To celebrate the new software, we’re updating our blogroll.
We’re looking for sane conservative blogs, under-appreciated liberal blogs, and high-quality blogs on specialty topics.
The floor is now open for nominations.

To celebrate the new software, we’re updating our blogroll.

Here are the design criteria:

*  We’ want to support Blue Blogistan while providing some ideological diversity.

*  We don’t want an infinitely long list.

*I don’t see the point in blogrolling the usual suspects; no one needs the RBC to point to Daily Kos.

So we’re looking for under-appreciated liberal blogs, sane conservative blogs,  and high-quality specialty blogs.

The floor is now open for nominations.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

27 thoughts on “Blogrolling”

  1. I hereby nominate as an under-appreciated liberal blog deserving of recognition on your blogroll. We were founded in early February 2008, and have rolled along pretty nicely now for over a year and a half. Our founding group, of which I am one, were all supporters of the progressive policies articulated by John Edwards during the 2007-8 presidential primary race. When he left the field (and don't even get me started on what we learned later ;-D), we found that the harsh rhetoric among candidate partisans on the larger blogs was ill-suited to serious discussions about policy or issues or even the progressive movement itself. So, we started our own little community dedicated to supporting progressive ideas, down-ticket candidates, and civil discourse. We have enjoyed some small measure of success in our live-blogging events with federal and state level candidates, and manage to keep the tone sane while diverse. When all else fails or when we just want to have fun, we tend to devolve to music videos.

    Some of us took a bit of a hiatus over the Spring and Summer this year, but we are revving back up and will be doing some tidying up in our own blogroll and candidate-support areas (out with the old, in with the new). I hope you'll take a look and that you'll like what you see! We're the serious little progressive blog with a side of fun.

  2. I'll second the nomination for Balko. Most readers here likely will want to throw their keyboards into their screens when he writes on economics, and I know Dr Kleiman vehemently disagrees with him on drug policy, but he does invaluable work on civil liberties issues, abuse of no-knock warrants, wrong-address raids, and the militarization of the police in general.

  3. For health care issues, is pretty well thought through and often points out things that are far from self-evident. His entry on employer-based health care's origins in the tight labor market of WWII, for example, goes on to discuss how today's labor market operates under such different conditions (e.g., the weakening of labor unions) that the assumptions of the employer-based model no longer apply. He is not so wonky to be undecipherable, but wonky enough to have genuine substance. Check it out and see what you think.

  4. "Libertarian Radley Balko ( is one of the few bloggers to do original research, and got an innocent man off death row. Funny and readable."

    I second him; he's CATO-level whacky on econ, but hardcore on civil liberties, and he did save a man's life (more than I've ever done).

  5. I'm not going to hold my breath over seeing any of these suggestions added to the RBC blogroll, but if you value having your assumptions challenged each of these sites is well worth reading on a regular basis:

    1) <a>Dennis Perrin, a passionate, informed and intellectually honest critic of Obama and American Liberalism. Here's what Brad DeLong wrote about him early last year: "If you haven't grappled with him and his positions, you should do so for Millian diversified-intellectual-portfolio reasons if for nothing else–and he is smart as a tack and witty as Lord Rochester." (Beware. Perrin is frequently blunt and occasionally crude.)

    2), an independent news and opinion site from the Left. If you think our Afghanistan adventure is a good idea, or just an unfortunate though necessary endeavor, here's a good example of what you'll get from Tom Engelhardt.

    3) CounterPunch, a digest of opinion co-edited by Lefty contrarian Alexander Cockburn. This site offers something to piss off just about everyone. I find its range of writers opining on the economy particularly valuable. (See anything written by Michael Hudson, Mike Whitney, Dean Baker, Pam Martens, or Paul Craig Roberts.)

    4) Empire Burlesque, an unrelentingly critical view from the event horizon of the moral black hole also known as the foreign policy of the United States of America. Chris Floyd is not for everyone (e.g., those prone to depression), but he's smart, thorough and unafraid to shine a light on the creepy-crawly, slimy things that reside under the rock of American Exceptionalism. Every politically engaged American citizen owes it to him/herself to read Floyd regularly.

  6. Agree with jm that Tom Engelhart runs an informative blog. is a related site, with rare, all too rare contributions by Andrew Bacevich. Most of the contributors have at least some competence in the areas on which they comment. I understand that Mark does not want too lengthy a blogroll, but at least one site devoted to observing the ongoing effects of American exceptionalism ought to be on the final list.

  7. I second the nominations of No More Mister Nice Blog, Edge of the American West, and Slactivist.

    In the "under-appreciated liberal blog" category I would nominate Velveteen Rabbi and Feministe, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, and Crooked Timber. (Although I'm not sure if Crooked Timber really counts as "under-appreciated".)

    In the "sane conservative blog" category I would tentatively nominate Cross-Currents, which represents the American black-hat Orthodox community to the non-black-hat world.

    My own blog gets no less appreciation than it deserves but I hope you look at it once in a while. 🙂

  8. The only sane conservative blog I know is Outside The Beltway.

    Even though Hilzoy is irreplaceable, I think Obsidian Wings has a good commenting community, as does Balloon Juice.

    Aguanomics is an interesting specialty blog, although I think the author is frequently way wrong.

  9. I was going to nominate No More Mister Nice Blog, Slacktivist, and Kevin Carson, so instead I'll second them.

    Daniel Larison's Eunomia already has more liberal followers than his paleocon self may be comfortable with, but he deserves more still.

    Bats Left Throws Right contains the most grad-level-eloquent *really funny* writing I've seen this side of Anthony Lane's movie reviews, and is fiercely left-wing and historically informed.

    Echidne of the Snakes is good feminist, science-and-economic-oriented analysis.

    David Brin doesn't update more than a few times a month, but he's a physicist and SF novelist who's outstanding at trying to imagine good government as it would adjust to upcoming technological changes.

  10. Two good conservative blogs:

    Reihan Salam's new blog The Agenda is excellent (, as is his former digs at the American Scene (, which has become a hub of heterodox (read: anti-wingnut) conservative thought.

    As for specialty blogs, I've learned quite bit from both the Baseline Scenario ( and Rortybomb ( about the financial crisis and economics in general.

  11. Mahablog has recently risen to the top of my reading list; her remembrance/reflections/sermon (there's a precise word that is on the tip of my tongue) on September 11 today is typical of her empathy and intelligence.

  12. Two good choices from the nonliberal end of the spectrum:

    Unqualified Offerings:
    This is a grownup libertarian site. I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true here. Much softer libertarianism than Radley Balko's excellent site: you might think it a standard-but-very-smart liberal site for quite a number of posts, even economic ones. But it is libertarian. Lots of physics, as well.

    The American Scene:
    A bunch of smart good-faith conservatives. You'll never confuse this with a liberal site; even the rants against the Republican Party, although often strong, are written in sorrow. The quality varies a bit.

  13. I 4th (I think) Radley Balko. Both on crime/policing, and on the insanity of some portions of regulatory policy. (Disclaimer: I tend to agree with him on economics too.)

    For intelligent right-ish economics commentary, Marginal Revolution.

  14. Five recommends in two groups: First, two blogs concerned with LGBT issues and the law

    Chris Geidner's LAW DORK which is a little-known but important c0poverer of this area and other political issues. Few but good commenters so far. Example — that, afaik, the rest of the blogosphere missed from PG: "Wilson bought a Google Ad tied to his outburst, such that if you Google the phrase “you lie,” Wilson’s campaign website comes up as a sponsored link. Actually, here are the top two sponsored links on the first page of returns for you lie: Sponsored Links…" No, I won't add the links. You'll find it here

    Nan Hunter literally wrote the (case)book on LGBT issues and the law. Her blog, HUNTER OF JUSTICE is always interesting, if a little dry, but sadly unnoticed. It really deserves a 'hit count' of seven, not five figures. Read it <a> here.

    And three Alaskan blogs. The one good thing that John McCain's crapshoot did for the country was to introduce a lot of us to Alaskan Blogs. They have a different, much friendlier style — while still being fiercely 'blue.' Two are well-known, but deserve inclusion. AKMuckraker's <a> MUDFLATS is a MUST. Warning, don't get involved in the forums or we may not see you for months, they are that addictively fun. And typically, her lead when I went to get the site was a contest she's running to raise money for a native Alaskan family whose house weas destroyed in a fire. They are about people, first, and always see ideas as affecting people, not as existing on their own.

    Watchers of MSNBC have probably seen Shannyn Moore, of JUST A GIRL FROM HOMER. If you have you know how likable and how liberal she is.

    The third Alaskan blog is also liberal, but has a different perspective. Writing Raven is a Native Alaskan woman, an excellent writer, and someone who gives a view of Alaska from that perspective. <a> ALASKA REAL is worth it for the writing, for the unique perspective, and, again, for the needed reminder that whatever political idea we are discussing, the key question is not theory but people.

  15. Will someone tell me why two of mmy links came up and the others didn't? Afaik, I used the same HTML for all of them. Anyway, that's why there's 'the Google.'

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