SPRINGFIELD, Va.: Military newspapers say Rumsfeld must go … and then he does

A Nov. 4 editorial published simultaneously by Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times argues that the situation in Iraq has devolved into “chaos” and declares “Donald Rumsfeld must go.”

On Nov. 8, as the World went to press, President Bush announced that Rumsfeld was stepping down, no doubt in response to these and other voices calling for Rumsfeld’s removal.

The editorial observes, “One rosy assurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: ‘mission accomplished,’ the insurgency is ‘in its last throes’ and ‘back off, we know what we’re doing,’ are a few choice examples.”

Noting that retired military leaders have previously criticized the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war, it says now active-duty officers in all branches are voicing their “misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.”

The editorial continues, “Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth: Donald Rumsfeld must go.”

The four newspapers are sold to military personnel and are published by Gannett, a multinational media corporation with 90 daily newspapers, including USA Today, and 23 television stations in the U.S.

ATLANTA: Suit seeks to protect Latinos’ civil rights

When Marie Justeen Mancha, 15, was dressing for school in September, she suddenly heard men yelling “Mexican” and “illegals” in her living room. She went to investigate and found five armed men in her home, one with his hand on his gun holster. “My heart just dropped,” she said. Then, nearly two dozen armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents roamed through the house without presenting a search warrant.

Mancha’s family had become victims of a massive raid targeting allegedly undocumented workers who worked at the Crider Corp. poultry plant in Stillmore, Ga. Over 125 people were arrested.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit Nov. 1, charging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and ICE administrators and agents used “Gestapo-like” tactics against people in three southern Georgia counties, breaking into homes and stopping motorists “because they looked Mexican.”

“This was a widespread sweep, based largely on racial and ethnic profiling, in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” said Mary Bauer, a lawyer representing the victims. “Agents saw brown skin and made a presumption of illegality.”

“We want to send out a strong message that if they do this in other communities, they are going to be sued,” Bauer said.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.: Anti-gay religious leader resigns in scandal

Rev. Ted Haggard, 50, pastor of the 14,000 member New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, representing 30 million evangelical Christians, was used to participating in White House conference calls, advising foreign leaders and meeting with senators about Supreme Court nominations. Time Magazine named him one of the country’s top 25 influential evangelicals. Colorado’s Nov. 7 ballot featured a gay marriage ban spearheaded by Haggard.

But on Nov. 2, Michael Jones, 49, went on local talk radio and said that he had sex with Haggard, monthly, over the past three years and sold him metamphetamine. Haggard had responded to an ad Jones placed in a gay newspaper and on the web site Rentboy.com.

On Nov. 5, in a letter read to the congregation, Haggard wrote, “The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.”

Haggard is married with five children. “My intent was never to destroy his family,” Jones told the Denver Post. “My intent was to expose a hypocrite.”

HARRISBURG, Pa.: Seniors pay more, insurance companies get richer

Preliminary results of a study by the Pennsylvania Alliance of Retired Americans indicates that seniors who relied solely on Medicare Part D, the Bush prescription drug plan, paid more in co-pays and monthly premiums, had coverage gaps and saw the number of their medications available under the plan shrink. The big winners, according to an August Wall Street Journal report, are insurance companies, whose second-quarter profits skyrocketed.

The study, commissioned to track 62 seniors across the state, will end January 2007. The data only reflects the first six months of research.

“Based on Pennsylvania seniors enrolled in this study, Medicare Part D has not produced any significant or tangible financial savings for seniors in need of a comprehensive prescription drug benefit,” the preliminary report said. “Furthermore, this legislation has potentially significant deleterious effects on health-related outcomes for Pennsylvania seniors.”

WellPoint, Inc., one of the largest insurance companies covering senior health care, told the Wall Street Journal that its profits shot up by 34 percent, while Humana reported a 52 percent increase with the implementation of Medicare Part D. UnitedHealth, another major insurance player, had a 26 percent jump.

National Clips are compiled by Denise Winebrenner Edwards (dwinebr696@aol.com).