nedeľa, 3. júla 2011

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  • like_watching_paint_dry
    04-13 10:36 PM
    thanks for the suggestion..I dont have those details..for now its all good..but I was thinking one more time, I will hire an attorney.. :)

    You can try contacting the acquiring company. They usually also have all the records of the company they bought and may be able to give you a letter of employment or a HR contact who can respond to employment verification requests. I did this with my old company which got acquired after I quit, and the acquiring company obliged. They also discovered I had some uncollected pay, which I still need to cash out. :o

    Fortunately, in my case, it never went that far where the IO was verifying all that information. Is this IO processing your G325A document?




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  • dontcareanymore
    08-05 01:58 PM
    Why, what is difference? Why was labor substitution bad. It was perfectly legal after all.

    Yes IT WAS. You either have not seen through the issue or can't distinguish the cases.




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  • nojoke
    04-14 03:47 PM
    Again, it may not be applicable to ur situation.

    in my case, i am paying $400 in equity and $300 in tax deduction so i am paying effectively $1300 .(My mortgage is $2k, includes eveything(Insurace,HOA).In $1300, i can get 1-2 bedroom in DC Metro area depending upon location.
    Yes, over a period of time tax benefits decreases but equity increases. so i stay , and after 10 years i will be paying $800 evey month towards principal.

    now depend upon when i sell , if i sell and price is same as when i bought, only advantage i have i enjoyed 3 bedroom instead of 1-2 which may not be needed depending upon family size/need.

    If i would have bought in 2006 (peak time) calculation is different and i may be loosing $200-300 per month based upon interest rate. (Currenlt i am on 5.25% 30 year fixed) .

    Another big factor is interest rate. if you buy house (when it is has bottom) you may end paying same if interest rate is high. that's why i think it is best time to buy since interest rate is low and housing is slow and good inventory.

    Location..Location.. Location...is most important thing.
    worst hit market are ohio,michigan because Big 3 automakers are suffereing.

    more you stay in house ..7 , 10 or 15 years. Your equity build faster.

    Best use i think i was able to do.. took out a equity loan which is now 6% and paid my ICICI loan(house in india) which was averaging 12-13%.

    but again if i have to sell now ..then i am sure i will loose money because it will not sell.

    Some of my frnd bought house in $800K in DC metro. yes they lost 20% big amount ...but there main worry is cash flow. You need dual income all the time to pay mortgage.

    My only advise is always limit ur mortgage to one salary. it may means that you have to commute longer, may be remote area.

    Media is the one who created the hype & and also they are paritally responsible for downturn.

    For 330K house, the calculations are probably splitting hairs. If it had already lost value to what the income in your area can support, then it is good time. But if it is still going down, I would rather buy a house at the bottom even if the interest rate gets higher. I can sell the house immediately without loss, if I have too.




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  • logiclife
    11-09 02:01 PM
    I wouldnt be too upset over Lou Dobbs' irrelevant editorials.

    Its going to be crying time for Lou Dobbs and his ilk.

    That includes:

    Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough and Rush Limbaugh.

    All of them - however Lou Dobbs leads in that pack - cannot live with the probability that so many illegals are going to get amnesty now that their favorite party has lost majority.

    And you have to hand to Lou. He has been a harsh critic of 109th congress and Bush. Very harsh. But not once he has said that maybe, just maybe voting democratic in 2006 may change the bahavior and performance of congress. So after long long editorials, his recommendation was what? Vote for who? Independents who werent running or close to getting anywhere? And after the Government he criticized so much has lost control, I dont see him celebrating. Perhaps grunting and expressing anger is good for ratings. The middle class he champions so hard needs the immigrants(even the illegals) the most. He wont tell you that.

    But its going to be crying time for them in 2007.

    Comprehensive immigration, for which Bush did a prime-time national address in May and grumbled about a lack of CIR even when he was signing the 600-mile border bill before the ink was dry on the fence bill is going to be the one big item which is common ground between Democratic congress and this White House. And it seems that bi-partisanship is back in fashion (yes, it is, since balance has tilted in opposite direction) and that bi-partisanship is GUARANTEED to produce 2 things : Raising the minimum wage and Comprehensive Immigration reform. Democrats have waited for 12 years for majority in the House and are not going to screw it up by being non-productive.

    So Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly etc have a lot of crying to do when Bush signs CIR in a White House signing ceremony and in the background they see the Democrats clapping hands while cameras flash pictures for next days newspapers.

    Its crying time for all of the Lou Dobbs of the world. So cry cry away and editorialize away your papers with your stupid op-eds.



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  • amitjoey
    08-05 02:27 PM
    How about this story:

    One Mr. Sunny Surya, and one Mr. XYZ. both landed in the USA in 1998. Mr. Sunny Surya goes to school, works hard and gets his masters in 2000. works for a good reputed company gathers experience and then in 2003 files for labor. PD 2003. Since he does not have experience in the USA (His present experience with the sponsoring company is not counted). He would have to change his job to be considered for EB2. So files in EB3. Mean time MR. XYZ has changed multiple jobs and is suddenly eligible for EB2 and files in JAN 2004. He is current and about to get his GC. Mr. Sunny Surya is contemplating changing his job and he is definately going to qualify for EB2. Mr XYZ tells Mr. Sunny - NO!. You cannot get in the EB2 with older PD. Get a 2008 PD.




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  • srkamath
    07-13 06:28 PM
    I don't think the issue is that simple. .........Needless to say that the distincation between EB2 and EB3 has become so meaniningless now. How many positions really satisfy the EB2 requirements? From what I heard that most people just try to get around the system to get an EB2. One of the persons who filed EB2 told me that a high school graduate would probably be able to work in that position too.

    Just my observation.

    ABSURD !



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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 01:07 PM
    Please provide proof(example) to support your allegation that "IV allowed its members to discuss, degrade, humiliate muslims and Islam"

    GCBatman. looks like you are new to this forum. I don't know if you participated in the thread that was created to condemn the mumbai terrorist attack that turned agly at the end.




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  • my2cents
    04-13 09:56 PM
    i can not speak for everybody but
    i bought in east coast in 2004 for $330K. it peaked to $425K in 2006 and now it is somewhere $350K. it may go even go down to $300K

    I will break even if i stay for another 3 years. (total 7 years)
    If renting then : 110K in rent with no benefits for 7 years.

    Good Side:
    - Tax benefits with dual income. ( proabably $300 per month)
    - Bigger house

    Bad Side:
    Maintenance
    IF i have to sell now then will be loss for me for sure so key is location and how long u stay.



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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:51 PM
    Examining the Maoist Resurgence in Andhra (http://idsa.in/idsacomments/ExaminingtheMaoistResurgenceinAndhra_umukherjee_28 1210) By Uddipan Mukherjee | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    If two recent events are compared, then they would ostensibly appear to be disconnected. Nevertheless, they ought to evoke considerable interest because of the actual linkage between them. The first is Swaranjit Sen, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh, is to be anointed as the vice-chancellor of the troubled Osmania University, which of late has been a hotbed of Telangana agitation. His appointment would be a historic occasion since for the first time an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer will be a vice-chancellor in the state.1 Second, the Maoists called for a bandh in the Andhra-Orissa border area on December 22. Their agenda was to protest against the killing of five of their comrades in an encounter by the elite Andhra Greyhounds personnel at Cheruvuru near Korukonda in Chintapalli mandal.2 These two events represent different facets of the Maoist movement in Andhra. And the connection is manifested when it is remembered that Sen is known in the state for his ‘hard line’ image against the Maoists.

    On one hand, Sen’s appointment shows that the police force in Andhra commands significant confidence among the political leadership. That is why an IPS officer has been entrusted with task of sorting out a trouble-torn university. For instance, media reports say that the Andhra government has, in principle, approved a suggestion by Governor Narasimhan to nominate senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or IPS officers to head the three strife-torn universities of Osmania, Kakatiya and Andhra.3

    On the other hand, these events also portray the fact that the Maoists are trying their best to reclaim lost territories. Hence, a more severe skirmish is in the offing in Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the Maoists have a grandiose plan to create ‘liberated zones’ in the state.4 Moreover, it is not at all unlikely that the left-wing ultras are not aiding and abetting the Telangana movement and would continue to do so in future through their frontal student and other mass organisations.

    To corroborate, quite recently, the Telangana Praja Front (TFP) was floated by Maoist sympathiser and balladeer Gaddar. Reportedly, he has demanded that the central government honour its commitment by immediately tabling a bill in parliament for the formation of Telangana.5 Gaddar’s actions, though in the garb of democracy, needs to be conceived as a covert move of the insurgents. Moreover, when some Telangana groups have already warned of a 'bloodbath' if the Sri Krishna Commission makes no recommendation for the formation of Telangana state by December 31 2010, the inherent liaison between these militant pro-Telangana groups and the Maoists simply cannot be rejected outright.

    Against this backdrop, Gaddar’s TFP, acting as an open party to subvert the democratic processes of the state, is basically what the outlawed outfit wants or rather badly needs. It is a natural tactical belief of the Maoists that overt military acts in the Andhra-Orissa border region can be effectively compounded with mass agitations around Hyderabad to weaken the existing political structures of Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, when the issue is as emotive as Telangana, the rebels do have a solid ground from which to launch their tactics.

    There is another reason to believe that the ongoing agitation for a separate Telangana state may have a Maoist ‘hand’. There are allegations of extortion against Telangana activists which seem to follow the ‘extortion regime’ of the Naxalite movement in Andhra.6 Pro-Telangana activists believe that taking donations to propel the movement forward is a reasonable step. However, Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan asserted in the state assembly that there is heavy extortion involved in the Telangana movement. Furthermore, there have been allegations that local leaders were collecting huge amounts to the tune of Rs. 10,000 to 20,000 from businessmen, government employees, contractors and others to conduct even cultural programmes.7 This is quite interesting considering the fact that this is a standard modus-operandi of the Maoists to garner finances.

    Operating from their headquarters at Abujhmar in Chattisgarh, the Maoists are essaying into other states. Most importantly, along with the historically rebel-dominated district of Srikakulam, the districts of Vizianagram, Vishakhapatnam, East Godavari and Khammam are the disturbed areas of Andhra Pradesh. Khammam shares a long border with Chhattisgarh whereas the other districts are contiguous with Orissa.

    The Maoists are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) and hence have taken up a month-long recruitment drive in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattishgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Their party spokesperson Gudsa Usendi and Dandakaranya special zone military commission in-charge Sudhakar said that the 10th anniversary of the PLGA, which began on December 2, will continue till January 2, 2011. They proclaimed that during the period, revolutionary propaganda, processions, meetings and rallies would be conducted in every village.8

    The Maoists had been physically driven out from Andhra from a law and order point of view almost five to six years back. But in June 2008 at Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district of Andhra-Orissa boarder, the elite greyhounds suffered casualties at the hands of the Maoists.9 That could be interpreted as the ‘come back’ event for the latter in Andhra. And the present surge in militancy is in sync with that. Additionally, since the Maoists are losing ground in other states, they need to regain their lost forte in their old backyard so as to have an edge in the psychological war with the Indian state.

    In addition, it is quite disturbing for the Maoists not to have a mass base in Andhra since most of their top leadership hail from the very region. Hence, they are trying to cash in on major issues to extract maximum dissatisfaction of the masses towards the political system. Telangana is one such. Along with it, it seems natural that the Maoists may focus on the issue of suicide of farmers too in the foreseeable future through their frontal organisations.

    In this regard, the porous border with Orissa is a major cause of concern for the Andhra authorities. The ultras have bases in the Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts of Orissa that adjoin the Andhra border. There are no border check posts except on the highway and main roads. Furthermore, on both sides of the border the same Kondh tribals live who provide the mass base for the ultras.

    The Andhra government might have won the first phase of the civil war with the Maoists. But the renewed violence in the area portends ominous signals for the future. A far more dangerous future situation was reflected by an opinion poll published by the Times of India on September 28 201010. According to it, a clear 58 per cent of the populace (who were polled) in the Maoist-dominant areas of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa said that Naxalism had actually been good for their area. In Andhra, Khammam was one of the districts where the poll was conducted. Four districts of the Telangana region – Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal – were also chosen.

    Probably the vital aspect of ‘winning the hearts and minds’ of the people in counterinsurgency is yet to be accomplished by the Andhra authorities. And the continued failure to do so would have serious ramifications in the long run.

    “Swaranjit may be first IPS to be Osmania VC (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/hyderabad/swaranjit-may-be-first-ips-be-osmania-vc-983),” December 19, 2010,
    “Maoist bandh in AOB region tomorrow (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Maoist-bandh-in-AOB-region-tomorrow/articleshow/7135743.cms),” TNN, December 21, 2010,
    “Maoist-hunter top cop to be Osmania University V-C (http://www.deccanherald.com/content/121994/maoist-hunter-top-cop-osmania.html),” December 19, 2010, DHNS,
    G. Siva, “Maoists plan janata sarkar in AOB (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Maoists-plan-janata-sarkar-in-AOB/articleshow/7068037.cms),” TNN, December 9, 2010,
    “Telangana groups observe 1st anniversary of centre’s announcement (http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/politics/telangana-groups-observe-1st-anniversary-of-centres-announcement_100471551.html),” IANS, December 8, 2010,
    “T activists following extortion line of Naxals? (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/T-activists-following-extortion-line-of-Naxals/articleshow/7147670.cms),” TNN, December 23, 2010,
    ibid.
    “Maoists on a major recruitment drive (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Maoists-on-a-major-recruitment-drive/articleshow/7108340.cms),” TNN, December 16, 2010,
    Santosh K. Agarwal, “Maoist Insurgents Hit Back Greyhound Commandos Killing 35 (http://www.groundreport.com/Arts_and_Culture/Maoist-Hit-Back-Greyhound-Commandos-Killing-35/2864225),” Alarm Bells, July 01, 2008,
    “58% in AP say Naxalism is good, finds TOI poll (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com//india/58-in-AP-say-Naxalism-is-good-finds-TOI-poll/articleshow/6639631.cms),” TNN, September 28, 2010,




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  • ss1026
    12-20 03:32 PM
    I was saddened and anguised with the terrrorist attacks that happened in Mumbai. I hope India follows up on its tough talk and goes after the perpetrators, no matter their affliation or the consequences. That was a provocation and I would love to see LeT or anyone else responsible to pay for it.

    But It is sad to see 'educated individuals' channeling their anger to demonize muslims who are equally upset with the Mumbai incident. Just like any religion/race, there are extreme elements among muslims. But this guilt-by-association should not have any place in modern society though sadly it does. There have been subtle and some not-so-subtle attempts on IV to protray all muslims as terrorists or all terrorists as muslim.

    I agree that there are a lot of current terrorist activities that can be attributed to muslims and I condemn them. But Indian muslims have stood up against this latest incident. They are asked to wear their allegiance on the sleeve as if they are in some way responsible for this heinous crime. There are numerous examples of non-muslims who are terrorists but in my view that does not render the whole community as such. The gujarat genocide, the attacks on christians in Orissa and other parts are led by the VHP/RSS but the right wing marketing blitz has been so effective, a lot of people have defended this as a reaction. That is exactly the kind of excuse the LeT or any other terrorist organization would make.

    Why is it so hard to say - Lets punish the guilty irrespective of their name or religion. Lets have a transparent Criminal justice system. Lets investigate any crime before guilty verdict is pronounced. That would render ineffective any propaganda that extremists use to recruit new members. Most of the people in this forum live in America and the law of this country would be in my view a good example of punishing the guilty irrespective of who and where they come from.



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  • NKR
    08-06 02:09 PM
    To balance things out why not give a person who acquires a Masters or PhD a few years in terms of priority date.


    This is a better proposition, asking for more relief to Masters or PHD guys makes more sense than asking USCIS to stop porting/interfiling and denying EB3 guys a chance to get faster GC after they have waited for many many years.




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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 05:06 PM
    My Dear Friend:

    Why do you want to defend crooks? Instead of ackowledging the fact that desi consulting companies are exploiting loopholes, you rather want to know why other companies are not feeling the heat. This is typical of us desis. There is absolutely no introspection.

    For once, accept that we are at fault.

    Its like this - You are in school and your teacher catches you copying off the next person. Now instead of correcting yourself, if you complain to the teacher that another classmate was also copying so you should not be penalized, will your treacher let you go?

    I am sorry, I am not a very knowledgeable person in immigration matters like many of you, but when it comes to finger pointing, we have to show all consulting companies and why only DESI companies are getting into this discussion. I know friends who worked for IBM & KPMG on H1b travels to all states for short term contracts. What about those biggies? They are also desi firms?

    How did you come to US in the first place? if not thru a consulting company ( I know F1 is another option) either thru big companies like TCS, Wipro or Infy or through desi consulting firms. Pls do not forget the fact that USCIS changed their stand now and saying that it is not legal to work else where other than employer location. If they implement that rule from start then this mess wouldn't happen.

    Now, we are in trouble and so stop finger pointing and give any good advise if you can.

    FYI..I am an FTE and I came to us thru a multinational firm and never worked for a desi consulting cmpny.



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  • sanju
    05-17 10:08 AM
    You have no arguments that make sense. You are arguing that doing something illegal is a great thing to do. Not so. And yes, I do support the bill as it will weed out some fraudsters from amongst us, who give the H-1B program a very bad rep.

    The problem is not that it will "weed out some fraudsters from amongst us", the problem is that it will also force deserving people to leave, people waiting in line for 6 or more years in green card line. No one is arguing that "something illegal is a great thing to do" but the argument is, it is justified to implicate and screw-up someone who has done nothing wrong. Durbin-Grassley bill says that it intends to stop abuse and it goes ahead to screw-up everybody. Do you think that everybody here waiting for employment based green card is "illegal"???




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  • skakodker
    12-31 10:58 AM
    India needs to look inwards for answers.

    We elect (those of us who actually vote) brigands, murderers and looters and expect leadership. They loot us, abuse our martyrs (re: the Kerala CM), and in turn, expect our mute subservience. Where is the interest in protecting the tax-paying citizen? Who cares? Look at how these vultures behave - Narayana Rane, Vilasrao Deshmukh, that ass-clown in Kerala. What a disgrace!

    Corruption has taken root in the administration and even some parts of our military services. Nothing gets done without someone's palms being greased first - openly and without shame. My friends in the IAS live like kings. When they visit New York, they live in the Waldorf Astoria! Meanwhile, our brave soldiers are called upon to give all they have in avoidable debacles like what we witnessed in Mumbai.

    One thinks twice before reporting a crime to the Police for fear of persecution. Journalists who catch Politicians accepting bribes on video camera are chastized. Many parts of India remain as backward and undeveloped as the day we kicked the British Raj out. Some might say they've regressed even further. I sometimes wonder if Churchill was right when he said that we'd only mess things up if they gave us Independence.

    Yet, since 50 milliion Indians are enjoying relative economic well-being, we believe that India is shining.

    Will attacking Pakistan really make India safer? Really? I have yet to see a single instance when violence was not met with more violence. Look at the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Iraq, Colombia, Peru - the list goes on and on and on.

    The fix is internal. Our freedom fighters came up against what was then thought to be an unmovable object and somehow moved it. There must be a way to leverage the tools they used with today's technology to help us bring change and conduct our affairs with dignity and courage. Attacking Pakistan will only bring to India the problems that overran them. They are pitiful.

    Peace to all.



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  • kc_p21
    01-07 05:32 PM
    Refugee_New:

    I would suggest that you get a DONKEY and move to Saudi or Afghanistan and practice your religion. You don't deserve to live in any country other than YOUR Country. Live in stone age since you can't think anything else.

    If you would have taken initiative like this and spent time like this we all would have GC by now. You are preaching to wrong people here. We won't be brain washed by your BS.




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  • alisa
    01-10 11:22 AM
    Israel is not invading Gaza for no reason. Why do coward Palestinians need to fire rockets and send those suicide bombers to blow themselves? Muslims need to stop violence in the name of their religion. Why don't you stop killing people, so you would get 72 virgins in some loser world! Israel is doing the right thing and I will support its action. Yes, innocent people get killed, but Hamas need to fight in the open field instead of launching rockets from schools and hospitals.

    Exactly!! Just like the Europeans had a right to defend themselves against the Native Americans.

    Fortunately for them, they did their ethnic cleansing before the mass media and enlightenment. God bless them for it. Now we can come from far and distant places to get permanent residency into this land.

    Unfortunately for the Israelis, like Benny Morris recently said, they couldn't kill all their Barbarians (the Arabs/Palestinians) in the 1940s. Had they completely ethnically cleansed Israel/Palestine of the Arabs back then, we wouldn't have this Israel/Arab problem today.



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  • nojoke
    04-15 09:26 PM
    Ok there you go, now you cannot buy a house in India and you don't want to buy one here. Neither here nor there, but then i do not play with emotions as someone had accused me, so I wish you happiness whereever you are.

    The evidence is overwhelming. The housing will go down so much that there will be hard lessons learned. No one will talk about investing in housing for a long time. I want to buy a house too. I just don't think you pay whatever the inflated price is demanded and throw away my hard earned money. You pay what is worth. Why do you insist that everyone has to participate in this ponzi scheme:confused: and keep the price inflated? Housing should be affordable and come to sane levels and I believe it will.




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  • Desichakit
    08-06 11:01 AM
    I think clearing an exam like IIT-JEE in no way makes a person Superior over others. I my self have cleared IIT-JEE and am EB2 India, but still I see this proposed/planned Law suit to be ill thought off.

    Rolling Flood: I can only say that you can give any logic for this Lawsuit and it can be countered by any other logic why it is incorrect.


    Some body Porting from EB3 to EB2 if it is done sucessfully previoyusly then it is Lawfull.

    Many countries had their Jaichand's who will go to any extent for their own benefit, but society, nations thrive even after that.

    Your comments is very welcome because it gives all of us 1 more reason to be united than divided.

    PS.: When there is flood in Gangaji then it is not revered, only when it is within its banks it is revered and does good for society




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  • jkays94
    10-03 12:49 PM
    Its a pity when it is obvious through numerous congressional debates who the culprits are in blocking EB friendly legislation. Here we are again with the EB recapture bill and who again is blocking it? The New York times identifies them by name and nowhere does it mention Durbin. Its thus is beyond comprehension when unfounded future claims of doom, apprehension and fear are spread without the basis and contrary to facts presently before us. Instead one needs to be more concerned about the possible reelection of the two below and several of their sidekicks:

    Jeff Sessions (R)
    Steve King (R)

    A House bill that could recapture an estimated 550,000 lost visas, sponsored by Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, has been moving slowly through the committee process despite the best efforts of members like Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, to sabotage it with ridiculously restrictive amendments.

    In the Senate, Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, is insisting that a visa-recapturing amendment be added to a bill reauthorizing E-Verify, the federal database program to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants. For this, he has endured an onslaught of criticism from nativist groups and colleagues, like Jeff Sessions of Alabama. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/opinion/03fri2.html?ex=1380772800&en=282e9836144364be&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink)




    Macaca
    12-30 06:47 PM
    China Respects European Unity (http://csis.org/files/publication/pac1062.pdf) By Jonas Parello-Plesner | Center for Strategic and Int'l Studies

    The European Union can work together � at least when it is pushed together. China�s heavy-handed effort to get European nations to skip the Nobel peace prize ceremony in Oslo earlier this month did the trick. Not only did member states show up, but Serbia and Ukraine, countries with EU ambitions, were encouraged to attend as well. Yet this was atypical of a relationship in which China, with newfound power, has found it easy to divide and rule the EU.

    While the European Council focused on the euro crisis last week, away from the limelight, EU leaders were adopting a new China policy. Discussion began four months ago when EU leaders took up Europe-China relations. Then the issue was overshadowed by the internal EU topic of the day: Romas. Dealing with China was relegated to short talks and coffee breaks.

    This reveals a lot about the EU�s strategic outreach. The EU looks inward and seems destined to be an enlarged Switzerland rather than the missing link between the US and Asia in shaping global affairs. China has recognized this, and increasingly sees Europe as an investment opportunity rather than as a global partner.

    On a recent trip to Beijing, I met a range of prominent Chinese officials and academics. Not one asked me how Europe intended to influence US strategy toward Afghanistan or about European views on the upcoming referendum in Sudan. To Beijing, Europe is not so much post-modern as post-global.

    How can the EU�s strategic shrinkage be reversed? EU Council President van Rompuy�s comment in September on the need for �reciprocity� � giving to China only when the EU gets something back � was a good start. In line with this, the draft for the new EU trade policy looks at the possibility of closing off the European public procurement market if China does not give the EU reciprocal access to its market. This tough EU language has not gone unnoticed in Beijing. I was repeatedly asked about it by Chinese interlocutors. China understands a clear but consistent message.

    By itself this new approach will not be enough. The EU must pursue a set of commonly agreed aims. Europe needs to set urgent, coherent strategic priorities, setting aside strategic patience and trust, the key words of the new approach.

    The process of setting new trade policy priorities needs to be extended to the political realm. Member states must select a few priorities on which they really want to engage with China. Non-proliferation, climate change, good governance and human rights are good candidates.

    The big players in Europe have been bypassed economically in the last decade by China. They still have traction individually but much less than their national egos afford � this is true even for Germany, which currently is on its own fast track with large scale exports to China.

    The Wikileaks exposed how the US looks at the political dwarfs of Europe. The Middle Kingdom has a similar take. The feud over Dalai Lama visits in 2007 and 2008 showed that China was capable of hanging out to dry even Germany and France. The old days � the 1990s � when the EU could levy sanctions on China and enforce a change in behavior are gone. The last vestige of this era is the arms embargo. A new era has begun in which China can levy smart sanctions on European countries.

    Resisting the bilateral inclination is difficult. Bilateral visits like David Cameron�s recent tour to China and the Chinese president�s visit to Paris are locked in the logic of bilateral trade promotion. But seeing links to China mainly as a bilateral issue rather than a European-wide concern means accepting a weak position vis-a-vis Beijing. China deals with Europe as it is, not how we dream it is. When European states pursue their own agendas, China will get free traders in the Northern countries to block moves that it sees as too strong, while ensuring that indifferent Southerners dilute policies on human rights.

    A purely bilateral vocabulary seems increasingly anachronistic when an Airbus is assembled with subcomponents from all over Europe. Member countries must acknowledge that signing up to the EU is a binding commitment. A high-level EU official conceded that the just adopted internal strategy paper was kept relatively bland because of suspicion that it would be leaked to China. As a result, it couldn�t contain a more detailed game plan for how to secure EU interests through trade-offs and linkages.

    The EU�s bilateral instinct can be overcome. The internal pressure for multilateral compliance should be stronger once the External Action Service is up and running. But the EAS is no deus ex machina. Member states must be continuously engaged to pursue reciprocal engagement with China. The European Parliament, with its new say over foreign policy, could play an important role by naming and shaming member states that subvert the EU�s strategic priorities in exchange for bilateral advantages.

    A joined-up China policy is urgently needed. Events tend to overtake the EU while it ponders policy and its strategic approach. This year, it was Chinese investments in Europe, particularly in government bonds from Greece to Spain. China�s investment in Europe is a natural diversification from a dollar verdose. Chinese investment should be welcome, but the EU should be an intermediary so that this process is not framed as a bilateral favor that creates political dependency between China and member states. Eurobonds, which have been widely discussed as a solution in the euro crisis, could be a useful tool in this.

    For EU foreign policy �czar� Catherine Ashton and her team, fleshing out the elements of a common EU China policy and being able to apply it in time means anticipating events and providing guidance for how individual actions and bilateral visits play to (or undermine) Europe�s strength. For example, the EU needs a code of conduct for dealing with Liu Xiaobo after the Nobel debacle. Such a code of conduct could be minimal. The important point is that it is adhered to.

    Member states must make strategic choices that do not favor short-term national rewards at the expense of Europe�s strength. The member-states need to move China up the policy agenda and act in unison if they want to reap the benefits of stronger ties to China and avoid being divided and ultimately ruled.




    Macaca
    12-20 08:47 AM
    Resolve To End Hyper-Partisanship (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/12/resolve_to_end_hyperpartisansh.html) By Mort Kondracke | Roll Call, December 20, 2007

    Suppose Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) wins the Democratic nomination and picks Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) or Independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his running mate. Or, suppose Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) wins the GOP nomination and picks Independent Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) as veep.

    Suppose even further that, over this year's holidays, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and President Bush all resolve that next year they'll really try to live up to the pledges they all made in early 2007 to work across party lines to - as they all said - do the problem-solving work voters elected them for.

    Is it all fantasy? Perhaps it is, given the hyperpartisanship of contemporary politics. Yet, every poll on the subject indicates that Americans are fed up with their politicians' incessant tribal warfare and inability to address problems everyone agrees are becoming more serious from inattention.

    If the two parties' presidential nominees reached out across party lines to pick their running mates - Obama and McCain seem the likeliest to do so - it would serve as dazzling notice that times were changing.

    It would be even more astounding if Congressional leaders and Bush could decide that, instead of repeating the dismal, few-achievements record of 2007, they'd resolve to solve at least one major problem in 2008 - say, pass tough but compassionate comprehensive immigration reform.

    Over the holidays, America's political actors - and observers - would do themselves and the country a favor by reading Ron Brownstein's new book, "The Second Civil War," whose subtitle begins to tell it all: "How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America."

    Brownstein, formerly with the Los Angeles Times and now political director of Atlantic Media Co. publications, vividly describes the historical origins of "hyperpartisanship," a term he borrows from a sometime practitioner of it, former Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman.

    More importantly - Brownstein eloquently laments the consequences of the disease and offers some fascinating remedies, some derived from former President Bill Clinton, whom he interviewed at length. Brownstein doesn't suggest picking vice presidents across party lines. Those are my radical imaginings - though they are derived from conversations with participants in presidential campaigns.

    Brownstein has this right: America is the richest, most powerful nation on Earth, but its leaders can't agree on a plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil, can't balance the budget, can't provide health insurance to a sixth of its population, can't align its promises to retirees with its ability to pay the cost and can't agree on strategies to combat Islamic terrorism.

    Why not? Because solutions to these problems require bipartisan "grand bargains" that polarized politicians are unwilling to make.

    "Our politics today encourages confrontation over compromise," Brownstein writes. "The political system now rewards ideology over pragmatism. It is designed to sharpen disagreements rather than construct consensus. It is built on exposing and inflaming the differences that separate Americans rather than the shared priorities and values that unite them."

    Brownstein puts primary blame on conservative Republicans for the rise of "warrior" politics, especially former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas), Bush and his former guru, Karl Rove, and their allies on talk radio.

    But he observes that Democrats are catching up in hyperpartisanship, flogged on by MoveOn.org and leftist bloggers. Mainstream media, too, encourage conflict over consensus. And the public has become ideologically "sorted," as well, making the GOP more conservative, Democrats more liberal and moderates torn.

    Brownstein gives rather more credit to Clinton than I would as a model centrist. He was that on policy - the "Great Triangulator" -but his personal misdeeds, slipperiness and tendency to respond savagely to threats made him as divisive as Bush, the "Great Polarizer."

    But how can we end the war and engender vigorous, substantive debate that leads to consensus? Brownstein recommends that states banish closed primaries and allow registered independents to participate in picking candidates.

    He also advises that political leaders look to a growing corps of cross-interest coalitions - such as the Business Roundtable, Service Employees International Union, AARP and National Federation of Independent Business - working to develop consensus solutions to problems such as health care and entitlement reform.

    But the prime requirement is presidential leadership - a willingness to spend time with leaders of the opposition party, include them in policy deliberations, really heed their concerns and try to build electoral coalitions and Congressional support of 55 or 60 percent, not Bush's 50-plus-one.

    "Imagine ... that such a president told the country that he would accept some ideas counter to his own preferences to encourage others to do the same. Surely such a president would face howls of complaint about ideological betrayal from the most ardent voices of his own coalition.

    "But that president also might touch a deep chord with voters. ... It has always been true that a president can score points by shaking a fist at his enemies. But a president who extends a hand to his enemies could transform American politics." Amen.

    Think about it over Christmas.



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