April 18, 2011, News Update

04/18/2011 04:58 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2011


IRS designates April 18 as deadline for paying federal income taxes, giving you three more days to procrastinate.

Wanna know why? On April 16, 1862, Washington DC became first US territory to free slaves. That date now an official public holiday known as Emancipation Day in DC. But since April 16 falls on a Saturday this year, Emancipation Day observed on Friday, April 15, so all federal workers had off. Hence, April 18 as Tax Day. At least, that's the explanation from the IRS. Aren't you glad you asked?

Personal note: I've notified IRS that I've incorporated myself as General Electric and therefore will not be paying any taxes this year. H & R Block frowns.

NBC News waits six days before reporting GE tax story. By contrast, the very day GE announced it was taking over RCA (and therefore NBC), news editors planned a story on GE's polluting the Hudson River. (Heard anything on CBS about Katie Couric's leaving?)

Coalition of progressive organizations led by is staging rallies all over country to protest against GE and other major corporations which make huge profits and pay no federal income tax. Yeah, that should shake 'em up. What a wussy idea. If you really want to shake up GE, organize a national boycott of GE products. That'll at least get their attention.

Bush-era tax cuts for the rich, extended for two years at insistence of Congressional Republicans, estimated to cost $42 Billion more than the $38 Billion in spending cuts contained in recent budget deal. If that doesn't make you seething made, wait 'til the next item.

IRS estimates $300 Billion (with a "B") in due taxes go unpaid each year (led by Wesley Snipes and Willie Nelson?) How come nobody talks about that in all the bloviating about the federal budget?

Speaking of which, the Battle of the Budget has been joined as Democrats and Republicans issue dueling versions and insult each other.

Rep. Congressman Paul Ryan proposes budget with unique solution for solving Medicare insolvency problems: Don't Get Sick.

President Obama delivers own budget proposal, invites Ryan to White House to sit in front row during speech where he can hear up close his proposal being trashed by the President.

One senior Democrat apparently not impressed by Obama speech: Vice President Joe Biden. Cameras catch him sleeping. (Where was NY Post headline saying "Joe Naps While Bam Yaps"?). VP's office says he was merely checking eyelids for holes.

Biden nevertheless named to oversee Democrat-Republican deliberations on next federal budget. Will politicians really do something about deficit long-term or will they wimp out? Can you really save 15% by switching to GEICO?

Biden's dozing overshadowed in Reno, where air controller slept while plane tried to land. Head of air controllers' agency rejects proposal to allow controllers to take authorized naps during shifts to relieve fatigue. Too bad. Who knows where first federally-sanctioned naps on the job would have led?

With its usual exquisite sense of timing, Israel announces building of new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory while Israeli President visits White House. But now Israel has committed a much graver diplomatic blunder. Prime Minister Netanyahu cancels scheduled meeting with pop sensation Justin Bieber. Bibi, you blew've lost the support of millions of teen-agers in America.

Pop quiz: Who won Women's NCAA basketball championship? Uconn.....Wrong...That was the men....How about Texas A & M? Right. OK, if you're so smart, what does "A & M" stand for? *****See below.

James Murdoch promoted to high-ranking position at News Corporation, putting him in line to eventually succeed his father Rupert as the head guy. Don't scoff. He started in the mailroom.

Britain's Prince Harry promoted to Captain in British Army. Don't scoff. He started in the womb.

Finally, some good news for college grads! McDonald's will be hiring 50,000 new employees on April 19.

*****Nothing. The school was founded as The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. When it achieved university status in 1963, it changed its name to "Texas A & M," with the A and the M no longer meaning anything specific. (And you thought News Update was just fluff).