Raising Up A Standard

Exclusive: Joe Kovacs wraps up silliest events of the year

Welcome once again, friends, to the annual roundup of the funniest news of the year, and if you’re one of those who is pessimistic about the future, you can at least have a final laugh or two at the past, without any help from a teleprompter.

‘Keep Obama in president!’

So, you were wondering about the REAL reason Barack Obama won re-election?

Perhaps it was this secret weapon.

The woman in a Cleveland suburb who was raving over benefits she received from Obama, and thus became known forevermore as the “Obama Phone Lady.”

Here she is at an event protesting against Mitt Romney:

But Americans love their parodies, and a little music added to this character made for a classic spoof:

The head man

I have to hand it to Mr. Obama, because he appears to have figured out a solution to a graying head of hair: winning a presidential election.

Photos of Obama before and after Election Day show a marked difference in the tint on his noggin.

Before: President Barack Obama in July 2012

After: President Barack Obama on Nov. 14, 2012

Obama’s freshly darkened hair got a few mentions online, with comments such as:

  • “He is using Grecian Formula for the economy, too. Watch it go dark.”
  • “Black, gray, same old Red to me.”

The roast with the most

Just before the election, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama had their own personal comedyfest in October as they traded barbs at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York.

Among Romney’s best lines:

  • “I was actually hoping the president would bring Joe Biden along this evening, ‘cause he’ll laugh at anything.”
  • “As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking: so little time, so much to redistribute.”
  • “He knows how to seize a moment, this president. And already he has a compelling new campaign slogan: you’re better off now than you were four weeks ago.”
  • “Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this, it’s just to be the designated driver.”
  • “By the way, in the spirit of Sesame Street, the president’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.”
  • “I’d never suggest that the press is biased. I recognize they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”

And Obama had several good zingers as well:

  • “I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate.”
  • “Everyone please take your seats, or else Clint Eastwood will yell at them.”
  • “In less than three weeks, voters in states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida will decide this incredibly important election. Which begs the question, what are we doing here?”
  • “I particularly want to apologize to Chris Matthews. Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke.”
  • “Early today, I went shopping at some stores in midtown. I understand Gov. Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.”

Campaign gone to the dogs

There were also revelations about the sordid canine past of both candidates.

First, we learned that Mitt Romney used to have his dog ride on top of the family car when taking trips. That led to all sorts of speculation were he to be become president.

Would President Romney's plane be called Air Furs One?

But that was countered with the admission by Obama that he actually ate dogs earlier in his life, though it was never confirmed if and when he actually stopped.

Goin’ to spell in a handbasket

Everyone knows America has been in trouble on many levels in recent years, and maybe it’s because people have been trying to look “Foward” instead of “Forward.”

That’s at least how some supporters of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spelled the word on their campaign T-shirts. Maybe they really just couldn’t put their Mitts on using the letter “R.”

Caught in a binder

Mitt Romney’s remark about “binders full of women” in the second presidential debate took on a life of its own, with some people objecting to his effort to find qualified women to serve with him in Massachusetts.

Of course, this led to instant comedy artwork across the Net, including:

Mitt Romney now has more time to study "binders full of women."

Chair apparent

Speaking of taking on a life of its own, once Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair representing President Obama at the Republican National Convention, the event got legs. Lots of them.

Images of Obama as an empty chair sprang up everywhere.

One of the more humorous examples of the empty-chair theme circulating online is a photograph of Karl Marx that serves as “proof” Obama met the author of “The Communist Manifesto.”

But it didn’t stop there.

And my personal favorite is an image of “Obama’s Empty Chair on Mount Rushmore.”

The Romney affair

With all the political news this year focusing on Mitt Romney, this gem might have slipped under your radar.

Did you know Romney was responsible for a domestic assault?

Lowell Turpin did not take kindly to his girlfriend looking at Mitt Romney's photo on Facebook

Not directly, but a jealous Tennessee man saw his girlfriend looking at a photo of an a...

“It was a picture of Mitt Romney,” Crystal Gray, the girlfriend, said.

Having no clue who the man in the photo was, 40-year-old Lowell Turpin of Tennessee became suspicious that Gray was having an affair.

The Romney answer did not placate the situation, and that’s when things became nasty, with Turpin not only bashing his girlfriend, but also smashing the computer against the wall.

Somehow, the Democratic political machine did not use this case in their campaign ads. They only produced one suggesting Romney was responsible for another woman’s death.

Political lip service

Even though record numbers of Americans saw the first debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, they probably did not see this version of the event, the result of some very bad lip reading:

Punching above their weight

Barack Obama, who has been known as the teleprompter in chief for relying on electronic devices for to help him deliver speeches, may want to to find a few more analogies when it comes to praise for foreign allies.

As Danish TV host Thomas Buch-Andersen noted, Mr. Obama has a unique way of using the same phrase over and over again to describe America’s overseas allies.

See for yourself:

Home is where the heart was

With the real-estate market still in the doldrums, some Americans found unique ways to advertise their homes for sale.

This New Jersey homeowner took a graphic tone, posting an eye-catching, but somewhat obscene sign in the front yard:

“House for sale by owner because my neighbor’s an A–hole,” the sign proclaims, with none of the letters edited out in the actual sign.

Chris McCormick of Cedar City, Utah, saw the image online and noted, “That’s funny, I thought I saw the same sign just down the street from the White House.”

Meanwhile in Portland, Ore., 39-year-old Elle Zober got a little vengeful when selling her home after her husband left the family for a younger woman.

Her for-sale sign read: “Husband left us for a 22-year-old. House for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner. Adulterers need not apply.”

Zober wrote on her website, “I’m not sure how this all happened … but, all I can is that as soon as your husband/wife starts using new texts languages like :/, or starts talking to you like a college kid … check your phone bill – you’re probably going to be in for a surprise. For me that surprise came in the form of a 22-year-old college student who likes yoga … and, other people’s husbands.”

And strangely enough, with plenty of national and worldwide publicity, the sales technique worked, and Zober’s house was sold.

Who is Rachel Maddow?

The contestants who pass the test to appear on “Jeopardy!” are considered to be among the brightest people in America.

Perhaps that’s why none of them had any clue who MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow is, even when they were shown her photograph.

Thank goodness Alex Trebek was able to read her name off the card to enlighten the world.

Dooing the news

When you work for CNN for years, you apparently get used to delivering a load of hooey to the viewing public.

Just ask Bob Furnad, a former high-ranking executive at the cable-news network, who got into a feud with his neighbors in Covington, Ga., and placed a bag of dog feces in their mailbox.

“This was an immature act in response to years of malicious rumor-mongering that I consider defamation of character,” Furnad told the Covington News.

Is it any wonder the network’s ratings have been in the pooper?

Breaking (wind) news

Yes, it’s that fragrant time again when we delve deep to discover how flatulence hits America’s airwaves.

First, in Ellisville, Miss., a 19-year-old junior-college student was arrested for a handwritten note claiming there was a bomb on campus.

But no bomb was found, and the family of Harold Hadley Jr. says he often uses the word “bomb” to describe his flatulence.

“He was in the restroom doodling on some toilet paper and I am going to just let modesty go and tell you we are from the country, and so he calls passing gas, bombs,” said Hadley’s aunt. “So, he was doodling on the toilet paper and put I passed a bomb in the library, talking about passing gas and somebody come in and found it, give it to the teacher that recognized his handwriting and it blow all out of proportion.

Daniel Collins allegedly displayed lethal force to deal with a neighbor's air biscuit.

Meanwhile, in Teaneck, N.J., police arrested an elderly man after a neighbor’s foul bowel allege...

Daniel Collins, 72, said he confronted the man after hearing him pass gas in front of his apartment door, but denied threatening him with a gun. He consented to a search, and officers recovered a .32 caliber revolver from his vehicle.

And who’da thunk that with all the other evils he was known for, Adolf Hitler had a serious personal gas problem?

That’s correct. The infamous Nazi leader was not only a mass murderer, but also a coke head, and was doped up on 28 medications while suffering from “uncontrollable flatulence,” according to medical documents.

Perhaps that inspired his Blitzkrieg style of waging war.

But the most “scentillating” episode of the year comes from the U.S. federal government, which issued a formal reprimand to one if its employees in the Social Security Administration for blasting away too often in the workplace.

The flatulent federal worker, left, poses for a photo with the cartoon character Pepe Le Pew. Mere coincidence?

According to the Smoking Gun, the sanction delivered to the man in a five-page letter actually included a log of representative dates and times when he was recorded “releasing the awful and unpleasant odor” in his Baltimore office.

The 38-year-old one-man gas factory was told that fellow employees had complained about his habit, and that it was “the reason none of them were willing to assist you with your work.”

The Smoking Gun says in July, a manager spoke with the man “in regards of your releasing of bodily gas in the module during work hours.” The manager asked the employee if he could “make it to the restroom before releasing the awful and unpleasant odor.” She also recounted what appeared to be a prior conversation during which the worker suggested that he would “turn your fan on when it happens.” The manager recalled advising him that, “turning on the fan would cause the smell to spread and worsen the air quality in the module.”

In all, some 60 foul incidents were documented, perhaps the best vetting the U.S. government has ever done on any issue.

Commenter Kenneth Nelson noted online, “Federal employees are expected to fart around all day. I don’t know what the big deal is.”


Even gruesome news can have an element of humor.

Take the case of an Ohio man who allegedly chomped the eyebrow off another man in a drunken squabble.

What makes the story a little more interesting are the names of those involved, with the victim being Scott Hall, and the biter being Roger Oates, thus creating this classic headline in the Sandusky Register.

“Maneater: Hall bitten by Oates.”

For those who don’t remember the early 1980s, the pop duo Hall & Oates had a smash with the song “Maneater,” containing the line, “Watch out, boy, she’ll chew you up.”

Holy moldy

Thank goodness Jesus was back in the news for allegedly making an appearance in the U.S.

And this time, it was not on a grilled cheese sandwich, a candy bar or someone’s car window.

A family in Splendora, Texas, claims they have a holy vision inside their home, an image of Jesus created by mold in a bathroom shower.

Is Jesus saying, "Be thou clean?"

“People say your house is blessed,” said Chyanna Richards. “I see the head, the hair, a cloak.”

“Jesus. But it kinda looks like me!” said neighbor Michael Bearden.

Even if it has nothing to do with a divine revelation, maybe the image in the shower will just remind people to “Touch not the unclean thing.”

Do these stripes make me look flat?

Finally, what is it with American road crews who paint traffic lines on the pavement?

Why are they so oblivious to dead animals such as this raccoon in the middle of the road?

Why did the raccoon cross the road? We may never know the answer.

“When I saw it, I almost wrecked my motorcycle because I was laughing so hard,” said Sean McAfee, a resident of Johnstown, Pa.

A spokesman for Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation said the embarrassing incident was unavoidable.

“They did try to stop the paint gun,” traffic engineer John Ambrosini said. “But with the amount of congestion Thursday, the squirrelly geometry of the road and the size of equipment, they couldn’t turn around to go back and fix the mistake.”

Did he really say “squirrelly geometry?”

Can’t he see it’s a clearly a raccoon?

OK, that does it for another year. Have a safe and blessed 2013!


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