- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2023

Yes, income tax time is here. The Internal Revenue Service has some advice for the public.

“With the nation entering a peak period for filing taxes, the Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers to use online tools to get answers quickly and avoid phone delays during a traditional peak period for IRS phone lines around Presidents Day,” the federal agency said in an advisory released in advance of the holiday.

“Presidents Day weekend, when many people prepare their taxes, historically marks a peak period for IRS phone lines. During the two week February period following Presidents Day, the IRS recommends turning first to the self-help tools available online on IRS.gov to avoid delays,” the agency noted.

“The IRS continues to see improvements this tax season compared to previous years, including better phone service,” IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O’Donnell said in a written statement.

“But we always see a significant surge in phone traffic around Presidents Day. With the calendar advancing, millions of people turn their attention to taxes during this period. To avoid potential delays, we encourage people to check IRS.gov first, which can provide much of the same information instantly to taxpayers,” Mr. O’Donnell said.


Bidding is now underway for the “George Washington Birthday Auction.”

The popular online event has been organized by Mount Vernon, the first president’s fabulous, fascinating and dignified ancestral home on the banks of the Potomac River some 15 miles south of the nation’s capital.

“Proceeds from this event will support the restoration and preservation of George Washington’s beloved home,’ the nonprofit Mount Vernon. As an IRS 50l(c)(3) tax exempt entity (#54-0564701), Mount Vernon is not a government-funded park or agency. We rely on the generosity of friends like you for contributions needed to save George Washington’s historic estate,” the organization noted in a written statement.

Time grows short, though. The auction itself closes at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Auction items range from historically-minded vacation getaways to hand-forged kitchen items, an actual shingle from the Mount Vernon roof, blankets and linens, historic prints and drawings, china and glassware, jewelry, a “colonial bread making class” and some personalized tours —  including the “All the President’s Pups Dog Tour.”

Yes, this is a private tour of the site where guests can bring along their dogs.


Find details at MountVernon.org — under the “What’s coming up” section.


From the National Archives, here’s a formal report about George Washington’s birthday from an official point of view:

“Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on February 22nd until well into the 20th Century. However, in 1968 Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to ‘provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays.’ By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to ‘bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation,” the report noted.

“One of the provisions of this act changed the observance of Washington’s Birthday from February 22nd to the third Monday in February. Ironically, this guaranteed that the holiday would never be celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, as the third Monday in February cannot fall any later than February 21,” it said.

Oh, and one more thing

“Contrary to popular belief, neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington’s Birthday be changed to ‘President’s Day,’” the report advised.


“Love is fighting for someone you don’t know.”

So advises the latest public outreach from Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

The message features the phrase on a new campaign sticker plus a plea for a donation to Our Revolution, a nonprofit, grassroots-funded “progressive political organizing group” founded by Mr. Sanders following his 2016 quest to become U.S. president.


Teacher shortages from kindergarten through high school are a “top concern for higher education leaders,” according to a new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) reviewed by Campus Reform, a conservative watchdog that monitors the nation’s higher-education system.

SHEEO itself is the national association for chief executives of statewide governing, policy, and coordinating boards of postsecondary education.  

“Approximately 95% of the SHEEO members surveyed indicated that shortages were an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ issue, tying first with economic and workforce development based on its importance to respondents,” the organization said.

“Colleges of education are captured by critical pedagogy,” Daniel Buck — a teacher and a senior visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute — told Campus Reform.

Mr. Buck defined “critical pedagogy” as “a radical philosophy of education that sees schools as centers for activism” and said that the by-products of this philosophy include “politicized curriculum,” increased responsibilities on teachers — and “behavioral mayhem.”

Brown University research which tracked reports of teacher shortages in the U.S. shows that American schools had “at least 163,000 underqualified teachers and at least 36,000 vacant teaching positions.”

The research was released in August.


• 28% of registered U.S. voters “strongly disapprove” of the way the U.S. Congress is handling its job.

• 28% “somewhat disapprove.”

• 18% “neither approve nor disapprove” of the job Congress is doing.

• 13% “somewhat approve.”

• 5% “strongly approve” of the job Congress is doing.

• 7% are “not sure” about the issue.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,309 registered U.S. voters conducted Feb. 11-14.

• Enjoy the holiday, thanks for reading and follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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