Obama: Big Brother Inc. and You

(the art of customizing lies. holy moly. – promoted by pfiore8)

Why Obama is Winning. Every web site you visit folks are talking about Obama. Obama won big; and he won big by bringing out an immense number of voters, shattering all records. Team Obama blew HRC almost out of the race. Edwards is struggling to keep his place.

What Happened? Hillary was strong among Dem women, but lost to Obama among women over-all. Mark Penn is feeling the heat; he never saw the tsunami coming. In large part, because much of the hard work done to create that tsunami went on under the radar.

What if you discovered your candidate liked all the same books; visited the same kinds of websites; shopped at the same stores; and, most important, shared the same values and beliefs?

Odds are, if you’re even thinking about voting for Obama, the ‘unity’ candidate and those with access to his political intelligence know all about you and your family. Where you plan to spend your next vacation. How much you’ll pay in taxes. Whether you’ve recently consulted a doctor. And much, much more.

Why mention the 2008 revolution in data-mining now? Because the on-going investigation into our private lives isn’t going to end with the election of the transformational candidate. That’s not the kind of change Obama is talking about.  

Last week at rattlesnakepoint I linked to an interview with Ken Strasma who does much of the micro-targeting for Barack Obama’s campaign. Click through to James Verini’s must read essay:

…the technology being employed in the 2008 presidential race far outstrips that of just four years ago. Obama and other candidates have the ability to custom-tailor cable-television ads down to the Zip Code in Iowa, or send a canvasser to a voter’s doorstep armed with a computer-generated picture of that person’s political personality. “We’re predicting how people talk and think about politics just like banks predict people’s spending habits and credit-worthiness,” he says.

Are the other candidates micro-tuning their message the same way? If so, I can’t applaud. Of course, this kind of political intelligence gathering and message-tweaking doesn’t come cheap. But Obama’s success in Iowa confirms it’s money well-spent.

What’s my stake in all this? I’ve belonged to unions. I’ve labored in a mine and a paper mill controlled by American multi-nationals. Our kids will grow up in a world affected by your decisions whether we’re talking climate change, energy, or regional security. Obama sounds good. He crafted his message, reached his audience and brought out the vote. The fight ahead, however, is going take to grit, not eloquence.

Obama and his supporters profoundly overestimate the value of speech. Words matter; but to people, not to corporations. The richest of the rich, and their well-heeled minions in the media and in the corridors of power, will not go gently into that long good-night. Reach out to them and lose an arm. We’re forced then try to fight them off with the good hand we have left. Doesn’t work. And talk isn’t going to do it.

Does anyone here believe the energy, tobacco, and defense corporations that spent millions to put George Bush in power so they could have their own paid hacks re-write US regulatory law will let any candidate change America in 2009 without a fight? It won’t matter how sincere Obama and his supporters are. It’s like quitting smoking. Lots of people talk about it. Real change means a real fight to wrest power from the corporations that currently run America.

Obama’s calls for change and unity resonate at the deepest level with many. His appeal is legitimate, micro-targeting notwithstanding. I’m not convinced Obama is a creature of corporate interest, one of the old-style Dems who talked about protecting jobs or health-care on the one hand while taking money from big pharma and health-care lobbiests with the other. The problem is the folks Obama trusts to change America definitely are.  

It’s up to you to decide which candidate will fight to transform America into a place where middle-class workers have jobs and a safe place to raise their kids. Talk is no longer cheap; actions have consequences. Out beyond the walls, we really are waiting with baited breath. Choose wisely, please. Use your heads as well as your hearts.

Update: Both front-runners are using data-mining to good effect. Have the data-bots determined the 2008 candidates already?


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  1. Whoever you are, you’re my kind of reader.

  2. and one worth learning more about… stepfordizing presidential campaigning…

    will definitely look into this kidneystones!!!!

  3. I’m not convinced Obama is a creature of corporate interest, one of the old-style Dems who talked about protecting jobs or health-care on the one hand while taking money from big pharma and health-care lobbiests with the other. The problem is the folks Obama trusts to change America definitely are.

    A telling point.


    I think it is way, way too early to write off Obama but this kind of stuff brings one up short.

    Best,  Terry  

  4. https://www.docudharma.com/show

    I am also from mAssachusetts and the receipient of another “grassroots” candidate Deval Patrick.

    In his very first year Deval has shown his true nature even from the start by having an extravagant five day ball on the insurance industries tab.  Most recently he returned from China after negotiating the North Shore’s last remaining industry, biotech, to them.  He has closed his “open door” policy and now refuses to talk about issues.

    Obama and Deval are one and the same.

    • Alma on January 6, 2008 at 21:12

    is that he missed so many important votes.  The other Pres. candidates made it for them, so I’m figuring Obama could have too.  I see it as a political ploy so the votes can’t be used against him.  I think its more important to vote, than to try and keep people from pinning you down for political gain.  To me his not voting was a big time cop-out.

    That being said, he would still be better than any Repug.

  5. you chose to post this essay with this title. If you go to the original article in Vanity Fair, this is not unique to Obama, or to this election, or even to this country. It is a sobering topic indeed, but does not belong in one candidate’s camp alone. You minimize the importance of the topic by doing so.  

  6. to pick a horse in this race.  The primary here (PA) isn’t until May; I’ll probably vote just because I’ve never voted at my current address before, but it will only be as a trial run.  I expect the nomination will have been decided by then.

  7. Suppose their data-mining has revealed that progressive democracy is what the people want? Suppose Obama decided to run based on it, and wouldn’t have done a wasted campaign?


    Hope is easy to elicit, but it also happens to be how progressives are elected. Trying to separate them is like picking flyspecks from pepper. Just sterilize it in your brilliant brains and then use your rational mind to eat it.

    Gotta start somewhere. There’s always the possibility of an Obama/Edwards reform ticket, Good Cop/Bad Cop on the corporations. Michelle and Elizabeth on patrol. Now that’s fun to think about.

    Edwards was only criticising Obama on details, not on main principles. The deal may have been struck. Been done before.

    We would win, and something actually might get done.

  8. just after the World Trade Center attack, was originally an arm of the Arkansas Democratic Party. He was their rep in Congress, trying to nail down the big NSA contract. Bushco, no suprise, stuck with GOP loyalists.

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