“From wherever you stood, the opposing side offered respectable, credible views. In today's fractured culture the evening struck a blow for civility.”
- The Huffington Post
November 17, 2009
Just hours after a government audit lambasted the New York Fed as meek in its role in AIG’s rescue last fall, two big names in the financial world sparred over similar questions of government heft–or lack thereof–in downtown Manhattan on Monday night.
November 18, 2009
“Obama’s economic policies are working effectively.” That was the motion that Intelligence Squared US put to its New York audience Monday night for a vote. One three-man team defended the president’s policies; another denounced them. Though the “anti” team ultimately lost the vote, it made the more compelling argument...
November 18, 2009
Are Obama's economic policies actually working? Intelligence Squared posed this question to six policy experts at a debate in New York this week.
November 17, 2009
Neither his trademark Cheshire-cat smile, nor his plucky self-confidence was enough to rescue former Gov. Eliot Spitzer from losing the vote Monday night.
November 30, 2009
Whatever else they may do in office, presidents are largely judged—by the voters, if not historians—on their handling of the economy. So with unemployment edging into double digits, last week's Intelligence Squared US debate topic—"Obama's Economic Policies Are Working Effectively"—attracted the largest audience in the history of the series...
December 03, 2009
The team in favor of the proposition, America is to Blame for Mexico’s Drug War, scored an undisputed victory with 72% of the audience at the debate’s conclusion siding with them.
March 08, 2011
In the latest round in America’s premier debate series, Intelligence Squared Debates (IQ2US), Bill Ritter, the former governor of Colorado, who established the state as a leader in renewable energy joins Kassia Yanosek, co-founder of the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance support the motion while Robert Bryce, author of “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future” and Steven Hayward, author of “Almanac of Environmental Trends” oppose it.
March 08, 2011
Can cleaner sources of energy not only power our economy but also drive a recovery from the Great Recession? That's the question confronted by policymakers across the U.S.—and by debaters in the Intelligence Squared series hosted March 8 by New York University.
December 08, 2009
Forty years ago, the United States government began a "war on drugs" whose cost so far is estimated at $1 trillion, and rising. In 2006, newly elected Mexican President Felipe Calderón began a crackdown on the drug-smuggling cartels—a "war on drugs" that really is a war, involving military troops and weapons and more than 10,000 dead so far. Americans buy drugs from the cartels and sell them guns, and Washington arguably provided the example for the Mexican government's hard-line tactics. So is America to blame for Mexico's drug war? That was the topic at last week's Intelligence Squared US debate at New York University.
January 20, 2010
The evening’s winning team argued for the motion and included Santa Monica City Council member Bobby Shriver, the Economist’s Andreas Kluth, and journalist and founder of TheWrap.com Sharon Waxman.
April 01, 2011
With a $300,000 salary, Bill Ritter is paid way more than the average academic at Colorado State University. So the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at CSU surely ought to know his stuff.
January 20, 2010
You could say it wasn’t a fair fight. With a proposal like, “California is the First Failed State,” the debate on Tuesday seemed a foregone conclusion. Those of us who live in the state and watch the news trot out a litany of funeral announcements for successive state services – education, medical care for the poor, arts programs, government paychecks – kind of thought it was obvious.
January 26, 2010
In the latest Intelligence Squared US debate, the audience agreed that the Golden State has lost its luster.
May 03, 2011
With the first anniversary of Arizona’s illegal immigrant law just behind us, last night’s debate at Intelligence Squared US, “Don’t give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”, was a rousing, heated exchange on the nation’s hottest issue. According to live audience voting, the Kobach/Tancredo team made the more convincing argument by moving the most audience votes to their side at the end of the evening although the Castro/Jacoby team carried 52% of the final vote.
May 04, 2011
There was a good crowd at New York University Tuesday evening for the Intelligence Squared debate. These are full-dress formal disputations on topics of public interest, held roughly once a month through the season, very professionally organized and broadcast on Bloomberg TV and NPR. Tuesday’s topic was “Don’t give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” the reference being to Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty.
June 08, 2011
With world governments still reeling from the WikiLeaks fallout, acclaimed debate series Intelligence Squared US turned its attention to the balance between national security and freedom of the press. After watching the heated debate, IQ2US’s live, sold-out audience came down in favor of the Dershowitz/Sanger team, deciding against the motion that “Freedom of the press does not extend to state secrets”.
March 02, 2010
Is California America's first "failed state?"... It's a hot topic. You see it suggested in the press. It's spinning into the very high-stakes California governor's race. There was even a formal debate about it in late January in New York City. Schwarzenegger in particular was very struck by that debate, sponsored by Intelligence Squared, as he told me when we talked about it the other day. The event dripped with irony, as it featured Schwarzenegger's brother-in-law, Bobby Shriver, as the most prominent member of the team of three arguing that California is America's first "failed state."
October 27, 2010
Is big government stifling the American spirit? That was the question posed to panelists at last night's Intelligence Squared debate in the Skirball Center. Among the guests was Stern professor Nouriel Roubini, who was nicknamed "Dr. Doom" by the New York Times after he successfully predicted the financial crisis as early as September 2006.
October 25, 2011
Last night NYU’s Skirball Center saw an overwhelming victory for the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, “Congress Should Pass Obama’s Jobs Plan – Piece By Piece.” According to the final votes, Cecilia Rouse and Mark Zandi won the debate by convincing 24% of the audience to change their minds to support the motion, thus winning the Oxford style debate. They argued Obama’s jobs plan is a necessary step toward avoiding another recession and stimulus legislation will stem an economic downturn.
October 25, 2011
Earlier this week, President Obama, ardent lover of three-word mantras, introduced a new slogan for his American Jobs Act: "We can't wait!" The president exhorted Congress to act on the jobs creation plan he introduced in September. The audience at last night's Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. live debate at NYU's Skirball Center vehemently agreed with the president: After the conclusion of the debate, 69 percent voted for the motion "Congress should pass Obama's jobs bill—piece by piece"; 22 percent voted against the motion; and 9 percent were undecided.
October 27, 2011
There was really no point to any further debate, but I went to the debate, anyway. It was part of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series at New York University's Skirball Center on Tuesday night. The topic: "Congress Should Pass Obama's Jobs Plan--Piece By Piece." It was fun watching four wonkish brainiacs flagellate each other over a $447 billion stimulus plan that was pretty much dead on arrival weeks ago.
November 23, 2010
Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford-style debate series, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, hosted a debate last night on the motion, U.S. Airports Should Use Racial & Religious Profiling. Given the recent news of stepped up TSA security procedures at airports, the debate was well-timed and shed light on the complications around keeping America’s skies safe. At the debate’s conclusion, the side arguing in favor of using racial and religious profiling in airport screenings won the debate, though the crowd at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts was closely divided.
November 23, 2011
At a debate last night hosted by Intelligence Squared US, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock argued that "we want the TSA and others to recognize that the current threat to passengers and airliners comes almost exclusively from one source..." Countered former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff: "The problem with using racial and religious profiling is it takes you down a road to looking at people who you don't need to look at and avoiding looking at people that you should look at..."
November 24, 2010
As Americans fly this Thanksgiving holiday, critics of new security measures are arriving at airports in kilts. Subsequent pat downs will be quite enhanced, indeed. Pre-flight screening has moved from safety to comedy. Before it devolves into tragedy, airline employees and government officials should start profiling terrorists. America must focus its finite capabilities on those who crave the destruction of planes and the people who ride them.
November 26, 2010
Since 9/11, al Qaeda has not succeeded in launching another terrorist spectacular in the United States. But it has succeeded in provoking a spectacular debate about aviation security. Several weeks ago—and even earlier at some airports—the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) initiated full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs, including inspections of private parts, that in some quarters are fueling outrage.
November 29, 2010
As an American Muslim, I’ve come to recognize, sadly, that there is one common denominator defining those who’ve got their eyes trained on U.S. targets: MANY of them are Muslim—like the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.
November 30, 2010
Zeba Khan was born and raised in a middle-class home in Toledo, Ohio, and for nine years attended the local Jewish day school, The Hebrew Academy, going to morning minyan every day. She graduated in 1993. She says she would have continued on with her Jewish education but the school only went through sixth grade. “I knew Hebrew better than most of my classmates,” she recalled in a recent interview, “and I wanted a bat mitzvah.”
January 14, 2011
The debate, the first in IQ2US’s spring series “America’s House Divided,” was particularly timely given the planned House of Representatives vote to consider repealing the landmark health care reform bill. Arguments on both sides of the motion were passionate and insightful but in the end, one side had the clear support of the vast majority of the live audience in New York and the motion was rejected soundly.
January 19, 2011
For an actual debate on the law, here's a debate sponsored by Intelligence Squared US, featuring two authors whose writing I admire and follow: Paul Starr and Jonathan Cohn.
November 03, 2011
[T]wo teams squared off last month to debate the question of whether Congress should pass President Obama’s jobs plan – piecemeal, if necessary. The debate, held under the auspices of Intelligence Squared US, pitted Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi and Princeton University policy wonk Cecilia Rouse against Richard Epstein, an NYU law professor, and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute, with the latter duo arguing that what’s needed for the economy to rebound and ultimately create new jobs is structural reform, not what Mitchell called “faux stimulus.”