(Reuters) - Syria announced on Monday a presidential election for June 3, preparing the ground for Bashar al-Assad to defy widespread opposition and extend his grip on power.

When you are voting to choose your next strongman

Pay close attention, you don’t want the wrong man

Experience counts more than glamor or flash

So vote for the guy with the little mustache.

He’ll create jobs by the dozens and dozens

Just like he did for his nephews and cousins

There’s nothing to “hope” for, it’s all pre-arranged

And when he wins you’ll find nothing has “changed.”

So vote for a leader of unquestioned vision

And if you need help with this crucial decision

Your friends in the Army can be of assistance

They already know who supports the resistance.

Democracy’s messy, and often cutthroat

Victory goes to who gets out the vote

The voice on the robo-call whispers a warning.

The knock on the door comes at three in the morning.

The trip to the polls is a long one-way ride

Depending, of course, on what you decide.

Under Ottoman Empire treaty with Catherine the Great if Crimea declares independence it returns to Turkey — Headline from the Voices of Ukraine website

Attention all dictators with imperial ambitions

Conquests often come attached with footnotes and conditions


There isn’t any nation so disorganized and poor

It doesn’t have a lawyer on its diplomatic corps


The country you annexed or stole or conquered in a war

May be subject to a treaty from two centuries before


The Caucasus are full of little quirky traps and snags

So better do a Google search before you plant those flags.


Going back in history the records may get murky

And so a word of caution for the bureaucrats in Turkey


If you claim Crimea and decide that you should press on

Prepare to get a letter from the heirs of Kublai Khan

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Ryan said Republicans offer their constituents “ideas” while Democrats offer a “full stomach and an empty soul.”

He then told an anecdote he said was relayed to him by Eloise Anderson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) Department of Children and Families secretary.

“She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program,” Ryan said.

“He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids,” he continued. “He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”


Nothing makes me feel such utter

Anomie as peanut butter

Mac and cheese or Swiss and ham

Handed out by Uncle Sam.

And I don’t know why Harry Reid

Doesn’t understand my need

To be just like every other

Kid whose lunch comes from his mother.


The government will crush our soul

Forcing us onto the dole.

Turns us into welfare-staters

Dependent on those welfare taters.


Kids do not live by tunafish

Alone, and if I had my wish,

I would just give up the cream

Of chicken soup. My self-esteem,

My dignity, Paul Ryan knows,

Can’t be bought with Sloppy Joes.

And so, until we can restore

Dignity to all third-graders

Tax breaks for the job creators,

Please sir, can I have some more?

New Yorkers brave the streets in flannel, fleece and down and Gore-Tex

Conserving all their body heat for their cerebral cortex

Lest their brains be frozen by the dreaded Arctic Vortex


The East Coast has been turned into a giant North Polarium

You have to wear an overcoat to sit in your solarium

Icebergs clog the rivers and they float in your aquarium


TV tells the story as it shows pathetic scenes

Of mammoth drifts on Sutton Place that block the limousines

Of people you might see on covers of your magazines.

The snowplows all are busy up in Harlem or in Queens.


And though it sometimes seems the weather can’t get any horrida

And it can be quite tempting to imagine someplace torrida

I’d rather be here any day, than anywhere in Florida.

The trolley’s speeding, clackety-click

The motorman’s asleep.

The rails are icy, wet and slick

The downhill grade is steep.


It’s heading for a grisly fate.

The scene is stark and graphic–

Just beyond the crossing gate

A schoolbus, stuck in traffic!


It’s been there since yesterday

It can’t get out of Fort Lee

All we can do now is pray

For someone large and portly


Who could be shoved or pushed or rolled–

Look, up on the bridge!

That guy could stop a trolley cold!

He’s bigger than a fridge!


The Greeks gave us philosophy

The greatest minds to test and tax

Dispensing with all sophistry:

Would you throw the fat man on the tracks?


Oh, brave new world to which you’re born!

Already you’re on Twitter.

If you’re hungry or forlorn

Just tweet @Babysitter.


So lucky you, society

Will fill your needs and wants.

A Miley Cyrus DVD,

Or donut-shaped croissants.

Stuff you didn’t know you’d bought

Will show up at your door.

Google knows your every thought

And orders it. Before

A passing fancy might be gone,

Fulfilment is a fait a-

-ccompli, now that Amazon

Turns wishes into data.


The car you drive will steer itself

You’ll buy new knees right off the shelf

And robots will attach them.

And you might live a thousand years

Thanks to genetic engineers

Who’ll take your genes and patch them.


The triumph of technology

At last has been completed.

Good news for humanity!

Too bad about the chimpanzee

The polar bear, the honeybee,

And other out-competed

Species that could not adapt

The ones that will get swamped or trapped

By the rising sea.


And if you never feel the snow

At least you won’t be cold.

And as for me, I’ll have you know,

I’m awfully glad I’m old.

Welcome, friends and lovers all

To the Newsverse Christmas ball

Hop a bus or Citibike

Grab a cab or hitch a hike

There’ll be lots of caviar

The Rolling Stones, an open bar,

Pills and drugs, so get here pronto

Rob Ford is coming from Toronto.


Let us all, from both New Yorks,

Open bottles, pop the corks

On a pinot grigio

For Mayor Bill di Blasio

Twitter and its IPO

And Pope Jorge Bergoglio!

Let’s inscribe upon papyrus

Greetings warm to Miley Cyrus!

Any minute she’ll start twerking

And who’s that in the corner lurking?

Is it David Frum, or Brooks?

Casting nervous sideways looks?

Want to party, fear to lose

Their neckties, glasses, jackets, shoes…

Or is it they can’t bear to shed

Their stuffy fogey old-guy cred?

Come on fellas, take a break!

Join us in the Harlem Shake.

And welcome to our friendly circle

Edward Snowden, Angela Merkel–

We didn’t get her Repondez

But, credit to the NSA,

We know she’s coming anyway.

Set out milk, a plate of strudel

For Santa Claus’s quick canoodle

With Megyn Kelly! These occasions

Have deep meaning to Caucasians,

Although, frankly, call me crazy

I think she’s got her eye on Jay-Z.

The duck-call guy with the bushy beard

Wandered off and disappeared

Holding hands with Elton John.

Everybody, get it on!

Not one to let ill-feelings fester

John Boehner’s having a sequester

Hiding in the darkest shadow

On a couch with Rachel Maddow.

So let us give much-needed love

To the folks at Healthcare-gov

And shower some Obamacare

On a lonely billionaire.


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