2010-2011 Academic Year

The First 100 Days of Jerry Brown

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An early progress report on the Brown Administration.

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Who Can Marry in America?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Obama Administration recently announced that they will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the legal prohibition of same-sex marriage signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. But until the courts render a definitive verdict over DOMA’s legality, the House of Representatives promises to defend its constitutionality. In California and the country, the battle over Prop. 8 has many waiting for the Supreme Court to settle the issue by defining “marriage” in America. Professional and student experts meet to discuss DOMA, Prop 8, and the political implications of defining marriage. 

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The Elephant in the Room: Who Will Take Obama in 2012?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For the first time in many years, the GOP has no obvious next-in-line candidate to face Barack Obama as the Republican nominee for President in 2012. Many prominent Republicans have begun to move closer to throwing their hats into the ring. But in a primary campaign where many potential candidates have flirted with running, who can both rally the party base and win the support of independent voters to take on this well-funded incumbent? Student and professional political strategists assess the field of candidates and their chances against Barack Obama and his experienced campaign team. 

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Tweeting, Texting and Tagging: New Media and the Future of Campaign Politics?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In 21st century political campaigns, are texts and tweets more important than knocking on doors? Is friending people on Facebook the new phonebanking? New media has certainly redefined the political landscape, but can you really tweet your way into office? Come listen to student and professional new media experts as they navigate the new battleground of online campaigning. 

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Fueling Our Future: Is America Ripe for a Green Economy?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Will green technology be a jobs-creator for our economic future or a fashionable and expensive boondoggle? Will spending on research and development of alternative energies help save us from dependence on oil and gas, or a waste of taxpayer money? Student and professional experts weigh in on America’s paths toward environmental sustainability, energy independence, and economic growth. 

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California’s Budget Crisis: Can Brown Turn Red to Black?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Everyone agrees, California is broke. But, how do we balance our budget, through cutting spending or increasing taxes? Or both? Can Governor Brown convince the Legislature to pass his budget proposal, and then get California voters to support it in a special election? Student and professional experts gather to weigh the financial woes of the Golden State against the political obstacles to balancing the budget of a state in crisis. 

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The Kid's Aren't Alright: Fixing California Schools

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

California’s schools rank 48th out of the 50 states in most national rankings. Is the answer more money or more reforms? Or both? Everyone agrees that a great teacher can be a huge asset for their students’ futures. But what’s the best way to promote excellence in the classroom...for teachers and students alike?

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Stewart and Colbert: Comedians or News Anchors? Or Both?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is Comedy Central the CNN of the 21st century...or the Saturday Night Live? Is the Colbert/Stewart phenomenon political news or pure comedy? Is Jon Stewart really America’s modern day Walter Cronkite? Is Stephen Colbert solely a satirist? What happens when comedy begins to shape policy? And what does it mean for our political discourse when these lines begin to blur? A panel of student and professional experts breakdown the politics of comedy in the age of Indecision 2012. 

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MoveOn.org and the Tea Party: The New Forces in American Politics

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What do movements such as MoveOn.org and the Tea Party teach us about our democracy? Do Populist movements vent the frustrations of the engaged, or can they also give voice to the vitriol of the fringe? Historically, Populism has long been part of our politics, but how do such movements help us govern? A panel of student and professional experts explore MoveOn.org and the Tea Party, and unveil how Populists help write the story of American politics.

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Immigration: Both Sides of the Fence

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whatever happened to the immigration debate? Both Presidents Bush and Obama promised to fix a borken system, but little progress has been made and few observers are optimistic that a breakthrough will come any time soon. Can the politics of immigration lead to real reform? Join poltical experts of both parties and student leaders to discuss one of our nation's most important and volatile issues. 

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Obama and the Republicans: Potential for Compromise?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What are the lessons to be learned from last November’s midterm elections? Did the voters reject President Obama and his policies, or are Americans simply unhappy about the state of the economy? Can the President and Congress work together on this new political landscape? 

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President Obama's State of the Union 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The speech will be preceded by a panel discussion featuring Geoff Cowan, University Professor, USC; Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership; Dan Schnur, Chairman, California Fair Political Practices Commission; Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics; and a representative of the Daily Trojan. 

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Students Talk Back - The USC Internship Experience: Your Career’s First Step

Tuesday, November 25, 2010

Unemployment rates among recent college graduates are rising. Now, more than ever, a blank resume leads to a blank paycheck. So how can an internship help you take the first step in your career and put some practical application behind that Political Science degree? Past and present interns shared their stories. Through their experiences, and the Unruh Institute’s internship program, learn how you can get the competitive edge, contacts, and resume building skills you’ll need to land that first elusive job. 

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Students Talk Back - Midterm 2010: USC/LA Times Poll Finds Truth In Politics

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What’s the meaning of this election? What’s the number one reason people voted? USC students worked diligently with the Los Angeles Times to uncover who mattered and what mattered in the 2010 elections in California. At this special lunch event, USC students share their personal experiences and insights about working on this election season poll. 

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Midterm 2010: Election Night

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interactive games, prizes, with national and local news coverage and real time analysis of the election returns and panel dicussion.  Panel also included student representatives on both sides of the aisle. 

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Buy This Candidate: The Ethics of Political Marketing

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

With so much at stake each election cycle, candidates, political parties, and special interest groups spend huge sums on political marketing activities. Every election brings fresh allegations of underhanded marketing tactics that deceive or manipulate voters and undermine the democratic process. Our panel of experts will attempt to cut through the spin and counter-spin to answer the question: When are political marketing tactics unethical and what can we do about it? 

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Students Talk Back  - Governor’s Race: The Home Stretch

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

With only a week to go until the big day, USC student leaders and political practitioners critique the campaigns and predict whose tactics will ultimately win come Election Day.

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Students Talk Back  - Boxer vs. Fiorina: Who Will California Send to Washington?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Californians choose our next Senator, will experience be paramount, or do voters want fresh blood in Washington? As we near Election Day, both Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina are fighting for each remaining voter. Political practitioners and USC student leaders come together to discuss each campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, and to offer their predictions for who California will send to Washington. 

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Debate Watch 2010: Brown/Whitman (Part II)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Students and faculty viewed the televised faceoff between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown with a pre-debate discussion. 

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Students Talk Back  - Every Child Left Behind? Education Races to the Top of the Agenda

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Schools are failing young people across America. Everyone agrees investing in the future is a must, but how do we save our students from drowning within the system? Join experienced education and political professionals and USC student leaders to discuss how to build public support for the changes we need to save our schools.

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Students Talk Back - Puff, Puff… Should We Pass Prop 19?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is weed the green that’s going to solve California’s fiscal crisis? What will this mean for sellers and users? Experts and USC students share what they know about the prospects and the pitfalls of the marijuana initiative. 

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Debate Watch 2010: Brown/Whitman (Part I)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A public screening of the first Brown Whitman debate with a pre-debate discussion.  

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Students Talk Back - Defining Marriage: Who Decides

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political pundits agree that the final battle over gay marriage will be held in the Supreme Court. Supporters of gay marriage maintain that they are fighting for civil rights and equality before the law, while opponents contend that the voters have spoken and democracy’s voice has been heard. As we await Prop. 8’s day in America’s highest court, many wonder if there is historical precedent for the court to supersede the electorate. USC student leaders and practitioners meet to break through the barriers of defining marriage. 

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Students Talk Back – Prop. 23: The Battle Over Climate Change

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is California’s commitment to the environment curbing job creation or is reigning in global warming the only path to sustainable long-term growth? Does AB 32, signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006, stifle business or is it a necessary step in the fight to slow global warming.

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Ross Douthat: Theology Has Consequences

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Presented by: Knight Chair in Media and Religion
Diane Watson, the USC Annenberg Knight Chair in Media and Religion, and Ross Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times, discuss religion, politics, and the news media. Douthat’s recent column’s have covered same-sex marriage, the Glenn Beck phenomenon, Islam and American culture, the war in Afghanistan and clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. 

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Students Talk Back – Brown vs. Whitman: Who’s Got the Winning Strategy?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brown, the Democrat, presents himself as the voice of experience, a lifelong public servant who understands Sacramento and has the track record to break through its political stalemate. Whitman, the Republican, is the former CEO of eBay who argues that private sector experience is the key to whipping the Sacramento political machine back into shape. 

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