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Bloggingheads 03-29-2010 08:11 AM

Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 

Baltimoron 03-29-2010 09:17 AM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
It's so refreshing to see real political scientists, like Farrell and Drezner, take the spotlight from the hacks!

Excellent Mel Brooks clip! Still, I'm a bit uneasy about the lampoon, because this scandal is all about the abuse of power and trust.

On the Catholic scandals, I wish Farrell could have tied his salient point about German tithes to Drezner's query about the power of developing states' congregations. But, emphasizing the Catholicism as an organization facing pressure to reform by exiting members is a savvy way to start the conversation.

On Greece and the euro zone, wouldn't Germany be better served by retracting the range of the euro to the more prudent economies? High export, high savings might make sense for Berlin, but Greece is far less authoritarian. As long as Germany has markets for its high-end goods, does it need to get involved in the politics of union?

Two thumbs, and two big toes, UP!!

Simon Willard 03-29-2010 09:39 AM

Jungle jumble
 
Is "Frumble in the Jungle" a reference to Rumble in the Jungle, or Bungle in the Jungle?

David Edenden 03-29-2010 09:40 AM

Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Like Bruce Willis, in the "Sixth Sense" ... walking around not realizing he is dead, the USA is a "zombie power".

The decline of the US from "the world's sole remaining superpower" to "zombie power" in a few short years can be discussed using macro level indicators such as Chinese communist government holdings of US government bonds, Russian foreign policy adventurism due to oil wealth, depletion of US military power as a result of over extension of US forces around the world, the bleeding of resources as a result of the Iraq and Afgan wars and finally the Israeli lobby control of Middle East policy due to ... you know what!

A micro level analysis reveals the extent to which "clients" of US power have turned into masters of US foreign policy. The tail is wagging the dog ... and the superpower is now a zombie power and it does not know that it is dead!

1. Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds

Notwithstanding US tacit support, for over 60 years, for Turkish cultural genocide of its ethnic Kurdish minority, Turkey refused to allow US forces to use Turkish territory to invade Iraq. No US retaliation for this insolent behavior.

2. Turkey and the Armenian Resolution

Armenian resolution almost destroyed decades long alliance between Turkey and US. American politicians can be bought for a political donations.

3. Iraq is expelling US forces after 2011 contrary to US desire for permanent base. Can't the CIA overthrow these suckers?

4. Macedonia - "What's in a name"?

A small change is the US Report on Human Rights in Greece foreshadows a change by the Obama administration regarding the current US recognition of the Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name instead of the UN imposed compromise of FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

The US once overthrew a democratically elected Greek government and supported a military dictatorship, now Obama smashes a plate every time the Greek lobby says "opa!"

Lyle 03-29-2010 10:51 AM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Enh... Macedonia is a backwater country unfortunately. Greece is too, but for Turkey.

Simon Willard 03-29-2010 10:52 AM

Catholic church attendance
 
I was interested in Henry's prediction of strongly declining church attendance in Catholic Europe. Along with the comment that the scandal's shock "hasn't penetrated as it has in the US" yet, this seems out-of-sync with the facts in the US, where attendance shows a long slow decline since the 1950's but no fall-off that can easily be connected with the scandals.

From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?

Stapler Malone 03-29-2010 11:05 AM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 156580)
...

Tell us how you really feel about Turkey, don't hold back. I'm sure many here are very interested in your subtle analysis on this.

David Edenden 03-29-2010 11:14 AM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 156586)
Enh... Macedonia is a backwater country unfortunately. Greece is too, but for Turkey.

All too true, but that is the point ... Greece and Turkey don't give a shit about the interests of the US because ... it is a zombie power.

US politicians crave the approval of the Greek government and Greek lobby like crack whores crave crack ero ... zombie power!

David Edenden 03-29-2010 11:17 AM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stapler Malone (Post 156588)
Tell us how you really feel about Turkey, don't hold back. I'm sure many here are very interested in your subtle analysis on this.

Turkey should take its marbles, go home and look to the Turkic countries and Arabs countries for future prospects. Israel will join the EU before Turkey does.

Lyle 03-29-2010 11:20 AM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Is that really true though? Like you said, the U.S. has been as much, if not more of an ally to Turkey over the years. Interestingly, both populations tend to hate us (Greeks especially... re-call the booing of American athletes at the 2004 Olympics).

... and if the US is going to support the name change of FYR Macedonia to Republic of Macedonia, isn't that a failure on the part of the Greek lobby?

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 11:34 AM

Re: Catholic church attendance
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 156587)
I was interested in Henry's prediction of strongly declining church attendance in Catholic Europe. Along with the comment that the scandal's shock "hasn't penetrated as it has in the US" yet, this seems out-of-sync with the facts in the US, where attendance shows a long slow decline since the 1950's but no fall-off that can easily be connected with the scandals.

From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?

I have the impression that US Catholics have for some time felt less closely connected to the Vatican than European Catholics. If that is true, I could imagine that the scandal could be seen over there as a rather severe shock.

However, my Catholic relatives (here in the US) by and large reacted to the child molestation scandals here in the US by further affirming their connection with two things: their own understanding of what it meant to be a Catholic/Christian, and connections with their local parishes. I could imagine that happening just as well in Europe, especially if my sense of stronger connection to the Vatican is exaggerated. (To the extent that I know anything about the European attitude toward the Vatican, it is skewed by knowing most about the Italian view, and that's probably the most strongly connected, for obvious reasons.)

uncle ebeneezer 03-29-2010 11:42 AM

Re: Catholic church attendance
 
ON the topic of Ireland and the abuse scandal, Sinead O Conner penned an interesting op/ed in the WaPo.

chiwhisoxx 03-29-2010 12:01 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
The discussion of Frum is incredibly blinkered here. I don't if these guys missed a lot of the follow up discussion to the Frumble incident, but many of the elements that they claim to find disconcerting about the whole situation have to some extent been dispelled. No one seems to be taking the donor pressure idea all that seriously. Matt Yglesias actually had a good post saying basically, look, it's a think tank, they need to make money, we can be adults and admit that factoring in things like that aren't totally beyond the pale. Conor Friedersdorf then examined the claim from Bruce Bartlett that AEI thinkers had been muzzled on the health care debate, and found that to basically be entirely wrong. And lastly, Charles Murray wrote something over at The Corner in which he pointed out that David had basically done nothing for AEI, and really only posted at his own blog, and promoted his own ideas. The last point seems especially salient; if you're being paid 6 figures by a think tank, it would be nice to actually work for it to some degree. The idea that this is some sort of self immolating rush to ideological purity on the right is plainly stupid, and ignores the idiosyncrasies of this situation.

Simon Willard 03-29-2010 12:02 PM

Re: Catholic church attendance
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 156594)
I have the impression that US Catholics have for some time felt less closely connected to the Vatican than European Catholics.

OK, that's a good point.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 12:22 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 156603)
The discussion of Frum is incredibly blinkered here. I don't if these guys missed a lot of the follow up discussion to the Frumble incident, but many of the elements that they claim to find disconcerting about the whole situation have to some extent been dispelled. No one seems to be taking the donor pressure idea all that seriously. Matt Yglesias actually had a good post saying basically, look, it's a think tank, they need to make money, we can be adults and admit that factoring in things like that aren't totally beyond the pale. Conor Friedersdorf then examined the claim from Bruce Bartlett that AEI thinkers had been muzzled on the health care debate, and found that to basically be entirely wrong. And lastly, Charles Murray wrote something over at The Corner in which he pointed out that David had basically done nothing for AEI, and really only posted at his own blog, and promoted his own ideas. The last point seems especially salient; if you're being paid 6 figures by a think tank, it would be nice to actually work for it to some degree. The idea that this is some sort of self immolating rush to ideological purity on the right is plainly stupid, and ignores the idiosyncrasies of this situation.

I don't think two of your points are indisputable. As far as I could tell from Conor's post, he heard from some AEI people who said "we're not under pressure" and acted as though that was a representative sample. It wasn't. It was a self-selecting sample. I know he encouraged AEI people who felt differently to contact him, but that he didn't hear from such people does not really close the case. I could easily imagine someone who felt more like Bruce Bartlett would think, especially in this tough economy and tough time for conservative intellectuals, that keeping quiet might be the way to go for the time being.

Also, if you read some of Frum's later posts (after his short one making the announcement), he goes to some length to describe the work he did which he felt was on behalf of AEI, and he says that one needn't go into the office to be making a substantive contribution to an organization. I have no idea, and not much more interest, in how true his claims are, but as an abstract matter, I'd say his claim has to be counted against the claim of a tool like Murray that Frum was coasting.

I think, finally, that if you are disputing the larger point, that there is no shortage of consideration given to what the paymasters of these conservative think tanks want discussed and advocated in public, you're almost certainly being naive. Ideologically zealous billionaires are not known for their appreciation of a robust debate.

Lyle 03-29-2010 12:26 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
... add Tunku Varadarajan. Not exactly a white militia, pitchfork type. :)

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 12:34 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 156603)
The discussion of Frum ..

See also claymisher's post here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 156615)
... add Tunku Varadarajan. Not exactly a white militia, pitchfork type. :)

Regarding Varadarajan, see here and here.

badhatharry 03-29-2010 12:36 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 156603)
The idea that this is some sort of self immolating rush to ideological purity on the right is plainly stupid, and ignores the idiosyncrasies of this situation.

Everyone is a Sherlock Holmes these days. Coincidence does not always mean correlation. But it makes for great blog entries. I'm sure Frum is basking in the attention.

Lyle 03-29-2010 12:46 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Haha. You linked to yourself.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 12:50 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 156620)
Haha. You linked to yourself.

And?

PreppyMcPrepperson 03-29-2010 12:50 PM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 156591)
Turkey should take its marbles, go home and look to the Turkic countries and Arabs countries for future prospects. Israel will join the EU before Turkey does.

Hmm...yeah, and that's about when the West loses the "war on terror" everywhere, and perhaps irreversibly. Never mind the cultural Europeanness of Turkey (the origins of 'Viennese' coffee, anyone?). The over-my-dead-body attitude that so many European states have to Turkish integration is bad bad policy.

Also, of note: the country most supportive of Turkey's EU bid is Greece.

Lyle 03-29-2010 01:08 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 01:19 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 156624)
.

That's what I figured.

dieter 03-29-2010 01:40 PM

Re: Catholic church attendance
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 156587)
From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?

My take on this, is that scandals like these motivate those, who would eventually leave anyway, to go to the relevant public agency to finally withdraw their membership. The spokesman of the austrian catholic church has recently confirmed my suspicion and pointed out that withdrawals also spike dramatically whenever the pope visits and the media is full of good news about the church.

The church tax system is an ingenuous revenue maximizing scheme. As long as you are baptized, you are automatically in the government organized tithing system. To leave requires initiative and paper work.

Catholic reformers on the other hand claim that those who leave are really just disgruntled liberal reformists, who would surely return into the fold if only the church would adopt progressivism.

I find this hypothesis to be absurd. Devout believers who believe in god, transubstantiation, saints, rites, prayer, etc. would never leave the church, regardless of any scandals. Catholicism has a proactive way in dealing with sin through confessions and constant reiterations that everybody is a sinner. So there is more tolerance and acceptance of transgressions including those commited by the church itself.

Lyle 03-29-2010 01:50 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Just a little dose of your own ridiculousness. What do you expect... for me to actually argue with you over something you know nothing about? You're taking Frum's side... good for you.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 02:01 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 156629)
... What do you expect...

From you, Lyle? Nothing.

Except juvenile behavior and racism, I mean.

dieter 03-29-2010 02:09 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
[QUOTE=Baltimoron;156578On Greece and the euro zone, wouldn't Germany be better served by retracting the range of the euro to the more prudent economies? High export, high savings might make sense for Berlin, but Greece is far less authoritarian. As long as Germany has markets for its high-end goods, does it need to get involved in the politics of union?[/QUOTE]
You are assuming way to much economic literacy and competence in both German and EU politics.

German politicians, intellectuals and journalists are extreme supply side mercantilists. The solution to all economic problems is always seen in more exports, improving the alleged lack of competitiveness and dealing with alleged german decadence.
This system worked post-WWII. The german trade surplus resulted in low inflation, currency appreciation and low interest rates. So the surplus was recycled into the German economy anyway.
That is no longer the case since the Euro was introduced. German merchantilism has become suicidal policy. German real wages have become severely depressed.

The recent criticisms from outside have been rejected as mere "jealousy" for Germany's alleged "success". The German governement even passed a new ten year plan, focusing even more on exports and making Germany more attractive as a "business location".

Those who want to stick with the old model and shrink the eurozone on the other hand are seen as heretics who are not to be invited in polite society. EU politics is extremely cult like. It resembles a civic religion of sorts. The solution proposed to solve all problems is always believed to lie in the mantra of "further european integration". Criticism on specific policy items are quickly cast aside with reaffirmations about how important the EU is as a "peace project". Admissions that any specific policy was misguided are taboo, for such blasphemeous thoughts could supposedly threaten the entire "european project".

So the natural progression of EU elite thinking points to reducing Greece and possibly other nations into Brusseles technocrat run protectorates.

There will be a lot of push-back from local populations against further integration.

If anybody threatens european integration, it is the overreaching EU elites themselves.

Lyle 03-29-2010 02:22 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Haha. Juvenile behavior and racism. From the guy who calls me "Lial" and a "bed-wetting bigot". Man, do you really remember anything you ever write? :)

claymisher 03-29-2010 03:11 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 156578)
It's so refreshing to see real political scientists, like Farrell and Drezner, take the spotlight from the hacks!

And how.

I really enjoy hearing them apply political science frameworks to current events. It would be great if they dialed that up to 11. Give us the hard stuff. We can take it.

badhatharry 03-29-2010 03:34 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
The conservative intellectuals damned well better ride the tea party movement.

They're the only ones who are paying attention and actually doing something. Who cares about nuance when this kind of stuff is happening?

Just remember, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition."

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 03:54 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 156656)
The conservative intellectuals damned well better ride the tea party movement.

They're the only ones who are paying attention and actually doing something. Who cares about nuance when this kind of stuff is happening?

Just remember, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition."

Imagine that! Huge corporations throwing around specious accusations that directly contradict published analyses are being asked to back up their assertions! The horror. The horror! JUST LIKE HITLER WOULD ASK!!!1!

David Edenden 03-29-2010 03:57 PM

Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 156622)
Also, of note: the country most supportive of Turkey's EU bid is Greece.

The Greeks are playing a game that is too cute by half because they already know that Germany will veto Turkish membership anyway. Do they really want a million Turkish workers in Greece after spending 500 years to kick them out? ... I doubt it.

The EU should put a moratorium on future expansion until they have:
1. a common monetary policy (only half od EU members are part of the Euro)
2. a common military policy ... dump Nato ... form an EU army!

The EU is a mess!

badhatharry 03-29-2010 04:03 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 156662)
Imagine that! Huge corporations throwing around specious accusations that directly contradict published analyses are being asked to back up their assertions! The horror. The horror! JUST LIKE HITLER WOULD ASK!!!1!

Is it that they are huge or corporations that offends you so much?? And what is specious about analyzing how this monstrosity is going to affect their business? Sure as hell, the Congress didn't care about that, nor did they analyze it.

And since they were asked....I hope they refuse.

I doubt they can be forced, unless it's in the good and welfare clause.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 04:34 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 156666)
And what is specious about analyzing how this monstrosity is going to affect their business?

I did not say their analysis was specious, badhat. Try to keep up. I said their accusations were. If they've actually done analysis, they should have no problem showing their work, right?

Ah, for the good old days, when conservatives chanted thrice daily, "If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide!!!1!"

Quote:

Sure as hell, the Congress didn't care about that, nor did they analyze it.
Do you know what the letters CBO stand for?

Please stop reading wingnut blogs. You're just making yourself dumber.

uncle ebeneezer 03-29-2010 04:40 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
I would also love to see these guys do diavlogs with Mark/Matt from UN. It would be interesting to hear hard reporters like Mark/Matt bounce stories/questions off these more anlytical poli-sci guys.

PS- Henry, great jacket!!

badhatharry 03-29-2010 05:11 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 156670)

Do you know what the letters CBO stand for?

I know this is useless, but just in case there is someone with a brain out there...Are you saying that the CBO analyzed how the health care bill would affect Caterpillar and ATT and any other evil corporation?

And no, they don't care and don't have any right to look into how companies have communicated with their employees as pertains to this issue. As if that nitwit, Waxman would have any idea how to read a spreadsheet !!

You must have been born in the Soviet Union.

bjkeefe 03-29-2010 05:22 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 156673)
I know this is useless, ...

Yep.

Quote:

[...] As if that nitwit, Waxman would have any idea how to read a spreadsheet !!

You must have been born in the Soviet Union.
No point in talking to you any longer.

badhatharry 03-29-2010 05:33 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 156676)
Yep.



No point in talking to you any longer.

Promise?

Baltimoron 03-29-2010 05:59 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 156671)
I would also love to see these guys do diavlogs with Mark/Matt from UN. It would be interesting to hear hard reporters like Mark/Matt bounce stories/questions off these more anlytical poli-sci guys.

PS- Henry, great jacket!!

A hearty second to both the pairings suggestion and Farrell's jacket.

Baltimoron 03-29-2010 06:05 PM

Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)
 
Interesting points! When I think of this evolving euro-zone - I'm euro-skeptic without being a euro-heretic - I can't help but think of other states that initiated currency projects like the Europeans. I love the early history of the US, but I wonder how the first years of economic nationalization went. Or, the USSR? The PRC?


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