Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Mar 25, 2015
March 25, 2015
Political Racket /Dirty Tricks:
The House Oversight Committee is set to consider a bill today that would penalize federal workers for not paying their income taxes on time. That's because yesterday, the government released figures showing federal workers and retirees owe the IRS $3.5 billion dollars.
It turns out that about three percent of all federal employees, including civilian and military employees, are late on their taxes. That means that they either didn't pay the full amount owed when they filed a return, or an IRS audit found that they owed more than they'd paid.
When you break it out by department, the IRS employees (and the Dep't of the Treasury workers) are the most compliant, with only 1.2 percent of them owing money on their taxes. Postal workers are the worst, with about five percent of them owing money --which totals near $350 million dollars. In all last year, federal employees owed the government $3.3 billion dollars.
If approved, the bill would punish federal workers with "seriously delinquent tax debts" and have them fired, or prohibited from being hired.
Though it remains the stimulant of choice for many a morning show host, Americans may be OVER diet sodas.
Sales of low-calorie soft drinks in the U.S. are down almost 20 percent over the past five years, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor.
This year, diet soda sales are on pace to drop another five percent. By 2019, they're projected to have fallen off by roughly a third since their peak in 2009. Diet Coke is the third best-selling soda in the United States but has seen sales drop 15 percent since 2013. Sales of second-largest low-calorie brand Diet Pepsi have tanked by roughly 35 percent. (Kaye)
IGGY AZALEA spent some of her hard-earned wealth at the friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon's office. The "Fancy" rapper reveals in the new issue of Vogue that she gave "the girls" a boost about four-months-ago and had been thinking about a boob job her "entire life!" Iggy went under the knife for a very good reason --she wears a size two or zero on the top, a six on the bottom and had to have everything tailored. (Lee)
On, off and way-off Broadway:
BRANDY will make her Broadway debut next month. The Hollywood Reporter says she'll be the first African-American actress to play Roxie Hart in the long-running musical, "Chicago." Brandy will step into the fishnets for an eight-week run, beginning on April 28th at the Ambassador Theater and wrapping up on June 21st. JENNIFER NETTLES is playing Roxie through March 29th, and then PAIGE DAVIS takes over through April 27th. (Marino)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
PAULA DEEN comes back on TV today.
Paula, who's been off TV since her racist remarks in 2013, will be bringing her show, "Paula Deen's Kitchen," to Evine Live, a cable channel which was formerly a shopping network called ShopHQ.
The show will reportedly be a live, three-hour program in which Paula will offer exclusive food and pantry items for purchase, and viewers will be able to ask her questions via Google Hangout.
Officials with the United States Postal Service say they've identified a Oklahoma City mail carrier who was caught on camera throwing a valuable package.
Oklahoma City resident PEDRO GONZALES filmed the female mail carrier with security cameras while she allegedly chucked the package containing a camera and Blu-ray discs. As the box landed on Gonzales' porch, the mail carrier allegedly ran a lap around her delivery vehicle then drove off. Postal Service officials say the woman has been identified and they're taking steps to prevent a repeat performance. (Still)
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