who use Chinese-made parts, and those aren’t available now.

Apple has already been impacted and says earnings will be off.

China’s economy is taking a hit. Factories need to open yet authorities fear infections could multiply if that happens too soon.

Why mainstream Democrats don’t think Sanders can win the presidency

The Democratic nominee must win several battleground states to be elected president. Popular vote doesn’t matter. Electoral votes do. The electoral college is indeed an archaic convoluted mess. However it is the system under which a Democrat must win. It doesn’t matter if NY and CA go Democratic by huge margins. We know the Democrat will win them. However, it matters very much what happens in about eight other states, states that are not nearly as woke as NY and CA.

Mainstream Democrats, the DNC, and much of the pundit class do not think Sanders can win crucial swing states, primarily because he identifies as socialist, which severely hurts him in those states.

Me, I am baffled why Sanders identifies as socialist when he’s mostly a New Deal Democrat. He’d probably get way more votes with essentially the same platform if he just dropped the socialist ranting. But he won’t. And that’s a problem. The heartland, where most of those battleground states are, don’t much care for socialism. They just don’t.

And permit me a rant. Norway is not socialist. It has a great safety net, with free education and health care. Yay! However the government doesn’t own the means of production. However, it does own the biggest sovereign wealth fund on the planet, which pretty much makes it capitalist to the bone. It is not Democratic Socialist. And it would just be great if Bernie supporters would stop getting all misty-eyed about how socialist Norway is.

Also, for those who say they support socialism, that means the government owns most everything, so they’d be ok with just one cell phone company, one that is owned by the government? Didn’t think so.

Battleground states include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Florida. They would probably be less likely to support a socialist than the general population. And a Gallup poll on Feb. 11, 2020 found that the only category that less that half would vote for is socialist.

This is why mainstream Democrats (and Bloomberg) will do whatever is needed to derail Sanders, because they assume Sanders will lose most of the swing states. And if that happens, Sanders and the Democrats will be crushed.

More than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a presidential candidate nominated by their party who happened to be black, Catholic, Hispanic, Jewish or a woman. Such willingness drops to eight in 10 for candidates who are evangelical Christians or are gays or lesbians. Between six and seven in 10 would vote for someone who is under 40 years of age, over 70, a Muslim or an atheist.

Just one group tested — socialists — receives majority opposition. Less than half of Americans, 45%, say they would vote for a socialist for president, while 53% say they would not.

IRS Lock-in letter. Withholding and Form W-4 have changed.

Everyone dreads opening a letter from the IRS. The Lock-in letter is common. It means the IRS has determined an employee is not withholding enough. The letter goes to the employer and the employee. This can happen if an employee is continually late in paying taxes due and the IRS determines the issue is they are not withholding enough. The employee has a certain period of time to submit a new W-4 which must have more withholding, and never less.

But wait, you say, I thought an employee could claim whatever withholding they wanted on a W-4. Well sort of. The old W-4 form allowed that, and millions are still locked in on it. However the new W-4 is more complex. It allows for multiple jobs and 1099 incomes, has worksheets, and specifically does not allow for less withholding that what is calculated. You can withhold more than calculated, but not less. And everything needs to be documented. So, if you’re single, you might have claimed a bunch of dependents on the old W-4 to get more money in your paycheck. Those days are gone. The form asks how many dependents you have, and making up numbers is not recommended.

A Lock-in letter is not a penalty and is not saying taxes are due. It will however result in the taxpayer having more money withheld in their W-2 paychecks, so the checks will be smaller. Obviously, this could be an issue for some people if the higher withholding has a financial impact on them.

I’m preparing taxes at H&R Block now. If you get an IRS letter that is confusing or you aren’t sure what do do, make an appointment with an Enrolled Agent at a Block office. An EA is “a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels—examination, collection, and appeals—of the Internal Revenue Service.”

However, if you get an IRS letter that says you owe money, and you agree that you do, just send a check and you’re done. If you owe less than $10,000, you can usually set up payment plans online at irs.gov for payments up to seven years.