Judges Ballots 2002 Northwestern (Foster & Paul) vs. Kentucky (Hubbard & Tetzloff)

Mike Hester, State University of West Georgia, Voted for Affirmative Northwestern

the missed opportunities by Kentucky tended to be the big talk after the debate, and i'm figuring one of the other judges may mention them, so i'm not gonna focus my attention there. suffice it to say that one or two precise maneuvers by either the 2NC or the 2NR could have made this a 4-1 the other way. instead, i want to use this space to compliment the Cats for what they did right. beginning with the recognition that Russ Hubbard is far and away the most improved debater this year. not that he was bad last year. but he rose to new heights. he worked hard (both in the gym and the library) to add to his (debate and sinewy) muscle. quite simply, kentucky muscled their way through the year - forcing debaters to actually defend their arguments. many of these had come to be so accepted in the community as to be taken for granted. i had several conversations with other judges this year in which Ky was the topic. the consensus was that the arguments being made by the Cats were just the sort of piss and vinegar we need every once in awhile. as much as i often disagreed with the stances they took in rounds, i always had to recognize the power of their persuasion. in many ways, their ascendance to the final round on this year's topic is a sort of Freudian slip. on a topic that asked the Aff to defend an increase in federal control and resulted in 99% of the affs running scared from the resolution, kentucky actually accepted the rhetorical mantle of the topic. those who side with anti-colonial struggles are never gonna become better at defending their arguments by debating others who feel the same way and argue "not far enough". maybe after losing to kentucky all year, these folk may learn the warrants behind the claim "out of North America."

RFD: voted aff because the risk of Davis DA (to the CP) outweighed the risk of Bush DA to the plan. other than the concessions that could have been made in the 2NC (conceding solvency t/o's on the CP to get back the case turns as "net benefits") or the 2NR (conceding the Saudi econ arg as an impact n/u to the davis DA), the biggest mistake made by the Cats was not having any offense on the Davis DA. given Kentucky's ideological position for most of the year, it seems they may have had some stuff in their boxes to say "increased gov't regulation of the market bad". the internal link to the Davis DA was "davis wants to cap prices and simon wants de-reg of the energy market." amongst ALL those capitalism good cards that tetzlaff probably stuffs his pillow with, there's gotta be a few that defend free market in the energy lit. instead, there's no offense on the Davis DA. this matters greatly because: 1)the impact on davis is much better than on Bush. while the Lewis '97 card actually details the senario for escalation and extinction, the 1NC impact ev for Iraq(Bush) only says that Saddam will miscalc, drawing in European states and even the U.S, and "this time Saddam may have nuclear weapons on his side of the balance sheet" (sorry, this is just from memory. i think my flow was used in some MacGuyverian attempt to build a hookah). 2)Northwestern has better defense on Bush. the N/U ev on "bush spending political capital on natural gas now" is functionally conceded by the 2NR, who only says "doesn't assume Bush" and "supercharges the link". yes it did, and no it doesn't. Kentucky's "double dip recession" cuts into the Davis DA, but not nearly as much. the ev does not make the argument that the second dip will be worse than the first. and the internal link ev to the impact on Davis does use words like "spiral" and "tailspin." 3) NU has offense on Bush (link turns). the link debate is really close. Kentucky probably wins some residual "focus" link, but the N/U mentioned above (cross apply my #2) makes this link impossible to quantify in the negative's favor. the political capital ev from the 1NR is quite good about the need for Bush to push, but the better it is the more it seems to feed the Aff's ev that Bush will play it safe, waiting to co-opt legislation so as to avoid political battles. ultimately, i end up with this decision calculus: Davis DA is only contested somewhat successfully at the impact uniqueness level. the Bush/Iraq Da is being fought tooth-and-nail at the link uniqueness and link level. since the Davis DA starts off with a bigger impact, thus tilting DA "presumption" in favor of the AFF, it seems that the wisest decision is to assess the risk debate in favor of the Aff. Kentucky's 1NC strategy was very good, considering the circumstances of it being a new aff in the final round (god forbid they would have run WOMP or Should T). the debate was focused quite well. Northwestern's strategy was superb as well. i was involved in two rounds at the NDT where there was a state specific DA to the States CP (the other being MSU's pataki DA to Berkeley HS). the ballot count in those rounds was 7-1 for the AFF. guess i know what i'll be working on between now and CEDA nats...

Ryan Galloway (University of Georgia) - Voted for Negative Kentucky

To begin, I would like to say what an honor it is to judge the final round of the NDT, especially between two programs that I admire greatly. The University of Kentucky has always been a strong institution in the debate community, with Dr. Patterson hosting numerous prestigious high school and collegiate debate tournaments. I have always viewed Roger Solt as a brilliant coach, teacher, and mentor. I immensely enjoy our discussions about the state of debate and debate theory, and I frequently seek him out for his opinion on such matters. Trevor Wells, Aaron Kall, and Rachel Saloom are all people I enjoy seeing at tournaments and definitely contribute to the positive climate of intellectual intensity combined with a good natured attitude. Kentucky's run not only at the NDT, but throughout the year, is a testament that a program with smaller resources can still debate the case "straight-up" and provides encouragement for other programs that this style can still be effective in the modern (postmodern?) debate era. Kentucky proves that case debate does not have to be withered to be a successful program. Northwestern's program is clearly an example of the kind of strength that can be generated in this activity when a group of hard-working, dedicated individuals commit themselves to a cause. It seem astounding that Northwestern has won the NDT five times since 1994, with three different teams winning the tournament. And with three other teams that either did or would have received first round bids waiting in the wings, it seems the era of Northwestern dominance will likely continue into the future. The architect of all this, of course, Scott Deatherage, is a man I deeply admire and respect, not only for his deep love and commitment to the activity, but also for his ability to orchestrate the effort of such a large group of talented and dedicated people. Northwestern also has numerous people with whom I greatly respect and enjoy talking with about the activity. Knowing that I will leave someone out I would still like to mention Adrienne Brovero, who I view as one of the best coaches in the country, always having a thorough understanding of what virtually everyone in the activity is arguing at any moment in time. Jarius Grove is someone who constantly challenges me to open my mind and view debate itself and arguments within the activity from a different perspective. Dan Fitzmeier is simultaneously one of the kindest and most brilliant individuals I have ever met. It was also great to see Nate Smith again, who I greatly appreciate as both a critic, a coach, and a tabroom administrator. Judd Kimball is also playing an organizational role in quite an effective manner, helping coordinate not only Northwestern¿ 's NDT effort, but the Northwestern tournament itself, which was run more efficiently and smoothly this year than any time in recent memory. I voted NEGATIVE for Kentucky. The bottom line is that I thought there was a substantially higher probability of the Iraq disadvantage to the case than the Gray Davis disadvantage to the Counterplan. While the impact to the latter is larger, I think the probability of the former is much higher. The vast majority of Northwestern's answers to the disadvantage rest on George Bush getting attacked in partisan battles, not actually expending political capital. Kentucky clearly controls the link debate, proving that the push necessary for PASSAGE of the plan would require enormous political capital, largely because to get lawmakers on board to such a controversial policy would require Bush to expend huge sums of capital. Northwestern does say that Bush is using "pressure" to push energy legislation now, but does little to define what that pressure is, whether or not pressure is constituting political capital, nor to compare it to the amount of capital that would have to be lost via actually getting enough members of Congress to sign onto an extremely controversial measure. Hence, I felt that the probability times impact of the Iraq disad outweighed the Davis disad. Specifically... IRAQ DISAD I gave Kentucky a high to very high probability of this disad, impacted in a huge war in the Middle East that could potentially draw Europe in and possibly involve nuclear weapons (I presume the evidence is referring to Israel or a future nuclearly armed Iraq). LINK DEBATE The vast majority of this part of the debate comes down to the slew of seven link cards read at the bottom of the disadvantage versus Northwestern's arguments that a) this assumes the status quo energy bill; and b) Bush is using "pressure" to push the status quo energy bill. It is true that this evidence assumes the status quo energy bill, but it is unclear to me that Bush is sinking his political capital and personal popularity into passing this bill. While it seems that Bush is applying "pressure" based on the 1ar piece of evidence from 3/18, it is unclear what that pressure entails. In fact, Kentucky's evidence from the San Francisco Chronicle asks specifically, "Will Bush use his popularity to promote controversial ideas such as drilling for oil?" The Negative definition of FIAT and the Seidenfeld piece of evidence answers this definitively to get the plan passed Bush must use political capital, and given the enormous unpopularity via the fact that: tax breaks for energy are extremely controversial, especially in the wake of Enron (first SF Chronicle evidence, Greenwire evidence), the Democrats are standing firm now, and actively finding "political gold" in blocking the measure (Roll Call evidence), it is environmentally controversial (CSM evidence), Congressional Democrats want to use the measure as an example of how Bush favors oil companies ahead of Indians and in favor of oil companies (Denver Post evidence). It seems clear that the effort to get the plan through Congress would require the expenditures of VAST QUANTITIES of political capital far above and beyond whatever "pressure" Bush is exerting now. This evidence seems to be talking about the initial probative stages of using pressure on the measure, and is a far cry from all the arm twisting, log rolling, and political deals Bush would have to cut to get the measure passed by Congress. The 2AR would have been better served to discuss what the "pressure" being exerted constitutes, especially in relation to the Seidenfeld piece of evidence defining what the process of passing legislation requires. The 2AR is very good at explaining what the status quo energy bill does, but not what pressure Bush is exerting to get it passed (admittedly, this is a problem in much of the Lexis era evidence failure to define what is meant by a term in a short newspaper article). In addition, I think the AFF. could have conceded that Bush doesn't get actively involved in issues in the 1AR to challenge the notion that passage of legislation in the Bush era requires Bush to use his political capital. Two examples stand in stark contrast to the common debate notion that ALL LEGISLATION requires the President to expend political capital. The stimulus bill was used by Republicans to say that Bush doesn't get involved in pushing measures and waits to sign on until political momentum from the CONGRESS is sufficient that he can sign onto it, and Bush was faulted by Congressional Republicans for never getting involved in the McCain/Feingold debates, letting the Congress do all the work to get a bill on his desk that he would later sign onto. I think the definition that FIAT inherently requires the President to be the one to spend political capital is highly questionable in the era of the hands-off Bush presidency, and I think the two cards the Negative uses in the block to offset the Bush taking blame now evidence is proof of this. I encourage debaters in the future to challenge this central notion of FIAT, both because I think the Bush administration is fundamentally different than the Clinton administration, and because I think the notion that the push always has to come from the President is on shaky theoretical foundations. In this debate, however, the definition of what plan passage means is a push from the President and this push will require an enormous expenditure of political capital, far above and beyond anything Bush is doing in the Status Quo. UNIQUENESS DEBATE: The short version of this is that the three cards read in the 1AR speak nothing about political capital, they say that Bush is being criticized on various issues by the Democrats. Kentucky's 1NR evidence, while not stellar on this claim, does say that Bush is trying to stay out of the limelight of these types of fights (one card uses the example of the Pickering nomination) and that Bush is holding his capital in reserve now. The 2NR makes a distinction that I think is unanswered, getting bashed on issues is not the same as using political capital. The 2AR says that Bush will get sucked into these fights, still begging the question as to whether or not some level of partisan infighting and sniping from the Democrats means that Bush is using political capital. None of Northwestern's evidence is conclusionary about what these fights mean (the best one says "he is looking a little less Olympian" seeming more to point out that he is still extremely strong), and Kentucky's evidence says it is part of Bush's strategy right now to avoid using political capital, but the link via legislation passing means Bush would have to spend truck-loads of political capital to get the feisty opposition on board. I'll also talk about the Uniqueness debate on strikes now. It seems clear from both sides evidence, especially the Uniqueness overwhelms the link evidence from the 2ac that Bush is going to go after Saddam. The question is whether or not he will have the Congress on board or not. This is one of the parts of the debate that both sides could make a bigger deal out of "does Bush need Congress to attack Saddam?" The Negative Ornstein evidence at least talks about how Bush will need Congress to attack Saddam, presumably because of reasons of funding, backing necessary for Bush to feel secure, and the possibility of Congressional cut off of funds. Nevertheless, given the history of the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. "going it alone," it seems that Northwestern could have exploited the possibility that the 2AC evidence they read proves that Bush will use his powers as Commander-in-Chief to ignore the Congress. But, the only evidence that speaks to the question at all is the one line in the Ornstein card that says he'll need the Congress. Thus, I think the current partisan bickering is not affecting Bush's capital in any meaningful way, and the only evidence in the debate speaking to the question of whether Bush will "go it alone" says he needs the Congress on board. "WINNERS WIN" The best winners win card Northwestern reads is from Ornstein in 2002; indicating that Bush could get capital back if he used capital wisely. Two things seem to be clear: a) the link debate means this is a most Unwise use of political capital; b) it is difficult for me to see how Bush could get more capital fighting this fight considering how much he will lose the Seidenfeld evidence and 2NR explanation of political capital's finite nature seems relevant here. Bottom line: getting the plan through Congress would require huge sums of political capital and hence seems to be an unwise use of capital. Northwestern could have done more in the 1AR in particular (which I thought was an OUTSTANDING SPEECH in general) to explain what a win was and/or how the plan could be a win instead of just reading the card with the tag-line: "Winners Win.-FOREIGN CAPITAL/DOMESTIC CAPITAL One line of Northwestern's looking less Olympian evidence (which I can't find the cite on right now) says that Bush's capital might not be applicable to foreign affairs, this is used in the 2AR to argue there is no spillover between the two. To be honest, I didn't think this line of the card said much more than that: it might not be; and the Ornstein evidence read by Kentucky says that on the issue of IRAQ; Bush will need domestic momentum and capital specifically. The specific tie-in to Iraq was important to me. OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF IRAQ DISADVANTAGE. Kentucky wins a high to very high risk of the disadvantage, impacted in a gigantic war in the Middle East with the potential to suck Europe in through the back door and the potential introduction of nuclear weapons, probably from Israel and potentially a nuclearly armed Iraq (in a world where we don't attack Iraq). The best answer Northwestern has is that Bush is using pressure on the energy bill which begs the question as to how much capital would be necessary in the process of actually getting the bill passed which seems to require vast amounts of political capital. There is some level of uniqueness mitigation but minuscule compared to the link of the actual capital it would take to get the Democrats on board a bill they vehemently oppose; and in fact profit from actively obstructing. Note that this puts me at odds with current uniqueness theory that says a disad is either 100% unique or 100% not unique (we control uniqueness, hence only a risk of a link/link turn). To put it bluntly, I think this theory is incorrect, and this debate illustrates that uniqueness is better seen as not being a yes/no question but rather one that is based on probabilities and shades of gray. GRAY DAVIS DISADVANTAGE: First of all, I think this is a very clever and interesting disad versus the States Counterplan. Being one who believes that a) not enough people run disadvantages to Counterplans, relying instead on theory spews and solvency deficits; and b) that disadvantage innovation is at an all-time low; I applaud the effort to run creative and innovative disadvantages, especially against Counterplans. However, Kentucky wins several major probability reductions into the disadvantage, the most important being that the US will soon slip back into a double-dip recession. In many ways, this argument is almost uncontested by Northwestern, whose evidence just points out that in fact, the economy is recovering. The Fortune evidence from 4/1/2002 says that "an economic expansion is underway." The other piece of evidence from the 1AR is pretty short and doesn't add much to the discussion. The evidence from the block from the Atlanta Journal is predictive of a "double-dip recession" and the 2NR explanation and evidence support the claim that a) there were a lot of corporate bankruptcies in the most recent recession which has hurt corporate profits and consumer spending, b) Corporations racked up a lot of debt staving off the effects of the recession which undercuts the money they have to fuel expansion and that this will "slow consumer expenditures." The net result is that a "double-dip" recession is coming in the future. Northwestern's evidence and argument is merely that the US is in a recovery now, but ignores the fact that several economic indicators point to the fact that we will FALL BACK into a recession. Kentucky also gets a little mileage about the link reduction "is this the type of mistake on energy the evidence talks about? Presumably this evidence is talking about policies that might be perceived as creating future blackouts. Either side could have exploited this evidence as applying to the Counterplan better. There is also a minor threshold question as to whether the Counterplan would be enough to trigger this argument (i.e. big enough to cause Davis to lose the California election). The bottom line is that I think the fact that we are about to slip back into a double-dip recession according to Kentucky's evidence fundamentally eviscerates the risk of this argument. Combined with minor link and threshold mitigation I am inclined to give very little risk to this disadvantage to the Counterplan. Northwestern needed to talk about future trends in the economy and not just the relatively obvious fact that we are in a recovery now. I wish Kentucky had properly extended their 2NC argument that the past recession denies that "we go into neocolonialist wars" because the US has been in a recession for almost a year and the world for several years, denying the validity of the claim. Unfortunately, Russ extends that the past recession proves the US is irrelevant to the world economy which a) isn't even the argument originally made vs. the impact, and b) seems patently false. I buy into the 2AR explanation that the US is very important to the world economy. Generally, I think debaters under-utilize smart analytics that severely challenge the apocalyptic nature of impacts -to me the fact that most of the world has been in a recession for the last five years and the US has been in one since March of last year prove that authors like Lewis, Mead, and Bailey are wrong about their conclusions. END ASSESSMENT OF GRAY DAVIS DISADVANTAGE: I give Northwestern a very low to low risk of this disadvantage; which while having a seemingly bigger impact of neocolonialist wars around the globe, is outweighed by the much higher probability of the Iraq disadvantage. It is a close assessment at the end, obviously. STRATEGY CHOICES IN THE DEBATE. While it may seem callous to point out to two graduating seniors that I feel there is a strategy choice that could have clearly won Kentucky the debate, I think the discussion can be useful to illustrate how debaters need to be flexible in in-round decision-making. 2AC coverage on the case was quite poor, with a) The South Asian Economy argument and b) The India argument totally dropped both of which impacted in nuclear wars. Coverage on Russia was extremely weak (one card that says high prices hurt the economy) and on Saudi Arabia the 2AC got out about one sentence of one card. The 2AC was jumping everywhere vs. other clearly evidenced and understood case takeouts and turns. If the 2NC had conceded that the Counterplan didn't solve the case and went for the case impact turns while playing defense versus "we will run out of oil" (and it sounded like Kentucky had the goods versus this argument) I think Northwestern would have been in too far of a hole to come back. Conversely, I thought the 1AR made a brilliant choice to argue that the Counterplan solved the case, hence linking to the impact turn debates, which in my mind got Northwestern back in the debate only to lose a close one, and in four other judges minds allowed Northwestern to win the debate. I think debaters need to be willing to make more strategic decisions in debates, and not rely solely on the pre-prepared plan to win. Additionally, the multiple layers of turns on the case illustrate that the good old fashioned "turn the case" strategy puts a lot of pressure on the 2AC, and I think the "vertical spread" is often a better strategic tool than the "horizontal spread" (which usually consists of weak theory arguments). I hope we will see more Kentucky style strategies, and I think while Kentucky lost, the early part of the debate shows how effective the case turn strategy can be. By the way, "turning the case" can mean multiple layers as to why the case is critically wrong, or turns to the AFF. performance. This year's NDT was a lot of fun for me. This year and the NDT in particular are examples of how teams with radically different styles can succeed in the activity. It is clear that the activity is going through a tumultuous time of trying to come to grips with the challenges to style and framework that teams are arguing for, but I think this just makes this time an exciting time. Far from needed to "split" into different communities, I feel that the success of teams that run widely diverse arguments illustrates that the debate community is flexible and can adapt to change. I hope that this trend towards diversity of all styles, including the performative trend AND the 1980's style of teams like Kentucky continues. I hope that some of the hostility I have seen in posts to e-debate on both sides doesn't turn into brittleness that fractures and divides the community of which I am so proud to be a part.

Ryan W. Galloway, University of Georgia

Randy Luskey - Cal Berkeley - Voted Affirmative for Northwestern

Well sports fans, the final round of the 2002 NDT was the perfect end to a great year of competition, and I am glad to have been a part of it. Kentucky HT fought their way through the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, and the Final Four with a 15-2 ballot count against three of the top seven teams in the country. Northwestern FP also brought their A-Game on elim day (due, in large part, to JP pounding a 6-pack of Red Bull at 7:00 a.m.) with a slew of new affirmatives and a dose of some old skool trickery. When I was told before the round that Northwestern was breaking their third new case of the day (and fourth of the tournament), I thought we may be in for one of those finals debates where the negative, caught off guard, is forced to resort to a shady, non-germane CP or a generic disad with no real case attack. But when the first words out of the 1AC's mouth were "Oil will run out" and Kentucky just about wet themselves (yes Russ, we all saw that), I knew we were in for something special. Before I get in to the nuts and bolts of it all, I just want to say that I, as well as everyone I talked to who watched the round, thought that all four debaters exhibited remarkable class in their pre-speech comments and that each gave one of the best, if not THE best, rebuttal they gave all year.

Reason For Decision: I voted affirmative for Northwestern because the risk and magnitude of the Davis disad outweighed the risk of the Iraq disad.

What made my decision a lot easier than it should have been was the impact work that Northwestern did on the Davis disad vis-à-vis the Bush DA. The 2NR dropped the argument that the motivation for Saddam to lashout was economic in nature, so the collapse of the global economy made Kentucky's disad inevitable in a world of the CP. By the end of the debate, I decided that Northwestern won close to a full risk of their Davis disad. Kentucky had some smart analytics, but all of these arguments were answered in Northwestern's evidence. The argument that a U.S. economic downturn doesn't trigger worldwide depression was handled by the Lewis evidence that said that a U.S. fiscal slide would embolden the U.S. to engage in neo-colonial wars abroad that would spread genocide and economic ruin internationally. Second, Kentucky's argument that their evidence didn't say Davis would actually lose was answered pretty decisively by the 1AR natural gas link and the 2AC evidence which hinted (hinted may even be a generous word) at the argument that any energy policy snafu could cost Davis the election.

Once I had navigated through the negative's analytics, I determined that the only shot the neg. had of mitigating the risk to this disad was to win that an economic recession was inevitable with the two pieces of 2NC evidence versus the two pieces of 1AR evidence. Both last rebuttals were a bit cursory on this question, and I thought after the round that Russ may have been able to seal the deal here with thirty more seconds and two more cards. The problem for the neg was that one of their cards was actually an aff card because it made the argument that the short-term decline in consumer spending in Januray and February would be erased by an upswing in the coming months, and the other piece of evidence (the double-dip recession card) was beaten head-on by the two 1AR cards which were three weeks newer and answered all the warrants in the double-dip bizness. The double-dip card from early March said that consumer spending would mean consumer debt and that capital spending would decline, but Northwestern's evidence from 3/26 said that the long-term trend would favor strong consumer spending and that debt fears were overstated, as well as referencing fourth quarter corporate profits as a sign of surging corporate investments. I too threw away my flows and drank away my precise memory of the debate, but I remember being totally confident that the aff had won impact uniqueness for their Davis da. Even if the neg won a slight risk of double-dip, the aff won that this would be a small, short-term fluctuation that would pale in comparison to the California energy crisis which would "bring the national economy down with it."

After I decided that Northwestern was winning almost 100% risk that the CP would cause a U.S. economic downturn that would cause nuclear war and trigger Saddam to lashout, Kentucky was in some murky waters. Even if I had assigned close to full risk of the Iraq disad, I am pretty sure that Northwestern would have still gotten my ballot at the impact kevel. BUT, as it turned out, the Bush disad ended up being severely mitigated on a number of levels. The main structural reason that the disad was so heavly contested was that JP got a huge time trade-off in the 1AR when he conceded the cp solved the case and conceded the case turns, leaving him with nearly 3:00 to spend reading ten cards on the Bush DA. Let me preface this dicussion by saying that I thought that Kentucky won a small risk of this disad (i.e. Northwestern did not win a unique link turn) because they were pretty squarely ahead on the argument that Bush would attack Iraq in the staus quo, and I thought that the wall of 1NR link evidence specific to the plan overwhelmed any chance that Bush could really get a "win" from the plan. BUT, the one place I thought the disad really got beat up was on uniqueness to the link (i.e. whether Bush had capital now). JP read a sweet piece of ev. in the 1AR that Bush was spending tons of political capital engaging in partisan fights over natural gas in the status quo (from 3/24), and all the 2NR said to this questionably new piece of evidence was that it didn't say that Bush himself was taking part in these fights. The first line of the evidence, however, was "Bush is engaged in . . . ", so I thought this argument really ended up hurting the DA when combined with the four cards (especially the Broder evidence from 3/24) that said Bush had depleted his stock of political capital and didn't have any fopo leverage now. Northwestern had more evidence, newer evidence, and better evidence on this question.

Hester hinted at a few of the missed opportunities for Kentucky to send Northwestern packing, and I just want to echo how damning any of these strategic maneuvers could have really been. The 2AC essentially conceded 3 nuclear war disads on the case including the argument that oil dependence was critical to US-Indian sea lane cooperation that would spillover to a strategic partnership and solve the Kashmir conflict. There were no theory arguments (like object fiat or anything) on the CP, so all the block had to do was to concede that the CP got rolled back, extend their 3 disads to reducing oil dependence, play 5 minutes of defense on the Middle East advantage and the whole 1NR on this Davis DA (which, by the way, had a lot if holes and missing internal links) and it was literally game over for Northwestern. Sometimes it is easy to see these things when you are watching the round from above and not actually engaged in battle, but this could have been the death knell. A second "out" Kentucky had was the JP conceded that Saudi was jacked economically in the squo and that the Saudi economy was key to the world economy - this makes a global depression inevitable, and takes out uniqueness to the Davis DA.

All that being said, it was a fantastic debate that I will remember forever. Congratulations to Jake Foster who fought his way out of the slums of Berkeley, California and the Head Royce School to make the big time and finally see his name in lights at a school with tons of great debate tradition. Jake, despite how much he likes to play it cool at tournaments, is one of the hardest workers in the activity and has put a lot in to this game. Jonathan Paul is another great friend of mine that I can't really say enough about. A Forest Gump lookin' dude comin' straight out of Baytown Lee in Nowhere, Texas - he rocked and shocked the nation from his sophomore year on. He is going to make a great debate coach wherever he ends up. Russ Hubbard, The Ladies Man of the debate world (sorry Thorpe), showed us all year that 1980's debate was something that we should all cherish. I'll miss hearing this dude's smooth ass spewing style and his unflinching knee-jerk tendency to impact turn any argument you had in your tubs. Mike came out of who-knows-where to school us on the intricacies of U.S. economic policy and write Russ's overviews on his laptop all year long - a great cross exer with a whole lot of love for the game. A few other shout outs to seniors. . . Alex Berger. Can you folks believe we will never again get to hear this guy give a final rebuttal? After having the opportunity to judge this prankster all the way through high school, only to be victimized by his 2AR's all the way through college, and now to have the opportunity to judge him in his final year of debate, I fully understand what this dude has meant to this activity. The power of pure persuasion and absolute charisma and ethose bundled into one debater - won more first place speaker awards that anyone since Michael Gottlieb, three time first round, and just a real classy guy and a great friend. Ausin Carson. Does anyone out there remember this guy when he first started "debating" in college? Talk about improvement, this dude has exemplified the way in which dedication and hard work pay off - I wish him the best of luck at the CIA, I mean CSIS. Charles Olney. Keepin' it real with some politics and the case, best cite request dude in the business, took organization to the next level. Congrats on an amazing season. Sarah Holbrook (not spelled Holbrooke). One of my best friends in the whole darn world and a true symbol of what debate should be more like. Have y'all ever seen someone be so kind and friendly to the other team while they simultaneously dismantle any hope the opponents had of winning. I love her style and substance in debates, and she too will prove to be an amazing debate coach wherever she lands. How bout the Berkeley seniors? Nathan Haratani, my first college debate partner, approached the game with a calm, cool, and collected vibe that culminated in a first round and two big tournament wins this year. Matt MacDonald improved more than any debater in his class - he came to college with the speed kritik in his backpack, and before we knew it he was spewin down with the best of them. Let there be no doubt - Matt was the heart and soul of the Berkeley debate team administratively and in rounds. We'll all miss him. Ivo Keller - the Rudy of the Berkeley debate squad, this guy gave it his all for four straight years and got better every step of the way. Well, enough rambling. This year has been awesome, and it's gonna be hard for me to quit this whole debate thing cold-turkey. Hopefully I'll be able to break away from Law School for a few weekends next year to partake in the greatest game around. Everyone in debate has been so kind to me and this activity has always kinda been my rotating home away from home. I'll miss every last one of you. . .

Hajir Ardebili - Cal Berkeley- Voted for the affirmative Northwestern

In my view, the risk that the affirmative won on the Davis DA to the States CP outweighed any impact on the Iraq DA that the negative could have won. Given the superiority of the affirmative's Lewis impact evidence, once I determined that the affirmative won a substantial and unique risk of the Davis argument, the resolution of the politics debate became largely academic.

I'll start with the impact, which turned out to be rather significant in my decision. The affirmative's Lewis card was better, indicating mass death and genocide on a global scale that would make WWII pale in comparison; it even mentioned the final collapse of civilization.

On the other hand, the negative's Hillen evidence was not as good. I do give the card some props; it did say that Saddam's [possible/probable (?)] possession of nukes would likely encourage his propensity toward risk-taking, and that Saddam could miscalculate and embroil Iraq, the Mid-East, and the U.S. in a new war. However, it did not reach the magnitude (or rhetorical force, for that matter) of the Lewis impact.

The affirmative did an excellent job of assessing the impacts, pointing out that the magnitude of the worldwide nuclear conflict in Lewis was more pressing than what they described as a regional conflict portrayed in the negative's Hillen card. The 2AR also was Jedi-like when he argued that the economic decline brought on by the CP (but solved in the world of the plan) would make Saddam lash-out more likely, and perhaps inevitable. This impact comparison made the negative's job much tougher; in order to win, they had to win a solid risk of the Iraq DA, plus the affirmative had to fail to win anything but a marginal risk of the Davis DA to the CP.

I thought that the affirmative did indeed win a substantial risk of the Davis DA. Although the negative extended some analytical arguments in the 2NR (e.g., Gore's big win in CA signals strong Democratic support; no threshold/tradeoff, etc.), the specificity of the affirmative's link and internal link evidence was persuasive. The Boren link card was nice and also provided good uniqueness in saying Davis can probably get reelected now, but he can't let Simon make headway on the energy crisis. The Houston Chronicle evidence suggested price caps are necessary to preventing CA's flagging economy from falling into a tailspin, and dragging the U.S. economy down with it. The 2AR also emphasized the higher probability of the Davis argument, and that there was only a risk of a link and no risk of a turn.

The negative's best hope on the Davis argument was the economy uniqueness debate. However, although the negative's cards were good, I thought the affirmative's evidence on this issue was more predictive and provided better warrants.

The affirmative's Fortune (4/1) evidence cited economic indicators in January, February, and early March, concluding that the recession, if not over already, was likely to be shorter and far less severe than many feared. GDP increased 1.4% in the fourth quarter, and jobs increased by 66,000 in February. The Collections and Credit Risk April '02 card talked about a rise in consumer spending in the fourth quarter and predicted the trend would continue. It also stated that total consumer credit increased by $19.8 billion in December.

The negative's Bloomberg evidence, while relatively outdated (1/9), did cite a rise in unemployment last December and described that the economy contracted 1.3% in the third quarter. It also said (rather unhelpfully) that no rebound was in the forecast until about mid-2002. The Atlanta Journal 3/18 "double-dip recession" card was not bad. It explained that, at the bottom of recessions, profits remain deeply depressed and that many companies continue to cut employment and capital spending well into a recovery. It also specifically mentioned that analysts are calling for a double-dip recession. However, in the face of more predictive and up-to-date affirmative cards, the double-dip reference (absent stronger support) could not win out.

For these reasons, I thought the affirmative won a solid risk of Davis.

In my assessment, the affirmative's winning Davis = major trouble for the negative-the affirmative could potentially spot the negative the politics debate and still win on probability of risk and magnitude of impact.

I think the negative was probably ahead on the issue of uniqueness of U.S. attacking Iraq as well as the specificity of their original link. On politics uniqueness, however, the affirmative did have a pretty sweet card about Bush actions re: oil and natural gas (USA Today, I think) from 3/19, which addressed the focus link and was more specific non-uniqueness evidence than some of the neg's stuff.

I also thought that the affirmative was doing well on the "winners win" turn, and probably won some offense on this to weigh against the risk of link the negative was winning. The affirmative's Weekly Standard card said that Bush could not get a win on domestic issues now. Their National Journal evidence that they used to argue plan would be a win indicated Bush lets Congress work out the specifics, and then takes the credit. Although the negative's San Francisco Chronicle card suggested Bush enjoys high poll numbers, the affirmative's Charleston Daily Mail evidence accounted for this in their uniqueness story, arguing that approval ratings post-crisis are inflated and don't translate into political achievements, and that Bush needs to convince Congress on substantive issues.

In the end, I didn't think the negative could win enough offense (and probably needed to play even more defense against winners win) to outweigh the risk of the Davis argument that the affirmative won.

It was a joy and a privilege to watch this debate. I thought that all four debaters exhibited the highest echelon of skill as well as class, and represented our activity in the finest manner. I was proud of all of you. Congratulations!

Hajir Ardebili

David Heidt - Emory University - Voted for the Affirmative Northwestern University

I thought that this was a great debate, and I'd like to congratulate both teams on a fine performance. I also thought that this debate was extremely close, and it was a pleasure to judge it.

I voted affirmative. I didn't think that Northwestern was winning very much of a risk of the Davis disad to the counterplan, but I thought that they were winning something, and that the small risk of it outweighed a smaller risk of Iraq. The affirmative did a slightly better job assessing impacts in the 2ar, and is correct that their Lewis impact evidence for the economy is substantially larger and better than Kentucky's Iraq impact evidence.

Kentucky made significant inroads into the economy uniqueness of the Davis disad. While Northwestern's evidence was slightly more recent, they didn't really have good answers to the warrants within Kentucky's evidence: that corporate profits are too low, bankruptcies are increasing, and that corporate debt is too high for a recovery. Kentucky's evidence says that these factors will make a second recession inevitable. Northwestern's evidence arguably answers this because it says that consumer spending is increasing, which seems like it would certainly help all of the things that Kentucky's evidence refers to, but the 2ar doesn't explain this well; he just extends the evidence without making comparisons or addressing the warrants that were explained by the 2nr (the one weakness in an otherwise great 2ar in my opinion).

I also had questions about the internal link-Northwestern doesn't have good evidence that says that the US economy is critical to the world economy. However, this argument doesn't hurt the affirmative too much, because the Lewis impact evidence really only makes a claim about how the US would react to a depression.

I thought that Kentucky debated the Iraq disad well, but was significantly behind because of the quality of Northwestern's uniqueness evidence. In my opinion, Northwestern is so far ahead on this issue that it was a near-terminal argument for the disadvantage. Kentucky is behind for two reasons:

1. Northwestern's evidence (Conan, 3/18, and Broder, 3/24) that says Bush is rapidly losing political clout is quite good, and is predictive about the future-it says that Democrats will challenge Bush on every new issue, and isolates the economy and trade as likely battles. Kentucky's evidence that says that Bush has political capital or isn't using it now isn't very good-it limits its claims to very specific battles like the Pickering nomination. This argument by itself wouldn't be enough to make the risk of Iraq less than the risk of Davis, but combined with the more damaging argument below, it is.

2. Northwestern's evidence is very specific to what their affirmative does. The USA Today evidence from March 19th read in the 1ar makes two important arguments. First, it says that Bush is pushing for natural gas development now, and second, that he will continue to push for it (and Congress will continue to fight it) Kentucky's answer to this in the 2nr is that it supercharges the link and proves that Bush won't survive another fight. This isn't persuasive to me since the evidence says that it is an ongoing battle. Kentucky's energy specific links are very good but are talking about Bush's energy plan; Northwestern's USA Today evidence is damning because Kentucky's links desc

Kentucky does have other link stories that might be unique-like a Native American specific energy argument and a focus link, but I don't think that these help very much given the inevitability of a Bush political capital loss. Kentucky's best internal link arguments say things like Bush needs a huge amount of political capital to strike Iraq-I don't think that he has it now, and I think that Bush will inevitably be involved in ongoing battles over natural gas without the plan that will cost him an Iraq strike. The plan might make it worse, but I'm not sure what the impact to that is simply because the quality of Kentucky's energy specific links is so good that if energy battles are inevitable and occurring now, then I don't think Bush has a chance.

Again, this was a great debate and both teams made a stellar performance. Congratulations to both!