The Polity IV measure used here is certainly also questionable – as would every other alternative – but we chose it as my main source because based on our comparison with alternatives and the paper by Munck and Verkuilen (2002) it is the best available option, particularly if a long-run perspective is the main objective.
We also have to keep in mind that this measure cannot capture everything that matters for a political regime. For example it makes sense to measure corruption or human rights separately from the democracy concept. Not because it doesn’t matter but because all aspects matter and for different question we want to be able to differentiate between the importance of different factors.
In the early and mid-2000s, the Bush administration called numerous times  for investigation into the safety and soundness of the GSEs and their swelling portfolio of subprime mortgages. On September 10, 2003, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing at the urging of the administration to assess safety and soundness issues and to review a recent report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) that had uncovered accounting discrepancies within the two entities.  The hearings never resulted in new legislation or formal investigation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as many of the committee members refused to accept the report and instead rebuked OFHEO for their attempt at regulation.  Some believe this was an early warning to the systemic risk that the growing market in subprime mortgages posed to the US financial system that went unheeded. 
The scholars who denounce the essentialisation of the civilizational aspect of individual identity include Amartya Sen and Achin Vanaik. Sen refuses it as it ignores the multiple dimensions of identity that overlap across the so-called civilizational boundaries, while Achin Vanaik rejects it as it overlooks the dynamic and historically contingent nature of the inter-relationship between civilization, culture, and identity. Sen, in his book Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny , expresses the view that the difficulty with Huntington’s approach begins with his system of unique categorization. He claims that the thesis of a civilizational clash is conceptually parasitic on the commanding power of a unique categorisation along so-called civilizational lines, which closely follows religious divisions, to which singular attention is paid. Sen warns that the increasing failure to acknowledge the many identities that any person has and to try to firmly place the individual into rigid boxes, essentially shaped by a pre-eminent religious identity, is an intellectual confusion that can cause dangerous divisiveness. An Islamist instigator of violence against infidels may want Muslims to forget that they have identities other than being Islamic. What is surprising for Sen is that those who would like to quell that violence promote, in effect, the same intellectual disorientation by seeing Muslims primarily as members of an Islamic world. According to Sen, the people of the world can be classified on the basis of many other partitions: nationalities, locations, classes, occupations, social status, languages, politics, and so on. Sen believes that the world is made much more incendiary by the single-dimensional categorisation of human beings, which combines haziness of vision with an increased scope for the exploitation of that haze by the champions of violence.