Kasich With all that was happening on this Sunday afternoon, it was pretty easy to have missed Governor John Kasich addressing the NAACP Convention in Cincinnati. It’s less than 15 minutes and worth your time, the Governor is pragmatic and thoughtful. Republicans need to do more of this.
Category Archives: republican
I was recently interviewed for this piece by business and IT writer Debra Donston-Miller about Big Data and 2016. I’ll have more to say about the subject soon enough, but for now, enjoy this article.
By Debra Donston-Miller, May 7, 2013
If big data was something of a secret weapon during the presidential election of 2012, it promises to loom large as we run up to 2016.
There’s no doubt that big data is playing an increasingly big role in business, politics, healthcare, education, retail and numerous other industries. With the right tools and expertise, organizations can slice and dice data to reveal trends and other information that will inform decisions about future strategy and direction.
“[Big data] is the idea that we are finally able to do with a huge body of data things that were impossible to achieve when working with smaller amounts, to uncover to new insight and create new forms of economic value,” said Kenneth Cukier, co-author with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger of “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” and data editor of The Economist. “So, for example, the reason we have self-driving cars or very good computer translation is not because of improvements in processors or algorithms, though they are useful, but because we have vastly more data from which the computer can calculate the probability that a traffic light is red and not green, or which a word in one language is a suitable substitute for a word in another.”
During the 2012 election, big data was used to great advantage—namely, by Barack Obama, in his re-election campaign.
A November 2012 article in Time magazine, “Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win, reported, “Data-driven decision making played a huge role in creating a second term for the 44th President and will be one of the more closely studied elements of the 2012 cycle. … In politics, the era of big data has arrived.”
Cukier said campaigns have always been run on information, but in 2012 big data helped optimize that information and activities around it.
“Obama’s data scientists made pioneering innovations on applying big data to politics,” said Cukier. ”They learned through testing what the optimal sum was when requesting a donation. Every piece of promotional literature online and offline is tested before it goes live at scale. They micro target down to subgroups of the population that were otherwise not picked up by campaigns in the past because it was hard to get granular information on those groups and what moved them to vote a certain way. As a result, campaigns try to tailor their activities down the seemingly ‘individual’ level — not broad, lumpy categories like the ‘soccer moms’ used in Clinton’s campaigns in the 1990s.”
The role of big data will only increase in the 2016 presidential election, with practitioners using technology to hone in on data much more granularly than ever before. In addition, say experts, the use of big data will overlap with social media and other platforms.
“For the 2016 presidential election, we can expect big data to play a much more central role than ever before,” said Cukier. “[We’ll see] micro-targeting of individuals and narrow subgroups of the population, tailored messages over social media platforms, instant feedback loops to the campaign about what works and what doesn’t to move voters, and data collected from the private sector to build predictive models of what works best for fundraising, activating the base of supporters and the get-out-the-vote activities.”
Pay attention to some of the hotly contested issues and the preparation for 2014 Senate elections, and you will see big data at work and a preview of what’s to come in 2016.
“There will be data testing in the run-up to 2014,” said Steve Parkhurst, political consultant, GPH Consulting. “There have already been debates this year on issues like the sequester, the Second Amendment and immigration, for example, and I’m sure the big data databases are filling up with usable data. The data drill-down is no doubt tracking where voters are looking and what those voters are saying, especially online.”
All of this is not to say that the process will be easy. Analysis of big data is a highly complex task, and at this point in time it requires a very specialized—and often expensive–skill set.
“Not just everyone can set up a big data shop,” said Parkhurst. “The people who are really good at it are going to charge a premium price.”
Luckily, technology providers are heeding the call for products and services that can tame the big data beast. Indeed, said Cukier, two of the biggest barriers to big data are narrow thinking and a dearth of leadership.
“The only real obstacle is one of mindset,” said Cukier. “We need to think creatively about what we can do with the data and how important it is. It takes both ingenuity and leadership.”
Sunday has been a very good day thus far for Newt Gingrich. Take a look at today’s New Hampshire Union Leader Endorsement. I’ve put together a small report on the whole situation over at US Daily Review. I suspect Fargo Bachmann is sharpening her knives yet again, trying to figure out what else she could inaccurately accuse Newt Gingrich of. Fargo Bachmann has become a joke, she has been in freefall since her Iowa victory, but in reality, the field was not set in Iowa. Fargo Bachmann also had about 12 people show up to her Iowa book signing in Iowa on Saturday. She and Team Fargo blamed this on a publisher mixup. Oh well.
>A brief editorial in the Wall Street Journal should make you ask a few questions, after your skin stops crawling:
President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget doesn’t cut much of anything (see above), and certainly not the Internal Revenue Service. The White House is requesting that the most beloved of all government agencies get an additional 5,100 agents next year, no doubt to wring further tax revenue from Americans. The White House wants to give the IRS a 9.4% raise in fiscal 2012, to $13.28 billion. Reuters reports this would allow for a roughly 5% increase in agency manpower to 100,537, including $460 million more for tax enforcement than in 2010.
I’m not for more government, but I will advocate for a big government idea to make a larger point.
What if instead of hiring 5,100 new IRS agents, the government instead gave 5,100 people $500,000 under the watchful eye of the Small Business Administration, and let them go out and create real jobs, and real wealth in America? We could play with the numbers one way or the other, at the high end this is $2.5 Billion. $250,000 instead would be $1.25 Billion. Something like that would be a real stimulus, not creating more government workers.
So many people are documenting their thoughts about Ronald Reagan on this, his 100th birthday, so I will give in to the temptation and offer some of my memories as well.
My earliest memories of President Reagan go back to my third grade year. One of my best friends at the time (Mike M., he knows who he is) and I stood up in front of our class and each recited the 40 Presidents at the time, in order. And of course, at that time Reagan was the 40th and last President. Mike M. and I both got extra credit for doing this, and we were the only two in the entire 20-25 student class to do this.
Our third grade class wrote letters to the White House when we were studying the Presidency. Each student who mailed a letter, received a package in the mail which contained an 8×10 of President Reagan (the now infamous bust shot of Reagan with the American flag in the background), a book/magazine about the White House (a book/magazine that I still have to this day) and a letter from the President thanking us for writing and encouraging us to study further. Yes, I realize this was not a personal letter, but the 8×10 got thumb-tacked to my bedroom wall, how many third graders can say that? What can I say, I always thought President Reagan looked cool. He was the same age as my grandfather, and I thought that was cool too. My grandfather would have been 100 later this year, I’ll write about that in due time.
In 1984, my classroom did a secret ballot vote for Reagan vs. Mondale. The 22-1 defeat I suffered that day was made better when I read about the landslide victory the next morning on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News. I’ll take 49-1 across the country every time.
Finally, I remember President Reagan speaking to the country the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded. My class at the time was watching tv live when the shuttle took off, as we were studying astronomy and all the teachers in America were especially intrigued with Astronaut (and teacher) Christa McAuliffe being on that space flight. I remember President Reagan speaking to the country, and especially singling out the students of America, practically talking directly to us. Again, it was like grandpa was speaking right to me.
I was an adult when President Reagan revealed he was suffering from Alzheimers. I was living in Georgia, working on a congressional campaign, when the President died in 2004. I have been to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, three times, the first time being in 1999. I have even visited the Library there as a researcher, where I was able to look at papers from the archives. I have twice been able to stand where the President is buried, where he will forever face the sunsets in the west, when the sun drops below the mountains of Simi Valley at the end of each day.
Anyway, those are my recollections for this momentous day celebrating a momentous man.