I'm sure by linking some of these guys' names here, I'll get punched for some of the comments, and maybe corrected here and there, but... These are my main reading materialsLiberal/Progressive+Matthew Ygelsias
(@mattyglesias, Think Progress):
Matt's one of my favorite bloggers, though decisively progressive in heart but very open to a wide range of ideas. He often is counterintuitive from a liberal perspective, not really falling in line with any typical liberal policy advocacy (for good reason). He blogs about everything: economics; politics and political science (there's a difference); philosophy (he is a philosophy grad, after all); intellectual property and copyright; and very often (he's even writing a book) about land use and housing planning (rural, suburban, urban), which is an underappreciated issue in economic and political discussion.+Ezra Klein
(@ezraklein) and Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS), both Washington Post:
Great for overall political, public policy, political science and economic news. Ezra Klein was especially vital for understanding the wonkish aspects of the health care debate; more far more wonkish than partisan. Greg Sargent advocates liberal policies liberally. Ezra gives more deference to the other side and explains both sides thoroughly but eventually advocates what conservatives would call a liberal sentiment.Conservative/Republican/Libertarian
I would include Andrew Sullivan here, but I try to avoid following his blog too closely simply because I want to have time to take showers, pee and step outside. The guy is great and writes great stuff, very often kicking ass argumentatively, but I think he pushes out as many blog pieces a day as every other person in this list.+Karl Smith
and Adam Ozimek (@modeledbehavior), and Niklas Blanchard (@cheapseatsecon) from ModeledBehavior.com:
Karl Smith's a soft libertarian/conservative, Ozimek's a little less forgiving, and Blanchard doesn't like being called a libertarian because libertarians seem crazy to himb, but he's a cruelly pragmatic but not crazy libertarian. I know Blanchard pretty well from the dark recesses of an unfortunately embarrassing internet forum that shall not be named. If you've never taken an economics class but have read some of the basics, these guys are the best guys to look to in order to understand modern economics, current economic events, public and regulation policy, education reform, international trade, and sometimes politics. They're conservative but maddeningly reasonable to everyone from conservatives, centrists, liberals, and libertarians.
David Frum (@davidfrum, former GW Bush speechwriter, excommunicated AEI fellow):
Frum's a Canadian, so beware (socialisms!!!111). He brings an interesting perspective as a Republican who is freaking out over the Republican Party's right-ward lurch. He's a bit of a military hawk, but not as strongly as other Republicans. He's somewhat socially liberal but believes in fiscal responsibility (instead of absolutionist fiscal contractionism). He writes about economics, public policy, and politics, with a rare pinch of political science mixed in.
Bruce Bartlett (Historian, Reagan policy adviser, ex-Treasury official during GHW Bush, excommunicated from National Center for Policy Analysis for criticizing GW Bush, writes for several publications (NYT, WSJ, FT), best to follow his Facebook profile for all his work):
Bartlett's an old school economic conservative - the fiscal responsibility, no funny business or politics, dislikes extremist politics, for balanced budgets but has been advocating against austerity during recession, for Federal Reserve action during recession.+Josh Barro
(@jbarro, National Review, Manhattan Institute):
Barro's a finance guy. He writes a lot about public policy, regulation, libertarian and conservative policy ideas, argues against many progressive/liberal ideas and their inefficiencies, and general economics.+Julian Sanchez
(@normative, Cato Institute, Ars Technica, Reason, The Economist):
Sanchez is very vocal about intellectual property, copyright and internet rights (esp. privacy) issues. He's vocal about online speech and warrantless wiretapping. He also writes about other public policy, especially utilizing his political science background, and some economic issues.+Reihan Salam
(@reihansalam, New America Foundation, and too many publicans to mention, but mostly National Review):
He's probably the guy that took my place at Stuyvesant High School in NYC (that rat bastard). He's a very strong advocate of free-market systems, both in social and economic issues, although he's somewhat of a neocon in some ways. He often writes against divisive politics, especially from conservatives, hoping to bridge gaps between liberals and conservatives toward more reasonable public policy discussion.+Megan McArdle
(@asymmetricinfo, Atlantic Magazine):
Staunchly libertarian, writes mostly about economics, regulation, public policy, politics and sometimes fits some pop culture into her blog. She'll smack conservatives around for being irrationally intransigent despite mountains of evidence to counter ideological madness as often as she'll take on traditional liberal dogma.
Scott Sumner (themoneyillusion.com
This guy exhales economic genius all day long. I'm a bloody socialist liberal who is rapidly being transmogriphied into a Milton Friedman monetarist because this guy's economic writing is as close to perfect as you can get. He's made predictions years old and has come out absolutely correct. I didn't trust him at first because it all sounded completely false but I'm sold.Non-Affiliated Political Science Godliness That Everyone Should Defer To Upon Threat Of Perpetual Stupidity
The Monkey Cage bloggers (John Sides, Joshua Tucker, Erik Voeten, Andrew Gelman, Harry Farrel, Lee Sigelman at themonkeycage.org
There is no site on the Internet circa 2007 to The End Times that gives you straight political science in the most understandable and profound way. Political science explains the gears behind politics - explaining both the bullshit and the scientific truths behind politics, using statistical models to beat the commonly held myths out of your head. You won't always get the most news updates from these guys but you'll learn the things that matter the most for elections, public sentiment and how bullshit meters work.
^^^ Alll of these guys are equally necessary to get a full grasp of American politics, public policy and economics.
I'm a liberal, so I try to get a better understanding of the conservative/libertarian arguments than the progressive/liberal arguments. I know the latter like the back of my hand, and the liberals/progressives I read satisfy my quench for wonderful socialist commie bastardom.