Month: November 2009 Page 1 of 5

AGD: The Nation’s Most (In)Famous Party Crashers

Facebook worthy? You bet.

Facebook worthy? You bet.

by Corey Alderdice

Washington (and the rest of the nation) hasn’t been this abuzz about a dynamic duo of social climbers showing up uninvited since Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan slipped into the wedding of the Treasury Secretary’s daughter in the 2005 film Wedding Crashers.

Though the story of Michaele and Tareq Salahi is really more faux-news than anything, it did land smack dab in the middle of what was a slow news cycle thanks to, well, Thanksgiving.   In the event that you see a question this weekend at GMU’s Patriot Games, Bradley University’s Armstrong Invitational,or anywhere else around the country, Slate has a great piece outling the long history of social climbing.

To that notable group of societies we can now add 21st-century Washington, D.C. Like 18th-century Russia, it is a world of neophytes, a society whose members have only recently “made it” into an elite magic circle and who don’t necessarily know the other members all that well. Like 19th-century New York, it is also a world where appearances matter. You get invited to the party—whether the White House Hanukkah party or the state dinner—not just because of who you are but because of what you represent, which costume you wear, which ethnic group you come from.

After all, when you can choose between Wedding Crashers or 18th century Russia, be the speaker who stands out in the round.

R&D: Top Five News Stories/Reports You Want to Read Today

Here is your R&D top five for November 30th:

The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama from the Wall Street Journal

Mujica reaches out to the opposition and calls for political agreements from MercoPress

A party both united and divided from The Washington Post

Lucky Lobo (Honduras Election) from the Economist

Bush-Style Military Spending Not Over Yet from Foreign Policy in Focus

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of November 30th-December 4th, 2009 (Short Answer Version)

quiz-01Want a challenge?  Here’s this week’s short answer version of the Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!





Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of November 30th-December 4, 2009 (Multiple Choice Version)

quiz-01Here is your multiple choice Extemp Central news quiz for this week.  Brush up on your knowledge of domestic and global events that were taking place over your Thanksgiving Break.  Good luck!




National Points Race: Updated Standings After Glenbrooks

pointsraceheader-01The 2009-2010 National Points Race and National Team Points Race standings have been updated after the Glenbrooks tournament that was held last weekend in Illinois.  Click on the National Points Race tab on the top of the webpage in order to find out who has moved up and who has moved down in the latest rankings.

Also, don’t forget that the George Mason University Patriot Games is this coming weekend which will be the last opportunity for extempers to earn points for the first semester.  Good luck to those competing in Fairfax next week!

R&D: Top Five News Stories/Reports You Want to Read Today

Here is your R&D top five for November 27th:

Voter Anger Is Building Over Deficits from The Wall Street Journal

4 Vie for Kennedy’s Seat, but Only 3 Seek His Mantle from the New York Times

India lays to rest a Bush-era ghost from The Asia Times

Brazil and the US confirm differences over Honduras Sunday elections from MercoPress

The al-Qaeda-Taliban Nexus from the Council on Foreign Relations

Extemp News Quiz Answers for the Week of November 23rd-27th, 2009

quiz-01Here are the answers to this week’s news quiz.  Answers are in bold in the multiple choice format.

Check back tomorrow for the updated standings in the Extemp Central National Points Race!



AGD: Enjoy Thanksgiving with Some Political Turkeys

Warning: These Turkeys are NOT for Consumption

Warning: These Turkeys are NOT for Consumption

by Corey Alderdice

Your friends at Extemp Central want to take this moment to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  It’s one of the few weekends during the fall semester where we get a break.  Enjoy it…as well as some turkey (or tofu-rkey, if that’s how you roll).

Also, we also want to say how grateful we are for our great readership.  November has been an outstanding month at Extemp Central.   The reception to our expanded offerings has been tremendous!  You seem to dig the expanded questions, news quizzes, topic briefs, AGD, tournament coverage, The EX Files and more.   We’re thankful for that!

In the end, this website is for you!  We’re proud to have the resources to offer help to coaches and competitors around the country.   If you think this month has been great, we’re looking to finish the year strong while pulling out the stops for 2010.  It’s going to be a fun ride, and we hope to have you along for it.

While you’re taking a break from the holiday festivities, take a moment to check out The Huffington Post‘s photo album of Politicians Who Look Like Turkeys.

One more thing: check back on the site tomorrow for ways to save with SpeechGeek‘s Black (Book) Friday Special!

R&D: Top Five News Stories/Reports You Want to Read Today

Here is your R&D top five for November 25th:

US pledges carbon emissions cuts from the BBC

Obama to Deliver Prime-Time Address on Afghanistan Tuesday from the Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan: Elections and the Crisis of Governance from the International Crisis Group

U.S.-India: An Enduring Partnership in Uncertain Times from the Heritage Foundation

Corruption Index Today, Election Tomorrow, Aid Revamp the Day After? from the Brookings Institute

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of November 24th-30th, 2009

HOTtopics1.  Will major modifications have to be made to the healthcare bill in the Senate in order for it to pass?
2.  Can Obama follow through on a planned pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020?
3.  Could Lou Dobbs be a serious presidential contender?
4.  Should the way teachers get tenure be re-evaluated?
5.  Will the RNC’s idea of denying funding for candidates that do not support establish party principles only leave the GOP in the political wilderness?
6.  Has the gay marriage movement lost its momentum?
7.  How realistic is a push for comprehensive immigration reform next year?
8.  Will Sanford be impeached?
9.  How would a News Corp. alliance with Bing affect the search engine business?
10.  Will unemployment remain above nine percent through the end of 2010?

R&D: Top Five News Stories/Reports You Want to Read Today

Here is your R&D top five for November 24th:

The U.S.-Russia Nuclear Thicket (Interview) from the Council on Foreign Relations

Where the Public Stands on Immigration Reform from The Pew Research Center

Spain Believes EU Should Create G-3 with U.S., China from The Latin American Herald Tribune

White House Begins Campaign to Promote Science and Math Education from The New York Times

U.S. youths recruited to fight in Somali militia, authorities say from The Los Angeles Times

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of November 24th-November 30th, 2009

HOTtopics1.  Does the massacre in Mindanao pose an immediate threat to Filipino democracy?
2.  Was the EU’s selection of Rompuy as its first president a missed opportunity?
3.  Would a prisoner swap with Hamas make Israel appear weak in the eyes of its enemies?
4.  As it draws to a close, has the Khmer Rouge trial been a healing experience for Cambodia?
5.  What is the probability that Iraq will have a national vote in January?
6.  Does India need the U.S.?
7.  Is the gradual abolition of term limits in Latin America as alarming as it seems?
8.  Will “Climategate” derail Copenhagen?
9.  Is ElBaradei’s optimistic outlook about achieving an Iranian nuclear accord misguided?
10.  Will Traian Basescu win re-election in Romania?

The Glenbrooks: Steven Elliott Makes Minnesota Proud; Chesterton Places Two in Finals

glenbrooksThe Glenbrooks took place this weekend in Illinois and when it was finished, Steven Elliott of Lakeville North High School in Minnesota captured the championship.  He is the first Minnesotan to capture the title since Kevin Troy of Eagan High School won it in 2004. Elliott claims 100 points for himself and his school in the Extemp Central National Points Race (standings will be updated by the end of the week).

Final results can be found after the jump.

R&D: Top Five News Stories/Reports You Will Want to Read Today

Here is your R&D top five for November 23rd:

Venezuela vs. Colombia: Two leaders seek outside mediation from the Christian Science Monitor

Support for legalizing marijuana grows rapidly around U.S. from the Washington Post

Pity those caught in the middle (Yemen) from The Economist

Weighing Jobs and Deficit from the Wall Street Journal

Hamas ‘debating prisoner exchange deal’ from BBC

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of November 23rd-27th, 2009 (Short Answer Version)

Up for a challenge?  Try the Extemp Central news quiz without choices.  This is our short answer news quiz for the week of Novemberquiz-01 23rd-27th.  Good luck!




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