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Bloggingheads 01-02-2009 05:00 PM

The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 

Titstorm 01-02-2009 05:04 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Conn, didn't I ban you from the internet? You gotta get certified before you can come back;)

eliotc 01-02-2009 06:52 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
In general, "blogginheads tv" is great!

But this debate, like all of Scher and Carroll's debates, are uniformly boring, generating more heat than light.

At their best, debates between left and right result in a Hegalian synthesis. But that requires some intellectual creativity and out of the box thinking and analysis.

Unfortunately, Scher merly repeats standard leftish talking points and buzzwords, and Carroll responds in a passive aggressive manner to everything Scher says. There is never any serious discussion of actual policy.

Boring.... lets pull the plug on these boring retreads.

zookarama 01-02-2009 07:13 PM

its This week in blog, remember?
 
I disagree with the notion that these two conduct boring debates. This is a 'dedicated bloggingheads format', not a debate, remember? Its supposed to present a digest of the many blog posts appropriate to the week's major political events. I think that Bill and Conn do a pretty good job of this. If you consider this boring, don't watch it.

BornAgainDemocrat 01-02-2009 07:16 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
As a Gentile (is that supposed to be a capital word) and someone who is absolutely committed to the survival of the state of Israel, I would like to make a constructive suggestion. We (meaning, I guess, the whole non-Arab, non-Jewish world) need to take a step back and view this conflict in its historical context, particulary since we all have a stake in the political stability of the Middle East.

I recommend a 35-year-old book by Isaiah Friedman, The Question of Palistine, 1914-1918, which documents the diplomatic origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in WWI. The interesting thing, to me at least, is that the Balfour Declaration was in actuality an allied war measure approved by all the major powers on "our" side -- Britain, France, Russia, etc., with the U.S. and even China and Japan as kind of Jr. partners -- whose aim was to secure Jewish support lest the Axis side do it first (ie, promise the Jews a homeland).

In other words, practically the whole "civilized" world decided to solve Europe's "Jewish problem" by giving someone else's land away -- a move that was basically seconded by the same set of countries at the end of WWII.

Why does this matter? Because it shows that the real moral onus is on Europe (mostly), not Israel or the Palestinians. (If A pushes B into C, who is responsible for the damages to C?) If the European community would honestly acknowledge its collective moral responsibility -- and of course Germany after Hitler is very much implicated also -- then I think this could add a new dimension to the attempt to arrive at a "just and lasting" peace in the region. I am thinking of reparations to the Palestinians as part of any final deal that might someday be negotiated between the belligerants.

A trillion dollar program of aid and investment together with an international guarantee of the civil and democratic rights of the Palestinian people within the bound of their future state ought to do the trick. Ask them. Blood money is something they understand -- and we ought to. It is a very civilized idea.

Three-way moral struggles should not be forever beyond the ken of human groups to fathom. Who knows, the future of our cvilization may hang in the balance? In any case this is a gentile thing. Nobody else can take the lead.

Titstorm 01-02-2009 07:34 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eliotc (Post 100328)
In general, "blogginheads tv" is great!

But this debate, like all of Scher and Carroll's debates, are uniformly boring, generating more heat than light.

At their best, debates between left and right result in a Hegalian synthesis. But that requires some intellectual creativity and out of the box thinking and analysis.

Unfortunately, Scher merly repeats standard leftish talking points and buzzwords, and Carroll responds in a passive aggressive manner to everything Scher says. There is never any serious discussion of actual policy.

Boring.... lets pull the plug on these boring retreads.

totally agree and i've been saying this for a while. all of the recurring pairs have said everything they have to offer. i can only stand new members on science saturday and that's it. we keep complaining because they all appear so often you have to skip most of the diavlogs. i say the guest list should be diversified or just don't post anything. what's the point of having this every week? it's not like we couldn't guess what each is going to say so why not just go debate other random people on a BBS? i think regulars should be restricted to interviewing new people.....ya know, experts or someone with actual insight. i can't believe people keep defending this....if we haven't had enough then when is enough? two more years? eight more? bheads has to lose this filler or it'll get left behind.

grits-n-gravy 01-02-2009 08:22 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 100332)
As a Gentile and someone who is absolutely committed to the survival of the state of Israel . . .

I'd like to tease out the assumptions of this commitment if you don't mind. Why not be equally committed to a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders?

bkjazfan 01-02-2009 09:28 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
I am curious to how President Obama will handle the auto company problems with their broken business model. I think he may give them another shot of money and kick the can down the road for awhile. However, I don't see him endorsing a permanent de facto subsidization of the industry which is probably what they will need to stay afloat. Time will tell.

John

Fsharp 01-02-2009 10:44 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
I, for one, don't see why people want the so called "two state solution." Why not give control of Gaza back to the Egyptians and the west bank back to the Jordanians. Along the pre 1967 borders of course. With Israels improved relations with Jordan and Egypt this seems like a better solution than ever to me. Is there some obvious answer that I'm just not seeing? My knowledge on this issue is limited so it wouldn't surprise me if that's the case.

grits-n-gravy 01-02-2009 11:13 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fsharp (Post 100339)
I, for one, don't see why people want the so called "two state solution." Why not give control of Gaza back to the Egyptians and the west bank back to the Jordanians. Along the pre 1967 borders of course. With Israels improved relations with Jordan and Egypt this seems like a better solution than ever to me. Is there some obvious answer that I'm just not seeing? My knowledge on this issue is limited so it wouldn't surprise me if that's the case.

What if the Palestinians were willing to go along with that proposal provided Palestinians are allowed to return to their land inside Israel proper; should the US pressure Israel to accept the Palestinian right of return?

rfrobison 01-03-2009 12:16 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
I was only listening to this diavlog with one ear so correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me Conn left out an important part of the argument for why conservatives (or as The Economist might put it "economic liberals") might favor a carbon tax to address global warming: namely its transparency and even-handedness. A carbon tax would let people see clearly the cost of their carbon emissions and make their own decisions about where and how much to cut them. I might want to hang onto my Ferrari but decide to move into a smaller house or insulate it better to cut my carbon tax bill, for instance.

Governments often prefer to obfuscate the costs of economic intervention through regulation to keep voters from objecting to their policies, and to allow them more scope for handing out electorally useful exemptions. This is why politicians love antidumping measures as opposed to simple tariffs to keep imports at bay. Consumers don't see the cost as clearly, while their favored constituencies get the same protection.

Limiting the effort to cut global warming to a higher gasoline tax would be ineffective and unfair. Road transport is only one contributor to carbon emissions; and why penalize drivers to the advantage of people like Al Gore, who, when he's not flying around the world emitting carbon to tell us how the end is nigh, is sitting in his huge mansion gobbling up electricity and spewing out more carbon in a month than most people do in a year?

As for Conn's argument that a carbon tax would involve "massive new government regulation of the economy," that doesn't really hold up. It would be simple enough to tax carbon emissions at the source by the determining carbon content of various fuels used to generate electricity, for example, and utility companies (and/or their customers) could again determine how best to minimize their tax burden.

All of this, of course, assumes people really DO take global warming seriously and are willing to pay a significant economic cost to limit it. That is another question.

Bill Scher 01-03-2009 12:49 AM

Re: its This week in blog, remember?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zookarama (Post 100330)
I disagree with the notion that these two conduct boring debates. This is a 'dedicated bloggingheads format', not a debate, remember? Its supposed to present a digest of the many blog posts appropriate to the week's major political events. I think that Bill and Conn do a pretty good job of this. If you consider this boring, don't watch it.

Yes, that's right. Our charge is to review the highlights of the past week in blogging and explore how the blogosphere is impacting the national debate. We have some flexibility to engage in our own debates, but that is not our primary objective.

Though it is quite possible we suck at reviewing blog posts too!

rfrobison 01-03-2009 01:07 AM

Re:Conn on the conservative case for a carbon tax
 
I'd welcome your comments, if you have any.

Unit 01-03-2009 01:45 AM

1000 Big Digs? I'd say another Iraq War.
 
It's eerie to see Reps and Dems swap roles in such a short time. A few years ago it was the Reps trying to paint the rebuilding effort in the Mid-East as being a hardship that would pay in the long run (in terms of security, oil trade, and whatever else), and now here are the Dems defending a similar adventure with the Big Stimulus.

About the format: I'm also a bit bored by the continuous bickering a sneering back and forth, "married couple"-like. There would be a solution to this: avoid bringing up bloggers that enjoy and indulge in this kind of obfuscatory behavior. Discuss more serious blog posts, academic ones, etc...

On a final note: Reps are not credible anymore when they pretend to defend the "small govt" side of the debate. The only hope now is that the "free-market" voices on the left will find their courage...but not the pro-business ones, the other ones, you know, the anti-gov't types that spoke up against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.

daveh 01-03-2009 01:58 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
I would be willing to bet the amount of the entire stimulus bill that there will never be a high speed rail stop within the City of San Francisco. There isn't even a regular train station.

Fsharp 01-03-2009 02:59 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy (Post 100341)
What if the Palestinians were willing to go along with that proposal provided Palestinians are allowed to return to their land inside Israel proper; should the US pressure Israel to accept the Palestinian right of return?

Ideally I would have Israel and the U.N. help pay for the assimilation of the Palestinians into Jordan and Egypt. It's probably just a pipe dream and I know it's been tried before, but I think it's just too late for the Palestinian right of return to work out well. Sixty years of radicalization on both sides would not make for a peaceful return of millions of Palestinians back into Israel, especially if doing so would displace the current residents of "their" land. Palestinian repatriation is also something I can't see Israel agreeing to for demographic reasons; something which leads to its emphasis by various people or groups that want to surreptitiously kill the peace process. (Arafat, anyone?)

Fsharp 01-03-2009 03:17 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rfrobison (Post 100343)
As for Conn's argument that a carbon tax would involve "massive new government regulation of the economy," that doesn't really hold up. It would be simple enough to tax carbon emissions at the source by the determining carbon content of various fuels used to generate electricity, for example, and utility companies (and/or their customers) could again determine how best to minimize their tax burden.

I agree that taxing the sale of fossil fuels to represent their carbon emissions seems like it would be easy.
However, Conn might be talking about taxing the production or use of these fuels which would require special onsite equipment, inspections, regulations and so on. Why you would do this instead of tax the sale is beyond me though.

btw, I completely agree with the first part of your post in regards to the benefits of a carbon tax.

otto 01-03-2009 03:48 AM

How bloggers have opened up the Mideast debate
 
This topic cannot be discussed without a link to Philip Weiss's Mondoweiss:

http://www.philipweiss.org/

And it's often the commenters on the liberal blogs that have pushed e.g. Yglesias further away from the Israel-first-'liberalism'.

rfrobison 01-03-2009 05:42 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fsharp (Post 100350)
I agree that taxing the sale of fossil fuels to represent their carbon emissions seems like it would be easy.
However, Conn might be talking about taxing the production or use of these fuels which would require special onsite equipment, inspections, regulations and so on. Why you would do this instead of tax the sale is beyond me though.

Yeah, personally I'd limit any such tax to carbon emitted by consumption (i.e., sale), whether by firms or consumers. A tax on production seems tricky to me. A nuclear power plant, for example might be taxed at zero for the energy it produces, but what about all the energy required to build the thing, any trees cut down to clear land for construction, etc., etc? Then it becomes a big mess.

How such a tax would best be administered as well as how much to charge to achieve a given reduction in carbon emissions is well beyond my expertise. I was speaking only in the most general terms and stating a preference for that over "cap and trade," which I think is likely to be the worst of both worlds: expensive and ineffective.

That pretty much guarantees the politicians will go for it.

bkjazfan 01-03-2009 09:36 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Yes, the high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco has to be hanging by a thread considering the state of California will be running out of money next month.

This is kind of strange. About a month after the state passed their budget (late of course) the governor started harping on his financial woes.

All those articles appearing in national magazines in the 90's about the Golden State and it's ominous future will become a reality this year.

John

Gravy 01-03-2009 11:01 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 100360)
Yes, the high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco has to be hanging by a thread considering the state of California will be running out of money next month.


John

Bill's comparative critique of air travel versus rail travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco is not well constructed. The biggest problem I see is his dubious apparent assumption that downtown to downtown represents a high fraction of the complete itineraries of the travelers potentially using the system. Downtown to downtown is a great advantage if that is where you start and stop, but this is America Bill, and that itinerary doesn't really capture that big a slice of the action. Additionally, while airport runway expansion does have land use issues, does Bill dream that high-speed rail is going to have fewer conflicts? Also, do you really think that a vehicle system transporting maybe 500 or more passengers traveling at 170 mph is going to be accessed without a similar airplane security system evolving around it? In fact, with today's airplane security seemingly highly effective, an unprotected high-speed train would be very high on the target list.

Bill, Americans aren't ignorant. If we haven't adopted a transport system alternative that works well in other places it isn't that we are stupid. It is that there are such gaping geographical, demographical and economic differences that high-speed rail doesn't return value as readily here as in those locations. Quadruple the population density, triple the price of fuel and someday maybe high-speed rail will payoff in America. Even accepting that economic stimulus is necessary, is this a good moment to spend billions on highly ineffective public works? Increased investment in intercity passenger rail, high speed or otherwise, would be a folly when projects of unquestionable benefits like roads, bridges, water and sewer are almost in an endless supply.

Unit 01-03-2009 12:30 PM

The eminent unknowable unknown
 
Another reason to be worried that I haven't seen brought up is "eminent domain". How much use of "eminent domain" will be necessary for these ambitious projects?

harkin 01-03-2009 12:46 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
So it's OK to parody the LA Times commentary, whites who vote for Obama out of guilt and the race-hustling Al Sharpton......but god forbid the imitation actually sounds like Rev Sharpton because that would be racist? LOL

Where was Bill when Tina Fey was talking like a four-year-old to turn Palin's Russia and Alaska proximity quote into 'I can see Russia from my porch'? Wasn't that a 'two-dimensional characterization' of a rural white person? You have to love the typical liberal double-standard.

Bill is completely wrong calling this a 'minstral show' but I can see why he's doing it. He is race-baiting himself. Shame on you Bill.

I think our major difference over this is that I don't think that the inflections in the impersonation reflect the 'average urban black person' as you do, but actually sound like the Rev Sharpton I'm familiar with from his Tawana Brawley, Jena and other numerous tirades.

And Bill, I think you need to meet more urban blacks to cure yourself of applying racial stereotypes.

grits-n-gravy 01-03-2009 01:25 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fsharp (Post 100349)
Ideally I would have Israel and the U.N. help pay for the assimilation of the Palestinians into Jordan and Egypt.

At some point we, Americans in particular, need to have a honest debate about the wisdom of unconditionally supporting a state founded to uphold the ethnic/religious superiority of one group over the others, to say nothing about its consistency with our own liberal democratic ideas of a modern nation state. I don't think that is the ideal situation we should be supporting. In contrast, we are doing everything possible to keep Iraq together despite history and geography. I know some will cringe at the comparison but F.W. De klerk and other white south africans began to realize toward the end of apartheid that the only way to maintain white control of the state was to continue killing blacks in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. For that and other reasons he concluded enough was enough. I learned that Olmert has come to same recognition. The questions for me are: will Israel decide to do it, will americans sit back and tacitly approve their doing it, and what will that ultimately do to the Jewish character, nevermind regional stability. I read Orlando Patterson's Ethnic Chauvinism back in the late 80s and early 90s and what I essentially conclude from his arguments is that a state founded on the basis of a ethnic or religious identity is fundamentally anti-liberal in the classic philosophical sense.

bjkeefe 01-03-2009 01:26 PM

shorter harkin
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 100373)
So it's OK to parody the LA Times commentary, whites who vote for Obama out of guilt and the race-hustling Al Sharpton......but god forbid the imitation actually sounds like Rev Sharpton because that would be racist? LOL

Bill is completely wrong calling this a 'minstral show' but I can see why he's doing it. He is race-baiting himself. Shame on you Bill.

I think our major difference over this is that I don't think that the inflections in the impersonation reflect the 'average urban black person' as you do, but actually sound like the Rev Sharpton I'm familiar with from his Tawana Brawley, Jena and other numerous tirades.

I demand the right to laugh at racist humor without being made to feel bad about it.

And if you won't buy that ...

Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 100373)
Where was Bill when Tina Fey was talking like a four-year-old to turn Palin's Russia and Alaska proximity quote into 'I can see Russia from my porch'? Wasn't that a 'two-dimensional characterization' of a rural white person?

... I now insist that, in fact, two wrongs do make a right.

Salt 01-03-2009 02:44 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Won't you redeem us, Uncle Remus? Zappa
Congratulations Conn. Did a good job of succinctly condemning Chip Saltsman without melting into a puddle of tears and disemboweling yourself with your stapler. Also, kudos to Barack for his reaction, which to me was a no-brainer but which maybe should not be taken for granted. Saltsman is clearly toast, but the buffoonish character here is Bill. His frenzied, high-pitched recitations from obscure blogs for what seemed like 10 minutes were bleeding heart overkill. You should realize you've lost when you look like you're crying to your mommy.

Bill Scher 01-03-2009 03:59 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 100373)
So it's OK to parody the LA Times commentary, whites who vote for Obama out of guilt and the race-hustling Al Sharpton......but god forbid the imitation actually sounds like Rev Sharpton because that would be racist? LOL

Where was Bill when Tina Fey was talking like a four-year-old to turn Palin's Russia and Alaska proximity quote into 'I can see Russia from my porch'? Wasn't that a 'two-dimensional characterization' of a rural white person? You have to love the typical liberal double-standard.

Bill is completely wrong calling this a 'minstral show' but I can see why he's doing it. He is race-baiting himself. Shame on you Bill.

I think our major difference over this is that I don't think that the inflections in the impersonation reflect the 'average urban black person' as you do, but actually sound like the Rev Sharpton I'm familiar with from his Tawana Brawley, Jena and other numerous tirades.

And Bill, I think you need to meet more urban blacks to cure yourself of applying racial stereotypes.

You've illustrated my point quite nicely. Thank you.

pampl 01-04-2009 04:03 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
I feel bad I dissed Carroll a few weeks ago because I've enjoyed all his appearances since.

I don't think he and Scher did a good job summarizing the state of blogs re: Magic Negroes. While I didn't find their argument very interesting, it was nowhere near tiresome and depressing enough to accurately represent the blogosphere.

nikkibong 01-04-2009 07:45 AM

Re: its This week in blog, remember?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Scher (Post 100344)

Though it is quite possible we suck at reviewing blog posts too!

you don't. keep up the good work.

bwn 01-04-2009 09:26 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gravy (Post 100366)
Also, do you really think that a vehicle system transporting maybe 500 or more passengers traveling at 170 mph is going to be accessed without a similar airplane security system evolving around it? In fact, with today's airplane security seemingly highly effective, an unprotected high-speed train would be very high on the target list.

The danger posed by a hijacked train is much, much smaller than that posed by a hijacked plane. Simply put, a hijacked train can't be driven into the White House. Planes are dangerous because, as we saw in 9-11, they can be used as weapons against other targets. Thus, the speed of the train has little to do with how attractive it is to terrorists. It is simply a box carrying passengers, just like any train or subway that moves at 50 mph. The only differences would be that an attack on the high-speed train would make for a flashier news blurb and presumably more of the passengers would die if the high-speed train derailed.

I'm familiar with Spain's high-speed AVE train. The security check process includes walking through a metal detector and having your luggage passed through an x-ray scanner. However, the lines are not nearly as long. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the number of high-speed trains departing from a given station is very small compared to the number of planes departing from a major airport.

bjkeefe 01-04-2009 12:25 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bwn (Post 100407)
The danger posed by a hijacked train is much, much smaller than that posed by a hijacked plane. [..]

Good post, bwn. Liked the specifics especially.

bjkeefe 01-04-2009 12:26 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Bill and Conn the Magic Diavloggers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pampl (Post 100398)
I don't think he and Scher did a good job summarizing the state of blogs re: Magic Negroes. While I didn't find their argument very interesting, it was nowhere near tiresome and depressing enough to accurately represent the blogosphere.

LOL! Very well put.

CrowsMakeTools 01-07-2009 01:05 AM

Magic Negro parodies? GOP = AIP, I'm all for it
 
The question that the conservatives need to ask about Chip Saltsman's contretemps is not whether or not it is racist. Obviously, some people found it tasteless and racist, and other people didn't.

The Republicans have lost two national elections in a row. In 2008 they lost in places like Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana. They have become a regional party with a base roughly equivalent to George Wallace's American Independent Party in 1968. I'm sure that people that voted for George Wallace in 1968 enjoyed receiving Mr. Saltsman's CD holiday gift.

The RNC chairman has a job to do. His job is to get people who voted for Obama in 2008 to vote Republican in 2010 and 2012. If the GOP wants to continue to maintain their position of strength with aging white racists in the upland South, then Saltsman is their guy. The fact that so many conservative bloggers feel like they need to defend Mr. Saltsman's remarkably maladroit attempt at humor is fine with me; I'm happy to see their commitment to shrinking their constituency.


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