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Blogger's note. On December 25, 1991, less than two hours before announcing his resignation as president of a Soviet Union that was breaking up into a commonwealth of independent republics, Mikhail Gorbachev telephoned President George H.W. Bush to say how much he had appreciated working with him for the sake of international order, how ready he was to see Boris Yeltsin succeed him as leader of Russia, and how much he expected that leaders of all the former Soviet republics--especially Russia--would "move forward with recognition and respect for the sovereignty that each has." Since the New York Times has just published a transcript of this final phone conversation between Gorbachev and G.H.W. Bush , I'm happy to furnish a transcript (brilliantly hacked by an operative known to me only as Shaggy Bear) of the first telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin, current President of the Russian Federation, and President-elect Donald Trump. By remarkable coincidence, this conversation also occurred on Christmas Day.

VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH PUTIN: Donald, my dear friend. It is good to hear your voice.

D.T. And yours too, Didi--because this call tells me how much you love me. You know it's amazing how many world leaders have been calling lately. They all love me. It's just a beautiful thing. A beautiful thing to be loved by so many important and powerful people, even though--between you and me, Didi, you understand?--some of them are not really so beautiful as you and I are. Believe me, I've seen those pics of your bare pecs. You're really ripped! Who's your trainer?

V.V.P. We'll get to that, Donald. One thing at a time. Let me first wish you and your whole family a Merry Christmas--in the face and in the teeth of the war against Christmas that I'm told is raging over there in America. You won't get any weasel words from me--no Happy Holidays or Best Wishes of the Season. You and I believe in Christmas, in Christianity, and for us the only war to be fought at Christmas time or anytime is the war against Muslims--right? That's where we stand together and fight together. The fewer Muslims there are in Russia, in Chechnya, in America, and everywhere else, the merrier the whole world will be. The merriest thing we could do is get rid of them all. So Merry Christmas, my friend!

D.T. Couldn't have said it better myself! Merry Christmas to you too. And before I forget, I can't thank you enough for siccing your hackers on the Democratic National Committee here and hanging out all those files like Christmas stockings to show just how hard the DNC tried to sink Bernie Sanders and prop up Crooked Hillary. Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear--cuddly cubs of the great Russian bear! Tell those cubs how much I love them both, because of course I know how much they love me. They did great things for my campaign. HUUUUGE.

V.V.D. You're very welcome, Donald. And I can't tell you how warmly I welcome your election to the presidency. Because I know you can help us solve a lot of problems quickly. Just making Rex Tillerson Secretary of State will be a great start.

D.T. Right you are, Didi. I know that Rex has become a great friend of yours, and believe me, I'm just as eager as he is to help you drill for oil in Siberia. Doing that would be a huge win for both of us. HUUUUGE. All we have to do--all I have to do-- is scrap the fucking sanctions. And I can tell you that's up at the top of my list, right up there with repealing Obamacare, gutting the EPA, ending the war on Christmas, and ending the war on coal.

By the way, you know as well as I do why we imposed the sanctions in the first place: because a few politically correct pinheads over here and in the UN didn't like what you did in Crimea and Ukraine. Look, Didi, as far as I'm concerned, Crimea is much better off under your great leadership than it ever was before, and I would say the same about all Ukraine, not just the part that your people have so far heroically liberated from its corrupt and incompetent leaders. All this nonsense about respecting the independence of your neighbors. Garbage! You should never have been sanctioned at all for adopting Crimea and getting into Ukraine. You should be rewarded for making them great again! And rewarding you is just what I plan to do once I get into the White House. #nomore sanctions #fullscaledrillinginSiberia #fulltwitterspeedahead!

V.V.D. Thank you so much, Donald. It's amazing how much we think alike.

D.T. And I'll tell you where else we think alike, Didi: Syria. What you've done over there is beautiful, just beautiful. Along with Assad, you've just about wiped out the opposition. Thanks to your bombing, they're out of Aleppo at last--I mean those that survived, of course. And Aleppo now presents a golden opportunity: ruins as far as the eye can see. Those ruins will have to be REBUILT! If only I were thirty years younger--hell, twenty years younger--I'd be over there in a flash raising new Trump towers all over town.

You know, the crazy thing about our dealings with Syria is that we've spent hundreds of millions of dollars--hell, billions--funding the opposition when we don't even know who the hell they are, except we do know that some of them are Al Qaeda and a lot of them are terrorists. We tried to find and train the so-called "moderate" opposition and ended up getting nowhere. There is no moderate opposition in Syria. There's the government and its enemies, who are all mixed up with terrorists. And you and I know which side we're on.

Let me tell you, Didi. I like strong leaders like you and Assad, guys who know how to crush their enemies and stay in power. And I like leaders who go after radical Islamic terrorists, because just about the only thing I hate worse than those terrorists is crooked Hillary.

V.V.D. What can I say, Donald--except that I'm freshly amazed by how much we agree?

D.T. But there's just one little thing, Didi. One thing we might disagree on.

V.V.D. And what is that, Donald?

D.T. Nukes.

V.V.D. Nukes? What's the problem? Just because our RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile can strike you anywhere in the U.S. with ten independently targetable nuclear warheads, you're getting nervous, Donald?

D.T. Didi, something tells me this could be the beginning of a beautiful arms race.

V.V.D. Da, Mr. President. You're absolutely right. Crappy New Year!