Last night on the House floor, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated that the President's Emergency Supplemental shows that the United States has forgotten about the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. According to Lee, Bush's funding plan is supposed to be for both Iraq and Afghanistan yet it calls for a "pitiful" amount of money for Afghanistan, a place where the "Taliban is on the rise." President Bush's emergency plan calls for $87 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, out of which less than 1 percent goes to Afghanistan's reconstruction.
Lee compared the disproportionate funding levels for Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Lee, we are funding national security for Iraq with $2.1 billion, and for Afghanistan $222 million; the justice system in Iraq gets $919 million, and $10 million in Afghanistan. The electrical system in Iraq is funded at $5.7 billion and $45 million in Afghanistan. She stated that Afghanistan "is devastated. It is a flattened area. When we talk about rebuilding infrastructure, I would think that we would not give shortchange to Afghanistan, which is percolating as the center of focus for Taliban." Due to the uneven levels of funding for Iraq's and Afghanistan's reconstruction, she asked the House for a separate vote on the military costs versus the rebuilding costs.
Regarding security in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times, NATO has decided in principle to expand its presence in Afghanistan beyond Kabul. The final approval for this decision will come at the end of the week.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .