Growing up the son of a criminal defense lawyer who represented all sorts of unsavory people led to many strange experiences in my youth. I accepted collect phone calls from imprisoned felons, many of whom insisted, even to me—a kid answering the call—that they had been “wrongfully convicted.” I listened to my father rail against the abuses of unchecked executive branch power, as well as the ethical corner-cutting and sometimes flat out lying by the police. And I learned to balance the moral conflict—we could live in a world in which law enforcement did break rules and abuse power, while at the same time people who looked guilty, and were probably guilty, still deserved their legal rights. Innocence, my father always said, went out with Adam and Eve, but not guilty is a different kettle of fish.
About ten years ago a friend and fellow political junkie told me about a new political aggregator website called Real Clear Politics, which had become popular among his colleagues and friends in academia with an interest in American politics. I quickly became a regular visitor and big fan of the site. RCP not only links to the mainstream media and political sites from the left and right, they also employ a group of writers and journalists who produce original pieces using solid political science methodology presented in clear, easy-to understand language. The original work has always been top-notch compared to the MSM and partisan shouting one often encounters on-line.