But Gospodin Putin says that this is the year of the Russian language (forgive my fractured phonetic Russian acquired from a harried semester of Russian taught by the military intensive language instructors left over at Yale after WW2).

The interesting fact here is that Mr. Putin made this claim during a news conference today in Moscow with the Prime Minister of Greece at which they were announcing a joint program to build pipelines from Russia to Greece that would allow the ready distribution of oil and natural gas (and mutual profits therefrom) more readily around the globe.

Looks like Mr. Putin’s economic star is on the rise while Mr. Bush’s is fading into an economic black hole — and with them the futures of our two nations. On top of it all Putin has also announced the transport of enriched uranium to Iran to get their nuclear plants (two of them?) going there. He looks to be the energizer bunny on the economic move these days while Bush hangs out with the local small business associations?

One has to hand it to Putin. He has learned fast how to make it in the world of big corporations. And the Russians seem generally happy with the prosperity that such is bringing them while Bush tries to convince his constituencies that lowering the taxes of our super rich and letting them (hedge funds) hide their profits off shore will bring trickle down benefits to the rest of us? I think that song has been sung to death. What do you think?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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