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Project Orca: How an IT Disaster Destroyed Republicans' Get-Out-The-Vote Effort

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the whale-of-a-campaign-killer dept.

Republicans 578

cheesecake23 writes "Many talking heads have attributed Obama's success to an unmatched 'ground game.' Now, inside reports from campaign volunteers suggest that Project Orca, a Republican, tech-based voter monitoring effort with 37,000 volunteers in swing states, turned out to be an epic failure due to dismal IT. Problems ranged from state-wide incorrect PINs, to misleading and delayed information packets delivered to volunteers, to a server outage and missing redirection of secure URLs."

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578 comments

Serves them right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935843)

I guess this is what happens when your backward, anti-freedom police state party systematically alienates all the programmers and sysadmins and hackers, all the good techs and IT personnel who otherwise might have wanted to help you.

Good riddance.

Re:Serves them right (1, Offtopic)

therealobsideus (1610557) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935879)

Actually I can see that. And I can personally attest to the amazing infrastructure the OFA campaign.

Re:Serves them right (-1, Flamebait)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936229)

Obama's ground game was so good that precincts regularly had registered voters in excess of eligible voters and has near or 100% turn out.

The problem with Republicans is that they don't cheat as well as the Democrats.

Re:Serves them right (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936295)

Is that what you are reduced to telling yourself?

You are almost at derp level potato. Get over it, he lost fair and square. Hate, racism and tax cuts for the rich are not American values anymore.

Re:Serves them right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936341)

Hate [...] are not American values anymore.

And yet the Democrats also keep on spewing the hate against anybody who dares to disagree with them or challenge their plans. Imagine that.

Guess it only counts as hate when you're disagreeing with a liberal, not when you're bashing rural, religious, old, or uneducated people, huh?

Re:Serves them right (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936375)

I am not democrat, did not vote for Obama either.

Laughing about the end of these sorts of values is not hate, it is joy. Try not to cry yourself to sleep again. That was a joke by the way. In a few weeks you might even be able to laugh at it.

Re:Serves them right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935917)

I guess this is what happens when your backward, anti-freedom police state party systematically alienates all the programmers and sysadmins and hackers, all the good techs and IT personnel who otherwise might have wanted to help you.

Good riddance.

damn, the IQ has really dropped around here in the last 12 years or so...

Re:Serves them right (-1, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936009)

Wow a Romney supporter....

Re:Serves them right (-1, Flamebait)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936111)

Seriously, this place has turned into such a lapdog to the Democratic Party that I can't stand to read it anymore.

Mod me down. I don't give a fuck. This is my last slashdot post.

Re:Serves them right (1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936159)

Good riddance.

This place is not a lapdop to the Democratic party. I bet we have just as many Greens and Libertarians. What we don't have are a bunch of far rightwing Fascists that love to protect the 1%.

Keep crying your tears are delicious.

Re:Serves them right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936271)

is that anything like a lapdog

Re:Serves them right (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936313)

Sorry, the laughing got in the way of my typing. I promise if slashdot had an edit function I would fix it.

Re:Serves them right (5, Insightful)

tylikcat (1578365) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936241)

1) One can certainly be anti-GOP without being pro-Democrat. I found Obama moderately more tolerable than Romney - which is really saying something considering how I feel about Obama. (Surveillance society? Authorizing assasination? Not even to get in to things like how TSA is basically being used for extra-judicial harrassment, which is certainly a bigger problem than just the Obama administration considering how the courts are punting on regulating TSA.)

2) Adopting policies that are pro-science and pro-math might do a lot to win over the /. crowd. Pro-sex might help as well ;-)

Re:Serves them right (1, Troll)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935919)

The Republicans probably outsourced IT management to India, but you're fool if you don't believe that Democrats aren't also going to give us a police state. The first four years of Obama's term should have already clued you in.

Re:Serves them right (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935941)

Yeah, because Obama didn't extend and expand the Patriot act or anything.
 
I just love how the talking points of one party applies to the other with equal force but the big mouths from both parties try to act blameless.
 
The loss of freedom in the US is a collaborative effort between the two parties but they play it off like it isn't. This keeps the one party system alive and keeps the citizens asleep.

Re:Serves them right (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936165)

We can't help it. This stuff is just so hilarious. Instead of doing some honest soul searching and acknowledging the fact that the electorate has changed, the GOP wants to kid themselves with nonsense like this.

A server crash is completely irrelevant to the fact that you are actively antagonizing anyone that isn't an old white male fundie.

You run Communist style purges on your own top people and then are surprised when your "true conservatives" tend to be intolerable nutbags.

Re:Serves them right (5, Informative)

Bob-taro (996889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936287)

It reminds me of an interesting passage from "That Hideous Strength". I loved it, but it's by C.S.Lewis and is not-at-all-subtly Christian, which I'm sure would offend a lot of slashdot readers.

“But I don’t see how one’s going to start a newspaper stunt without being political. Is it Left or Right papers that are going to print all this rot?”

“Both, honey, both,” said Miss Hardcastle. “Don’t you understand anything? Isn’t it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and a fierce Right, both on their toes and terrified of the other? That’s how things get done. Any opposition to the N.I.C.E. is represented as a Left racket in the Right papers and a Right racket in the Left papers. If it’s properly done, you get each side outbidding the other in support of us–to refute the enemy slanders. Of course we’re non-political. The real power always is.”

“I don’t believe you can do that,” said Mark. “Not with the papers that are read by educated people.”

“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader that can be gulled. All our difficulty comes from the others. When did you meet a workman who believes in the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair Flats. He is our problem. We need to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They are all right already. They’ll believe anything.”

I often think about especially that last bit when reading slashdot. Of course, later on in the story it says "Miss Hardcastle apparently overestimated the resistance of the working class to propaganda." (or something to that effect).

Re:Serves them right (0, Offtopic)

hardihoot (1044510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936373)

I agree with you. Although I voted for Romney it was without any enthusiasm. Voting for Romney was as exciting as voting for a spreadsheet.

Truth is, Obama has more charisma than Romney and a more engaging personality, at least it appears that way. When I would watch Romney his smile seemed forced much of the time and he had an exasperated look in his eyes which caused me to think he might not be able to handle the pressures of being president.

I voted for him anyway, mainly in the hopes his blank-slate personality could be written on by the Tea Party conservatives who could mold him into a more conservative entity, guided by Ryan. I had the same mindset when I voted for McCain, hoping Palin's conservatism would steer the doddering McCain into a more conservative approach. Anyway, it is over. I am not bitter my candidate lost. Romney lost because he was a lame politician who never articulated any clear position only babbling platitudes. His voice sounded like some hack stubbing out cigarettes telling me whatever it is I wanted to hear. Romney did not seem all that genuine to me, just a moderate, wishy-washy Democrat wannabe. As someone who passed health care legislation in Massachoositz, few if any conservatives believed him when he said he would retract/modify Obamacare.

So many of my Republican brethren stayed home and let Obama, like a vile case of diarrhea, run its course.

My pick for pres. in 2016: Bobby Jindal. I think he can do it.

Re:Serves them right (1, Offtopic)

TheRedSeven (1234758) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935955)

Yes, because Obama/his administration hasn't curtailed freedom at all through increased warrentless wiretapping of Americans, by giving retroactive immunity to telcos who aided in breaking the law, by fighting for punitive laws that would cripple the internet, by negotiating lousy treaties that would reduce freedom, by sending the FBI to foreign countries to seize property ...

I'm with you. The Republicans of the past 12 years have not been supporters of technology or freedom by any means. But neither have the Democrats.

Re:Serves them right (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936023)

LMOL keep thinking that zippy...Republicans think the internet is a series of tubes....who do you really think supports technology.....

Re:Serves them right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936189)

LMOL keep thinking that zippy...Republicans think the internet is a series of tubes....who do you really think supports technology.....

As ignorant as Republicans are of technology, describing the internet as a series of tubes was excellent. The metaphor accurately conveys how packets move through routers' FIFO queues during congestion. Links are so fast now that packets spend more time in routers moving through these metaphorical tubes than they do actually being carried on a wire or fiber.

It's too bad the metaphor was offered by a Republican, otherwise it could have been a teaching tool rather than a joke.

Re:Serves them right (2, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936397)

Republicans think the internet is a series of tubes...

Ted Stevens has been dead a while, you can stop pissing on his corpse now.

Re:Serves them right (1, Offtopic)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936085)

Get your facts correct. The bill that gave the telcos immunity passed in July 2008 before Obama was elected. Though he did later defend that bill as president. This was after the House caved to Bush after previously passing a bill that would have not granted immunity..

Re:Serves them right (-1, Offtopic)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936347)

Get your facts correct, as senator in summer 2008 Obama flip-flopped and *supported* the bill.

Lying flip flopper, it's what he does.

Re:Serves them right (5, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936011)

It's like the argument put forward by Neal Stephenson in Cryptonomicon - the Allies won WWII because they had the best technology, and the reason they had the best technology was because they were't the biggest assholes.

http://markpasc.org/blog/gems/athena.html [markpasc.org]

Re:Serves them right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936219)

Turing may have been gay, but I not sure I've read anything about the size of his a-hole :P

Re:Serves them right (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936391)

bullshit, most Nazi technology e.g. aircraft was superior.

now that subset known as "information technology" might be another matter....

Re:Serves them right (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936239)

This sort of counter-bigotry and counter-hatred is as trashy and needlessly spiteful as any the GOP side can muster. Post-election is a time for healing and a time to work towards unity. Slashdot hates the polarized atmosphere of US politics, yet here we are deepening that divide even in a time of victory. Democrats, as the victors, need to be magnanimous, not petty like this.

Re:Serves them right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936383)

Or, more succinctly: "learn to take yes for an answer," and shut the fuck up about all the people who told you "no" before.

Re:Serves them right (1, Troll)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936273)

that's half of it.

and the other half is that a backward, anti-freedom police state party full of mega-corporate bitches won.

Past the hot button issues that give the illusion that people have a choice, Obama has done a *wonderful* job continuing the very worst of the Bush-Cheney agenda. what a liar, what a crook, what an empty suit. Even his vaunted "Health Care Bill" does nothing but further enrich big pharmy, big insurance, big healthcare chains.

Re:Serves them right (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936363)

Can we get rid of the brainless AC posts already? They're all shoot-from-the-lip ignoramuses like this asshole.

I'm an Obamatron, but I can't abide the Huffpost. So I learned about this fiasco from Newser, which linked a conservative web site [commentarymagazine.com] which linked John Ekdahl's blog [ace.mu.nu]. John's a Romney volunteer, and his scathing description of Orca is informed by his day job as a web developer. And the there's Pudge [pudge.net], who helped design Slashdot, and who I presume voted for Romney, unless he considers him too liberal.

So obviously there's no absence of IT talent on the right side of the aisle. What is missing is administrative judgment by Romney himself, who obviously bought some IT snakeoil from somebody, and has generally managed to find total clowns to run his campaign.

People keep telling me about this brilliant guy named Mitt Romney who had a brilliant academic career (MBA and JD from Harvard), did well as a management consultant and equity capitalist, and accomplished great things as Governor of MA, even though the other party controlled the legislature. But I just don't see how that can be the same guy!

Demographics and the Republican Party (5, Funny)

AMCandel (1116349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935883)

Looks like all his competent IT people self-deported to the other campaign?

Or... (5, Insightful)

DumbSwede (521261) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935931)

Perhaps more people just wanted to vote for Obama.
I'd hate to think it all comes down to how good your IT team is (even though I'm on one).

Then again, perhaps it is some comfort to the Republican's -- "All we have to do is better IT next time" -- and not bother to change the message.

Re:Or... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935991)

I'd hate to think it all comes down to how good your IT team is (even though I'm on one).

For this to be true, we'd have to assume that giving a speech last minute is enough to sway a voter to vote or change their votes, I disagree. Showing your face and saying a few choice words shouldn't be why people follow anybody, actions however...

Also LOL @ botching an application w a counter and geolocation capabilities.

Re:Or... (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936025)

Yeah, in this particular election I think all these stories about GOTV efforts and ground games are unlikely to be pointing to real deciding factors. In a 2004-style election where the winner comes down to maybe, but when you're talking about 5% shifts, that starts to get out of the range of what you can get from just better phone-banking.

Re:Or... (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936071)

Ugh, Slashdot ate part of my comment due to a <.

Reposting:

Yeah, in this particular election I think all these stories about GOTV efforts and ground games are unlikely to be pointing to real deciding factors. In a 2004-style election where the winner comes down to <1%, maybe. And this year, it's plausible some better turnout operations could've flipped Florida, which Romney only lost by 0.6%. But to win overall, he'd need to flip all of: Florida (0.6%), Ohio (1.9%), Virginia (3.0%), and Colorado (4.7%). The first is plausible, and the second is on the edge of possibility, but once you're talking about 5% shifts, that starts to get out of the range of what you can get from just better phone-banking.

Re:Or... (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936343)

But it's not just phone banking. From my understanding, what Obama's campaign did was more Big Data oriented, gathering data on individual voters to target the right approach for each of them. Is this a persuadable voter? What issues will he/she respond to best? What method to reach them is best, a phone call or an in-person visit? And then armed with that data, following through to the local ground teams.

I would not be shocked to learn that that kind of targeted application of persuasion, knowing the weakness, applying the right pressure in the right way at the right time, can absolutely move 5% of a vote.

And I think this is why the Republican party is pretty well doomed. What will win elections in the future is science and data. Not that "science and data" are political issues, but the understanding that there is a science to winning elections, through the surgical collection and exploitation of data. This is not the way a large amount of the Republican leadership thinks. They will continue to believe that elections "should" be decided based on feel-good flag waving and religiosity, and they will not change that mindset, even though better application of math and technology has twice allowed a black dude to beat rich white guys to the White House.

And on a completely unrelated note, I hope you choke on your 3 digit UID. grumble...

Re:Or... (2)

skids (119237) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936113)

Were I to listen to my paranoia coprocessor, it would have me believe that every excuse offered that seems to shield the right from some serious soul searching also serves to make it sound like "the next time will be better" to all the mark^H^H^H^Hdonors. And the Romney team was "shellshocked" in the same way Bain Capital is when one of their holdings collapses after assuming mounds of debt to pay Bain Capital.

But for once I will diligently apply Occam's Razor and attribute the whole mess to stupidity.

Re:Or... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936285)

Were I to listen to my paranoia coprocessor, it would have me believe that every excuse offered that seems to shield the right from some serious soul searching also serves to make it sound like "the next time will be better" to all the mark^H^H^H^Hdonors. And the Romney team was "shellshocked" in the same way Bain Capital is when one of their holdings collapses after assuming mounds of debt to pay Bain Capital.

But for once I will diligently apply Occam's Razor and attribute the whole mess to stupidity.

You're thinking of Hanlon's Razor. Not that Occam isn't totally inapplicable here.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936291)

and not bother to change the message.

"Changing the message" only makes sense if a group's purpose is just to win power.
What if the majority just doesn't agree with your genuine beliefs? Do you just go along with the crowd, or stay true to your convictions?

LOL rednecks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935939)

Do they even have "the Internets" in trailer parks, yet? I would think it wouldnn't ve economical to lay down the tubes there.

Re:LOL urbanites (1, Insightful)

sitarlo (792966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936093)

I'm always amazed at how *intolerant* leftists can be. I live in a rural "redneck" community and we have very little crime, pollution, racism and unemployment here. Our schools are ranked some of the highest in the nation and just about everyone I know graduated college. Maybe we're not as dumb as the stereotype you submit to says we are.

Re:LOL urbanites (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936225)

I'm a leftist? That's news to me since I solely vote Constitution Party. Nothing more funny, though, than someone whining about stereotypes and yet jumping to stereotypical conclusions themselves.

Also, if your area is so great why don't you actually name it rather than being vague? Sounds like someone's bullshitting.

Re:LOL urbanites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936377)

I'm always amazed at how *intolerant* leftists can be. I live in a rural "redneck" community and we have very little crime, pollution, racism and unemployment here. Our schools are ranked some of the highest in the nation and just about everyone I know graduated college. Maybe we're not as dumb as the stereotype you submit to says we are.

Crime, education, unemployment, etc is markedy worse in smaller communities (with the exception of Detroit). So you might live in an exception, then again you might live in a fantasy too.

Re:LOL urbanites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936405)

Maybe we're not as dumb as the stereotype you submit to says we are.

Or, more likely, you're mislabeling the community as "redneck" when it's really just "not densely populated".

Republiclowns (1, Flamebait)

sunspot42 (455706) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935975)

I thought these Republican idiots were supposed to be great businessmen and job creators. So how is it the Kenyan socialist communist fascist Marxist Muslim empty chair community organizer ran a campaign that outfoxed and outplayed them at every turn, even without having an entire media empire (Rupert Murdoch) spewing favorable propaganda 24/7 for free?

You'd almost think these Republican business geniuses were really a bunch of incompetent, thieving rich idiots who couldn't run a successful taco stand without help from their daddy's buddies and generous taxpayer subsidies coming from people who, you know, actually work for a living.

Re:Republiclowns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936065)

Fanboi much, Goosestepper?

Re:Republiclowns (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936275)

You can only really judge a man by his results. As much lip service as is given to "captains of industry", it seems like they botched it this time. They had it about as good as they're going to get it. Obama hasn't finished cleaning up the mess they left from before. So he was very vulnerable from a "but how are you doing now" perspective.

The "captains of industry" failed to sell that. They failed to execute despite blowing a smaller nations debt on the effort.

Re:Republiclowns (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936301)

Mitt's problem is that he actually believed his own BS. As a "business executive" he should indeed have been able to run a brilliant campaign. The problem is, Mitt's "executive experience" was at Bain Capital.

Bain Capital is not a _real_ company. It doesn't build products or provide services. It is just a massive pump-and-dump and flipping operation. Therefore it makes sense that this isn't the place where somebody would actually hone executive skills. Romney's "business experience", just like his business itself, is a well crafted illusion. Bain Capital is a Potemkin village. Outward appearances suggest it's a real business but all it is is a place where people like Romney can take advantage of legal, fiscal, and moral loopholes to pump money out of legitimate wealth-creating companies.

After years of working there Mitt had himself convinced that he was a real executive. He wasn't. When faced with the real and challenging task of taking the presidency, there were no shortcuts to be taken, no loopholes to take advantage of. It was a true test of his business skills. And he failed MISERABLY.

The real problem is 37,000 GOTV for several states (4, Funny)

jbeach (852844) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935979)

The Obama campaign probably had that many people in Ohio just getting the coffee.

Must have been God's will. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935983)

After all in the case of legitimate server outage the internet has a way to repair itself

Re:Must have been God's will. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936049)

good one lol

Re:Must have been God's will. (5, Funny)

John3 (85454) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936233)

Actually in situations like this the internet has a way to shut that whole thing down.

Re:Must have been God's will. (0)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936359)

If I hadn't already posted in this thread I'd be spending my mod points on you, AC...

I got tons of Romney calls (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41935987)

In fact the escalation of calls from celebrity callers including gov Ridge urging me to vote Romney continued until minutes before the polls closed at 8pm and I had voted for Gary Johnson hours earlier.

Romney's loss was a Romney failure, not an IT failure.

Re:I got tons of Romney calls (4, Interesting)

justdave72 (651133) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936043)

Yeah, I got so sick of the Romney calls that I put an IVR on my home phone line that prompted to press 1 to talk to a human, and hung up if they didn't dial anything, without ringing my phones or letting them leave voicemail. According to my logs that blocked 8 calls (the callerID on each was either unknown, or did point at a known Republican call center) during the 24 hours leading up to the election.

Quote (5, Funny)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | about a year and a half ago | (#41935995)

I forgot to add this great tweet [twitchy.com] by the author of the final story linked in TFS when I submitted this to Slashdot:

Long story short: Don't beta-test an election.

Re:Quote (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936299)

One might wonder what would have happened if the Romney campaign had had an experienced business manager with an MBA from a prestigious university leading them.

Who prints a 60 page PDF? (2)

John3 (85454) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936005)

The author of the linked story at Business Insider [businessinsider.com] sounds quasi-tech and was a volunteer for the phone calls. He received an email late Monday night with a 60 page PDF of instructions and lists of names to call, and complained that he had to print it at home. Who prints PDF's when they can just view the document on their PC and make the calls, especially on a home inkjet printer?

It sounds like not only was the development of this tool a disaster but so was implementation at the user end point. If this tech-savvy guy tried to print at home with limited success just imagine what the "regular" Romney supporters were doing (or not doing) when they got the 60 page PDF.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936047)

I imagine your average Romney supporter probably looks something like your average Romney voter. Older, white, and not as well educated, especially about technology. Basically your grandfather. Send your grandfather a 60 page PDF and what is he going to do? He's going to print it out.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (2)

John3 (85454) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936123)

My dad is 82, and he won't print out more than a page or two because he's too cheap. :)

But the guy writing the article talked about DDOS and redundancy for the servers so he probably is familiar with the ability to view a PDF (though for some reason he was surprised that he could not print b&w documents with just an HP magenta cartridge).

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936183)

He probably knows a lot of big words and works for a very expensive and worthless contracting group. What he does not do is live and breath tech.

If you want to flip through PDFs that is pretty much the only thing tablets are the absolute best at.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (1)

Jon_S (15368) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936387)

Actually, he said only his magenta cartridge was empty - his black cartridge had ink, but the HP printer refused to print because there was one empty cartridge. Note, the PDF was B/W.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936117)

What's his problem?

He's a Romney supporter, printing it out shouldn't be a problem.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (3, Interesting)

Darktan (817653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936127)

Who distributes a 60 page PDF when the whole rest of the operation is a web site? If they all needed internet access to use the app, why didn't the web application just give each volunteer their customized list?

As always, the group of technomorons at the top tell you it's all digital, then give out a PDF of a scan of a fax.

That's not how it worked... (1)

sirwired (27582) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936281)

The 60-page printout was not a list of "people to call"; it was a voter list to be used for check-offs at a polling place (not a home) if the app didn't work. The campaign is supposed to use the check-off information to generate call lists that get issued to local campaign offices, but the poll worker doesn't deal with any of that.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936289)

First off, he had to print it, because he wasn't the one making the calls. He was supposed to take the list with him to the polls, cross off people who'd voted, then hand the list off to someone else who would then call the people who hadn't voted yet.

But assuming that wasn't the case, and he just wanted to print it out: I print pdfs, especially the big ones. I like being able to flip back and forth, I like being able to write notes in the margins, and I like having my reference materials on my desk so my monitor can be used for other things. I realize there are commands to do all these things without printing, but I find them annoying and not an improvement over physical pages. Of the things that seemed to go wrong, failure-to-print wasn't something that struck me as particularly alarming.

On the other hand, I realize that my affinity for physical paper means that it's my responsibility to keep my printer working, and I'm not going to get mad at someone else if I can't print.

Re:Who prints a 60 page PDF? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936355)

He could not email to the people at the polls?
Any idea what year this is grandpa?

I worked on Romney's IT team (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936027)

I worked on Romney's IT team.

Out of the blue one day, we were told to build a 30-foot stage in the server room. Gathered the guys, and we built that 30-foot stage, not knowing what it was for. Just days later, all three shifts were told to assemble in the IT server room.

A group of people walked out on that stage, and told us that the plant is now closed, and all of you are fired. I looked both ways, I looked at the crowd, and we all just lost our jobs. We donâ(TM)t have an income.

Mitt Romney made over a hundred million dollars by shutting down our IT infrastructure, and devastated our lives.

Turns out that when we built that stage, it was like building my own coffin. And it just made me sick.

SO GLAD THIS ELECTION'S OVER

Re:I worked on Romney's IT team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936135)

Gathered the guys, and we built that 30-foot stage

Must have really pissed you off when Romney stepped on to the stage and announced that he built it.

Re:I worked on Romney's IT team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936209)

Must have pissed him off even more when Obama stopped by to tell him that he didn't really build that stage.

Re:I worked on Romney's IT team (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936279)

Must have pissed you off when Romney lost.

Go read that Obama quote again, because he said nothing like what you said. Leaving out words and attacking strawmen is not getting Republicans elected. You might want to make a note of that.

"epic failure" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936031)

Please stop.

The Other Side Has Its Failures (3, Insightful)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936051)

Four times in four days, I had Democratic canvassers knock at my door and pester me about whether I voted yet. I told them yes, I voted absentee, so my choices have already been made, thanks for stopping by, have a great day, good luck, etc.

Two of the four tried to unload pamphlet after pamphlet on me after I clearly said "Already voted, thanks for asking, our ballots are cast." By the fourth day, I was quite irked.

How about we ditch the annoying door-to-door crap and stick to good old fashioned email spam? You can buy a precompiled list of my political viewpoints, financial status, and email addresses from ${SOCIAL_NETWORK} for pennies on the dollar. That way I can just filter and delete what I don't want to read instead of having to stand at my door trying to talk over some rambling campaign volunteer and push their papers right back at them.

Re:The Other Side Has Its Failures (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936139)

Sorry, I said "whether I voted yet" when I meant to say "whether I was planning to vote." Please take note of this change for all future responses.

Sincerely, The Management

Re:The Other Side Has Its Failures (1)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936201)

How about we ditch the annoying door-to-door crap and stick to good old fashioned email spam?

Um, how old are you exactly? ;-)

Re:The Other Side Has Its Failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936407)

Many months ago, back during the primaries, a guy came to my door telling me about the wonders of voting for obama. I pointed out that 1)I was a republican and actually knew obama's record and 2)I was living in a no soliciting communitee. The first point we could argue about but the second made him stopping by my door against the law. His response was 'Oh, its all right. I'm a Democrate.'

Conservatives bad at High tech? (1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936055)

Conservatives and Oldsters bad with technology? Who would have ever expected that?

Re:Conservatives bad at High tech? (3, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936167)

I don't know, I think Republicans, reknowned for their respect for nerds, are capable of producing useful, eye catching, state of the art, web sites when they try: http://unskewedpolls.com/ [unskewedpolls.com]

Re:Conservatives bad at High tech? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936259)

Did you see what that asshole said about Nate Silver?

He could not refute his numbers so he attacked him personally. Basically picked on him like the high school bully he used to be.

This is what is wrong with the GOP. At this rate we at least won't have to worry about them much longer. The old white bigot demographic is dying out.

Re:Conservatives bad at High tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936293)

Slashdotters whoring karma by making obvious statements that comfortably confirm the uncritically accepted ideologies of other Slashdotters? Who would have ever expected that?

Excuses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936057)

Republicans are quick to offer a plethora of options in response to any problem as long as none of them address the problem. They'll run with the flavor of the week as the absolute truth until too many people learn why it's bs and they change the narrative before too many people get wise and a herd immunity develops.
They'll have a potential answer and say it's the absolute eternal truth and it will turn out to be total crap and 4-8 weeks later there will be a completely different absolute and eternal truth to answer the same problem (for a while). See tort reform. See all of their nominees taking the leader position and being fully supported (for a while) in the dumbest game of 'hot potato'. The only way they can ever stick with an answer is when they can't think of one to replace it.

After we find out this is bs, you'll see 20 more excuses for why Mitt Romney didn't win and none of them will be simply because more Americans didn't want him.
BTW, update your spam filters with "Romney" until at least the next campaign season.

It wasn't even close (4, Insightful)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936061)

The margins are alot higher than the Republicans want to admit...this was a first class ass whooping.

Voter Suppression! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936067)

This must be the voter suppression Karl Rove was talking about...

Cybergate (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936137)

Hmmm. That gives me an idea. Perhaps the next "Watergate" will involve cyber warfare.

Must not have been all that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936141)

They still got quite close (within 2.5 million or so votes) to Obama's numbers. McCain could only wish to be so lucky! His gap was something like 5x that of Romney.

that's why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936175)

There was a very republican looking dude hanging around my polling place, conspicuously looking over the shoulders of the poll-worker ladies at the A-G, H-K ... etc desks where you check in to get your ballot. He was carrying an iPad and routinely cursing under his breath and saying "the server died again"! I knew he couldn't be a real poll worker because our ballots were all paper, read by a 70's-era multiple-choice standardized test reader thing. Not a network cable or a computer in sight.

That being said, this smacks to me of project managers run amok.
Let me get this straight: your strategy to win the election is to go around *on election day* and figure out who is voting and who isn't and then presumably call the people who haven't voted individually and make sure they vote.

Yeah. That sounds like a winner to me.

You could of course ... instead, try not running a billionare who made his money primarily by inheriting it and dismantling companies by outsourcing jobs to China. You could try running on a platform that doesn't shout from the mountain tops: "HALF OF AMERICA ARE ASSHOLE BUMS!" ... you could try selling your IDEAS rather than just fearmongering and pandering.

But hey! you know ... whatever works dude.

Oh wait ... that doesn't work. Here's hoping the Republican strategy changes from here on out.
For all of us, baby.

Are there truly any IT failures? (2)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936179)

Maybe the people chosen to implement the IT for Project Orca really didn't want Romney to be president? It takes a village.

Rich businessman != good manager (3, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936213)

I've had painful experience of this on more than one job. Something to consider the next time someone runs with the pitch "I have a lot of money, so I know how to run the country". Some people are rich through connections, looting, or luck.

Taking self destructive behavior to a new art. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41936245)

The conservative Republicans - they've done it. Dozens of knee-slapping gaffes. Ideas that *laugh* in the face of tedious concepts like reality. Well done, fellows. Well done.

Incompatible narratives (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41936251)

On the one hand, we have this story claiming that a failed get-out-the-vote effort was a significant factor in Romney's defeat. On the other, we have yesterday's story about how Nate Silver's statistical analysis of pre-election polls accurately predicted the outcome in all fifty states. If the first is true, then Silver's predictions were only accidentally correct, beating astronomical odds; or else Nate has somehow factored Republican IT failures into his statistical models. Neither seems plausible, so I don't believe the Orca troubles were actually very important.

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