Thursday, August 14, 2003

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Interesting Liberal blogs

Kevin Drum was kind enough to include me in his list of good conservative blogs. Scanning through the comments, I noticed the following:

I'm curious: has anyone ever seen something like this on a Conservative blog? Eg, a list of Left sites that are liked by a conservative commentator?

I actually wrote something along these lines back in June, but in response to popular demand, here's a more complete list of must-read blogs on the liberal side of the spectrum (in no particular order):

1) Joshua Micah Marshall: A social democrat's social democrat. Regardless of partisanship, Marshall is a must-read because he's also a working reporter who generates new and interesting facts. The partisanship is actually a plus, because I know when I read him that I'm usually going to read the best way to frame a story from a liberal perspective. If I can actually think of a way to refute Marshall's thesis, then I'm feeling pretty confident about my argument. I'm still thinking about a response to this post, which was an indirect response to this post of mine from earlier this month.

2) Brad DeLong: A Berkeley economist with policymaking experience, DeLong should always be your first choice on how economics is covered in the press and spun by the White House. His critique of Glenn Hubbard earlier this year was spot-on. He also writes wickedly funny posts about the social behavior of economists.

3) Kevin Drum: As the Left Coast continues to suck up media attention, CalPundit will continue to provide indispensible coverage on all things California. Plus, well-sourced foreign affairs news and a lot of stuff about cats that, as a proud beagle owner, I refuse to read.

4) Crooked Timber: The Volokh Conspiracy of the left. Manages to combine trenchant political analysis, cool dissections of pop culture, and accessible commentary about academic philosophy (though see here for a rebuttal). My faves among this group are Henry Farrell, a fellow international relations specialist, and Kieran Healy, a University of Arizona sociologist who writes hysterically funny reviews of mediocre movies.

5) Matthew Yglesias: I like someone who quick on the blog, and Matthew usually manages to beat me to the punch on a topic we both find interesting, like he's done on this post on "heavy oil" (more from me later). He recognizes the inherent evil in agricultural subsidies. Plus, I love the fact that a Harvard-educated man still puts a picture of himself on his page that screams the photocaption, "Yglesias denied the charges as he was led away in police custody." [You should talk--ed.]

All of these bloggers is that they are always provoke without being nasty, question their own side on a regular basis, and have good senses of humor.

UPDATE: James Joyner provides his own, more complete list.

posted by Dan on 08.14.03 at 12:37 PM


But here's the quetion are you actually a conservative? I've read you site regularly, and I think of you as someone who is generally center-left who supported the war.

posted by: Kombiz on 08.14.03 at 12:37 PM [permalink]

I have written a book on the US prison system, "Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons" (ISBN 0131 427911) which is coming out next week. The publisher is Financial Times Prentice Hall. It already has some very positive reviews. Sen. Edward Kennedy calls it "a wake up call for federal, state and local governments across America." The former Republican leader of the California State Assembly also endorses it. Amnesty International's secretary general Irene Kahn and Human Rights Watch U.S. director Jamie Fellner have also contributed back cover comments praising and recommending the book.

The book includes chapters the special problems women face in prison, male rape, the plight of the mentally ill, the finances of prisons, the operations of racist gangs in the prison system, on conditions in supermaximum security prisons, conditions on death rows around the nation, the jail system and many more pressing issues. There's more information on my website, as well as a link to to order it. The book also lists many practical suggestions that would vastly improve the current situation and help in prisoner rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.
I'm sure your readers would find it and the issues it raises very interesting.
alan elsner

posted by: alan elsner on 08.14.03 at 12:37 PM [permalink]

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