Now and then I zap around American blogs to check out the debates Stateside. To be honest, I usually pack in after about three clicks, desparing at the yah-boo sucks approach and infantile rightism of so many of them. Perhaps that was because until recently I made the mistake of starting off at the extremely over-rated and over-hyped Instapundit whose level of discourse rarely goes beyond ‘click here aren’t those liberals/europeans dumn, huh?” He has got worse recently and he doesn’t even have the volume of links he was once famed for.

But recently I have come across liberal journalist Jeff Jarvis’s site Buzz Machine which is a refreshing change. It is lively and chatty but still manages to be thoughtful enough when it matters. That blog gave me enough of an incentive to investigate further…

Another one worth a glance is Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall which, despite an incredibly pretentious photo by-line, is a tougher, straighter political blog, written by a DC pundit, who I have seen on US political talk shows a few times. Eric Alterman is another liberal left commentator worth checking out.

Nathan Newman is a democratic left activist and former trade union organiser who writes for a paper called the Progressive Populist, a journal I know little about but isn’t it a brilliant title?

Matthew Yglesias may be the spitting image of our very own Peter ‘Tory Boy’ Cuthbertson but the comparison stops there – he is a liberal who has a tendency to drift into rather academic philosphical musings (not my taste really) but his top story today begins with these words “The only political issue that really matters, of course, is whether the Democrats can beat Bush in 2004.”

For various reasons, especially his media commentary and sense of the absurd, Matt Welch has long been on my blog list and his own links section are a good starting point for a journey through the LA blogscene.

And finally no round-up of US left blogs would be complete without a mention of this blog’s loyal American reader/critic Lawrence Krubner – his latest post is titled “What my girlfriend taught me about ‘user friendly’ “…he also offers free weblog software for those of you who might be thinking about trying to improve the quality of our little British scene.