Roll, Jordan, Roll
I keep a short roll. The first criteria for my Voices links is that I personally enjoy reading the blog because the author is a distinct voice and distinct personality. I also tend to favor blogs where the contributors really write things rather than jotting down a few random notes. This is not necessarily a matter of length. James Wolcott can pack more deadly venom in three sentences than most bloggers can cram into three paragraphs. Atrios also manages in some marvelous way to be a distinct voice while writing not very much at all.
Some of my favorites have faded, particularly among the Right Voices. There were those who were showing signs of post-partum depression as early as one week after the election. Several of these have dwindled to nearly nothing worth reading, though some of them still keep writing. They are gone.
It has not been a particularly good Fall for the Conservative Blogosphere. Their offense is better than their defense and their star Texas quarterback has been doing a lot of overthrowing passes and fumbling the ball lately. The pass protection has broken down and he's even been sacked once or twice. Their attacks of Joe Wilson in the Valerie Plame affair were simply silly, no matter how vitriolic and vicious they became, because anyone with eyes could see that Wilson was merely in the audience and the action was on stage.
Their attacks on John Murtha simply had the rug pulled out from under them by George W. while he was off gallivanting in Asia. If the Big Chief merely Disagreed With The Genuine War Hero, But Respected Him Highly, the members of the tribe could hardly be expected to enthusiastically pull out their tomahawks.
And, for all their warhawk ways, a major Presidential speech--which essentially told us that the New Plan was to keep doing the same stuff--has not pepped up the cheerleaders very much. So they mostly seem to be falling back on the Islamofascist! Islamofascist! Islamofascist! mantra and doing a lot of bitchy crabbing about the MSM.
Unfortunately, the news has been thin--except for Iraqi bombings, which journalists can now cover in their sleep--and the foot soldiers in the news business have figured out that if you venture down the wrong street, you can be mugged by a gang of bloggers in pajamas, so they choose their paths more carefully.
Ironically, such "liberal bias" as was there before [far less than rumor made it, in my opinion] has probably been intensified by this. The reporters and editors have been chased away from the politically loaded stories by the distinct possibility of getting their ass shot off from the direction of the Conservative Blogosphere. And, in most cases, a Conservative issue story which is not covered does far more damage to the cause than one which is covered wrongly or badly.
It is also nearly impossible to pillory a media outlet for something they have failed to do, rather than something they did wrong.
The new additions are gems. There is All Things Beautiful, which is rather like what you would get if you took the content of the National Review and dropped it into Vogue. As well as Think Progress, which is what top level Democrats ought to have been doing in the Blogosphere as far back as the Howard Dean candidacy. A new, informative, blog The Carpetbagger Report, which is good solid straight Liberal dope and a good companion for Kos, MyDD, and The Left Coaster. And, finally, a wonderful political statistics blog--Political Arithmetik.
The Democratic Party blogs have been tightened up in preparation for 2006. The ones that are left are essential, even though virtually none pass muster as being worth reading when you are not interested, or disagree, with the content.
So check out the new ones and savor the old ones.