What is Zuckerberg’s net worth in rubles?

This would be unbelievable if it were a scene in a Red Scare movie made 70 years ago, but this is from an official intelligence report from congress.

Kremlin-directed operatives opened champagne when Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, according to a communication disclosed in a new Senate Intelligence Committee report outlining Russia’s sweeping social media efforts to help him win.

“We uncorked a tiny bottle of champagne … took one gulp each and looked into each other’s eyes …. We uttered almost in unison: ‘We made America great,’” one operative at the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency said in the message obtained by the Republican-led committee.

The long-pending report by the Intelligence panel concluded that Russia directed an aggressive social media campaign to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump in the 2016 presidential election and warns similar efforts to interfere in U.S. politics are still under way. It was a bipartisan endorsement of the finding made by U.S. intelligence agencies and often questioned by Trump.

It really needs to be read with a thick Russian accent, and with mocking laughter at the end. One of the operatives ought to be Mark Zuckerberg. Somebody make this movie, now!


  1. Rich Woods says

    We uttered almost in unison: ‘We made America great,’

    I don’t think I could make that movie. I also don’t think I could make the sequel, because even the Russians can’t figure out the conundrum of how to ‘Get brexit done’.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Zuckerburger [nb] reversed Facebook’s policy of political ads, so they now allow ads to be as full of falsehoods as they want, about their opponents.
    After a casual lunch meeting with The Occupier of the White House.
    I wonder how much “paper” was passed under the table

  3. wzrd1 says

    Unfortunately, it’s not only Facebook that is being used as Russian tools, every other antisocial media platform is also heavily in use, including youtube.

  4. unclefrogy says

    for all of mr zuks pious words about making and enabling community and communications when push comes to shove he is in it for the money and very little seems to bother him more then the fear of the diminution of his cash flow.
    like the trump money is the purpose and the real end of all his scheming.
    it is the ambition of Putin to be not just the boss of bosses in Russia but everywhere there does not seem to be any means he will not use if he wants the result.
    The new fascism we are facing is more criminality then political, it just is using politics as a cover and a distraction.
    uncle frogy

  5. says

    Now how to politically convey the fact that I’m totally disgusted by the hypocrisy inherent in the fact that we meddle in elections, while doing damage control for this meddling. It’s like benefitting from whistleblowers while assigning consequences for whistleblower treatment under Obama.
    There’s got to be a most efficient way of rubbing people’s faces in their own messes when I do want them to win an election. I’m not going to avoid shaming the shame worthy because I believe lack of in-group criticism is one of our biggest flaws.

  6. hemidactylus says

    Boris and Natasha have upped their game from the days of being outsmarted by cartoon wildlife.

  7. says

    Yes, yes. Remind me again:

    How many foreign elections has the US meddled in during, let’s say, the last 75 years (i.e. a reasonable definition of living memory)?

    How many foreign governments has the US overthrown by the use of violence (or the funding/arming of groups which then applied violence) during that time period?

    How many US leaders who enabled the above have faced any consequences whatsoever as a result?

    Why should I be upset when other countries meddle in our elections — which are already crooked, right from the start, per the UN, let alone higher-level examples like Ned Lamont with which the UN is not concerned — when we have demonstrated by our own actions that we think interfering in foreign elections and overthrowing foreign governments is okay?

    Tell you what, though: I will get upset about Russian meddling precisely when we punish the people who have done the equivalent in the other direction on “our” behalf. And since that absolutely and damningly includes both the previous Democratic administration and the Republican one before it, that won’t be happening. The Republicans are in favor of it and deep down at least 90% of the Democrats complaining about this issue are only upset because Hillary Clinton lost “as a result”, as though there wouldn’t have been something else instead if the Russians had done nothing.

  8. gijoel says

    @3 I doubt he paid a damn thing as he regularly stiffs contractors. What he would have done was bluster and moan, along with veiled threats directed at Facebook.

  9. PaulBC says

    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)@8

    How many foreign elections has the US meddled in during, let’s say, the last 75 years (i.e. a reasonable definition of living memory)?

    This is one of the talking points my sister-in-law reposted a lot during the leftwing reaction to the Mueller report earlier this year. Here’s what I don’t get. How many immoral wars has the US conducted? Does that mean I believe we should not protect our nation from foreign military threats? We spy on other nations. Does that mean we should be defenseless against foreign espionage?

    Every nation that claims to hold legitimate elections really does have a duty to protect those elections from foreign interference. Just because we engage in criminal acts of varying degrees doesn’t mean I believe we should also be defenseless against the crimes of others. I mean, seriously, I do not even see the logic. We should be respecting other nations’ elections, but whether we are or not, we should definitely be protecting our own election security. The two issues are not tied in the way that the above quote seems to suggest they are.

  10. PaulBC says

    Me: “Every nation that claims to hold legitimate elections really does have a duty to protect those elections from foreign interference.” And to be clear, there is a stronger duty to make certain they reflect the will of the people by not engaging in voter suppression and other manipulative practices like gerrymandering. That is a much bigger issue. But should we care if Russia or any other government is interfering with our elections? Damn right we should.

  11. John Morales says

    Me: “Every nation that claims to hold legitimate elections really does have a duty to protect those elections from foreign interference.”

    If you buy into the current paradigm, I suppose.

    Me, I’d rather vote for policies, not politicians.

  12. PaulBC says

    John Morales@12

    If you buy into the current paradigm, I suppose.

    And if I don’t then, why should I give a rat’s ass about legitimacy of any kind? In practice, I live in an imperfect, sometimes downright evil society but I still have some expectations. Do I gain some kind of admirable moral consistency if I drop these expectations? Screw that. The perfect is the enemy of the “Crappy, but let’s see you do better.”

  13. PaulBC says


    Me, I’d rather vote for policies, not politicians.

    That sounds too much like referendums, like we have in California. I would rather vote for an honest public servant who will do the hard work of comparing policies and following up later with an evaluation of how they turned out (hahahahaha in my dreams). Every time there is a referendum, my first thought is “Aren’t we paying these people to vote on which laws to pass?” And in practice, they are always won by money and propaganda. I am not saying the politicians I help elect are all that great, but I still prefer to vote for human beings.

  14. John Morales says

    Um, I think you missed my point, PaulBC.

    You are endorsing the concept that one should have a say regarding which people make policy, under the current system. I am endorsing the concept that one should have a say on the policies themselves, which is not the same as direct democracy.

    The perfect is the enemy of the “Crappy, but let’s see you do better.”

    Heh. Your defensiveness is telling.

    It would be nice if I could actually vote for someone who represented me, but none such exist. And sure as fuck I’m not gonna devote my life to try to become a politician (with all the compromises that entails) so that I can be in a position to make policy.

    So, yeah: I’m stuck with so-called “representative” democracy, and with stupid nationalism. And you’re happy with that.

  15. PaulBC says

    John Morales@15

    So, yeah: I’m stuck with so-called “representative” democracy, and with stupid nationalism. And you’re happy with that.

    Where did I say I was happy? (Happy about some things, but certainly not the state of government.) To get back to my original point. If the US is bad for: interfering with other nations’ elections, manipulating votes through gerrymandering and outright voter suppression, allowing money to influence election outcomes to an outrageous degree, it is even worse for also doing nothing about foreign governments interfering with our elections. The flaws are additive, not canceling.

    And I understand why team Trump and the GOP wants to pretend Russian involvement either didn’t happen or was nothing special, but for the life of me, I don’t see why this is such a big talking point of the Sanders side (and I know it is because of my sister-in-law and her facebook friends). There is definitely evidence that Russia attempted to manipulate the election. Whether it worked or not (I think James Comey pretty singlehandedly gave Trump the election in the last few weeks) is not the point. Whether we’re hypocritical for complaining about election manipulation is besides the point. There are people who should be securing elections from foreign interference. They failed. They should understand how they failed and avoid repeating it.

  16. hemidactylus says

    To me it’s bad that we can look at Infektion style active measures and see that they work especially now thanks to social media. But that there are manipulators is only a part of the problem. People are manipulable for whatever reason: gullible, irrational, ill informed, captured by ideology. We all are. That’s why I’m fascinated by Frankfurt, Baudrillard, Debord, etc. Bernays, for instance, was a master at getting women to smoke or swaying opinion on Guatemala. When I was more steeped in ideological thinking (and Baudrillard’s overly subtle take) I stumbled on the notion that Trump is a wizard of squid ink:


    “ The President’s own lies and distortions, which are key features of his leadership style, make it impossible for anyone to rely on him and his aides in a normal way.
    As a private citizen, Trump developed this squid-ink method so that he could sell himself like a human product. In falsely claiming that various starlets pursued him for dates, or the British royals were eying Trump real estate, he played a game with reality.”

    We are all embedded in spectacle, even the manipulators aren’t entirely free agents. I think Debord had that realization. Assuming “they” are leads to the ranting conspiratorial thinking that has people harboring the delusion they alone are outside the “matrix” and all others sheeple. Or whatever the hell it is Icke is doing. Actually conspiracy theorists are the most gullible sheeple out there. And annoying when they go on their 3 hour long breadcrumb trail rants.

    And given the way the system operates “rebellion” gets subverted or marketable at some point: Agents provocateur as bad government actors infiltrating subversive organizations, voter anger about bailouts and the ACA co-opted via the Tea Party rebranding of the GOP, or even the industrialization of grunge music via fashion industry or concert promoters. Way back when people on the fringes were convinced the US government invented HIV…which leads us back to 2016 election tweaking.

  17. Dunc says

    What about Murdoch meddling in US elections via Fox News? Seems like the bigger problem to me…

  18. hemidactylus says

    For some reason the phrase: “the revolution will not be televised” kept creeping into my head while typing the above:


    I’m not steeped enough in Black Power history to grok it, but heard it deployed in hiphop back in the day. Talk about revolutionary movements that got subverted by capitalism and went corporate.

    And on the same note I can’t help thinking the NFL played a flip the script masterstroke in subverting the whole kneeling for Kaepernick thing via JayZ. And Shaq has played into a similar subversion for Papa Johns pizza. How can anyone not love Shaq Fu-Schnickens (“What’s up, Doc? (Can We Rock)”) making pizza for us.

    [head scratch] WTF? It all about power and subverting spectacle for self-serving influence I suppose. Not too far from what Russia supposedly did really.

  19. unclefrogy says

    it looks to me that the part that is so objectionable with putin’s meddling is that was more lies and manipulation and not more openness and that it was sought and welcomed by trump who now is in his debt. that is the true danger the recipient is beholden to a foreign entity a little worse on the same continuum along with lobbyist and corporate contributions.
    uncle frogy