Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Russians really are everywhere!

Unless you've been in a coma, you're painfully aware that Russia is dominating the news these days.

It started, of course, during the election campaign. There were allegations that the Russians were behind the Wikileaks disclosures of DNC emails. Mr. Putin, it seems, did not like Hillary Clinton... something about the "reset" button that she showed up with early in her tenure as Secretary of State. There was an entirely unsubstantiated rumor, which I probably just made up, that the reset button was, in reality, a thinly disguised "that was easy" button from the Staples commercials of some years back. Putin pressed the button and was so offended by the message, which he thought was directed at him personally, that he immediately started planning the invasion of Ukraine.

I wasn't sure what the big deal was about the Wikileaks 'revelations' anyway. Many of these merely confirmed that the DNC rigged the primary process for Ms. Clinton and did everything possible to undermine Senator Sanders. But this was hardly news... all the talking heads on cable pretty much agreed that this was the official policy of the Democratic Party. Some were happier about it than others. And, though 'fake news' is much in what passes for 'real news' these days, the Wikileaks emails weren't fake.

The Russian hackers were supermen -- but with strangely limited powers. They could pounce on the DNC servers like muggers rolling a drunk tourist. There were whispers that they invaded Trump Tower, too, and were blackmailing the Donald. But they absolutely couldn't (and wouldn't dare!) access the private server in Hillary Clinton's home. (Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.)

After Trump's unforeseen election, the Russian-mania amped up still more: The Russians stole the election!

It's not clear what the predominant theory is on this. Either the Russians promoted all sorts of fake news that benefited Trump or their amazing hackers somehow actually put Trump votes into the voting machines themselves, undermining the Great Blue Wall in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Well, the machines are electronic, aren't they? So what if many states went to electronic voting after the Hanging Chad fiasco of 2000? So what if these machines aren't actually connected to the Internet? Americans wouldn't vote for Trump, right? So it had to be Russian hackers. (This latter theory seems to be animating Dr. Stein's recount efforts.)

Trump has pooh-poohed the notion that the Russians helped him. It's a tempest in a teapot, perhaps, or a bubble in a bowl of borscht. It's pure coincidence that he proposes to appoint several officials in his forthcoming administration who have taken Russian gold from this oligarch, or that one.

But persons from across the political spectrum, from the aforementioned Dr. Stein on the left to former Congressman Joe Walsh on the right, and many actually responsible people in between, from both parties, have called for an investigation of Russia's actions.

Meanwhile, Russian hackers are turning up pretty much everywhere. Yesterday, for example, Rich Miller's Capitol Fax reported that the FBI told the Illinois Republican Party that the Russians had likely hacked some of its emails.

But the topper, for me at least, came just this morning.

Even when I have nothing to post, I try and check the blog every day. I never know when EP or Black Lady Who Reads or Lobo or THE PERSON WHO COMMENTS ONLY IN CAPS will have a new comment to share. I check my stats, too -- 2,902 page views yesterday -- the kind of number I used to see only in the few days before and after an election. So I was feeling pretty good about that.

But only for a couple of seconds.

The stats page also provides a map that shows a blogger where his or her page views are coming from. I generally don't pay much attention to mine: My map has always shown the United States in the darkest shade of green, meaning my readers are clicking in from somewhere in the United States. Although the map doesn't localize hits beyond that, I am highly confident that my readers are nearly all from Cook County. I met a Will County reader the other night... and I had to ask her... why?

But, anyway, here is my genuine, un-retouched stats map from this morning:

The Russians really are everywhere.


Anonymous said...

Tis the season for retirements and Supreme Court appointments. For those keeping score the 2018 Vacancies to Date:


Jean Prendergrast-Rooney -- appointee, Elizabeth KARKULA
Michelle Jordan -- appointee, Clare QUISH
Sheila McGinnis -- vacant
Eileen Brewer -- vacant


2 - Bertina Lampkin -- appointee, Fred BATES
2 - Marjorie Laws -- vacant
3 - Maureen Delehanty -- appointee, Patrick STANTON
4 - James Riley -- appointee, James O'MEARA
6 - Gloria Chevere -- appointee, Kent DELGADO
8 - Candace Fabri -- appointee, Robin SHOFFNER
8 - Laura Liu -- appointee, Michael FORTI
8 - Sheryl Pethers -- vacant
10 - Eileen O'Neill Burke -- appointee, Stephanie SALTOUROS
10 - Donald Suriano -- appointee, Gerald CLEARY
11 - Kathleen Kennedy -- vacant
15 - George Scully -- appointee, Diana EMBIL

Albert said...

Maybe their government is shopping around for blog-enhancing drugs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack: I really like this wonderful, fun blog. There are times when I've felt compelled to exert my unapologetic, woke blackness and that will never stop. So I must pray with Petty Jesus just to keep it real. The real Jesus knows what's best. But Petty Jesus just makes me feel better. Sometimes. But I called on Petty Jesus today to pray with me and he found a prayer to help me throughout my readings. Come on PJ, let's do this:
PJ: "This is not an original petty prayer but one I found that touches my petty heart. You know. Like that one that begins'...Our Father'... Well, here goes. May we bow our petty heads and look into our petty hearts, keeping our petty eyes wide open so we can look for Russians with orange faces and yellow ratty squirrel hair. Oh, and keeping our petty fingers crossed. Please grant us petty people the strength to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and forgiveness when we finally snap. And if absolutely necessary, an I-bond along with a merciful judge that understands our pettiness. Because judges can be petty too. Amen. Amen. Peace in the Black community. Black Lady Who Reads (and PJ).

Anonymous said...

Jack, your evidence of Russian infiltration of your judicial blog has really peaked my interest. Now that the Russians have the White House, is it possible that a takeover of the judicial branch is also coming?

I did some research and found that less than a dozen Cook County judges have names that are possibly Russian in origin. I will not name them here, but one of them once appeared on the Avy Meyers cable show and I intently watched the video many times over for a subliminal sign from the Russian candidate, maybe a code word or hand signal that tipped off others that the great infiltration was about to begin. In describing the slating procedure, the candidate used the word "backward" twice to describe the process. Could it be that there was a message imbedded in the audio of the Avy show if played backwards?

I played the audio slowly in reverse and clearly heard the phrase "Говорите, пожалуйста, медленне m уak йoswad." But what did this phrase mean? I scoured the bars, cafes and restaurants of Rogers Park and Des Plaines in search for a Russian; I posed as an eastern European non-union plumber outside Home Depot looking for day jobs; and I even tried to purchased unstamped cartons of cigarettes at a Russian-own gentlemen's club near the Indiana-Illinois border, but alas, everyone became skeptical when I asked them to translate the mysterious phrase. I finally pretended to convert to the Russian Orthodox faith, where I met a young woman from the Crimea region. Shot for shot, we drank cheap vodka at a bar on Devon Avenue late into the evening, and then she asked me to help her get a green card. I said I would, but only if she translated the mysterious Russian phrase.

Svetlana could finally focus and read it and became frightened. "I must tell you not what say this," she said. I plied her with two more shots, and then begged her once again, and Svetlana relented, "It says, 'Come in second to a shill, and you will know M Yak Noswad's real client.'"

I will continue to investigate what this sentence means, but I am starting to think this M. Yak character may be a double agent whose accumulated Rubles suggest she says "nyet" to no one with positive bank balance.

Anonymous said...

FWIW Exclusive:

Part I:

I read Jack's post about Russia and Anon 5:02's comments with considerable interest. I happen to know a white woman who is a U.S. citizen who has remained in Europe for many years despite her tourist visa expiring decades ago. She now works the midnight shift at the Ecuadorian embassy cleaning toilets and other janitorial tasks for less than minimum wage and no benefits. She does not speak a lick of Spanish and is subjected to terrible work conditions. I guess turn about is fair play.

In any event, I asked her to rummage through Julian Assange's room while he was sleeping and see if the WikiLeaks founder had any information that may shed more light on Russian interference with Cook County judicial elections. Well my friend was afraid to rummage too long for fear Assange would awaken. She found nothing on the Russians, but did find this list of reality television shows that Donald Trump will executive produce while President, and I must say, it looks like we may be in for a scary four years. Here are the new shows:

"Dancing With the Stare Decisis" - Thirteen legal teams from red states compete to overturn landmark civil rights decisions before a ninth justice can be sworn-in on the Supreme Court. The team creating the most havoc will receive the Jefferson Davis Trophy and $10,000 in confederate currency.

"Kate Plus 8" - Follows the plight of a single woman working for minimum wage at Hobby Lobby as she tries to avoid having a ninth child after Congress repeals laws mandating that contraception be covered under the Affordable Care Act.

"Rand Paul's Drag Race" - Ten transgender contestants must get from Florida to Arizona traveling only through red states and they must only use restrooms at Walmart stores. The last contestant imprisoned on felony bathroom laws receives a pardon from President Trump and lunch at a NRA convention with Caitlin Jenner.

Anonymous said...


"Who Wants to Marry a Billionaire" - A group of 18 year-old Slovenian sorority sisters are transplanted to live a glamorous life in Manhattan like Lisa Douglas in "Green Acres." Each must deliver a plagiarized speech as her own to a live t.v. audience and America will vote each week on who to deport. The last remaining contestant will become Barron Trump's nanny and automatically become First Lady when Melania Trump develops her first wrinkle.

"Hoarders" - As political tensions with China, North Korea, Pakistan, India and Iran escalate to unprecedented levels, documentary film makers follow five American families when they learn they have only five days to gather as much food and water as they possibly can before global thermonuclear war erupts after Russia shuts down Twitter.

"To Tell the Truth" - A panel of celebrity judges must determine which Kelly Anne Conway lie is closest to the actual truth.

"Doctor 20501" - Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, teams up with the USDA to build pyramids throughout inner cities and Appalachia to store grain for the impending Rapture which will also double as housing for those of limited means. To weed out undesirables, housing applicants must recite New Testament passages and the Second Amendment, and prove their trust in Dr. Ben by declining vaccinations.

"Ivana Lawyer" - Stop and frisk detainees, families awaiting deportation, political refugees seeking asylum, non-Christians seeking entry into the country and members of Hillary Clinton's IT team are shocked to learn that their court appointed lawyer is Trump's first wife, Ivana, whose only education is an advanced paralegal certificate from Trump University.

"Swimming with the Kardashians" - As climate change worsens rising tides turn Malibu, California into an island cutting off the Kardashian family from any publicity. As withdrawal from overexposure sets in, each member of the family must make it back to mainland California. A family battle ensues when the clan claims Khloe has an unfair advantage because she is made entirely of plastic.

Jack Leyhane said...

In light of recent developments, perhaps it's not as odd as it seemed (to me -- at the time) that I would run into a reader from Will County....