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Mr. Potato

Best ever satirical campaigns for President of the United States


They're not much more ridiculous than the real thing.

As we make our dumb descent into the global hell that shall someday be known as the Trumpozoic era, it's helpful to remember that some presidential candidates have actually been in on their own jokes. These vary from merry pranksters who can't resist a good hoax to earnest political satirists with a real bone to pick with the system. Political theater — emphasis on the theater — often reveals insights about just how absurd our political process really is. And while the "candidates" involved may be ridiculous, they're often just more transparent versions of those who are genuinely after the brass ring.

In the midst of a campaign season that comes closer to a parody of itself than any in recent memory, here are 10 of the best satirical campaigns for president of the United States.

Mr. Potato

Ben Carson shattering stereotype about brain surgeons being smart

© Chris Keane/Landov/Reuters
Brain surgeons, long burdened with the onerous reputation of being among the smartest people in the world, are expressing relief that the Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson is shattering that stereotype once and for all.

In interviews with brain surgeons across the country, the doctors revealed the enormous pressure they felt to live up to their profession's inflated renown for intelligence before Carson entered the race.

"When people found out I was a brain surgeon they would always assume I was some kind of a genius," said Harland Dorrinson, a neurosurgeon in Toledo, Ohio. "Now they are beginning to understand that you can know a lot about brain surgery and virtually nothing about anything else."

Dorrinson said that acquaintances used to view him as a source of wisdom on a wide range of subjects, but added, "Ever since Ben Carson said that prisons make people gay, that's really fallen off."

The brain surgeon said that he would probably contribute to Carson's campaign to keep him in the race: "every time he says something, it helps bring people's unrealistic expectations about brain surgeons back down to earth."

He said that he was cheered by Carson's pronouncement over the weekend that Muslims should not be President. "Now you can cross politics off the list of things that people will expect me to be knowledgeable about," he said. "I think I speak for a lot of brain surgeons when I say, 'Thank you, Ben Carson.' "


Security kicks out 'Death' from world's biggest arms fair in London

Security guards chased and then pinned down a protester dressed as Death at a weapons' fair in the British capital. The activist was protesting the sale of arms to countries with poor human rights records.

The man, literally dressed to kill in a black hooded robe and carrying a scythe, reportedly had to climb over a 12 - foot fence to enter the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition on Friday.

As soon as the fearless "grim reaper" turned up at the event, he was spotted by security guards. They were obliged to break into a sweat to catch the guy in an effort to stop him from "killing the mood" for other visitors.

Comment: Just as well for 'Death' that he wasn't protesting in Police State US.

Arrow Up

Young Syrian refugee carries his puppy to Greece

© Facebook/UNHCR
Rose, a canine refugee from Syria, grabs a drink of water.
A video from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Facebook page has animal fans buzzing.

The footage features an interview with 17-year-old Aslan Al Hakim, who says he walked from Damascus, Syria to Greece, with his little puppy Rose in tow.

The pup seems to have held up well throughout the journey and takes in some water from a drinking glass while the young man delights in telling the interviewer that he was told he could not bring a dog across the border.


New deal? Welsh magician creates Jeremy Corbyn card trick

© James Went / YouTube
Welsh magician Jeremy Went has created a card trick to explain the political trajectory of the newly-elected Labour Party leader.

In the course of his trick, which he concocted and filmed in the space of an hour, Went covers Corbyn's surprise ascent to Labour's top job.

He covers issues of transparency, popularity, public mistrust in politician's tendency to fail on their pledges and more besides.

The video has clocked up 18,000 views in just two days, with Went, who maintains he is a magician not a politician, telling the Daily Mirror newspaper he "almost didn't post it because it's controversial, but the reception has been brilliant."

Comment: Jeremy Corbyn may well need an ace or two up his sleeve to help counter his British Establishment defamers, detractors and demonizers.


The power of love, Tillie to the rescue

© Photo: Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Tillie sat with Phoebe for nearly a week and helped in her rescue.
A group of volunteers from Vashon Island, Washington have managed to rescue two missing dogs, with the sole reason being that one of the canines stayed for a week near its trapped friend and scouted for help.

One of the dogs, which are said to be "inseparable," guarded the other after it fell into a cistern filled with water, hidden deep in the woods. Tillie, a reddish setter, left Phoebe, a basset hound, for no more than 10 minutes each day only to seek help and then run back to her friend.

Penis Pump

Kazakh Muslim leader proposes sex tax

© Reuters
This is going to cost you.
It may or may not have been a joke: The leader of a Muslim group in Kazakhstan has laid out a series of possible sex taxes, taking into account variables such as knowledge of the state language, homosexuality and even (perhaps) how well-endowed you are.

Murat Telibekov, of the Muslim Union of Kazakhstan, came up with a comprehensive list of financial repercussions for engaging in various kinds of intercourse, and posted it on Facebook. Kazakh and Russian media were quick to pick it up.

Admittedly, there is nothing in the post indicating whether he was serious or not, and some of the outlets suggested that it may have been a response to a recently-introduced tax on picking wild mushrooms and berries.

The extensive list covers most of the ways of cavorting in bed (or not) that you might be able to think of, and proposes a broad range of fees, to be paid on a by-case basis.


Seal goes surfing on a whale


Surf's up! Photographer Robyn Malcolm captured this incredible shot of a seal surfing on a humpback whale
A photographer has captured the incredible moment a seal was seen surfing on the back of a humpback whale off the NSW south coast.

A pod of whales were in the midst of a feeding frenzy when Robyn Malcolm captured the extremely rare occurrence.

'On a recent whale watching trip out of Eden, NSW, we experienced dolphins, seals, birds and whales feeding on bait fish.

'At times there was so much going on, you didn't know which way to point the camera,' Ms Malcolm said.

'The seals and dolphins were going crazy on top of the water, then the whales would lunge straight through the middle.

'I managed to get some great shots of whales feeding, but was surprised to find these photos in amongst them, as I didn't see it at the time.

'I don't think he stayed there for long!'


Hillary Clinton's conditioning training to replicate emotions - campaign staff reports progress

After several months of diligent effort, staff members working on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign confirmed Wednesday they have made significant progress in conditioning her to convincingly recreate and convey a limited spectrum of emotions.

Staffers test Clinton’s emotional responses by reading through a list of triggering phrases such as “rising unemployment,” “first in their family to graduate college,” and “devastated by a tornado.”
According to aides who drill the Democratic frontrunner for several hours each day on her emotional responses to a variety of stimuli, Clinton can now effectively exhibit concern, mild excitement, and incredulity. Intensive training is reportedly still underway on some of the more challenging-to-produce emotions, such as polite interest and personal warmth.

"The headway Hillary has made is really encouraging, especially when you consider what we started with," said staffer Cheryl Dumás, who later added that when she began working with Clinton, the candidate was only able to fluctuate between stony neutrality and terrifying anger. "We're very proud that she can now display a virtually indistinguishable facsimile of empathy. It's the result of a behavioral modification technique in which we rigorously reinforce any approximations of compassion that happen to flash across her face while she listens to the concerns of voters."

"We're hopeful that she'll have a functional range of 11 or even 12 emotions by the time the early primaries roll around," Dumás added.

In her current program of operant conditioning, Clinton is reportedly shown a series of images—such as a widow crying at her spouse's funeral, a family opening presents on Christmas morning, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich—designed to induce specific emotional responses, and depending on the appropriateness of her subsequent facial expressions and other body language, she is either rewarded or punished.

Staffers said they began the process by slowly and painstakingly pairing a correct reaction with a correct stimulus. They reportedly first trained the former secretary of state to reproduce a "happy" emotion by repeatedly showing her a photo of a small child playing with a kitten and then rubbing a soft cloth on her face while physically holding her mouth in the shape of a smile until, eventually, she could display a passable simulacrum of joy.

Quenelle - Golden

Cassetteboy v Cameron: Mashup artists mock Tory Toff-in-Chief's revolting ad attacking Corbyn


British toff-in-chief David 'Just call me Dave' Cameron
Satirical video editors Cassetteboy have released a new video poking fun at the Conservative Party's 'attack ad' against newly-elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Cassetteboy, who has over 100,000 followers on YouTube, is famous for cutting and editing speeches to turn seemingly innocuous phrases into politically cutting videos.

In the latest outing, Cassetteboy has spliced together speeches from David Cameron's speeches to create a witty critique of the Conservative Party's scare movie that took Jeremy Corbyn's words on the death of Osama Bin Laden out of context.

'Is David Cameron a threat to context?' remixes the PM's words to make it appear as though Cameron holds "contempt for the poorest in the country" and wants to "kick the sick."

According to the video, Cameron thinks "you're either rich or you're dead."

Comment: See also:

Pwned: Russia deftly trolls Cameron's Twitter account after British govt sez Corbyn is 'threat to National Security'

Psychopathic mask of sanity slips: What David Cameron actually thinks of the poor - "This is who we resent"