Activists on the reform side of the lobbying debate have been celebrating that Congress finally got around to passing an ethics bill. The question is: Should voters celebrate as well?
Paul A. Miller, a former president of the American League of Lobbyists, thinks the hoorahs should be muted, and he has a point. The legislation bars lobbyists from providing meals and gifts to lawmakers, a provision long sought by the advocates of change as a way to keep well-heeled interests from buying their way into the hearts of decision-makers.
But Miller and others point out that the ban is full of loopholes. The largest of the gaps, Miller said, could end up worsening the public's perception that lawmakers are for sale.
If lobbyists are prevented from buying meals for lawmakers for lobbying purposes, he noted, lobbyists will almost certainly make up for the loss by boosting the number of meals they buy lawmakers as part of campaign fundraising events.
And believe it or not, they will be perfectly able to do so. Lobbying laws are separate from campaign finance laws, and the new ban on meals and gifts applies only to lobbying laws. That means the legislation does not rein in fundraising events, so lobbyists and their clients will still be able to buy food and entertainment for lawmakers at those events.
Hence the following perversity: Lobbyists will not be able to pick up the check for members of Congress unless they also hand the lawmakers a check to help their reelections.
"Lobbyists will move lunches and dinners to the campaign side of things," Miller predicts. "They will increasingly get members of Congress for an hour or so to give them a campaign check; that's a better deal for the lobbyists and will also make it more likely for corruption to happen."
Jan W. Baran, the campaign finance expert at the law firm Wiley Rein, finds it hard to imagine that lawmakers can schedule more fundraisers than they already do. But he does think there will continue to be plenty of lobbyist-financed partying thanks to the nearly two dozen exceptions to the meal-and-gift ban.
Baran said that members of Congress will be able to accept invitations from lobbyists to events that are widely attended, including receptions and charity golf tournaments. Lobbyists will also still be allowed to underwrite visits by lawmakers if they have some official or ceremonial role. Members of Congress generally cannot accept tickets to sporting events from lobbyists. But they can be comped to a baseball game if they throw out the first pitch, to a football game if they toss the opening coin or to a NASCAR race if they wave the checkered flag. That's nice work if you can get it, and you can bet there'll be a lot more of it available soon.
Interest groups are also expressing concern about another feature of the legislation. The provision would require more disclosure by organizations about who is paying for and actively participating in the lobbying activities of coalitions and trade groups. At the moment, most of that information is proprietary and protected by Supreme Court decisions that shield the members of many kinds of groups. Organizations are worried that they might, for the first time, have to disclose who their top members are.
But they probably need not worry. Ways are always found to get around laws like this one. "The balloon will be pressed, and the air will come out another way," said Kenneth A. Gross, a lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
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For most, common sense of justice is an issue, in which case housing can be brought up, but again, not an issue to focus on too much, more in the context of 'it is ironic that many of us want to buy houses but GC wait is what prohibits that, not the credit crunch'. Can be mentioned in passing, but not worth focusing on.
Mentioning it in light hearted way would help too when you have predictions like this (latest report) from International Monetary Fund.
House prices have already fallen by around 10% in the US by some measures, and the IMF says that they may be over-valued by more than 20% in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
It is forecasting further falls in US house prices of 14% to 20% this year.
GC is definitely the main issue for atleast 10 of my friends (and I guess it is an issue for many others). our view is why invest in immovable assets while we are at the mercy of a govt agency.
ofcourse - I would guess that many of the govt advisors must have suggested the link between immigration and housing to the policy makers. in the end it is supply and demand.
there are other ways too ..US laws are influenced by lobbyists and I am sure there is a huge builders, realtors lobby ..maybe IV could explain the issue to them ..and in turn expect them to explain this issue to lawmakers ..
a quick note - I am not saying that if a person gets a GC then he will run and buy a house. but for many GC is the first thing that has to happen before he/she even starts to look around.
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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
What is the difference if you had your GC or not? If you had it would you still be renting? The ONE and ONLY reason I would ever rent is if it was a rent stabilised apartment in a good location in Manhattan, or when I am saving up enough money to buy.
You are a genius. Actually it's been a while now since since I left and I am glad and had the defeatist mentality to build a better life for myself and my family elsewhere.
For a genius, you should better. Just because you are on this forum, doesn't mean you are in the US, lol.
I have been member of this community and like to discuss with ex fellow GC seekers. You don't know the difference between GC or not ? Let me explain it to you, genius. With a GC you know that you are legaly entitled to stay permanently, at least until you commit something to have it revoked. Without GC, when your time is up, you have to pack and leave. Get it ? or is it STILL too complicated for you, genius ?
Wonder how can someone suffer after GC and still doesn't know the difference.
Just to mow lawn, gardening and keeping tab on overall resident development you pay $400/month..Thats ridiculously high...BTW,I am not from CA, excuse my ignorance.
There is more emphasis on landscaping and higher labor rates and other community amenities and staff. However, I think, 400 is a bit expensive HOA. 250-300 is more like it in CA. If you are paying 400 per month for HOA, you might want to consider a 650K house with no HOA, pays better deal in the long run. I personally despise houses with high HOA fees. The HOA tends to be the government of your community and not only you pay more, your rights as homeowners get diminished.
Also the condos in cupertino & townhomes are like 3 storied, you spend a lot of life on staircase instead of enjoying the comfort. Its good if you are young but do not work out a lot :) but not really a very good living style in my opinion.
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India is not interested in occupying Pakistan nor is it interested in destroying it. Stop being paranoid, we only want the roaches killed.
And for your parallel of 9/11, 3K Americans were killed by 19 "Middle eastern" Muslims- not South Asians. The problem of terrorism ranges from Egypt in the west to Pakistan in the east. It does not bring India into play and the whole world is aware of this. India has been a victim of terrorism for the last 60 years.
I am not responsible for the actions of those people. Imagine if after 9/11, an American asked you to apologize for the actions of the 19 'Brown men' (I am assuming here that you are a south asian male) who killed 3000 Americans, how silly do you think that situation would be. If cockroaches from my house take a dump in your kitchen, don't ask me to apologize for that.[/QUOTE]"
What do you mean by they will give you?
The moment your I-485 is denied, Form the date of denial, your stay is considered unauthorized. You may have to leave soon as possible. If you accumulate more than 180 days and leave the country, you will be barred for 3 years from entering US. If you stay more than 365 days, you will get a 10 year ban. From the date of 485 denial till you leave the country, If you own a home, they know where to find you..if you decide to overstay...
Please do not post wrong information..
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One Mr. Sunny Surya, and one Mr. XYZ. both landed in the USA in 1998. Mr. Sunny Surya goes to school, works hard and gets his masters in 2000. works for a good reputed company gathers experience and then in 2003 files for labor. PD 2003. Since he does not have experience in the USA (His present experience with the sponsoring company is not counted). He would have to change his job to be considered for EB2. So files in EB3. Mean time MR. XYZ has changed multiple jobs and is suddenly eligible for EB2 and files in JAN 2004. He is current and about to get his GC. Mr. Sunny Surya is contemplating changing his job and he is definately going to qualify for EB2. Mr XYZ tells Mr. Sunny - NO!. You cannot get in the EB2 with older PD. Get a 2008 PD.
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Quit hiding among women and children and fight like man on battlefield.
when you have two sides claiming two opposite stories, it is not reasonable to have one side be the defendant and the judge at the same time.
The UN and International Red Cross who are on the ground there declared the Israeli claims of militants in the bombed civilian areas bogus.. foreign journalist might have confirmed that too (ah.. forgot that Israel banned foreign journalists from entering Gaza.. wonder why?)
If we dismiss independent testimony just because the defendent says so, every criminal will go get a free hand.. plz let me hear ur logic for doing that
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In the same time period, not many experts recommend buying a house. I remember in 2002 a community near my work was selling town homes for around 200,000 and there were no buyers. Today (after correction) those same houses are still selling at around 450,000.
I 100% agree with you that this is a good time to buy. I know many people are saying that the market would crash another 20%. But the fact is that you can negotiate 10-15% from the advertised price. And there are enough homes in the bank-repo and short sale categories where the prices are 20-30% below the price mentioned in zillow.
Having owned a town home for the last 2.5 years, I can very confidently say that the yard work and house cleaning etc. etc. are not such a big deal. Actually we mow our lawn with a manual push mower (may not be practical if you have more than 10 cents to mow) and clean the snow using a $10 snow shovel. Who said a little exercise is bad for you? I have also helped my single family friends in their yard work and never thought working outside is such a bad thing.
But there is a risk. And house is big ticket item, you have move cautiously.
I firmly believe in the Contrarian Theory. When speculators run, its time to get in and BUY. I owned two homes and I am in the process to getting a third one. I would be a good candidate for those TV shows on HGTv/TLC. I buy a home build equity(through appreciation) and flip. This will get me closer to my DREAM home. I cannot see myself in a home for more than 5 years.
The inventory glut in (SF Bay Area) is not desirable, they talk about east contra-costa and south Santa Clara but there are not much available in core bay-area. The inventory is basically non-desirable.
Simple math, just estimate the number of immigrants that will be ready to buy a home in SF Bay. Just look at the inventory in desirable neighborhoods. They dont match.
Stretching (financially) yourself is always uncomfortable but it can reap you huge dividends. If you are not comfortable, then I would say keep aside monthly payments that would cover 6 months and your home should be sold incase you need to get out of it.
No other investment in US(for individuals) is as leveraged as homes/real-estate. You invest 5% and reap the benefits(or losses) of the rest.
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these protectionist will realize as many H1B dependent companies virtual outsource all there jobs
well in all seriousness I don't think this bill will be passed in senate,
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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.
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
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.
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.
If that's what your experience has been, its good news.
Overall, my experience has been completely opposite but if most Pakistanis are anti-terrorism as you say, half the battle is already won. I am also beginning to a get a sense that this has embarrased lot of muslims....and its set them thinking.
However, how do you propose we bring the terrorists to book? Attack Pakistan? Bomb the terrorist camps out? Wait for another attack to happen, wait for your own family in Mumbai to be wiped out? And exchange hateful words on IV? Release the terrorists in exchange for political hostages or fedd them dal, chapatis in Indian prisons?
Justice doesn't come magically or does it?
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Guys, sorry for starting this alarming thread. But the talk of an imminent indian strike in pakistan was all over the internet. I found so many links where indian govt threatens pakistan with war if it does not mends its ways. Just see for yourself.
India Set to Launch 'Small War'
Delhi ups its war rhetoric
US fears India may attack militant training camps in PoK
India Hinted At Attack In Pakistan; U.S. Acts to Ease Tension on Kashmir
Bush appeals to India, Pakistan to `draw back from war'
India, Pakistan shoot, talk of war
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I did report to admin, they didn't take any action to the guy send the vulgar messages. Now warning the people copy pasted them.!!!!
He pulled out a slide which says they bring 2 million legals every year and part of which said 400,000 H1Bs every year,
Where does he get this number when anual quota is only 65K, can some one verify this
Personally, I don't think one necessary needs a immigration attorney for this. This is a public interest litigation. The task is definitly not easy but if 50 people can join hands and willing to shell out $500 dollars. It is doable. But I doubt that will happen.
Ever wondered why a lawsuit never got filed against Labor Substitution, or stealing of EB Gcs by nurses, or against the discriminatory country quotas?
Simple, you need an Immigration Attorney to file the case. The same AILA cardholding person who is expecting a windfall profit out of interfiling/PD porting. I am interested to see the immigration attorney who is willing to sacrifice profit for principle. It would be a first in history if that happen!!
Good luck to everyone willing to participate in this wild goose chase. I guess you guys have too much money in bank to spend over such a mission impossible. If only you'd contribute equally to IV campaigns...