hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002

"People have been asking me by email what I think of
Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute. The quick answer
is, "Not much." I have a five-point scale
along which to rank commentators: category I try hard
to shoot straight all the time; category II use strong
arguments where they are available, but get excited
use weak arguments when they are sure they are right
but the only arguments for their side are weak;
category III don't care whether arguments are strong
or weak,
leading or misleading, they'll just use whatever
sounds best; category IV will baldly lie; and category
V are sufficiently clueless that they don't know
whether they're
telling the truth or not. By this scale, Stephen Moore
ranks no better than category III: even when the good,
straight, accurate arguments are on his side, he's
likely to
prefer something twisted and misleading that makes a
better soundbite. . ."