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Any way, coming back to first time home buyers, it is once in lifetime opportunity to get houses in high demand areas, and if people have good solid job (or multiple income sources with working spouse) and credit, with plans to live there for atleast 3-5 years, I don't think there should be any reason not to buy it.
There has always been more land and if there wasn't more land in US, it may start occupying ocean to build houses. So I don't think there was ever in history a question whether people would occupy every inch of land. But still there was a boom and people were buying 4-5 houses when they can only afford one. Everybody knows what happened after that. But yes in Good location, there is always shortage and there is shortage right now too. Now good location is a subjectable term. You can go 40 miles off any major city and live in woods and consider it as a good location. So we have to be careful there. But yes prices are low compared to boom time and interest rates have been historically low. If the above two are not good point to take risk, then you are not in right business of taking risk.
Hey nobody can predict tomorrow. You can get hit by a bus and then who cares about money and house :).
Life life king size :) may be after 10 years your GC is denied, but then for 10 years you lived in half million dollar house and enjoyed every second of it, rather than living in one bedroom apt.
Chill out and have a good night
Living life king size is what caused this massive bubble and the repurcussions of this recession will be felt for years to come. Living beyond your means never was and will never be, a good idea. What is the point in buying a mansion and then worrying about paying the mortgage on it every month... I dont see any king size lifestyle there.
Forget the Israel Lobby. The Hill's Next Big Player Is Made in India (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/28/AR2007092801350_2.html) By Mira Kamdar (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Washington Post, September 30, 2007
Mira Kamdar, a fellow at the World Policy Institute and the Asia Society, is the author of "Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World."
The fall's most controversial book is almost certainly "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," in which political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt warn that Jewish Americans have built a behemoth that has bullied policymakers into putting Israel's interests in the Middle East ahead of America's. To Mearsheimer and Walt, AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group, is insidious. But to more and more Indian Americans, it's downright inspiring.
With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC's footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington -- and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world.
"This is huge," enthused Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, from a posh hotel lobby in Philadelphia. "It's the Berlin Wall coming down. It's Nixon in China."
What has Somers so energized is a landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States, which would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and deliver fuel supplies to India's civilian power plants in return for placing them under permanent international safeguards. Under the deal's terms, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- for decades the cornerstone of efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons -- will in effect be waived for India, just nine years after the Clinton administration slapped sanctions on New Delhi for its 1998 nuclear tests. But the Bush administration, eager to check the rise of China by tilting toward its massive neighbor, has sought to forge a new strategic alliance with India, cemented by the civil nuclear deal.
On the U.S. side, the pact awaits nothing more than one final up-or-down vote in Congress. (In India, the situation is far more complicated; India's left-wing parties, sensitive to any whiff of imperialism, have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of surrendering the country's sovereignty -- a broadside that may yet scuttle the deal.) On Capitol Hill, despite deep divisions over Iraq, immigration and the outsourcing of American jobs to India, Democrats and Republicans quickly fell into line on the nuclear deal, voting for it last December by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Even lawmakers who had made nuclear nonproliferation a core issue over their long careers, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), quickly came around to President Bush's point of view. Why?
The answer is that the India lobby is now officially a powerful presence on the Hill. The nuclear pact brought together an Indian government that is savvier than ever about playing the Washington game, an Indian American community that is just coming into its own and powerful business interests that see India as perhaps the single biggest money-making opportunity of the 21st century.
The nuclear deal has been pushed aggressively by well-funded groups representing industry in both countries. At the center of the lobbying effort has been Robert D. Blackwill, a former U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national security adviser who's now with a well-connected Republican lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers LLC. The firm's Web site touts Blackwill as a pillar of its "India Practice," along with a more recent hire, Philip D. Zelikow, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was also one of the architects of the Bush administration's tilt toward India. The Confederation of Indian Industry paid Blackwill to lobby various U.S. government entities, according to the Boston Globe. And India is also paying a major Beltway law firm, Venable LLP.
The U.S.-India Business Council has lavished big money on lobbyists, too. With India slated to spend perhaps $60 billion over the next few years to boost its military capabilities, major U.S. corporations are hoping that the nuclear agreement will open the door to some extremely lucrative opportunities, including military contracts and deals to help build nuclear power plants. According to a recent MIT study, Lockheed Martin is pushing to land a $4 billion to $9 billion contract for more than 120 fighter planes that India plans to buy. "The bounty is enormous," gushed Somers, the business council's president.
So enormous, in fact, that Bonner & Associates created an India lobbying group last year to make sure that U.S. companies reap a major chunk of it. Dubbed the Indian American Security Leadership Council, the group was underwritten by Ramesh Kapur, a former trustee of the Democratic National Committee, and Krishna Srinivasa, who has been backing GOP causes since his 1984 stint as co-chair of Asian Americans for Reagan-Bush. The council has, oddly, "recruited groups representing thousands of American veterans" to urge Congress to pass the nuclear deal.
The India lobby is also eager to use Indian Americans to put a human face -- not to mention a voter's face and a campaign contributor's face -- on its agenda. "Industry would make its business case," Somers explained, "and Indian Americans would make the emotional case."
There are now some 2.2 million Americans of Indian origin -- a number that's growing rapidly. First-generation immigrants keenly recall the humiliating days when India was dismissed as an overpopulated, socialist haven of poverty and disease. They are thrilled by the new respect India is getting. Meanwhile, a second, American-born generation of Indian Americans who feel comfortable with activism and publicity is just beginning to hit its political stride. As a group, Indian Americans have higher levels of education and income than the national average, making them a natural for political mobilization.
One standout member of the first generation is Sanjay Puri, who founded the U.S. India Political Action Committee in 2002. (Its acronym, USINPAC, even sounds a bit like AIPAC.) He came to the United States in 1985 to get an MBA at George Washington University, staying on to found an information-technology company. A man of modest demeanor who wears a lapel pin that joins the Indian and American flags, Puri grew tired of watching successful Indian Americans pony up money just so they could get their picture taken with a politician. "I thought, 'What are we getting out of this?', " he explains.
In just five years, USINPAC has become the most visible face of Indian American lobbying. Its Web site boasts photos of its leaders with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and presidential candidates from Fred Thompson to Barack Obama. The group pointedly sports a New Hampshire branch. It can also take some credit for ending the Senate career of Virginia Republican George Allen, whose notorious taunt of "macaca" to a young Indian American outraged the community. Less publicly, USINPAC claims to have brought a lot of lawmakers around. "You haven't heard a lot from Dan Burton lately, right?" Puri asked, referring to a Republican congressman from Indiana who has long been perceived as an India basher.
USINPAC is capable of pouncing; witness the incident last June when Obama's campaign issued a memo excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton for her close ties to wealthy Indian Americans and her alleged support for outsourcing, listing the New York senator's affiliation as "D-Punjab." Puri personally protested in a widely circulated open letter, and Obama quickly issued an apology. "Did you see? That letter was addressed directly to Sanjay," Varun Mehta, a senior at Boston University and USINPAC volunteer, told me with evident admiration. "That's the kind of clout Sanjay has."
Like many politically engaged Indian Americans, Puri has a deep regard for the Israel lobby -- particularly in a country where Jews make up just a small minority of the population. "A lot of Jewish people tell me maybe I was Jewish in my past life," he jokes. The respect runs both ways. The American Jewish Committee, for instance, recently sent letters to members of Congress supporting the U.S.-India nuclear deal.
"We model ourselves on the Jewish people in the United States," explains Mital Gandhi of USINPAC's new offshoot, the U.S.-India Business Alliance. "We're not quite there yet. But we're getting there."
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Still the hindus will target an abominal act of 11 people and make a community of muslims, a country victim of their acts.
Yet, even if a hindu preaches infanticide of girls, he is not terrorist, a hindu scripture preaching burning alive of widows is not terrorist doctrine, a mythical god preaching murder of low caste for chanting holy rhymes is not a terrorist! Hail Ram!
India could fight british militantly under Subhash Chandra, and under Gandhi, and that is fight for freedom, yet Palestinians fighting for free country is terrorism! Will the Aryans return the land to Dravidians now?
Pakistan attacking India, by sending in infiltrators is terrorism. Its not freedom fighting because they already obtained their freedom, without even fighting for it.
If there are border disputes, let uniformed soldiers fight wars accordingly to the rules of war. Terrorism is cowardly and despicable because it targets innocent people from another country. War is between armed forces. Targeting innocent people is terrorism.
Burning widows alive is a practice which Hindus themselves worked hard to put an end to.
Infanticide happens among muslims too, look at the way they treat their own women and produce dozens of children. The islamic laws make women virtual slaves of men.
We should work for putting an end to this. These are bad practices carried out in the name of religion against members of the same religion. It is not cross-border terrorism.
be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.
by your explanation, what should hindus in india do? they were attacked, temples destroyed, forcefully converted, killed, lost land to islamic republics like pakistand and bangladesh??? Please read this on wikipedia...Thankfully not whole world thinks like you do.
An estimate of the number of people killed, based on the Muslim chronicles and demographic calculations, was done by K.S. Lal in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India, who claimed that between 1000 CE and 1500 CE, the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million. His work has come under criticism by historians such as Simon Digby (School of Oriental and African Studies) and the Marxist historian Irfan Habib for its agenda and lack of accurate data in pre-census times. Lal has responded to these criticisms in later works. Historians such as Will Durant contend that Islam spread through violence. Sir Jadunath Sarkar contends that that several Muslim invaders were waging a systematic jihad against Hindus in India to the effect that "Every device short of massacre in cold blood was resorted to in order to convert heathen subjects." In particular the records kept by al-Utbi, Mahmud al-Ghazni's secretary, in the Tarikh-i-Yamini document several episodes of bloody military campaigns. Hindus who converted to Islam however were not completely immune to persecution due to the Caste system among South Asian Muslims in India established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari., where they were regarded as an "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes.
I am almost 7 years in this country and have paid hundred of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes, and now stuck with the EB priority date.
I want to say there are many good things going on in the world. Many people take the technology advancement and good life for granted, but behind the scene, there are many people who are doing the real hard work, and we are part of them.
The reason I came here is I thought this country can turn my talent into fortune and create opportunities for many people. My college roommate in China created the Linux Virtual Server in his PhD thesis and still leads the LVS project. The government covers their 100% medical + 100% housing + 80%-100% pension. But if he did that in the States, he would be very rich and can achieve more goals.
The current immigration system is neither pro- nor anti-immigration. It is just a limbo system. Everything getting in is just stuck there. Some of my friends have gone back China because they don�t want to wait.
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The global warming, Hurrican Katrina, Rising gas prices, inflation, rising interest rates, slowing economy, deficits...everything is something that is purely a product of immigrants.
According to him had it not been for immigrants, everyone would have 2-3 mansions to live in, 10-20 high paying job offers, 4-5 luxury european cars. But immigrants took all that away by stealing the jobs of Americans. If the immigrants had not been sucking out the welfare from this country, the social security trust fund and the US treasury would be overflowing with money.
Goddammit these immigrants who stole the jobs of thousands of hard working lettuce pickers and meat packers and farm workers, who, had it not been for these job-stealing, flag waving, non-english speaking, country invading, sovereignty ruining, wage-depressing immigrant intrudor-invader-thief would have been millionaires by now.
When will the politicians listen to Lou Dobbs who is the only smart person left in the United States now?
I am not angry or anything. I am just sitting quitely, surfing net and enjoying my evening coffee.
But i was so shocked when i read about school bombing and innocent school kids being murdered within seconds.
If you have kids then you will realize how hard it is to loose kids. Kids are innocent and wonderful thing, but these murderers are not sparing even kids.
So called peace loving nations and so called peace loving leaders and sitting and watching this massacre quitely. Thats what hurts me most.
Egypt sent 62 Ambulance to evacuate sick and ills from the hospital of Gaza and Hamas didn't allow anyone to leave. Why?
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Speaking of doing better on the Hill, sign up now for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's April 3 lobbying workshop: "Getting Heard on Capitol Hill." It's part of a four-workshop series, "Winning in a Web World; Online Strategies for Grass-Roots Advocacy." (If you don't yet have grass roots, you can find out how to create them. )
The three panels on April 3 include one about using the Internet and another on "activating the grass roots." There's also a Q&A session on how lobbying reforms and new Federal Election Commission laws might affect your online efforts.
This being the Chamber of Commerce, the panelists are weighted toward the conservative end: former Bush aide Tucker Eskew, who had the spectacular title of White House director of global communications, and Stephen Hoersting, former general counsel at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But there's also Winnie Stachelberg, former political director of the Human Rights Campaign who's now at the Center for American Progress, and some media folks and academics.
You post is a testimony that not all hope is lost with Islam. There are still people like yourselves who can think objectively or at least open to one.
And this is the reason why I am not against Islam as this would also mean that I am raising my fingers on the guys like urself.
Dude, if ss1026 is not on this forum, then is the absence of ss1026 a testimony to the fact that all hopes are lost with islam? I dont buy this line of thinking. we are better than that!
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You hit the nail in the head.
Instead of getting rid of all H1B employees in one full swoop, this lobby wants to put law in place where new H1s will be mostly rejected due the "Consulting clause" and existing H1 employees will be hit in the head with a 2 X 4 when renewing H1, since the scrutiny and paperwork is the same for new H1, H1 extensions and H1 transfers. Same LCA filing, same I-129 forms.
So instead of immediate purge, this is like getting rid of 5 to 10 thousand each month by making extensions and renewals and transfer impossible for those doing the consulting.
Like the admin said, this is the slow bleed of H1B program where death is slow but not obvious and easily detectable.
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Yes, you are right, absolutely no one can time the market. That is why it is a great strategy not to speculate, but go by the fact that real estate prices are affordable now and interest rates are the lowest in recent history. Don't think that just because there was a bubble you'll now get good homes for anything more than 5% discount.
Remember that you probably have a job in the city you live in, and that you are continually employed, means that there are other people around you with jobs. They are ready to snap up homes even before you get to see it from the inside. I see homes that are in bad shape in my county (Fairfax, VA) sitting in the market for months. But the ones that are good goes under contract in less than a week.
I agree with you . Most of the people in this thread against home ownership are thinking that house prices are going to keep on falling and interest rates are going to be this low forever based on front page news articles.
I think its time for people to realize that the housing bubble burst in 2007 and we are already two years into it . The people who brought houses in the period of 2003 - 2007 suffered since they bought when the bubble was peaking but in the last two years the price correction has happened and in most good areas the prices are not falling anymore.
I am not asking anyone to buy or rent .. its a personal decision but if you believe that one year down the line you will get a more cheaper house and the interest rates would still be at 5 % you should think twice .
House is not an investment but a side effect of home ownership is that you will end up with a property but if you continue to rent you are sure to end up with nothing .
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1942 a Love story : Sticking to one company for more than a year.
Dil to Pagal Hai : Staying in India, dreaming of US.
Sapnay : Green card.
Sadma : Rejected H-1(B) Visa.
Khalnayak : Bodyshoppers.
Deewana Mastana : Project Manager - Team Leader.
Beta : Home Phone bill exceeding $400pm.
Rakhwala : Project Manager.
Mr. Bechara : Computer professional in Singapore.
Zanjeer : Company bond.
Himmatwala : Breaking company bond.
Tohfa : H-4 Visa for your Wife.
Mawaali : Before coming to US.
Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman : Once you are in US.:D
Chaudhvin ka Chand : Assembly programmer.
Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam : Client, your company and you.
Shehanshah : Bill Gates.
Admi Sadak Ka : Jumping from company to company.
Dayawan : Company paying full salary in bench
Anari : Year2000 programmer.
Phool Aur Kaanten : Microsoft - IBM.
Aaj Ka Gunda Raaj : Microsoft Monopoly in IT market.
Maharaja : Doctors who came to US in 70's
Hairaan : Non-Computer professionals on seeing computer professional's pay-check.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun : Illegal Immigrants in US
Aur Pyar Ho Gaya : After staying in US for a Year.
Pardes : India after 2 Years.
Daud : Coming to US.
Rangeela : After getting Green Card.
Bahaar Aane Tak : Time period between Green Card and Citizenship.
Desh Premee : Going back to India for good
Farz : Going to India every year.
Pyaasa : Longing for a Visa.
Agneepath : Going to Madras Consulate for getting a Visa.:p
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar : After coming from consulate with a Visa.
Bud Naseeb : Not getting a Visa
Himalaya Putra : Firmly asking for $70k from India
Elan-E-Jung : Asking for increment
Gupt : Agreement of Programmer with number of consultants
. Zakmee : After getting rejected twice for a Visa.
Swarg Se Sundar : on landing in US.
Ab Kya Hoga? : Applied for Green Card too late.
Jallad : INS People.
Kranti : Increase H-1 quota.
Main Khiladi Tu Anari : You and Immigration Officer.
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.Even we need required justice.
Atleast we can address the problem.
At the risk of differing with you and inviting unflattering comments from others, but to benefit a healthy debate, I beg to differ that spill over should go to the most retrogressed at the expense of a difference in skill, training and experience level. As you probably may know, EB2 does require a different and arguably more enhanced skill, traninig and experience level than EB3.
If you beleive in the principle that in a land of meritocracy the higher skilled should have an easier path to immigrate then EB2 should always get a preference over EB3 regardless of country of birth so long as the ROW demand within the same category has been satisfied.
Understand, that this definition of EB3 and EB2 is all on paper. I am not saying that all EB2 are 'smarter' than EB3 and vice versa, but the letter/intent of the law is what it is.
Sounds harsh and heirarchical but is true. Obviously I have a vested interest in a favorable interpretation of the law and I welcome the spill over to EB2-I. This does have a flip side if you are EB3-I, but look at a few bulletins from last year/early this year where EB2-I was unavailable and EB3 still was current and/or had a cut off date for a ROW/retro country.
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Why then should Obama support anti-EB measures that will hurt his chances in the future, when he'll get no benefits by supporting those measures?
Hope better sense prevails!
And you think majority of those ppl will get Voting rights by 2012....forget it...Most of the ppl here are lucky to get tehir GreeN Card by 2012....
There is no reasoin for him to pander future voters......He will be most likely agnostic to EB issues, however, as noted..if Durbin is his Immigration advisor..then we are toast...so pray for the best...
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There are two ways to give coverage to an issue. One could be decided based on how many people are affected, second could be based on how may people care for that issue.
Exactly, its about how many people care about the issue. This doesn't bother/don't care attitude is what making people angry. If you care death of 4 people and don't even bother to care the death of innocent school kids, then there is some problem with people who claim to be peaceful and peace loving nation. Its called double standard and hypocrisy.
There needs to be correction in your post. When Pakistanis terrorist attacked mumbai, world community blamed Pakistan and not the entire muslim community.
The problem is, the way muslim community responds to such world events, due to the sense of the guilt of their twisted belief system, they think that the world community is blaming every muslim, but that is actually not how the world community responded. Also, because of the urge to defend terror attacks by a terrorist, muslim community tends to justify terrorism and terrosit attacks. We saw many "educated" (HIGHLY SKILLED) members, who were apparently muslims, on this forum justifying terrorist attacks conducted by Pakistani terrorist who happen to be "muslims". Because, the overriding factor for a lot people following islamic faith is the religion of the person performing the bad deeds. And if that person happen to be a muslim, most of you guys tend to justify bad deeds including terrorist acts. This behavior results in world community responding to you in plain and simple terms that terrorist sympathizer is encouraging more terrorism and hence you perceive that expression as if the others are branding your entire community as terrorist, but again, this is not true either. Its the direct result of your sense of guilt and your urge to be terrorist sympathizer.
Exactly, its about how many people care about the issue. If terrorists kill innocent civilians, first thing they'll say is "Islamic Terrorism". Don't tell me media around the world didn't use this term. Anything and everything blamed on religion and people following the religion. But When you kill muslims in hundreds, you won't say even a single word.
Don't tell me members of this forum didn't blame muslims and their faith.
Its your twisted belief that all muslims support terrorism or they defend terrorists. Its your twisted belief fed by biased media and biased religious and political leaders. I won't blame you.
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The first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years limped out of Washington last night with a lengthy list of accomplishments, from the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards in a generation to the first minimum-wage hike in a decade.
But Democrats' failure to address the central issues that swept them to power left even the most partisan of them dissatisfied and Congress mired at a historic low in public esteem.
Handed control of Congress last year after making promises to end the war in Iraq, restore fiscal discipline in Washington and check President Bush's powers, Democrats instead closed the first session of the 110th Congress yesterday with House votes that sent Bush $70 billion in war funding, with no strings attached, and a $50 billion alternative-minimum-tax measure that shattered their pledge not to add to the federal budget deficit.
"I'm not going to let a lot of hard work go unnoticed, but I'm not going to hand out party hats, either," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).
On Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday: "Nobody is more disappointed with the fact that we couldn't change that than I am." But Pelosi was not about to accept Republican assertions that her first year as speaker has been unsuccessful, saying: "Almost everything we've done has been historic."
Unable to garner enough votes from their own party, House Democratic leaders had to turn to Republicans to win passage of a $555 billion domestic spending bill after the Senate appended $70 billion to it for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war funding passed 272 to 142, with Democrats voting 141 to 78 against it.
The Democratic leaders again had to appeal to Republicans to win passage of a measure to stave off the growth of the alternative minimum tax, because fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats were in open revolt and refused to go along. The Blue Dogs insisted that the Senate offset the bill's cost with tax increases on hedge-fund and private-equity managers.
Needing two-thirds of the House to pass under fast-track rules, the tax measure was approved 352 to 64, with all 64 "no" votes coming from Democrats standing by their pledge not to support any tax cut or mandatory spending increase that would expand the national debt.
The year's finale angered the entire spectrum of the Democratic coalition, from the antiwar left to new Southern conservatives who helped bring Democrats to power last year.
"This is a blank check," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). "The new money in this bill represents one cave-in too many. It is an endorsement of George Bush's policy of endless war."
Still, the Democrats delivered much of what they promised last year. Of the six initiatives on the their "Six for '06" agenda, congressional Democrats sent five to the president and got his signature on four: a minimum-wage increase, implementation of the homeland security recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, college cost reduction, and an energy measure that requires conservation and the expanded use of renewable sources of energy.
Federal funding for stem cell research was vetoed by Bush.
Congress also boosted spending on veterans' needs. Just yesterday, Democrats unveiled a proposal to create the first nonpartisan ethics review panel in House history and passed the most significant gun-control legislation since the early 1990s, tightening the instant background-check process.
Beyond those, Democrats secured the biggest overhaul of ethics and lobbying rules since the Watergate scandal. And they passed a slew of measures that have received little notice, such as more money for math and science teachers who earn more credentials in their field, tax relief for homeowners in foreclosure, a doubling of basic research funding, and reclamation projects for the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast.
With the exception of the new energy law, Pelosi characterized most of the year's accomplishments as a cleanup after years of Republican neglect or congressional gridlock.
But the long-awaited showdown with Bush on the federal budget fizzled this week into an uncomfortable draw. The president got his war funding, while Democrats -- using "emergency" funding designations -- broke through his spending limit by $11 billion, the amount they had promised to add after Republicans rejected a proposed $22 billion increase in domestic spending.
Remarkably, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the final omnibus spending bill in glowing terms, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called keeping federal spending at Bush's preferred level "an extraordinary success."
"Our work on holding the line on spending gave us an omnibus that is better than I've seen in my 17 years here," Boehner said yesterday. Twelve of those years were spent under Republican rule.
But the disappointments have dominated the news, in large part because Democrats failed on some of the issues that they had put front and center, and that their key constituents value most.
The military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remains open. Bush's warrantless surveillance program was actually codified and expanded on the Democrats' watch. Lawmakers were unable to eliminate the use of harsh interrogation tactics by the CIA.
Democratic leaders also could not overcome the president's vetoes on an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, despite winning over large numbers of Republicans. Policies that liberals thought would be swept aside under the Democratic majority remain untouched, including a prohibition on U.S. funding for international family-planning organizations that offer abortions.
Efforts to change Bush's Iraq policies took on the look of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. From the first days of the 110th Congress to its last hours this week, Bush prevailed on every Iraq-related fight, beginning with February's nonbinding resolution opposing the winter troop buildup and ending with this week's granting of $70 billion in unrestricted war funds. Emanuel tried to call the $70 billion funding a partial Democratic victory because it was the first time the president did not get everything he sought for the war. Bush had requested $200 billion.
Some senior Democrats have grown so distraught that they do not expect any significant change in Iraq policy unless a Democrat wins the White House in 2008. "It's unfortunate that we may have to wait till the elections," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) said yesterday.
This has left many Democrats resorting to openly political arguments, picking up a theme that Republicans hurled at them -- obstructionism -- during their many years in the minority. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) conceded that it is time for Democrats to forget about trumpeting accomplishments that voters will never give them credit for -- and time to change the message to a starkly political one: If you want change, elect more Democrats.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the Senate Democratic whip tasked with trying to find 60 votes for a filibuster-proof majority, acknowledged this week that Democrats' biggest failure stemmed from expecting "more Republicans to take an independent stance" on Iraq. Instead, most of them stood with Bush.
"Many of them will have to carry that with them into the election," Durbin said.
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The EB classification is for a future job. Since the person is qualified, he ports to EB2 midway so what. The GC is for a future job, and when the person gets his/her GC, he/she is qualified for that position at that time. So what is U'r logic??
If you want to truly fight the system them fight for a common basis for EB classification. There are cases where the same job title has been classified under all 3 categories. Example
Senior Programmer (say Bachelor's with 5 yrs exp)
Files under EB1 : because he/she came L1, qualification might be few yrs exp.
Files under EB2 : because he/she has 5 yrs of exp and the attorney was smart to classify it as EB2.
Files under EB3 : because of company policy or based on bad attorney advice (conservative approach).
The above example shows that if U'r company and attorney is smart U can get U'r GC faster.
If you are keen on doing a lawsuit why not
File one against USCIS for wasting thousands of visa's over the past few years, which is the source of this backlog.
Or file one against DOL for taking n number of years to get the LC done.
Or file one against 245 filers who clogged the USCIS system which is causing USCIS to be inefficient.
I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.
I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.
More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.
I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.
The are plenty of no load mutual funds returning consistently above 5% annually return. If you want a zero risk investment you can get at least 3% (sometimes more than 5%) with ING direct, HSBC direct, and many more direct saving accounts. Last year HSBC offered 6% to compete with ING's 5%, while on the other side house prices were nose diving.
So my point is even at 3%, zero risk it's a good deal compared with gambling on a house that may never come back to original purchase price, in our life time.
Remember, this is not a one time event. This crisis has changed the world for ever. There will never ever be banks giving loans for more than 3 or 4 times income. So for prices to come back again, you are really banking on disposal income levels going up, which is not a safe bet, with the Indias and Chinas of the world proving very competitive offshore services.
This whole chaos was created in the first place by inflating the economy to find a solution to the dot com bust.
Again, we are not recommending against buying a house, which everyone should do at a point in our lives, but it's unsafe to bank on it, as a sound investment.