Nick Penniman

Nick Penniman is Executive Editor of TomPaine.com, a public interest journal inspired by Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and The Rights of Man.

Before joining TomPaine.com, he was Director of Moving Ideas Network and an associate editor of The American Prospect magazine. He also served as the director of the Alliance for
Democracy, a national grassroots organization that focuses on corporate
globalization and campaign finance reform. He formerly served as the editor
of the Lincoln Journal, a weekly newspaper published in Massachusetts, and
headed an investigative reporting team for the Community Newspaper Company.
He grew up in St. Louis, MO, and now lives in Silver Spring, MD.

Recent Articles

Construction Paper

With the U.S. invasion of Iraq under way, American liberals seem at a loss for how to respond. In recent months, most lined up against unilateral war; now that war has begun, the only semi-coherent message emerging from progressive ranks is one of rejectionism. But that tack is a mistake. And it is one liberals could pay for dearly -- at the ballot box and in the department of intellectual credibility -- in future years. When it comes to questions of war, Iraq and reconstruction, liberals need to start thinking constructively, and fast.

Goodbye To All That

The Democrats' soft spine has been impaled on the party's steering column. Now it's time to say some symbolic goodbyes. Sadly, we do so at a time when we had to say an actual good-bye to Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), who was heading for yet another uphill victory by running on liberal principles and raw integrity.

Where's the Movement?

In early June, the conservative Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote: "Enron has created a natural moment for a smart assault on capitalist excess. The wonder is that political leaders and social activists alike do not seem to have seized it." By July, President Bush signed Sen. Paul Sarbanes' (D-Md.) accounting-reform bill into law, but surely that small victory doesn't fit Mallaby's definition.

Below the Beltway

The first 24 hours after Congress passed the Sarbanes financial-reform bill must have been excruciating for many of our nation's leading legislators. In a stunning burst of boldness -- or panic, what with the market's collapsing -- they had enacted an important bill reforming a number of corporate and financial practices. They had stood up to some of the most powerful business lobbies in the land -- that is, many of their biggest donors. And clearly, their psychic equilibrium, even their sense of identity, had gotten all shook up.

Outing Alec:

Earth Day, conservatives have been known to complain,
always brings out the weirdos. This year's celebration was no exception. "Absent
from the debate [on global warming] is the discussion of human ingenuity and our
ability to adapt to our environment; when the temperature increases, we turn on
the air conditioner," ran one line of thinking that went out over the fax lines
in late April. "More people die from cold temperatures than heat: '... global
warming could actually save lives.'"

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