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Former spy boss becomes spied-upon, and shutdown didn’t delay tax deadline

One of the nation’s top eavesdroppers could use a little work on his spycraft. Or perhaps we’ve grown so accustomed to the ubiquity of cell phones that we forget where we are. That appeared to be the case when Michael V. Hayden, the former head of the National Security Agency, boarded an Acela train heading north from Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Hayden used his cell phone to talk with three journalists seeking comment on the recent reports of NSA eavesdropping on the leaders of France and Germany. He spoke loudly enough that other passengers could hear him. Tom Matzzie, a former Washington director of the political group, then got on his cell phone, too, tweeting about what the former spy boss was saying. It all ended well enough, with the two posing for a photo – that Matzzie promptly posted on Twitter.

The Internal Revenue Service will delay the start of tax filing season by a week or two because of the government shutdown. Unfortunately for the taxpaying public, the traditional April 15 end of the tax season won’t change.

The 16-day government shutdown caused the furlough of more than 90 percent of the agency’s 94,516 workers and closed most of its operations at the peak of the agency’s preparations for the new tax year.

The change mostly affects early filers who want to get their hands on their tax refunds.

The IRS could start accepting returns between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, but the final decision won’t come until December. Something not to look forward to.