HOW OBAMA WON A RACE HE COULD HAVE LOST

Being an objective journalist does not mean always equivocating, as many believe they have to do.  Sometimes impartial analysis forces one to make certain conclusions that are objective but which displease one segment of the population.  In this case, as a Political Analyst who concluded President Barack Obama was going to win reelection, it was not based on any bias towards the President.  Rather, it was founded on an impartial review of the following facts.  Here is why I believe Obama won re-election despite high unemployment and a relatively sluggish and still fragile Economy.

THE OBVIOUS.

Much already has been said about how Governor Romney hurt his own campaign by dramatically changing so many positions.  The electorate could understand this occurring a few times as a person’s positions evolved but the sheer number of reversals and the significance of the issues made Romney appear to have no sincere beliefs.  This was exacerbated by his attempts to parse Romneycare and Obamacare when most voters realized the latter was a national version of the former.  And, in fact, there may have been more electoral support for Obamacare within key demographics than many pundits realized.

In addition, Romney’s sharp turn to the right, which he believed was necessary to win the Republican nomination, put him on a path which made him less attractive to unaffiliated and uncommitted voters as well as potentially convertible Democrats.  By taking far too long to cast himself in a more centrist mode, when he attempted to do so, it was not seen as sincere.  And due to his position changes, it was difficult for him to appear convincing.  In essence, he undermined his own credibility.

ROMNEY’S OVERCONFIDENCE.

At the beginning of the race, Governor Romney and many of his supporters looked at the economic data and believed it would be impossible for any incumbent to survive the disappointment of millions of Americans in the state of the American Economy.

Furthermore, as a sophisticated businessman and someone who understood economic data, Romney knew it was unlikely the Economy would improve substantially over the course of the campaign.  And he was right, it didn’t.

But it turned out the marginal improvements which did occur were enough to give Obama the ammunition he needed to successfully argue the country was at least headed in the right direction.  Romney underestimated the power of a handful of small numbers (e.g., unemployment slowly going from 9% to 7.8% even though a large part of that excluded people who had altogether given up on finding work and were no longer considered part of the workforce).

The Romney campaign’s overconfidence extended to a belief that it needed to focus on its Republican base.  The reality was that, if Romney did not have his base shored up by August, he was in trouble.  And he failed to realize how serious the problem was.

By selecting Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney focused on his desire to increase his own Republican support but did so at the cost of gaining unaffiliated voters and conservative Democrats.  Ryan’s inclusion detracted from the need for Romney to appear centrist and reasonable.

Ryan’s fiscal plan gave Democrats an entirely new set of targets — again moving the debate away from the state of the Economy and focusing it on accusations of destroying Medicare, helping the rich, eliminating support for students, et cetera.  This was exacerbated by Romney’s call for an additional $2 trillion in defense spending — an unjustifiable plan given the nation’s budgetary crisis, the fact the Department of Defense was not even requesting the extra funds, and the reality that the U.S. was spending almost as much on military-related expenses as the rest of the world combined.

Again, Romney was “playing it safe” — focusing on efforts which engendered additional marginal support.  This was exemplified after the first Presidential Debate when he and his aides saw their polling numbers change dramatically when Romney presented himself as a reasonable, centrist candidate rather the monster the Obama campaign painted him to be for much of the year.

Romney’s problem was his overconfidence prevented him from seeing how late in the process it was and how difficult it would be to become a more centrist candidate.

PREVENT DEFENSE.

Amazingly, both camps spent the majority of campaign assuming their victory was imminent, if not divinely guaranteed.  Romney could not fathom Obama winning re-election given the track record of President’s in similar economic straits.  Obama could not fathom Romney having any chance of winning after having made such a hard turn to the right to win the Republican nomination.  In an era where every candidate’s word is recorded, Obama believed Romney could not escape himself and, therefore, ultimately would be hoisted by his own petard.

The strange result was a tepid, overly cautious campaign for many months.  Pundits complained neither candidate offered anything substantive.  There were no major proposals or detailed white papers proposing specific policies.  Both camps issued vacuous statements and avoided the tough questions.  Columnists begging for specificity found their requests falling on deaf ears.  Those who encouraged either or both candidate to “Go Big” with new ideas and programs were totally ignored.

None of them realized that political campaigns are about winning.  And neither side believed the other could win and, therefore, there was no upside to being specific or taking chances with bold policy initiatives.  The result was the most boring campaigns waged in the modern era.  Discussions and debates were at the margin or did not even occur at all.

Despite polling data to the contrary, both presidential campaigns played the game as if they were ahead the entire time — cautiously not taking any chances whatsoever.  What was bizarre was the reality that neither candidate was so far ahead that he could take this approach.

In sports, a “Prevent Defense” usually is deployed by a team that has a substantial and perhaps even seemingly insurmountable lead.  In this case,

Romney seemed to want to do nothing and, instead, was depending on some external event to propel him to victory.  Even a modest increase in the Unemployment Rate likely would be the death knell for Obama.  Similarly, the collapse of Greece or Spain appeared likely and even the destruction of the euro seemed possible.  Any of these events would have wreaked havoc with the global economy — sending tsunami-like financial and political shockwaves throughout the United States.  None of these materialized either (although many of them still could happen in the coming months).

The rising tension between Israel and Iran, based on the latter’s progress with its nuclear technology, also had the potential to explode, yet the situation cooled off and disappeared as an issue.

In effect, not one of the events which Romney’s camp assumed would happen and would sweep him to victory occurred.  Obama got lucky not only because none of these events occurred but because Romney elected to rely on such external events rather than campaign in a manner which would have engendered victory.

This is reminiscent of many teams who were ahead and played a Prevent D, only to find out they actually were making themselves vulnerable to an opponent who exploited the openings they were given — and turned those openings into gaping holes which they used to score and win the game.

ROMNEY LACKED THE “KILLER INSTINCT.”

Again, a sports analogy is appropriate.  In sports, a Killer Instinct refers to an athlete or team which, when ahead of its opponent, competes even more fiercely in an effort to bury the opposition so deeply that it has no chance of prevailing.  If a team is ahead in a football game 30-0, it tries to increase its lead to 40 points or even more so there simply is not enough time for the losing team to catch up.

Romney’s performance in the first Presidential Debate was overwhelming.  Not only did he do a great job attacking the President while laying out his own agenda and plans, he set the stage for a new dynamic in the campaign.  Polling data suggested voters were impressed with Romney — selecting him as the winner of the debate by 2-to-1 and 3-to-1 margins.

Romney was poised to strike.  Now was the time for him to push even harder by making the case Obama’s foreign policies had failed and his economic plan’s success was so modest it would take decades for the country to return to prior levels of prosperity.

Instead the Romney camp became overconfident and “played it safe.”  At the next debate, Romney parried with Obama but never scored decisively. Obama came well-prepared to the second debate — a sharp departure from the first debate — and Romney failed to exploit a number of opportunities.

And in the third debate, Romney was almost deferential — deploying a strategy befitting a candidate who was substantially ahead.  The irony was he remained behind but did not even know it.

Romney had opportunities to go after Obama on Libya, especially with the disaster in Benghazi.  The fact a U.S. ambassador had been killed was a key point Romney failed to impress upon the American people in the second debate.  He should have been outraged and focused on the fact this was the first time an ambassador had been killed in a third of a century — meaning a majority of Americans weren’t even alive at the time.  Instead there seemed to almost be silence from Romney during the debates when this could have been the focus of a charge of failure.  (When Romney did try to raise the issue in the second debate, he was shot down by the moderator, who inappropriately stepped out of her impartial role.)

Romney could have argued U.S. policy seemed to be failing worldwide, especially given the situation in the Middle East (including Syria), the ascendancy of Iran and its progress towards becoming a nuclear power, the terrible drug-fueled total of 60,000 deaths in Mexico fueled by American drug demand, the heightened friction with Israel, and the deterioration of conditions in both Iraq and Afghanistan despite what may end up being an ultimate expenditure of $2 trillion.

For whatever reasons — possibly the belief the Economy was the only issue that mattered or the Romney campaign’s belief that voters were ignorant about foreign affairs — Romney failed to take advantage of these opportunities.  When he did make an attempt, his follow-up was meager.

Of course, the Obama camp was ready to retort these charges and it is possible Romney’s advisers did not see this battle as worthwhile — especially if some of Romney’s accusations on the campaign trail were not accurate — but the situation  had the potential to open a new line of attack on the President.  By not pursuing it vigorously, Romney lost a significant opportunity to make an impression on voters.

WHY ROMNEY WAS LOSING EARLY BUT DIDN’T APPRECIATE IT.

What the Romney camp failed to recognize was that many voters were casting their ballots well in advance of the November 6th election.  The polls showed Obama ahead in most battleground states.  That meant a plurality or even a majority of votes cast likely were in Obama’s favor.  Hence, during October, Romney was losing the race and needed an even bigger margin of the remaining votes to catch Obama.

His campaign failed to recognize this and, as a result, Romney lost his momentum after the first Presidential Debate.  While some would later argue Hurricane Sandy interrupted the contest and slowed or even stopped Romney’s momentum, the truth was Romney had begun that process in the second debate.  Even without Sandy, Romney’s momentum was fading.

So, by not being aggressive and by not strongly making the case the President’s policies had failed, Romney let Obama off the hook.  The result was millions of votes poured in by mail and at early voting locations with Obama rolling up significant margins.  This made the success Romney needed on Election Day almost unattainable.

Again, by “playing it safe,” Romney forfeited his opportunity to win.  His overconfidence tripped him up and allowed Obama to keep racking up precious votes.  Romney failed to recognize he was changing the opinions of citizens who had already voted.  These people could change their opinions but it was too late to change their votes.

EARLY ADVERTISING.

Another remarkable strategy deployed by the Obama campaign was the decision to begin advertising early in the general election cycle.  The campaign was on the air in the dozen or so battleground states in the spring — far ahead of anyone’s expectations.  This had three ramifications.

First, the effort kept the President’s polling numbers up.  People were amazed at the poor state of the Economy and how Obama’s numbers defied what should have been landslide numbers in Romney’s favor.  These numbers helped keep Obama’s volunteers energized, his base supportive, and his donors writing checks.

Second, the effort forced Romney and the third party organizations supporting him to advertise as well.  This consumed precious resources and, because Obama’s numbers stayed strong, often dissuaded prospective Romney donors from either supporting him as much as they could or even at all.  Hence, the Obama strategy worked as a preemptive strike against the Romney campaign.

Third, and finally and, perhaps, most importantly, the constant barrage of political ads in the battleground states wore thin quickly.  Voters tired of the attacks and, as early as August or even July, began turning out the ads.  Certainly, by Labor Day, no one in the battleground states — where Obama was leading, for the most part — was paying attention.

What this did was dull or even eliminate the opportunity for Romney and his supporters to launch an effective end-of-the-campaign advertising-based attack against Obama.  By eliminating the threat of a successful major assault and reducing it to minor one, Obama’s campaign was able to partially shield itself from the possibility an avalanche of Republican money might materialize towards  the end of the campaign.  Indeed, such an avalanche did materialize but it had little effect on a populace already inured to an unending 24/7 stream of vituperative attack ads.  The Obama strategy worked and effectively neutralized the big money advantage Romney and his allies had as the campaign entered its final few weeks.

SPENDING MONEY WISELY.

Another brilliant strategy of the Obama campaign was to focus on collecting money through the campaign rather than through third party organizations such as 504s, 527s, and other entities.  For the most part, these organizations had some limitations on them in terms of what they could say or with whom they could coordinate.

The biggest factor, however, was the advertising purchase advantage a campaign has over a third party entity.  Political candidates are entitled to a “lowest rate” price from television and radio stations.  This often meant a campaign could buy a 30-second spot for half the price or less than what normally is paid by a station’s regular clients.  And if advertising time was purchased early, the discounts were even greater.

What this resulted in was the Obama campaign creating a Multiplier Effect.  That is, Obama might purchase a television ad normally priced at $15,000 for only $5,000.  The Romney SuperPACs and other third party organizations not only would have to pay the standard price of $15,000 but often faced television station salespeople who would raise the rate to $20,000 or $25,000.  In fact, there were no limits on what the third party organizations supporting either candidate could be charged.

So, although $2 billion may have been spent on television and radio advertising, it is possible the Obama campaign easily stayed competitive in terms of the number and placement of ads, despite the deluge of Republican money supporting Romney.  It even is possible Obama did substantially more with less.”  If this turns out to be true, it will have been a stroke of brilliance by the Obama campaign.

THE WAR ON WOMEN.

Although Romney and Republicans argued the supposed “War on Women” was manufactured by Obama’s campaign and Democratic operatives, it struck a chord with many women who simply want government to respect them and allow them to make their own decisions.

And the truth was a parade of Republican officeholders and candidates continued to make inopportune statements about women, their bodies and rights, contraception, and access to health care.

Whether it was the vaginal probe legislation in Virginia, the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to end its support of Planned Parenthood’s health care for women (due to the machinations of a Republican operative hired by the nonpartisan Foundation), Congressman Todd Akin’s statement regarding “legitimate rape,” an Indiana legislator supporting defunding of Planned Parenthood, Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock’s belief that God intended a woman to have a child even if it came about due to rape, and Romney’s own statements about defunding Planned Parenthood, the truth was an astounding number of Republicans kept giving Democrats ammunition.

Republicans failed to recognize how medieval they appeared and women voters punished them harshly for attitudes which seemed to be throwbacks to the Middle Ages.  Even though the vast majority of Republicans disagreed with the most outrageous statements, the fact they all came from Republicans was far more damaging than Romney and his supporters realized.

What was surprising about the War on Women is Republican strategists had seen the warning shots in 2010 when Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) won his election over Republican Ken Buck due, in part, to several comments on social issues, including ones related to women’s rights.  Bennet bucked the national Republican victory wave and was one of the few bright spots for Democrats in a year they were electorally slaughtered across the country.

The irony was the few races Democrats were winning in 2010 often had their candidates focusing on social issues rather than the Economy.  By giving Democrats anti-women and homophobic ammunition, Republicans occasionally veered off their game-plan and lost.  The shock to political observers was that Republicans worsened their position with a series of even more major gaffes in 2012.  By doing so, Republicans’ self-inflicted wounds moved the debate away from the Economy in 2012 on an even larger scale.

OBAMA’S WAITING GAME.

Obama’s primary strategy, to use a final sports analogy, was to “Run out the clock.”  He knew he was ahead at the beginning of the campaign, as any incumbent President should be, and desperately wanted Election Day to come as soon as possible.

As mentioned, early voting helped Obama tremendously — with some voters casting ballots before other citizens were just beginning to pay attention to the race.

Obama knew he was vulnerable to counterclaims about his “saving the auto industry” because, despite government help, General Motors and Chrysler ended up filing bankruptcy — potentially costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.  Romney missed the boat by arguing the only difference between his plan and the President’s was the investment of taxpayer dollars in a structured bankruptcy.  The President had so convincingly argued the bailout was successful that relatively few Americans remembered the companies both declared bankruptcy anyway.

Obama expected Romney to run commercials which used footage of the President guaranteeing an Unemployment rate drop to 5.4% along with his own statement saying he shouldn’t be elected if he didn’t achieve that goal.  Romney barely focused on the quote or exploited the fact that the statement itself revealed a naiveté about how the Economy works (that is, no one who understands Economics would ever make that kind of specific numerical commitment given the factors which are beyond any President’s control).

Obama’s promise to cut the federal government’s annual deficit in half ended up being so far from reality that it presented another extraordinary opportunity for Romney.  His campaign’s and supporters’ use of that fact came too late to make a difference.

And it all was thwarted, in part, by the fact that none of the dire predictions about hyperinflation or the destruction of the dollar came true.

The final attack with the Reaganesque line, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago” resonated with some voters but was parsed more than many political experts realized.  It turned out Americans were cognizant of how terrible the nation’s situation was exactly four years ago.  While it was true they, as individuals, were not better off, they knew the country was in better shape in the fall of 2012 than it was in the fall of 2008.  And the question began to appear to be so self-centered that many even saw it as selfish — focused on each individual rather than America as a whole.

CONCLUSION: SNATCHING DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY.

In the end, the Romney campaign, with the help of many Republican officeholders, found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory while Obama’s waiting game prevailed.

Some may argue that, had Romney had an additional week or two, he would have one but even this scenario was unlikely.  It was Romney who stopped his own momentum — not Hurricane Sandy, President Obama, or anyone else.  By not realizing how far behind he was in the early voting process and by playing it safe after the first Presidential Debate, Romney forfeited his opportunity to catch up with Obama.  And, as the numbers showed, he never did despite the many opportunities he had to do so.

 

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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” viewable nationwide on COMCAST Video on Demand beginning January 1, 2013 and currently seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com.  He also hosts “Colorado Now! TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3.  It can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.Colorado-Now.com.  Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com .  (C) Copyright 2012 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber.  All rights reserved.
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Simpson-Bowles Washington, DC Event Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Jana Martin
720-335-1414
Email: Jana@HarberTV.com

AL SIMPSON & ERSKINE BOWLES TO HEADLINE
THE GREAT ECONOMICS DEBATE” HOSTED BY AARON HARBER
 
“What Should Citizens Believe and What Should America Do?”
 
Public Invited to Submit Questions and Attend

Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, the Co-Chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (also known as the “Simpson-Bowles Commission”) will headline “The Great Economics Debate” on Friday, September 28th, in Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University (www.bit.ly/Debate2012).  More details and the schedule are available at http://www.bit.ly/InviteTV.

The event also will feature former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, and Dr. Alice Rivlin, former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank and the nation’s first Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as well as the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

Unlike other initiatives related to the Federal Budget and the National Debt, “The Great Economics Debate” will be focused on answering questions asked by voters across the country who are constantly hearing conflicting opinions on what would be the best course of action for the country.  Discussion of actual resolutions of those conflicts will be the highlight of the program, which will be recorded for broadcast.

Senator Simpson explained, “This special media event gives Americans the clear opportunity to examine all the facts for themselves.  Our future depends on moving away from biased and distorted information and towards this nonpartisan, fact-based model created so carefully by Aaron Harber.  I earnestly hope many folks will take advantage of this program and either attend or view it.  It’s a powerful force in helping us to build a strong economic future together.”

The public is invited to submit questions in advance of the event by emailing them to Questions@HarberTV.com by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 26th.  Tickets to the event are free but, due to space limitations, all attendees must register in advance.  Registration is now available to the public online at http://www.bit.ly/EconRSVP.  For a detailed invitation to the event, please go to http://www.bit.ly/InviteTV.

The event also will feature extensive Question & Answer sessions and an expert panel discussion focused on solutions to America’s financial challenges – including discussion of what policies would be most appropriate and most effective to aid the Economy. The event will seek to help shape the first Presidential Debate scheduled for the following week.

The television programming produced from the event will be provided to television networks, stations, and channels as well as newspapers and other publications across the country.  As a public service, COMCAST will make the programs available 24/7 to all 60 million of its viewers at no charge via its Video on Demand service.  SiriusXM radio also will make programs from the event available nationally to its listeners and has asked Harber, who has a Talk Radio background, to participate in live programming to take calls from across the country.

Aaron Harber, television host of “The Aaron Harber Show (TM),” will moderate the debate (www.bit.ly/BioAaron).  Harber, with degrees from Princeton University and Harvard University, will assume the role of an inquiring citizen.  Before moving to television, Harber hosted a national Talk Radio show and was selected as one of the top hosts in the country.

The Aaron Harber Show” is a weekly nonpartisan public affairs television program featuring nationally and internationally prominent guests.  It promotes civil and mutually respectful discourse while encouraging viewers to listen to ideas, opinions, concepts, and facts which may conflict with their own personal views. The show is broadcast in Denver (the nation’s 16th largest media market), in other Colorado television markets, and across the State by COMCAST, KCDO-TV Channel 3, ION (KPXC-TV), and also is available online at http://www.HarberTV.com.  The nonpartisan Democracy & Media Education Foundation is the primary sponsor of the event.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Harber, please contact Jana Martin at 720-335-1414 or Jana@HarberTV.com.

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FACEBOOK CRYBABIES

The Blame Game Begins

The recent spate of complaints about Facebook’s unspectacular stock debut includes thousands of investors who were upset FB’s initial public offering (IPO) did not result in a skyrocketing share price, as often happens with popular new stocks.

Many of those who lost money are upset for one or more of the following reasons:

  1.     The stock’s price failed to go up substantially and has fallen sharply in the days since the IPO.
  2.     The IPO price, in their opinion, was set too high and, as a result, there was no room for a substantial increase.
  3.     The stock’s price was changed only two days before the shares were to begin trading and was raised substantially.
  4.     Orders were botched on the NASDAQ stock market and some trades were mispriced.
  5.     The stock’s underwriter, Morgan Stanley — the company which brought the stock to market — failed to fully disclose an analyst’s report prior to the IPO which reflected negatively on FB.

Should we have sympathy for these investors who, in reality or on paper, lost money on their investments?  The answer is a resounding, “No.”

When anyone buys a stock, they know they are taking a chance.  Most of the complainers simply are upset the stock didn’t go up so they could either sell right away and make a quick profit or hold on for what they hoped would be an upwardly mobile ride.

Most investors knew the fundamentals of the offering made no sense — not only at the IPO price of $38 per share but even at a price equal to half that or less.  At the minimum, they were depending on “The Greater Fool Theory” to save them.  This approach occurs when an investor purchases an overpriced stock but still makes a profit because they are able to find someone else equally or even more gullible.  The real estate industry had an identical experience when home prices were skyrocketing several years ago.  People bought overpriced properties on the assumption they always would be able to sell them at a higher price to someone else.

Investors knew FB was priced at more than 80 times its earnings for the previous year.  According to the Associated Press, this was 400% higher than the average for stocks in Standard & Poor’s 500 index.  In fact, any time a price-earnings ratio exceeds 40, an investor usually has reason to be cautious.

Investors also knew they were buying a company’s stock which is in an extraordinarily competitive and fast-changing environment.  Although FB dominates its field and is closing on one billion users, everyone in the high technology world knows a competitor could come onto the scene and preempt FB’s seemingly insurmountable lead.  Just look at what happened to MySpace.

The reality is Morgan Stanley priced the stock exactly at what the market would bear — maximizing its value to the company (and to those smart enough to be sellers rather than buyers on opening day).

There also is no guarantee a new stock will go up after its opening.  Many stocks tank or slide laterally.  For investors to believe they should be guaranteed a “pop,” although desirable and understandable, is unreasonable.

Investors who are able to get shares prior to the initial trading of a stock (most members of the public are forced to wait until the stock trades before they can buy it) always want an initially low share price so they can lock in quick gains.  If a stock is priced too low, however, the issuing company gets far less for its stock than it could.

This makes little sense for a company going public especially if it is raising money for expansion or to pay off debt because it means it is giving up a greater percentage of the company than it needed to offer.  A stock which moves relatively little on opening day usually is considered to have been “priced right” from this perspective.  That is why FB was priced correctly as far as the company was concerned.

And although Morgan Stanley’s possible failure to make a full disclosure of the negative report to the public was inexcusable, if true, there likely wasn’t any significant new information in the report compared to what investors already knew — i.e., FB’s numbers were poor.  That is, everyone knew the offering price was not justified by the company’s fundamentals (e.g., revenues and profits).  They knew the stock was grossly overpriced based on any actual revenue and profit numbers.

And anyone paying attention to FB is aware millions of its users are unhappy with its switch to the new “Timeline” format.  Others, who have even limited understanding of technology, see opportunities for competitors who could create a more flexible product — and move away from the stifling rigidity which typifies FB’s graphical interface design.  In addition, many are aware there are even more potentially unpopular changes planned by FB which will be imposed on its users in the future.  All this could create opportunities for competitors to FB.

The truth is the complaining stock purchasers are crybabies.  They want to be guaranteed a profit, even if it means selling a stock to an even less perceptive or intelligent buyer.  Rather than admit they were greedy and wanted “in” on what they thought would be a hot deal, they find it necessary to blame someone else.

And, given that this is America, where no issue can go unlitigated, many shareholders will turn to lawyers in an effort to avoid personal responsibility and, instead, blame FB, its founder (Mark Zuckerberg), Morgan Stanley, and anyone else they can accuse.  Sadly, the reality is buying FB was a bad decision for most people and, had they analyzed the investment dispassionately, they would have not put in their buy orders.  That was and is why I am not a FB shareholder.

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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” (www.bit.ly/TVDemo) seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com.  He also hosts “Colorado Now! TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3.  It can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.Colorado-Now.com.  He once was an SEC-certified Investment Advisor.  Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com.  (C) Copyright 2012 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber.  All rights reserved.
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“WICKED”

Review by Aaron Harber, Channel 3 (K3 Colorado KCDO-TV)

In a fabulous production which continues to thrill audiences, “WICKED” has returned to the Buell Theatre with a cast and set which make the musical worth seeing multiple times.  For those who are unaware of the “Wizard of Oz” prequel, “WICKED” offers insight into friendships, love, politics, and other forms of relationships — all packaged with great acting, phenomenal sets, and extraordinary singing.  There may not be a better national touring production to see in Denver for years to come.

The humor alone is worth the price of admission.  And one particular scene and song, “Popular,” performed by the not-always-so-Good Witch Glinda, in her younger years, is the highlight of the entire show.

Alli Mauzey, as “Glinda,” is simply amazing, and Mamie Parris, as “Elphaba” (the Wicked Witch), is equally marvelous.  Their voices, acting, ranges, and mannerisms all are so well-synchronized that each witch — good and bad — constantly leaves the audience spellbound.

What is so incredible is how “WICKED” is so funny yet deftly deploys its humor consistently to make us realize we don’t always know as much as we think.  Best of all, the ending both surprises and pleases those of us not familiar with this particular story.

Tickets still are available with performances ending on May 20th.  Call for tickets (303-893-4100) or go online to www.DenverCenter.org. This definitely is a “must-see show.”

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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com.  He also hosts “Colorado Now! TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3.  It can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.Colorado-Now.com.  Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com.  (C) Copyright 2012 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber.  All rights reserved.
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COLORADO BALLET’S “SWAN LAKE”

Colorado Ballet’s magnificent production of “Swan Lake” at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, offers everyone a great opportunity for both introspection and entertainment by adroitly raising issues we all face in life.  The diversity of the audience (i.e., age, race, couples, families, individuals, economic strata, et cetera) demonstrated the broad attraction of this classic production.

The remarkable synchronization of the “swans” filling the stage was equaled by the impressive orchestration and the absolutely amazing performance of Maria Mosina as “Odette” (the Swan Queen) and “Odile” (the evil swan).  The costuming and sets were exquisitely done — creating an atmosphere which instantaneously transformed the audience to a different era.

With a unique Fourth Act written for the Colorado Ballet, this beautiful version of “Swan Lake” is a “Must See” event.  Tickets still are available but the performances end Sunday, October 23rd, so get them now at http://www.bit.ly/CoBallet.

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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com.  He also hosts “Colorado Now! TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3.  It can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.Colorado-Now.com.  Unknown to most, he was the first President & Chairman of the Board of the Nancy Spanier Dance Theatre of Colorado and served on the Board of Directors of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.  Nevertheless, he knows little about music or dance — except what he likes.  Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com.  (C) Copyright 2011 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber.  All rights reserved.

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“The Energy Roundtable” and EPA Chief Lisa Jackson featured…

“The Energy Roundtable” and EPA Chief Lisa Jackson featured on Sunday, October 9th, at 8:00 pm on K3 Colorado (KCDO-TV Channel 3 and Channel 28.3)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Denver, CO.  (PLEASE FORWARD)  Sunday, October 9th, at 8:00 pm on K3 Colorado (KCDO-TV Channel 3 and Channel 28.3), the Administrator of the EPA, Lisa Jackson (the first person of color to hold this position), who also is a member of a Presidential Cabinet, is the featured guest on “The Aaron Harber Show”

In the broadcast premiere of Part 1 of an exclusive two-part interview, Jackson discusses her tenure at the head of the EPA, the policies she has implemented, and controversial decisions of the EPA — including the regulation of greenhouse gases.  The program also now is available for viewing 24/7 at www.HarberTV.com.  Part 2 will be broadcast on Sunday, October 16th, also at 8:00 pm, and also will be available online for worldwide viewing prior to the broadcast.

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At 8:30 pm, “The Aaron Harber Show: Colorado Now!”  features the return of “The Energy Roundtable” series — a comprehensive, nonpartisan look at energy and related issues in Colorado and throughout the nation.  More information about the series can be found at www.bit.ly/EnergyUSA.

Based on a succession of one-one-one interviews at the nationally-acclaimed Energy Epicenter conference, the four-part series presents a range of opinions from Energy Industry leaders and experts, government and regulatory officials, environmentalists, and third party participants.

“The Energy Roundtable” is considered to be one of the most in-depth, longitudinal presentations of energy-related issues in the nation.  By involving all stakeholders, it gives viewers the multitude of perspectives they need in order to make well-informed decisions.  The program also is now available for viewing 24/7 at www.Colorado-Now.com.

Parts 2, 3, and 4 will be broadcast on October 16th and 23rd and November 6th, respectively — all on Sundays at 8:30 pm.

Guests on these editions of “The Energy Roundtable” include:

  • Mark Brownstein, Environmental Defense Fund Energy Program Deputy Director
  • Jack Coleman, Energy North America Managing Partner & General Counsel
  • Peter Dea, President & CEO, Cirque Resources; former President & CEO, Western Gas Resources
  • John Hickenlooper, Colorado Governor’; former Petroleum Geologist
  • David Hobbs, IHS Chief Energy Strategist; Author, “Fueling North America’s Energy Future”
  • John Hofmeister, CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy; former President, SHELL Oil Company
  • James Martin, Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator
  • Scott Moore, ANADARKO Vice President of Marketing; and Chairman, Colorado Oil & Gas Association
  • Dave Neslin, Executive Director, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Bill Owens, Director, Bill Barrett Corporation; Managing Director, Front Range Resources; former Colorado Governor
  • Bill Ritter, Director, Center for the New Energy Economy; former Colorado Governor
  • Tisha Conoly Schuller, President & CEO, Colorado Oil & Gas Association; former Vice President, Tetra Tech
  • Christopher Smith, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Oil & Natural Gas
  • Jay Still, Pioneer Natural Resources Executive Vice President

Please inform others of the broadcast schedule and both the televised and online availability of these special public affairs programs.  To go to our Facebook Page go www.FB.com/AaronHarberShow .  To follow us on Twitter, please go to www.Twitter.com/AaronHarber or send a text saying “Follow AaronHarber” to 40404.  Thank you.

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“THE LIAR”

368-YEAR OLD COMEDY MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER

The modern adaptation of “The Liar” is more relevant than ever by showcasing both the intended and unintended effects of dishonesty in communications about relationships.  Frequently hilarious when showcasing how gullible we can be yet simultaneously poignant in how lies known as such often are tolerated, the falsehoods in “The Liar” seem obvious yet consistently are demonstrably effective in achieving the intended result of the scoundrel uttering them.

The comedy’s highlight is the ability of the main character, Dorante, to manufacture lies which initially are believable, in part, because they are so sincerely and exquisitely told.  As he digs himself into one hole after another, however, he finds himself forced to use even greater fabrications to temporarily save himself — a willingness to sacrifice the future for the immediacy of transitory comfort or ephemeral success today.

A magniloquent verbal Ponzi schemer, Dorente preys on his victims’ gullibility and robs them of their innocence.  Even those who see through his scheming somehow still manage to get ensnared in the fury of his whirlwind of lies.  With today’s political realm deeply implicated by insinuation, “The Liar,” unfortunately, is as relevant now as it was almost four centuries ago.  That may have been the attraction to the audience, which was surprisingly young for a playwright (Pierre Corneille) who died in 1684 and about whom few probably had been aware.

Go to www.DenverCenter.org or call (303) 893-4100 for tickets at the Denver Center’s intimate theater-in-the-round Space Theatre for ticket through October 16th.

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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com.  He also hosts “Colorado Now! TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3.  Both can be viewed 24/7 at http://www.Colorado2010.com.  Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com.  (C) Copyright 2011 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber.  All rights reserved.
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