John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for The Nation as its national-affairs correspondent. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books, and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.
Nichols is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other newspapers.
Nichols is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues. He was featured in Robert Greenwald’s documentary Outfoxed, and in Joan Sekler’s Unprecedented, Matt Kohn’s Call It Democracy, and Robert Pappas’s Orwell Rolls in His Grave. The keynote speaker at the 2004 Congress of the International Federation of Journalists in Athens, Nichols has been a featured presenter at conventions, conferences, and public forums on media issues sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Consumers International, the Future of Music Coalition, the AFL-CIO, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Newspaper Guild [CWA], and dozens of other organizations.
Nichols is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America, forthcoming from Nation Books this fall, as well as The Genius of Impeachment (New Press); a critically acclaimed analysis of the Florida recount fight of 2000, Jews for Buchanan (New Press); and a best-selling biography of former vice president Dick Cheney, Dick: The Man Who is President (New Press), which has recently been published in French and Arabic. He edited Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (Nation Books), of which historian Howard Zinn said: “At exactly the time when we need it most, John Nichols gives us a special gift—a collection of writings, speeches, poems, and songs from throughout American history—that reminds us that our revulsion to war and empire has a long and noble tradition in this country.”
With Robert W. McChesney, Nichols has co-authored the books It’s the Media, Stupid! (Seven Stories), Our Media, Not Theirs (Seven Stories), Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy (The New Press), The Death and Life of American Journalism (Nation Books), Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street (Nation Books), and their latest, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy (Nation Books, March 2016). McChesney and Nichols are the co-founders of Free Press, a media-reform network, which organized the 2003 and 2005 National Conferences on Media Reform.
Of Nichols, author Gore Vidal says: “Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’s sword is the sharpest.” (Photo by Robin Holland / Bill Moyers Journal)
In a sober address to the nation Wednesday night, President Bush confirmed his determination to surge the United States military deeper into the Iraq quagmire by sending roughly 21,500 more troops to that troubled land.
The president went even further than his critics feared he might, outlining a dangerous program of integrating U.S. and Iraqi military units â€“ with U.S. trainers and strategists embedded in Iraqi units and U.S. brigades partnered with Iraqi brigades. And he signaled that he will implement his new approach before Congress has a chance to consider it. Indeed, the first new U.S. brigade is scheduled to hit the ground in Iraq Monday.
Bush confidently dismissed Congressional opposition, anticipating â€“ correctly it turned out â€“ that while Democratic leaders in the House and Senate would criticize the strategy, they would not move to block it by employing the power of the purse to cut off funding of moves to escalate the war.
It has been an open secret for weeks that President Bush would reject the message of the American people from the November 7 elections, along with the advice of savvy military strategists and foreign affairs experts, and surge the United States military deeper into the Iraq quagmire.
Now, as the President prepares to confirm his commitment to carry on in the wrong direction, with tonight's primetime address to the American people, Bush's White House has begun to leak details of how many more troops will be dispatched to Iraq--and, even more significant, how quickly those troops will be moved into position.
According to White House counselor Dan Bartlett, Bush will announce that he plans to commit an additional 21,500 US combat troops to the Iraq fight. Specifically, according to breakdowns provided by the White House, 4,000 more Marines will be sent to the violence-torn Anbar Province, while 17,500 more troops will be dispatched to the hell that is Baghdad.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, are trying to figure out how to respond to the to the expected presidential proposal for to surge the United States deeper into the quagmire that is Iraq.
But the man who, by virtue of his long service in the Senate and his mastery of that chamber's politics and procedures, is recognized and respected by savvy Democrats and Republicans as the essential member of the new Congress, is not confused.
Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, is today introducing legislation to uniquivocally "prohibit the use of funds for an escalation of United States forces in Iraq above the numbers existing as of January 9, 2007."
There is an ugly cynicism to the attack on Jimmy Carter that has been launched by Americans who well recognize that the former president's new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, says nothing that has not already been said about the Middle East conflict by Israeli politicians and commentators.
So why is Carter, a longtime friend of Israel and the Jewish people, being smeared as an anti-Semite for suggesting that the occupation by Israeli forces of Palestinian territory inspires troubling comparisons with the apartheid system that white South Africans once imposed on their country's black majority?
One of Israel's most prominent political figures suggests that it has a lot to do with the determination of Carter's critics to allow their emotions to trump the facts.
The wonder of American democracy is the fact that power can be transferred from one party to another peacefully and, at times, even graciously.
The reason for this, of course, is that the United States is governed by a Constitution that assures the power that is transferred is never absolute. Thus, a defeated party and its followers know that they are not consigning themselves to political oblivion when they cede their authority to another group of partisans.
The separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, and protected by that document's system of checks and balances, was designed to assure that neither the executive nor the legislative branch of government could become so dominant that basic rights might be undermined or that the nation itself might be endangered.
There has been much discussion over the past several days about the many contributions former President Gerald Ford made to the American political experiment.
Surely, his was a steady hand at the helm of a ship of state that Richard Nixon had steered into turbulent waters. And, surely, the grand old Republican's moderation was a necessary corrective against the sort of ideological abuses committed by too many of his fellow partisans.
But Ford's greatest contribution involved the respect he showed for the system of checks and balances that the founders established in order to protect and maintain the Republic. A man of Congress who came to the Oval Office by the accident of appointment rather than the design of candidacy, Ford moved in the first months of his presidency to renew proper relations between the executive and legislative branches.