Monday, March 16, 2009

Yvonne R. Davis: Chris Brown And Now Bee Bee Winans! Black America Where Is the Outrage?

Oh my! Another black man accused of smacking down another black woman. This time however, it is Bee Bee Winans. The Grammy Award winning Gospel Crooner in a mouth spat with his ex-wife is alleged to have pushed her to the ground. Bee Bee’s altercation with his ex-wife is a reminder of Reverend televangelist Bishop Dr. Juanita Bynum who, in 2007 came close to meeting her death after suffering a near fatal attack at the hands of her estranged husband.

So now we have Chris Brown, Bee Winans and of course behind the scenes hosts of other famous or not so famous brothers either beating down to the ground or beating up from the feet up black women. Black America, where is the outrage! Are you afraid to finally wash the dirty laundry that has been so publicly aired by our community to White Folks? You don’t they think they know about our problems? Pulleeze!

It is interesting how the NAACP and Black Leaders can jump all over the racism that continues to prevail even with the election of a Black President, but when it comes to abuse perpetrated by black men against black women, we issue no statements, have no press conferences and seem to be silent on an issue that is destructive to our community and the larger society. How come the only Black person most vocal about this issue is Oprah Winfrey? How come the majority of the other people vocal about violence against Rihanna have been white women and the organizations they represent? How come black women as have not come together as a collective to say enough-is-enough?

As the collective we spoke about the racist New York Post and its stupid Monkey cartoon, but as a collective we have said nothing about abuse against black women! It is appears with President Obama and his wife Michelle in the White House, we are trying to take some sort of hiatus from a reality about a moral issue concerning the black family in America. A part of me can’t blame us for wanting to enjoy the fact that the First Couple represents an important part of the African American family that really exists — The Obamas are the Huxtables finally reified. However, the other reality is Chris Brown knocked us up side our heads when he maimed Rihanna. Still, all we can do is talk about Chris and Rhianna at home, in the barber shops, hair salons, church parking lots, school cafeterias, chicken shacks, offices and even in the clubs or bars.

There is an undercurrent attitude by a number of African American men that it is okay to set a woman straight or let her know who the boss is when she gets too crazy by pushing her or jacking her up against the wall. When a black woman gets loud and in a black man’s face or pushes what he perceives to be his manhood too far, some black men feel they have to let her know who the man is by slapping her, kicking her, punching her or in some cases body slamming her while he calls her bitch and like Chris Brown too threatens to kill her. Sadly, there is also an attitude by some black women that it’s best not to challenge a “brotha” too much or in other cases “she must have done something” to have caused a scene for the beat down.

In addition to having Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union every February, we should have the State of the Black Family and what we have to do to stop this viscous cycle of violence in our community. Additionally, when Black Leadership really and once and for all decides to come together to deal head on with our problem, let us not only review the problem from same old black perspective pathology that blames the white man, slavery or a cycle of violence black boys witness as their fathers or boyfriends beat their mothers and grow up to do the same. While these issues have played a significant role in the dilemma and must be counted towards the solution, it is certainly not all of it, and we must stop the excuses.

Finally, let us stop psychologically becoming dependent upon President Obama to speak on the issues we already know about. Yes, he is black, but he has the whole country and the world the deal with right now (which includes us). His plate is overflowing. As our economy continues to struggle and the black community feels the pain perhaps more than any other demographic in this country, social ills like physical abuse increase. Therefore, the best approach African American leadership can do is to pro-actively take personal responsibility for this issue and not look to Obama take any lead on what we can do for ourselves!

Job losses hit black men hardest

Some 8 percent of black men in the US have lost their jobs since November 2007, according to a recent study.

At a time when America has elected its first black president, more African-American men are losing jobs than at any time since World War II.

No group has been hit harder by the downturn. Employment among black men has fallen 7.8 percent since November of 2007, according to a report by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.

The trend is intimately tied to education, the report’s authors say. Black women – who are twice as likely as black men to go to college – have faced no net job losses. By contrast, black men are disproportionately employed in those blue-collar jobs that have been most highly affected – think third shifts at rural manufacturing plants.

It threatens to add to the difficulties of vulnerable families in a community already beset by high incarceration rates and low graduation numbers.

Moreover, it puts renewed focus on the cultural and economic stereotypes of black women and men – mythologies and realities about the black family that remain challenging for the country, and Washington, to address.

In terms of job-loss rate for African-American men, “nothing comes close to this,” says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies and an author of the report, noting that the job-loss rate for African-American men during the Great Depression is unknown.

Federal data indicate all demographic groups have been affected. The number of men looking for full-time work has nearly doubled in the last year, regardless of race or ethnicity, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. But the Northeastern study concludes that during the past 15 months, “the relative decline in black male employment was considerably higher than that of their male counterparts in the other three race-ethnic groups” – Asians, Hispanics, and whites.

The job-loss figures come at a time when many lower-income black homeowners are already at risk of foreclosure. “They have zero opportunity to refinance or borrow in any way to get over the rough patch of unemployment,” writes Tom Hertz, a labor economist, in an e-mail.
The employment rate among African-American men aged 20 to 24 is now just 51 percent, as opposed to 68 percent during the late 1990s. For African-American teens, it’s just 14 percent.

“A lot of family heads are being affected and a lot of the young guys,” says Professor Sum of Northeastern. “When you get a job loss of that magnitude it’s just totally destructive [to] communities.”

Unemployed black men like Anthony Gilmore aren’t surprised by the findings. Laid off five months ago from a call center, Mr. Gilmore recently interviewed for a job detailing cars. A Hispanic man got the job.

The perception among many black men like Gilmore is that the economy has merely laid bare the historic prejudices that still exist.

“There’s still very much a system that really is designed to keep people at a disadvantage,” he said while waiting Friday outside an Atlanta unemployment office.

Yet black men can be bound as much by deeper labor trends as cultural stereotypes, says Peter Rachleff, a labor historian at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. Especially in the South, black men often pay a price for demanding workplace rights gained in the Civil Rights movement – demands for days off and being able to say no to overtime, for example. Hispanic workers, particularly, aren’t as likely to claim those rights, making them easier hires, says Professor Rachleff.

“You can call it a class thing, but I don’t think that’s what it is,” says Douglas Besharov, a public policy professor at the University of Maryland in College Park. “Some of it is long-term discrimination and lack of access to education, but much more in this recession it’s determined by which sector that’s suffering the most.”

From November of 2007, the month before the official start of the recession, to February of 2009, “there was no net job loss among professionals or managers,” says Sum.

Contradicting media reports that job loss has been widespread in this recession, he adds: “All the job loss has been among blue-collar jobs – construction, manufacturing, and retail.”

These are the jobs black men have long sought, settling for high-school diplomas in order to get these relatively well paid posts, suggests Terry Getter, an unemployed accountant waiting in line at the Atlanta unemployment office. But they are now feeling the consequences of not continuing their education.

African-American women have fared better in the downturn, says Sum. That may be partly because of their higher levels of education. In a departure from the trends of the past two recessions, those who have lost their jobs in this one “overwhelmingly … had 12 or less years of school,” he adds.

Correspondingly, his data suggest that, as of January, about 120 African-American women were employed for every 100 African-American men. “The current size of the overall gap in employment between black women and black men is historically unprecedented, and black Americans are the only group for whom the gender employment gap is in favor of women,” the report notes.

As a result, the onus for the community’s well-being has fallen primarily on women, adding more burdens to a group that, historically, has upheld the black family, says Sheri Parks, author of the upcoming book “Fierce Angels” about the role of strong black women in American culture.

Part of the reason, she says, is that black communities have historically protected young men and expected more of young women, particularly when it comes to schooling. “If you’re a black woman, you don’t have to convince someone that you’re strong and nurturing and able to do almost anything – it’s almost a brand,” says Ms. Parks. “The prevalent image of a black man is what we call hyper-masculine and often idealized, but not necessarily in the workplace.”

This means black women also tend to enter their job hunt with a greater sense of urgency, says Tim Ready, director of the Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

“Women are more likely to take whatever jobs are necessary because they end up being the primary caretakers for kids,” he says. “They have no choice.”

At a time when Mr. Obama’s election has encouraged a debate about what race means in modern America, the job-loss figures reveal enduring problems that remain unaddressed, say some.

“When we say ‘postracial,’ we focus a lot on ideas, attitudes, and identity and not on outcomes: jobs, wages, and those things,” says Steven Pitts, a policy analyst with the Center for Labor Research and Education in Berkeley, Calif. “It’s important to look at the question of how we are passing out resources, jobs, education, wages, and wealth. That’s how you begin your analysis on postrace.”

Should the Democrat Party Apologize for Supporting Slavery? Robert Oliver

There is a saying – “God cannot change the truth.”

I’m an African-American political independent. The purpose of this article is not to debate the merits of belonging to a certain political party, nor is it to pursue political converts. The purpose is to clarify history and to ask if the Democrat Party owes African-Americans an apology for past support of slavery and racism.

February is Black History Month. Sometimes Black History needs clarification. For example, a friend told me that an African-American employee in his New York City office thought that President Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat. Another African-American friend, a former liaison between the Democrats in the California State Legislature and the Clinton White House, well as a campaigner for Bill Clinton’s presidency, thought that the slave owners in the Old South were all Republicans. He thought that the worst Democrat was better than the best Republican. I was even told that an African-American woman in Illinois actually thought that it was illegal for a Black person to vote Republican! Based on that sampling, it is possible that a vast number of African-Americans are laboring under similar false beliefs about Democrats and Republicans?

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois said: “before the Civil War, the Democratic slave masters used to hold anti-black conventions.” Hence, there were no Republican slave masters at all. Why? The Republican Party was formed in the 1850s for the purpose of abolishing slavery and polygamy. The Republican National Committee website says: “The Republican Party was born in the early 1850s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge.”

Look at a portion of the 1860 platform: “That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom; That as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that ‘no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,’ it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States….That we brand the recent re-opening of the African slave- trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a shame to (a) crime against humanity and a burning (for) our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic.” (To their credit, there were Northern Democrats who supported President Lincoln during the Civil War.)

I’m somewhat curious about some information on the Democrat National Committee’s (DNC) website. The late Ron Brown, former Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, said: “The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren…." Wait a minute! From Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor? All of the slave masters were Democrats. How many other Democrat Presidents before the Civil War opposed slavery? The answer is none. The Democrats kept in bondage those who were excluded, those who were disenfranchised and those who were poor – Black slaves. Rest in peace Ron Brown, but were you were ignorant of your own party’s history or did you lie through your teeth?

PBS’s American Experience website says of the Democrat Party platform in 1840: “They opposed the government's interference with the spread of slavery.” It also said that in 1852: “Democrats also supported the provisions of the Compromise of 1850 and united along pro-slavery lines.” It also said that in 1856: “Democrats again united along a pro-slavery platform, endorsing states' rights, the Fugitive Slave Law, and popular sovereignty in the territories.”

Mackubin T. Owens writes in his editorial “The Democratic Party’s Legacy of Racism:” “The most liberal position among ante-bellum Democrats regarding slavery was that slavery was an issue that should be decided by popular vote. For example, Stephen Douglas, Lincoln’s opponent in the 1858 Illinois senate race and the 1860 presidential campaign, advocated ‘popular sovereignty.’ He defended the right of the people in the territories to outlaw slavery, but also defended the right of Southerners to own slaves and transport them to the new territories.”

Whether or not some Republicans did not want slavery because they sincerely thought it was immoral or some did not want it for political reasons only, not out of love for the Black people (Lincoln thought that Blacks were inferior to Whites and there were northern states that barred Blacks from migrating into them), is irrelevant. The fact is that Republicans were never supporters of slavery, contrary to the belief of many African- Americans today.

The PBS website on “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” said: “The Democratic Party identified itself as the ‘white man's party’ and demonized the Republican Party as being ‘Negro dominated,’ even though whites were in control.” Some Democrats formed the terrorist organization the Ku Klux Klan in the 1870’s. An article in the 1992 Encyclopedia Britannica under the “Reconstruction” heading reported: “The Democratic resentment led to the formation of the secret terroristic organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camilia. The use of fraud, violence, and intimidation helped Southern conservatives regain control of their state governments.” Blacks and White Republicans were the targets of the Klan’s wrath. All this information can be freely verified in libraries and on the Internet. My point is that in the minds of many African-Americans today, the Republican Party is identified with the Ku Klux Klan. Until an African-American friend of mine learned the true history of both political parties, she thought the Republicans and the KKK were basically the same and published the imagery of that nature in a newspaper.

Look at these paragraphs concerning their history on the DNC’s website: “In 1848, the National Convention established the Democratic National Committee, now the longest running political organization in the world. The Convention charged the DNC with the responsibility of promoting ‘the Democratic cause’ between the conventions and preparing for the next convention.” The next paragraph immediately says: “As the 19th Century came to a close, the American electorate changed more and more rapidly. The Democratic Party embraced the immigrants who flooded into cities and industrial centers, built a political base by bringing them into the American mainstream, and helped create the most powerful economic engine in history.” We leave 1848 and time warp to the late 19th Century? Why the 50-year gap in the DNC history? What about the Democrat Party during the Civil War and Reconstruction? Why don’t they talk about the first Black government officials on state and federal levels? Is it because they were 100% Republican therefore persona non grata? A Black elected official I know personally admitted he did not know until recently that there were Blacks in Congress in the 19th Century. Why did not that website celebrate the constitutional amendments that formally abolished slavery and declared the former slaves citizens of the United States? Why was that significant part of history their history intentionally left out? Was it because they could not honestly claim that championing civil rights for Blacks, part of “the Democratic cause,” after the Civil War was a part of their history?

(As a matter of fact, do you recall any mention of the first Black governor, congressmen, or state representatives immediately after the Civil War in any Black History Month celebrations or programs? You hear of the first Black this and the first Black that, and that is wonderful. But you never, ever, hear about the first Black Americans in national or state government. Why is that?)

Did you know the “racist” Republican Barry Goldwater was a founding member of the Arizona NAACP? He was a member until his death in 1998! Could a White racist be a founding member of a Black civil-rights organization and a dues-paying member until his death? As an Air National Guard Colonel in the 1940s, he desegregated the Arizona Air National Guard, two years before President Truman desegregated the entire Armed Forces. My mother, who is 87 years old, believed for the last 40 years that Barry Goldwater was a White supremacist. (I grew up believing he was a racist.) Now that my mother knows the real Goldwater, her 40-year bitterness toward him evaporated. She understands he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act based on his libertarian philosophy as far as the federal government intruding into private affairs and not because of “racism.” Also Goldwater voted for two Civil Rights bills during the Eisenhower administration.

A Wikipedia article on the Democrat Party says: “The civil rights movement of the 1960s, championed by the party despite opposition at the time from its Southern wing, has continued to inspire the party's liberal principles.” Rev. Al Sharpton (whom I respect for traveling to Sudan and exposing chattel slavery there) said at a recent Democrat convention in Boston: “Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat (President Lyndon Baines Johnson). We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.” Rev. Sharpton, I really wish you would have also mentioned that it was because of Democrats, not because of Republicans, that we needed the protection of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Southern Democrats were the segregationists, not the Republicans. The Southern Democrats were responsible for Jim Crow, not the Republicans.

I have asked several Black people if a majority of Democrats or Republicans in Congress supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act. All but one said it was a Democrat majority. Therefore, they believed it was a Democrat victory for civil rights. Have the Democrats claimed a victory that they never earned? Here is the historical record that you can look up today on the Internet: In 1964, in a Democrat Congressional majority, in the Senate, 82% of the Republicans voted for the Act while only 69% of the Democrats voted for it. Every Southern Democrat Senator voted against it. In the House of Representatives, 80% of the Republicans voted for the Act, while only 61% of the Democrats voted for it. Ninety-two of the 103 Southern Democrats in the House voted against it. It is all in the Congressional Record. Also the ignored or forgotten 1957 Civil Rights Act (which Sen. Strom Thurmond tried to torpedo) and the 1960 Civil Rights Act, designed to protect us from the Southern Democrats, were passed by the majority of Republicans in Congress and signed into law by Republican President Eisenhower. Republicans, not Democrats, historically have been in the majority in support of civil rights legislation from the beginning of their history. Even Democrat Sen. John F. Kennedy was no outstanding exponent for civil rights before his presidential bid. Who said, "The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!"? It was Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, speaking of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In the 1965 Voting Rights Act, in percentages, 73.4% of the Democrat Senators voted for the law and 93% of the Republican Senators voted for the law. 78.4% of the Democratic House Representatives voted for the law and 82.3% of the Republican House Representatives voted for the law.

Republican Sen. Trent Lott was nothing to shout about. (Same for the late Democrat Dixiecrat-turned-Republican Strom Thurmond). Lott was pilloried by the media after his remarks praising a Thurmond Dixiecrat presidency. However, Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd said on national television, “There are white niggers.” I have not heard any cries of protests from recognizable Black leaders and politicians. (You know who they are.) It was reported that Sen. Carol Mosely Braun excused him by saying that he was just “an old man.” An older Black man I knew who hated, with venom, White and Black Republicans, also defended Byrd! By the way, Sen. Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, the "Invisible Empire of the South," years ago. He even recruited for the Klan as a “kleagle.” What if Trent Lott was an ex-Klan member and said “white niggers” on national television? We would have shouted “Crucify! Crucify!” right? We would have tarred and feathered him and ran him out of town. Was it because Byrd is a Democrat that we make excuses for him making racial slurs no Republican could get away with. He can get away with being an ex- Klan member while we tell the Republicans to “come clean?” Is not that “selective outrage” dysfunctional if not hypocritical?

Rev. Sharpton said we never got our “40 acres and a mule.” Yes, we did, and they were taken away by a Democrat. Reparations to Black slaves were discussed by Republicans after the Civil War. Political activist and researcher M.D. Currington (websites: and writes, “On January 12, 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton met with twenty Black community leaders in Savannah, Georgia to discuss freedom and reparations for former Black slaves.…on January 16, 1865, General Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, which set aside 7,600 square miles in a 30-mile wide tract of land along the Atlantic coast stretching from Charleston, South Carolina to St. John’s River near Jacksonville, Florida, for the exclusive settlement by Blacks…This Field Order also guaranteed former slaves U.S. military protection, 40 acres of tillable land per Black family, other provisions such as a mule or horse in order to work the land, and any other animal that was no longer useful to the military. By June 1865, over 40,000 former slaves were settled on 40-acre tracts of land. Over 400,000 acres were allocated. In September of 1865, Democrat President Andrew Johnson reversed Field Order No. 15, issued special pardons, and returned the land to former slaveowners.” The Republicans gave, yet a Democrat took it away.

I was told that the Republicans of yesterday are the Democrats of today and vice versa.
Former radio talk-show host and community activist Rev. Wayne Perryman says in his book Unfounded Loyalty: “To praise the Democrats for what they did in the sixties is similar to praising a child who voluntarily cleans up part of his mess after tracking mud throughout the entire house.” He also quotes Black journalist Tony Brown (Tony Brown’s Journal on PBS): “It is out of ignorance of their own history that many Blacks demean the Republican philosophy and condemn Black Republicans. Blacks have been Republicans historically Frederick Douglass and the first twelve Blacks to serve as U.S. Congressman were Republicans. And Congressional White Republicans were the architects of Reconstruction, a ten-year period of unprecedented political power for Black people. Democrats working hand-in-hand with the Ku Klux Klan gave us Jim Crow Laws that effectively reenslaved Blacks. If you know this history, you have to wonder: How did Blacks move from the party that gave them civil and political rights to join forces with a party with a history of racist demagoguery, support of slavery, Jim Crow and lynchings?”

Let’s explore lynchings. Wikipedia says: “Lynching in the United States refers, primarily, to the practice in the 19th and 20th centuries of the humiliation and killing of people by mobs acting outside the law. These murders, most of them unpunished, often took the form of hanging and burning. To demonstrate a ritual of power, mobs sometimes tortured the victim… between 1880 and 1951 the Tuskegee Institute recorded lynchings of 3,437 African-American victims, as well as 1,293 white victims. Southern states completed disfranchisement of African-Americans about the turn of the century. Their white Democratic representatives comprised such a powerful voting block in Congress that they consistently defeated Federal bills against lynching.” To its credit, the U.S. Senate, not the Democratic National Committee, in 2005 passed a resolution to apologize for failing to pass anti-lynching legislation. All the anti-lynching bills were initiated by Republicans. I did a Google search and what came up was “Your search – ‘Democratic anti-lynching’ - did not match any documents.”

Why did African Americans switch parties? The previously mentioned Wikipedia Democrat Party article also says: “From the end of the Civil War, African-Americans favored the Republican Party. However, they began drifting to the Democratic Party in the 1930s, as Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs gave economic relief to all minorities, including African-Americans and Hispanics. Support for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson helped give the Democrats even larger support among the African American community, although their position also alienated the Southern white population.” Rev. Perryman wrote: “Prior to this time from 1866 to 1928, blacks had voted exclusively for the Republican ticket. Frustrated with the economy as well as with the Republican Party, the newspapers used their powerful voice to urge black voters to break tradition and vote Democrat. John Hope Franklin said, ‘The break was neither clean nor complete, however, for there were those who could not be persuaded to support the party that, after all, was the party of the Ku Klux Klan and other bigots”…Hard times were nothing new for the American Negro. They voted Democrat because the Pittsburgh Courier and other powerful black newspapers told their readers the ‘Republicans took their vote for granted.’”

Funny. Back then, any Black person who voted Democrat would have been considered an “Uncle Tom” or a “handkerchief-head Negro” as the Democrat Party was “the party of the Ku Klux Klan and other bigots.”

Rev. Perryman also writes: “Modern-day Democrats must stop preaching that they are the compassionate party of black people and confess that it was their predecessors who started many of the racist practices that we are now trying to eradicate. History clearly shows two things: (1) that the roots of racism grew deep in the hearts and souls of the Democrats and (2) without the past efforts of the Radical Republicans and the Abolitionists, the Civil Rights Legislation of the sixties would not have been possible. Republicans laid the foundation for civil rights by passing legislation and instituting programs that Democrats’ were adamantly opposed to, such as:

1. The Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 to abolish slavery.

2. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 to give Negroes citizenship and protect freedmen from Black Codes and other repressive legislation.

3. The First Reconstruction Act of 1867 to provide more efficient Government of the Rebel- or Democrat-controlled states.

4. The Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 to make all persons born in the United States citizens. Part of this Amendment specifically states “No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; or deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

5. The Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 to give the right to vote to every citizen.

6. The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 to stop Klan terrorists to terrorized black voters, Republicans, white teachers who taught blacks, and Abolitionists.

7. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 to protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights and to prohibit racial discrimination in places of public accommodation.

8. Freedmen Bureau was social programs established by Republicans to feed, protect, and educate the former slaves.

9. The 1957 Civil Rights Act and the 1960 Civil Rights Act were signed into law by President Eisenhower who also established the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1958, a commission that was rejected by Truman during his administration.

10. The 1964 Civil Rights Act which key Republicans pushed law through while key Southern Democrats like Al Gore Sr. debated against its passage. More Republicans (in percentages) voted for this law than Democrats.”

There is good and bad in both parties. A great example of good is pro-civil rights Democrat Congressman Bob Filner of Chula Vista, California. He was part of the Freedom Rides in the South in the early 1960s and was even imprisoned for months by racist Democrats. His life was constantly in danger as some other Freedom Riders were murdered. The Republican Party is not completely virtuous either. It has dropped the ball a few times concerning Blacks. However, considering the immutable facts of history, which political party historically has a better civil rights and equality track record for Blacks?

Based on a correct interpretation of history based on documented facts, does the Democrat Party owe Black America an apology for past support of slavery, Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, and violent acts of racism such as lynching? Since there has never been an offer of apology from the Democratic National Committee and 90% of the African American vote goes to the Democrats, don’t you think the answer should be YES?

But another important question that African-American voters should ask is: what do we African-Americans owe the Democrat Party?


The following claim from the Democrat Party website is dubious and merits investigation:

Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That's why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws, and every law that protects workers. Most recently, Democrats stood together to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act.
"On every civil rights issue, Democrats have led the fight. We support vigorous enforcement of existing laws, and remain committed to protecting fundamental civil rights in America.

Let’s grant that President John F. Kennedy was a force in initiating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also let’s say that President Lyndon B. Johnson did his best to get that legislation passed. These were Democratic presidents. There were also Democrats in Congress who supported the legislation such as Senator Hubert Humphrey. I applaud their efforts. However Johnson told Humphrey: "Now you know that bill can't pass unless you get (Senate Minority Leader Republican) Ev(erett) Dirksen.”
To make the claim that the Democrats "led the fight" on "every civil rights issue" contradicts verifiable facts of history. Rev Wayne Perryman stated in his class action lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee:
“To conceal the truth of their racist past (and as part of their effort to deceive the public), the Democratic Party made a conscious decision not to mention or disclose their true and complete history. On their official website they failed to disclose that as a Party:

· Democrats opposed the Abolitionists
· Democrats supported slavery and fought and gave their lives to expand it
· Democrats supported and passed the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 & 1854
· Democrats supported and passed the Missouri Compromise to protect slavery
· Democrats supported and passed the Kansas Nebraska Act to expand slavery
· Democrats supported and backed the Dred Scott Decision
· Democrats supported and passed Jim Crow Laws
· Democrats supported and passed Black Codes
· Democrats opposed educating blacks and murdered our teachers
· Democrats opposed the Reconstruction Act of 1867
· Democrats opposed the Freedman’s Bureau as it pertained to blacks
· Democrats opposed the Emancipation Proclamation
· Democrats opposed the 13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments to end slavery, make black citizens and give blacks the right to vote
· Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866
· Democrats opposed the Civil Right Act of 1875 and had it overturned by U.S. Supreme Court
· Various Democrats opposed the 1957 Civil Rights Acts
· Various Democrats argued against the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts
· Various Democrats argued against the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Acts
· Various Democrats voted against the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act
· Democrats supported and backed Judge John Ferguson in the case of Plessy v Ferguson
· Democrats supported the School Board of Topeka Kansas in the case of Brown v The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas.
· Southern Democrats opposed desegregation and integration
· Democrats started and supported several terrorist organizations including the Ku Klux Klan, an organization dedicated to use any means possible to terrorize African Americans and those who supported African Americans.”

Writer Diane Alden says: “says: “The fact that Democrats are quick to take credit for the Civil Rights Act (of 1964) and for the civil rights movement itself is both phony and a self-absorbed vanity.”

She also kills the persistent myth that all the Southern Democrats joined the Republican Party in the 1960s. Alden writes:

(Senator Bob) Kerry also maintained that all the Dixiecrats became Republicans shortly after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, another big lie. Richard Russell, Mendell Rivers, Clinton's mentor William Fulbright, Robert Byrd, Fritz Hollings and Al Gore Sr. remained Democrats till their dying day.

Most of the Dixiecrats did not become Republicans. They created the Dixiecrats and then, when the civil rights movement succeeded, they returned to the Democratic fold. It was not till much later, with a new, younger breed of Southerner and the thousands of Northerners moving into the South, that Republicans began to make gains.

I know. I was there.

As I have already written, I have been told, even more than once, that the Democrats and the Republicans “switched sides.” If that is true, where is the evidence that all the “non-racist” civil-rights Republicans in the 1960s made an exodus from their party and took over the Democrat Party?

Since the DNC sees fit to distort and cover-up their true racist history to cause black Americans to feel good them, I say to the Democrat Party like Rev. Jesse Jackson said to George W. Bush: “Come clean!” Contributing Editor Robert Oliver is a writer in Southern California. His e-mail is

Prosecutors will seek Madoff's wife's money too

(AP) — Bernard Madoff's wife could theoretically claim more than $100 million in assets — and should forfeit it all, according to federal prosecutors.

The move by prosecutors seeks the court's help in recovering $22 million in Madoff properties, all of which are solely in Ruth Madoff's name except for one $3 million property. It also seeks $62 million in cash and securities in her name, $10 million in furnishings in the properties and $10 million for a yacht and other boats.

Madoff, 70, traded his $7 million Manhattan penthouse for a federal lockup on Thursday, immediately after he described how he created a two-decade Ponzi scheme which paid off early investors with proceeds from new investors.

Investors have reacted angrily to previous defense claims that Ruth Madoff is entitled to keep $69 million in assets that are in her name.

Authorities say Madoff notified his 4,800 investors in November that they had nearly $65 billion in assets when there actually was about $1 billion left. He could face up to 150 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

The assets that the government hopes to seize include four properties, $10 million in home furnishings and a $7 million yacht in France. The court document did not mention $2.6 million in jewelry, but the government did say it would seek forfeiture of "all insured and readily salable personal property" in any of the Madoff properties.

Prosecutors also are seeking the forfeiture of a $39,000 Steinway piano and a $65,000 silverware set kept in the Manhattan penthouse.

Peter Chavkin, a lawyer for Mrs. Madoff, declined to comment.

Banks 'concerned' over model riot

America's Next Top Model host Tyra Banks says she is "concerned" after an audition for her show ended with six people injured and three arrests.

Thousands of modelling hopefuls were queuing outside a hotel in Manhattan, New York, when bedlam broke out.

Police cancelled the audition but could not say what had sparked the panic.

Banks and the show's producer Ken Mok said: "We are concerned by the events. We still don't know all the details of what triggered the incident."

They added: "We appreciate the efforts of the NYPD and will assist them in any way possible in this matter."

Reports suggest the incident involved a man charging into the crowd in an attempt to steal handbags.

Sleeping bags

Clothes and shoes were abandoned in the street as women tried to escape the melee.

Tyra Banks created America's Next Top Model

Some of those waiting in line at the Park Central New York hotel had camped out overnight with chairs and sleeping bags to get their shot at fame.

Of those injured, only two were taken to hospital, according to the New York fire department.

Two women and a man were arrested on charges of inciting to riot and disorderly conduct.

This 13th series of the reality show is seeking 12 finalists who are shorter than the average model, with auditions only open to those under 5ft 7ins.

Fronted by supermodel Banks, it is broadcast on CW in the US and Living in the UK.

Russian Air Force chief eyes base that could strike U.S. targets

MOSCOW - A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that strategic Russian bombers could be placed on the United States‘ doorstep - in Cuba or on an island offered by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The comments reported by the Interfax news agency came from the chief of staff of Russia’s long-range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev.

The Kremlin quickly said the situation was hypothetical.

“The military is speaking about technical possibilities, that’s all,” Alexei Pavlov, a Kremlin official, told The Associated Press.

Zhikharev said Chavez had offered “a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers,” the agency reported.

He also said that Cuba has air bases with four or five runways long enough for the huge bombers and could be used to host the long-range planes.

Cuba has never permanently hosted Russian or Soviet strategic aircraft, but Soviet short-range bombers often made stopovers there during the Cold War.

Independent military analyst Alexander Golts said such a move made no strategic sense.

“The bombers don’t need any base. This is just a retaliatory gesture,” Golts said, saying Russia wanted to hit back after U.S. ships patrolled Black Sea waters.

Netanyahu in deal with right-wing Israeli party

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has initialed a coalition agreement with an ultranationalist faction that brings its leader significantly closer to becoming foreign minister, a Likud party spokeswoman said Monday.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, has drawn accusations of racism for proposing that Israel’s Arab citizens sign loyalty oaths or lose their citizenship. Although that plan is not likely to be implemented, his designation as foreign minister could harm Israel’s international ties.

The appointment is not yet finalized, however. Likud spokeswoman Dina Libster said the coalition agreement included a provision that both sides were prepared to form a government that would include moderate partners, such as the Kadima Party of the current foreign minister, Tzipi Livni.

That wording leaves open the possibility that Livni might retain her current job if she were to join such an alliance. Local media reported over the weekend that Netanyahu has resumed overtures to recruit Livni.

The agreement with Yisrael Beitenu is the first Netanyahu has initialed on his way toward setting up a coalition of hawkish and Orthodox Jewish parties.

The government taking shape would take a harder line on Palestinian and Arab issues than the outgoing administration of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Norm Coleman to Replace Michael Steele?

WORD ON THE STREET: The next RNC chairman will be Norm Coleman, after he loses his recount fight and big donors see Michael Steele’s March numbers.

I can see how this might make sense: Steele has been relatively unpopular:

Most chairmen wave the party flag; Mr. Steele smiles and shreds it. A man of constantly colliding analogies, he compares Republicans to drunks in need of a 12-step program and to the mentally ill. He has insulted Rush Limbaugh and moderate Republican senators alike, and he has promised a “hip-hop makeover” that would attract even “one-armed midgets” to his party.

Norm Coleman would be a perfect replacement as RNC chair and the antithesis to Steele’s style. Even though Coleman lost the Senate race, he still has deep (although arguably corrupt) ties with Washington politicos as well as deep connections to one of the right-wing’s best fundraising machines. He knows how to pull money out of people as well as government and he knows how to smear opponents in a way few others do. Norm Coleman as chair might be exactly what the RNC needs right now.

Bernacke says Banks are Improving

Looks like this week is starting out on the right foot, and the light at the end of the tunnel continues to try and peak through... just as I blogged about last week in Each Day is a Bit Brighter.

This weekend Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had his first televised interview giving an optimistic viewpoint on CBS's "60 Minutes", saying “The biggest risk is that, you know, we don’t have the political will. Recovery is not going to happen until the financial markets and the banks are stabilized,” and the government’s plan is “going to take some patience. It’s going to take some support,” Bernacke said.

Spring is in the air... Green Shoots are Sprouting.

Bernanke reiterated in the interview that, should the government succeed in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010. “Green shoots” are appearing in some markets aided by the Fed, and there has been “some improvement” in banks, he said.

Bernanke, 55, didn’t offer new details on financial-rescue programs or economic forecasts. The television show, including footage of the Fed chief visiting the rural South Carolina town where he grew up, gave Bernanke an opportunity to make the case he understands the anxieties of ordinary Americans.

“I come from Main Street,” Bernanke said near the building where his father owned a pharmacy in Dillon, South Carolina. “I care about Wall Street for one reason and one reason only -- because what happens on Wall Street matters to Main Street,” Bernanke said. “And if we don’t have stabilization in the financial markets, if we don’t take the steps necessary to make sure that credit is flowing again, then my father couldn’t get a loan to build his new store.”

Thank Goodness Bernanke "Gets it".

Bernanke said the October law creating the TARP prevented a possible “global financial meltdown” and that he told a skeptical congressman at the time that businesses in his district would begin suffering losses without decisive congressional action. He didn’t identify the lawmaker.

“We’ve averted” the risk of a depression, Bernanke said. “Now the problem is to get the thing working properly again.” While the largest U.S. banks are “solvent,” Bernanke reiterated that the government’s so-called stress tests will determine how much more capital each bank will need to be “well capitalized” in tougher times. One sign of a recovery would be success by a large bank in raising private capital, he said.

I really like this Fed Chief...

He elaborated on comments earlier this month that the bailout of AIG made him angrier than any other incident during the financial crisis, saying he “slammed the phone more than a few times on discussing AIG.” “It’s absolutely unfair that taxpayer dollars are going to prop up a company that made these terrible bets,” Bernanke said. Yet failing to rescue the company would “risk enormous impact, not just in the financial system, but on the whole U.S. economy,” he said. Bernanke said “the era of this high living” is over for bankers and that banks must “find a way to make loans to creditworthy borrowers” now.

CBS billed the segment as the first broadcast interview with a sitting Fed chief in 20 years. “It’s an extraordinary time. This is a chance for me, I think, to talk to -- to America directly" said Bernacke.

So far the overseas markets and US futures are liking what they heard. I'm looking forward to this week... especially my chance to talk to you, my clients, about how to succeed as a foreclosure investor, in this once in a lifetime market.

There are so many people who need our help, as well as banks who need to unload their foreclosure inventory... but we need to get out there and make contact. That means, making calls to strangers and asking the right questions to really qualify your prospective motivated sellers. And I will show you "what to say and how to say it", when talking to owners and REO lenders and their agents... about buying their properties for wholesale prices... this Tuesday, March 17th at 6pm Pacific. Make sure you register early, as I do fill up!

Nunu Kidane on Race, Refugees, and Obama [VIDEO]

Priority Africa Network’s Nunu Kidane discusses America’s destructively racialized refugee policy, and calls out the disparity between intentions and actions towards countries in need.

For more on the future of America’s immigration policies, get involved with ARC’s Compact Phone Forum on Race and Immigration, happening Tuesday, March 17, 1PM PST / 4PM EST.

Has the Media Made Domestic Violence a Form of Entertainment?

Philadelphia, PA ( - Domestic violence is no stranger to Essence best-selling author Brenda L. Thomas who, after having success with several novels decided to pen her memoir, Laying Down My Burdens. After ending a violent marriage of 15 years, during which her husband threatened her with death if she were to ever pen her story, Ms. Thomas is speaking out on the violence that erupted between Rihanna and Chris Brown and most recently the report of BeBe Winans arrest. "It's important that individuals in the public eye make it their priority to see domestic violence awareness become as much a part of public efforts as breast cancer and other ills and not just mere entertainment," says Ms. Thomas.

There is a long list of celebrities whose lives have been affected by domestic violence, either as a victim, an abuser or simply as a witness. Celebrity or not, most victims have chosen to remain silent because of its mere shame and embarrassment. Currently the U.S. Justice Department reports that 1 to 3 million women are physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends each year. However, those statistics are even clearer when you read the papers and see that over the course of a recent weekend (PA-MD) in March, three women were violently murdered by their abusers, leaving one victim's 11-year old daughter hospitalized with stab wounds. What more statistics do we need?

To give those who might be hesitant to speak out for themselves a voice, Ms. Thomas has been committed to touring the country and sharing her message of L.O.U.D. (Living Out Your Dreams) which is about the importance of never giving up, no matter what the obstacle.

Throughout her literary career she has penned four best-selling novels, Threesome, Fourplay, The Velvet Rope and Every Woman's Got a Secret in addition to three anthologies, Four Degrees of Heat, Kiss the Year Goodbye and Indulge. Ms. Thomas has provided commentary on various subjects through a wide variety of national media outlets, appearing on shows such as CNN, Dateline, and Entertainment Tonight.

Barack Obama's Betrayal of the Black Church?

By Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.

As I write this, Obama has just signed an Executive Order lifting restrictions on Embryonic Stem Cell research, a move he said, rejects the "false choice" between science and morality. As well, it has been just 49 days since the inaguration and already there are grumblings among the voters who supported the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. The ones which amaze me are the cathartic voices of the people of faith who are claiming betrayal, but even more, are the ones that are of the Ecclesiastical Order of the Church in America -- Our beloved Clergy! One might ask, 'why am I astonished at these disillusioned disciples of change?' My bewilderment is due to what was obvious from the beginning: Barack Obama was never on your side! Never.

What does betrayal mean? Betrayal, is a form of deception or dismissal of prior presumptions; it is the breaking or violation of a presumptive social contract -- trust and/or confidence -- producing moral and psychological conflict within a relationship, amongst individuals, between organizations, or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is the act of supporting a rival group; or it can be a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the other. Does that sound like what's going on? Barack Obama has not betrayed his social contract with his followers, for if you think so, just ask, "Joe the Plumber" who would clearly beg to differ with you!

Obama let all of us know before November 4th, 2008 that socialism was going to be the first order of the day. The stimulus bill should not have surprised you at all. Government getting bigger and bigger is only Obama fulfilling his promise to his constituency for "Change." A stimulus bill that specifically discriminates against schools by withholding funds, if they provide worship and religious space to groups on their campus, is reflective of a socialist agenda, for remember, it was Karl Marx, father of Maxist Socialism who penned, "Religion is the opium of the masses..." Betrayed?

Is Obama flip-flopping on the moral issues of the day? Let's see.

Same sex marriage? No, he was an avid supporter of same sex marriage and gay rights during his campaign. To prove his allegiance to the cause, Obama quickly summoned the first recognized Gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, to come to the inauguration (no bible) because the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Society was upset that he had asked Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in California to pray at the event. No flip-flop there.

Abortion? Obama had a track record on abortion that would put Hillary Clinton to shame and make Jack Kevorkian smile. Barack Obama was, and still is, a staunch supporter of dismembering babies in the womb, my fellow Clergy. He has been faithful to his distinguished record and accomplishments such as voting four times not to give medical attention to infants should they survive an abortive attempt on their lives. Obama's perspective was, and still is, 'let them die,' and, 'I don't care that you are leaving them in soiled linen closets and then throwing them in the garbage....' No, Christendom! Obama's moral views have not changed.

The recent appointment of Katherine Sebilus, Governor of Kansas, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, confirms Obama's status as the most pro-abortion president in our nation's history. She who vetoed legislation that would have outlawed coerced abortion, throws parties for abortionists and their staff who major in late-term abortion procedures, one of them being the notorious Dr. George Tiller, who, by his own admission says he has performed over 60,000 abortions and is currently under a 19 count indictment in Katherine Sebilus' state for giving abortions to underage girls -- 16 years and younger. If you are interested in understanding this better, I would suggest you go to and follow the various links -- it's quite enlightening, to say the least. Sebilus also works in lock step with the leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and has a voting record on the issue as clear and abysmal as Barack Obama's. Health and Human Services? The Govenor's first assignment would be to finagle a way for more tax dollars for Planned Parenthood to expedite the slaughter of innocent babies. CEO of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, is salivating with the greatest of expectations -- dare I say, monitary! Support of a rival group? No...Obama's been a democrat from the beginning and prior to becoming president, was viewed as the most liberal Senator in the congress. Obama gained that distinction long before November 4th, 2008. No betrayal there! So, let's get to the point of why I am astounded.

Though Obama may have broken a number of campaign promises and vacillated habitually on his methodology, he has been adamantly and unequivocally faithful to his values and sociological ideology. Unfortunately, the Black Church was not! Obama never betrayed his values -- we betrayed ours, and by doing so, betrayed God. We betrayed conscience for color; principle for political power; Truth for the promise of Change. Barack Obama is being Barack Obama. It's like letting the Fox into your henhouse while hoping he becomes a vegetarian. The first man Adam forgot his values and wanted "Change" and with a little prodding from the woman (Oprah), he too, thought there were many ways to get to heaven.

It was a mistake

Like Adam and Eve we are finding out that this is not the promised land.

AIG names counterparties, European banks dominate

New York - Goldman Sachs and a parade of major European banks, including Deutsche Bank, France's Societe Generale and the UK's Barclays, were major beneficiaries of more than $90 billion of money paid out by AIG in the first three-and-a-half months after its bailout by the U.S. government last September.

The disclosure by AIG on Sunday is likely to trigger further criticism of why Goldman, with its many government links, and the European banks were funneled such huge sums of U.S. taxpayer money after making bad bets on various securities, as well as strengthening the case of those who believe the whole bailout was botched.

Already this weekend AIG has come under intense attack by politicians for bonus payments it made to executives and staff for last year's performance despite its near-bankruptcy and rescue.

Through three separate types of transactions, Goldman received an aggregate $12.9 billion. Among European banks, SocGen was the biggest recipient at $11.9 billion, Deutsche got $11.8 billion and Barclays was paid $8.5 billion.

The payments include the provision of collateral to back up credit default swaps, a form of financial insurance that AIG was writing; the purchase of the collateralized default obligations, a type of complex debt security that underlay that insurance; and payments to counterparties of a securities lending program.

The figures released by AIG show amounts it paid to counterparties between September 16, 2008 -- the date of AIG's federal rescue -- until the end of last year.

The U.S. government, which is spending up to $180 billion on the AIG rescue, extended aid to the insurer after large losses from a financial product unit's bets on toxic mortgage assets that triggered rating cuts and collateral demands that AIG could not meet.

The U.S. government got a nearly 80 percent stake in AIG in exchange for its bailout of the insurer.

Other European banks that received funds from AIG in the months after its bailout include Calyon, part of Credit Agricole, Barclays PLC, UBS, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Banco Santander, Danske, HSBC, and Dresdner Bank AG, now a unit of Commerzbank.

Apart from Goldman Sachs, U.S. banks that received payments from AIG included Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup.

In addition, AIG listed some of the U.S. states to receive $12.1 billion in payments under guaranteed investment agreements since its September bailout.

The information was disclosed days before AIG CEO Edward Liddy is scheduled to testify before Congress on the firm's spending of taxpayer funds. Liddy was appointed by U.S. Treasury officials after the insurer's U.S. government rescue.

Since the $85 billion federal rescue of AIG last September, the government has stepped up twice more, raising the total amount at its disposal to aid the insurer, if needed, to $180 billion.

AIG posted a record quarterly loss of $61.7 billion last week, and the government has said it may have to pour yet more cash into the ailing firm. Officials have said AIG is being kept on taxpayer-funded life support because its failure could trigger giant losses for counterparties across the U.S. and Europe.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Federal Reserve said: "The counterparties that received collateral payments from AIG received these payments pursuant to contracts -- contracts that don't differentiate domestic versus international companies."

Why Is Dick Cheney Still Talking?

Yesterday, during an appearance on John King's new CNN show State of the Union, former vice-president Dick Cheney said that President Barack Obama has "made some choices that in my mind raise the risk to the American people of another attack." Cheney argued that, by repealing some of the broad policies that Bush enacted to give the government unprecedented power and independence to secretly arrest, interrogate, and imprison suspects, Obama is treating terrorism as a "law-enforcement problem" as opposed to a war. (The new president has banned waterboarding, plans to require CIA interrogators to follow Army rules, and ordered the closure of Guantanamo and other secret intelligence interrogation sites.) Cheney called the Bush administration's policies "absolutely essential" to foiling post–September 11 attacks.

Here's what we're wondering:

1. For how long are newscasters going to allow Dick Cheney to cite these foiled attacks as evidence that the policies were necessary, when nobody will say what they were or when they happened? It's not that we don't believe there were attacks, but it's not an argument to say that you're right but you can't tell anybody why.
2. Why is Dick Cheney still talking? Wasn't the 2008 election a resounding referendum on why America doesn't want to hear from him anymore? Even George Bush, whose actual reputation is what we're talking about, isn't giving interviews like these.

Okay, okay. You know we don't really care about Dick Cheney and terrorism policy. You're probably wondering why we're really salty this morning. Here's why: The Times story about Cheney's statements was basically just a recap of the State of the Union episode. Who was it written by? A.G. Sulzberger, our most recent objet d'envy. Now he's writing TV recaps? That just hits too close to home!

Bernanke fears lack of will to end crisis

The U.S. recession could last most of the year, said Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, warning that the biggest risk was that the political will needed to fix the fractured financial system could be lacking.

"This decline will begin to moderate and we'll begin to see a leveling off," Mr. Bernanke said when pressed during an interview on the CBS television program "60 Minutes" about whether he sees the recession ending this year. "We won't be back to full employment. But we will, I hope, see the end of these declines that have been so strong in the last couple of quarters."

Mr. Bernanke told Congress in January that the Fed believed there was a reasonable prospect that the recession that took hold in December 2007 would end this year and that 2010 would be a year of recovery.

In the rare on-the-record interview, shown Sunday, he largely stuck to that view, while suggesting that recent developments might have dimmed the outlook a bit.

"We'll see the recession coming to an end, probably this year," Mr. Bernanke said. "We'll see recovery beginning next year."

Government efforts to combat the crisis have been criticized as stock markets have plunged and unemployment has soared even as the authorities have stepped in to prop up companies such as American International Group.

The financial system remains fragile, despite a $700 billion bailout of banks approved by Congress in October, and President Barack Obama has said more money will likely be needed to repair debt-laden banks.

The Fed chairman said his greatest worry is that lawmakers and the public will withdraw support for efforts aimed at stabilizing the shattered banking system.

"The biggest risk is that, you know, we don't have the political will," he said. "We don't have the commitment to solve this problem, and that we let it just continue."

If that occurs, he said, "we can't count on recovery."

Recent economic data have pointed to an intensifying economic downturn. The U.S. unemployment rate rose to a 25-year high in February as employers cut 651,000 jobs, taking the recession's job loss total to 4.4 million. Home and auto sales have slid in recent months, and manufacturing has contracted.

Last week, Mr. Obama and his top aides issued some of their most optimistic remarks since the new president had taken office, concerned that a grim outlook among investors or the public might become part of the problem.

Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said that low stock prices offered "the sale of the century."

Yet in an interview Sunday, Mr. Summers struck a note of caution.

Asked on "This Week," on ABC, whether a bottoming of the economy was in sight, Mr. Summers said, "No one can make that judgment." Job losses were likely to continue for some time, he suggested, noting: "We've got an economy that's losing 600,000 jobs a month. It's probably not going to stop imminently."

And queried about whether the unexpected profit reports for this year from Citibank and some other major banks meant that they were "out of the woods," he replied, "I wish I could say that."

"It's going to take some time" for the administration's rescue efforts to gain serious traction, he said.

But Mr. Summers insisted that the administration economic team was moving expeditiously to flesh out its financial rescue efforts.

"On Monday, you're going to see the details of one key component of the plan," he said. Mr. Obama is expected to propose offering hundreds of millions in federal lending aid to help struggling small-business owners and to move aggressively to increase bank liquidity.

According to The Associated Press, the package will include $730 million from the stimulus plan to immediately reduce small-business lending fees and increase the government guarantee on some Small Business Administration loans to 90 percent. The government also will take steps to increase bank liquidity, with more than $10 billion aimed at unfreezing the secondary credit market, according to officials briefed on the plan who sought anonymity to avoid pre-empting the president's announcement.

Concerns have risen that the administration is moving too slowly, and perhaps too opaquely, to shore up banks and deal with so-called toxic assets weighing on many banks' books.

"There's a lack of confidence because this administration has not come forward with a plan on how to take these impaired assets out of the market," Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, said on NBC.

But Christina D. Romer , another administration adviser, indicated that a plan was near. "I can tell you that that kind of a blueprint is top on our agenda, and I expect it to come out very soon," she said.