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Tag Archives: Obama campaign 2012

Obama Campaign Also Scraped Users’ Data From Facebook

You are seeing a lot of headlines about how Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign, used Facebook to compile personal information from voters’ profiles and used it to target them politically.

Oh my goodness! Those fascist Trump people, attacking your freedoms by accessing data YOU WILLINGLY GAVE TO FACEBOOK. You know, so you could make everyone watch your kid butcher the piano.

Well, guess what, the Obama people did the exact same thing, only I don’t remember any uproar about an invasion of everyone’s privacy. They were probably hailed in the press as geniuses.

From the Washington Post:

In 2011, Carol Davidsen, director of data integration and media analytics for Obama for America, built a database of every American voter using the same Facebook developer tool used by Cambridge, known as the social graph API. Anytime people used Facebook’s log-in button to sign on to the campaign’s website, the Obama data scientists were able to access their profile as well as their friends’ information. That allowed them to chart the closeness of people’s relationships and make estimates about which people would be most likely to influence other people in their network to vote.

“We ingested the entire U.S. social graph,” Davidsen said in an interview. “We would ask permission to basically scrape your profile, and also scrape your friends, basically anything that was available to scrape. We scraped it all.”

I have some serious trouble with people bitching and moaning about their privacy being violated. I mean, did Facebook come to your house, knock down your door, and confiscate your iPads? What made you think you could trust Mark Zuckerberg with your information?

If you don’t want other people to have private information about yourself, don’t put it on social media. Or at least limit what you put up there. Most people seem to reveal their actual birthdate. One can probably figure out who your parents are and get you mother’s maiden name. Why not just add on the last four digits of your social security number and tell everyone the name of your first pet and your favorite teacher? Oh, those last two items are probably up there too.

Facebook, Twitter, etc., are private companies, not utilities. Maybe try using the phone once in awhile to tell people about your stuff.

The Six Great Ironies of the 2012 Campaign

Several times during this presidential campaign, my head has come close to exploding. I thought I’d share with the things that nearly prompted this catastrophic – for me at least – event.

The intensity of cynicism that has animated the Obama 2012 campaign is unlike anything I have seen in politics. The ability of President Obama and his coterie to say and do anything without being called on it by the mainstream press is one of the most significant and lamentable hallmarks of this contest.

Here are six deep ironies for you to consider.

1. The Obama campaign claims Republicans are waging a war on women, but Obama’s chief campaign surrogate, Bill Clinton, waged a personal war on women his whole life in public office.

2. Clinton is presented by the Obama campaign as the Great Authority on what makes a good economy, when it was his low-income home ownership initiatives and failure to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that set the stage for the financial collapse.

3. Obama is running on his experience as commander in chief, but in 2008 he believed himself qualified to be president even though he had never run anything larger than a kebab stand.

4. In 2008, President Obama bemoaned attack politics, saying things like this:

The ugly phone calls, the misleading mail and TV ads, the careless, outrageous comments, all aimed a keeping us from working together, all aimes at stopping change.

With the economy in turmoil and the American Dream at risk, the American people don’t want to hear politicians attack each other – you want to hear about how we’re going to attack the challenges facing middle class families each and every day. You want to hear about the issues that matter in your lives.

Today, he brands Mitt Romney a liar, accuses him of having “Romnesia,” claims Romney only likes rich people, sent as many jobs as possible to China, and so on and so on and so on.

5. Obama blames George W. Bush for everything but Lindsey Lohan’s inability to get her life together. But Obama’s chief foreign policy claims are built on George W. Bush’s successes. His withdrawal from Iraq was the result of Bush’s military surge, which Obama opposed, but which turned the tide against Iraqi insurgents. And the killing of Osama Bin Laden was made possible by techniques and military assets created by Bush.

6. Obama’s Iraq success is actually a failure. He trumpets that he has removed all U.S. troops from Iraq, even though he had tried and failed to negotiate a “Status of Forces” agreement that would have allowed some American forces to remain.

Any others that have nearly made your head explode?

Clinton: Your Support “Won’t Amount to a Hill of Beans”

Bill Clinton today informed those who have not contributed to President Obama’s campaign that if they don’t pony up some cash, their support “won’t amount to a hill of beans.”

It appears the email was sent exclusively to those who have failed so far to donate.

Here’s the email:

Keith —

No matter how much you support President Obama, no matter how much you support the smart policies he’s proposing, keep this in mind:

It won’t amount to a hill of beans unless you dig deep and help him win this close race.

Chip in $5 or more right now, before the last and most important FEC fundraising deadline of this campaign:

Thanks for stepping up,

Bill Clinton

The missive is the latest of an increasingly testy set of emails that appear to be getting sent to those who are on the Obama campaign email list but have not contributed.

A recent email from the campaign pleading for money was titled “Listen up” and noted that the contributor hadn’t yet given a dime. Another ordered, “It’s time for you to step up.”

Obama Campaigning Exclusively at Universities

President Obama has begun campaigning exclusively at universities, basking in the warmth of rapturous receptions from impressionable young things while targeting a key voting bloc that backs him fervently but often fails to make it to the polls.

Including today’s scheduled appearance at the University of Miami, each of Obama’s last five campaign rallies has been staged before students, bringing him to the campuses of Ohio State University, Cleveland State University, George Mason University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Only one campaign rally by the president in October was held off-campus, an appearance at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver Oct. 4. Otherwise, all of Obama’s traditional campaigning has been at schools.

The president has made other campaign-related appearances this month, but all have involved preaching the the choir at fundraisers at off-campus locations, since students have votes but no money.

The president in this crucial month hasn’t made in-person voting appeals to most of the constituencies he claims to view as so important: no appearances in an inner city or a Hispanic community, none before seniors or union members, and just one rally in a middle class suburb, Sloan’s Lake.

A sampling from a couple of press pool reports makes clear why Obama thinks the Kids are Alright.

After his Oct. 5 appearance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, the pooler noted:

After a rousing event at George Mason, the motorcade is rolling . . .

Following his Oct. 4 speech before 30,000 students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the pooler wrote:

As POTUS’ motorcade sped through campus on the way out, thousands of people lined the streets cheering and waving.

But a pool report earlier in the day at the Sloan’s Park rally suggested the problems that can pop up when Obama is exposed to adults who are out of school and contending with the current job market:

There were a couple of protesters in the crowd. One man held up a grocery bag with “Trade Vote 4 Work” scrawled on it. Another held up a sign that said, “Last job in the USA? No exp needed! Just votes.”

In 2008, 66 percent of those under 30 voted for Obama. With Obamamania at a far lower boil than four years ago, the president will need to do everything he can to get his young admirers to turn out.

Report: Obama Donor System Vulnerable

Updated 3:45 pm ET

A new report by the privately funded Government Accountability Institute concludes that online safeguards against fraudulent contributions are not being employed by many federal campaigns, including President Obama’s.

The report, which you can find here, notes that the Obama campaign does not employ the commonly used Credit Verification Value, or CVV – the set of three or four numbers found on a credit card that ensure the person using the card has it in his or her possession.

The report indirectly suggests, but does not specifically allege, that this could lead to foreign donations to the campaign. However, the report does not say exactly how failure to use CVV would increase foreign donations, other than that it could increase illicit donations generally.

According to the report, the Obama campaign claims that it has its own system for vetting donations. The report does not disprove this, though it suggests the claim is suspicious because the campaign does use CVV for sales of merchandise on its website. The report also notes that failing to use CVV increases the campaign’s transaction costs by millions of dollars.

What’s more, the report again indirectly suggests, but does not specifically allege, that the Obama campaign subtly encourages foreign donations through the use of social media, email solicitations, and third party websites that link to the official campaign website. But the report does not provide specific evidence – like an internal campaign document – that proves the Obama campaign is intentionally trying to drum up foreign donations.

According to the report, nearly half of Congress also fails to use CVV. The Romney campaign does use the CVV protocol for donations on its website.

The Government Accounting Institute bills itself as nonpartisan, though most or all of its board appears to lean conservative. Nevertheless, its investigations have targeted Republicans as well as Democrats, including a recent piece revealing some of Mitt Romney’s hidden big-ticket donors, known as “bundlers.”

The Obama campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign responded this afternoon with a statement, which included the following:

OFA does not accept donations from foreign nationals or any other ineligible individual—and the campaign voluntarily goes above and beyond Federal Election Commitments to ensure the integrity of fundraising efforts.

Here’s how we do that:

  • All credit card contributions are processed using AN Address Verification System (AVS) to ensure their legitimacy.
  • OFA invests significant resources into a manual process to review any transaction that’s been flagged by the campaign’s credit card processor’s fraud detection services.
  • Though not required by law, OFA requires a copy of a valid passport from any contributor who has been affirmed as eligible but donates with a mailing address outside the U.S. If they do not offer in one in a timely manner, the donation is returned.
  • OFA screens all online credit card contributions that originate from a foreign IP address and, if any questions arise regarding the contributor’s U.S. citizenship, the campaign requests proof of a current and valid U.S. passport in order to be in compliance with the FEC’s safe harbor guidelines.

The phrases in bold are as they appear in the statement.

Obama Campaign Shifts Into Extreme Attack Mode

With its candidate having been swamped in the debate by an aggressive and articulate Gov. Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign is switching fully into attack mode, moving beyond earlier assaults on Romney’s business record and wealth toward a new drive to destroy his character.

Casting completely aside the Obama 2008 brand of a hopeful unifier, Obama’s operatives Thursday dived straight the jugular, working on multiple fronts to brand Romney a liar. The campaign, Obama aides made clear, would henceforth be conducted exclusively Chicago style.

In a vicious and personal assault rarely conducted at the highest level of U.S. politics, White House senior adviser David Plouffe repeatedly told reporters aboard Air Force One that Romney was “dishonest.” With the president of the United States in a cabin just a few steps away, his top adviser pushed out the new campaign theme that the man who had bested him in the debate Wednesday night is an untrustworthy scoundrel.

Generally presidential campaigns leave such personal attacks to surrogates, at least preserving the appearance that presidential candidates are above such things

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki opened Plouffe’s remarks by airing for reporters the new Obama campaign ad, “Trust,” which claims that Romney is lying about his tax plan and can’t be trusted to be president.

On a separate front, top campaign adviser David Axelrod convened a phone call with reporters telling them that the “question” for them “is really one of character and whether or not a candidacy that’s so fundamentally rooted in hiding the truth and the facts from the American people and deception is the basis of trust on which you assign the presidency to a person.”

Axelrod announced that this would be the new theme of the Obama campaign. “That is what we are going to focus on moving forward,” he said.

Is Obama Using SEX to Promote his Campaign?

The people marketing President Obama seem to be selling what everybody on Madison Avenue knows sells better than anything else: Sex.

The Obama campaign is being prominently represented by some of the nation’s hottest celebrities. That is, not just the hottest stars in the country, but the hottest looking stars in the country.

The old “Obama girl,” whose sexy video helped make Obama hip last election cycle, doesn’t even seem to know if she’s going to vote for him this time. But who needs her?

And who needs the dowdy Oprah Winfrey, with her incessant stuggles to lose weight? The Obama team, which relied on her so heavily in 2008, when she had the biggest show on the planet, has pretty much shunted her aside this year.

Meet the new Obama girls. They’re among the sexiest female celebrities on the planet, and they vote Democratic.

Guys, missed your coffee this morning? This will wake you up.

Topping the list is Scarlett Johansson, the sex bomb who nearly blew up the Democrat convention.

Then of course there’s Beyonce, who has practically joined the Obama family and is the woman Michelle Obama says she most wants to be if it wasn’t so incredibly awesome being Michelle Obama.

Eva Longoria has been helping the Obama campaign with its outreach to Hispanics. Oh, they must be thinking, if they could only reach back!

The most recent addition to the sex brigade is Jessica Alba, who last night sent out an email via the Obama campaign purring something about “getting involved.”

Other prominent Obama supporters include Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, and Gwyneth Paltrow. But no more pics, I don’t want to overwhelm you.

And of course, let’s not forget the ladies. George Clooney, who serves as Obama’s Special Adviser for Whatever He Wants to Advise Obama About, is a constant presence, dropping by the White House for urgent policy discussions and hosting an Obama fundraiser.

This crew of Obama “surrogates” is just too good looking for all of this to be a coincidence. Someone in the Obama camp decided to sex things up.

What can Republicans do? Trot out Bo Derek again? If there are some really hot Romney backers in Hollywood, they’re probably more worried about being blacklisted than showing their support.

Obama Says Jefferson and Adams Were Nasty Campaigners Too

President Obama Monday compared his relentless negative campaigning to that of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, suggesting the accusations lobbed back and forth in the 1800 campaign justified his own resort to the low road.

Speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday in New York City, Obama indicated the attacks on Mitt Romney, which independent observers have branded as in some cases false, were in the grand American tradition of politics.

And this phase of the campaign I think you’re seeing a lot of negative ads and a lot of contrast ads — although when people start saying how terrible it is I just have to remind them that take a look at what Jefferson and Adams had to say about each other, and democracy has always been pretty rough and pretty messy.

Indeed, there were some scurrilous accusations made in the campaign of 1800, in which Jefferson defeated Adams, the incumbent president.

But many of the attacks often cited are either unproven to have occurred or were not necessarily directed by the candidates, although Jefferson did condone some of them. Obama is presiding over a centralized attack machine aimed at Romney.

That nasty campaigns have been conducted before hardly justifies dishonest, mean spirited campaigning today.

What’s more, Obama has presented himself as someone who wants to bring “civility” to politics, specifically criticizing negative campaigning and creating an image of himself as a new kind of politician who was above such tactics.

Obama’s invoking of two of America’s founding fathers to describe his own actions is of apiece with his previous efforts to liken himself to Lincoln and and Martin Luther King.

Obama’s “Fat Cats” Sitting Heavily on their Wallets

You know, you really can’t call bankers “fat cats” and wage class warfare and still expect to collect check after check from your former friends on Wall Street and the rest of the fabulously wealthy. The Washington Post reports today that Obama’s contributions from the evil rich folks needed to create a nice early war… Continue Reading

Video || Obama’s Deceptive “Documentary”

Below I offer you the trailer for the upcoming Obama campaign film titled, “The Road We’ve Travelled.” It’s being marketed as a documentary. And that’s the really gross part about it. This is one hundred percent fake and phony. It’s as egregious as campaigning – which frequently is quite rich in revolting things – gets.… Continue Reading

Obama Uses State of the Union to Raise Cash

If there was any question whether President Obama’s State of the Union address was actually a prettied up campaign speech, Obama himself answered it with an email to supporters just before his appearance asking them to contribute to his campaign. The email, titled “Before I speak,” was sent by “Barack Obama” through the campaign email… Continue Reading