28 Haziran 2011 Salı

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  • ita
    12-24 02:37 PM
    I heard about Prithvi Raj killing Ghori and it's called Shbda Bhedi Bana Vidya.
    They say that Prithvi raj knew Shabda Bhedi vidya.

    Ghazni's best-kept secret - The Indian Express
    S.C. Sharma ()
    April 25, 1998

    Title: Ghazni's best-kept secret
    Author: S.C. Sharma
    Publication: The Indian Express
    Date: April 25, 1998

    Provocative Ghauri was the title of an editorial that appeared
    on this page earlier this month. Pakistan has named its missiles
    Ghauri and Ghaznavi with the specific intention of taunting
    India. These worthies' claims to fame and glorification, in the
    perception of the Pakistanis, lies in the fact that they were
    credited with plundering and devastating north-western India time
    and time again in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

    In their enthusiasm to score brownie points, the Pakistanis have
    got mixed up on chronology, they have produced Ghauri before
    Ghaznavi. Also, they have perversely sought to commemorate these
    Afghan rulers of Turkish descent in utter disregard of the fact
    that most of the territories they plundered are their own - the
    North West Frontier Province, the Punjab and Sind. The men and
    women they tortured, enslaved, ravished and put to the sword were
    their own forebears.

    If Pakistanis wish to revel in the inglorious misdeeds of
    foreigners perpetrated on their own soil and on their own
    ancestors, they are welcome to twirl their moustaches in euphoria
    and say: " Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to he wise."

    Indians may look forward to future generations of Pakistani IRBMs
    and similar sophisticated weaponry named after the likes of
    Changez Khan, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Alexander the
    Great and Harshavardhan also have strong claims, but they might
    be disqualified for obvious reasons.

    In the course of his many abortive forays into India, Mohammad
    Ghori is said to have been captured once by the forces of Delhi.
    But Prithviraj Chauhan, king of Delhi, magnanimously let him off.
    Legend has it - and it is widely believed in India - that when
    Ghori eventually succeeded in defeating Prithviraj Chauhan at the
    Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, he blinded him and took him in
    chains to Afghanistan along with his friend, the poet

    Ghori held a grand durbar to celebrate his victory. His prize
    catch, the king of Delhi, blind and a prisoner, was paraded and
    publicly humiliated. Deeply incensed by the treatment meted out
    to his monarch, Chandravardai took refuge to a subterfuge. He
    announced that though completely blind, Prithviraj could still
    hit a target guided solely by sound, and he asked for permission
    for this feat to be performed.

    Prithviraj Chauhan was handed a bow and arrow, and Chandravardai
    sang a now-famous verse which told him of the elevation and
    distance to Ghori's throne. And thus, guided solely by sound,
    Prithviraj shot his arrow through Ghori.

    The legend may not be entirely true, but it would be absolutely
    accurate to say that even after eight centuries have elapsed,
    Prithviraj is regularly subjected to indignity in the land where
    he was taken as a captive. I have seen it at first hand.

    Many years ago, while travelling by jeep from Kandahar to Kabul,
    I had to make a night halt en route at Ghazni. At the hotel, I
    learned that there was a grand mausoleum over the tomb of Sultan
    Mahmud Ghaznavi near the town, and I determined to see it. A few
    extra Afghanis (the local currency) helped my driver to
    comprehend the necessity of making a small detour the next

    The mausoleum was indeed grand -judging by local standards - with
    a high, arched doorway like the Buland Darwaza. lie tomb proper
    was in a cellar about four or five feet be low ground-level. It
    intrigued me considerably to note that there were no steps
    leading down into the tomb. Instead, a metal chain hung from the
    ceiling of the cellar. I was told that I would have to hold the
    chain and jump down.

    I asked for the reason for this peculiar method of entry. The
    caretaker was evasive at first. But after much persuasion, he
    disclosed that there was another tomb at the exact spot where you
    jumped down. There, the infidel king of Delhi, Prithviraj
    Chauhan, lay buried.

    ================================================== =====================
    Might I add, that the very Islam these Pakis seem to be proud of, was forced down upon them.
    Most of these are descendents of forced converts to Islam!

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  • ItIsNotFunny
    03-27 09:02 AM
    10 Reasons to Lobby for your cause (http://www.independentsector.org/programs/gr/10ReasonstoLobby.pdf) (courtesy krishna.ahd)

    For many of us, lobbying is something other people do�people who wear fancy clothes and buy politicians lunch at expensive restaurants. But lobbying, or more simply, trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives, is something anyone can do. And it is something all of us should do if we believe in a good cause and in a democratic form of government. Read on to find out why.


    Very nice post.

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  • ganguteli
    03-24 02:32 PM
    I read your replies and it seems you are ignoring some facts and are forming a one sided opinion.

    - Why did USCIS allow labor substitutions? Why did it take them so long to stop it? Why did they wait until after July 07 to stop it. Were they not allowing people to use this back door and lawyers to make money?

    - If consulting is a problem, what were they doing in the past few years? What are they doing now? Do you think just a few raids once is enough to stop the problem? Why can't they enforce their own laws so that they punish the companies and not the immigrants.

    - Why is USCIS making paperwork difficult. Why can't the system be simple like Canada or Australia so that we can do our own paperwork? Why are lawyers in the picture?

    - If they find problem in consulting, why are they not going after Tata, Wipro etc. Don't tell me these companies are clean?

    - Why is USCIS so disorganized without good IT. Do you think other agencies are also same? Do you think USCIS does not have enough money?

    - Why can't they ban DV lottery? But go after H1Bs. You will say to do that law must be changed. But at least go strict on whom you approve once they are selected in the lottery. Are they not bringing lot of criminals, fanatics, unemployed and uneducated poor through DV.

    - Why can't ICE do their job of enforcement and round up illegals. If they were strict we will not have so many illegals or the problem of illegals.

    The questions will go on. But you need to step back and think more from the perspective of a applicant waiting for his GC or H1B .

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  • sin94
    03-24 12:17 PM
    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me

    Dude, it does not matter what you're reasoning is for getting into consulting. You do not even need to prove anything to me. Take your justification with you and present it to the guys that are going to approve your GC, NOT me!!!!

    If you are still so hard headed that you do not want to accept realities, what can I say!


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  • saurav_4096
    07-13 10:29 AM
    My thougts are, writing letter would not help, It will go to deaf ears. EB3-I status is not hidden to any one DOS/USCIS/DOL, but looks like no one is doing any thing for that.
    When USCIS can interpret so many things why cant they interpert to recapture unused visa numbers ?
    I guess they will find some other way to mess up.

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  • Macaca
    12-28 08:03 AM
    House Members Spent $20.3M on Mailings (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/27/AR2007122700903.html?hpid=sec-politics) By DENNIS CONRAD | Associated Press, Dec 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. House members spent $20.3 million in tax money last year to send constituents what's often the government equivalent of junk mail _ meeting announcements, tips on car care and job interviews, surveys on public policy and just plain bragging.

    They sent nearly 116 million pieces of mail in all, many of them glossy productions filled with flattering photos and lists of the latest roads and bridges the lawmaker has brought home to the district, an Associated Press review of public records shows.

    Some offered advice on topics one would more commonly expect to see in a consumer-advice column.

    "Keep your car properly maintained" to improve mileage, suggested Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., in a newsletter on how to deal with rising energy prices.

    Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., offered tips on home improvements.

    And Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who lost her primary race last year, sent out a taxpayer-funded newsletter a few months before the election that included this simple observation:

    "Convicted felons can vote," she said, if "your" prison sentence has been served, parole or probation completed and fines paid. While campaigning, McKinney, who is black, noted that blacks make up a disproportionately large share of the prison population, which she said dilutes their voting strength.

    A dozen House members spent more than $133,000 each to send 9.8 million pieces of mass mailings. Total cost? $1.8 million.

    Sometimes the lawmakers' taxpayer funded mailings topped what they paid for direct mail through their campaign funds.

    Of the 64 House members with at least $100,000 in taxpayer-funded mailing expenses _ and overwhelmingly for mass mailings _ 42 were Republicans and 22 were Democrats, the AP review found.

    In sharp contrast, 59 lawmakers in the 435-member House _ 35 Republicans and 24 Democrats _ spent nothing on mass mailings. They tended to be the more experienced House members, often with 14 or more years of service.

    Mass mailings cannot be blatantly political, but they still can have political benefits, said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers' Union, which has condemned mass mailings.

    "A taxpayer-financed mailing doesn't have to say 're-elect me' to have an impact on voters," Sepp said. "A glossy newsletter splashed with the incumbent's achievements in Congress can build useful credentials a lawmaker can take with him to the ballot box. The franking privilege is one of the main cogs in Congress' PR machine."

    Franking, practiced since the early days of the republic, lets members of Congress send mail with just a signature where the postage would normally be affixed. Although the mailings are regulated by a congressional commission to guard against overt political appeals and cannot go out within 90 days of an election, they still sometimes take a dig at the opposition.

    In a June 2006 newsletter, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., noted that under the Republican majority, Congress had passed tax cuts that "benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working families."

    Stark has been a regular among the biggest users of the congressional franking privilege. For 2006, his mass mailings alone cost $172,357, an amount large enough to rank him among the top congressional mailers. House documents reported his overall mailing costs to be about $37,000 less. The AP received no explanation for the apparent discrepancy from spokesmen for Stark, the House Administration Committee and House administration staff.

    Some lawmakers defend the newsletters as a vital way of communicating with constituents.

    "One of the biggest complaints my constituents had (with) my predecessor was that they never knew what was going on in Washington," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla. "They never had the opportunity to do surveys, etc. I promised I would communicate with them regularly."

    Brown-Waite is one of the biggest users of bulk mail, with 657,951 pieces at a cost of $129,428 last year. That surpassed the approximately $110,000 her campaign spent on direct mailings and related costs.

    One taxpayer-funded mailing featured a picture of her and the headline: "Medicare Prescription Drug Update: The Time to Act is Now." Another, entitled "Constituent Service Guide for the 5th District," included a survey and information about how to obtain U.S. flags, assistance from federal agencies and an appointment to a military academy.

    The House Democratic Caucus encourages members to use the mailings to communicate with constituents, spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said. She said it was a good way for congressmen to focus on an issue or, if survey questions are used, get a handle on what constituents are thinking.

    That argument doesn't persuade Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., who said he has never used the mailings in 13 years in Congress. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money," he said. "I don't believe in this self-promotion."

    LaHood argues that franking should be used only to answer constituent mail. He has repeatedly introduced bills to ban mass mailings and just as often the legislation dies in committee.

    For the House and Senate combined, the cost of taxpayer-paid mailings, including mass mailings, letters to individuals and groups of up to 500 people, was $34.3 million for fiscal year 2006, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. In 1988, before more restrictions were imposed on the use of mailings, the figure was more than three times larger, $113.3 million.

    The biggest senders in the AP analysis included freshmen in tight re-election fights and veterans who coasted to victory.

    Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C., had the most pieces of mass mailings: 1,257,972. His mass mailings' cost of $171,286 was among the highest in the House, as was the overall cost of his franked mail, at $177,706.

    Murphy, who advised constituents to maintain cars, was one of the House leaders in sending out bulk mail, with 1,003,836 pieces. The price tag: $165,650.

    Among legislative leaders, the biggest spender was Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who last fall became chairman of the House GOP Conference. He spent $133,053 to mail 844,336 pieces.

    Other leaders in the last Congress and the current one were not big users.

    The cost of postage is not the only expense for taxpayers. Printing and reproduction can add tens of thousands of dollars to a mailing's cost. The printing cost for one mailing from McCotter was $30,259.

    There is a practical limit on how much can be spent on mailings.

    Funding comes from a congressman's office budget, which ranges from $1.2 million to $1.4 million for payroll and other expenses. The more spent on mass mailings, the less money is available for such needs as staff, salaries and district offices.

    Senators can also send franked mail, but the amount for each senator is specific and generally based on the number of addresses in a senator's state. At no point may it exceed $50,000 a year for mass mailings. For fiscal year 2004, overall mail allocations ranged from $31,746 to $298,850.

    Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who mailed 906,788 pieces last year and won re-election with 60 percent of the vote, sees the mailings as helping him do his job.

    "Ours is a representative government, requiring an active dialogue between elected officials and those they serve," Stearns said in a statement.

    Mike Stokke, a political aide to recently resigned Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., when he was House speaker, said he would advise congressmen to send out mailings when they've fulfilled an important promise, such as getting money for a bridge in the district.


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  • gsc999
    05-13 06:23 PM
    I heard many stories that consultants are selling labor certifications and this lead to a big back log.... people who were last in the line are in front of the line now....consultants created a business from these labor certifications and are making lots of money...its fair for the government or uscis to apply this bill and control this black business....

    :p Attack of the Trolls - Final Battle

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  • nojoke
    12-27 06:24 AM
    Ofcourse its Pakistan's responsibility since we created them. But the question is, where do you go from here?
    There is about twenty to twenty five years worth of infrastructure and intellectual capital built in the unofficial 'non-state' militant/jihadi circles.
    So, its going to take time for this infrastructure to go away.

    The challenge for Pakistan is to dismantle this infrastructure. A hostile or unfriendly India doesn't help. Ironically, it makes reliance upon this infrastructure attractive.

    If pakistan is innocent, how about handing over dawood ibrahim? or a few other terrorist to India. If not to India, why not hand them over to international court? If they don't want to do this, then it is logical for us to conclude that the pak government is involved


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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:32 PM
    Commercial Venture

    Turning SKS into a commercial venture allowed the firm to tap an unlimited pool of funds from private investors. That, in turn, let the company grow and reduce rates, Akula says.

    �Interest rates have come down over time,� he says. �Because it works, she comes back year after year,� he says of his customers.

    His autobiography, �A Fistful of Rice� (Harvard Business Review Press, 2010), provides a glimpse of the expansion drive.

    Akula, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant, studied McDonald�s Corp. and Burger King Holdings Inc. in 2005 to learn about their speedy training of unskilled workers. He devised a two-month course to train as many as 1,000 new loan officers a month.

    �I now had one goal for SKS; to grow, grow, grow as fast as we could,� he writes. �We could practice microfinance in a way that would serve more poor people than anyone had ever thought possible.�

    Akula says the commercial model of microfinance isn�t the only way.

    Returning to �Roots�

    �It�s an important complement to other forms of finance,� he says. New microfinance companies don�t spend time to build trust, Akula says. �As an industry, we need to go back to our roots,� he says.

    The Reserve Bank is scheduled to report on the industry in January. The finance ministry is planning new rules.

    Sequoia Capital�s Chadha says he�s concerned about �regulatory uncertainty� created by the state ordinance and prefers federal regulation. Nationwide rules would prevent individual states from damaging credit discipline by waiving loans, Microfinance Institutions� Prasad says.

    �It is no different than needing good regulation for stock investing or starting a manufacturing facility,� SKS investor Khosla says.

    �People, Not Profit�

    From Yunus�s perspective, it�s essential that the industry move away from seeking maximum profits and get back to focusing on the poor.

    �If not, you are not helping poor people�s lives,� he says. �You are not patient. You are not restrained. You don�t have empathy for the people. You are just using them to make money. That�s what blinds you when you are in the profit-making world. We need to see the people, not profit.�

    Any such changes would be too late for Atthili Padma and Shivalingam, a young couple in Andhra Pradesh�s cotton-farming village of Chennampalli.

    Padma, a 22-year-old mother of two, walked out of her house on Oct. 7 with her 18-month-old son and 4-year-old daughter, according to Maruthi Prasad, a superintendent at the police station in Shankarampet.

    Padma�s Death

    Instead of heading to her parents� house as she often did, she walked 2 kilometers in the opposite direction. She came to an old Hindu temple where villagers worship Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. Padma continued until she stood in front of a well once used to irrigate crops, her father-in-law, Pochaiah, says. There, with no one to dissuade her, she jumped into the well with her children.

    The day before she died, Padma had visited her parents after arguing with her husband over loans they couldn�t repay, according to Mangamma, the couple�s neighbor.

    Their marriage five years ago was arranged by their parents and the couple had become close and hadn�t fought before that day, Mangamma says. The loans totaled 20,000 rupees, Pochaiah says.

    Padma�s death is recorded as a microfinance-related suicide in the list by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty.

    �Sad Day for Microfinance�

    Police arrested Padma�s husband, Shivalingam, on Oct. 13 for allegedly abetting Padma�s suicide. They also alleged that he�d harassed her to provide money to marry him, which is illegal in India, according to Narayana, a constable at the Shankarampet police station.

    Police made two further arrests on Nov. 8: Share Microfin managers Sriram Raghavender, 27, and Polapalli Kumaraswami, 22, also for allegedly abetting the suicide, according to superintendent Prasad. The two managers and Shivalingam have been released on bail and are awaiting a court hearing, Prasad says.

    Advocates and investors such as Khosla say microfinance -- when it works correctly -- is the best way to give the rural poor a shot at better lives.

    The tragedies in India present the worst possible outcome, says Cashpor�s Gibbons, whose Nov. 15 speech opened a morning session of the annual Microfinance India Summit in New Delhi.

    �This is a sad day for microfinance,� said Gibbons, who has promoted the movement for the past two decades.

    �Often people asked me, �What are you doing here?�� he told the audience. �I�ve been always proud to say, �I�m doing microfinance.� Now, when people ask, I feel embarrassed. I feel like hiding somewhere.�

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  • abcdgc
    12-27 01:22 AM
    Also, people like Hamid Gul and Kaayani have been directly involved in direct aid to terrorists organizations and Taliban in Pakistan & Afganistan. These are the worst of your kind, the difference is, Kaayani has a uniform to show. But a terrorist is a terrorist, with or without a uniform. He and ISI is directly responsible for Bombay attacks. You prove that Kaayani is not responsible. While you collect the evidence of Kaayani's innocence, we are ready to respond to the war you started.


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  • nixstor
    11-15 12:25 PM
    This guy needs to go. He is a total joke. Where does he put his $$ in? Every one knows he owns stock of most companies that has outsourced jobs to India/other countries. I am sure he has his money everywhere in Cisco/Msoft whom he bashes along with Kim B. Check this page who want to see him go. There are lot of legal immigration folks who are there.


    Should we be talking to FOX news to get them do a program on how he changes his stand? How many times he brings only one side of the story?

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  • Macaca
    05-01 08:29 AM
    Lobbyists Who Bundle (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/30/AR2007043001506.html) -- Their fundraising for congressional candidates should be disclosed, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    THE HOUSE Democratic leadership is to meet this week to determine the content of the lobbying reform package it says is one of its top priorities. The key test of the leadership's seriousness on this issue will be whether the proposal includes a provision to require lobbyists to disclose the bundles of cash they collect for lawmakers' campaigns.

    Such a requirement was contained in the Senate lobbying bill passed in January. The head of the House Democrats' campaign committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), sponsored a similar requirement last year and is pushing it again this time around -- despite the crimp it could put in his ability to raise money for his troops. But other influential House members are said to be balking, worried that merely requiring lobbyists to reveal the bundles could reduce the number and size of such donations.

    This is, of course, precisely why disclosure is essential. The influence that lobbyists wield can't be gauged by looking at their individual contributions. Their power comes in their capacity to deliver a stack of checks to grateful lawmakers. A lawmaker knows how much he or she is indebted to a lobbyist. So, you can be sure, does the lobbyist. The only ones in the dark are the public.

    This provision wouldn't ban bundling, just shine some sunlight on it. It wouldn't apply to all big fundraisers, just ones who make their livings lobbying the legislators for whom they're bringing in the bundles. House Democrats must keep this in mind: They're in power in large part because of the cozy, and in some cases corrupt, relationships their predecessors had with lobbyists. If they want to stay in power, they need to demonstrate that they are willing, finally, to do something about this.


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  • Amma
    01-06 06:10 PM
    What Israel is doing is pure state terrorism.Isreal is grid locking the gaza strip and punishing gazans because they elected Hamas. World policeman America will advocate democracy to the world but refuse to accept democratically elected Hamas. What a selective measurement ?

    Israel always sees that they are in upper hand. I strongly condemn the poking of Hamas by firing rockets into Israel.They teased the elephant and now they are suffering. This is a cycle. In this war neither party is going to win.Both fools will suffer because of their madness.But innocent people who got in between these two thugs will suffer the most. That is the fate.
    Take Srilanka. If the srilankan government gives reasonable autonomy to the Tamils , that isssue would have sorted out long time ago. See what is happening now ? Srilanka is air bombing its own citizens and killing in dozens.
    Which country is condemning this ? All are keeping quiet.Now, Tamil tigers will start their terror tactics then whole world will condemn their act.

    So, unless there is give and take policy it is a endless cycle of destruction and agony.Unfortunately, the sixth sense is not working in those conflict regions.And suffering of the common innocent citizens is continuing.

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  • sk2006
    06-12 12:11 AM
    This is for sharing and suggesting your views, ( :)who are not opposing for buying a home now or in the near future and those who are staying at Bay Area, CA or similar places in US) where the medium home price is still looks like quite unaffordable :

    for example, in Bay Area, CA - places which has good school districts and neighbourhoods like Cupertino, Fremont, Redwood shores etc., (please add other good places also...) - the medium home price of a new independant home (anywhere from 1500 to 3000 sq.feet) will be atleast in the price range of $700000 - 2+ Millions.

    Other options are :
    1) Moving to the outskirts, around 40 or 50+ miles - places like San Ramon, Gilroy etc. (remember commute will be too hectic...). In these places also, the above mentioned homes will cost $450000 and up.

    2) Go with an old condo/town home (in Bay Area, usually an old house is 25+ years YOUNG!!!) and after 5+ years look for an old independant home and after another 5+ years, move to your dream home. (I don't know whether we, most of us who are in the GC mess might be in 35 and above age group, have any juice left to do so rather than try to settle down within a couple of years. And one more thing, are these places really worth for spending this much for houses? (I know its a personal choice and lot of factors come in to play...)

    3) Move to a more affordable place so that even if there are some hick ups in career or other ups and downs in life, it won't affect the mortage payment (considering ones personal interests and other factors like employment opportunities, climate, diversed community etc etc.) - places like Dallas, Austin, Phoenix, Atlanta etc. (feel free to add other cities also).

    Please comment/share your thoughts (I am agreeing there may be slight variation in above price ranges) and really sorry if we discussed this in any other threads....


    I am in SF Bay area.
    I would say WAIT and prices will become affordable here as well.

    People who bought these 700K+ houses were not necessarily richer than you and me.
    ARMs with low or zero down payments did the trick.

    Save for the down payment and wait. You will get a good house at affordable price in 1-2 years.


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  • Macaca
    12-20 08:01 AM
    Congress's Mixed Results (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902030.html) Democratic promises meet legislative reality, Dec 20, 2007

    FOR CONGRESSIONAL Democrats, the first session of the 110th Congress offered a sobering lesson in the practical limits of majority control. Democrats delivered part of what they had promised to the voters who returned them to power last November and recorded some significant achievements. But more often, Democrats found their legislative plans stymied -- first by Senate Republicans' willingness to filibuster any proposal with which they disagreed, then by the president's newfound zeal to exercise his veto power. The scorecard, in the end, is disappointingly mixed. Still, Democrats are more to blame for overpromising than for failing to deliver; their triumphant promises of January were never realistic. Given the slenderest of Senate majorities and the willingness of the minority to wield the filibuster with unprecedented frequency, Democrats' maneuvering room was dramatically limited.

    On the plus side of the legislative ledger, President Bush signed an energy bill yesterday that will raise fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the first time in 32 years, to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. That is a significant achievement, albeit one that could have been even greater had Republicans not blocked efforts to include new requirements for boosting use of renewable sources of energy and to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies.

    Likewise, Democrats were able to secure the first increase in the minimum wage in nine years and the largest expansion of college aid since the GI bill, cutting interest rates on subsidized student loans and increasing the maximum Pell grant. They passed an important lobbying and ethics reform bill that will shine light on the bundles of campaign cash delivered by registered lobbyists and clamped down on lawmakers' ability to accept meals, travel and entertainment from lobbyists and those who employ them.

    The keenest Democratic disappointment -- failing to force the president to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq -- is no disappointment to us. Although unhappiness with the war in Iraq helped propel Democrats to victory, in the end President Bush was able to secure continuing funding for the war with no strings attached. Of far more concern: Democrats could not overcome presidential vetoes of bills providing for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research or expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The children's health issue deserves another try next year; the extension that Congress adopted jeopardizes existing coverage for some children and makes it difficult for states to move forward with planned expansions of coverage.

    Democrats spent much of the session congratulating themselves, appropriately so, for reinstating pay-as-you-go rules requiring tax cuts or increases in mandatory spending to be paid for with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts.

    In the end, however, Democrats capitulated to a Republican refusal to pay for the $50 billion, one-year patch applied to the alternative minimum tax. The budget process was nearly as unattractive as ever, with a host of overdue spending bills wrapped into a giant package passed in the final hours of the session.

    Of most concern are the serious issues that remain unaddressed -- and that aren't likely to be taken up next year, either. An overhaul of the nation's failed immigration policy fell victim to ugly politics, despite the support of the president. Entitlement reform -- in particular a response to the looming Social Security shortfall -- never got off the ground, the victim of distrust and intransigence on both sides. Prospects next year for reauthorizing the president's signature education program, No Child Left Behind, look dim.

    The year before a presidential election is rarely a fertile moment for lawmaking; the poisonous level of partisanship in both houses makes that even more unlikely. Republicans seem to have concluded that their electoral hopes lie in blocking Democrats from ringing up any achievements. For their part, House Democrats have conveniently forgotten their pledges to treat the minority with more fairness than they were accorded when Republicans had control.

    Yet the new year will dawn with issues of enormous importance on the congressional agenda. In addition to those mentioned above, we would note the worthwhile proposal by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.) to adopt a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers and the president can continue to bicker and elbow for advantage until the next election rolls around -- or they can gamble that they have more to gain with a disgusted electorate by cooperating and getting something done.

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  • sanju
    04-07 01:54 PM
    I am talking about using a different standard for defining R&D. A standard similar to the one used for determining the R&D tax credit. A whole lot of companies other than pure research institutes are eligible for R&D tax credits. And there appears to be broad support for such a definition of R&D.


    Let me guess, you work at a R&D facility, right? May be, looking for the best way to fit in your individual situation. No offense meant, however, I would request IV and its membership to have a bigger perspective in dealing whit this bill. Otherwise, 500,000 people will be systematically purged from US. And that includes most people waiting for their green cards.


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  • ohpdfeb2003
    06-27 01:35 PM
    Right, you pay for what you called "service", which is what your landlord is providing. And you pay him to let you stay in his house, which means YOU my friend are paying more than 80% of HIS mortgage. At the end of his mortgage, all his tenants would have collectively chipped in to pay more than 80% of HIS mortage and he has a house at the end of it all. What do YOU have? Zero, zilch, nada!

    No true in most cases espcially where housing is not affordable, is there a rule anywhere that tenants have to chip in 80%. There are several foolish housing investors, that I know of right now who arent even making 50% of their mortgage.

    If landlords are doing so well then who are the people undergoing foreclousures and bankruptices that we hear about :D

    Historically over a 30 year period, housing doesnt even return inflation adjusted value of money.

    What does a renter have in the end? He had the diversified returns from the downpayment money he has invested else where and difference between rent and mortgage compounded every month.

    Money paid as interest is the "service" cost of the money being loaned to you. You are paying so that you can live in the house you did NOT pay full cash for.

    My interest in a year is 2 times more than the standard deduction. I don't have a business yet, but when I start one, I'm going to have more deductions. Do the math!

    not forever, only the first few years. you will have to revert to standard deduction, that samething that renter's get years down the line.

    Right goahead and deduct your business expense from your personal tax return, IRS will pay you a visit:p

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  • mariner5555
    03-23 11:14 PM
    I agree he will loose his down payment or credit score in case of things going south on GC side but still he will be able to do whatever is best for his long term goals now and he will be better off in terms of equity when real estate market bounces back in 3-4 years.There are lucrative deals in the market and renting does not make any sense. There is always a risk factor and u can cover your risks accordingly. Anywaz What exactly ur going to do with Credit Score after u are kicked out from here ? So why not take risk now and play the game.
    why do you say that renting does not make any sense ?? credit score would matter if a person gets a better oppurtunity and decides to come back - screwing up yr credit is like burning a bridge. In my humble opinion real estate won't bounce back - it may limp back in majority of the areas. ofcourse housing is local ..

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  • bajrangbali
    06-05 05:35 PM
    Your analysis is so spot on except for item #8 and item # 9. I have a question though.. The example you have given suits my scenario so well. I am planning to buy a house (310k ) very soon. The loan offers I have from my lender has interest rates pretty much the same for both 10% down payment and 20% down payment, 5.0 with 20% and 5.25 with 10% down payment. I can down pay 10% right away and the other 10% is also available in a risk free(can withdraw without penalty) cd which yield me a return of 3.5% . So which is better for me 10% or 20% down pay. thanks in advance.

    As for buying or renting..it is more of a personal choice - to me, buying a house has tangible benefits over renting.. like a sense of entitlement to call some place ur true home and most likely a good enviroment for raising the kids. Life has phases like education, marriage, kids, job, etc..Now that I am into my 30's, I would like to see
    what it feels like to have owned a home.

    If I were you..I would go with the 10% down payment option. Your monthly payment would not increase much and you would have more cash safe in CD for life events.

    Consider the rent you are currently paying and make a choice...buying a home should not burden you with more than 10-20% of you current rent payment. In my case I am more conservative and going with a mortgage < my current rent payment.

    If it helps, here are my details:

    Condo cost: 300K
    Down payment: 5% - 15K
    Using fed stimulus: 8K towards down payment
    Total payment: 7K+closing costs

    Current rent: $2200
    Mortgage: ~$1500-1600
    Price trend in the past 5yrs: down <20% from peak prices

    Estimate living time: 2yrs min

    Even if house value drops after 2yrs by 10%, the tax savings, equity, happiness would compensate more than enough for it...

    I agree everyone's situation is different, but please do not make the mistake of taking a huge burden of payment if you are buying. Always buy within/below your means...

    08-05 11:14 AM
    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.


    I am a EB2 - I filer (This is my third EB2- 1st on 2001, 2nd on 2002 and finally I got settled with my third EB2 (2004) and employer)

    I was lucky that all my employers were understands that I am EB2 plus the job description warranted for EB2, But in many EB3 cases they were exploited by attorneys and employers and it is very unfair

    It�s my opinion, I am sure that you will differ on mine, that is ok,

    06-23 12:38 PM
    I don't believe the housing market slump will last more than 3 years!

    Echo boomers a lifeline for embattled U.S. housing | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE55L0AO20090622)

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The children of baby boomers will eventually resuscitate the pummeled U.S. housing market, Harvard University said on Monday, but in the meantime, limits on income and credit are sustaining the three-year bust.

    The highest unemployment in almost 26 years, record foreclosures and rigid lending threaten to overcome emerging home sales progress despite unprecedented efforts by the Obama administration, Harvard's State of the Nation's Housing 2009 report said.

    Echo boomers, the children of the post-World War Two baby boomer generation, offer a massive source of support for housing, the study said. The generation is entering the peak home buying and renting ages of 25 to 44 and numbers over five million people more than did their parents' record-sized group in the 1970s.

    "Echo boomers are larger than the baby boomer population. Couple that with immigration and you have the seeds, the possibility of a housing recovery," Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an interview.

    The group will bolster demand for the next 10 years and beyond, supporting the sagging housing market even if immigration drops, the study said.

    The challenges are myriad, however, said Retsinas, a widely followed housing industry expert and former senior official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    "We have to find a way to stabilize housing finance in this country," he said.

    A healthy housing market is integral to a growing economy. In the current cycle, the housing crash has propelled the economy into its longest recession since the Great Depression. Jobs lost to the recession have derailed any housing recovery.

    "Seedlings of the housing recovery have to come through this thicket of job losses and foreclosures," Retsinas said. "The housing market has not seen these challenges for over 60 years."

    Mortgage rates have risen from all-time lows in the past two months despite massive government steps to keep them down.

    Foreclosures escalate as federal efforts to keep borrowers in their houses cannot keep pace with loan failures caused by job losses or punishing home price erosion.


    Home sales have started to pick up, thanks mostly to a first-time buyer tax credit this year of up to $8,000 and demand for foreclosure properties at bargain-basement prices.

    "While we do see some signs of stabilization, you can barely see those silver linings," Retsinas said.

    The lending pendulum swung vastly after the unsustainable five-year record home price surge early this decade. Lenders clamped down after lax conditions spawned record home sales and then fueled the torrent of foreclosures.

    Now, more than 85 percent of mortgage loans are created through the government and its agencies. Private lending companies either shut down or slammed on the credit brakes to prevent a repeat of major losses on flawed loans.

    What happens to mortgage availability currently rests in the hands of the federal government, the report said.

    But Retsinas noted: "Eventually you want a sustainable credit system, and that has to include private capital."

    The share of minority households, hurt most in the housing crisis, will rise to 35 percent in 2020 from 29 percent in 2005, the study projected. Those households typically have lower average incomes and wealth, and higher unemployment.

    In Cleveland, Boston and Washington, DC, price declines at the low end of the market through December were more than twice those at the high end in percentage terms, while in San Francisco they were nearly three times greater.

    Real median household incomes in all age groups under 55 have not risen since 2000, the Harvard study said. For the first time in at least 40 years, there is a chance that median household income will end the decade lower than where it started.

    The severity of the recession could hold incomes down for years.

    "The number of households that were severely cost-burdened -- people paying over 50 percent of their income for housing -- has grown dramatically," Retsinas said. The number spiked by 30 percent to 17.9 million between 2001 and 2007, the most recent data available.

    "The reality is that it's not just the cost of a house, but it's how much you make," he said. "Of course as people struggle with their jobs, as they lose that second job, they lose that overtime, their income drops make it more difficult to pay."

    Echo boomers will expand the number of needed housing units. But they also likely will enter the housing market with lower real incomes than people the same age did a decade ago, the study said.

    "While fundamentally we see what could be the foundation for long-term recovery, we still have to get through today's challenges," said Retsinas.

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