Congress just completed ethics legislation designed to put distance between lawmakers and the interests that seek favors from them.
But the people in charge of next summer's presidential nominating conventions are busy selling package deals that would put them closer together.
The host committees of 2008's biggest political gatherings are soliciting corporations, wealthy individuals and others with a lot at stake in government decisions for seven-figure payments. In exchange, the givers receive all sorts of goodies, including access to lawmakers and other politicians. The more money the donors spend, the more access they get. Donors also garner valuable publicity for their businesses and the convention's locale, which has its own commercial payoff.
Microsoft and AT&T, to name two, have been high-profile donors to the host committees of previous conventions.
At the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, donors of $5 million or more will receive (among many other things) a private dinner and a separate golf outing with the Republican leadership, according to a list of benefits distributed by the host committee.
At the Democratic convention in Denver, a million-dollar contribution purchases invitations to a series of private events that feature Colorado's governor, Denver's mayor and members of the state's congressional delegation, among other special advantages.
The host committees do not hide their cash-for-access offers; they flaunt them. "As a corporate sponsor, you will be invited to exclusive forums and special events where you will interact with our state's and the nation's government and business leaders," the Democratic solicitation states. "In financial terms, your sponsorship is an investment in the future."
The host committees, which are run by local officials separate from the political parties, collect the tens of millions of dollars needed to put on the extravaganzas, which next year will take place for the Democrats in late August and for the Republicans in early September.
Yet the marketing comes at a sensitive time. Congress just passed -- and President Bush is likely to sign into law soon -- a bill that aims to restrain the amount of influence lobbyists and their clients will have at the conventions.
The legislation aims to stop lobbyists and lobbying groups from paying for lavish parties that honor the lawmakers and the congressional committees they are hired to influence most. Such parties, a staple of the previous conventions, have been criticized by government-reform groups as giving undue clout to interests that have lots of money.
But the bill is silent about other kinds of parties and events, including those put on by the host committees. And those not only will continue but also appear likely to proliferate.
Top givers to the GOP convention are invited to a private reception that will include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman and local mayors. They also will have the right to advertise in prime locations throughout the Twin Cities.
The biggest contributors to the Democratic convention get invitations to all events sponsored by the host committee and special recognition in all host-committee publications.
The nominating conventions, which are held in the late summer before presidential elections, have offered similar benefits packages before. Sponsors are the primary source for the money needed to put on these massive events, which bring together delegates from every state, a who's who of the nation's political establishment and journalists from around the world.
Host committee representatives said they are promoting their cities and are seeking funds from corporations and others who want to make an impression locally and to a large national audience. Acting as a go-between for lawmakers and the interests that want to persuade them is a much more minor concern, they say.
"We're not here to put on a bunch of parties to honor a bunch of individual members" of Congress, said Jeff Larson, interim chairman of the Minneapolis-St. Paul host committee. "We want to promote the quality of life we have here in Minnesota."
"We're reaching out to a lot of constituencies, not just members of Congress," said Elbra Wedgeworth, president of the Denver host committee. "We are hoping to promote the Rocky Mountain west."
Washington gadflies, however, see more calculation than that. Easy access to lawmakers and other senior Washington officials, they say, has long been a major attraction of these conventions and will remain so despite the recent legislation.
"It's ironic given that the last thing Congress did before the August break is pass lobbying reform that included a provision limiting the parties that can be thrown at these conventions," said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "That would suggest that they didn't mean it, which will really come as a surprise to no one."
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I also have a plan B if I don't get my green card in next 24 months. I am a chemical engineer by education and profession with a US graduate degree in chemical engineering and more than 7 years of work experience in a premium organization in the oil, gas & chemicals industry. Everyone is more than aware how good the oil, gas & chemicals industry is doing worldwide. I very well know that I am a hot commodity in the job market in the whole world. Those who have traveled on Singapore Airlines must have seen advertisements in the Singapore airport displaying that oil and gas is their largest (next to Singapore Airlines) revenue making industry and they need qualified and experienced personnel. Job advertisements in the airport? Wow! Think why Alberta is the hottest place these days. I got an invitation from Canadian Government to apply for Canadian green card, citing my occupation. Australian Government has declared Chemical Engineering as the occupation with the highest demand in Australia due to their conventional mining and metals business and now the newly found gas reserves in north and west parts of that continent. This is my plan B. I have already secured an Australian Permanent Residency and that too in 6 months time. Hats off to the highly efficient immigration department of the Australian Government. In addition I already have 3 job offers there - one each in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
I have 2 burning innovative ideas in my mind - one related to biogas and carbon credits and the other related to water desalination. I have kept both of them on hold right now until I get the US green card. I know I will work on them but not sure which country gets the benefit - USA or Australia.
Then why am I sticking around here in the US? 1. I have a US graduate degree, 2. Both my daughters are born here and are US citizens and 3. I can't deny that I have started to put down my roots here. 24 more months and will not hesitate to quit USA and settle in Australia. It will be tough, but can't help it being forced to do it.
P.S. Two of my friends with similar background as mine, have left for Australia for good in August this year. They have settled in Sydney. Another acquaintance with occupation related to oil & gas, has migrated to Perth.
2011 Common Grackle, Photographs of
The problem is most often the information and numbers given on this show are not actual facts and often exaggerated and misleading. The info looks most likely derived from FAIR or NumbersUSA or Heritage foundation or one of their associates.
The reasons can be summed up simply as ratings and the revenue defined from high ratings. CNN is taking a beating from Fox and has decided to adopt an ultra conservative agenda. At the end of the day if being pro-immigrant would improve ratings for CNN such that it would beat Fox News ratings, I am willing to bet that CNN would make a turn around and sing praises in honor of immigrants. See my next post for how low CNN is willing to go in associating with anti-immigrant groups to the extent of propagating myths.
Whether EB1 is presently retrogressed or not doesn't matter.
Let's think about this for a moment. We are trying to completely negate the category preference established by law and asking them to grant GC's based solely on PD regardless of category.
Ain't gonna happen - dont want to be a pessimist but at some point we have to call it as we see it.
Agreed.....the categories were made for a reasson.....and the same logic is being followed by the DOS to spillover unused VISAS. While I understand the frustration of EB3 folks, I would encourage those same folks to folllow IVs initiatives like - call campaigns for House bills...etc. As I have said before IV is working for one and all...w/o caring for their categories. It was not IV that created this spillover policy...however IV is the one that will fight for you irrespective of whether you are EB1, 2 or 3. The key is to post a united front and some level of participation from every member...I was sad to see Pappu publish low numbers for contributions and phone calls....and only wish we would come together as a group rather than breaking apart.
While I fear this will create an offshoot EB3 group within IV, I hope that goos senses will prevail.
FYI - EB2 is still retrogressed over 2 years.....it is not that it is current
As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H-1B alien is still in status. An H-1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and remain in status. An H-1B alien may also be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, on strike, or otherwise inactive without affecting his or her status.
He received a notice of intent to denial last month. Reason being he did not have paystubs for a period of more than 6 months during 2000 and 2001. His employer at that time did not pay him even after he worked for 4 months then he took few more months to change his company(more than 180 days).
I am not aware of any GC stage that requires all pay stubs. How did they detect missing pay stubs for 6+ months?
Is IV not with Eb3 folks? Or are they not important.
Let me clear somethings.
Earning in higher 70Ks in the year 2003 and with over 5+ years of progressive experience, they still went ahead a filed my app under EB3. Was that a mistake? Not mine. My employer knew that Eb3 would be slower.
What happened? cases like mine were eye openers and learning experiences for comrades who were going to file and they filed under EB2, I asked friends and relatives and classmates of mine to file under Eb2.
Am i happy for them? No, I hate them. Of course, I am happy for them. Very very much.
So, why would you not fight for us?
If people like me and filers before me had not filed under EB3, and not shared our experiences, how would we have progressed?
Suddenly, 'You Eb3 folks are depressed' from 'We folks are depressed'. lol for chauvinism.
I commend the initiative. But I see a few issues with it:
You are complaining to DOS about USCIS and DOL. That will not work. Every agency has a specific role
You are complaining to the official who sets visa dates. He has no authority to give relief just because some applicant/s are asking for it. He has to follow the rule every month and his responsibility is only to set the dates based on the statistics received from USCIS. This official has a very specific and limited role.
The reasons are not compelling enough. You cannot just say you are waiting long enough and thus your date should become current. Rules cannot be changed just for that reason.
If economy was down in 2001- 2003 and you were asked to file in EB3 and people in Perm could file in EB2 is your strongest reason, it may not work in your favor. Because by law you can file again and convert to EB2 and port your date. DOL and USCIS does not stop you from doing that.
If you are qualified for EB2 but your attorney and employer filed in EB3, then it is not a fault of USCIS/DOL/DOS. You must talk to the company and the lawyer for it. If the company or the lawyer has broken any rule or employer has exploited you, then the letter should be complain to the appropriate authority about them.
Please also note that labor is filed based on the degree and experience requirement of the job. By law if the requirement is only undergraduate degree for the job, the employer cannot file in EB2 just because the applicant has a masters degree or more experience than needed. So you cannot really put this arguement here because it will be against the rules.
So I personally do not think this idea will work.
While this mess is depressing for EB3 folks, we need to have a more compelling argument, determined membership and effective plan to get things changed.
The root cause of the problem is limited greencard quota for EB3. And the solution is to get recapture, get rid of country limits, STEM exemption. Any single relief itself will be huge for all of us. With 179 phone calls and $16656 collected in last 3 months, I do not see that happening. It will need a far more bigger and determined effort. Such amount can be spent on full scale lobbying in just one month. 179 phone calls are nothing if we have to make a compelling case for ourselves.
2010 Common Grackle, St. Louis Zoo,
The woman behind the counter asked him for his driver's license to verify his age. He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home. He told the woman that he was very sorry but he seemed to have left his wallet at home. "I will have to go home and come back later." The woman says, "Unbutton your shirt." So he opens his shirt revealing curly silver hair. She says, "That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me" and she processed his Social Security application.
When he gets home, the man excitedly tells his wife about his experience at the social security office. She says, "You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too."
what is your point duuude when you say "Let’s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid “do you like the house?”. He will reply “it’s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.”
do you mean to say all those who are renting will buy after 10 years or do you mean to say that children who grow up in rented house or appt ..don't have a childhood ?? as it was mentioned in earlier posts ..there is a greater chance that your son / daughter will find a likeminded play friend in a good apartment complex then in a subdivision of houses.
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If Porting/Interfiling is taken off folks like me will be terribly victimized. I'm here for 9 years - my 1st labor was substituted , 2nd labor ( which should be Eb2 but filed in Eb3) took a round trip from Phily backlog elimination center and now i'm stuck in the Eb3-140 mess at NSC.
My friends who are lucky enough & have filed fresh EB2 labor (based on BS+5, not MS also) have got till 140 approved and applied 485 as well due to EB2 being JUNE 2006 within 2 years of starting GC process.
Porting/Interfiling must be there for genuine cases. If someone files a lawsuit against porting i'll file a counter lawsuit on discrimination grounds.
What a resolution!!! I completely agree with you. Interfiling should NOT be scrapped but limited to people who qualified for the later category (EB2/EB1) on the date of their PD.
Why then should Obama support anti-EB measures that will hurt his chances in the future, when he'll get no benefits by supporting those measures?
Hope better sense prevails!
I got my green card earlier this year, and one of the first things that I did after getting it was contribute to Obama's primary campaign. Now I've been contributing to his election campaign (I'm sure that there's a public access site you can look up contribution at).
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Hamas is such a coward orgn that they hide behind school, mosque, hospitals to shoot their rockets, so they really are luring israel to bomb those areas. Unfortunately innocents die...the blame should be on hamas. In fact, before bombing Israel even goes to the extent of calling and texting people in the target area to warn them before bombing. which country at war you know does that. Inspite of all these the biased media portrays Israel as the evil one. time to think. if only india shows some courage like that.
Another muslim hater who justify organized crime and killing and support the killing of innocent school kids and civilians.
Hiding behind civilians and schools and mosques???? Don't you hear the same lie again and again year over year? If Hamas is using school kids as thier shield, then how do you think Palestenian people have elected the same people who cause their kids death rule their country?
Don't you think?
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I am all for cleaning the system and reforming H1B - but I oppose an ill conceived half measure such as the one Senator Durbin/Grassley is proposing.
My main concern is two fold:
1. Let us assume I am a very bright individual and I am currently in Harvard. If I graduate from Harvard Business School, and I want to join McKenzie, can I do that? Can I ever be a Management consultant in US if I want to (read I as any random Joe who is not US citizen/GC holder)
2. Can I switch jobs within a couple of weeks if I need to (I refers to someone who works for a good company but perceives opportunities else where) - this is important as my competition (US citizen/GC holder) has no restriction in place for them. This is also important during recession when I might be a valuable asset to another company but the company cannot afford to wait.
My point is: definitely prevent abuse of the system, but not by putting more shackles on the hapless employee. Give the employee freedom to move anywhere for a certain period of time (could be 3 yrs renewable 2 times as per current H1b) and have strict penalties if this employee overstays visa etc.
Additionally, if employers abuse the system, send them to jail right away (and have whistle blower immigrant status protection). Make employers more accountable than they are today.
Just my 2 cents.....
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here are some yogi's quotes:
"This is like deja vu all over again."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."
"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"I made a wrong mistake."
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
and now the best one...
"I didn't really say everything I said."
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I am glad you took your post after I placed details about the law.
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(guys, stop fighting like dogs.. chill out)
why did I write in hindi language...?
because nobody seems to understand the same thing written in plain old english here.
girlfriend pictures A Common Grackle
The Democrats' takeover of Congress had a lot of their interest groups -- labor, enviros, etc. -- elbowing ferociously for long-sought legislation for their constituents. The groups' lobbyists are feeling the pressure.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has been working hard to reopen contract bargaining with the Federal Aviation Administration -- it feels it got the short end in negotiations last year about work rules and pay -- and wants Congress to let it do so. But it's a tough go, NATCA President Patrick Forrey said in a March 10 "National Office Update."
"I can imagine how frustrat[ed] our membership must be that our language has not been enacted to date," Forrey wrote, "considering the tremendous amount of support in PAC dollars and campaign activity we invested into the election process." No doubt. Sounds like they've got a good consumer fraud case if they want to pursue it.
"For those who believe this should be a slam dunk," he said, "let me remind you that there are an incredible amount of organizations, associations, special interests and of course labor unions that have been subject[ed] to 12 years of bad government . . . the problem is, we are all competing against each other to get our separate issues corrected."
But the Washington office is working on it. "If you could be in my shoes and talk with these very supportive members," Forrey explained, "you'd have the opportunity to realize the difficulty in undoing something that falls in a long line of things that need undoing . . . that is why it's so difficult to get the total support" from the House leadership on "controversial bills" that might hurt passage of other bills.
But not to worry. "This past week has left us very encouraged about the progress we are making in securing a temporary legislative fix," he said, with Reps. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerry F. Costello (D-Ill.) having penned a joint letter to House Appropriations chair David Obey (D-Wis.) to put language in the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill that would reopen contract negotiations.
"However, as of today," Forrey wrote, "we have not seen or been told of any language inserted" in the Iraq bill. "It appears that the final approval is going to have to come from Speaker Pelosi," he said, "so we are rounding up all of the support we can garner from" other members to get her "to give the nod."
(Last Thursday, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill without the language.)
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I dont know whom you are responding to but...
Then check. Context is everything sometimes.
So Eb2 does not do silly coding??!!. Get a reality check. The jobs that Eb3 and EB2 does are pretty much the same. The same monkey can do the jobs of EB2 too, so I fail to see you point.
There was no point, I said I did not believe it. I was showing the original poster that using a large black brush to tar a whole group of people is offensive and inappropriate. At least read my whole post before responding. I see I hit a nerve though. So it's ok for you t claim that EB2 means nothing and is ill gotten but not ok for me to talk about EB3?
Also, the law does not just state that there are no qualified -- there is also a willing clause. There might be Americans who can do the job, but such Americans may not want to relocate etc.
Bull crap. Don't make me open my mouth anout labor my friens. best we don't open this up.
Over the lot of arguments I have seen Eb2 claiming to be superior, please disabuse yourselves of it. I am Eb3, but I lord over Eb2, and the same EB2s lord over me depending on particular expertise and problem that is being solved, that is business. No, I am not talking about telling EB2s how to switch on their computers. I am talking about hardcore technical issues.
I'm not in IT. the more I hear IT folks go at each other, the less I think of the field frankly. And yes, i do not know about you but I met several people who came in the tech boom, whose jobs a monkey could do. Sorry, just the truth.
Just gave you a green.
Have a good day!
Its sad to see school children being brutally killed by missles and tanks. I don't understand how people could blow up innocent kids, women and men under the name of self-defence?
This world has gone crazy and there's no one questioning about this in-human atrocities committed against fellow human being.
Lets us pray for those who are going thru this hardship, and for an immediate end to this war crime.
How many more innocent civilians including children they are planning to kill?. All these so called peace loving nations blocking the UN from making a cease-fire resolution. Looks like so called freedom lovers want more innocent lives.
When Mumbai was attacked by terrorists, whole world was united and supported the victim(India). Now the same world is against the victim and encouraging more killing by not stopping the attrocities.
And look at what India is going thru. Each and every year, bomb blasts in multiple cities.
There are hundreds of polls taken in Indian cities and a majority of the people living in cities say that they are terrified. They are constantly living under the fear of the next terrorist attack.
Indians support a military action against Pakistan as they know that the state of Pakistan is involved in these terrorist activities.
And even if the state not knowing about these people does not relieve them from accountability.
So how different would it be if India initiates a military strike on Pakistan, will they guarantee that not a single innocent live will be taken?
Israelis feel much safer in their country, even after being surrounded by enemies from all side.
I am not justifying anything, I am just saying that Israel does not love to go and kill innocent people, they are not the Stalin or the Nazi clansmen.
Or are you saying that they love killing people?