Ah, Fall is in the air. The leaves are turning, the rains have made vast parts of Russia into an ocean of mud, and President Putin sips his tea in front of millions. Fall means its time, once again for the Russian President's highly-scripted, over-produced, yet somehow endearing call in show.
--"Investing in people" is the new hot phrase. Get it? We're investing -- but in people.
--The national priority projects on health and housing have not been an abject failure, but a great success. Just because health statistics, roads, housing, and hospital infrustructure continue to decline we're going to spend $10 billion more on a three year plan for the entire country. (This is same amount that Russia will spend just on the Sochi olympics, in case you were keeping score.)
--Putin will need a "powerful parliament" to keep policies unchanged when he leaves the Kremlin. But this really isn't news.
--And will the US try and take Russia's oil, like they did in Iraq? "Thank God Russia is not Iraq," said Putin. "We [will] increase our defense capability."