After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm eyes n

After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm eyes n

Postby admin » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:40 pm

After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm eyes new U.S. government contracts
by Matea Gold and Frances Stead Sellers
February 17, 2017



During last year’s race, President Trump’s campaign paid millions of dollars to a data science firm, Cambridge Analytica, that touted its ability to target voters through psychological profiling.

Now, with Trump in office, Cambridge’s British parent company is ramping up its U.S. government business by pursuing contracts that could be driven by the new president’s policy agenda, according to multiple people with knowledge of the firm’s activities who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private interactions.

The company, SCL Group, has hired additional staffers who are working out of a new office down the street from the White House. It has in recent weeks pitched officials in key national security agencies on how its technology could be used to deter terrorism, bolster the military’s capacities as it prepares for a possible buildup and help assess attitudes about immigrants.

SCL Group has ties to people in Trump’s inner circle, including White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who until recently was on the board of Cambridge Analytica.

In addition, one of Cambridge’s main financiers is hedge fund magnate Robert L. Mercer, whose daughter Rebekah is one of the most influential donors in Trump’s orbit, according to people with knowledge of Mercer’s investment.

Alexander Nix, chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, confirmed recent outreach to federal agencies and acknowledged that the company was stepping up its efforts to secure U.S. government business. (Joshua Bright/For The Washington Post)

Company executives say they are not exploiting their ties to the White House and are simply building on government work they have done in the past. But SCL’s move to expand its government business reflects how corporate interests connected to the administration see new opportunities in Trump’s Washington, even as the president vows to “drain the swamp.” And it shows how contractors are viewing the new administration’s spending priorities as potentially lucrative opportunities.

SCL’s effort is being driven by a former aide to now-departed national security adviser Michael Flynn, who served as an adviser to the company in the past.

As part of its outreach to U.S. officials, SCL is touting more than 20 years of experience in shaping voter perceptions and advising militaries and governments around the world on how to conduct effective psychological operations. In materials obtained by The Washington Post, the company suggests it could help the Pentagon and other government agencies with “counter radicalization” programs. At the State Department, SCL is offering to assess the impact of foreign propaganda campaigns, while the company says it could provide intelligence agencies with predictions and insight on emerging threats, among other services.

Government officials familiar with the company said that SCL just finalized a $500,000 contract with the State Department in the works before the election and that its executives recently met with procurement officials at the Department of Homeland Security.

Alexander Nix, a senior SCL executive who has overseen its U.S. expansion, confirmed the recent outreach to federal agencies and acknowledged that the company was stepping up its efforts to secure U.S. government business. He said that the push is an extension of the work the company has done as a subcontractor on a variety of government projects during the last 14 years — and that SCL would have sought the new work no matter who had won the election.

“We’re clearly seeking to augment our existing client services and products with some of the new technologies we’ve been developing in our other sectors, such as the political field,” he said in a phone interview. “But this is not a radical shake-up or anything new.”

“I’d like to think that regardless of the outcome of the election, we’d be working in this space,” Nix added and said he has not communicated with Bannon about the company’s work. “We’ve survived different administrations from left and right of the aisle, with different policy agendas.”

Cambridge Analytica collected at least $6 million from the Trump campaign for its data-analytics work, federal filings show. Bannon was a key driver of the company’s push into the U.S. political market in 2014, according to multiple people familiar with his role.

Company officials declined to comment on Bannon’s relationship with Cambridge.

Nix said that any involvement Bannon “may have had with the company is being discussed” with federal ethics officials. Bannon, like other top White House staff, is required to file a personal financial disclosure form that will become public later this year.

“They will be, I’m sure, making all that information available in due course,” Nix said.

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the Mercers said they could not be reached for comment.

Trump’s surprise win has meant boom times for Cambridge, which is now in hot demand by political campaigns and corporate clients across the globe.

“It’s like drinking from a fire hose,” Matt Oczkowski, Cambridge’s head of product, said in an interview at the company’s new Pennsylvania Avenue offices. “Besides Antarctica, we’ve gotten interest from every continent.”

Much of the curiosity is driven by Cambridge’s emphasis on psychographics, the study of personality traits. By measuring qualities such as openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism, officials say they can craft more effective appeals and drive people to take action.

The Mercers were early investors in the company, dismayed that the Republican Party had lost the data war in the 2012 elections.

Bannon, who was then operating as the family’s political adviser, was a participant in strategy meetings as the company worked to sign up American campaign clients. “He was instrumental in the rollout of Cambridge Analytica in the United States,” said one person familiar with his role.

The company first garnered attention in 2015 when it was tapped by the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). In the end, Cambridge’s work proved uneven, according to campaign officials, who said that while its data scientists were impressive, its psychographic analysis did not bear fruit. Company officials said they were still learning how to apply the approach in a tightly compressed primary environment.

Cambridge then moved on to serve as the Trump campaign’s data-science provider. While company officials said they did not have sufficient time to employ psychographics in that campaign, they did data modeling and polling that showed Trump’s strength in the industrial Midwest, shaping a homestretch strategy that led to his upset wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in a non­descript building on New Oxford Street in central London, SCL Group has the look of a staid insurance agency, with employees working at rows of computer screens. But along with project managers, IT specialists and “creatives” who design websites are psychologists and a team of data-scientists, many of whom hold doctorates in physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics.

SCL’s main offering, first developed by its affiliated London think tank in 1989, involves gathering vast quantities of data about an audience’s values, attitudes and beliefs, identifying groups of “persuadables” and then targeting them with tailored messages. SCL began testing the technique on health and development campaigns in Britain in the early 1990s, then branched out into international political consulting and later defense contracting.

Emma Briant, who wrote about SCL’s work in her 2015 book “Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change,” said its approach can be used to manipulate the public, which is largely unaware how much of their personal information is available.

“They are using similar methodologies to those the intelligence agencies use with openly available data in order to create a commercial advantage for themselves,” said Briant, a journalism studies lecturer at the University of Sheffield in Britain, who is on leave to conduct research at George Washington University. “They are exploiting our dependence on social media.”

Nix, who serves as Cambridge’s chief executive, said that none of the information the company collects is “particularly intrusive,” adding that SCL’s data-science techniques were predominantly developed in the political space, not for military clients.

“This is not medical data or health data or financial data,” he said of the U.S. data that Cambridge collects. “It’s what cereal you eat for breakfast and what car you drive.”

SCL, which says it has worked in 100 countries, offers military clients techniques in “soft power.” Nix described it as a modern-day upgrade of early efforts to win over a foreign population by dropping propaganda leaflets from the air.

In a 2015 article for a NATO publication, Steve Tatham, a British military psyops expert who leads SCL’s defense business outside of the United States, explained that one of the benefits of using the company’s techniques is that it “can be undertaken covertly.”

“Audience groups are not necessarily aware that they are the research subjects and government’s role and/or third parties can be invisible,” he wrote.

In the United States, the company’s efforts to win new government contracts are being led by Josh Weerasinghe, a former vice president of global market development at defense giant BAE Systems who previously worked with Flynn at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Flynn served as an adviser to SCL on its efforts to expand its contracting work, according to two people familiar with his role.

Weerasinghe declined to comment. Flynn, ousted this week as Trump’s national security adviser amid questions about his conversations with Russian officials, could not be reached for comment.

In early February, Weerasinghe met with several procurement officials at the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS official said the gathering was focused on “whether their data analytics services could benefit the department.”

The company also just finalized a contract with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center to provide audience analysis for the center’s efforts to dissuade military-age males from joining the Islamic State, according to people familiar with the details. A State Department spokesman declined to comment on why SCL was selected.

SCL’s efforts to land new government contracts come as Trump has vowed to vastly expand the military. In late January, he signed an executive order to launch the “great rebuilding of the Armed Forces,” pledging support for more troops, weapons, ships and planes.

Nix said that while an increase in defense spending could “help” the company’s business, SCL’s government division sees potential beyond the Pentagon and Homeland Security. “We see the applications for these technologies as much in tourism and health care and treasury,” he said.

He rejected the idea that SCL’s intensifying pursuit of government contracts could be viewed as a conflict of interest because of its role in helping elect the president.

“Look, clearly the decision-makers on the campaign are very different people than the ­decision-makers in government,” he said, noting that the responsibility for contracts falls with procurement officials. “There is a code of ethics in order to make sure that is the case, and we adhere to that.”

Cambridge now has a database of 230 million American adults, with up to 5,000 pieces of demographic, consumer and lifestyle information about each individual, as well as psychological information people have shared with the company through quizzes on social media and extensive surveys, Nix has said.

“By having hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Americans undertake this survey, we were able to form a model to predict the personality of every single adult in the United States of America,” Nix declared in a speech at a New York conference in September 2016.

The company has its share of skeptics who question whether its data-driven messaging can actually change behavior.

“They walked me through the entire formula, and something just didn’t add up,” said a consultant who worked briefly for SCL and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private interactions with the company. “All of a sudden it spits out analysis and data. There was a leap in logic.”

Nix shrugged off such doubters.

“We have been doing this for nearly 30 years,” he said. “I suppose if it didn’t work, we wouldn’t still be in business and we wouldn’t still be growing.”

Sellers reported from London. Tom Hamburger in Washington contributed to this report.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:59 pm

Facebook Failed to Protect 30 Million Users From Having Their Data Harvested by Trump Campaign Affiliate
by Mattathias Schwartz
March 30 2017




IN 2014, TRACES of an unusual survey, connected to Facebook, began appearing on internet message boards. The boards were frequented by remote freelance workers who bid on “human intelligence tasks” in an online marketplace, called Mechanical Turk, controlled by Amazon. The “turkers,” as they’re known, tend to perform work that is rote and repetitive, like flagging pornographic images or digging through search engine results for email addresses. Most jobs pay between 1 and 15 cents. “Turking makes us our rent money and helps pay off debt,” one turker told The Intercept. Another turker has called the work “voluntary slave labor.”

The task posted by “Global Science Research” appeared ordinary, at least on the surface. The company offered turkers $1 or $2 to complete an online survey. But there were a couple of additional requirements as well. First, Global Science Research was only interested in American turkers. Second, the turkers had to download a Facebook app before they could collect payment. Global Science Research said the app would “download some information about you and your network … basic demographics and likes of categories, places, famous people, etc. from you and your friends.”

“Our terms of service clearly prohibit misuse,” said a spokesperson for Amazon Web Services, by email. “When we learned of this activity back in 2015, we suspended the requester for violating our terms of service.”

Although Facebook’s early growth was driven by closed, exclusive networks at college and universities, it has gradually herded users to agree to increasingly permissive terms of service. By 2014, anything a user’s friends could see was also potentially visible to the developers of any app that they chose to download. Some of the turkers noticed that the Global Science Research app appeared to be taking advantage of Facebook’s porousness. “Someone can learn everything about you by looking at hundreds of pics, messages, friends, and likes,” warned one, writing on a message board. “More than you realize.” Others were more blasé. “I don’t put any info on FB,” one wrote. “Not even my real name … it’s backwards that people put sooo much info on Facebook, and then complain when their privacy is violated.”

In late 2015, the turkers began reporting that the Global Science Research survey had abruptly shut down. The Guardian had published a report that exposed exactly who the turkers were working for. Their data was being collected by Aleksandr Kogan, a young lecturer at Cambridge University. Kogan founded Global Science Research in 2014, after the university’s psychology department refused to allow him to use its own pool of data for commercial purposes. The data collection that Kogan undertook independent of the university was done on behalf of a military contractor called Strategic Communication Laboratories, or SCL. The company’s election division claims to use “data-driven messaging” as part of “delivering electoral success.”

SCL has a growing U.S. spin-off, called Cambridge Analytica, which was paid millions of dollars by Donald Trump’s campaign. Much of the money came from committees funded by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who reportedly has a large stake in Cambridge Analytica. For a time, one of Cambridge Analytica’s officers was Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s senior adviser. Months after Bannon claimed to have severed ties with the company, checks from the Trump campaign for Cambridge Analytica’s services continued to show up at one of Bannon’s addresses in Los Angeles.

“You can say Mr. Mercer declined to comment,” said Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesperson for Robert Mercer, by email.


Facebook Elections signs in the media area at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Aug. 6, 2015, before the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 election. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

The Intercept interviewed five individuals familiar with Kogan’s work for SCL. All declined to be identified, citing concerns about an ongoing inquiry at Cambridge and fears of possible litigation. Two sources familiar with the SCL project told The Intercept that Kogan had arranged for more than 100,000 people to complete the Facebook survey and download an app. A third source with direct knowledge of the project said that Global Science Research obtained data from 185,000 survey participants as well as their Facebook friends. The source said that this group of 185,000 was recruited through a data company, not Mechanical Turk, and that it yielded 30 million usable profiles. No one in this larger group of 30 million knew that “likes” and demographic data from their Facebook profiles were being harvested by political operatives hired to influence American voters.

Kogan declined to comment. In late 2014, he gave a talk in Singapore in which he claimed to have “a sample of 50+ million individuals about whom we have the capacity to predict virtually any trait.”
Global Science Research’s public filings for 2015 show the company holding 145,111 British pounds in its bank account. Kogan has since changed his name to Spectre. Writing online, he has said that he changed his name to Spectre after getting married. “My wife and I are both scientists and quite religious, and light is a strong symbol of both,” he explained.

James Bond, our “hero”, is nothing but a mind-controlled pawn with a microchip in his arm.

-- How “Spectre” is Really About James Bond Being a Tool of the Occult Elite, by

The purpose of Kogan’s work was to develop an algorithm for the “national profiling capacity of American citizens” as part of SCL’s work on U.S. elections, according to an internal document signed by an SCL employee describing the research.

“We do not do any work with Facebook likes,” wrote Lindsey Platts, a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica, in an email. The company currently “has no relationship with GSR,” Platts said.

“Cambridge Analytica does not comment on specific clients or projects,” she added when asked whether the company was involved with Global Science Research’s work in 2014 and 2015.

The Guardian, which was was the first to report on Cambridge Analytica’s work on U.S. elections, in late 2015, noted that the company drew on research “spanning tens of millions of Facebook users, harvested largely without their permission.” Kogan disputed this at the time, telling The Guardian that his turker surveys had collected no more than “a couple of thousand responses” for any one client. While it is unclear how many responses Global Science Research obtained through Mechanical Turk and how many it recruited through a data company, all five of the sources interviewed by The Intercept confirmed that Kogan’s work on behalf of SCL involved collecting data from survey participants’ networks of Facebook friends, individuals who had not themselves consented to give their data to Global Science Research and were not aware that they were the objects of Kogan’s study. In September 2016, Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, said that the company built a model based on “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Americans” filling out personality surveys, generating a “model to predict the personality of every single adult in the United States of America.”

Shortly after The Guardian published its 2015 article, Facebook contacted Global Science Research and requested that it delete the data it had taken from Facebook users. Facebook’s policies give Facebook the right to delete data gathered by any app deemed to be “negatively impacting the Platform.” The company believes that Kogan and SCL complied with the request, which was made during the Republican primary, before Cambridge Analytica switched over from Ted Cruz’s campaign to Donald Trump’s. It remains unclear what was ultimately done with the Facebook data, or whether any models or algorithms derived from it wound up being used by the Trump campaign.

In public, Facebook continues to maintain that whatever happened during the run-up to the election was business as usual. “Our investigation to date has not uncovered anything that suggests wrongdoing,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Intercept.

Facebook appears not to have considered Global Science Research’s data collection to have been a serious ethical lapse. Joseph Chancellor, Kogan’s main collaborator on the SCL project and a former co-owner of Global Science Research, is now employed by Facebook Research. “The work that he did previously has no bearing on the work that he does at Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Intercept.

Chancellor declined to comment.

Cambridge Analytica has marketed itself as classifying voters using five personality traits known as OCEAN — Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism — the same model used by University of Cambridge researchers for in-house, non-commercial research. The question of whether OCEAN made a difference in the presidential election remains unanswered. Some have argued that big data analytics is a magic bullet for drilling into the psychology of individual voters; others are more skeptical. The predictive power of Facebook likes is not in dispute. A 2013 study by three of Kogan’s former colleagues at the University of Cambridge showed that likes alone could predict race with 95 percent accuracy and political party with 85 percent accuracy. Less clear is their power as a tool for targeted persuasion; Cambridge Analytica has claimed that OCEAN scores can be used to drive voter and consumer behavior through “microtargeting,” meaning narrowly tailored messages. Nix has said that neurotic voters tend to be moved by “rational and fear-based” arguments, while introverted, agreeable voters are more susceptible to “tradition and habits and family and community.”

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center at Arizona State University, said he was skeptical of the idea that the Trump campaign got a decisive edge from data analytics. But, he added, such techniques will likely become more effective in the future. “It’s reasonable to believe that sooner or later, we’re going to see widespread manipulation of people’s decision-making, including in elections, in ways that are more widespread and granular, but even less detectable than today,” he wrote in an email.

Donald Trump throws a hat to supporters during a campaign rally on Sept. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Trump’s circle has been open about its use of Facebook to influence the vote. Joel Pollak, an editor at Breitbart, writes in his campaign memoir about Trump’s “armies of Facebook ‘friends,’ … bypassing the gatekeepers in the traditional media.” Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, has written in his own campaign memoir about “geo-targeting” cities to deliver a debunked claim that Bill Clinton had fathered a child out of wedlock, and narrowing down the audience “based on preferences in music, age range, black culture, and other urban interests.”

Clinton, of course, had her own analytics effort, and digital market research is a normal part of any political campaign. But the quantity of data compiled on individuals during the run-up to the election is striking. Alexander Nix, head of Cambridge Analytica, has claimed to “have a massive database of 4-5,000 data points on every adult in America.” Immediately after the election, the company tried to take credit for the win, claiming that its data helped the Trump campaign set the candidate’s travel schedule and place online ads that were viewed 1.5 billion times. Since then, the company has been de-emphasizing its reliance on psychological profiling.

The Information Commissioner’s Office, an official privacy watchdog within the British government, is now looking into whether Cambridge Analytica and similar companies might pose a risk to voters’ rights. The British inquiry was triggered by reports in The Observer of ties between Robert Mercer, Cambridge Analytica, and the Leave.EU campaign, which worked to persuade British voters to leave the European Union. While Nix has previously talked about the firm’s work for Leave.EU, Cambridge Analytica now denies that it had any paid role in the campaign.

Leave.EU signage is displayed in London on March 5, 2016. Photo: Rex Features/AP Images

In the U.S., where privacy laws are looser, there is no investigation. Cambridge Analytica is said to be pitching its products to several federal agencies, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff. SCL, its parent company, has new offices near the White House and has reportedly been advised by Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, on how to increase its federal business. (A spokesperson for Flynn denied that he had done any work for SCL.)

Years before the arrival of Kogan’s turkers, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tried to address privacy concerns around the company’s controversial Beacon program, which quietly funneled data from outside websites into Facebook, often without Facebook users being aware of the process. Reflecting on Beacon, Zuckerberg attributed part of Facebook’s success to giving “people control over what and how they share information.” He said that he regretted making Beacon an “opt-out system instead of opt-in … if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon went ahead and still shared it with their friends.”

Seven years later, Facebook appears to have made the same mistake, but with far greater consequences. In mid-2014, however, Facebook announced a new review process, where the company would make sure that new apps asked only for data they would actually use. “People want more control,” the company said at that time. “It’s going to make a huge difference with building trust with your app’s audience.” Existing apps were given a full year to switch over to have Facebook review how they handled user data. By that time, Global Science Research already had what it needed.

Top photo: A collage of profile pictures makes up the Facebook logo on a wall at a Facebook Data Center in Forest City, N.C., in 2012.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:28 pm

How “Spectre” is Really About James Bond Being a Tool of the Occult Elite
March 21, 2016


Spectre, the newest film in the James Bond franchise, is about a secret group taking control of world governments and imposing world-wide mass surveillance. Under the guise of a typical James Bond adventure, viewers get a solid dose of the occult elite’s predictive programming agenda.

Warning: Gargantuan spoilers ahead!

After appearing in more than 25 movies spanning half a century, the fictional secret agent James Bond is now the face of British intelligence and the suave personification of the MI6. Based on the series of novels written by Ian Fleming, who got most of his insights from his stint as a naval intelligence officer, Agent 007 exports the aims of Britain’s elite to the world. A perfect illustration of this occurred in 2012 when James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, appeared as Queen Elizabeth II’s escort in the opening ceremony video of the 2012 London Olympics. This simple yet powerful image encapsulates the entire raison d’être of James Bond in popular culture: He safeguards the elite’s interests.

James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) escorting the Queen during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.

The same way parents sneak vegetables into their children’s spaghetti sauce, James Bond movies sneak pro-elite messages into a big bowl of sex, violence and shiny things. And with Spectre, the Agenda takes a definite “Illuminati” (i.e. occult elite) turn.

A Continuous Agenda

While James Bond used to be a defender of the British empire and its interests around the world, recent 007 movies reflect an important change in world politics, which is especially true in Spectre. Loosely based on two separate Ian Fleming novels, Spectre is an original story crafted to push a specific world view. And, as I’ve outlined countless times in past articles throughout this site, the modern Agenda is all about revealing how an occult elite is taking over the world and imposing a New World Order.

Spectre is a perfect example of predictive programming: Exposing the masses to an “outlandish” concept so that when it really happens, the public’s sense of outrage is already dulled out. Of course, Spectre is far from the only movie pushing this message. The same exact premise is found in Kingsman – another British spy movie that came out in 2015 (read my article about it here).

In both movies, the “bad guys” are the global elite looking to control the world. Yet, in both movies, there are also clear signs that the British spies are strongly connected to them and that the only real losers are the masses, a “wild herd” with little to no say about what is happening. While in Kingsman, we witness massive depopulation using cellphones, Spectre is more symbolic (and upsetting). Indeed, the only time we see “regular” people in the movie is during the first scene and they are … dead.

The first frame of the movie perfectly describes how the elite perceives the masses.

The first scene of the movie takes place in Mexico, during Cinqo de Mayo celebrations (the day of the dead).

We then see an action scene in Mexico, during celebrations for Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. All “non-elite” people are dressed as skeletons and dancing in the streets.
After the opening scene, we don’t really see regular people in the movie – just the British government and “Spectre” struggling for power. However, as the movie subtly lets us know, they are two sides of the same coin.

Spectre = The Occult Elite

If 007 represents the British government and the MI6, then “Spectre”, the shady organization looking to control the world, represents the occult elite.

The symbol of Spectre is an octopus – a symbol loved by the real world elite. Its many tentacles represents the many areas in which it meddles.

When the US National Reconnaissance Organization launched its spy satellite NROL-39 (used for mass surveillance) into space, it released a mission patch featuring a giant octopus engulfing the Earth with the words “Nothing is beyond our reach”. Coincidentally enough, Spectre is about the same kind of surveillance.

In the movie “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, the secret elite organization Hydra aims to control the world with the New World Order. Its symbol also features octopus-like tentacles. The proliferation of these symbols is how mass media programs the world.

Not unlike the real occult elite, Spectre gathers in secret meetings in palaces made by the elite, for the elite.

The secret Spectre meeting takes place in Rome at midnight.

In occult and popular culture, midnight is also known as the “witching hour”. It is defined as the time of night when creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful … and black magic to be most effective. Appropriately enough, in the film, the meeting is the theater for a symbolic blood sacrifice.

When one member of the meeting is deemed unnecessary, he gets killed in one of the worst ways possible: A gigantic guy gouges his eyes out (eyes represent the elite) and breaks his neck in front of a silent room full of people.

During that meeting, a German speaker outlines the “successes” of Spectre, which are perfectly in line with the real world elite’s “black” agenda. Not a lot of fiction going on there. One these “successes” is particularly creepy: The speaker talks about 160,000 migrated females who have been placed in the “leisure sector”. The “leisure sector” means prostitution. In subtle scenes like this one, the movie discloses the true, devastating agenda of the elite in this day and age. As I’ve mentioned in past articles, the migration crisis has been forced on the world for several reasons. One of the darkest reasons is to easily exploit millions of displaced people, who have minimal rights and few written records, in all kinds of nefarious human trafficking ventures. It has already started: News sources have reported that over 10,000 refugee children are already missing. How many of them will find themselves in the occult elite’s underground child abuse rings?

However, like the occult elite, the main goal of Spectre is to subvert all world governments in order to to implement world wide surveillance and implement nothing less than a New World Order.
Indeed, in one scene, an agent tells Bond:

“In three days, there’s a security conference in Tokyo to decide the New World Order”.

Spectre has infiltrated the British government with its agents (namely one guy that goes by the name of “C”) to get this New World Order going. In several scenes, C uses typical “Illuminati” phraseology such as:

“We’re going to bring British Intelligence out of the Dark Ages and into the light”.

“Illuminati” means “the enlightened”. Later, in his speech in Tokyo, C states:

“Do not let them tell you we need less surveillance. We need more. Much more. I say again, the Nine Eyes committee would have full access to the combined intelligence streams of all member states. More data, more analysis, less likelihood of terrorist attacks”.

During that meeting, the participating countries are subjected to a vote to get worldwide surveillance going.

We then see that South Africa votes “No” to the New World Order.

Upon learning the outcome of that vote, C says yet another phrase that is very Illuminati:

“Only a matter of time before South Africa sees the light.”

Shortly after that negative vote, the South African city of Cape Town is subject to a violent terrorist attack.

We see here a clear disclosure of how the real-world occult elite works: False flag terror attacks scare populations and nations into submission and into accepting drastic policy changes. All of the scenes above basically sum up what the elite has been up to in the past years: Paris attacks, new surveillance laws, and the migration crisis.

Since this is a spy movie, the occult elite is personified by one supervillain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. His trademark characteristic tells everything you need to know about him.

Later in the movie, Blofeld loses one eye, making him a walking, talking, one eye sign.

Blofeld also likes to say Illuminati mottos:

“A terrible event can lead to something wonderful. Out of horror, beauty”.

And thus I went out in that night (it was the second night of the year 1914), and anxious expectation filled me. I went out to embrace the future. The path was wide and what was to come was awful. It was the enormous dying, a sea of blood. From it the new sun arose, awful and a reversal of that which we call day. We have seized the darkness and its sun will shine above us, bloody and burning like a great downfall.

-- The Red Book, by Carl Jung

This quote is remarkably similar to the occult elite’s favorite motto: Ordo Ab Chao – Order out of chaos.

A Masonic insignia featuring the motto Ordo Ab Chao.

By using false flag terror, Spectre is taking over the world. Luckily, James Bond is here to kill everybody and have sex with a bunch of girls on his way there.

However, the movie makes one thing clear: James Bond is not “the people’s hero” trying to save freedom and democracy. He’s basically a puppet of the system. The British government and Spectre are simply two sides of the same coin. That little adventure you are watching – with the suave good guy and the evil bad guy – that is just theatrics to keep you distracted while real things are actually happening.

James Bond is Reduced to a Pawn of the Elite

The true status of James Bond is clearly depicted during the title sequence of the movie.

While we hear a dramatic song by Sam Smith in the background, we see James Bond walking under the “protection” of the Spectre octopus, which represents the occult elite. I thought Bond was against them?

Even his gun is tightly controlled by the elite’s tentacles.

The same tentacles are behind Blofeld – suggesting that both the “good guy” and the “supervillain” are actually part of the same team.

James Bond walks around as we see a bunch of eyes around him.

The title sequence ends with a single eye inside which are tentacles. In short, this intro sequence is all about the occult elite revealing they control the world and the very movie you are watching – while Sam Smith sings “Writing’s on the Wall”.

Once it is established that James Bond is just a puppet of the elite, everything about him from then on makes sense.

Like in every James Bond movie, there’s a scene where the agent is presented with all the cool gadgets he’ll play with during that adventure. This movie is no exception. However, this time, there is a catch. Bond must have a microchip implanted inside of him before he can do anything else.

As if to prove 007 is just a simple pawn, we see him get a microchip implant … just like the one they want you to get.

Q (the guy in charge of gadgets) tells Bond:

“Cutting edge nano-technology. Smart Blood. Microchips in your bloodstream that allows us to track your movements in the field”.

To which Bond responds:

“That sounds marvelous”.

In other words, the agent who is supposed to save the world from being monitored at all times by the government … is being monitored at all times by the government.

On these monitors we see that Bond’s exact location and body stats are tracked in real time. These are the “heroes” the elite wants us to root for – a combination of transhumanism and Big Brother.

Later in the movie, Bond gets more of the mind-control-slave-style treatment, this time at the hands of Blofeld.

Bond gets his brain drilled into by a machine controlled by Blofeld. The good guys and the bad guys both mess around with Bond’s body. He’s just a pawn of them both.

In one scene, Bond faces Blofeld through glass. Blofeld’s reflection on Bond’s face is a subtle way of saying: They’re on the same team.

In the end, Bond successfully blows up Blofeld’s secret lair. But does he kill him? No. Instead, Bond drops his gun and goes to see the girl that he’s currently sleeping with. Then another guy comes in and tells Blofeld:

“Under the Special Measures Act of 2001, I am detaining you on behalf of the Majesty’s Government”.

So the bad guy gets arrested under the “Special Measures Act of 2001”, an ending that is 100% un-James Bond. In fact, it is so pointedly ironic that it can only be interpreted as the elite laughing at the viewers. Indeed, the “Special Measures Act of 2001” is likely a reference to the “Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001”, which came into law in Britain on December 14, 2001. This law is England’s version of the Patriot Act: A massive bundle of restrictive laws that were rushed through the Parliament in the wake of 9/11.

The Act was widely criticized, with one commentator describing it as “the most draconian legislation Parliament has passed in peacetime in over a century”. On 16 December 2004 the Law Lords ruled that Section 23 was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, but under the terms of the Human Rights Act 1998 it remained in force.

Therefore, the bad guy of the movie, who was attempting to use terror to implement world wide mass surveillance, is arrested under a law that actually implemented mass surveillance after a terror attack.

This is the elite’s sick way of telling you: We are Spectre and you’re living under our rule.

In Conclusion

Although the Spectre organization is the “bad guy” and James bond is the “good guy”, none of this actually matters. The movie’s true goal is exposing the masses to a specific concept in order to make it part of the collective unconscious. Mass media is all about predictive programming – acquainting the public with planned societal changes to be implemented by the occult elite.

These changes are already happening now. Although James Bond is fighting Spectre “for the Queen”, we must not forget that the UK has for years been at the forefront of the Big Brother Agenda, implementing all kinds of restrictive, mass surveillance laws, right after every terror attack on the Western world.

In short, the UK was taken over by Spectre a long time ago. And, James Bond, our “hero”, is nothing but a mind-controlled pawn with a microchip in his arm.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:53 pm

Clinton’s data-driven campaign relied heavily on an algorithm named Ada. What didn’t she see?
by John Wagner
November 9, 2016



Hillary Clinton at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., on the eve of the election. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Inside Hillary Clinton's campaign, she was known as Ada. Like the candidate herself, she had a penchant for secrecy and a private server. As blame gets parceled out Wednesday for the Democrat's stunning loss to Republican President-elect Donald Trump, Ada is likely to get a lot of second-guessing.

Ada is a complex computer algorithm that the campaign was prepared to publicly unveil after the election as its invisible guiding hand. Named for a female 19th-century mathematician — Ada, Countess of Lovelace — the algorithm was said to play a role in virtually every strategic decision Clinton aides made, including where and when to deploy the candidate and her battalion of surrogates and where to air television ads — as well as when it was safe to stay dark.

The campaign's deployment of other resources — including county-level campaign offices and the staging of high-profile concerts with stars like Jay Z and Beyoncé — was largely dependent on Ada's work, as well.

While the Clinton campaign's reliance on analytics became well known, the particulars of Ada's work were kept under tight wraps, according to aides. The algorithm operated on a separate computer server than the rest of the Clinton operation as a security precaution, and only a few senior aides were able to access it.

According to aides, a raft of polling numbers, public and private, were fed into the algorithm, as well as ground-level voter data meticulously collected by the campaign. Once early voting began, those numbers were factored in, too.

What Ada did, based on all that data, aides said, was run 400,000 simulations a day of what the race against Trump might look like. A report that was spit out would give campaign manager Robby Mook and others a detailed picture of which battleground states were most likely to tip the race in one direction or another — and guide decisions about where to spend time and deploy resources.

The use of analytics by campaigns was hardly unprecedented. But Clinton aides were convinced their work, which was far more sophisticated than anything employed by President Obama or GOP nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, gave them a big strategic advantage over Trump.

So where did Ada go wrong?

About some things, she was apparently right. Aides say Pennsylvania was pegged as an extremely important state early on, which explains why Clinton was such a frequent visitor and chose to hold her penultimate rally in Philadelphia on Monday night.

But it appears that the importance of other states Clinton would lose — including Michigan and Wisconsin — never became fully apparent or that it was too late once it did.

Clinton made several visits to Michigan during the general election, but it wasn't until the final days that she, Obama and her husband made such a concerted effort.

As for Wisconsin: Clinton didn't make any appearances there at all.

Like much of the political establishment Ada appeared to underestimate the power of rural voters in Rust Belt states.

Clearly, there were things neither she nor a human could foresee — like a pair of bombshell letters sent by the FBI about Clinton's email server. But in coming days and weeks, expect a debate on how heavily campaigns should rely on data, particularly in a year like this one in which so many conventional rules of politics were cast aside.

John Wagner is a national political reporter covering the White House. He previously covered the 2016 presidential election, focusing on the Democratic campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. He also chronicled Maryland government for more than a decade. Follow @WPJohnWagner
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:04 pm

Inside the Clinton Campaign's TV Data Strategy
by Kate Kaye
Published on February 02, 2017



Cardboard cutouts of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand inside a store at Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Call it Monday morning quarterbacking or 20-20 hindsight: Political practitioners and technologists on the left still are grasping for clues about which Clinton campaign decisions might have contributed to President Donald Trump's win. Many wonder whether their own skills might have boosted her to a win in November. One of them is Carol Davidsen, a key developer of technology used for Barack Obama's groundbreaking 2012 TV ad system, which was known as The Optimizer. She laments the campaign's decision not to use a new ComScore TV analytics platform she helped build for 2016.

"It's frustrating when you build something that is available to both sides, and the side you personally support doesn't use it," said Ms. Davidsen.

The Clinton camp's decision not to work with the company, however, reflects the rapid changes that have taken place in the TV data world since 2012. Those changes enabled the campaign to build a system in-house that it says gave them a more refined and comprehensive view of the data than previously available. Among many questions surrounding the campaign, it's now fair to ask whether that decision was the right move.

According to people familiar with the Clinton campaign who spoke to Ad Age under condition of anonymity, the campaign built its own internal TV buying data system and assembled a collective of analytics, data and tech specialists it called its optimization team, people who worked directly with those making TV buying decisions. The technology they built ingested raw TV data from multiple sources. That approach was more cost-efficient, they said, and gave them greater control and transparency.

Before the primaries, the campaign evaluated TV data sources and platforms, and asked, "Is there a way to be closer to the data itself than in 2012?" said a Clinton campaign source.

TV Data Explosion

The Clinton camp got its TV data -- information that helped determine what key voter groups watch -- from a variety of sources. Providers that it could have tapped include TV data compilers such as FourthWall Media and pay-TV operators such as Tivo, Cox Communications and the collaboration between Dish and DirecTV/AT&T called D2.

"We've got the explosion of talent combined with increased availability of sources," said a political TV analytics consultant who was not affiliated with ComScore or the Clinton campaign. "Innovation is taking place at the nine- and 12-month level, not the four-year level," he said, noting that there are more companies providing TV data and services, and more data analysts who emerged from 2012 and now have advanced significantly in terms of programming language capabilities and skills with TV data tools.

"It tells you that the economics have changed fundamentally," the consultant said.

In other words, all signs point to even more dissemination of TV data, analytics technologies and practitioners in 2018.

The Clinton camp relied on one of its vendors to make its TV data purchases, so those expenditures do not appear in the campaign's Federal Election Commission reports. Though it's not clear which company or companies working with the campaign made the data buys, its television buying firm GMMB received $236 million from the Clinton campaign between August 2015 and October 2016 for media buys, consulting and ad production services, according to FEC reports. Digital ad firm Bully Pulpit Interactive took in $17 million between May 2015 and October 2016.

As the Clinton camp assembled its TV optimization technology and staff of data analysts, Ms. Davidsen, VP of political technology at Comscore, and her colleagues were working to finalize a platform that could be tailored for large political campaigns like a presidential race, something much more advanced than what she and the Obama team built in-house. The result was a robust, customizable TV data platform that incorporated household level data for set-top box TV ad targeting, according to Ms. Davidsen. But by the time the ComScore system was ready for primetime, around the summer of 2016, the Clinton camp was already too far ahead with their own solution.

Ms. Davidsen played a key role in developing what came to be known as the Optimizer for the Obama 2012 campaign; the TV ad planning and buying platform used TV viewing data to inform ad buys to reach targeted voter groups in cost-effective inventory such as niche cable TV. The system relied mainly on data from Rentrak, the company Ms. Davidsen joined in 2015 which was acquired later that year by Comscore. In 2012, the relationship between Rentrak and the Obama campaign was so secretive that the TV data firm codenamed the project Eeyore, after the forlorn donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

Political Campaign as Data Processor

While a platform like ComScore's recommends which programs are optimal for targeting specific voter groups, the Clinton camp wanted more transparency into the reasoning behind the recommendations, transparency that would come by gathering and analyzing the raw data itself. The information would show that a specific TV device ID -- which could be matched to the campaign's data on key voter targets -- was tuned to a particular channel at a given time. The campaign would need to match that data to other sources showing what actual program was on the air at that time. All that data would be combined to determine the optimal TV buys to reach desired voter groups.

But raw set-top box data is not pretty. Picture rows and rows and columns and columns of unstructured, non-standardized data clutter. Each data set would need to be scrubbed of extraneous information, and put in an organized format that could be read by the platform ingesting it.

"It was odd to me, the choice for a campaign to start becoming a set-top box processing company," said Ms. Davidsen, adding, "I don't believe raw viewership data can ethically only be made available to one side. You just hope the side you personally support uses that data more effectively."

Specialists in the Clinton campaign's analytics, data and tech teams were tasked with making sense of the data mess, processing it, studying and cleaning it, and creating the algorithms used to determine which programs were being viewed by the voter segments the campaign wanted to reach. The platform showed campaign results and incorporated that information back in, hence, optimizing.

While raw TV data is unwieldy, it has its benefits. Arguably, the Clinton campaign was able to be more flexible in how it viewed the data. So, rather than using a system that only told them the "what" to buy, the campaign developed a visualization tool that surfaced the "why," something one Clinton camp source called a big jump forward from past campaign cycles. This came in handy especially down the stretch when convincing decision makers that, for example, another $100,000 was needed to aim TV ads at particular voters in a key geographic area.

The visual interface featured tables and interactive graphs allowing the optimization team to view explanations for why certain TV buys were recommended, and exposing additional notes on what was not being purchased, to help the campaign identify potential buying options it was missing.

That's where the legitimacy of the data models and the voter scores -- the numbers reflecting the campaign's perception of voters and each voter segment, their likelihood to support Ms. Clinton, and their likelihood to go to the polls -- is of utmost importance. If the expectations of how voters felt about the candidate and how their attitudes morphed throughout the campaign were improperly calibrated, the data machine would continue to hum along, but the end product may not be an accurate representation of voter reality.

The Clinton camp was criticized after the election for not placing enough emphasis on advertising in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan, where President Trump won by slim margins -- in Michigan by only around 10,000 votes and Wisconsin by 22,000. However, while the TV optimization platform was used to determine what TV inventory to purchase to efficiently reach voter targets, the campaign used its polling and field operations data system to determine whether Ms. Clinton needed to invest more in a given state.

Podesta Emails and the High Cost of Data

Cambridge Analytica, one of many data firms that assisted in the Trump campaign, did use the ComScore system in 2016, though it's not clear whether it was employed for the Trump campaign. As reported in December by Ad Age, the majority of the Trump campaign's TV buys were informed by Deep Root Analytics, a Republican TV data firm contracted by the Republican National Committee.

Clinton campaign sources and others familiar with Comscore's pricing say the products the company was offering for 2016 were far more expensive than other approaches, and much more than similar offerings in 2012.

One of the communiques exposed in the hack of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta's emails alludes to the campaign's thought process on TV analytics and pricing as far back as May 2015. Elan Kriegel, Clinton campaign director of analytics, wrote to Mr. Podesta and Campaign Manager Robby Mook at that time, noting that in the past he had worked with data from Dish showing what TV programs voter targets over-indexed on viewing. He added, "Right now we buy this data through a third party vendor (Rentrak), though the price they are quoting for 2016 is quite steep."

Ms. Davidsen said that ComScore negotiated on price and variations of the platform with the Clinton camp, which did eventually test it in the summer of 2016. The campaign decided against using ComScore after that.

Ms. Davidsen kept a close eye on the campaign's TV buys anyway. She said, based on the ComScore information she had access to, that the Clinton camp was under-delivering in TV when it came to reaching likely Democratic voters at standard frequency levels (typically 12 to 16 ads per week). And she feared that the campaign was too reliant on addressable advertising, which delivers ads only to specific voters, and because of its narrow targeting, can drastically limit the amount of times an ad will run.

Addressable TV advertising allowed the Clinton campaign to deliver specific ads to persuadable Hispanic or African-American voters, for example. However, campaign sources said addressable accounted for only around 4% of the overall media budget, and therefore made up a relatively small portion of the TV budget. In fact, they say that closer to the election they were investing more in national ad buys in order to ensure exposure to certain voters, sometimes at a lower cost. For example, the campaign may have made a national buy with TBS to ensure its ads showed up during "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" -- appointment TV with some left-leaning voters.

The campaign sources also said they were more focused than during previous election cycles on communicating with voter audiences in a more holistic manner -- what corporate marketers would call omni-channel marketing. So, for instance, if certain voter groups were not watching TV much, the campaign would emphasize digital advertising, social media or direct mail to reach them.

The people familiar with the Clinton campaign said they were confident in the analytics platform that they built to inform their TV buying and targeting. However, for campaign observers and experts like Ms. Davidsen, there remain many unanswered questions regarding things like the validity of the voter data models it built and how the campaign selected which ad creative to deliver to which voters.

So, for now, just like the opaque data platform the Clinton camp aimed to avoid, those answers remain locked inside a proverbial black box.

Kate Kaye covers the data industry for Advertising Age and is the main contributor to the Ad Age DataWorks section. Before joining Ad Age in November 2012, Kate worked as a writer and reporter covering the digital marketing industry since 2000, focusing on beats including data-driven targeting, privacy, and government regulation. Kate helped cultivate the online political campaign beat, and in 2009 wrote "Campaign '08 A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about the digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Before joining Ad Age, Kate was managing editor of ClickZ News, where she worked for nearly 7 years.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:10 pm

How Trump defeated Clinton using analytics
Columnist Rob Enderle writes that by following the three rules of analytics Trump won the election.
by Rob Enderle
November 11, 2016 4:00 AM PT




What was both fascinating and sad for me watching the election results on Tuesday was how badly the news services predicted the outcome. Virtually every one had predicted a Clinton victory, which likely contributed to her loss, most wanted her to win, and virtually every one was wrong. The analytics run by the Clinton camp largely seemed to drive her to an anti-Trump message and misspend what was a vastly larger budget than Trump had. Meanwhile, Trump used analytics at the end to both better position his limited budget, time and message -- and won.

The irony here is during the last two elections Obama outperformed his Republican rivals using analytics and Trump, who largely ran despite his party, seemed to learn that lesson better than Clinton did.

This points to the biggest problem with those who use analytics, assuring the data source.

Let me take you through what happened and I’ll end with the three rules of analytics.

The known problems with the data source

Going into this election we knew that there had been a major shift in how people communicated. Particularly with the growing power class of millennials. They had largely switched to mobile phone use and away from landlines and, due to caller ID, were more likely not to answer even if they were called on their mobile phone. In fact, a massive number of folks likely had this ability to dodge calls creating a huge potential gap in the sampling methodology, which should have significantly increased the confidence intervals. Rather than plus or minus 4 percent or 5 percent these things could have had ranges of 15 percent or more.

As the campaigns matured Trump supporters were vilified by the media and the Clinton camp, and at one point she called them deplorable. This was not a wise strategy because instead of forcing them to switch sides it apparently fueled their feelings of being attacked and cheated and that drove them to the polls in impressive numbers. But the bigger problem for analysts is it made them not want to respond, or if they did respond, not respond truthfully. This introduced massive pro-Clinton bias and should have invalidated the related studies.

As an analyst, a big part of the job is identifying and mitigating bias otherwise you are driving the people who pay you to make bad decisions and, given the outcome, that would seem to be the case here.

Trump’s advantage

Unlike Clinton, however, Trump’s folks rightly identified both issues and they used a little-known analytics company called Cambridge Analytica, and another as yet undisclosed company focused on Hispanics, who came up with a very different methodology. Ten days before the election a small team rewrote the sampling methodology to eliminate both the bias and the get to the potential voters that more traditional methods were missing. This allowed them to better advise their client where to go and how to spend his limited funds.

In short, they used their realization that everyone was doing this wrong, and there had been substantial evidence of that during the primaries, to create a strategic weapon for their client and that significantly helped turn what was likely a certain loss into one of the biggest surprise victories in U.S. history.

Part of what likely worked for Trump is he didn’t want to believe the bad numbers he was seeing driving people to a better methodology. Clinton liked the numbers she was seeing so didn’t do the same. This also showcases a huge common mistake; people just don’t challenge results they like and that almost always leads to bad results.

Second example

There was a second company that popped up as a hero after the election. It was the Trafalgar Group out of Atlanta. This company particularly looked at the problem with Trump supporters being undercounted and came up with a creative way to mitigate the problem and their results were unusually accurate even though their methodology was challenged by the better-known and better-funded firms that got this wrong.

What is both fascinating and annoying, as I’ve been there myself, is that to cover up their own incompetence firms like this will say things like “they got it right but for the wrong reasons” or complaining about crappy data completely forgetting that the “got it right” part is actually the most important and excuses don’t win. Some of these folks need to review the difference between winners and losers and come to the conclusion that being expert at excuses isn’t a formula for continued success.

3 rules of analytics

This all comes down to three rules for any kind of analysis.

First, you have to assure your data source. If you don’t have a strong sampling methodology you won’t have accurate results and you’d likely be better off not making the effort than in giving decision-makers bad advice.

Second, you have to identify and eliminate bias. Bias will invalidate the result and if you can’t eliminate it, once again, you’ll give decision-makers bad advice.

And finally, decision-makers have to learn to challenge the analysis, especially when it tells them what they want to hear, because you don’t get off the hook when you royally screw up by blaming the analysts. Yes, you can fire them but you’ll likely follow them out the door.

So, assure the data, identify and mitigate the bias, and always challenge the analysis to assure the advice you do get leads to a positive outcome.

Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:16 pm

Clinton wins, how analytics cost Trump the election
Columnist Rob Enderle takes a look into the future, a future in which Hilary Clinton became president and Donald Trump didn’t. It all came down to analytics.
by Rob Enderle
July 22, 2016 9:45 AM PT




During the last presidential election Barack Obama’s IT team shouldn’t have outperformed Romney’s team as massively as it did. At the heart of the Romney loss were three, as Donald Trump would say, huge errors.

The first mistake was using analytics services that didn’t understand elections, the second was using multiple services that didn’t coordinate with each other and the third was not questioning the data because it told them what they wanted to hear. This last has been a recurring cause of project and even company failure. The last mistake is not only being repeated by Trump, but he appears to be overt about it.

It would seem ironic that after giving Romney so much grief for losing, Trump is setting things up so that Romney will be able to say, after Trump loses the election, that at least he didn’t lose THAT badly. Clearly that is the outcome Ted Cruz just bet his political career on.

Trump don’t need no stinking analytics

When you read this coverage out of AdWeek that is the conclusion you walk away with, but I think it speaks to a far more common problem. When numbers agree with an executive’s view, they like them and when they don’t, there must be something wrong with the numbers. Don’t get me wrong, given the problems we’ve had with analytics that could well be the case. I recently reported on a KPMG report that basically said the majority of CEOs didn’t trust their numbers, which suggests Trump is in good company but it is still a stupid conclusion. The right path is to either better understand the numbers and/or make sure you can trust them.

Romney vs. Obama

What seems strange to me about this is here you had a guy who runs big businesses and a guy who was basically a teacher with slight political experience, and it was the teacher who used analytics better. Obama had a better team, made far better use of the systems it put in, were far more cost effective, and the results assured Obama’s second term.

Romney, however, was convinced he was going to win because the numbers told him what he wanted to hear. As a result, his team pulled back, thinking its candidate would coast to a win. So, in this case, Obama trusted his numbers, they were right, and in executing against them he won. Romney also trusted his numbers, but they were wrong, and he lost. So answer should be to ensure that the numbers, the analytics, are accurate not distrust the numbers.

Focus groups

I agree with Trump and Steve Jobs in the opinion that focus groups are crap when it comes to predicting things. The reason is they are way too easily manipulated, there is no good way to place them in the future so their decisions in the group mirror what they will actually do, and, because they are so compelling, people tend to believe what the focus group says.

I’ll give you an example. Years ago I was in a focus group for Chrysler and they showed me what I thought was a wonderful car. All of us said we’d buy it in a minute, so they put the car into production. However, in the 18 months between when the car was shown to us and when it became available, there were better cars that came from competing firms so my position, and everyone else's, changed. The car ended up not selling well.

This doesn’t mean focus groups aren’t useful. They are best used when trying to understand why someone did something. They are largely worthless in terms of predicting something. For instance, on the Brexit vote, focus groups likely would have showcased that people voted for it to show displeasure with the government not because they really wanted the exit. That would tell you the underlying problem to fix was the “pissed off at the government” part not exiting the EU.

Why Trump lost

While Clinton’s use of analytics clearly isn’t at Obama’s level, it is well above Trump’s. Partly, you can see this in regards to how much better she has been at collecting donations. She also seems to pivot better on issues as they become important for resonance. However, the lack of excitement in her campaign and the email thing still make this a race for now. The number both camps should be watching more closely is propensity to vote because this is partially what bit Romney in the butt last cycle.

But the lesson I want to leave you with is that numbers make for better decisions and, if you can’t trust them, fix the trust part -- don’t just toss out the entire concept of analytics as a key decision-making tool. If your brakes didn’t work, you wouldn’t stop using brakes, you’d get them fixed. Brakes can save your life, analytics can save your job, or in this case from being made fun of because you did worse than the guy you’ve been calling a choke artist.

Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:24 pm

The Trump train wreck fueled by confirmation bias
Donald Trump doesn’t believe in hard facts, writes Rob Enderle. Trump is essentially the living definition of confirmation bias, which is a company killer and will likely be the downfall of Trump.
by Rob Enderle
August 5, 2016 7:54 AM PT




You have to admit that watching Donald Trump run for president is funny in an incredibly painful way. During the primaries he seemed to be Teflon. I think we can now attribute his win to the fact that no one really took him seriously until it was too late, or as a result of using a strategy that worked for Pat Buchanan and Howard Stern.

Now in the general election it seems he has turned to glue and nearly everything he has done since has caused his poll numbers to go down. I think this is largely because he simply doesn’t believe in hard facts. He admittedly lives on Twitter and appears to not only take what he agrees with as fact, but to pretty much ignore all forms of independent data speaking out against both focus groups and analytics.

I think we can learn from his train wreck because while Trump may seem extreme, his blinders are so common we have a name for them: Confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is when someone forms an opinion and then will accept only information that agrees with it discounting or ignoring everything else. The biggest example to date was likely the WMD belief that started the Iraq War. There were none.

How IBM almost went under

Decades ago while in IBM I was, along with a considerable number of others, very frustrated because it seemed obvious that IBM was on a managed path to failure yet the top executives seemed completely ignorant of the problem. I cornered IBM’s head of marketing and he spoke to me as if I was a small child explaining that IBM sold the equivalent of air and that customers had no choice but to buy what was sold. Thinking back, it strikes me that if this were the case what did we actually need a CMO for? Who needs to advertise air?

John Akers, who not only was a well-regarded and incredibly smart CEO, was then blindsided by the firm’s slide and remains the only IBM CEO ever fired. I later interviewed one of his aids to discover that over the years the office of the CEO had become effectively surrounded by information translators who told the CEO what he wanted to hear and effectively covered up any problems. Granted there were organizations like internal audit that reported through this barrier, but I know that those that found problems aggressively were discounted in favor of teams that reported favorable results.

Few words have consistently buzzed around the digital age like “omnichannel” — in response to increasing customer expectations for a seamless purchase journey, in an effort to deliver better...

Even in competitive analysis, where I also served, there were teams that reported accurately the problems with products and teams that reported that IBM’s products were unbeatable. In looking at the performance of our team against the other, we were defunded, and the business the other team supported went from 95 percent market share to 35 percent market. Now, to be clear, both businesses failed. Our information was disregarded resulting in failure and the other team’s information was false resulting in failure.

I recall being told that the executives were going to do what they wanted to regardless and failure wasn’t my responsibility, therefore, the smart analyst reported what the client wanted to hear not what they needed to know. While this still seems insane to me and I disregarded it at the time, in hindsight it was actually very good career advice, but an incredibly horrible way to run companies.

Analyst infamy

The second time I ran head-on into that buzz saw, apparently I’m a slow learner, was when I left IBM and became an analyst. I took over an operating system service that was on life support. Because I’d helped run a team that had tried to spin out the IBM software division I had massive amounts of market information which indicated that virtually every OS but one was vulnerable. The report not only made me famous, it had CEOs lining up to fire me. It was kind of a race to see if I, or Dataquest’s CEO, would be fired first. To suggest she was not happy would be an understatement.

I remember one call in particular with IBM regarding OS/2 where I suggested that the AR manager give the IBM management team a heads up that I was going to issue the report. Her response was that I was a nobody and no one would care what my report had to say. The next day it was front page news worldwide and repeating what she said later that day would trigger any number of profanity filters.

Now this time it worked out far better for me than it did for the CEOs or division heads who came after me as virtually all lost their jobs. However, had they put the effort into understanding and fixing the underlying problem rather than killing the messenger, me, we would have all won.

Confirmation bias the company killer

What my lessons showcased over and over again is that confirmation bias is a company killer and it can affect any of us. In my own case it happened when I was buying a motorcycle many years ago. I was convinced I knew all I needed to know about buying a Honda GL1100 and I found a really good deal. I didn’t do a lot of checking because it was such a good deal that I figured I could fix anything that was wrong with the bike and still have a decent profit. Only problem is the seller lied about the age of the motorcycle, something I’d never even considered. Had I simply done what any smart buyer had done and had the bike looked at by a shop, this would have become instantly obvious and I would have saved days in small claims court trying somewhat unsuccessfully (the seller would change jobs every time I garnished his wages) to get my money back. Not to mention I looked like an idiot in court when I explained how I was tricked, and my wife tends to remind me of this mistake any time we get into an argument about buying anything.

Given my background I should have been immune to confirmation bias, but I wasn’t and trust me, you aren’t either.

Confirmation bias made and killed Trump presidency

If you think about it, the Republican contenders that he beat constantly seemed to believe Trump wasn’t a threat until he became unstoppable. This was their own confirmation bias in play and even though early on it was clear he was appealing to a critical number of supporters they never fielded an appropriate response.

The Democrats on the other hand, even though they are having a massive number of issues themselves mostly with email, appear to have landed a killing blow right at the start of the election because Trump wasn’t paying attention to any voice but his own. In a way this means that it is very likely confirmation bias both created the Trump candidacy and eliminated any chance of a Trump presidency.

I think Trump is an extreme case because he so aggressively avoids information that it is like watching a blind bull in a china shop. Now I’ll leave you with a personal admission. I haven’t yet figured out a way to fix this. To date I’ve tried to fix this from inside firms where I worked and then with a number of clients and most efforts have failed. I’ve tried to convince friends and family, but once set on a path most don’t budge. The fact that whistle blowers exist and generally get shot is proof that fighting confirmation bias can be as deadly to your career as having it. Or, more bluntly, overcoming confirmation bias in yourself is hard, overcoming it in someone else is often impossible and potentially suicidal.

However, if you have ever successfully overcome this with someone else I’d like to hear your story, and I’ll bet Trump’s staff would appreciate it as well. Apparently they’ve gone from being concerned to becoming suicidal or more likely just given up, and sadly this last one is generally the smart move.

Avoid people who only praise or only criticize you, seek out dissenting opinions from well-founded people, and constantly challenge your own unchanging beliefs, at least consider you could be wrong, and put in place reasonable contingency plans. And if you find yourself working in a company that is lead by confirmation bias, leave, you’ll be more successful someplace else.

Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:35 pm

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Invisible Guiding Hand’: Meet the little-known statistician behind the Democratic nominee's most important strategic decisions.
by Shane Goldmacher
September 07, 2016




BROOKLYN, N.Y. — There are only a handful of corner offices inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters, and they are mostly occupied by familiar names: campaign manager Robby Mook, campaign chairman John Podesta, and Huma Abedin, her ubiquitous confidante.

Then there is Elan Kriegel.

Overlooking downtown Brooklyn in two directions, Kriegel’s skyline view is the backdrop for what is on the windows themselves: erasable marker scribblings reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind that amount to some of the earliest drafts of the computer algorithms that underlie nearly all of the Clinton campaign’s most important strategic decisions.

What cities Clinton campaigns in and what states she competes in, when she emails supporters and how those emails are crafted, what doors volunteers knock on and what phone numbers they dial, who gets Facebook ads and who gets printed mailers — all those and more have Kriegel’s coding fingerprints on them.

To understand Kriegel’s role is to understand how Clinton has run her campaign — precise and efficient, meticulous and effective, and, yes, at times more mathematical than inspirational. Top Clinton advisers say almost no major decision is made in Brooklyn without first consulting Kriegel. He was one of her first hires and is among her highest-paid, and yet he remains virtually unknown outside the cloistered community of political number-crunchers. “I can’t think of anybody who has as much impact as Elan who has as little name recognition with the national press,” said Stu Trevelyan, CEO of NGP VAN, which manages the voter file used by every major Democratic campaign, and who has worked with Kriegel for years.

Kriegel’s anodyne title is Clinton’s director of analytics, but it’s a job that makes him, and his team of more than 60 mathematicians and analysts, something of the central nervous system for the campaign: charged with sensing, even predicting, the first tinglings of electoral trouble and then sending instructions to everyone on how to respond.

When Clinton operatives talk about their “data-based” campaign, it’s invariably Kriegel’s data, and perhaps more importantly his models interpreting that data, they are talking about. It was an algorithm from Kriegel’s shop — unreported until now — that determined, after the opening states, where almost every dollar of Clinton’s more than $60 million in television ads was spent during the primary.

Elan Kriegel, Clinton’s director of analytics, who builds statistical models for the campaign, “modeling” an ugly Christmas sweater for her online store. | Hillary Clinton campaign

The tool bypassed the expertise and instincts of her traditional media buyers by calculating the “cost per flippable delegate,” in the words of one senior Clinton official, and then spat out what states, television markets, networks and shows to buy. Obama veterans were wowed by its advancement; internally, some Clintonites saw it as their secret weapon in building an insurmountable delegate lead over Bernie Sanders.

Now, with Donald Trump investing virtually nothing in data analytics during the primary and little since, Kriegel’s work isn’t just powering Clinton’s campaign, it is providing her a crucial tactical advantage in the campaign’s final stretch. It’s one of the reasons her team is confident that, even if the race tightens as November approaches, they hold a distinctive edge. As millions of phone calls are made, doors knocked and ads aired in the next nine weeks, it is far likelier the Democratic voter contacts will reach the best and most receptive audiences than the Republican ones.

I can’t think of anybody who has as much impact as Elan who has as little name recognition with the national press.”

Zac Moffatt, who served as Mitt Romney’s digital director in 2012, was already worried about this back during the Republican primaries. In an interview then, Moffatt feared that whoever emerged as the GOP nominee would be perilously handicapped when it came to data analytics just as Romney had been compared to President Barack Obama who, like Clinton, had honed an analytics operation more than a year in advance.

“If you’re not prepared for it, you can’t catch up,” Moffatt said. “You can’t have a baby in 3 months, that’s just the reality of life. I tried.”

Some Republicans aren’t just nervous about losing to Clinton in November. They’re alarmed at the possibility of falling multiple cycles, even a generation, behind in creating a culture of data-intensive campaigns. Romney hardly had an autonomous analytics department. Trump has called data “overrated.” Kriegel, meanwhile, is incubating the next generation of Democratic talent — his team rivaled the size of Trump’s entire headquarters operation for much of the primary — the no-name analysts of 2016 who will emerge as the key players in 2018 and 2020.

The specifics of the Clinton campaign’s analytics work, such as the large-scale, academic-style experiments the department has run, are closely guarded for fear of giving away any advantage to the GOP. Kriegel himself declined to comment for this story. But Mook, the campaign manager, spoke glowingly of Kriegel and expansively of his influence.

“His hand has guided almost every aspect of what we do,” Mook said.


Staff in Clinton’s analytics department sit under a sign that hangs from the ceiling with the words “statistically significant” printed on it. And overnight, in some of the few hours that headquarters isn’t whirring with activity, the team’s computers run 400,000 simulations of the fall campaign in what amounts to a massive stress-test of the possibilities on Nov. 8. That way, in morning calls with senior staff, Kriegel can deliver any key findings.

One Democratic strategist, an Obama veteran with knowledge of the Clinton campaign, marveled at Kriegel’s sway in Brooklyn. “I have never seen a campaign that’s more driven by the analytics,” the strategist said. It’s not as if Kriegel’s data has ever turned around Clinton’s campaign plane; it’s that her plane almost never takes off without Kriegel’s data charting its path in the first place.

“From our schedule to our voter contact to where our organizers spend their time, almost everyone here interacts with his work and their work is influenced by his insights,” Mook said, calling Kriegel’s analyses the campaign’s “invisible guiding hand.”

And yet Kriegel remains so unknown, even in this most heavily scrutinized of campaigns, that of the millions of tweets sent about the presidential race, his full name “Elan Kriegel” hasn’t been tweeted once in 2016. (His handle was tagged about a half-dozen times.)

The last time anyone tweeted Kriegel’s name was October 2015, when Patrick Ruffini, a Republican digital strategist sifting through the campaign’s financials noticed that Clinton’s “highest paid staffer appears to be Elan Kriegel, their director of Analytics.” (That’s not quite right, as of today. One person on payroll has been paid more since the inception of the campaign, though plenty of consultants have billed far more.)

From our schedule to our voter contact to where our organizers spend their time, almost everyone here interacts with his work and their work is influenced by his insights.”

Kriegel’s pay and corner office — he’s actually in the spot Mook occupied before the campaign expanded over the summer — are only symbols of his stature. His real influence is rooted in his closeness to Mook, the penny-pinching campaign chief who turns to Kriegel for cost-cutting efficiencies on nearly everything. The two worked together closely on Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 Virginia governor’s race, and when Mook was tapped as Clinton’s campaign manager, Kriegel was among his first hires — “in the single digits, absolutely,” Mook said.

Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement, called Kriegel “one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met” but said that his success is because he makes data actionable by answering the question that senior staff always has: “How do we implement [it] in our programs?”

“He understands how to translate analytics and what he’s seeing from a data standpoint into reality,” Marshall said.

Inside the Clinton campaign, though, Kriegel’s powerful role has been a source of some nervous friction. Clinton has commissioned numerous experiments to score the effectiveness and cost efficiency of different methods of voter outreach — TV, radio, directmail, online display ads, Web videos, phone calls, etc. While the existence of the studies is more widely known in her orbit, the findings are a tightly kept secret — and threaten to wreak havoc on various vendors’ businesses and paydays in the final months.

“Elan has really been one of the people creating a culture of testing in Democratic politics,” said Trevelyan. “This was a field long dominated by a few media consultants’ guts.”

Among the pioneering areas Kriegel’s analytics team has studied, according to people familiar with the operation, is gauging not just whom to talk to, how to talk to them and what to say — but when to say it. Is the best time to contact a voter, say, 90 days before the election? 60 days? One week? The night before? It is a question Obama’s team realized was crucial to mobilizing voters in 2012 but had never been truly analyzed. With a full calendar of competitive primaries, Kriegel and his team had plenty of chances to run rigorous, control-group experiments to ferret out answers to such questions earlier this year.

“I was just in a meeting with him the other day,” Mook said, “And I was saying to him I need you to come back and tell me — we were talking about Ohio — I need you to come back and tell me, based on the information we have about voting patterns in Ohio, what are the things that my program can affect that will matter most.”

Mook called Kriegel’s studies “groundbreaking work … to help us understand what channels are most efficient at motivating, persuading different voters.”

Four years ago, Kriegel similarly won the trust of Obama’s top brass as the battleground states analytics director in The Cave, the much-heralded Obama 2012 data war room. “We didn’t make a single decision about battleground state strategy without first talking to Elan about his numbers,” said Jeremy Bird, then Obama’s national field director and now a Clinton consultant.

“And he was never wrong,” Bird added. “That’s pretty remarkable.”

One episode, in particular, stood out. Bird said he knew they were going to beat Mitt Romney early on election night 2012 when he looked at the early vote in a key Florida county and cross-checked it with Kriegel’s predictive model.

“It was,” Bird recalled, “the exact same number.”


In 2016, no analytics advancement has proved more significant, financially, than the TV tool created for the primaries. “TV constitutes two-thirds to three-quarters of the budget,” said David Nickerson, a professor at Temple University who worked with Kriegel doing analytics for Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016. “Anything that improves that efficiency is going to save the campaign a lot of money.” Senior Clinton officials outlined for POLITICO how the algorithm worked:

First, the campaign ranked every congressional district by the probability that campaigning there could “flip” a delegate into Clinton’s column. Because every district has a different number of delegates allocated proportionally (in Ohio, for instance, 12 districts had 4 delegates each while one had 17), this involved polling and modeling Clinton’s expected support level, gauging the persuadability of voters in a particular area and then seeing how close Clinton was to a threshold that would tip another delegate in her direction. (At the most basic level, for instance, districts with an even number of delegates, say 4, are far less favorable terrain, as she and Bernie Sanders were likely split them 2-2 unless one of them achieved 75 percent of the vote.)

That so-called “flippability score” was then layered atop which media markets covered which seats. If a media market touched multiple districts with high “flippability” scores, it shot up the rankings. Then the algorithm took in pricing information, and what television programs it predicted the most “flippable” voters would be watching, to determine what to buy.

Elan has really been one of the people creating a culture of testing in Democratic politics. This was a field long dominated by a few media consultants’ guts.”

If that all sounds simple enough, it’s not. Every TV market reaches a different number of voters in a different number of districts, with her support in each a different estimated distance from a delegate threshold. Calculating where dollars would go furthest, per delegate, was an incredible statistical undertaking that was months in the making.

In the end, whatever the algorithms spat out, the campaign pretty much bought. “We relied almost entirely on them,” Mook said.

So in states that Clinton won lopsidedly, Kriegel’s algorithm still had them spending big.

The breakdown of the buy in Texas, powered by Kriegel’s modeling, shows how Clinton’s TV ads budget hunted for delegates, not votes. Texas is the rare state that used state legislative districts to award delegates, and Clinton spent $1.2 million on broadcast and cable ads even as she won the state by 32 percentage points. Sanders spent $0. She spent more on ads in tiny Brownsville ($127,000) and Waco ($142,000), ranked as the 86th and 87th largest media markets in the country, as she did in Houston ($105,000), the 10th largest, according to ad data provided by a media tracker.

It paid off: In Texas alone, Clinton netted 72 delegates more than Sanders — a margin that more than offset all the Sanders’ primary and caucus wins through March 1.


Ten years ago, the idea that Kriegel would be a senior Clinton adviser would have seemed unthinkable. Yes, he was studying Clinton’s public movements closely then. But that was only because his first job in politics was as a producer for Bill O’Reilly, the conservative Fox News host and Clinton antagonist.

Lore is that one of Kriegel’s final acts for O’Reilly was helping prepare for his last sit-down with Clinton, in 2008. In fact, this summer, when Clinton called in to O’Reilly’s show after the terror attack in Nice, France, it was in part because Kriegel had previously laid some of the introductory groundwork between the show’s staff and Clinton’s communications shop, including communications director Jennifer Palmieri, according to three people familiar with his role. O’Reilly declined to comment for this article.

Kriegel left O’Reilly’s show to go back to school for a statistics degree and ended up at the Democratic National Committee by the 2010 cycle, and then on Obama’s 2012 campaign.

After the reelection, much of the public plaudits for Obama’s data operation went to Kriegel’s talented boss, Dan Wagner, Obama’s chief analytics officer. According to four associates of Wagner and Kriegel, Google’s Eric Schmidt, who visited the Obama headquarters often and was impressed by the analytics shop, invested an 8-figure sum into what would become Civis Analytics, with Wagner given an ownership stake and named a founder. Wagner and Kriegel, who was also offered equity in the company, parted ways over financial and other differences, these people said. Wagner did not respond to requests for comment. Kriegel, along with several Obama and Democratic Party data operatives, went on to form a firm of their own, BlueLabs.

Kriegel built Clinton’s analytics team by pulling people from BlueLabs (Pedro Suarez, the analyst who helped create the TV ad-buying tool), past campaigns (2012 reelection veteran Matt Dover) and the private sector (Nell Thomas, a top deputy, previously ran analytics for Etsy).

Trump, who infamously called campaign data “overrated” back in May, has recently hired Cambridge Analytica, which did analytics work for Ted Cruz’s campaign in the primary. But the continual staff turnover has stymied the Republican National Committee’s ability to infuse its own data program, which it has invested in heavily over the past four years, into Trump’s decisions, according to people familiar with the efforts. Each successive political director, RNC liaison and campaign manager has had to be sold anew on the program’s benefits, and the candidate himself has not embraced its value. As Trump has stumped in far-afield states like Mississippi, Washington and Texas, Republicans have implored his team to incorporate some data inputs to something as fundamental as the candidate’s schedule.

If you’re not prepared for it, you can’t catch up,” Moffatt said. “You can’t have a baby in 3 months, that’s just the reality of life. I tried.”

Ruffini, the GOP strategist who flagged Kriegel’s pay last fall, said the concern is that Republicans are going to lag further behind the Democrats after 2016. “It’s now going from one cycle behind to two cycles,” he said. “The maturity in the system is when the deputies get hired to be the directors,” Ruffini said, just as Kriegel was elevated. The problem is that Trump has neither directors nor deputies.

In Brooklyn, meanwhile, Kriegel continues to toil away. Colleagues said it’s not clear when he last took a vacation, let alone time off. So when he turned 35 earlier this summer, his team brought the beach to him, plastering his office with streamers and beach balls. Suddenly, the algorithmic scribblings on the windows shared space with tropical fish.

As Mook wrapped up his interview, he made sure to stress that, “You don’t win campaigns because of data. You run your campaign more efficiently and effectively with the data.” Clinton, he said, “has to get out there every day and make her case.”

But for just about everything else, there is Elan Kriegel. And, by the time the campaign’s over, some people outside of headquarters might even know his name.
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Re: After working for Trump’s campaign, British data firm ey

Postby admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:45 pm

How Clinton lost Michigan — and blew the election
Across battlegrounds, Democrats blame HQ’s stubborn commitment to a one-size-fits-all strategy.
by Edward-Isaac Dovere
12/14/2016 05:08 AM EST




Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half out, the Service Employees International Union started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope.

They started prepping meals and organizing hotel rooms.

SEIU — which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to — dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious.

Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU. Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there, not drive to Michigan, where the Democrat’s models projected a 5-point win through the morning of Election Day.

Michigan organizers were shocked. It was the latest case of Brooklyn ignoring on-the-ground intel and pleas for help in a race that they felt slipping away at the end.

“They believed they were more experienced, which they were. They believed they were smarter, which they weren’t,” said Donnie Fowler, who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee during the final months of the campaign. “They believed they had better information, which they didn’t.”

Flip Michigan and leave the rest of the map, and Trump is still president-elect. But to people who worked in that state and others, how Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million votes and lost by 100,000 in states that could have made her president has everything to do with what happened in Michigan. Trump won the state despite getting 30,000 fewer votes than George W. Bush did when he lost it in 2004.

Politico spoke to a dozen officials working on or with Clinton’s Michigan campaign, and more than a dozen scattered among other battleground states, her Brooklyn headquarters and in Washington who describe an ongoing fight about campaign tactics, an inability to get top leadership to change course.

Then again, according to senior people in Brooklyn, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook never heard any of those complaints directly from anyone on his state teams before Election Day.

In results that narrow, Clinton’s loss could be attributed to any number of factors — FBI Director Jim Comey’s letter shifting late deciders, the lack of a compelling economic message, the apparent Russian hacking. But heartbroken and frustrated in-state battleground operatives worry that a lesson being missed is a simple one: Get the basics of campaigning right.

Clinton never even stopped by a United Auto Workers union hall in Michigan, though a person involved with the campaign noted bitterly that the UAW flaked on GOTV commitments in the final days, and that AFSCME never even made any, despite months of appeals.

The anecdotes are different but the narrative is the same across battlegrounds, where Democratic operatives lament a one-size-fits-all approach drawn entirely from pre-selected data — operatives spit out “the model, the model,” as they complain about it — guiding Mook’s decisions on field, television, everything else. That’s the same data operation, of course, that predicted Clinton would win the Iowa caucuses by 6 percentage points (she scraped by with two-tenths of a point), and that predicted she’d beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan (he won by 1.5 points).

“I’ve never seen a campaign like this,” said Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member and longtime political hand in Michigan who described months of failed attempts to get attention to the collapse she was watching unfold in slow-motion among women and African-American millennials.

Rollins, the chair emeritus of the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus, said requests into Brooklyn for surrogates to come talk to her group were never answered. When they held their events anyway, she said, they also got no response to requests for a little money to help cover costs.

Rollins doesn’t need a recount to understand why Clinton lost the state.

“When you don’t reach out to community folk and reach out to precinct campaigns and district organizations that know where the votes are, then you’re going to have problems,” she said.

The enthusiasm gap

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 2016 International Convention on May 23 in Detroit, Michigan. | Getty

From the day Clinton released her launch video, the campaign knew she’d struggle with enthusiasm. Yet they didn’t do many of the things voters are used to seeing to give a sense of momentum, insisting that votes didn’t come from campaign literature, door knocking, commitment to vote cards or the standard program of sending absentee ballot applications to likely voters rather than just appealing to the people once they’d already ordered the ballots.

“It was very surgical and corporate. They had their model, this is how they’re going to do it. Their thing was, ‘We don’t have to leave [literature] at the doors, everyone knows who Hillary Clinton is,’” said one person involved in the Michigan campaign. “But in terms of activists, it seems different, it’s maybe they don’t care about us.”

Michigan operatives relay stories like one about an older woman in Flint who showed up at a Clinton campaign office, asking for a lawn sign and offering to canvass, being told these were not “scientifically” significant ways of increasing the vote, and leaving, never to return. A crew of building trade workers showed up at another office looking to canvass, but, confused after being told there was no literature to hand out like in most campaigns, also left and never looked back.

“There’s this illusion that the Clinton campaign had a ground game. The deal is that the Clinton campaign could have had a ground game,” said a former Obama operative in Michigan. “They had people in the states who were willing to do stuff. But they didn’t provide people anything to do until GOTV.”

The only metric that people involved in the operations say they ever heard headquarters interested in was how many volunteer shifts had been signed up — though the volunteers were never given the now-standard handheld devices to input the responses they got in the field, and Brooklyn mandated that they not worry about data entry. Operatives watched packets of real-time voter information piled up in bins at the coordinated campaign headquarters. The sheets were updated only when they got ripped, or soaked with coffee. Existing packets with notes from the volunteers, including highlighting how much Trump inclination there was among some of the white male union members the Clinton campaign was sure would be with her, were tossed in the garbage.

The Brooklyn command believed that television and limited direct mail and digital efforts were the only way to win over voters, people familiar with the thinking at headquarters said. Guided by polls that showed the Midwestern states safer, the campaign spent, according to one internal estimate, about 3 percent as much in Michigan and Wisconsin as it spent in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Most voters in Michigan didn’t see a television ad until the final week.

Most importantly, multiple operatives said, the Clinton campaign dismissed what’s known as in-person “persuasion” — no one was knocking on doors trying to drum up support for the Democratic nominee, which also meant no one was hearing directly from voters aside from voters they’d already assumed were likely Clinton voters, no one tracking how feelings about the race and the candidates were evolving. This left no information to check the polling models against — which might have, for example, showed the campaign that some of the white male union members they had expected to be likely Clinton voters actually veering toward Trump — and no early warning system that the race was turning against them in ways that their daily tracking polls weren’t picking up.

People involved in the Michigan campaign still can’t understand why Brooklyn stayed so sure of the numbers in a state that it also had projected Clinton would win in the primary.

“Especially given what happened in the primary,” said Michigan Democratic Party chairman Brandon Dillon. “We knew that there was going to have to be more attention.”

With Clinton’s team ignoring or rejecting requests, Democratic operatives in Michigan and other battleground states might have turned to the DNC. But they couldn’t; they weren’t allowed to ask for help.

State officials were banned from speaking directly to anyone at the DNC in Washington. (“Welcome to DNC HQ,” read a blue and white sign behind the reception desk in Brooklyn that appeared after the ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz just before the July convention).

A presidential campaign taking over the party committee post-convention is standard, but what happened in 2016 was more intense than veterans remember. People at the DNC and in battleground states speak of angry, bitter calls that came in from Brooklyn whenever they caught wind of contact between them, adamant that only the campaign’s top brass could approve spending or tactical decisions.

“Don’t touch them. Stay away,” one person on the other end of the call remembered Clinton campaign states director Marlon Marshall saying after hearing about a rogue conversation between a battleground operative and an official at the DNC. “You can’t be calling those people and making them think something is coming when nothing is.

Mook himself made a number of those calls.

To Brooklyn, this was the only way to shut down what they perceived early as an effort to undermine the campaign’s planning, DNC officials playing good cop as they made promises they couldn’t keep to friends in the states, took credit for moves Clinton’s staff already were making, or looked to dig up trouble to use against them later

Shunning help from outside

Supporters hold signs at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. | AP Photo

Brooklyn’s theory from the start was that 2016 was going to be a purely base turnout election. Efforts were focused on voter registration and then, in the final weeks, turning out voters identified as Clinton’s, without confirmation that they were.

Marshall, at Mook’s direction, had designed a plan that until the final weeks was built around holding Pennsylvania and winning just one more state — electoral math that would have denied Trump the presidency on the reasonable assumption Michigan and Wisconsin were Clinton’s.

There was a logic guided by data, they say.

“We have built an operation and we run an operation as if this is going to be a close race,” Marshall said in an interview with Politico in early October. “We have not seen an organization in many states on the Trump side that reflects that.”

In Michigan, Brooklyn tracked 211 staff compared with 58 for Barack Obama in 2012. A source there said the field plan called for an additional 70 staffers, but deferred to the local team instead on using the $1.4 million allotment for a limited paid canvass.

But enough tremors were reaching Brooklyn by late October that veterans of previous campaigns were brought on to help oversee a stabilization — despite tension that dated back to many at the firm never wanting Mook to be campaign manager in the first place.

A battle against Mook’s direction took hold, with multiple people plotting ricochets, complaining to people like Chief Administrative Officer Charlie Baker and longtime Clinton confidante Minyon Moore in the hopes of getting the campaign manager overruled.

Michigan was the only presidential battleground that didn’t have an active Senate race, and that cost the state money from Brooklyn. Waving off complaints during a visit to Michigan a few weeks out, Marshall explained to the room that Clinton was going to clobber Trump in the final debate and they were talking about moving money into Senate seats. And by the time they arrived in Las Vegas for that third debate, Clinton’s top aides were boasting about how they were about to expand the lead and pull marginal Senate candidates over the line to give her a governing majority.

In Michigan, they raised more than $700,000 to cover costs, mostly from in-state donors. Though the campaign said every check was signed off on in Brooklyn, Fowler said the DNC approved a $50,000 rogue transfer — let the Clinton campaign complain to him after Election Day, he told them.

“You’re in a state, your job is to win the battleground state, not to have complete fealty to the national campaign headquarters, especially if the national campaign headquarters is not listening,” Fowler explained.

Among the other workarounds claimed was one from interim DNC chair Donna Brazile, who was persuading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to hold the $5 million transferred to them from the Clinton campaign and to wait to spend it buying airtime for minority voter turnout in the final week they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to fund.

But there also were millions approved for transfer from Clinton’s campaign for use by the DNC — which, under a plan devised by Brazile to drum up urban turnout out of fear that Trump would win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, got dumped into Chicago and New Orleans, far from anywhere that would have made a difference in the election.

Nor did Brooklyn ask for help from some people who’d been expecting the call. Sanders threw himself into campaign appearances for Clinton throughout the fall, but familiar sources say the campaign never asked the Vermont senator’s campaign aides for help thinking through Michigan, Wisconsin or anywhere else where he had run strong. It was already November when the campaign finally reached out to the White House to get President Barack Obama into Michigan, a state that he’d worked hard and won by large margins in 2008 and 2012. On the Monday before Election Day, Obama added a stop in Ann Arbor, but that final weekend, the president had played golf on Saturday and made one stop in Orlando on Sunday, not having been asked to do anything else. Michigan senior adviser Steve Neuman had been asking for months to get Obama and the first lady on the ground there. People who asked for Vice President Joe Biden to come in were told that top Clinton aides weren’t clearing those trips.

“We worked collaboratively with Brooklyn throughout and made a robust investment in Michigan, and we were obviously disappointed that we came up short. Everybody was,” Neuman said.

‘Not the right plan’

Top aides in Brooklyn write off complaints from battleground state operatives as Monday morning quarterbacking by people who wouldn’t have had much of a case if Clinton had won. They continue to blame the loss on FBI Director James Comey, saying he shifted late deciders, not any tactical failures.

“Now of course, in hindsight, there are any number of steps that we could have taken that may have made the difference in a state as closely decided as Michigan, but the consistent theme across all the battleground states was that we saw our numbers drop in the final week after Jim Comey sent his shocking letter to Congress,” said former Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon.

When top aides to the Trump campaign mapped out the best-case scenarios for election night, they always fell short of 270, and Michigan was always the state that they couldn’t see a way through.

Trump’s last stop of the election was a massive rally in Michigan that went on past midnight, his campaign homing in on Trump’s chances there largely from nervousness it sensed coming out of Brooklyn.

Walking out at the end, Trump turned to his running mate, Mike Pence, almost confused: “This doesn’t feel like second place,” he said, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

Democrats felt it too. Rep. Debbie Dingell, who complained throughout the campaign about the lack of urgency and support, has told people since the election that Hillary and Bill Clinton both said in their final appearances in the state that they felt something was off.

On the morning of Election Day, internal Clinton campaign numbers had her winning Michigan by 5 points. By 1 p.m., an aide on the ground called headquarters; the voter turnout tracking system they’d built themselves in defiance of orders — Brooklyn had told operatives in the state they didn’t care about those numbers, and specifically told them not to use any resources to get them — showed urban precincts down 25 percent. Maybe they should get worried, the Michigan operatives said.

Nope, they were told. She was going to win by 5. All Brooklyn’s data said so.

In at least one of the war rooms in New York, they’d already started celebratory drinking by the afternoon, according to a person there. Elsewhere, calls quietly went out that day to tell key people to get ready to be asked about joining transition teams.

But an hour-and-a-half after polls closed, Clinton aides began making rushed calls, redrawing paths to 270 through the single electoral vote in Maine and Nebraska. Still assuming wins in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Michigan suddenly looked like the state that was going to decide the presidency.

They scrambled a call with campaign attorney Marc Elias, prepping for a recount in a vote that oddly looked like it would be a narrower win than they had ever prepared for. An hour later, after they hung up, they realized it was over. They could tell by the numbers they were seeing — not the numbers being spewed from their own internal analytics team, but the numbers sitting at the bottom of the TV tuned to CNN. With the recount frozen, Clinton lost Michigan by 10,704 votes.

“I think it’s true, they executed well. I think it’s true that the plan was accomplished,” said a former labor leader in the state. “But the plan was not the right plan.”
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