Just yesterday we learned that Trump would violate the law by ignoring congress’s directive to enforce sanctions against Russia. In so doing, the world got its best view yet of the “return on investment” for Putin’s assistance in getting Trump elected.
So, how did he do it? If Putin colluded, just exactly how did it work, mechanically? Nothing is certain, at least nothing outside Mueller’s evidence room, however, below we explore the most plausible possibility, that being that Putin’s assistance came through the dark underbelly of the internet, involving the little understood world known as deep data, intersecting Cambridge Analytica, Kushner, Flynn and Bannon.
What is Cambridge Analytica?
According to Wiki:
Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a privately held company that combines data mining and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process. It was created in 2013 as an offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group to participate in American politics.
Cambridge got its start with the help of $5 million from Renaissance Technologies, a Hedge Fund managed by Robert Mercer, the Billionaire who you may have formerly only known to have lavished cash upon Trump. Through Cambridge, Mercer also provided services. Cambridge didn’t just specialize in data mining for American politics, it specializes in data mining for the American politics on the far right, and “right-wing” populist causes, such as Brexit. Note, in passing, that “Brexit” is also surely a result that tickled Putin.
Cambridge doesn’t “just” get regular data, no “name, address, Amazon orders” for them, Cambridge specializes in what I’ve long-called “Deep Data” and what Cambridge calls “psychographics” (see why I prefer my term?). Cambridge CEO Nix once said: “We’ve rolled out a long-form quantitative instrument to probe the underlying traits that inform personality, If you know the personality of the people you’re targeting, you can nuance your messaging to resonate more effectively with those key groups.”
Ok, but what does that mean? Well, it means they farmed Facebook and Twitter and gathered every single “like” or whatever other once-previously-thought-innocent tap at a screen one does, all to build a profile of you, a profile that was once summed up as:
The strength of their [Kosinski and his Cambridge colleagues] modeling was illustrated by how well it could predict a subject’s answers. Kosinski continued to work on the models incessantly: before long, he was able to evaluate a person better than the average work colleague, merely on the basis of ten Facebook “likes.” Seventy “likes” were enough to outdo what a person’s friends knew, 150 what their parents knew, and 300 “likes” what their partner knew. More “likes” could even surpass what a person thought they knew about themselves.
That is pretty powerful.
The “party line” is that the Trump campaign used such information to determine in real time whether a particular pocket in Pennsylvania was particularly interested in immigration particulars, versus a near identical group in Michigan that might care more about Pacific trade agreements. The Trump campaign would then act upon that information, and send Trump to that pocket and talk about immigration or trade, as the case may be.
But, with information that specific, that doesn’t seem all that exotic.
Someone else was targeting voters …
Last week, [Twitter and Google] admitted the Russian-backed content’s reach was much farther than had previously been disclosed. According to Facebook’s prepared testimony, Russia-backed posts reached as many as 126 million Americans on their platform during and after the 2016 presidential election. Twitter said it had found 2,752 accounts linked to Russian operatives – more than 10 times greater than it had previously informed lawmakers.
There was that.
There was also this:
Russia’s efforts to hack the 2016 presidential election were much more widespread than originally thought. The Russian campaign hit 39 states — twice as many as originally reported — and in one case hackers tried to delete and alter voter data.
That’s the startling revelation from a Bloomberg report this morning. The extent of the cyber intrusion was so widespread that Obama administration officials used the infamous “red phone” — which is really a digital communications channel that allows the countries to send information back and forth — to show Kremlin leaders what they had discovered. It remains unclear, though, if these intrusions had any direct effect on the election’s outcome.
It does start to get scary when one combines the power of Cambridge’s analytical tools, algorithms, whatever, with two things Russia specializes in 1) computer hacking, and 2) not giving a fk about American law. Robert Mueller seems to know this all too well. As he should.
To combine Cambridge and Russia, one would need a facilitator, one who swam in both circles and, as only Trump could do, we have the Michael Phelps of swimming in dirty pools. You will be shocked that you don’t know who else was involved, I know I was:
Flynn was forced to disclose “a brief advisory role with a firm related to a controversial data analysis company that aided the Trump campaign. The “data analysis company” is none other than Cambridge Analytica. The precise amount of money Cambridge paid to Flynn is unknown, as are the details of Flynn’s role.
But we know that congressional and DOJ investigators believe that Trump’s campaign might have helped guide Russia’s voter targeting scheme and that Flynn, who worked for Trump’s campaign and with Cambridge Analytica, is suspected of having extensive ties with Russian operatives.
It’s like a vase crashing to the floor, to me.
If you are chasing Cambridge, Russians, and Flynn, you are going to need an expert in cyber-crime. The revelation also makes the following appear far more sinister, again, once one knows the full story.
A source close to one of the investigations said with a dark laugh. Indeed: probers are intrigued by the role of Jared Kushner, the now-president’s son-in-law, who eagerly took credit for crafting the Trump campaign’s online efforts in a rare interview right after the 2016 election. “I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting,” Kushner told Steven Bertoni of Forbes. “We brought in Cambridge Analytica. I called some of my friends from Silicon Valley who were some of the best digital marketers in the world. And I asked them how to scale this stuff . . . We basically had to build a $400 million operation with 1,500 people operating in 50 states, in five months to then be taken apart. We started really from scratch.”
Ask yourself this: If you are Jared Kushner, and you have access to the world’s leading data mining operation in Cambridge, and you have access to the world’s greatest hackers, fake news/fake ads builders, and you want to impress your wife’s daddy, could you not put those two together???
Someone needed to put the Russians in contact with them, because it is unlikely the Russians could’ve done it alone, found within the link above:
Analysts scoff at the notion that the Russians figured out how to target African-Americans and women in decisive precincts in Wisconsin and Michigan all by themselves. “Could they have hired a warehouse full of people in Moscow and had them read Nate Silver’s blog every morning and determine what messages to post to what demographics? Sure, theoretically that’s possible,” said Mike Carpenter, an Obama administration assistant defense secretary who specialized in Russia and Eastern Europe. “But that’s not how they do this. And it’s not surprising that it took Facebook this long to figure out the ad buys. The Russians are excellent at covering their tracks. They’ll subcontract people in Macedonia or Albania or Cyprus and pay them via the dark Web.
Jared is going to jail. I think Bannon knows jared’s role in the matter, or at least knows enough to get Jared sent up the river:
“He’s taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff,” Bannon said. “This tells you everything about Jared. They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.”
I am starting to think that Steve Bannon desperately wants everyone thinking that the collusion involved only trying to get pics of Hillary sweeping up Putin cash, but the quote seems as much misdirection as anything, perhaps putting Kushner down a level to cover the more sophisticated collusion played by the adults higher up, and if Kush could’ve kept his mouth shut, they might’ve gotten away with it.
Regardless, Mueller has some questions he would like Bannon to answer, and not just because of the quote. There’s also the fact that Steven Bannon is the only person directly involved in the campaign who was also once Vice President of Cambridge Analytica just prior to joining the campaign.
One starts to understand why Bannon got the type of invitation he couldn’t refuse.
Perhaps Mueller knew that Bannon would get to the point where he would have nothing to lose by selling out the entire Trump empire, both sides burned the big bridge? Did Mueller wait until this point to subpoena Bannon? If so, Mueller is collecting style points now, making it art.
One last thing on the way out the door. One would think that — having just helped elect Trump president, AND an explosive win in Brexit, you would think that companies and candidates would be lining up to purchase services from Cambridge. Cambridge ought to be exploding in share value, a road to riches into the Conservative 21st Century, except:
Billionaire conservative megadonor Robert Mercer, a generous financial backer of President Donald Trump, is stepping down from his position as co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to a notice the company sent to investors on Thursday.
That’s not a new development.
No, Robert Mercer stepped down from Renaissance on November 2, 2017, the same week that American lawmakers released the Facebook ads that had been purchased by Russians in anticipation of the campaign.
Somewhere in there is an overlap that Robert Mueller understands all too well by now, and that is why he asked for the services of a cyber-crime specialist on the same week he made the decision to subpoena Steve Bannon. If one enters the collusion cluster, things start to clear up.
Link to my real work, if you’ve enjoyed my articles, you will likely love fiction based on the same political themes, and aliens, lots of aliens.