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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Money-saving tips for last-minute tax filers via Dave Barry:

Let's take a look at the standard Form 1040 and see where you should focus your tax-cutting efforts:

Taxpayer name: Here's a tax-saving opportunity few taxpayers take advantage of: Instead of simply writing your name, write your name plus the word "DECEASED."  This can save you big money down the road.

Tax form
In my case, I owe three marbles,
six magic beans, and a kidney.
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Presidential Election Campaign Fund checkoff box: If you check this box, $3 of your taxes will be earmarked for a special fund to pay for presidential campaigns.  Notice that the government does not permit you to earmark the money for poor people, or sick people, or national defense.  No, the government permits you to earmark money only for the purpose of enabling politicians to produce TV commercials designed to appeal to voters who have the IQ of a Vienna sausage.

Exemptions: In calculating your dependants, you should bear two things in mind: 1. The more dependants you have, the less tax you owe.  2. Nowhere in the U.S. tax code does it explicitly state, in so many words, that these dependants cannot be imaginary, if you are catching my drift.

If you're called in for an audit, the important thing is: Don't panic.  Gather up all your financial records, consult with your lawyer and your accountant and then, on the appointed day, flee to Uzbekistan.

---From Dave Barry's Money Secrets (2006, Crown)

For your convenience the C&J Coffee/Red Bull/NoDoz courtesy wagon will circulate hourly throughout the day. Folks who live in Maine or Massachusetts don't have to file state returns until tomorrow because we get an extra day on account of it's the holiday known as Patriots' Day. We'll use the extra free time clip-clopping around town naked on horseback yelling "Tyranny!!!" just like a certain famous patriot did in Longfellow's unpublished poem, The Midday Drunken Pre-Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Monday, April 15, 2013

Note: Due to the Patriots' Day holiday, Monday garbage pickup in Maine and Massachusetts will actually be happening last Saturday.  A message from your friends at the Department of Untimely Reminders.

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By the Numbers:
Days 'til Earth Day: 7
Days 'til the FIRST Tech Challenge student robotics competition in St. Louis: 9
Estimated number of runners expected to take part in the Boston Marathon today: 27,000
Percent chance that "Sandy" has been permanently retired from the list of possible hurricane names by the World Meteorological Organization: 100%
Number of other hurricane names that have been taken off the list: 77
(Source: USA Today)
Age of Dodge City Chrysler dealership worker Glenn Mauch, who was recently honored as the oldest employee in Kansas: 95
Cost of the two-door Royal Business Coupe, the most affordable Chrysler model when Mauch started working there: $995

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NEW!  California Dreamin'

Brought to you by the 2013 Netroots Nation Convention in San Jose, June 20-23.  Did you know that San Jose was the first capital of California before Sacramento horned in on the action and stole it?  It's true and I CAN PROVE IT:

The Circle of Palms Plaza in San Jose
The spot where the state capital
was STOLEN by Sacramento.
The Circle of Palms Plaza is located in downtown San Jose [and] is the location of California Historical Marker 461, the site of California's first state capital from 1849-1851. Today a ring of palm trees encircles a California State Seal at the historical marker, between the Fairmont San Jose Hotel, the Knight-Ridder building (Silicon Valley Financial Center) and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Another great pic here.  By the way, how can you tell if a tropical tree accused of a crime is lying during interrogation?  Sweaty palms.

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Puppy Pic of the Day:  Two words you don’t see in the same sentence very often: "Putin" and "Frolics."

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CHEERS to having company over for a little grip 'n grin.  Here's a sneak peek at President Obama's White House schedule for today.  First he'll welcome players of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, who won the college football championship last year.  Then he'll participate in a ceremony to credential a gaggle of new ambassadors, including:

Her Excellency Maria Cecilia Nahon, Ambassador of the Argentine Republic
His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
His Excellency Mohktar Chaouachi, Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic
His Excellency Archil Gegeshidze, Ambassador of Georgia
His Excellency Ruben Ignacio Zamora Rivas, Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador
After receiving their "Park Anywhere You Want Without Penalty Cuz You're A Fuckin' Ambassador And You Can Do Anything You Please" pass, the diplomats will play the Crimson Tide in a regulation-length football game and get beat 596-0.

JEERS to closing the barn door after the horse got out.  Talking Points Memo reports that a former Democratic official thinks that Progress Kentucky's secret recording of a strategy session with Mitch McConnell is making a mockery of Super PACs.  Yeah---SuperPACs were so stately and respected before now.  I think this calls for creation of a new Super PAC.  I'm calling it Super PAC for Freedom from Super PACs Against Super PACs who make a mockery of Super PACs.  It'll star Karl Rove wearing a diaper.

CHEERS to the funny pages.  This letter to the editor of The Portland Press Herald is a bon mot of paranoia:

The United nations on opening day: january 9, 1951
World domination headquarters.
(Run by pod people, or so we hear...)
The “sustainable development” movement going on in Maine and originating in the U.N.’s Agenda 21 plan is not as benign as the words often attached to it sound: “sustainable,” “vibrant,” “walkable,” “bikeable,” “green.”  Nothing but “environmental humanism” buzzwords! […]

What’s not to like?  Until you scratch the surface: urban areas consolidated through “stack and pack” housing and dividing large lots into several small ones, and rural areas emptied through restrictive land use policies, high gasoline costs, vehicle-miles-traveled taxes, loss of rural road maintenance, closure of rural schools and closure of rural post offices, all of which force people off the land and into a central and easily managed area. … We’re the frogs in cool water, not paying attention to how fast the water is warming.

Rose Marie Russell, Westbrook

She forgot dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria.  Honestly, must I keep track of everything???

JEERS to the unsinkable ship---the one that's in the process of sinking over yonder.  101 years ago this morning, the Titanic plunged to the icy depths of the Atlantic after scraping an iceberg.  Today it seems an apt analogy for the Republican party: a once-proud icon thought to be invincible that, because of poor design, shoddy workmanship and an air of arrogance on the part of the people in charge sank itself because it wasn't looking where it was going and is now a rusting hulk stuck in the mud and you can't do anything with it but re-arrange the deck chairs.  But the movie was pretty good.

Monkey golfing
My golf instructor has added
several strokes to my game.
(That's good, right?)
CHEERS to great Scott.  The 2013 wearer of the Green Technicolor Dreamcoat was decided at the Masters golf tournament yesterday.  For the first time, an Australian---Adam Scott---won all the marbles.  Our condolences to second-place finisher Angel Cabrera of Argentina who, despite all the string-pulling the Argentine Pope Francis could muster, limps away from Augusta with only $810,000.  (Some days it's all you can do to pay the rent.)  But with non-Americans having won four out of the last six Masterses, the tea party caucus in Congress says it's another example of how Americans are losing jobs to foreigners, and vowed to station Minutemen around the course's perimeter next year.

JEERS to People magazine.  Speaking of golf, I noticed this little blurb next to a photo in their latest issue:

Friends (who knew?) Justin Timberlake and Kiefer Sutherland put on their game faces while golfing in Brentwood.
Yes, who on earth could've ever known about a friendship between two super-celebrity people?  Golly, I dunno…perhaps someone could publish a magazine that keeps track of super-celebrity people.  Why, I've got the perfect name: PEOPLE!!!  What a simple solution.  (Who knew?)

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Five years ago in C&J: April 15, 2008

CHEERS to the Emergency Broadcast System.  This is NOT a test!  If you wish to make it through the day without experiencing Clueless Old Delusional Guys Exchanging Reacharounds Syndrome (CODGERS), stay the hell away from MSNBC this afternoon.  The spittle will fly when Chris Matthews spends an entire hour with John McCain.  Afterward the maverick will slip out quietly and leave a couple hundred bucks on the dresser.

JEERS to the B-team.  See, here's my theory: people who work for the government take pride in their government and they're more eager than private contractors to be efficient.  How else to explain the lengthy list of contractors who positively suck.  Here's the latest outrage:

shipwreck
"We're here to collect your
delinquent taxes. Pay
us the five bucks NOW!
(And can we borrow your car?)"
The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws through a program that has outraged consumers and led to charges on Capitol Hill that the agency is wasting money for work that IRS agents could do more effectively. ... Despite aggressive collection tactics, the companies have rounded up only $49 million, little more than half of what it has cost the IRS to implement the program. The debt collectors have pocketed commissions of up to 24 percent.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is proposing a law to stop this crap.  That is if they haven't rented a private contractor to replace him yet.

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And just one more…

CHEERS to makin' it up as you go.  Growing up in our house in the 60s and 70s (yes, this is going to be one of those "growing up in our house" stories), we issued a clarion call whenever fellow Ohioan Jonathan Winters showed up on one of the comedy or variety shows on TV.  It was unreal seeing such mastery of imagination, quick-thinking, sound effects, accents and dead-on impersonations coming from someone with such sad-sack eyes and those Bassett hound jowls.  I saw him perform live once in the early 80s when he came to Gambier, Ohio (we lived next door in Mount Vernon) to do some improv workshops with students from the Kenyon College theatre department.  The guy never missed a beat.  Hell, this is what he could do with a stick:

That kind of runaway-train-of-thought humor is beyond my comprehension.  He was that rarest of breeds: the smartass in the room who can't shut it off…but you wouldn't want him to, anyway.  Sadly, fate intervened---he was 87.  Farewell, Mrs. Frickert.

Have a nice Monday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?

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Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:

Hawaii to build a telescope capable of seeing the early years of Cheers and Jeers
The Space Reporter

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