Fail Whale

I can’t explain in words how much I’m enjoying reading about the failure of the Romney GOTV system, which was called Project Orca. Here’s more from Breitbart land:

Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.
I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.
Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…

It sounds like Orca didn’t work at all on election day, period. So, the Romney campaign had no real GOTV effort.

One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software. They’re a bunch of fast-talking MBAs who bullshit management into buying their services, and after they get the contract, all they care about is how cheap they can offshore a project, and how many hours they can bill. Well, Mitt Romney, the biggest consultant of them all, had to eat his own dogfood on Tuesday, and it was a goddam unappetizing meal.

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108 replies
  1. 1
    schrodinger's cat says:

    So is Mitt, Ahab?

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    It seems to me the person (and I use that word loosely) who has avoided scrutiny in all this is Reince Priebus.

    That weasel fuck presided over one of the biggest party failures not only in votes but in principles. There is not one single positive thing I can think of to say about anything that man has done.

    He’s a classic college Republican who has failed upwards by being an ass-kisser and yes man.

    I expect him to keep his job.

  3. 3
    Boots Day says:

    One wonders if that $400 million Karl Rove spent to have TV ads running constantly throughout the local news in swing states might have been better spent on things like field offices and GOTV efforts.

    I’m sure it’s a lot more fun, though, to go to your local casino mogul and show him the brand-new spot you’ve created ripping the American president a new asshole. There’s a much more visceral thrill in that.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    ORCA is a sign of how he would have run the country. Including FEMA.

    We sure dodged a bullet, thank goodness for their blinkered, epistemically-closed vision.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    @BGinCHI: TPM pulled up one of the most hilarious bits of schadenfreude I’ve seen yet, a tweet from Michael Steele saying roughly “I may have been an incompetent boob who blew money at a lesbian-bondage-themed nightclub, but at least I didn’t lose an election by several points.”

  6. 6
    Gary says:

    As Michael Steele commented—“I wasn’t as good a CEO as Reince, but at least I won elections.

  7. 7
    Count Ulster says:

    So Prince Rebus wasn’t able to puzzle his way through to victory this time. Drat!

  8. 8
    someGuyInAustin says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software.

    I’ve come to the same conclusion after many years writing software. The rest of the paragraph is absolutely true as well.

  9. 9
    Ben Franklin says:

    The Congressional Budget Office offered a sobering assessment of the economic implications of plunging off the fiscal cliff Thursday, just as lawmakers prepare for a fight over taxes and spending.
    If Congress and the Obama administration allow scheduled tax increases and spending cuts to occur, the economy will shrink by 0.5 percent in 2013. The unemployment rate would soar to 9.1 percent — up from 7.9 percent today.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s.....z2Bk6Zx1TK

    While we play with ourselves, they are re-grouping. Mebbe tamp down the gloat and get back to bizness.

  10. 10
    c u n d gulag says:

    Republicans – Hoist By Their Own Retards!*

    *My apologies for using the R-word.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    Yeah, if you are getting rolled by Steele you are pretty fucking pathetic.

    I think the only reason Maddow talks to him is because she has hours of community service for doing 150 on her Ducati.

  12. 12
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    I am not buying this, “Let’s blame the software.” Every Republican knows that if you throw enough money at a private enterprise and clap louder it all works perfectly.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    While we play with ourselves, they are re-grouping. Mebbe tamp down the gloat and get back to bizness.

    I am neither playing with myself nor an elected official at the national level. As for business, mind your own, sir.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    As a consultant I can tell you there is more than a grain of truth to the slogan

    If you can’t be part of the solution
    .
    there is good money to be made by extending the problem!

  15. 15
    Douche Baggins says:

    Yet another example of the sheer fail of assuming that, just because Romney was good at making money FROM business, he would be good at making money IN business. His expertise was extractive and destructive, and I bet he never successfully spear-headed a complex pro-growth initiative (say, like an ERP implementation) at any of the companies that Bain fucked over. If he had, he would have treated this mission-critical GOTV IT project a bit more seriously.

  16. 16
    Joey Maloney says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software. They’re a bunch of fast-talking MBAs who bullshit management into buying their services, and after they get the contract, all they care about is how cheap they can offshore a project, and how many hours they can bill. Well, Mitt Romney, the biggest consultant of them all, had to eat his own dogfood on Tuesday, and it was a goddam unappetizing meal.

    This is the most trenchant piece of post-election analysis I have yet read. Well-played, sir.

  17. 17
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    This is classic Republican spin. Remember, they never take responsibility for their own actions, it’s the Frank Burns party: “Anything that went wrong is either God’s will or somebody else’s fault”.

    In this case, they’re blaming their loss solely on the “lost” votes resulting from crappy software. It’s the software’s fault.

    Nevermind the program managers who oversaw the software development (or lack thereof) or the testers who didn’t test it (or the program managers who didn’t mandate testing). And on and on.

    They simply don’t want to admit that our ground game kicked the shit out of their ground game from the gitgo. Their defense is “well, our ground game would have kicked your ground game’s ass if only…..”

  18. 18
    David Fud says:

    I have to say that I am certainly glad that they are incompetent, because it allowed us to win before the demographics had sufficiently jelled to be an automatic win for Ds. Next time, hopefully, we won’t have to run a picture-perfect campaign to beat them… I don’t think we should ever slack, but this election was way too close. I am glad to have taken advantage of the grifters’ gifts to the Democratic party. Had Rs turned out their vote (if in fact they don’t already turn out without GOTV efforts), it would have not been as happy an ending, I would imagine.

  19. 19
    Anoniminous says:

    …they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.

    Classic. The system doesn’t work but it tells upper management what they want to hear.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    The con meets reality. Not pretty.

  21. 21
    RaflW says:

    I’m lovin the Orca Schadenfreude, but it’s also very chilling. These incompetent MBA+JD idjits would probably outsource the fuckin nuclear football if they could.

    And we can surely see how Brownie probably would have been rehired – as a process consultant to FEMA.

    Wow did we dodge a bullet.

  22. 22
    The Moar You Know says:

    So, the Romney campaign had no real GOTV effort.

    Dems were working on theirs for months. All Team Romney did was buy airtime and send out mailers (the two least effective methods of reaching voters, by the way). They never had any ground game that I’d heard about.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    @David Fud: I’ll feel better when Univision is more important than Fox News.

  24. 24
    The Tragically Flip says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software. They’re a bunch of fast-talking MBAs who bullshit management into buying their services, and after they get the contract, all they care about is how cheap they can offshore a project, and how many hours they can bill.

    That is my experience in IT management at a large company as well. Consultants exist to give managers CYA so they can attribute decisions to advice from Deloitte, PwC, etc.

    But the consultants can’t give two fucks how well their stuff works out beyond getting paid.

    Outsourcing in general is like this. If you go into thinking “I don’t have to worry about this, vendor X will solve this problem for me” you’re almost certainly going to get screwed. You need to get every detail into the contract, and spend almost as many hours riding them to deliver on everything to your substantive satisfaction.

    Companies really undervalue the trust, good faith and long term view that comes from having actual employees solve problems. You can’t buy “I want to solve your problem correctly and fully because I work here and care about the outcome” and it definitely has value that should be considered in decisions to outsource stuff.

  25. 25
    BGinCHI says:

    @The Moar You Know: The ground is for little people, my friend.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill in Section 147:

    This is also why you outsource. So you can blame a vendor for failure.

    Avoiding responsibility…it’s what Rethugs do.

  27. 27
    RaflW says:

    @BGinCHI:
    I did see a very snarky tweet from Michael Steele saying I may have spent too much money…but hey I got RESULTS, or something like that. Made me laugh.

    ETA: I should read upthread first. But it is still funny to think that Michael Steele looks competent in hindsight.

  28. 28
    Shadow's Mom says:

    It’s interesting to me because my understanding is that the people who developed the Voter Action Network software (VoteBuilder) used by the Democratic Party provided similar software to the Republicans.

    Is it that Orca was supposed to link to their version of VoteBuilder so that their volunteers could provide live updates?

    Votebuilder and the predictive dialer had their issues both before and during election day. Most of these were related to over-capacity – slow response, no response due to the massive number of people across the country who were actively working the system. We spent three weekends before the election running dry runs to simulate GOTV activities and work out the kinks. This made our work during Nov 3 – Nov 6 much more effective.

    One of my roles in data was to help create user accounts so that our GOTV team members (some of whom only showed up on election day) could get access to predictive dialer. Quick google form allowed users to submit names and email addresses and every data specialist in California monitored the spreadsheet and verified or added user accounts in near real-time. We heavily leveraged the auto-dial predictive dialer system except in staging locations that had limited internet capacity. OFA provide prepaid MiFi devices to staging locations to ensure internet access.

    We heavily leveraged Google docs to both monitor which staging locations were assigned particular call lists and to collect the list of users who needed accounts. The list tracker on the Google servers had capacity issues too, but we planned for this and had work-arounds ready.

    Our data team in California ROCKED!!!

    Clearly, the Romney team did not have the expertise nor the forethought to plan for the reality of GOTV ground game.

  29. 29
    jibeaux says:

    @BGinCHI: Tweeting about Obama being an apologist for terrorists at 12:01 a.m. on 9/12 was a fucking low point even for Republicans.

  30. 30
    The Tragically Flip says:

    May I also say, I am really enjoying the right wing choking on their own MBA bullshit ideas. They are running their campaigns like businesses, and the Democrats are keeping things in-house, and not trying to turn every aspect of it into a profitable business venture and the results are starting to show up.

    I would love to see a graph that didn’t just compare how much each side spent in donor funds, but some kind or reckoning of how much of that money actually went to real politicking and voter persuasion efforts, and how much was skimmed by administration, profit and overhead.

    I bet that would be very revealing. The right wing funding advantage might just disappear entirely.

  31. 31
    ThresherK says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software.

    At what point does a “prejudice” become merely a “repeated observation” because it’s been observed, repeatedly?

    Cos I’m all for someone fessing up to their prejudices–keeps one intellectually honest–but I don’t think you have to fess up to this one.

  32. 32
    JR says:

    Do we have a projection on how long it will be before the Unskewers declare that ORCA’s failure was the result of a Democratic/Anonymous joint-hack that let the Obamination’s duped rubes seize power?

  33. 33
    blingee says:

    Why are you going to brietbart for that? There are MUCH MUCH much juicier details elsewhere and it was MUCH worse that you think.
    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/334783.php

  34. 34
    gbear says:

    This thread needs an exploding whale fail to fully describe the Romney campaign.

  35. 35
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ben Franklin: What is the report assuming about bills passed afterwards? Nothing?

  36. 36
    Ben Franklin says:

    But one goal eluded the victors. Even though preliminary estimates suggest that Democrats received somewhat more votes than Republicans in Congressional elections, the G.O.P. retains solid control of the House thanks to extreme gerrymandering by courts and Republican-controlled state governments. And Representative John Boehner, the speaker of the House, wasted no time in declaring that his party remains as intransigent as ever, utterly opposed to any rise in tax rates even as it whines about the size of the deficit.

    So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11.....&_r=0

    “It’s clobberin’ time”, ladies and gents.

  37. 37
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    This calls for a round of quadrupled executive bonuses.

  38. 38
    jheartney says:

    In 2008, OFA in Missouri had some software, called Houdini, which tried to do the same job that ORCA was apparently set up to do. Houdini was designed to work off dumb cellphones, so you called and punched in numbers to make it go. We had reasonably good training and setup for it, but on election day the system crashed hard. By about noon it was clear Houdini wasn’t going to work, so they sent me out knocking doors off static lists.

    I ended up knocking on a lot of unresponsive doors, plus I got a few that answered but had already voted. So far as I could tell I didn’t have any actual effect on the election even though I put it a long, exhausting day. My impression is that this is true for most election day GOTV.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    May I also say, I am really enjoying the right wing choking on their own MBA bullshit ideas. They are running their campaigns like businesses, and the Democrats are keeping things in-house, and not trying to turn every aspect of it into a profitable business venture and the results are starting to show up.

    I know it’s shocking, and counterintuitive for these guys, but money sometimes isn’t the most important fucking consideration when operating an enterprise.

    Oh, sure, the conslutants have nice fat bank accounts now, but the results are, to say the least, inadequate.

  40. 40
    LanceThruster says:

    I can picture Mitt as Lloyd Bridges’ character from “Airplane.”

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

  41. 41
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Classic. The system doesn’t work but it tells upper management what they want to hear.

    More classic bad management in action

    Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

    Yes, what do the professionals in the staff know? They aren’t MBAs

    A cynical person might be forgiven for thinking ORCA was only a scam to get more money out of the mark and was never intended to work.

  42. 42
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @BGinCHI: As for business, mind your own, sir.

    Now, now. Our coalition also includes those who can’t wait to get back to our regularly scheduled cynicism, fretting, and Reedy Nasal Whine.

  43. 43
    nastybrutishntall says:

    bitter bitter orca,
    bitte

  44. 44
    Boots Day says:

    All Team Romney did was buy airtime and send out mailers (the two least effective methods of reaching voters, by the way).

    The RNC appeared to be focused on making robo-calls to swing state voters, since I got four or five of them a day here. The ROI on those must be just abysmal.

    And even though the endless parade of local-news political ads had become a punchline long before Election Day, they only got more numerous in the last week or so. Hey, Sheldon Adelson’s money isn’t going to spend itself!

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @BGinCHI: Well, John Cornyn is keeping his job (which was dead easy this year) electing more GOP senators. RSCC

    Paul Ryan is also skating as if he had nothing to do with any of it.

    Of course, Michael Steele lost his job – but then with his complexion he would have to do twice as well as the white mope, just to be considered for re-hiring.

  46. 46
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Just drawing attention to the first big fight, post-election.

  47. 47
    Nylund says:

    Back in my younger days, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for a few MBA courses. I graded their homework, exams, presentations, etc.

    I knew the vast majority of them were idiots. That being said, so many of them were AMAZING at owning a room during a presentation. More than once I thought to myself, “I actually know enough about this stuff to know you’re an idiot, but wow can you sell it. If I could buy stock in you, I would. You’ll make a killing passing off that confidence and charisma as expertise. You’ll likely ruin a few companies, but you’ll make a fortune.”

    Those students are exactly what came to my mind when I saw Mitt’s first debate performance.

  48. 48
    Anoniminous says:

    @The Tragically Flip:

    Posted this yesterday, repeat it here.

    OFA has said they had 700,000 volunteers. Figuring a low ball $8.50 an hour money/cost estimate for an 8 hour day at 30 days works out to money-value equivalent of $1,428,000,000.

  49. 49
    gbear says:

    @Boots Day:

    One wonders if that $400 million Karl Rove spent to have TV ads running constantly throughout the local news in swing states might have been better spent on things like field offices and GOTV efforts.

    Rove couldn’t do GOTV because, despite all appearances, PACs aren’t allowed to support candidates, just issues. Rove was spending his UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH in the most inefficient method possible. He’s the Donald Trump of PACs.

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @blingee:

    Ace of Spades is pure wingnutosphere, not an actual Bretibart site, but close enough that blind taste tests can’t tell the difference between Ace of Spades and Breitbart.

  51. 51
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    I see. ‘What has Krugman done for us, lately?’

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gbear:

    And pocketing a very healthy percentage of it, I might add.

    Rove is no fool. He’s like Willie Sutton…he knows where the money is.

  53. 53
    Boots Day says:

    @gbear:

    Thanks, I didn’t realize that.

  54. 54
    LanceThruster says:

    Reports are in that Mitt is leading in the post election polls and a landslide is predicted.

    Doubleplusgood!

  55. 55
    ET says:

    This should be an abject lesson for those volunteers about
    1 – the ability of the GOP to do anything (much less govern).
    2 – the ability of the campaign of a man running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – they couldn’t run a GOTV on one day – what does that say about what would have happened if he had been elected.
    3- how much they appreciated (or in this case didn’t) all that work/time given by volunteers that they couldn’t even provide them the tools (that worked) that they would use/need to help get they guy they supported and volunteered for elected.

  56. 56
    punt speedchunk says:

    I’m starting to see a pattern here, and it meshes pretty well with my overall view of the world. (Confimation Bias, anyone?)

    As a craftsman type, who can certainly half-ass it when he needs to, I am particularly sensitive to quality of work. (Pirsig, anyone?)

    It’s really starting to look like the other side can’t find its ass with both hands and an ass-finding device.

    I have seem this any number of times professionally- the guys that know all the slang, and their tool belts are all worn out; they’re good carpenters, right?

    Well, they’re carpenters, I guess. At least they’re guys with nail pouches and hammers. I mean, they own circular saws; it’s not like you can just buy those at the home center. They’ve got nail guns, and they can bump-fire them like nobody’s business.

    But, are the nails going in the right places? Do the boards fit together properly before they’re shot full of nails? Are we even using the right nails? Should we be using screws? Do you even know how nails work?

    I have learned that it’s not about doing the job properly. It’s not about building a house that will last, it’s not about avoiding callbacks, and it’s absolutely not about building the foundation and frame carefully enough that the remainder of the job isn’t a time-consuming nightmare of compounding error.

    It’s about bangin’ nails, and gettin’ paid.

    You don’t need to know what you’re doing, you don’t need to be skilled at your trade. You just need to look like you know what you’re doing, and tell people how skilled you are at your trade.

    Every time I’m on one of these jobs, I’m the fussy guy who takes too much time with tasks. “We’re not building cabinets, here!”

    “Looks good from my house!” is a favorite.

    I feel that if the customer is going to pay 3 grand for an exterior french door, it would be best if that door actually opened and closed properly; y’know, door stuff.

    Needless to say, I’m far from rich, and often wind up working for very few dollars per hour. My insistence on quality has never really been a friend to me.

    It’s nice to see the other side take it in the neck because their experts are hacks.

    It’s nice to win one for quality every now and again.

  57. 57
    Maude says:

    @jibeaux:
    There is a Bengazi hearing next week. Head of CIA etc.
    They haven’t given up.

  58. 58
    LanceThruster says:

    @punt speedchunk:

    It’s really starting to look like the other side can’t find its ass with both hands and an ass-finding device.

    Though true in essense, does not address the difficulty in accurately calibrating said ass-finding device nor the specialized skills required in operating/maintaining it.

    I blame Obama.

  59. 59
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I spent some time this morning reading that sweet, sweet multi-post delusion at HillBuzz. One of the “liberal claims” the author calls “just ludicrous” or “delusional” or something is the idea that Mitt Romney, the CEO with all the business experience, doesn’t have an organized ground game. Hee, hee, hee.

    I was hoping I could get some work done once the election was over, but this warm glow of schadenfreude is almost as distracting as pre-election poll watching.

  60. 60
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Ben Franklin: And the latest CBC codswallop this morning: the fiscal cliff just happened because Congress (vague unified body) decided they needed a little extra incentive to deal with the budget, so they set up this deal, which could be compared to sticking daggers in your steering wheel so that you would drive more safely. And then they played a sorrowful “you guys are SO fucked” quote from Larry Summers.

    (Is that a Summers I see before me? Yep.)

    Not a word about the unprecedented obstructionism from the Republicans and the Democrats’ repeated attempts at a compromise. Not a single fucking word. Just “Congress” playing chicken with the American economy.

    Yes, the campaign is well under way. Fight back!

  61. 61
    blingee says:

    The comments on thatAce of Spades post are great.

    “32 I signed up, took the training, and tried to get into the final conference call at 8:30 pm Monday night.

    Couldn’t get through. About 8:40 I got a call that auto connected me to the conference call, just in time to hear it wrap up.

    I never received another email. I finally went Tuesday pm to the Romney Victory/FAIL Center to make calls the rest of the afternoon. Got to see Paul Ryan roll through if nothing else.

    Just saw a post on the facebooks from my lefty uncle in The Shire crowing about spending 7 hours pounding on doors Tuesday. Low tech. Works every fucking time.

    As a IT developer myself, I’d say this was a world class clusterfuck. That’s a technical term, btw.

  62. 62
    russell says:

    <blockquoteOne of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software.

    One of my observations after almost 30 years of writing code is that big consulting firms can not only not write software, they can’t manage the writing of software very well.

    I’d extend that to any discipline that requires any significant amount of craft knowledge.

    Good business managers are a great thing. Business management acumen doesn’t translate to every discipline.

  63. 63
    LanceThruster says:

    @punt speedchunk:

    A good rule of thumb was often to do the work in a manner that you’d be satisfied with if it was for yourself. That way, many worthwhile little touches are not omitted.

    You are right though, that can sometimes impinge on already razor-thin profit margins.

  64. 64
    BarbCat says:

    Beta-testing on election day; the d’oh version.

  65. 65
    ThresherK says:

    @Nylund: Some adman’s memoir (maybe Stan Freberg?) mentioned them catching on to a hack whose MO was to always pretend their idea was a spur of the moment, last-minute Hail Mary Statue of Liberty brainstorm which struck them at the end of an hours-long meeting, when everything looked destined to fail.

  66. 66
    LanceThruster says:

    @BarbCat:

    With an irrational optimism embodied in the question, “How bad could it be?”

  67. 67
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Just “Congress” playing chicken with the American economy.

    And here we are, choking ours………

    They see this as a game, just like the Trifecta on Tuesday. Better ‘gird our loins’, because there ought to be a GOP sticker in the dictionary under persistence.

  68. 68
    Felonius Monk says:

    I am absolutely stunned that Pollack would write so candidly — are we really sure he wrote it?

    Given his juvenile rantings over the past few weeks this seems — well, well — almost adult. And one of the very few I’ve seen from the right in the past two days that admits they fucked up and doesn’t blame Obama for suppressing the vote.

  69. 69
    Anoniminous says:

    @blingee:

    Yeah, the notion a system that works for 100 hits/hour might not work for 10,000 hits/hour never entered their minds.

    Scale, how does that work?

    @BarbCat:

    And that, also. (Too)

  70. 70
    Mj_Oregon says:

    Living in Oregon, both my husband (registered Republican) and I (registered Independent) voted shortly after we received our mail-in ballots. We can check on-line to see when our ballot is received ours were showing as being received as of 10/25. However, we CONTINUED getting calls to vote for Art Robinson (!!!!!!) and the local R’s for the next 12 days, including two calls on Election Day itself.

    Guess Project Orca didn’t understand how to figure out who had voted in Oregon and who hadn’t. Love our vote-by-mail system because normally we stop getting calls after our ballots are received by the county, but this year the idiot Republicans couldn’t find their butts with both hands and a mirror.

    BTW – my R-husband voted straight Democrat for the first time in his life. He says his party has been taken over by crazy people and the Dominionists scare him to death.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BarbCat:

    Oh, I’m not sure they were ready to beta test. Strikes me as still in the alpha phase.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mj_Oregon:

    Helpful hint: to avoid ever hearing ever again from that assclown Robinson or his cultists, bite the bullet and register Dem. Robinson’s minions never bothered me, not even with a mailing. My sister, registered independent, got plenty of Robinson crap.

  73. 73
    Randy P says:

    @c u n d gulag: Any fans of Veep here? Episode 1 included a hilarious incident caused by the VP using exactly that joke.

    I only saw that one show online. Don’t have a TV. But if I watched anything regularly, I’d watch that.

  74. 74
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Boots Day: Since that money was Citizens United PAC money, it could only be spent on communications items. CU was a “free speech” case and the resulting money and actions have to come under that category.

  75. 75
    catclub says:

    @PurpleGirl: That is probably accurate, if everyone decides to obey the law.

    But i can also imagine the political operatives doing things on election day that will be later litigated and found to cross the line. What about GOTV over the ‘issue’ of
    kenyan socialism? No candidates involved, so all good, right?

    Who will stop such an organization two weeks before the election? How? No harm has been done. The legal system works awfully slowly anyway.

    I think the reason not to do that is that the consultants do not get a standard cut, as they do for placing ads.

  76. 76
    Egilsson says:

    @BGinCHI: ding ding we have a winner. I love that line about college republicans.

  77. 77
    yam says:

    The last line in the Breitbart article:

    There was no Plan B; there was only confusion, and silence.

    Surprising, this.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    I am Seriously beginning to wonder about the long-term health consequences of a diet of this much schaden. The geek stuff is pure icing. THESE are the books I want to be reading in the future. (Might not be exactly the Dewey Decimal heading the Mittster-team was hoping to be memorialized under, but oh well . . .)

  79. 79
    Carla H. says:

    @Shadow’s Mom:
    First, thank you for your work on GOTV.

    Second, I’m really impressed by your description of the leveraging of existing tech. You explained it so deftly, and now I’m firing on all synapses thinking about it. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

    I’ve been an IT professional since 1985, and am really intrigued by this. I didn’t realize working on a campaign could be so cool.

    I want to get involved the way you did, next time!

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    So (from comments at your original link) one theory they’re working on now is this:

    Maybe the ORCA admins were [Democratic] plants

    As was Romney himself, natch.

  81. 81
    RaflW says:

    @David Fud:
    Sadly, there’s no ‘automatic win’ for us any more than there has been for the GOP. We gotta be real about that.

    And redistricting means we have major headwinds for the next 10 years for the US House. Headwinds we can beat, but that will rely on much more than demographics.

    I’m excited. We did well. But we do have to keep working. Nothing in politics comes easy.

  82. 82
    Carla H. says:

    p.s. re: “Fail Whale”
    The Whale: …” And what’s this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like ‘Ow’, ‘Ownge’, ‘Round’, ‘Ground’! That’s it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me? Hello, Ground!”
    – Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  83. 83
    cckids says:

    @BGinCHI:

    It seems to me the person (and I use that word loosely) who has avoided scrutiny in all this is Reince Priebus.

    I have to say, I loved the tweet from Michael Steele yesterday, to the effect of “Lots of bitching about how I spent money, but look at my results (2010) vs Tuesdays.”

    They are at each others throats. Perfect.

    edit to add: Ah. should have read comments first. Damn time difference.

  84. 84
    George S. says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software.

    One of my early experiences in IT was a wreck of a project for a big insurance company managed by a consulting company named for the owner; a peripatetic perennial-presidential-candidate from Texas with a nasal voice, libertarian leanings and pie charts. ( guess who. )

    When I asked why we were doing the programming equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, the chief consulting thug menacingly whispered “we’re just here to milk this cow.”

  85. 85
    dollared says:

    @BGinCHI: Well said. Actually, it’s worse than you think. His law firm has a string of ethics violations against it, including judge-ordered sanctions, for th eir role in Scott Walker’s one-party rule in Wisconsin. Already they’ve had to fire at least one partner to cover their asses. I don’t think he’s going to have a home to come home to.

  86. 86
    Tonal Crow says:

    But but but but Mitt’s a SUPER MANAGER and only his BUSINESS EXPERTISE can SAVE us from the INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER-IN-CHIEF!!!!!!!!!!

    Also too, gotta love the ORC in “ORCA”.

  87. 87
    Tonal Crow says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Nevermind the program managers who oversaw the software development (or lack thereof) or the testers who didn’t test it (or the program managers who didn’t mandate testing). And on and on.

    And of course never mind the “CEO” of the campaign who was ultimately responsible for ensuring that the thing worked correctly. You know, the SUPER-MANAGER who was going to SAVE AMERICA from the INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER-IN-CHIEF.

  88. 88
    Tonal Crow says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Nevermind the program managers who oversaw the software development (or lack thereof) or the testers who didn’t test it (or the program managers who didn’t mandate testing). And on and on.

    And of course never mind the “CEO” of the campaign who was ultimately responsible for ensuring that the thing worked correctly. You know, the SUPER-MANAGER who was going to SAVE AMERICA from the INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER-IN-CHIEF.

  89. 89
    Tonal Crow says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Nevermind the program managers who oversaw the software development (or lack thereof) or the testers who didn’t test it (or the program managers who didn’t mandate testing). And on and on.

    And of course never mind the “CEO” of the campaign who was ultimately responsible for ensuring that the thing worked correctly. You know, the SUPER-MANAGER who was going to SAVE AMERICA from the INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER-IN-CHIEF.

  90. 90
    Tonal Crow says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Nevermind the program managers who oversaw the software development (or lack thereof) or the testers who didn’t test it (or the program managers who didn’t mandate testing). And on and on.

    And of course never mind the “CEO” of the campaign who was ultimately responsible for ensuring that the thing worked correctly. You know, the SUPER-MANAGER who was going to SAVE AMERICA from the INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER-IN-CHIEF.

  91. 91
    dww44 says:

    @Comrade Mary: Yeah, do fight back. I am doing that right now at the NPR All Things Considered website with their choice of stories and tilted framing yesterday. Yesterday they talked about the fiscal cliff with the newly elected Jeff Flake of Arizona. Spent a goodly time with him about how Dems have to compromise and put entitlements on the table. No rebuttal from either a Democrat or an impartial expert. They let him guide the whole thing.
    Then a bit later they talked about the “fisical cliff” and how they want listeners to chime in with other labels. So, go on over to ATC’s website and load them up with your suggestions. The one I am going to use is one I heard last night on one of the MSNBC shows. Instead of fiscal cliff, which is designed to frighten everyone, call it “step off the curb” as the cuts will be gradual and the Dems have the cards and they don’t need to be cutting deals until the GOP has had a chance to sweat some. IMO.

  92. 92
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    That Ace of Spades article gave a warm fuzzy feeling. So much fail. mmmmmm.

    Sounds like their voter turnout was a complete disaster. So that means they lost an entire cycle of gathering data on who actually voted for Mittens on election day.

    Yeah, they could try and proxy that information by their canvassing before election day and public records of who voted. But even with that, there’ll be gaps, and difficulty integrating data on early voting they might have gathered, and less confidence running crosstabs, correlations. Not to mention inability to run A/B tests on election day itself to evaluate the best way to get folks to the polls.

    So that’s a big setback on trying to replicate what OFA managed to do in 2012. OFA will have their 2012 data to work from in the next four years, while the GOP plays catch-up.

  93. 93
    dww44 says:

    @Comrade Mary: Yeah, do fight back. I am doing that right now at the NPR All Things Considered website with their choice of stories and tilted framing yesterday. Yesterday they talked about the fiscal cliff with the newly elected Jeff Flake of Arizona. Spent a goodly time with him about how Dems have to compromise and put entitlements on the table. No rebuttal from either a Democrat or an impartial expert. They let him guide the whole thing.
    Then a bit later they talked about the “fisical cliff” and how they want listeners to chime in with other labels. So, go on over to ATC’s website and load them up with your suggestions. The one I am going to use is one I heard last night on one of the MSNBC shows. Instead of fiscal cliff, which is designed to frighten everyone, call it “step off the curb” as the cuts will be gradual and the Dems have the cards and they don’t need to be cutting deals until the GOP has had a chance to sweat some. IMO.

  94. 94
    JustRuss says:

    I honestly thought ORCA was an Onion-esque fiction. Scary that such a pathetic candidate with an equally pathetic organization came as close as they did. Citizens United has to go.

  95. 95
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    That Ace of Spades article gave a warm fuzzy feeling. So much fail. mmmmmm.

    Sounds like their voter turnout was a complete disaster. So that means they lost an entire cycle of gathering data on who actually voted for Mittens on election day.

    Yeah, they could try and proxy that information by their canvassing before election day and public records of who voted. But even with that, there’ll be gaps, and difficulty integrating data on early voting they might have gathered, and less confidence running crosstabs, correlations. Not to mention inability to run A/B tests on election day itself to evaluate the best way to get folks to the polls.

    So that’s a big setback on trying to replicate what OFA managed to do in 2012. OFA will have their 2012 data to work from in the next four years, while the GOP plays catch-up.

  96. 96
    crosspalms says:

    When does the “CIA harpooned Orca with Stuxnet virus to sabotage election” paranoia begin?

  97. 97
    Shadow's Mom says:

    @Carla H.: REach out to your local OFA team; they won’t be folding up their tents and going away.

    I’m ready to be tapped for next concerted drive to reach out to voters. I very much want to see OFA actively engaging voters well before the 2014 mid-terms to keep our momentum going.

    Despite all of the ‘issues’ we encountered, our advance preparation and daily list sends (yes – PDFs but pulled after the previous days phonebank results were entered) had all of the data specialists ready to roll by GOTV.

    Months of getting up at 5am to make sure that each day’s phonebanks had their paper lists, create volunteer recruitment lists from Dashboard registrations and prior volunteer reach-out activities, supporting specific turfs to ensure that the Neighborhood Team Leaders, Volunteer and PhoneBank Coordinators had what they needed.

    It was fun and so worth it.

  98. 98
    Suffern ACE says:

    @BGinCHI: When Michael Steele was chairman, he had lot’s o problems, but his party destroyed Democrats in the mid terms. So he was let go. I will laugh if Priebus is given a 2nd chance.

  99. 99
    burritoboy says:

    There are those of us who actually HAVE been IT consultants in our distant, mis-spent youths (yes, I’m volunteering the information that I used to be one of these myself): yeah, that’s pretty much it. We sucked major-ass balls in execution but looked like MOUs in proposal phase.

  100. 100
    The Red Pen says:

    One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software. They’re a bunch of fast-talking MBAs who bullshit management into buying their services, and after they get the contract, all they care about is how cheap they can offshore a project, and how many hours they can bill. Well, Mitt Romney, the biggest consultant of them all, had to eat his own dogfood on Tuesday, and it was a goddam unappetizing meal.

    It’s read the article before finishing the post and this was EXACTLY my thought.

  101. 101
    Felonius Monk says:

    Sounds more like Orca was feeding on it own rather than killin’ the doodz.

  102. 102
    Paul in KY says:

    @punt speedchunk: I’d like to have you on any job done at my house.

  103. 103
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Boots Day: Not to mention that I suspect the grifters get a better markup on that stuff.

  104. 104
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @crosspalms:

    When does the “CIA harpooned Orca with Stuxnet virus to sabotage election” paranoia begin?

    Right now. Why have you not posted this at FreeRepublic yet? Although it might better to blame some sochulist country working at the behest of the Kenyan Mooslim dictator. Maybe blame it on the French or Australians.

    The more the wingnuts think Evil Liebruls and their Un-Merkin or Furreign allies stole the election, the bigger the clusterf**k in 2014 and 2016 as they make the same mistakes again.

  105. 105
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    It has to be said, on the original post, I didn’t think there were adhesives strong enough to make the f**ks as clustered.

  106. 106
    Shadow's Mom says:

    as an FYI on my previous comments, I just received the following from my Data Manager at OFA:

    From my mom. The whole thing is interesting, but particularly:

    “In Chicago, the campaign recruited a team of behavioral scientists to build an extraordinarily sophisticated database packed with names of millions of undecided voters and potential supporters. The ever-expanding list let the campaign find and register new voters who fit the demographic pattern of Obama backers and methodically track their views through thousands of telephone calls every night.

    That allowed the Obama campaign not only to alter the very nature of the electorate, making it younger and less white, but also to create a portrait of shifting voter allegiances. The power of this operation stunned Mr. Romney’s aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla. “It’s one thing to say you are going to do it; it’s another thing to actually get out there and do it,” said Brian Jones, a senior adviser.”

    Reg article from NYT

  107. 107
    J R in WV says:

    @Mj_Oregon:

    My CPA tax guy is a responsible guy, a Republican with ethics, well informed and highly educated.

    I think he voted for Obama in 2008, and hope he did this time.

    I admire your Republican husband for having enough self-respect to reject the crazy, and the Domionists scare me a lot too!

  108. 108
    danah gaz says:

    “One of my core prejudices is that big consulting firms can’t write software. They’re a bunch of fast-talking MBAs who bullshit management into buying their services,”

    QFT.

    /former consultant. (I don’t like to admit it in polite company)

    I don’t have an MBA though. I can do basic math, express complete thoughts without using buzzwords, and I know how to lace my own boots, so they wouldn’t issue me one. =) This also explains why it wasn’t something I stuck with or particularly enjoyed. The money was okay, but not worth feeling like I was ripping off my clients.

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