Sunday, July 3, 2011

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  • Marphad
    12-23 05:09 PM
    It seems there are enough pathetic liars who are propagating lies like "99% of terrorist are muslims" (ever heard of bodo, tamil tigers, Khalistan movement, BJP, VHP, SP?) , or about population of muslims in india... have you done a survey? Or perhaps the government deliberately cooked demographics to upease brahman dominance? It seems quite convincing reading your comments that a particular segmant of hindu group carries very deep hatred of muslims in them and propagate it by lies, murder and debauchary... wonder who you god(s) are, or is godse your god!

    You included BJP in terrorist group list? Either you are ignorant, lack of information, complete idiot, out of your mind or Pakistani.

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  • xyzgc
    12-27 12:25 AM
    So what in your opinion is the reason for the state and the government of Pakistan to provoke India, with the risk of starting a war with India that Pakistan cannot win, at a time when the economy is in a very very bad shape and there are multiple insurgencies and regular suicide attacks within Pakistan?

    You do have a valid point. Pakis would be insane to indulge in proxy wars at this time - when their pants are around their ankles.

    But surely you are well-aware that they have done it in the past and now its all back firing!
    The killer bees they nutured are coming back and biting them. And what are they doing to stop them from biting Indians? Nothing!
    That is the problem. Which is why Indians need to raid these terrorist camps. Because Paki govt is not doing its job to control the very monster they created.

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  • easygoer
    12-19 10:48 AM
    I am surprised that you have been brainwashed by your religious leaders into believing what you wrote... just to refresh your memory,,
    When Islam arrived in India, the Hindus welcomed the Muslims with open arms as brothers. In return Islam destroyed the entire Hindu civilization...over the years the followers of Islam killed over 100 million people. It has been documented that the largest genocide the world has ever witnessed was killing of over 100 millions hindus in the Hindukush region by Muslims. The muslim leaders �educated� Muslim men to rape Hindu women as this was a method to destroy the Hindu race. Infact raping Hindu women was part of what being a Muslim man was about! Temples were razed to the ground and villages were burned. Those who refused to convert to islam were either killed or raped if you were women. The reality is that islamic religious leaders wanted to destroy every religion from earth so that Islam the youngest religion in the world could prevail.Even today that is the aim of the islamic fanatics and cause of all the problems. Even in the recent past in this decade only.. the Taliban destroyed the Budha Statues in Afghanistan.. and people call this religion a religion of peace..., its a joke.

    Islam is a religion which does not even preach to treat your own wife with respect. Its a religion which teaches men to kill their wife incase they don't obey them. Even today women are treated like doormats and "things" of pleasure for men in this religion.

    Lets face it the fact is that Muslim community is now being cornered by the western world is because the violent front of the religion has become the face of Islam and the moderate religions and community in the world cannot take this anymore. That is the reason why the Muslim are suffering. Its like saying in Hinduism.. the Karma is catching up with you.

    Its sad that even today in India the muslim which is a minority community is holding the whole country back.. they continue to fight the hindus where ever they can and whenever they can in places like Kashmir and unfortunately the Indian leaders and Hindu community continue to follow the principle of Non Violence which is not working.

    The islam religion is not a religion of unification on the contrary the religion teaches the Muslims that non-Muslims are infidels and that they should be killed and that is the reason why Isalm was instituted through coercion and violence. So lets face Islam is everything but a religion of peace.. and yes I think the world is now waking up the violence of this religion and sooner or later the Islamic religion has to evolve into a moderate religion, failing which it will die its own death..

    redcard well said! If our politician had 10% of your courage we could have been in a better position. There is one question every muslim should ask thenselves 'Why everwhere in world they have fight with all different religion's people?' They have to change their understanding about Islam.

    The most important thing the educated muslims should try to stop propoaganda journalism run by muslim reporters because of them most of the muslims do not know the true facts and indulge in unnecessary hatred. These propagandas have created biggest disservice to Islam.

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  • xyzgc
    12-21 01:40 PM
    The minorities in India for the most part don't want to do anything with extremism. Like the rest of india, they are concerned with making a decent livelihood though there is a somewhat sucessful attempt at painting them all as extremists by the Hindu Right wing.

    The Muslim minority in India is a supporter of Pakistan and its terror actiities. Not for the most part, but a tiny fraction and that is enough to create havoc in the country. We have our internal enemies with external linkages.

    It is not embrassment as they are not part of this crime. It is sad that they are to go out and state their innocence in ways they did. If anyone has helped in the attacks, I say go after them and punish them within the laws of the country. If that means feeding them dal/roti in jail, so be it as long as they get the punishment they deserve.

    I agree with you that they should not be embarassed. They have done nothing wrong but these incidents have also created room for self-introspection. Why is it that the muslims all over the world are projected as trouble-makers? Its high time that muslim intellectuals give this question a proper consideration rather than simply sweep it under the carpet saying that we didn't do all of this/we are being attacked as minorities/it emanates from poverity and lack of education and so on.

    Pakistan is cornered and have to make some real effort to show that they are not trying to fade this incident away from the world's memory. Unfortunately, if they don't take quick and decisive measures, they could self implode. They better realise that it is better to fix their own dilipadated house than trying to destroy the neighbors. Though I am no war monger, for the short term I think a small 10-20 person tactical team can do some damage at precise locations. Tit for tat but with useful results

    Well said, nobody on IV forums will advocate killing innocent Pakistanis. Many will support such precise bombings. We don't want to turn India into another terrorist nation.

    Obviously the issue of internal problems has to be addressed. This is a source on which extremist can tap on. As someone mentioned on this forum, Saif Ali Khan ( who has a hindu mother, hindu ex-wife and hindu GF) cannot get a home in India's most cosmopolitan city. Neither can Javed akhtar ( an avowed atheist) or shabana azmi. One can only imagine what the normal minorities face everyday. And ignoring this as just complaints of an 'ungrateful' muslim populace does not remove the very real discrimination that minorities face in modern India.

    Yes the internal problems must be addressed. I agree with you. I completely condemn the attacks on innocent christians and muslims. Its sad and its embarassing for me despite the fact that I didn't have any role to play in it. But that has to be done without any discriminations.
    Uniform civil code ( must be implemented. Muslim appeasement politics must be stopped by Congress party. We don't want to see any repeats of Shah Bano ( cases. No special Shariat laws for Muslims.
    Hindus must be allowed to procure land in Kashmir, unconditionally. Kashmiri pandits who have lost everything in Kashmir must be reinstated. Article 370 ( must be abolished.

    This is why I keep hoping for a Justice and executive system that address this. Punish the guilty. I have seen people either ignore the issue of Gujarat/orissa or even defend it. If you put your religion/race shades on, then one can ignore/defend such inhumane events. Equal opportunity for employment/housing/schooling is needed just like in USA. Address in an academic way if affirmative action is needed and take the politics out of it. One of the parameters of a strong democracy is the treatment and security of the minorities. India would only be stronger for it and that is my sincere hope. xyzgc -See if you can finally get around to address this

    I would not ignore Gujarat and Orissa as much as I would not ignore Godhra massacre. I agree the guilty be brought to justice and punished.
    Its difficult to do it internally and its more than difficult to do it for our external enemies.
    But it doesn't make your point invalid.


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  • gc28262
    12-22 05:43 PM
    On the other hand if some one is attacking me in my home and/or hurting my family or freinds, I have full rights to defend and call for justice to prosecute the attacker, in this case declaring Pakistan a terrorist country.

    So you don't consider Kashmir as part of your home. Majority of Indians think Kashmir is part of India.

    Where does the boundary of your little world end? I know the boundary starts with you. How big is that world ?

    It is so enlightening to learn that you care for people other than yourself.

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  • gcisadawg
    01-07 04:39 PM
    Yes Nanavati commission found Madresa in Godhra was responsible!

    Congress Spokesman on Nanavati Commission

    “We are not surprised at all the findings. It cannot be called a bonafide investigation. The way the committee was set up, its tenure was extended, large numbers of witness, deposed expressed their disappointment it creates ample doubts on its findings,” said Shingvi.

    BJP Spokesman on U.C Banerjee Commission.

    “It has now been proved that the truth has come out. Banerjee had rushed to its findings without taking into account other facts. It was ill-prepared and ill-conceived. UPA has even tried to prove that the burning of Sabarmati coaches were indeed an act of mass self-immolation by the karsevaks. Lalu Prasad yadav had also tried to prove it as accidental.”

    “However, these findings has vindicated that it was not accidental. We now request any further proceedings should now be taken taking Nanavati Commission’s findings into account,” said Prakash Javedkar.

    Meanwhile, The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted time till December 31 to the R K Raghavan Committee to complete the probe into the Godhra train burning incident.

    The bottom line: We have all kinds of report. Nobody knows which is closer to the truth. What would a common man do?


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  • jonty_11
    07-14 02:33 PM
    and to prevent such chasms from forming and getting deeper...we all need to look to IV core for guidance and follow only their Action Items. It is critical or else we will find ourselves with our foot in the mouth.

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  • prioritydate
    01-10 10:09 AM
    Israel is not invading Gaza for no reason. Why do coward Palestinians need to fire rockets and send those suicide bombers to blow themselves? Muslims need to stop violence in the name of their religion. Why don't you stop killing people, so you would get 72 virgins in some loser world! Israel is doing the right thing and I will support its action. Yes, innocent people get killed, but Hamas need to fight in the open field instead of launching rockets from schools and hospitals.


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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 11:28 PM
    The greater danger in life is not that we set our aims too high and fail, but we set them too low and still do � Michelangelo

    Your aim is to not get fired. You want to buy an insurance policy to a secure job as if you are the only one entitled to have a job. This is a lower aim so you are bound to fail i.e. lose your job.

    And how do you define �replacing some American workers�. There is a plant in Yuma, AZ manufacturing aircrafts for Kingfisher airlines in India. Doesn�t this mean that someone in India is being replaced by American worker???? Maybe we should stop all trade and we should have all needs of one country fill within its borders. Maybe we should say � from now on no one is going to do any business, collaboration, partnership and place orders to companies outside of the borders of the country where you live.

    The best argument of restrictionist is either talk about no H-1B or green cards or talk about unlimited H-1Bs and green cards as if the extremes make the only reality in this world. Have you ever seen numbers like 290,000 or maybe 450,000. These are called whole numbers in mathematics and reside somewhere between ZERO and INFINITY/UNLIMITED.

    Stop bickering in the name of American people. More than 99% Americans don�t even know what is H-1B visa or employment based green card. And one more thing, people�s opinion is the most foolish thing to look at when making a decision. Do you remember the % of people in favor of Iraq war in 2002? - More than 70%
    Do you know how many people are in favor of pulling out of Iraq now, putting all the blame on the Administration? � around 70%
    Do you know the % of �American people� saying that they screwed up by supporting the war in 2002? � 0%
    No one would come out to say the nations and millions of people got screwed up due to "MY" twisted ideology in 2002. So let�s keep this argument of �American People� out of this debate.

    In free market and capitalist economy, the measure of productivity doesn�t come from some lawmaker who is out of sink with reality or from the ideology of orgs like IEEE-USA or from posters like you. The measure of productivity comes from the employers and the companies. And if that is how it works best for the economy, society and the nation, then so be it. That is the reason why this society is more advanced. You may be afraid of such a situation but I am not scared of a scenario where someone who can perform a better job, either a citizen or on H-1B, takes my job. But that is ok, your way of thinking is all based on the premises that every one out there is after you and some how you have to eliminate this competition at the soonest.

    You have used the argument of abuse, productivity, economy, outsourcing, country of origin and the color of Dick Morris� underwear - to argue against H-1B and to come extent green card number increase. Time and again I have said that this is not about H-1B. We, the people on this forum, want to discuss about GREEN CARD BACKLOGS. But you want to keep the discussion away from green card backlog and want the discussion be in the arena of H-1B. I must share with you that I have received atleast 7 different private messages telling me to �not waste my time with idiot like yourself�.
    Like you ass, you keep your views and your opinions with yourself. Don�t poke your ass and your views into a place where they don�t belong. And please stop worrying about being displaced by someone else on H-1B. You have not even gotten green card and you have already turned into a restrictionist. Please wait for sometime and there will be enough time and opportunity for you to join the ranks of IEEE-USA. This makes me to think that there are 2 possibilities:
    1.) You have very low self esteem and you think very lowly about yourself. Thus you are scared of the competition
    2.) You are not capable enough or technically sound to compete with other around you. And just like IEEE-USA you are looking for ways to eliminate your future probable competition using words/phrases like �displacement of US workers�.

    I tried to explain this guy Senthil that I already proved in form of permanent labor certificate and I 140 petition that I am not displacing any american worker and why I have to prove the same fact for every renewal and he comes with a logic that GC is for future job and H1b is for current job. But you know what my GC application was filed very well in the past ...:) , I mean more than 3 years ago ...

    Somehow some people think they are better than every one else in the crowd and things dont go wrong for them because they have either a particular degree or work in a so called permanent Job .

    These guys are in more alignment with view of ALIPAC and Numbers USA where people think some elses loss is my gain. Having said that reasonable people disagree these guys are totally unreasonable or they are totally out of touch with reality .

    These guys love Mr Durbin so much who dont see any problem with illegal immigration at all ....I would call this height of hypocrosy.

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  • Amma
    12-31 12:44 AM
    Dear xyzgc,

    As a fellow Indian I understand your anger about India's inaction. In no way India can match America.

    Look which countries America attacked after 9/11 ?. Hopeless Afganistan and throughly beaten Iraq. These countries are no match for America.
    America can attack half way from the globe and attack other unequally matched countries. Do you think US will attack Russia or China like Afganistan? It will think thousand times because of sure mutual destruction it will bring. Now Israel is thrashing Hamas which is not at all a regular army.
    Do you think Israel will touch Iran ? Iran will torch Israel.

    So, it is the kind of measuring the capacity of the enemy and acting accordingly.

    If India attacks Pakistan, Pak will surely use their Bramastra which is atom bomb.India again retaliates with another 10 atom bombs and full Pakistan and half India will be in ashes. Do you want that ?

    Again , this kind of massacre may happen in future . Who knows ?. But, I am sure we can't hit Pak like America.

    I am also thinking in line with Alisa's . To avoid castration from US army , these Taliban kind of people send some misguided youths to attack, thereby diverting the issue and diverting the Pak army to India border.

    The only way to solve this problem is the self realisation of Pakistan . Terrorism is like a double edged sword. It will harm both parties.

    " Unless the thief understand and realizes his misdeeds , nobody can destroy theft " - Famous Tamil poet Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram.


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  • mariner5555
    03-24 12:01 AM
    I live in NJ close to the cherry hill area and i am looking to buy only in Burlington county. I have been living here for about 9 years now and so far haven't thought of investing here. I invested in india and the investment appreciated 4 times or more so i am happy about the decision. I actually needed a bigger place now and i am not seeing that as a investment but if it turns out that way that's fine with me. I just wanted to find out what are people's experiences with the house escpecially for those who are under H1/EAD. well the experience that I gave above was as good as I could since it was told to me in person. it all depends on yr long term horizon u think u will be in NJ for a long time ? if yes and if u are getting a good deal, then house makes sense - price of house would always go up by the cost of inflation + 1 percent (except during bubble burst now) - and I guess RE in NJ will always be in demand ..but u would know better.
    house is definitely better in many many respects --
    if u don't see it as an investment -- then why not ..take the plunge !!
    The only problem that I have (in my case) is GC !! and the fact that prices went up by average of 10% during last 4 - 5 years - which is craziness (And as we know now - a bubble). I for one am not a sucker who wants to pay high for an asset than it is actually most areas in US atleast --land is plenty and time it takes to build infrastructure is less . demand is low and will be low -- and I don't think of renting as throwing money (did extensive research on the same) - as of now I am happy as I have lot more time on hand , commutes are shorter and the money that I save - I am investing aggresively in stocks etc. here is a latest article about home prices - I guess bottom in 2009 feb ?
    Even as sales have plunged, more supply has come on the market, from home builders, foreclosed homes, and from owners who need or want to sell. It'll take a year at least to work off the excess supply, which is driving prices lower.
    Falling home prices could be keeping some buyers on the sidelines, waiting for a better deal. But prices have already fallen significantly, which means more potential buyers can find an affordable house.
    The two major home price indexes will be released on Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. S&P's Case-Shiller index will probably see a decline of 11% in the 12 months ending in January, down from 9% through December, according to economists at UBS.
    Futures markets predict home prices will fall another 14% by next February, UBS said.


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  • number30
    03-24 03:39 PM

    I can't help asking this.
    I have been following your posts for a while. I know you are quite knowledgeable in immigration.

    But many of your posts indicate you have a bias against Indians. You seem to be going hard against H1B and saying Indians are screwing H1Bs.

    I like to believe you are unbiased. Please let us know.

    Moment you bring such things into the forum discussions will stop and goes somewhere else.


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  • hiralal
    06-19 10:10 PM
    here is a good prediction. for 5 years housing is going to be a lousy investment when you take inflation into account !!!
    to be honest, I would have bought a house this year because of tax credits ..but articles and predictions like this make me feel good. I guess those who are in similar situation can THANK USCIS for GC delays / visa wastage
    A "distressingly slow" U.S. housing recovery, with inflation-adjusted home values expected to decline over the next five years, makes it unlikely that housing wealth will drive consumer spending in the next decade, a Reuters/University of Michigan survey found.

    Consumers are apt to maintain their renewed emphasis on savings and paring debt, Richard Curtin, director of the survey, said in a June home price update Friday.
    "We expect prices to drop for another year and then stabilize before starting to rise with incomes," says Standard & Poor's Chief Economist David Wyss. Moody's predicts the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, maintained by data specialist Fiserv, will fall about 16% this year before regaining ground.
    Another risk is that potential buyers will stay out of the housing market, no longer trusting in home appreciation to do their saving for them. Writes David Rosenberg, the former Merrill Lynch economist who is now chief economist at Toronto-based asset management firm Gluskin Sheff & Associates: "Baby boomers are still in the discovery process on oversized real estate being more of a ball and chain than a viable retirement investment asset." Rosenberg also is concerned that an aging population won't need the kind of big houses erected during the boom. "The high end of the market will be in a bear phase," Rosenberg says in an interview.

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  • new2gc
    03-24 04:42 PM
    No, they figured out that it is consulting companies that are exploiting loopholes. Tell me what proof you have that ALL consulting companies are complying with H-1B requriements.

    Is benching that happens in consulting legal? Is paying salary according to prevailing wages in Maine and sending the contractor to work in Manhattan legal? Please tell me how these practises by desi consulting firms are legal.

    And you're telling me I am ignorant! You're funny :D

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

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

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

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


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  • dixie
    02-02 01:17 PM
    You seriously think Lou does not know that ? I would expect a former anchor of CNN Money to know the basics of US tax laws. Alas, he also knows the average americans who view his show are too lazy to do any research by themselves - all this is a deliberate misinformation campaign to make the middle class angry and believe immigrants are responsible for their perceived decline in standard of living. In the process his ratings are going through the roof, and of course CNN doesn't have a problem with that. What to expect from such a person ? We are lucky he is yet to blame immigrants for the mess in Iraq (he has even blamed them for the mess after hurricane katrina !!!!!).

    this info is for lou dobbs and he can search for this information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (for all the middle-class that can get free information, most likey coded by an H1B)

    [edit] Taxation status of H-1B workers
    H-1B workers are legally required to pay the same taxes as any other US resident, including Social Security and Medicare.[2] Any person who spends more than 183 days in the US in a calendar year is a tax resident and is required to pay US taxes on their worldwide income. From the IRS perspective, it doesn't matter if that income is paid in the US or elsewhere. If an H-1B worker is given a living allowance, it is treated the same by the IRS as any other US resident. In some cases, H-1B workers pay higher taxes than a US citizen because they are not entitled to certain deductions (eg. head of household deduction amongst many others). Some H-1B workers are not eligible to receive any Social Security or Medicare benefits unless they are able to adjust status to that of permanent resident.[3] However, if their country of citizenship has a tax agreement with the United States, they are able to collect the Social Security they've earned even if they don't gain permanent residency there. Such agreements are negotiated between the United States and other countries, typically those which have comparable standards of living and public retirement systems

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  • rbharol
    04-08 01:04 AM
    In the bill summary, I do not see where it says that H1B extensions will not be
    possible for those who have I-140 approved.

    I-140 approval itself means that USCIS and DOL has agreed that this person
    is needed for this position and AOS can be filed(If offcourse Visa numbers are

    (I am sorry I have not read the full text of the bill.)


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  • kutra
    07-14 07:30 AM
    I agree ..the letter can be improved but EB3-I should be allowed to express their frustration. This is a free country and I guess you can send letters.
    at the very least, EB3-I can hope that someone from USCIS tells what is the approximate future for that those who are stuck there can take appropriate actions

    Sure, it is a free country. But I only hope the letter or words do not mention anything about IV. Reason being, if IV is not endorsing this campaign, then do not express yourself under the IV banner.

    IV is like a human body with all of us members being the different parts of the body. However, there should be one and only one mouth. And that should be consistent in the IV messaging. If IV core (which is surprisingly quite on this thread) is asking everyone to focus on the visa-recapture campaign, then that's what everyone should do.

    On a related note, a free country doesn't necessarily mean you can express yourself just because you want to. I can call anyone an idiot just because it's a free country, but everyone else can see who the real jerk is!

    Being an EB3-Indian myself (Oct 2003), I can only urge fellow EB3-Indians to think rationally and urge IV core to provide their thoughts.

    P.S.: Just think what a ridiculous thing you are asking for......"for USCIS to tell what is the approximate future for EB3"!! That's a joke! I don't know what my future will be GC or no GC. Why will I listen to USCIS who has been most trustworthy historically. And why would they want to make themselves liable to tell you what actions to take. As I wrote earlier, just because it's a free country, it doesn't mean, you can ask someone for anything irrationally!

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  • validIV
    06-25 01:46 PM
    I couldn't agree more. My first home is almost fully paid off. Peace of mind is a great thing.

    I will be happy owning one home. And hope to repay it off quickly so i dont have any BANK to answer to. Having a peace of mind that one day when i pay off the home nobody can kick me off my home for any reason is PRICELESS to me.

    It's not for my grandkids. Its for my wife and my kids when I retire.

    Owning 10 homes so that you can donate to your grandkids may be PRICELESS to you. I wish you the best.

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  • Macaca
    12-30 08:20 AM
    2007: Democrats in Control, but Thwarted ( By LAURIE KELLMAN | Associated Press, Dec 30, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- It's a painful irony for Democrats: In the space of a year, the Iraq war that was the source of party's resurgence in Congress became the measure of its impotence.

    By the end of the 2007, a Congress controlled by Democrats for the first time since 1994 had an approval rating of only 25 percent, down from 40 percent last spring. Then the debate over the war split the party and cast shadows over other issues, spawning a series of legislative failures and losing confrontations with President Bush.

    What to do about Iraq has turned into a dissing match so far-reaching and nasty that Congress's accomplishments are seen, even by some who run it, through the lens of their failure to override Bush and start bringing the troops home.

    "There is no question that the war in Iraq has eclipsed much of what we have done," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters. "If you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."

    It's not as if the new Democrat-controlled Congress did nothing during 2007.

    It gave the nation's lowest paid workers their first raise in a decade, raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour in July. It will rise to $7.25 an hour in 2009.

    Congress also cut in half the interest rates on federal student loans and boosted annual Pell grants for post high-school education by $260 to $4,310 in July, rising to $5,400 for the 2012-2013 school year. Bush signed the bill after initially threatening to veto it.

    And just before Congress turned out the lights for the year on Dec. 19, Bush signed into law a sweeping new energy policy that requires automakers to achieve an industrywide average fuel efficiency for cars, SUVs and small trucks of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40 percent jump. Some analysts said the new law will render gas guzzlers relics of the past and make farmers rivals of oil companies in producing motor fuels.

    "All of us deserve credit for getting some things done," Bush said in his year-end news conference, insisting that he doesn't keep score.

    But on the eve of an election year with the presidency and control of Congress at stake, many others do.

    In the year's firmest push-back against the Bush administration, Congress for the first time overrode one of Bush's vetoes, on a $23 billion bill for restoring hurricane-ravaged wetlands along the Gulf Coast and other water projects. The president had protested it was filled with unnecessary projects, but 34 Senate Republicans defied him.

    Democrats scored other political victories as well. Most significantly, a Democrat-led investigation revealed a troubled Justice Department and forced Alberto Gonzales, a longtime presidential friend, from the attorney general's office. Democrats also played a big role in selecting his successor, Michael Mukasey.

    But the story of Congress in 2007 is more about what it failed to accomplish during a war that the public opposes and that Democrats had vowed _ but did not _ to end.

    On that, they found themselves repeatedly outmaneuvered, unable to break bill-killing GOP filibusters with 60 votes in a Senate where Democrats held only what effectively is a 51-49 majority.

    Plans to expand health care for 10 million children stalled. And a fragile compromise put together by Bush and liberal Democrats to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants buckled with only lukewarm support from all sides.

    Perhaps the most bitter pill came toward the end of the year. Democrats were forced to acknowledge that the decrease in violence in Iraq might mean that Bush's much-criticized surge buildup of troops was working.

    Simultaneously, they found themselves on the defensive against Republican charges that they squandered time on the war that could have been spent getting agency budgets passed on time. As usual, what has become an annual fix to the tax code to save 20 million families an average $2,000 in extra taxes was put off until the final days before Christmas.

    Predictably, Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bush's "stubbornness" and Republicans' filibuster threats "obstruction on steroids."

    Republicans suggested Democrats could have accomplished big reforms on Social Security and immigration _ or even just speedy passage of the federal budget _ had it been in their election-year interests.

    "I just don't think the new majority wanted to do anything significant," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    By most accounts, the window for accomplishing broad new reforms was quickly closing as the nation's political machinery rumbled into position for the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. On the ballot will be all 435 House seats and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate.

    At stake is a wider Democratic majority, big enough to govern. A cascade of retirements by Republicans in the Senate made that goal achievable. Democrats hoped gain seats in the House, as well.

    So they labored to tout what they had accomplished in the majority. They suggested that what failed this year might pass with more Democrats elected next year.

    Bush has signed into law other initiatives of the Democratic-led Congress, such as $3 billion in funding for Louisiana's Road Home program to rebuild housing stock destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

    Procedural and institutional reforms became law as well, such as changes in ethics and lobbying rules.

    Behind the scenes, Democrats and their aides debated which fights to pick next year with a lame duck president. Most likely, they said: the children's health care bill.

    Immigration reform, however, appears dead until the new Congress takes its seats in 2009.

    06-20 03:45 PM
    Hello Hiralal,

    Indeed! But if the individual 'affordability' is such that you can pay the monthly payments even after moving out of US due to job loss/485 denial, and if the purchase lowers your tax bill, then it may make more sense to buy the house...

    Personally, I've always had intentions of buying real estate in US, EU and India.... have it in India, considering it in US and exploring how to buy it in EU... :) Wish had much more 'cash'... :D

    03-25 04:08 PM
    I do not understand either...OP says he/she does not want to spend a grand (not sure if it costs that much) in attorney fees while he is willing to spend time/money trying to immigrate to Alberta. Taking a fatalistic approach and hoping for the best seems to be the idea. Again good luck to OP. are right..

    but dont know... I am going by hunch..I hope not to regret..:)

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