Messina Cashes in: “He doesn’t Come Cheap!”, Embraces “Big Data”


Who didn’t see this coming? Obama campaign guru is going to work for the conservatives in the U.K to help elect Tory David Cameron beat the Labour party. I’m sure that’ll really help him if he decides to work on the ’16 dem presidency campaign.

Of course, who better than Obama’s right hand man to help the Tories learn about “big data:”

“The video [below] – in which Mr Messina talks about the role of Big Data in the 2012 election campaign – would support that. He says that data is “the best avenue to the truth” and that he used it “to inform almost every major decision we did in the campaign”.

Voters should expect a “personalised” campaign in the run-up to 2015 – i.e. one that is, based on data about them, personally tailored to encourage a vote for David Cameron.”

“Data became the most important thing I did… it’s how I spent a billion dollars.”

I wonder just what else Messina is going to counsel the conservatives on? Data mining, National Stasi Intelligence style, for when legal public data sets aren’t quite good enough to get the job done?

As there is no hiding from the NSA and it’s tentacles of data mining techniques, politics will no longer be about old fashioned glad-handing. It will be just another extension of the surveillance state.

And here’s what a Daily Kos writer had to say about Messina:

“Personally, I view Jim Messina as a traitor for joining ranks with British Conservatives… Jim Messina is the closest thing that our generation will ever have to a Benedict Arnold-like figure.”

Ah, sweet politics. Just like watching a black widow eat her mate on a rainy day…

And nice to know that Jimmy boy checked in with his old boss before taking the big money new job:

“Messina checked with the White House before accepting the contract, according to a White House official who asked not to be identified because of diplomatic sensitivities. The office emphasized that Messina’s decision to work for Cameron does not represent “any kind of a signal from the president” regarding Britain’s future election.”


  1. lizard19

    ha, I just logged in to start writing about this, but you beat me to it. great post. no one should be surprised by this. of all the various wars going on, the most significant and least talked about is the class war, and now Messina has whored himself out to the UK austerity front.

    sorry UK. this Montana export is worse than madcow steaks served with GMO corn.

  2. “Benedict Arnold” is a bit much, but the correct response from the W.H. would have been, “We can’t tell you what to do, but don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

    Anyway, that’s what an actual progressive would have told him.

    • mike

      So please define an “actual progressive”. You have a very elevated sense of self importance, it’s very amusing to observe.

      • evdebs

        I’m glad you asked.

        How’s this, mikey?

        “Van” Jones is an American environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney. He is a co-founder of four non-profit organizations including Rebuild the Dream, of which he is president. In 1996, he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a California non-governmental organization (NGO) working for alternatives to violence. In 2005, he co-founded Color of Change, an advocacy group for African Americans. In 2007, he founded Green for All, a national NGO dedicated to “building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.” In 2011, he founded Rebuild the Dream, a national advocacy organization working towards a fairer economy. His first book, The Green Collar Economy, was released on October 7, 2008. It won the Nautilus Book Award and reached number 12 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2008, Time magazine named Jones one of its “Heroes of the Environment”. Fast Company called him one of the “12 Most Creative Minds of 2008”.

        You remember the name, mikey? He’s the “actual progressive” whom the White House got to resign after a long, disgusting, red baiting campaign against him by Glenn Beck.

        You charged me with having “…a very elevated sense of self importance,”

        Psychiatrists, tasked with making an assessment to determine to determine whether or not a person has concrete thinking, one of symptoms of various forms of mental illness, ask the meaning of aphorisms.

        Try answering this one. What is the meaning of: “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”?

        • Ingemar Johansson

          Once a commie always a commie.

          “Execution, says the Communist code, is the highest measure of social protection. What man can call himself a Communist who has not accepted the fact that Terror is an instrument of policy, right if the vision is right, justified by history, enjoined by the balance of forces in the social wars of this century?” — Whitaker Chambers, Witness

  3. Big Johansson

    The conservative party in Merry Old England is more liberal than most of Silver Bow County.

    Lateral transfer.

  4. Big Johansson

    Global warming and gun control come to mind.

    • Big Johansson

      And British conservatives helped pass their national health care law.

      • mike

        The truth hurts, despite the hysteria by the clowns hereabouts. LMAO

      • evdebs

        And Republicans helped pass the 1964 Civil Rights law. However they were almost entirely from the North.

        Southern House Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)
        Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
        Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

        The Senate version:
        Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) (John Tower of Texas)
        Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) (only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against and later apologized for his vote)
        Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%)

        Have you got similar number for British Nation Health Care, or did you just make that up? Please provide us with a source.

      • evdebs

        So I did some research.

        The grand wartime coalition broke up with the defeat of Germany in 1945. However, Churchill did endorse National Health care that year. The Tories were tossed out of office that year and Labour passed national health insurance in 1946, revised in 1947.

        Since Thatcher, successive conservative governments have progressively chipped away at universal care, with the most recent initiatives being attempts at wholesale privatization.

  5. I know this will probably get deleted as off-topic, but loved the Stasi reference!

    Especially after I read the link supporting it, which contain this:
    Having talked in some detail with folks at Facebook, I’ve concluded that this post was just wrong, and I owe an apology to both Facebook and the Obama campaign, not to mention the co-bloggers and readers who joined the fray.

    Well done.

    • lizard19

      I see you’re still a part of our reading audience despite declaring otherwise.

      • That’s what I would focus on, not the fact that the original post claimed East German-style repression based on demonstrably false facts. No sense making a correction or acknowledging the mistake.

        I love reading this stuff. Probably some of the funniest material I read online every day.

  6. Buzz Feedback

    JM can chat with the PM and Chancellor Osborne and bump dikks about how wonderful austerity is for the working class.

  7. JC

    Don Pogreba:

    “That’s what I would focus on, not the fact that the original post claimed East German-style repression based on demonstrably false facts. No sense making a correction or acknowledging the mistake.

    I love reading this stuff. Probably some of the funniest material I read online every day.”

    I thought you were a school teacher, Don. That you were taught to practice the art of critical thinking — read widely and come to your own understandings. If you were to actually read what I linked to, and understand that Stewart Baker is a constitutional lawyer, widely published, an expert in the surveillance society, and has testified in Congress recently about FISA reform, you’d have a different view.

    While Baker admitted to being wrong in the “legality” of the Obama campaign’s use of Facebook for campaign purposes, the techniques that Messina utilized (“big data”) and Stewart referenced in his article, are what this post is all about.

    When you are in control of the largest surveillance network in the world, and you have access to the back door of the Facebook’s of the world, it matters that your campaign is able to exploit relationships to revise Terms of Service so that the requested activity (linking Facebook to the Obama campaign’s computers so that Obama supporters who were logged into Facebook unknowingly granted Obama/Messina access to their network of friends for electioneering), results in the election of the next emperor leader of the “free” world.

    Don, I get that because democrats are exploiting big data, and using surveillance state relationships to manipulate voters that it is ok to them when dems win. But when the Tories, or the Republicans use similar tactics is it ok? Is it going to be ok when the public realizes that elections are no longer won through traditional electioneering methods, instead being won through the use of big data and the surveillance state “Stasi” methods?

    As Jimmy Carter just recently said, “America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time.” He’s a democrat, so do you believe him? Or is his statement humorous to you, too?

    Democracy in America has been lost, and big elections are won not democratically, but fascisticly — a collusion of military intelligence, corporate acquiescence, government power, and election money (Messina: “Data became the most important thing I did… it’s how I spent a billion dollars”). As to the reference to the Stasi, I put it there as bait for you and your kind, because I know to you, “sources matter.” The source is from Paul Craig Roberts, whose time in the Treasury Dept. under Reagan probably disqualifies him in your book as a reputable source, but he’s a far more widely read and respected man than you.

    Don, you may think this is the funniest material you’ve read, but that’s only because you’re a democrat, and an idiot. If you would ever learn to think outside the confines of your democratic fish bowl, maybe you’d see the value in what is being written here these days. But alas, the circle jerk club that has come to dominate liberal political blogs in Montana has but one goal: to delegitimize any who don’t succumb to the group-think that dominates the swampy morass of politics as usual.

    • No, it’s funny because you’re always wrong–and so certain you’re right. When

      Look, it’s fascism! No, it’s the East German secret police! No, it’s Orwellian totalitarianism!

      Who cares if your facts are right? Given that the link you rely on retracted its claims entirely, shouldn’t that give you a little pause? Maybe a touch of introspection?

      You’re like Glenn Beck without the awful sense of humor or any perspective at all.I read more credible stuff from Obama birthers and 9/11 truthers.

      If you really this nonsense, why you hiding behind a pseudonym on a blog? Shouldn’t you be doing something about fascism in America? Shouldn’t you be marching? Protesting?

      It’s like you’ve achieved the perfect equilibrium between entirely deluded and entirely entertaining.

      For that, I thank you.

      • JC

        And you are an idiot. Everything is ok, because it’s the dems doing it. But when republicans take back the white house and/or the senate and these tactics continue to grow are you going to be ok with it? When Marco Rubio hires Jim Messina (or one of his proteges) to run his campaign and wins the presidency with Wall Street Money and Facebook’s assistance, and has a republican senate swept in on his coattails are you going to be ok with that? Or is going to be democrats must win at any cost?

        And facts? You don’t have a clue what the facts are because you can’t get past your own arrogance. How can you even have a debate with someone who is so full of themselves that they are unable to comprehend something they didn’t even read because it doesn’t jibe with their group-think?

        Democratic party acquiescence to the growing security state is, and will continue to be the downfall of American democracy. And you Don are the perfect illustration of that problem.

        For that, I thank you.

        • Every comment and every reveal just how unhinged your view of the world is from reality.

          Of course, the government has abused its surveillance power. Of course, we should work to stop it.

          Screaming fascism and attacking everyone who doesn’t share your deluded view hardly seems like the most effective way to accomplish that aim.

    • The link you provided actually is instructive, if you read it. Once he posted factually inaccurate and inflammatory claims the blogger you cite wrote the following:

      Having talked in some detail with folks at Facebook, I’ve concluded that this post was just wrong, and I owe an apology to both Facebook and the Obama campaign, not to mention the co-bloggers and readers who joined the fray.

      It’s something you might consider doing. I imagine it’s quite embarrassing to be caught posting something untrue, but a responsible person, interested in truth, would acknowledge the error. Maybe even apologize for the mistake.

      If the little boy cries fascism to often, after all, we might not believe it when it really comes.

      Presumably in the next post.

      • JC

        Don, I posted to the Baker article in full, after it had been modified, because the information (not Baker’s initial and maybe faulty conclusion) was and still is, extremely important.

        But I imagine that it is fine to you to have granted the Obama campaign access to all of your Facebook network, because you are a democrat and winning at any cost is the goal.

        Yes, to you and all the other democrats who are going along with this, the ends justify the means. Just as long as it is a democrat exploiting loopholes in the law, and getting corporations that are already intricately entwined in the security state to go along with modifying terms of service to grant access to one campaign and not another, it is ok.

        And I’m going to ask you to refrain from ad hominems. I am not a “little boy” — I’m considerably older than you. Please keep your comments to those of the topic at hand, and not personally directed at me. Unfortunately, I’ve become very cognizant of your debate techniques revolve around attacking and discrediting the messenger, not the message. And quit telling me what to do with my posts and how to respond. Your patronizing tone is just another thinly disguised form of as hominem.

        • Just out of curiosity, have you read the WordPress terms of service? Are you helping ensnare people in the surveillance state by letting them post here?

          Right at the bottom of this comment field, I see you’ve enabled a Facebook connection, the very thing you claim is a part of a fascistic conspiracy.

          Are you collaborating with the government you think is engaged in fascism? It seems like you might be.

          I hope you don’t take this as an ad hominem, despite your broad definition. I’m legitimately curious why you’re acting as a honeypot for the NSA.

          • JC

            Actually, Don, yes I have read both WP’s and Facebook’s (and lot of other social networking services TOS’s) terms of service. I get paid to do that sort of thing in my day job. Additionally, I get paid to figure out how to interface social networks, and build constituent networks. Which is why I understand what Stewart Baker was referencing, even though he didn’t understand what he was talking about, technologically, and the implications of Messina’s use of Facebook and electioneering.

            And I read your questions as those of someone who doesn’t really understand how technology works, or even what a “honeypot” is.

            All I hear is your luddite argument: if you don’t like the surveillance state, don’t use it. I’m sure you’d love it if I just went and lived in a cave instead of knocking on your so tightly held “democrats must win at all costs” mentality.

            Maybe I am collaborating with the government. Maybe we’re just trying to smoke out those democrats who aren’t loyal enough. You getting paranoid enough to wonder who’s really watching you and collecting information about you? Have you taken any precautions to cover your tracks on the internet? Or are you one of those who believes that it is ok for the government to collect information on you because you have broken no laws, and well, democrats must win. The government and I both have your IP address. Do you know what we can do with that? I can surreptitiously redirect your web browser to a site that will load software on computer that will tell me everything you do with it. I can turn on your video camera and microphone. Are you worried yet?

            Don, you’re just an english teacher and a debate coach. I don’t expect you to understand the vagaries of the surveillance society. But when you reject what is happening, and what other’s believe to be the implications of what is happening, you are just playing the role of ostrich. Just stick to what you know, and keep working for democrats. Maybe some day one will surprise you and actually do something about the surveillance state.

            • Big Johansson

              My praise never exudes cred but your debate her with Don here is spot on.

            • Premise 1: Facebook data collection is part of “National Stasi Intelligence style” data mining. (Per your post)

              Premise 2: Your site, a champion in the fight against fascism, collects data for Facebook.

              Conclusion: Seems pretty obvious.

              It also seems like someone with the skill level you claim to have regarding the Internet could have disabled this data collection tool. Doesn’t that seem like an excellent stand in the right against what you believe to be fascism?

              I do love when you someone like you attacks me for my profession without having the courtesy to even identify himself. It’s even better when that’s coupled with some wannabe hacker threat to take over my computer and spy on me.

              Go for it. I’m giving my consent for you to demonstrate your elite hacking skills. After all, I’m *just* a teacher without your knowledge. I’d like to see it in action. If you need some more formal consent to hack my system, I’d be happy to provide whatever you need.

              Because I don’t believe you.

              • And I must give you credit for this sentence:

                “Which is why I understand what Stewart Baker was referencing, even though he didn’t understand what he was talking about, technologically, and the implications of Messina’s use of Facebook and electioneering.”

                That’s the most deliciously convoluted version of Doublespeak I’ve heard outside of 1984.

              • JC

                This comment shows just how ignorant, technologically speaking, you are. I am not stupid enough to actually use Word Press as a vehicle to compromise another’s computer. Here, go read their Terms of Service and report back to me why your consent does not give me the right to attack you using WP. Then again, I do know how to use TOR and other anonymizers, and I could stalk you wherever you go, and leave a tripwire in your path. Worried yet? Going to look over your shoulder everywhere you go on the internet? Because you should. See that guy sitting next to you in a coffee shop, or a school cafeteria? That could be me running a middle man attack on your computer, sniffing all your accounts and passwords as you use your laptop. Have you checked the security on your home’s wireless router? Probably 50% of households have none to limited security on their router, or are using them with default accounts. Know what that guy sitting in the Ford out in the street can do with access to your home router? No, I didn’t think so.

                Don the story here isn’t whether or not I’m a hacker or can compromise you. In fact I could care less about what you have on, or use your computer for. But I understand a variety of technologies, how to use them, and the implications of their misuse in the surveillance state. You may make fun of that, and not understand it, but it doesn’t change what Obama, Messina, and now the Tories can and will do with unfettered access to the world’s network services.

  8. I’d sent you a notarized letter authorizing you to hack my system, but…

    I’m assuredly not worried your compromising my system. I am, worried that you can’t see the total, absurd, glaring contradictions in your arguments.

    Three components of persuasion, according to Aristotle, who invented the study of it,

    Ethos: You can’t have much of that, because despite your penchant claiming expertise in multiple fields, there’s no way to verify any of that.

    Logos: Hard to have much of that when your own information contradicts itself.

    Pathos: pathos galore!

    The reason I keep engaging with this is not because, as you almost pathologically assert, I am a stooge for the Democratic Party. It’s because I honestly believe our culture and our politics are debased by the profusion of unreason in our discourse. It’s no different whether it comes from the left, right, or middle.

    When objective evidence no long matters, what’s the point of argument? How can we accomplish anything?

    • JC

      “I honestly believe our culture and our politics are debased by the profusion of unreason in our discourse.”

      You should look in the mirror once in a while Don. Your perception of unreason in others is nothing more than your observation of how people react to your ad hominems.

      You have yet to even attempt a discourse about the topic of this post. I took Messina to task, and all you could respond with was a comment about one word I used (“Stasi”) and how I used a reference link — without even understanding how that link and post contributed to my line of reason.

      Then again, that is your style: to try and maintain the moral high ground of the intelligent and articulate debator while attacking your opponent’s credibility without resorting to even a cursory attempt at arguing the topic. I guess if you don’t understand the topic, that’s one way to try and win a debate. Touche.

      • I think you’re wrong.

        In traditional debate, the person proposing the theory usually has the burden of proof. What evidence have you presented to suggest that the Obama administration used surveillance state tactics to win an election?

        Your single source says it’s not true.

        And you don’t get to throw out aspersions like comparing people to the East German secret police as if that’s just “a single word.” The people who suffered under Soviet totalitarianism might object to your characterization.

        The reason I project the moral high ground of the “intelligent and articulate debater” might be related to the fact that I don’t make absurd claims like that.

        Seriously, as a side note, please look up what ad hominem means. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

        • JC

          No Don, my “single source” did not say that it isn’t true that Obama used surveillance state tactics to win an election. The tactics he used were indeed surveillance state tactics, and will become much more debated in the near future because of Baker’s article.

          What Baker did was to retract that what Obama and Messina did was illegal. I know that’s a bit too nuanced for an “intelligent and articulate” debater like yourself to get, but the issue here is the same as those who claim that because PRISM is legal, therefore it is ok.

          You still don’t even understand, technologically, what it is that Obama and Messina did interfacing campaign and corporate computers. So how can you even begin to argue that it is ok, just because it was not illegal… and the democrat won.

          I’ll have much more to say on this topic now that I know what dems have to say about it. I throw bait out there like I did to see what comes back — to see if dems are even paying attention, and obviously they aren’t.

          And Stasi? That’s the word that my German girlfriend uses for the American surveillance state. Yes, she grew up under Soviet totalitarianism, and emigrated after the Berlin wall came down. In fact we had talks about what Berlin was like before then, just this morning, over coffee. We talk about the similarities between the Stasi and the NSA all the time. So kindly don’t tell me what words I and/or my girlfriend can use.

          And Ad Hominem? That’s easy. From Mirriam-Webster: “marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made.”

          That fits your treatment of me here and at ID to a T. You almost always resort to Ad Hominem before engaging in a real discussion of the topic with me, and many others. It’s your style. It’s just a warm-up designed to either chase off your debater, or to influence others that your debater is too kooky to be taken seriously. While not obvious to you, most others see right through it (except those pit bulls you keep around who engage in it too).

          • it’s so complex that the “idiots” can’t get it, I guess.

            I’ll leave it to the judgment of others, including your own source, who APOLOGIZED for his claim, whether you or I understand this better, my personal lack of East German knowledge notwithstanding.

            For your sake, I’d suggest you might want to actually do some reading about how Facebook collects data. It’s still true that a lot of the information comes from third party sites that interface with Facebook. You know, like WordPress does. Like this site does.

            I’ll take your lecture about totalitarianism under advisement more seriously once you stop participating in what you claim is the erosion of American democracy, just as I’ll take your lectures about ad hominems more seriously when you stop using them all the time.

            Good luck fighting fascism.

            –Don, It was Jimmy Carter who made the proclamation that “America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time”. If you have a problem with my using him as a source, tough shit. Quit trying to lecture me about what I write and how I write it. –JC

        • JC

          Oh, and speaking of the “moral high ground”, I don’t see how censoring me at your blog by banning me, and then coming here and calling me names is any indication of any sort of “moral high ground.” If it is, then I don’t really want any of the sort of morality that you indulge in. It just speaks more about someone who is so afraid of looking outside the sphere of conventional politics that they are incapable of allowing any real form of intelligent discontent or dissent to occur within his blogs pages.

  9. JC

    Comments have been closed.

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