ANKARA — Meeting here on Monday in Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan’s new $650 million palace, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a rare diplomatic loss, agreed to route his pet gas pipeline project, the South Stream Project, through Turkey, after Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, in lockstep with the Western powers, canceled plans to route South Stream through Bulgaria. Bulgaria, a vassal of Russia during the Cold War, joined NATO in 2004 and became a member of the European Union in 2007.

To save face, Putin, speaking through a solitary reporter posing as an interpreter, said “My close personal enemy, Barack Obama, has totally lost influence throughout the world and in his own country. He thinks he can keep me from having my way in Ukraine. He has no control of his own parliament, whatever they call it over there. He unjustifiably refuses to allow the building of the Keystone XL project from Canada to Texas. The man is clearly an inferior leader. Did I say that I don’t like him?”

“Since Obama is weak and powerless, I am now announcing that my counterpart in Canada, Steven Harper, and I have agreed that I will build what would have been the Keystone XL Pipeline, but with a completely different configuration: it will go from the tar sand fields in Alberta, through British Columbia and Alaska; Sarah Palin will think it to be a great idea. From Alaska, it will go underneath the Bering Strait and into far northeast Siberia and then directly to my Kremlin. That way, I’ll have as much petroleum as I want, and I will control all of it and I won’t let Barack and his so-called friends in Europe have any of it.”

“If I want,” Putin continued, “I’ll sell my oil to my close personal friend, Bashar al-Assad."

Secretary of State John Kerry was unavailable for comment, as he was attempting to talk sense to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Monday called for new elections and dismissed his Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, for opposing his plan to label Israel a Jewish State; but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama is working hard on his golf game ahead of his next encounter with Putin. “The President is, as you know, very competitive, and he knows how to use a golf club.”

“And Putin is a lot shorter than the president is."

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