Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday Clippings From The Newsroom Floor: Metro Passes 900,000 Mark, Sanchez & Hispanics And Some Bottom Lines

  • PPP US Senate poll: Heinrich over Balderas 47% to 24%. Balderas needs money and some Martin mistakes to bring the front-runner down.

  • GOP primary: Wilson 52%, Sanchez 24% and Sowards 8 %. Good start for Wilson, but she has glass jaw with conservatives. Sanchez is far from out of it.
This kind of snuck up on us. The ABQ metro area just blew past the 900,000 population mark. That means nearly half our state's population of 2.09 million lives in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties, says a national biz group that keeps track of such matters.

The 907, 755 population count as of July 1 makes us the 57th largest metro out of 942 ranked in the USA.

Cracking the top 50 is not in the cards anytime soon. Buffalo-Niagara Falls holds the 50th ranking with 1,329,000 residents. But we have had steady growth. In 2000, the census bureau says the metro had a population of nearly 730,000.

But things have been slowing down around here, particularly in Rio Rancho which had explosive growth until the housing bubble burst three years ago. With a paucity of new jobs coming in and the state reporting that our labor force is actually shrinking as people leave here to look for jobs elsewhere, the metro's population growth is going to be slower or even flat lined.

Those who have sought to contain growth on ABQ's west side are getting their way. Maybe the benefit is that we catch up with the past. But the downside is evident all around as real estate remains in a glutted condition and jobs are as tight as a Scotsman.

By the way, the Las Cruces metro area comes in with an estimated July 1, 2011 population of 214,887, ranking it #199 in the nation.

SANCHEZ FILE

We didn't think this quote from John Sanchez that we ran on the June 20 blog was very incendiary:

I think a lot of Hispanics in New Mexico can understand the struggles of lifting themselves into a better place," he said. "In the Hispanic culture it's all about the family. They are very certain about where they stand about protecting the unborn, about personal responsibility. For those reasons, I think my candidacy appeals to those voters.

But Dom Lopez in EspaƱola got fired up about Sanchez's take:

Your blog about John Sanchez running as the Hispanic candidate for Senate reminded me why I don't like him and his "story." Susana Martinez did not win the governorship because she told voters she was the "Hispanic" candidate. Susana won because she presented herself as someone who was qualified to change the way things are done in New Mexico. As a Democrat Hispanic who crosses over to vote for Republicans a lot, I find it very offensive when people tell me I need to vote for my race. That's what John Sanchez is saying when he says "I think my candidacy appeals to those [Hispanic] voters." It's not going to work, especially when you consider he doesn't have an education. We Hispanics don't vote for candidates who say they are "just like us." Instead, we vote for Hispanics who we aspire to be.


That reference to education is Sanchez's lack of a college degree. Dave Finley of Socorro comes with this sidebar on that:

Possibly the most famous U.S. Senator elected without a college degree was Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1952 and to the U.S. Senate in 1958. While in the House, he began attending law school at night, receiving a law degree in 1963. He later received an undergraduate degree in 1994. He holds the record of longest-serving U.S. Senator and was both Majority Leader and Minority Leader during his tenure, which ended with his death last year. Among many other things, he was known as an expert on the Senate's history.


ALREADY HERE


There's not enough of them to force you to hide under the bed or turn off the tube, but the first political ads of the 2012 cycle are up and running in New Mexico:

Crossroads GPS, a conservative-aligned outside organization, is pledging to spend $20 million over the next two months on ads aimed at shaping the national debate on jobs, the economy and the federal debt.

The first wave of ads began airing Monday with a $5 million buy that will include national cable television as well as broadcast stations in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia. The ads will run for two weeks.

The ad, entitled “Shovel Ready,” takes President Obama to task over the economy. It details the rise of unemployment, gas prices and the national debt under Obama and argues that the economic stimulus package “failed.”


MY BOTTOM LINES

Animal Protection Voters of NM comes with an early endorsement of Rep. Martin Heinrich for the Dem nod for US Senate:

Martin has fought to protect the jobs, chimpanzees, and federal dollars at the Alamogordo Primate Facility on Holloman Air Force Base from leaving New Mexico. He is an original cosponsor of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011; he cosponsored a bill to ban horse slaughter and has voted in support of service dogs for Veterans, to ban animal “crush” videos, and against environmental exemptions for the largest factory farms in the United States....

Did we mention that around UNM Saggio's restaurant and Olympia Cafe are great places for a casual dinner and this time of year they aren't crowded?....

Thanks for joining us this week. Happy Fourth.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

We welcome your advertising and for a limited time have special summer rates. E-mail us for details, as well as your news and comments.


(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2011
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

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  • RaviG
    07-14 08:24 PM
    the spill over from EB1 should go equally to Eb2 and Eb3..can we work on getting this message across.

    I dont understand your argument, may be I misunderstood. Who will benefit from EB1 to EB3 spill over ROW or retrogressed countries. It likely EB3 ROW. So why EB3 Indian writing the letter? May be things should be more clear about what you want to achieve.





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  • pcs
    05-16 12:54 PM
    Free market economy is the best for mankind. As long as nobody steals, laws should not bind people's imagination & creativity.

    Hiring of H1-B by "consultencies" is like stocking goods in a shop before you open for business. This is an acceptable model for business in any society. I support the process of hiring H1-B by bodyshoppers, BUT would like Congress to implement some guidelines by which H1-B should have more dignified life & freedom to work like.... unlimited freedonm of job changes of employers within 6 years or valid VISA period. Self administration / support of green card process. This single step will cure all evils.

    By the way, I am not an IT guy / bodyshopper





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  • GCScrewed
    07-13 09:30 AM
    No matter what discouragement there is, it is definitely worth the try. With the trying, you may not get relieved. But without the trying, you will definitely not. People should also add their own arguments in the letter too. All the comments on how to make this letter better should be welcome. Now it is time to see if this community is really sticking together and if those who benefit will help those suffering.





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  • vbkris77
    03-24 04:21 PM
    Hello, If I were to put you all guys in a room and give you a permission to fight each other, you will really beat the crap out of others..

    Any topic, any issue will lead to in-fighting..

    Why did most Indians were caught on wrong doings in H1B, becos, most Indians had to spend most time on H1B status. Atleast 5 more years than usual. I am not saying it is right. But that is the fact..

    How long is Long enough to prove that one is employed to a GC?? No one knows???

    How many of the FTEs do other jobs that are not listed on their H1B? I bet most.. You don't look at your H1B petition to see if you are qualified to do that job or not. You will do it if you asked by your boss. Even if you can't, you will learn and still do it.

    So stop these crazy talk and help the OP if you can or just give a moral support.

    Most of you are not still convinced that we are not the reason for backlog. It is CIS that wasted visas and is the reason for the backlog.. That is the problem..



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  • Macaca
    09-24 04:30 PM
    How To Write To Congress (http://consumerist.com/consumer/your-government/how-to-write-to-congress-302775.php) BY CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER | Consumerist, SEP 23 2007

    Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive and avoiding several common mistakes.

    Why Personal Letters Beat Form Letters

    Don't get suckered in by the quick and easy "Write to Congress!" form letters littering the internet. Form letters are not an expression of values; they are a show of organizational strength. If the NRA convinces five million people to send letters opposing gun control, it shows that the NRA can muster five million people to action, not that five million people necessarily care about gun laws. Congressional offices know this and generally disregard form letters.

    So what happens when you send a letter?

    Every office has its own procedures for tabulating constituent correspondence, but most will produce a report at the end of week breaking down how many letters were received by issue area, separating out form letters from letters sent by individual constituents.

    Members treat each type of letter differently, but most look for individual letters as a barometer of their district's concerns. These are the letters that have the most influence, the ones we will show you how to write.

    What Should Your Letter Say?

    We adhere to the three paragraph rule: introduce yourself, introduce your issue, request action. Congressional offices have staffers whose days are spent solely on the mail, so make their lives easier by keeping letter succinct and to the point.

    Introduce Yourself: There is a two-prong test for determining your worth: 1) Are you a constituent? 2) Are you an important constituent? Feel free to puff up your chest. Are you a lifelong member of the district? Are you associated with community groups? Say so! Convince the reader that yours is a voice of experience and wisdom.

    Be specific: Don't just ask a Member to oppose mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Ask them to rush to the floor to support S.1782, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

    Marshall Facts: Your argument - and you are making an argument - must be supported by facts. Feel free to use facts gleaned from us or other sources, but don't copy and paste paragraphs of pre-written text from form letters. Personal experiences are particularly effective, and often moving. Share them!
    Be Exceedingly Polite, Please: Congress attracts haughty personalities. Staffers don't appreciate being spoken down to or insulted. You are trying to rally them to your cause, so be nice!

    Clearly State Your Request: Plainly tell your representative that you want them to support or oppose a certain bill. If you want a response, explicitly (but politely!) ask for one.

    It should go without saying that your letter should follow all formal style guidelines, such as a return name and address, and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Send Your Letter To The Right Place

    Only write to your representatives. You have three: one Representative in the House, and two Senators. Do not send more than three letters. Some citizens try to get their voice heard by writing to all 435 members of the House. Congressional courtesy compels the 434 Members who do not represent the zealot to forward his letter to the one lucky Member who does. This angers the Member's staff greatly at the expense of any point you are trying to make.

    The addresses for your Representatives and Senators are available online, but don't waste your time with an email. Letters carry significantly more weight. Send your letter to the Capitol, where the legislative staff is based, though it will take a while to arrive since all incoming Congressional mail is irradiated thanks to those still-unidentified Anthrax mailers.

    For an even greater impact, send your letter care of the staffer covering the issue. These staffers - called Legislative Assistants - are the Member's eyes and ears on their assigned issue areas. Finding the staffer destined to read your letter is easy: call the Capitol switchboard (open 24 hours a day!) at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Member's office, and ask the person who answers for the name of the staffer handling the issue area or bill number. Once you get that name, address your letter like this:

    Member Of Congress
    c/o Staffer
    Office Building/Number
    Washington, DC 20515

    What Should You Expect In Return?

    Depends. There are 535 Congressional offices and each handles constituent correspondence differently. The vast majority respond to letters with either a form letter pre-written by a Legislative Assistant, or with a more personal response written by a Legislative Correspondent. Controversial issues that attract many letters normally receive a form letter response, while smaller issues or specific questions often receive the attention of a personalized response.

    Conclusion

    Members of Congress work for you. Without your votes, they won't stay in office. They go to great lengths to cultivate a positive relationship with you, their boss. Very few people take the time to write to a Member of Congress, so the few that do carry a disproportionate influence.

    Fifteen minutes is well worth the time to influence a $2 trillion enterprise.





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  • immique
    07-14 10:01 PM
    For all those people who are misguiding the EB3 members on the forum- please stop playing with people's hopes and stop this nonsense about petition for spillover from EB1 to EB3. this is a foolish arguement and will not work. Do you think USCIS will give preference to EB2 over EB1? hell no. similarly, EB3 will not get any spill over visas unless EB2 is current. EB preferences are are established for a reason to give preference to better qualified individuals that US thinks are much needed. similarly family based preferences are established to give preference to dependents/relatives of US Citizens over other categories. Can you imagine second or third preference Family based category getting preference over the first preference category in Family based applications? No way this is going to happen.

    Moreover after taking heat from Congress for wrongly interpreting the EB laws and unfairly giving visas to EB3 last year while EB2 is still retrogressed, do you really think that USCIS/DOS will make the same mistake again? some of the people seem to be wandering in a fool's paradise. this whole petition drama has caused rifts among the EB immigrant community for no good reason. the only way for EB3 to move forward is by EB2 becoming current and it may happen next year.

    I can tell you for sure what kind of results this petition will produce.

    1. it will not poduce any spillover to EB3 at all.

    2. it will definitely attract more scrutiny towards EB2 from USCIS as it will try to establish clear distinction between EB2 and EB3 so that people are not confused between the categories thinking that they also qualify for EB2 as mentioned in the petition. USCIS may start strictly implementing "exceptional ability/ advanced degree/ Professional Occupation" part of the EB2 definition and start questioning the 5 year experience that many EB3 have used to convert to EB2. This will result in more problems for EB3 to EB2 conversions who have already filed and for future filings and will make it easier for people with Advanced degrees. This will help USCIS to make EB2 current quickly by greatly decreasing the number of applications in EB2 and may be then use the spill over to EB3.

    After reading all this if people are still not convinced about my arguement, then go ahead and send in your petitions to whom ever you want to. As I said above, it will do more harm to EB3 than any good as it will potentially make it impossible for any future EB3 to EB2 conversions. Good luck in your effort.



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  • zshakyaz
    03-31 10:46 PM
    Today I received a call from my lawyers office asking me whether my wife had taken the TB test as we skipped that test when we applied for I-485 in July 2007 as my wife was expecting at that time. My PD is Feb 2007

    Lawyers office said they received a call from USCIS as they are getting the cases ready to be adjudicated. USCIS wanted to know whether my wife got her TB test done or not.

    Did anyone else got such a call from USCIS? And Gurus, what do you all think this means?

    Hello burnt
    From my own experience USCIS actually called me directly . So don't be surprised USCIS calling your attorney. The best thing about the call was the immigration officer, verified all my info and notified on my 485 approval and my wife on that same call. It was hard to believe it , since even infopass couldn't confirm my approval. And I recieved my card in just 3 business days after the approval. So chill out , its a good thing that USCIS is trying to resolve your case. nothing to be worried about

    cheers





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  • xyzgc
    01-03 06:20 PM
    Smash terror hideouts says Abdul Kalam.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Smash_terror_hideouts_Kalam_/articleshow/3931768.cms



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  • hourglass
    07-18 04:23 AM
    Hi ManuB,

    so finally what happened with your spouse case, did u find some good attorney, pls share the exp, one of my friends is kind of in a same situation.

    best

    Thank You for all the support.
    I couldn`t reply any sooner.I was busy with Open house( a whole lot of scrubbing and cleaning).
    I cannot post the contents of the RFE`s as most of the info is private and not appropriate for the public forum.But the info I got from the forum so far has been helpful.
    What we are trying to do now is to get appointments with atleast 2 other attorneys(murthy and khanna) .our current Lawyer responded to our questions on a sunday .Not many lawyers do that. and we have only 2 weeks to respond Once we get some answers we`ll go from there.
    Our case is very complex.I don`t want other members be discouraged by the amount of papers uscis requested.Not every one gets this unlucky.They asked for all w2`s,first and last paystubs with each employer and federal tax returns.Rule of thumb don`t discard any paper that you ever submitted to uscis and all your employment records.
    I will keep you posted.
    thank you again.





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  • trictrac
    08-02 12:49 PM
    My case is intent-to-hire for 485, so my attorney just took 3 paystubs and 1 w2 for filing. Is that ok?



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  • Macaca
    02-27 08:12 AM
    Thank You, Mr. Chairman (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022601142_2.html).

    If it's good to be a Democrat on K Street these days, it's even better to be a Democrat who once worked for a current chairman of a congressional tax-writing committee. That's clearly where the money is.

    Timothy E. Punke, a former trade aide to Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of the Senate Finance Committee, was named a partner of Monument Policy Group, a lobbying firm. His new clients include heavyweights such as Microsoft and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

    Former Baucus chief of staff Jeffrey A. Forbes of Cauthen Forbes & Williams also has a slew of new clients. They include Merck, Genentech, Ford and Intuit.

    William A. Signer, a former staffer to Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) of the House Ways and Means Committee, has a new job -- managing director of health-care and tax practices at Carmen Group. "His experience in understanding Chairman Rangel's goals and motivations are invaluable to clients," said David M. Carmen, president of the firm. Signer's ties to Rangel, Carmen added, were "definitely a factor" in his hiring.





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  • i4u
    09-20 08:11 AM
    How many believe that the vote on Tuesday will allow for the inclusion of Dream Act in the Defense Authorization Bill?
    How many believe that if it does get the votes on Tuesday, it will be passed on Wed or Thursday as some claim it?



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  • thakurrajiv
    03-26 10:13 AM
    These banks, Mortgage companies and realtors - The whole nexus of sharks have made refinance almost impossible since last week.. Any body else noticed that? What happened is as soon as FED cut down the rate this nexus dramatically reduces the price 10 - 15%. If you go to zillow, you would find at least 10% reduction published for almost every home with comparison to 5 days before... Something is cooking up.. I do not know what it may be...At least for VA, MD, DC based homes I see this pattern. It looks like, lenders do not want to invite refinances.. and that is scary. Even most sites shows the list of properties with less value under " property sold last in 6 months" and make the properties disappeared which wer sold with reasonable price. I noticed this pattern for many bank alerts as well. So now the real picture you can get from is the county database only to fight these sharks. Are they trying to divert all to government loans (FHA?)... watch out.
    I posted a few messages in another thread on macroeconomic issues. As you found out, a lot of people don't understand the severity of credit crunch. If you have lot of cash, yes you have a big advantage, go and invest. Even if you get it wrong for next 5 years, you will be ok.
    But for people who want to do this on borrowed money, credit crunch will hit you. The credit crunch will get worse. Whole mortgage industry will change, things will tighten. This just means something has to give up, which is house price.
    If you are already not in a house, wait as you might be able to buy at much lower prices. Jump into RE as investment now only if you have enough cash to sustain upto 30% drop in home prices !!





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  • GCappli
    11-11 12:52 PM
    Hey its too late to reply but is there any update on this one ..Did the employer revoke his h1b .. In case he did he is out of status ..But if he didi not and employer ..employee relationship existed .. Then it is not considered out of status because one can show leave of abscence ..
    There are various CIS memos which have the out of status interpretation ..



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  • GoneSouth
    04-07 06:45 PM
    I think everyone should take a deep breath. This bill hasn't even made it out of committee yet. The Bush administration has made it clear that they are pro immigration and pro h1-b. I'll never say never, but I think it's very unlikely that this bill will ever get to the president's desk, and even less likely that he will sign it.





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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-08 04:40 PM
    Two alligators are sitting on the edge of a swamp. The small one turns to the big one and says, "I don't understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We're the same age, we were the same size as kids. I just don't get it."

    "Well," says the big alligator, "What have you been eating?"

    "Immigration attorneys, same as you," replies the small alligator.

    "Hm. Well, where do you catch 'em?"

    "Down at that law firm on the edge of the swamp."

    "Same here. Hm. How do you catch 'em?"

    "Well, I crawl under a BMW and wait for someone to unlock the door. Then I jump out, bite 'em, shake the crap out of 'em, and eat 'em!"

    "Ah!" says the big alligator, "I think I see your problem. See, by the time you get done shakin' the crap out of an immigration lawyer, there's nothin' left but lips and a briefcase."



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  • Macaca
    08-07 07:38 PM
    Tougher Rules Change Game for Lobbyists (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/washington/07lobby.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times, August 7, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 � H. Stewart Van Scoyoc, founder of one of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, spent an anxious morning with his lawyer last week assessing the far-reaching ethics and lobbying rules Congress had passed the day before.

    The first worry was what lobbyists are calling the new �temptation rules.� Not only do they bar lawmakers and aides from accepting any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists, they also impose penalties up to $200,000 and five years in prison on any lobbyist who provides such freebies.

    And worse still for Mr. Van Scoyoc, under the new law he is required to certify each quarter that none of the 50 lobbyists in his firm bought so much as a burger or cigar for someone on a lawmaker�s staff.

    �You are basically asking people to certify, with big penalties, that nobody has lied on their expense accounts,� Mr. Van Scoyoc said, marveling at the complexity of policing such casual contact between lobbyists and Congressional aides. �These are people who are sharing apartments together, playing on the same softball teams, each other�young people with active social lives.�

    The new law has quickly sent a ripple of fear through K Street. It comes amid signs that federal prosecutors are taking a newly aggressive approach to corruption cases � including treating campaign contributions as potential bribes.

    By requiring them to certify the good behavior of their employees, the law puts lobbyists at new legal risk and could subject them to new pressure from prosecutors. And new centralized disclosures of lobbyists� campaign contributions, fund-raising activities and even their achievements � in the form of Congressional earmarks in spending bills � make it only easier for federal investigators to paint unflattering portraits of lobbyists� influence.

    �It will be easier to connect dots,� said Ted Van Der Meid, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Representative J. Dennis Hastert when he was House speaker. �Even if there shouldn�t be a connection, you are going to have to explain to them how the way they connected the dots is not what you intended. You are going to have to basically prove your innocence.�

    Stanley Brand, a longtime Washington defense lawyer who usually represents Democrats, said the law was a sea change. �It should send shivers down lobbyists� spines,� Mr. Brand said. �It is a minefield now.�

    These are hardly the first restrictions, of course. Internal rules already barred lawmakers or senior staff members from accepting a gift or a meal worth more than $50 from a lobbyist. But the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced and did not govern lobbyists.

    President Bush has not said whether he would sign the bill, but it is already changing the culture of Capitol Hill in myriad ways, beginning with more Dutch treats and fewer steak dinners.

    Lobbying firms are racing to train employees in the new rules. One firm, fearful that prosecutors might try to use the expanded disclosures to link official actions to campaign contributions, has sent letters to its clients advising them how to respond if a lawmaker brings up fund-raising in a conversation about policy or procurements. �We would love to have this conversation, but it would have to be at another time� is the short answer.

    One lobbyist, who would speak only anonymously to avoid attracting the attention of prosecutors or rivals, said he had started sending himself date-stamped e-mail to create a record of every phone conversation he had with a lawmaker. Then he stopped making campaign contributions.

    Another lobbyist recently scaled back the menu at a breakfast briefing for lawmakers, offering bagels and cream cheese instead of ham and eggs. The rules permit lobbyists to provide refreshment of �only nominal value.� The House ethics committee guidelines suggest �light appetizers and drinks, or soda and cookies,� a standard that is known as �the toothpick test.�

    The firm also advised a client distributing flashlights on Capitol Hill � to promote government openness � to make sure not only that they cost less than $10 each but also that they looked cheap, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    And the �staff briefing� � in which a lobbyist enticed Congressional staff members to hear a talk about some dry legislative concern by offering pizza � has become extinct. No one will come without the free food.

    Lobbyists complain that Congress is unfairly punishing them for the misdeeds of its own members, not to mention ruining the social lives of innocent and underpaid staff members.

    �All those people who grew up in the system � who aren�t evil-doers, just good people � used to be able to entertain and have fun,� lamented Jim Ervin, a veteran military industry lobbyist.

    Jan Baran, a longtime Republican lawyer whose clients include lobbyists, said: �There is a great deal of resentment. It�s �the devil made me do it,� and the devil this time happens to be lobbyists. They get tarred with corruption, and the next day they get mail from all the same lawmakers who are blaming lobbyists saying, �I have a fund-raiser next week � don�t forget to contribute!� �

    Many lobbyists say the rules pose dilemmas. Blocking them from buying dinners or trips for lawmakers, lobbyists say, will only force them to spend more time and money at political fund-raisers to get the same access.

    For lawmakers, one of the most contentious elements of the package is the requirement that candidates disclose the names of federally registered lobbyists who solicit and �bundle� contributions. But lobbyists say the recognition may only encourage them to bundle. Ties to lawmakers are calling cards for clients.

    �That is not going to be viewed as the mark of Cain or anything,� Lawrence O�Brien III, a Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser, said dryly. �It could be perceived as bragging rights.�

    Other lobbyists, though, worry that prosecutors� new tactics could make fund-raising more perilous. In plea agreements involving the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randall Cunningham, prosecutors have treated certain campaign contributions as bribes for official favors, something almost never done before.

    For lobbyists � who live at the nexus of contributions and favors � it is an alarming trend. �They might as well just pull up the paddy wagon outside the Capital Grille,� one lobbyist said, referring to a clubby steakhouse near the Capitol that is a well-known K Street hangout.

    Between the ban on buying dinners and the scrutiny of fund-raising, �It is a lose-lose situation,� said James Dyer, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock.

    A self-described �earmarks guy� who specializes in spending items, Mr. Dyer said the new rules were an invitation to scandal hunters. For the first time, the law will require disclosure of both the lawmakers who sponsor such items and the campaign contributions of the lobbyists who seek them.

    �It is a road map that says, �Hey, come look at me; I have got my name against an earmark,� � he said.

    Some loopholes exist. At the annual Aerospace Industries Association trade show in Paris last month, for example, military contractors treated a gaggle of senators to luxurious receptions at galleries, parks and hotels � all permitted under an exception for �widely attended events.�

    But John W. Douglass, the group�s president, said the new rules were putting a damper on such events. �Who wants to go to a hot, crowded cocktail party,� Mr. Douglass said, �and have to worry every time the guy brings the hors d�oeuvres tray up, �Should I do this or not?� �

    Still, some lobbyists and lawyers wondered privately how long the new carefulness would last.

    At the Capital Grille the evening after final passage of the new lobbying bill, private wine lockers by the door still bore the names of several prominent lobbyists. Two mounted stag heads were the only sentries policing the dimly lit bar. Shaking a Belvedere Vodka martini for a lone defense contractor, a bartender leaned in to offer his thoughts.

    �What happens at the Capital Grille,� the bartender said, �stays at the Capital Grille.�

    Fundraisers Tap Those Who Can't Say No (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601403.html) 'Bundlers' Look to Associates, Employees for Campaign Cash By Matthew Mosk Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007
    Draining the 'Swamp' Is Not So Easy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601298.html) Skeptics Question Bite of Ethics Rules By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007





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  • gcwait2007
    06-26 11:31 PM
    Pandey ji / Valid IV
    o.k..I will explain it slowly ..I can understand that those who are homeowners will justify their home purchase. some maybe in denial and have their head in sand.
    honestly, few months back, even I would have purchased a house . if I had, I would still admit -- that home is not necessarily good investment but a place to stay. even after I buy, I would still say that renting in an apartment has its advantages. here are 2 links in english.
    Why rent? To get richer - MSN Money (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomebuyingGuide/WhyRentToGetRicher.aspx)
    Why Your Mortgage Won't Make You Rich - WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124352291846962809.html)
    --------------
    now you need to read this carefully else you won't understand what the authors are trying to say ..since it is bit unclear but it has good points (not trying to make fun here :)) ..do read since they are superb articles
    but here is even simpler explanation and hopefully that will explain what I am trying to say ..if you still don't understand ..u will need to find someone else to explain.
    first renting gives you flexibility ...so say, u get better job offer or lose job - you don't lose lot of money compared to house if you have to move.
    for 250K house, you pay around 300 property tax, 60 HOA fees, 150 - 200 in maintenance (recurring like lawn plus once in long term like roof, painting etc) , 100 - 150 extra in utilities. you pay downpayment of 50 k ..if you were to invest that money in better investments (mutual funds, stocks, high CDs. bonds) ..you would make 250 - 300 per month. plus add fees when you have to sell the house, insurance, termite protection etc etc ..
    plus in many cases, you end up buying a house further away than if you were to rent (since many want brand new house ) ..this means extra 250 - 300 in gas + vehicle degradation per month.
    (ALSO SAY U WERE IN MICHIGAN OR IN CALIFORtNIA -- you could get away from the state after making money easily if you were renting. .home means you could end up stuck there).

    I agree in apartment you get less space and hence I mentioned - u need to ask - do you really need extra space at this time in life - if yes, then home is better. (but renting a home is even better esp if prices are still falling in your area in this case).
    btw - as of now rents are going down -- you just need to negotiate.
    now you don't get the money back in rents..but neither do you get money paid in the expenses listed above.
    (in other words - you don't get money back that you pay in rent yr apt BUT you get a place to stay ..this is not India where you can sleep on foot path - so you need a place. apartment property owner will make a small profit - but that is the system)

    before you jump - house is good when it appreciates by atleast 1 -2 percent above inflation and I am not saying that you should never buy a house.
    there are many other points and I will post it in IV WIKI ...and I hope this helps newcomers ...this is my last personal post ...and do watch the movie :) ..once again I did mention in plain english that it is worst case scenario (the movie "pacific heights")..but best case scenario is not good either if you are a landlord with property in US while you are in India (or vice versa).

    hope that answers your question ..please note: the above is for normal cases ..but if you get a good deal or short sale or foreclosed home for 50K --- then yes, buying makes sense !!

    Hello Hiralalji,

    Excellent post. Salute to you!

    Thank you once again





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  • rockstart
    07-15 08:01 AM
    There are two things you can do wait for the system to change to the way you want or else change yourself the way system wants. I am not saying what is right or wrong here it is just what I would have done.

    you know what it takes to do that. Just think, if you were in eb3 and had applied in 2001 and now suggested to start all over again. It is very easy to say go change your category.





    Marphad
    12-17 02:53 PM
    Now you may go and dig out my previous postings too!

    Ah! all these red dots are showered on me by you kinda folks for questioning this type of nonsense!

    Bring it on more (red dots) LOL

    Because when you speak something it is useful and when others say something is nonsense. Cool.





    alterego
    12-27 11:23 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.

    I think much of India understands this perspective. India is generally a very secular and tolerant country. However this is something that has been going on for many years now. The worlds patience is wearing thin. Terrorism should invoke a ZERO TOLERANCE response from all states towards "non-state actors" acting within their territories. More promises, seldom achieve anything tangible is unacceptable. Given the past track record of Pakistan on such issues, India and the world has decided to keep up the pressure this time, and not a moment too soon. Innocents get killed and harmed and unnecessary harm is inflicted on a nations psyche and internal diverse harmony with such events.

    Zardari has no real power in Pakistan. The military has a mind of its own there and are not there to serve the civilian adminstration. That is the problem.
    The world cannot be expected to wait for 15-20 yrs and suffer through these sorts of attacks, while Pakistan decides if they want to "dismantle their jihadi infrastructure".

    The pressure will continue on Pakistan and they will have to demonstrate more action to the world. Of course war will not be good for either country, arguably worse for Pakistan, however even absent war Pakistan could end up losing if they fail to act. The country will not thrive under this pressure and economic uncertainty and isolation, the economy already on the brink will collapse and the people will face unnecessary hardships, ala North Korea. The choice is up to Pakistan. We all hope Pakistan chooses rationally.
    We would all love to see a thriving, prosperous and terrorism free Pakistan, rather than one controlled by a military strong man(ala Zia Ul Haq) and begging/manipulating the sugar daddy of the day be it the USA or China at the time.
    Pakistanis need to figure out what they want for their future.



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    Seasonal vegetation is directly controlled by Orbx ObjectFlow module. The scenery is probably to be released in a few days.






     

    More screens on Diamond Point.



    Beyond PageRank: Graduating to actionable metrics

    Webmaster level: Beginner



    Like any curious netizen, I have a Google Alert set up to email me whenever my name is mentioned online. Usually I get a slow trickle of my forum posts, blog posts, and tweets. But by far the most popular topic of these alerts over the past couple years has been my off-handed mention that we removed PageRank distribution data from Webmaster Tools in one of our 2009 releases.



    The fact that people are still writing about this almost two years later—usually in the context of “Startling news from Susan Moskwa: ...”—really drives home how much PageRank has become a go-to statistic for some webmasters. Even the most inexperienced site owners I talk with have often heard about, and want to know more about, PageRank (“PR”) and what it means for their site. However, as I said in my fateful forum post, the Webmaster Central team has been telling webmasters for years that they shouldn't focus so much on PageRank as a metric for representing the success of one’s website. Today I’d like to explain this position in more detail and give you some relevant, actionable options to fill your time once you stop tracking your PR!



    Why PageRank?

    In 2008 Udi Manber, VP of engineering at Google, wrote on the Official Google Blog:

    “The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system.”
    PageRank may have distinguished Google as a search engine when it was founded in 1998; but given the rate of change Manber describes—launching “about 9 [improvements] per week on the average”—we’ve had a lot of opportunity to augment and refine our ranking systems over the last decade. PageRank is no longer—if it ever was—the be-all and end-all of ranking.



    If you look at Google’s Technology Overview, you’ll notice that it calls out relevance as one of the top ingredients in our search results. So why hasn’t as much ink been spilled over relevance as has been over PageRank? I believe it’s because PageRank comes in a number, and relevance doesn’t. Both relevance and PageRank include a lot of complex factors—context, searcher intent, popularity, reliability—but it’s easy to graph your PageRank over time and present it to your CEO in five minutes; not so with relevance. I believe the succinctness of PageRank is why it’s become such a go-to metric for webmasters over the years; but just because something is easy to track doesn’t mean it accurately represents what’s going on on your website.



    What do we really want?

    I posit that none of us truly care about PageRank as an end goal. PageRank is just a stand-in for what we really want: for our websites to make more money, attract more readers, generate more leads, more newsletter sign-ups, etc. The focus on PageRank as a success metric only works if you assume that a higher PageRank results in better ranking, then assume that that will drive more traffic to your site, then assume that that will lead to more people doing-whatever-you-want-them-to-do on your site. On top of these assumptions, remember that we only update the PageRank displayed on the Google Toolbar a few times a year, and we may lower the PageRank displayed for some sites if we believe they’re engaging in spammy practices. So the PR you see publicly is different from the number our algorithm actually uses for ranking. Why bother with a number that’s at best three steps removed from your actual goal, when you could instead directly measure what you want to achieve? Finding metrics that are directly related to your business goals allows you to spend your time furthering those goals.



    If I don’t track my PageRank, what should I be tracking?

    Take a look at metrics that correspond directly to meaningful gains for your website or business, rather than just focusing on ranking signals. Also consider metrics that are updated daily or weekly, rather than numbers (like PageRank) that only change a few times a year; the latter is far too slow for you to reliably understand which of your changes resulted in the number going up or down (assuming you update your site more than a few times a year). Here are three suggestions to get you started, all of which you can track using services like Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools:

    1. Conversion rate

    2. Bounce rate

    3. Clickthrough rate (CTR)

    Conversion rate

    A “conversion” is when a visitor does what you want them to do on your website. A conversion might be completing a purchase, signing up for a mailing list, or downloading a white paper. Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who convert (perform a conversion). This is a perfect example of a metric that, unlike PageRank, is directly tied to your business goals. When users convert they’re doing something that directly benefits your organization in a measurable way! Whereas your PageRank is both difficult to measure accurately (see above), and can go up or down without having any direct effect on your business.



    Bounce rate

    A “bounce” is when someone comes to your website and then leaves without visiting any other pages on your site. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visits to your site where the visitor bounces. A high bounce rate may indicate that users don’t find your site compelling, because they come, take a look, and leave directly. Looking at the bounce rates of different pages across your site can help you identify content that’s underperforming and point you to areas of your site that may need work. After all, it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if most searchers are bouncing off of it as soon as they visit.



    Clickthrough rate (CTR)

    In the context of organic search results, your clickthrough rate is how often people click on your site out of all the times your site gets shown in search results. A low CTR means that, no matter how well your site is ranking, users aren’t clicking through to it. This may indicate that they don’t think your site will meet their needs, or that some other site looks better. One way to improve your CTR is to look at your site’s titles and snippets in our search results: are they compelling? Do they accurately represent the content of each URL? Do they give searchers a reason to click on them? Here’s some advice for improving your snippets; the HTML suggestions section of Webmaster Tools can also point you to pages that may need help. Again, remember that it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if searchers don’t want to click on it.



    Entire blogs and books have been dedicated to explaining and exploring web metrics, so you’ll excuse me if my explanations just scrape the surface; analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik’s site is a great place to start if you want to dig deeper into these topics. But hopefully I’ve at least convinced you that there are more direct, effective and controllable ways to measure your site’s success than PageRank.



    One final note: Some site owners are interested in their site’s PR because people won’t buy links from their site unless they have a high PageRank. Buying or selling links for the purpose of passing PageRank violates our Webmaster Guidelines and is very likely to have negative consequences for your website, so a) I strongly recommend against it, and b) don’t be surprised if we aren’t interested in helping you raise your PageRank or improve your website when this is your stated goal.



    We’d love to hear what metrics you’ve found useful and actionable for your website! Feel free to share your success stories with us in the comments here or in our Webmaster Help Forum.





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  • Arjun
    07-14 08:16 PM
    I think all this mess is caused by H1B limit being 195k between year 2000 and 2004, before and after that 65k. Now when issuing H1B, they issue most of them to Indians (>50%) no country limit applies there. When it comes to GC and they put a 7% country limit and that�s where the backlog starts.

    If they (USCIS) don't want to do anything about this then they should consider putting a limit on H1B and let business look for talent in countries other than India.





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  • ssa
    07-14 02:13 PM
    About same time last year we had different "schism" on these forums: July 2007 filers with approved labor who could file their 485s Vs those with older PDs but unfortunately stuck in BECs. Most of Eb3s who are outraged today are July 2007 filers. Any guesses how many of them requested BEC victims back then "to be happy" for others and not rock the boat?

    The unfortunate fact is that although everyone here is convinced of their moral high ground it is nothing more than self-preservation at the end. If it was just that it would still be fine (human nature) but still more unfortunate is the fact that we as a group never get this riled up - except few notable and respected exceptions - as long as everyone is equally miserable. Only if we had so much participation in all action items (admin fixes, house bills, funding drive etc.)...





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  • funny
    09-30 02:38 PM
    I just do not understand this part, why would they provide something and ask us not to use it. It is like giving you a piece of cake and telling you not to eat it. This whole thing sucks, they are making it harder for people who live by the law of the land.

    I think a lot of AC21 cases are getting rejected because of the revocation of I140, Companies don't want to keep the people on their list if he/she is not working, because they have to prove the ability to pay for all those people as well. so they are revoking the I140 for people who are not with them anyore to reduce number of people in their list with USCIS.





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  • Macaca
    09-27 12:06 PM
    In defense of lobbying (http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/09/in-defense-of-l.html) This country�s Founders actually set up a system to encourage the petitioning of government. And yes, like it or not, that means lobbyists have the same claims to the First Amendment as our free press does By Ross K. Baker | USA Today, sep 27, 2007

    Ross K. Baker is a political science professor at Rutgers University. He also is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

    There was a moment in one of the recent Democratic debates in which former senator John Edwards practically accused Sen. Hillary Clinton of being in league with the devil. For some time, he had been attacking her for accepting contributions from lobbyists. Now, using the occasion of a just-passed lobbying reform bill awaiting the signature of a skeptical president, he exceeded even his previous needling of her by suggesting guilt-by-association. Turning to the audience, he charged that lobbyists, such as those who contribute to Clinton, "rig the system against all of you (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/us/politics/09edwards.html?_r=1&ex=1187841600&en=a9c739db3da26fdf&ei=5070&oref=slogin)."

    Edwards' accusations deftly played into a belief common even among well-educated Americans that lobbying, if not actually illegal, is a blot on American politics. The problem with this belief is that it is misinformed.

    It might come as a surprise to most people that lobbying is a constitutionally protected activity (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010602251.html) under the hallowed First Amendment. After the Founding Fathers cast the cloak of protection over freedom of religion, the press and the right to peacefully assemble, they added a category that could not be infringed upon by the federal government: "to petition the government for a redress of grievances (http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html)."

    Few contemporary efforts to influence government action come by way of a formal petition. But the idea of giving citizens access to government was seen by the writers of the Constitution as something worth safeguarding. And it is, indeed, worth safeguarding because every group in America, at one time or another, has got a gripe and turns to Congress or the federal bureaucracy.

    Groups engaged in activities that might seem wholly unconnected with politics, such as the American Automobile Association (http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/b_three_sections_with_teasers/clientlist_page_H.htm) (the folks who get your car started on cold mornings), maintain a presence in Washington to monitor what goes on in Congress. When lawmakers and congressional staffers return from their summer recess, the army of lobbyists storms Washington alongside them.

    Religious and military organizations, despite the apolitical nature of our armed forces and the Jeffersonian wall of separation between church and state, stick very close to Congress. So close are the Methodists (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=internal&addtohistory=&latitude=gpYbdG8nTTbstJWZbHF4nQ%3d%3d&longitude=UTH%2fxgxU3NJ%2fZzEipoIpSw%3d%3d&name=General%20Board%2dGlbl%20Ministries&country=US&address=100%20Maryland%20Ave%20NE%20%23%20315&city=Washington&state=DC&zipcode=20002&phone=202%2d548%2d4002&spurl=0&&q=The%20United%20Methodist%20General%20Board%20of% 20Church%20and%20Society&qc=%28All%29%20Places%20Of%20Worship) and the Reserve Officers Association (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=internal&addtohistory=&latitude=2jypmtPMGHqb5z8DqMKpow%3d%3d&longitude=CIpOYIVGteZ%2bBzAf6jdV1Q%3d%3d&name=Reserve%20Officers%20Assn%20of%20US&country=US&address=101%20Constitution%20Ave%20NE&city=Washington&state=DC&zipcode=20002&phone=202%2d479%2d2221&spurl=0&&q=Reserve%20Officers%20Association&qc=Associations) that their Washington offices literally overlook the Senate office buildings.

    To be sure, the vast bulk of the roughly 35,000 lobbyists in town represent businesses and industries. Nonetheless, as citizens of a commercial republic, should this really surprise us?

    A vision of dueling interests

    James Madison recognized the tendency of Americans to advance their own economic self-interest at the expense of the general good and pondered what to do about it. He dismissed (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/7.htm) the possibility of banning these "factions," arguing that they are a byproduct of our freedom.

    His solution was just to allow them to multiply and, as the country expanded, no single interest would dominate. Free to struggle for influence, they would checkmate each other.

    What Madison had not reckoned on was the vast expansion in the scope of activities of the federal government over the next 200 years.

    As the government expanded, it has affected the lives and livelihoods of more people. They, in turn, want to ensure that government action does not harm them. Even better, they look to an expansive government to benefit them. So if the federal government gets into the business of building dams, they want to supply the cement. If Washington decides to prop up farm prices with subsidies, as it first did in the 1930s (http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0203.html), you want to make sure your commodity gets its share.

    People of the revolutionary generation probably imagined that individuals would make their way to Washington to personally make their case for government help. They could not have imagined the hordes of surrogates, many of them receiving princely sums, who would take up residence in the nation's capital and subsist on pressing the cases of others. The idea that a professional advocate such as Jack Abramoff would be corruptly influencing the federal government would have been altogether inconceivable to James Madison.

    The good with the bad

    The defect in Madison's architecture is not that interest groups would proliferate, but that there would be such an imbalance between those seeking to get or maintain private gain and those advocating for the needs of humbler people. There are, of course, multitudes of lobbyists who advocate the needs of the handicapped, the elderly and endangered species, but they are often out-gunned by trade associations and industry lobbyists.

    The defeat in the House of the recent effort to require U.S. automakers to boost the fuel economy (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20079816/) of their cars is eloquent testimony to the clout of business. On the other hand, the high rollers who pushed for the elimination of the inheritance tax (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/273376_estatewash09.html) received a stinging rebuke when the repeal that they favored was defeated in the Senate. The big boys don't always get what they want, especially when the focus of the media puts the issue out in the open.

    There are in lobbying, as in other enterprises, noble and degraded examples. So you have the Children's Defense Fund pushing for an expansion (http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/childhealth/) of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan and a smug and arrogant Abramoff manipulating the Bureau of Indian Affairs (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-30-tribes-giving_x.htm) on behalf of his well-heeled clients.

    Both are lobbying. Even so, it would be as unfair to assume that all lobbyists are like Jack Abramoff as it would be to liken all physicians to Jack Kevorkian.



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  • Macaca
    11-23 08:38 AM
    Tech trade groups combining for greater clout (http://www.mercurynews.com/search/ci_7538070?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com&nclick_check=1) TRADE ASSOCIATIONS PLANNING MERGER By Dibya Sarkar | Associated Press, 11/23/2007

    WASHINGTON - Relative newcomers to Capitol Hill lobbying, technology giants with sometimes differing agendas are figuring out what oil and pharmaceutical companies have known for years: There's strength in numbers.

    Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Yahoo, among others, hope a merger of two major tech trade groups will increase their lobbying clout inside the Beltway.

    The industry's presence in Washington has long suffered, critics say, from lacking a unified force voice to lobby on fundamental issues, such as taxes, patent reform, immigration and trade, that affect tech companies of all stripes.

    Combining the Information Technology Association of America and the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association will create a "powerhouse" organization with "much more of a consolidated voice in the industry," said GEIA president Dan Heinemeier.

    Representing more than 380 companies and combined membership revenues of $8 million, it's the latest sign that the tech industry, currently represented by more than a dozen associations here, is growing up.

    It also reflects a better understanding of the importance of lobbying by an industry that long believed the practice was an unnecessary part of their business strategy.

    Software giant Microsoft, which is an ITAA member, only established a Washington office about a dozen years ago, while Google, which doesn't belong to either group, set up a Capitol Hill shop in 2005.
    While GEIA recently registered to lobby, ITAA spent $120,000 lobbying in the first half of 2007, according to federal disclosure forms.

    Of course, that's small potatoes compared with the $10.7 million spent by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the $1.6 million spent by the American Petroleum Institute during the same period.

    The merger creates a platform where diverse companies can "speak with both a louder voice and also . . . with a somewhat clearer voice," said Jon Korin, Northrop Grumman's vice president for strategic development and an ITAA board member. Northrop also is a member of GEIA.

    While the groups have some overlapping members and agendas, GEIA, founded in 1952, focuses on technical standards work and government technology market analysis. ITAA, which began in 1961, is a major public policy player working on broader technology business issues.





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    08-07 12:13 PM
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  • kannan
    08-14 07:34 PM
    To United Nation

    I never went out of usa in 7 yrs.My first company did not pay me for the first 3 months because I did not get my ssn no for 3 months so I was not employed.After 3 yrs I joined the cliant company,so he got angry and did not pay me for 15 days but I have proof of time sheets.He threatned me like suing etc... but he did not do .Now I applied for AOS but I did not sent the W2 paper for that problem period .I have sent my last three years of W2 papers as per Lawyer's request .Will there be a problem for the un paid days.?





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  • Macaca
    05-01 06:10 PM
    Integrating immigrants (http://tribune.com.pk/story/160476/integrating-immigrants/) By Urvashi Butalia | The Express Tribune

    A few days ago, quite by chance, I happened to find myself at lunch with a member of the British political establishment. For a while, the conversation remained desultory and ranged over the usual subjects � India, economic growth, food, Indian business in Britain and so on. And then, suddenly, things began to heat up. We found ourselves talking about immigrant communities in the West. What began as a general discussion on whether and how immigrant communities �integrate� into the culture of the adopted country, turned specifically to discussing Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.

    Why was it, our host asked, that there was such a strong attachment to the home culture and, in many cases, such a resistance to integrating. In many places, he pointed out, immigrants even refused to learn the language of their adoptive country, in this case English, and this then meant that they could not move into the mainstream economic sphere, and they thus remained economically backward. He pointed to many stories he had heard, especially of Pakistanis, who could go through 16 years of schooling in Britain without learning English, or even showing a desire to learn it. And what mystified him even more was that these were not first generation immigrants who still carried the memory of the homeland with them, these were children born and raised in Britain, and for them there was no such memory to hold on to.

    The politician�s concern was quite genuine. How do you deal with your political constituencies if one set of them always elects to stay �outside�? But I�m not sure the reasons he gave � he pinpointed only the reluctance to learn the language � are adequate to explain what is increasingly becoming a problem in diasporic communities. For too long, migration, � or rather voluntary migration, when people go out in search of jobs or better lives � has been looked upon somewhat askance, especially if it is people from the erstwhile Third World countries moving to the so-called developed world. It�s almost as if, in seeking to improve their lives by going elsewhere, these people are doing something not quite right.

    This attitude towards immigrants holds both for the home country and the adoptive one � in one you are seen as a deserter and in the other as, at best, an unwelcome guest. So the onus of making yourself feel at home, of acquiring a new identity, of �integrating�, is put upon the immigrant. Whatever services the state provides seem almost to be given reluctantly, and are often accompanied by a discourse � not a state discourse but an independent one, which makes it that much more difficult to address � of resentment, anger, prejudice and, sometimes, just sheer envy. None of this encourages immigrants to try and integrate, rather it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    And then, if there�s already a community in existence, as there is virtually everywhere in England and America, you tend to remain within it, not seeking to enter a world that you feel is hostile to you. And you have to be driven to the wall to protest because protest means mobilisation, it means numbers, it means making yourself vulnerable, it means tackling the strength of an increasingly coercive state. Small wonder then, that most immigrant communities duck their heads and carry on doing their own thing.

    It isn�t only their relationship with the adoptive country that is problematic, but, especially for first generation immigrants, it�s very important to keep the connection with home, and to ensure that subsequent generations keep it too. This, as has often been seen, results in a somewhat static idea of what things are like at �home� and has also often led to a more dangerous phenomenon; the tacit support and the very real funding provided by diasporic communities to right-wing movements at home � there�s plenty of evidence of this and I don�t need to go into it here.

    But let me come back to our politician and his concerns. Why should South Asian immigrant communities in Britain be reluctant to learn English? There�s little doubt today that the world over, English has become the language of social mobility, and there�s a widespread desire to learn it. At home, in both our countries, as we know, institutes offering to teach English have sprung up everywhere and they are always fully subscribed. So what is it that holds Indians and Pakistanis in Britain back from this?

    My own sense is that we�re asking the wrong questions here. The question isn�t about whether people wish to learn English or not. Rather, it is much more about how immigrant communities are made to feel at home, about their rights and privileges, about their sense of self. One might just as well ask: What has the state done to help such communities integrate? Have Diwali and Eid for example, become part of the national calendar? Are there community centres and pubs and coffee places that are self-consciously and deliberately multicultural and that encourage people to sit together and talk? Have governments thought of new and innovative ways of ensuring that their �other� citizens have the same rights and privileges as their mainstream citizens, and that they know these rights belong to them?

    Dealing with difference isn�t always easy. Where do you draw the line? How far do you encourage and sustain difference and how far do you try to homogenise things? As the French move to ban the veil has shown, coercion is no answer. People have to be convinced of the logic and reason for change, they have to feel it works for them. How would it be if we insisted that foreign men in our countries had to wear either the dhoti or the awami suit? Much better, perhaps, to engage people in dialogue, to sit down and talk, and to find a solution that works for everyone. I�m not sure what message our politician took back to England with him, but it certainly wasn�t one that blamed communities for not integrating, instead it was one that looked at the question of integration as one from which both sides, if one can say that, gained.



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  • LostInGCProcess
    01-08 01:05 PM
    I read your all post, the above post just makes me confused. How could you just bash one community , their beliefs ,make fun of their Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him and all the prophets ), his teaching , saying the that Mohamed has fooled his followers , let him , we want to be fools what can you do about it? and then later come up with such a statement.
    If it makes you furious , so does it to us.
    How do you justify your anger and hatred towards one community.


    Please educate me...why muslims always tell "peace be upon him" immediately after the mention of the name Mohammed? Is it because he preaches violence???





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  • krishna.ahd
    08-26 09:19 AM
    What men say and what they actually mean . . .

    • "I'M GOING FISHING" Means: "I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."
    • "YES, DEAR..." Means: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
    • "IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN" Means: "I have no idea how it works."
    • "TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD". Means: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
    • "THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR." Means: "Are you still talking?"
    • "I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND GOT YOU THESE ROSES". Means: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."
    • "WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?" Means: "What did you catch me at?"
    • "I HEARD YOU." Means: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next 3 days yelling at me."
    • "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE." Means: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."
    • "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC." Means: "Please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving."
    • "WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK." Means: "I make the messes, she cleans them up."
    Just want to add one more

    "Thats a good question" - Means i have no clue or have no answer for that question.



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  • Legal
    08-08 07:33 PM
    Sajan Chale Sasural : Computer professional coming to US.

    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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  • mariner5555
    04-25 02:45 PM
    I also thought that pitching in the home buying by GC folks would make a great argument in front of law makers. But there was a very sensible posting by our spokes person Mark B.

    He said, he would not put home buying by GC folks as a main selling point for our cause. May be he will say this point as a half joke-half serious manner while discussing our core selling point. The core selling point being that the US is losing talent by not giving us GCs in a timely manner.
    let me give my views as to why Mark and others are missing the main point that I am trying to make. agreed using this as the main point may not work ..but this has to be a very important point. at the back of their mind - the policy makers know that some talent will definitely leave but lot will stay back (and they will keep paying USCIS money). even if people go back to India or China ..who will employ them ..it is the same MNC / big US corporations ..
    (so they know some talent will leak away ..but majority will stay back ..you just need to know the quota system / political system in India and china ..and automatically you will know that the talented guys will do everything to prevent their children from going through that ..)
    the second point is for the admin fix (which I guess can be done by president without congress approval) ..in every poll ..the President has a low ranking ..the last thing that he needs is to be blamed for this recession too ..
    so during their meetings if DHS or others were to suggest that more immigrants would buy more stuff here (rather than buying houses in India / china) ..if they were more sure of their status ..the admin fix would have greater chance of success ..



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  • bfadlia
    01-09 08:05 PM
    bfadlia,

    I agree with you on most things you have said in your post and if you take a honest vote among the folks on this thread, you will find the overwhelming majority on the following views:

    1. The human loss and suffering of the innocent Gaza people is sad and horrific.
    2. Israel has reacted too strongly and used aggression to unacceptable limits.
    3. Palestine deserves its own state and power to govern itself.

    Now, the reason you have the same majority of folks respond in a manner that you, refugee and rayyan object and feel offended about is due to the following:

    1. You fail to acknowledge the role of Hamas in initiating this conflict AND not resolving this conflict. Even if you personally did, others have very ineffectively shied away from this point.

    2. There seems to be a lack of similar anguish and sympathy offered by you guys when it came to the mumbai attacks. Not saying you applauded the attackers but you didn't denounce them with the same vigor you are using to denounce Israel.

    3. Finally, the biggest reason you are getting such unwarranted and to an extent shameful posts on your religion is because you are not only ready to defend it when it's followers are the victim BUT also when it's followers are the aggressors (like in Mumbai attacks). And with all due respect to Palestinians, there seem to be more muslim aggressors in today's world than victims.

    In conclusion, I have nothing against you or the others. I am sure if I met you socially you will be a decent person. Lets hope peace is given a chance in Gaza and despite the differences educated people like us unite to fight for the common good...in these forums, it is EB Green cards.

    Cheers.

    bondgoli007, i'm glad we have some common ground.. i am sure my posts expressed that I despise intentional attacks on civilians.. i was disgusted hearing about the mumbai attacked and expressed that in its thread, although the guys there converted it into attack-islam thread
    having said that, i am still amazed the people starting history at the point hamas fired rockets and israel retaliated.. this is a more than 60 year struggle, with palestinians driven out of their homes and israeli settlements built over its rubble and tens of UN resolutions ordering israel to let the palestinians back and end the occupation but these just swept under the carpet based on israel's allies veto power.. point is hamas is resisting the wrong way by targeting civilians, but people resisting occupation will always happen regardless of how violently they are retaliated against





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  • insbaby
    03-25 07:05 AM
    Ok, so everytime I see a rent vs buy discussion I see apartment living compared with living in a house. This may not apply to a lot of other places but here's how it goes in SF Bay Area:

    Rental
    Apartment: Decent sized 2 Bed/2 Bath --- $1600 pm
    House : Decent sized 3 bed/2.5 bath --- $2000 pm

    Mortgage:
    House : Decent sized 3 bed/2.5 bath --- $3500 pm

    So, is additional 1500 pm worth the money? Why not rent a house? What's the point of trying to get into a sliding market when even Greenspan can't say where the bottom is?

    I am in a decent sized apartment right now and if I have to upgrade its a rental house. Buying in a sliding real estate market doesn't make sense to me.

    35% to 40% of your 'take home' can be spent on the residential property. If the total monthly payment for home does not exceed that limit, if you really need, if you are willing and if you can, it is not a bad option to buy.



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  • gc28262
    03-24 03:03 PM
    Again, I am not the one you should be asking to define "full-time" and "temp" type jobs. Ask USCIS or DOL or whoever is going to adjudicate your green card.

    I am simply saying that if USCIS has made a distinction between perm job and temp job, AND if they feel that consulting job is of temp type, someone along the line has dropped the ball and missed this. They also missed the fact that the employee needs to work at the LCA specified location. They also missed (or circumvented) that benching is not allowed.

    You can blame anyone and everyone for it. Maybe the immigration attorneys were the ones that should have warned both the employers and employees that consulting jobs do not fit the H-1B requirement. Maybe USCIS was sleeping all the while and suddenly they decided to start enforcing this. But the fact that they can ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN claim that H-1B visa is for permanent jobs only, AND that employees need to stay in the LCA location means that our lawyers, employers, and employees were incompetent in their judgment and did not do their due diligence to protect against potential audits and queries.
    I am telling you the same thing I told the other guy .... you don't need to give me justifications.

    Just hope that USCIS will buy your story!

    All your assumptions about H1B is only for full time jobs is flawed. USCIS has not said that. There is no law that says that.

    BTW why do you think LCA requirements are meant only for consulting companies ? It is applicable to all H1B candidates. That has been the law for a long time. Nothing new here for you to be happy about.

    Your posts are driven by your ignorance than any legal base. You need to educate yourself in immigration perspective.

    Why USCIS audits are focused on consulting companies ?
    It is not because consulting is not allowed on H1B. It is because they figured out that H1B violation are more prominent among small companies.





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  • krishna.ahd
    08-26 09:19 AM
    What men say and what they actually mean . . .

    • "I'M GOING FISHING" Means: "I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."
    • "YES, DEAR..." Means: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
    • "IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN" Means: "I have no idea how it works."
    • "TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD". Means: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
    • "THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR." Means: "Are you still talking?"
    • "I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND GOT YOU THESE ROSES". Means: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."
    • "WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?" Means: "What did you catch me at?"
    • "I HEARD YOU." Means: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next 3 days yelling at me."
    • "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE." Means: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."
    • "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC." Means: "Please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving."
    • "WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK." Means: "I make the messes, she cleans them up."
    Just want to add one more

    "Thats a good question" - Means i have no clue or have no answer for that question.



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  • LostInGCProcess
    01-07 05:28 PM
    Anyway, i'll sign off and i won't post any more message in this thread again.

    On page 8 or 9 you said you would not post any more message and still you continue to post !!!! Don't say anything that you can't keep up with.





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  • Arjun
    07-14 08:42 PM
    Still better abolish Eb1/ Eb2/ Eb3 when there is no EBx in H1 then why EBx in GC? come on guys stratification on EB is reality along with preference order set by CIS. What is stopping eb3 guys from moving to eb2?

    you know what it takes to do that. Just think, if you were in eb3 and had applied in 2001 and now suggested to start all over again. It is very easy to say go change your category.





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  • Carlau
    08-12 07:14 PM
    If you enter http://www.flcdatacenter.com/CaseH1B.aspx
    H-1B efile 2005
    employer cable news
    state Georgia
    You will see many H-1B positions but one of these is "Systems Software Developer" valid from Jan 2005 to Jan 2008, something that according to him, America is not short of.





    GCScrewed
    07-13 09:27 PM
    I hope you get your GC soon. As for me its 'wait until dark'. It'll come some day.

    And NO I am not an IT EB2. I am a non-STEM MBA in Finance who does not pratice engineering anymore.

    Between an MBA and Pharmacist, of course the pharmacist is more valuable. So is a nurse.





    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.