Lab: JM
Email address: andrewspomer <at> gmail <dot> com

Date of debate: 7/20

Debating on: T - beyond the Earth's mesosphere = can't be telescopes and stuff - neg
Instructor/commentator: Eli
Comments: A nice speech - I particularly liked the internet example (although I didn't really get it until when you explained it after your speech...) and your work impacting limits. I did get the sense that you were reading a lot of blocks, which can be useful for some situations, but also reduces the relevance of what you're saying for any particular debate, which causes you to say more than necessary. That, combined with the and/or interpretation (which is easily defeated in roughly 7 1AR seconds) contributed to you not having time to cover competing interpretations / reasonability at the bottom.

Date of debate: 7/22

Debating on: impact calculus drill
Instructor/commentator: Mikaela
Comments: You have a very good explanation of the magnitude of proliferation -- I like the conflict escalation argument. However, you need an argument about why prolif turns secessionism. This would be a better use of your time than also trying to win probability and magnitude -- you should focus on 1 or 2 and argue about why it or they outweigh the other(s).

Date of debate: 7/22

Debating on: Topicality 1NR
Instructor/commentator: Mulholand
Very good speech. Good use of the overview - always be sure that when you're giving a T overview you repeat what you did here and give a brief explanation of your vision of the topic alongside the best reason to prefer your interpretation, nothing more. It would be good to start off a little bit slower at the beginning of the speech (especially if the room is somewhat noisy or has bad acoustics). You want to think about topicality like a disadvantage: the "link" is the determinable characteristic of your interpretation (it would allow for these kinds of affirmatives, it is written by a qualified expert, etc.), and the "impact" is the benefit of debate that characteristic helps us to achieve (having a slightly smaller topic lets us write specific strategies and avoid stale debates where we have to rely on generic arguments, using a definition written by a qualified expert helps us maximize topic education by debating the same thing the experts are talking about, etc.). You were a little repetitive explaining the link to your limits disad - put that all in one place.

Date of debate: 7/20

Debating on: speaking drills - T extensions
Instructor/commentator: Ken
Comments: looks like Andrew has done this one several times now. His technical skills are incredibly good. The only thing in that respect that needed any work was that his analytic arguments were run-ons with no labels/tags.We talked about structuring them just like carded arguments, except instead of label-card it is label - argument. Andrew wanted advice on strategy on going for T. 1.We talked about moving the limits argument to an overview and selling the limits problem really big there, and then just referencing that through the speech. 2. Making the limits argument impact that the aff interpretation is bad for debate -- that the aff is UNreasonable, to avoid / make irrelevant the reasonability vs. competing interpretations quibbling 3. Not making the ground argument since (a) the limits claim was so good, and (b) losing the ground argument could lose the T debate even if limits are a problem (the aff arg that limits are no problem if the neg has ground). Looking at Rob's comments above, some of this still needs work.

Date of debate: 7/27

Debating on: practice debate vs Lucy/Sarah
Instructor/commentator: Campbell
Comments: 2AC: Sparse time on the DA at the end – that time could be saved by being more efficient on case. That said, pretty good 2AC – moved through case well with good arguments, if a little inefficient, and were pretty clear and fast when necessary. Diverse set of arguments on the CP is good/smart too. Good job.
CX of the 2AC: 1N, look at the judge. Good questions/answers by both of ya’ll though – this was a pretty intelligent CX on both sides although it trailed off at the end.
CX of the 2NR: Good spunk 2N about the limiting arguments. 2A, two clever questions – push the one at the beginning of the speech more – if funding is inevitably going to be restored, doesn’t that take out the link?
2AR: Could have perhaps focused your impact arguments better (I’ll explain outloud) but I think your overall strategy was a pretty good one, especially considering your lack of prep. Good focus on both the DA and the CP. I think on the DA you should go to the Wittington argument first – explain it as entirely separate and a way that you’ll win that isn’t theoretical.

Date of debate: 7/27

Debating on: 2AR redo (asteroid mining)
Instructor/commentator: Kathryn
You don't need to reexplain your advantage internal links. Good impact calculus. On the CP, I think you need a more solid solvency deficit. The argument that Russia doing the plan would exacerbate the US loss of nuclear primacy is a good solvency deficit. Focus on the aging workforce rather than the cost. Your intrinsicness jsutification is good, but it's good to have another winning strategy as well because it's a highly judge-dependent argument.

Date of debate: 7/29

Debating on: practice debate - neg vs. Alex/Liam
Instructor/commentator: eli
You have two different intonations while speaking – the tag and card intonations. Keep those the same. Always err on the side of more cards rather than fewer – reading a bunch of extra politics links was a bit of a waste of time. I’d suggest reading some cards about hurricanes; although the cross-ex admission by the aff that SBSP microwaves weren’t very hot, the 2AC pretty effectively explained their way out of that, and some carded defense would have been helpful. Good question in CX about the timing of Solaris vs. the time-frame of the warming advantage.

Nice job with politics. I think there was maybe one unnecessary argument in each big area of the debate. For instance, the spending link argument at the top of uniqueness, some repetition of the spending link argument, and the argument that economic collapse both hurts privatization and prevents transition to coal (those are the same). Overall, though, very good, clever speech. I liked the argument that link direction outweighs, that the spending link outweighs so close to the debt ceiling limit, and that there’s a link to the plan even if there’s no politics link (since it spends money). Your coverage on the warming advantage could have been much more efficient. Lots of little narratives were unnecessary – for instance, Suo being unqualified about risk management or the models being bad because of extrapolation from 1900. Also, you compared climate skepticism to Holocaust denial, right? I don’t think that’s a favorable analogy for you. Focus on explaining the argument. You also need to naswer the hurricanes scenario.

Date of debate: 8/3

Debating on: Practice Rd 2 2A
Instructor/commentator: Mulholand
Comments: In the 2AC, you want to answer the K before the disad - you can win on the case outweighs the disad even if you don't get there, but it will be tough to beat the framework and alternative for the K if you drop that argument. Very good efficiency on the case in the 2AC - you did a great job of saving time to spend on the K and the DA. You do want to make sure to answer each of the colonization not feasible arguments specifically (ex: radiation/lack of life support blocks colonization), since asteroid mining intuitively seems a bit far fetched. Great cross-x, both asking and answering - you've got great presence when you're assertive. In the 2AR, you did a good job of choosing arguments and making an investment/explaining warrants, but I would choose differently. It's going to be difficult to convince most judges that the optimal framework would exclude kritiks entirely (you can probably win floating pics bad, but it's tough to win on "they shouldn't get kritiks at all since they invariably nullify the 1AC"). I would try and use substantive framework arguments - engaging in policymaking is key to address violent/hegemonic relations of dominance, etc - to establish offense against the Alt. Ideally, against the security K, I think you want to be saying: the alt doesn't solve the affirmative or the links/impacts to the kritik (cede the political, policy focus good, etc), the case turns/is a prerequisite to the alt (our impacts are inevitable without the plan and result in worse/more violent forms of securitization), the case outweighs, and the plan/perm should be preferred.

Date of debate: 8/5

Debating on: 1NR - space mil DA
Instructor/commentator: Eli
Comments: Great job reading a ton of evidence. You could have read some of the impact stuff at the place it was applicable on the flow to avoid the inefficiency of cross-application - like you did with the uniqueness debate. I'd suggest probably 1 more uniqueness / explanation of motives card about China. Your comparative arguments were really stellar as well.

Date of debate: 8/6

Debating on: practice debate vs Daniel/Haley
Instructor/commentator: Mikaela
Comments: 2AC – you shouldn’t need prep for this speech! The only arguments you didn’t know in advance were the case defense, which was only a few arguments, and you have all of 1NC cross-ex to prepare .
Great speech overall! You need a little work on clarity, especially when reading cards. Your tags are slow and clear, but ideally you would be going about the same speed and clarity on both tags and cards.
Good efficiency on case. I’m not sure you really answered the argument that first strike capabilities undermine deterrence, other than saying “it’s nonunique.” You want to win that 1st strike capability is necessary to a strong deterrent and doesn’t cause miscalculation, etc.
If you are going to make impact defense arguments against economy impacts, you might not want to read the economy impact in the 1AC. You can still use the “aff solves the economy” argument without reading defense to an impact you’ve read.
Your coverage of the off case positions is generally good, but on the K, you should err toward making more in-depth and nuanced arguments rather than a lot of relatively blippy ones.
2AR – Great strategic vision about what the most important arguments are, and how to generate a solvency deficit against the CP. Good work on the permutation. You don’t need to spend quite so much time emphasizing that the negative clarified their CP text. You could probably justify your argument even without that, and you’re pretty repetitive about it. You should maybe do some more impact assessment about the hegemony advantage vs coercion. I think you’re making smart arguments against coercion. Feel free to grandstand about the flaws in libertarian ideology.

Date of debate: 8/12

Debating on: Double-octafinals
Instructor/commentator: Tatsuro
Comments: I vote aff - The negative wins that the lack of an economic turn hurts investor confidence – I still think that the affirmative wins terminal impact defense to the disad – the 2NR doesn’t respond to the fact that there is no correlation between economic decline and war. An argument made in the 2AC and the 1AR about why there isn’t a correlation.
I think the aff wins their science diplomacy add-on. Even if economic decline destroys our ability to solve and actually mine minerals in the long run – it provides the impetus and short term perception that allows us to cooperate with other countries – like Russia which solves relations and nuclear war.
I think the aff also wins a solvency argument that the perception of going into space and having a test subject allows for China to open up their markets – that’s key to nuclear primacy and solve all conventional conflict
The independent voter – I don’t think that it’s a deal breaker – I think that the 2NRs arguments about why it should be because the aff shifts away are resolved by the 2AR when he defends that they spend a ton of money – he doesn’t go for the argument – and I don’t think other than voting issue the negative provides a unique reason why it skews debate necessarily.


Date of debate: June 23
Debating on: Constellation aff
Instructor/commentator: Nicole
Awesome job! Best 1AC ever!