On January 6, the opening day of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s

Wall Street Project Economic Summit

, much of the talk was on the subprime mortgage implosion and its impact on the economy, now barreling toward a recession. “The subprime crisis is sinking America’s economic ship like the Titanic,” warned the Rev.

Jesse Jackson

before a battery of local politicians, housing activists and civil rights leaders. Black homeowners have been hit particularly hard, largely because predatory lenders have been steering them toward subprime loans for years at more than twice the rate of white homeowners, even when they could afford prime rates. According to the

Urban League

, home equity accounts for almost 90 percent of black homeowners’ net worth. So as the housing market collapses, much of the new wealth that has accumulated in black communities in recent decades will go with it.

“It’s the single largest economic issue of our time,” said Jackson, “a crime committed on Wall Street, made possible by the complicity of the US government.” On January 22 Rainbow/PUSH and the Urban League will lead a march on the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington to bring attention to the foreclosure crisis and force President Bush to confront the issue during his State of the Union address.   MAX FRASER


Ask anyone in the know–the only reasons to attend the

Golden Globe Awards

are the food and the after-parties. But now the gala is the latest casualty of the

Writers’ Guild

strike. As first reported by

Nikki Finke

‘s influential blog Deadline Hollywood, NBC and the

Hollywood Foreign Press Association

are opting for a no-frills press conference announcing the winners, preceded by a few hours of interviews and movie clips. The network had originally planned to cover the post-awards party circuit, but HBO, InStyle/Warner Bros. and Universal have canceled their events. NBC’s decision not to nix the show altogether is a clear compromise. The Daily News asserts that once the WGA “convinced all the star nominees not to show up, the only live ‘show’ NBC had left looked to be an empty podium and several dozen statuettes with tags reading ‘Ship To.'” Instead, the network will offer up a truly absurd facsimile of a ceremony that had little cachet to begin with. But with the studios’ precious (and profitable)


night just over a month away, the WGA’s message is clear: the pressure is on.    AKIVA GOTTLIEB



Noah Charles Pierce

of Virginia, Minnesota, was a 23-year-old Army veteran who served two tours, including combat duty in Iraq. But last year, crippled with post-traumatic stress disorder, he left the military. He committed suicide in July. His story–like those of thousands of other combat veterans who have committed suicide in recent years–might have ended there. So a salute for courage and vision goes to the leaders of the newly established

AMVETS Post 33

in Specialist Pierce’s hometown for naming the post in his honor. “As far as I’m concerned, Noah died of injuries received in combat,” says post commander

Shawn Carr


Suicide has been a silent byproduct of the “war on terror.” In November CBS News reviewed data from all fifty states and found what can only be called an epidemic: in 2005 there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. And vets Pierce’s age are hit the hardest: veterans age 20 to 24–all of whom joined and served during the “war on terror”–had the highest suicide rate, between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. The simple gesture of naming a post in Pierce’s honor also reflects a new willingness to discuss one of the most censored subjects in history: the psychological consequences of war.   BRUCE SHAPIRO