In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and bailed out.
Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.
The doctor grabbed one and said "I'm a doctor, I save lives, so I must live," and jumped out.
The lawyer then said, "I'm a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live."
He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.
The priest looked at the little boy and said, "My son, I've lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace."
The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, "Not to worry, Father. The 'smartest man in the world' just took off with my back pack."
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May 2011 is likely to go down as an especially important and intensive period in U.S.-China relations. Leaders of the two countries held the latest annual session of the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 9-10. And this week, eight high-ranking Chinese generals, led by Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People�s Liberation Army, will meet their Pentagon counterparts and then tour selected U.S. military installations.
The conventional wisdom is that these events mark a dramatic improvement in a relationship that has been marked by growing tensions in recent years. That interpretation is partially correct, but there are some worrisome countercurrents that are also important. Despite the improving communication between the two sides, U.S.-China relations remain strained, and there are troublesome issues that will not be easy to ameliorate, much less resolve.
The opening day of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue illustrated both positive and negative trends. On the positive side, the Chinese delegation for the first time included high-level officers of the PLA. Their absence from those meetings in previous years left a noticeable void in the discussions, especially on such crucial issues as nuclear weapons policy and the military uses of space. American officials also viewed the lack of a military contingent in the Chinese delegation as tangible evidence of the PLA�s continuing wariness, if not outright hostility, toward the United States. The presence of those leaders in the latest dialogue was an indication that the cold war that had developed between the PLA and the Pentagon since the collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter in 2001 was finally beginning to thaw.
On the other hand, the opening remarks of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. officials struck a confrontational tone. They expressed sharp criticism of Beijing�s recent arrests of activists and artists following the pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. More broadly, Clinton stated that �We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights.� In an interview in The Atlantic, released during the talks, Clinton was even more caustic, accusing China�s leaders of trying �to stop history,� which she described as �a fool�s errand.�
It was not surprising that the U.S. delegation would raise the human rights issue in the course of the dialogue. But it was not the most constructive and astute diplomacy to highlight during the opening session perhaps the most contentious topic on the agenda. A senior administration official later stated that the discussions on human rights were �very candid,� which was probably an understatement.
The broader context of the opening session was not overly friendly either. While that session was taking place, President Obama conducted a lengthy telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The White House issued a bland statement that the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral and international concern, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but the underlying message to the Chinese was anything but subtle. The timing especially sent a signal to PRC leaders that in addition to Washington�s strategic links with its traditional allies in China�s neighborhood (especially Japan), the United States had key options available regarding the other rising regional giant�and Chinese strategic competitor�India. As in the case of the lectures on human rights, highlighting U.S.-India ties at that moment did not help ease bilateral tensions with Beijing.
Even when U.S. officials ostensibly sought to be conciliatory, the attempt often came across as self-serving and borderline condescending. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, for example, praised some �very promising changes� in Beijing�s economic policy that had taken place during the previous year, especially on the currency valuation issue. But there were few offers of economic carrots from the U.S. side. The emphasis was always on the concessions Washington expected from Beijing.
The closed-door meetings appeared to be more constructive than the public session, as the participants reached agreement on a number of measures, both minor and significant. In the former category was the announcement of Beijing�s decision to offer twenty thousand scholarships to American students for study in China. In the latter category was a two-pronged agreement, which included both a commitment to conduct regular talks (dubbed �Strategic Security Dialogues�) regarding security problems in East Asia and a �framework for economic cooperation� to address the full range of occasionally contentious bilateral economic and financial issues. In addition, Beijing made commitments to increase the transparency of China�s economy, especially the government�s use of export credits.
Progress on security and economic topics was gratifying and holds considerable potential. But whether the outcome deserves the label �milestone agreement,� as officials contended, remains to be seen. The significance of the accord depends heavily on the subsequent execution, especially on the Chinese side. Nevertheless, the dialogue clearly ended on a high note, and one that was better than anticipated following the U.S. delegation�s brusque comments at the opening session.
Expectations regarding the visit of General Chen and his PLA colleagues are also upbeat. The visit itself is a significant breakthrough. Military-to-military relations have been tense and episodic for years. The most recent disruption occurred in early 2010 when Beijing angrily severed those ties following the Obama administration�s announcement of a multi-billion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan.
Despite the cordial rhetoric accompanying this trip (and the full military honors accorded Chen during a ceremony at Fort Myer), the visit has far more symbolic than substantive importance. The U.S. and Chinese militaries are not about to become best friends. The best that can realistically be expected would be measures to improve communications between forces deployed in the air and on the sea in the Western Pacific region to reduce the danger of accidents or miscalculations. Any breakthrough on larger strategic disagreements will have to be reached between officials at higher pay grades than even General Chen and his American counterparts.
The change in tone in the U.S.-China relationship is welcome, since better cooperation on both economic and strategic issues is important. Trends on both fronts over the past several years have been worrisome. A failure to cooperate on economic matters not only jeopardizes both the U.S. and Chinese economies, it also poses a threat to the global economic recovery. Animosity on security topics creates dangerous tensions in East Asia and undermines progress on such issues as preventing nuclear proliferation.
Nevertheless, while China and the United States have significant interests in common, they also have some clashing concerns in both the economic and strategic arenas. There are bound to be tensions between the United States, the incumbent global economic leader and strategic hegemon, and China, the rapidly rising economic and military power. The critical task for leaders in both countries is to manage those tensions and to keep them under control.
The political and diplomatic dance between such great powers is inevitably a wary, delicate one. But the alternative would be the kind of outright hostility that marked the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and that would be to no one�s benefit.
China must stop being so secretive about its military rise (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peterfoster/100088783/china-must-stop-being-so-secretive-about-its-military-rise/) By Peter Foster | Telegraph
Stealth has the smell of success (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME20Ad03.html) By Carlo Kopp | Asia Times
A Rare-Earths Showdown Looms
WTO litigation over China's export limits is inevitable unless Beijing comes to its senses. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576331010793763864.html)
By JAMES BACCHUS | Wall Street Journal
Chinese interests in Pacific nations: mining ventures in PNG (http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2011/05/19/chinese-interests-in-pacific-nations-mining-ventures-in-png/) By Graeme Smith | UTS and ANU
China-risers should pause for breath (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME20Ad01.html) By Tom Engelhardt | Asia Times
How China Gains from Fukushima (http://the-diplomat.com/2011/05/20/how-china-gains-from-fukushima/) By Saurav Jha | The Diplomat
And he replied, "It was an ID Ten T Error."
A puzzled expression ran riot over Judy's face. "An ID Ten T Error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again?"
He gave her a grin... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID Ten T Error before?"
"No," replied Judy.
"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."
(She wrote...) I D 1 0 T
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The builder offered me a 2,600 sq. ft., 4 bed-room home at $1450 per month, including taxes and insurance, fixed for 30 years. I guessed that the $250 difference from rent is nothing compared to the benefit of owning a home. The interest part of my first monthly amortization is about $800, $400 go to principal, and $250 go to taxes and insurance.
Have you done your math ? Granted those $250 looks chump change for you, but what if it was invested for a return of 5% while the house may not be back at sales level for another 10 to 15 years ?
No one will argue with you about buying a house for yours kids pleasure though.
I'll give you some examples of what they have done of which I have intimate knowledge of:
1) Questioned company on I-140 why they had more 140's pending/approved then the number of people on payroll. Asked for all 140 info., h1, L1 and even the people who got employment base greencard and asked company to justify where they are
2) Department of state for visa stamping; if they don't trust client letter; they refer the case to department of state fraud unit in Kentucky. They will then contact signer of letter and HR of company to verify that person signed the letter
3) Department of labor is on a real war path of checking companies compliance with h-1b based on referrals made by department of state. I can tell you that there is no way any company who is h-1b dependent can be 100% compliant with h-1b. Patni got fined $3.5 million for violations.
4) Department of labor made a home visit to an HR person who was no longer working with the company to ask and verify her signatue on labor applications in a fast processing state when they weren't registered to do business there
5) Department of labor verifying that people were paid the greencard wage upon greencard approval (this was in conjunction with h-1b investigation). I can tell you that some states have very high eb2 wages and people aren't even close to the labor number; companies do it anyways to keep you happy but do they run that number once you do get the greencard?
6) h-1b rfe's from california service center. when quota finished in one day; there was some rumors from california service center that they would be treating h-1b transfers/quota cases very harshly in that companies were engaging in speculative employment. These days if you are involved in software and you file an h-1b transfer or even extension with california service center; you have a very good chance of getting a four page rfe. One of the things they have started to ask for is a table of people whom h-1b's have been filed for. Table has to list name, social security number, receipt number, date of birth, joining date, termination date, no show, future joining date. California service center then intertwines this information with company unemployment compensation reports. I have actually seen 3 recent denials where USCIS examined the unemployment compensation reports and looked at people who may have been paid a lower wage and pulled those people's h-1b files and denied the present case saying they can't trust the company to comply with the h-1b, lca.
These days; uscis/dol/dos really means business. I refer you to earlier posting of how evertime a company files a case; it gives uscis a chance to go through entire immigration history of a company. They have the resources and tools.
ok now i'm really confused between AC21 and future employment debate....
AC21 can be used after 6 months of 485 filing to change the job but then once u get GC you have to work for the original company that filed your 485 for few months?? so for e.g. if i change my job after lets say 1 year of 485 filing and lets say my 485 is approved after 3 years so now do i have to quit my new job and go back to my old employer to work for few months to get my gc? am i understanding this correct? i think i'm not... can you please clarify?? thnx
When you people are going to change ?
People with no skill is better than so called highly skilled but no brain .
No..I dont have a US masters degree.
Also, yea..I understand that my case was picked up for random check..but they already picked up in Apr 2008 and sent it to NBC..and then in Aug 2007 they sent it to local office where I was interviewed..
My PD was current in both Aug 07 and Sep 07 per bulletin..but during interview in Aug07,we realized that visa numbers were long gone (which was confirmed by DOS in sep)..that was the only reason we didnt get stamped that time..per..Interviewing officer..
So not sure what this is now..also they wanted copy of Degree certificates?..comeon we sent those along with 485 application.. :D:D
Anyway thanks to you and chandu for respoding :)
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And as far as comparing us to President Bush, India has never lost a war yet because India never went to war with any one with out them provoking it. India always fights Justified wars and justice always wins.
So Mr. Trained Reservist,
Let's say the war is won in 15-20 days based on your expert knowledge, what is next? India occupies Pakistan? and acquires 160 million muslim population along with Talibans? You think that will end terrorism and riots in India?
Oh BTW, there is another trained reservist in the history who claimed Iraq war would be won in two weeks. Do you know who he is? Hint: he became the worst president in the history of the US.
Anti-H1B lobby wants to make the system so difficult that it will be impossible to complete all the requirements. Their strategy is, if they cannot eliminate H-1B program, they will make in non-workable. Also, this bill was in the making for more than two years. They are timing their articles in the press with this bill because of a reason. Don't simply reject it by saying that "this is not going to pass". Taking this bill lightly will be a mistake.
Please inform your friends, colleagues and employer about this very serious problem.
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I am here legally in this country from Sept 2000.
Applied for GC in March 2006 (EB3 I), filed 485 in July 07, used AC 21 in April 08 and now working on EAD.
I already had backup plan for Canada. If I wanted to keep my Canadian PR current I had to fulfill the 2 yrs out of first 5 requirement and was required to relocate to Canada in Aug 07. After July 07 fiasco and getting EAD, I thought of giving up on that back-up plan. It was not an easy decision, but we decided to bite the bullet and were thinking that AC-21 memo and EAD are good enough safe-guards for any denial if and when it comes. Also other thing I thought as it is it's going to take ages for my date to become current by that time at least my child's education will be done (he is in high school) and he doesn't have to go through relocation pains as far as school is concerned. He has already done that 4 times in last 8 years. So all in all we were satisfied with the decision to abandon Canadian PR and using AC 21. But now all of a sudden I see there are so many denials for straight forward AC21 cases and moreover if Obama wins then immigration policy are driven by Durbin. AC-21 is the thread that I am hanging on to, if that goes away then what....just don't want to think about it.
Correct me if i am wrong, But, The general feeling that i am getting from this whole discussion is that, If Obama becomes the next President and if his Buddy Se. Durbin is driving the immigration issues then , Are they going to scrap all the pending Employment Based GCs, and, all the People who have already used AC21 will be in trouble, thats like starting the whole thing over again.
I personally think that this will not be the case and the new laws will be applicable to the new applications, because, when you invoked AC21 you did it according to the law, how come you will be in trouble because of a new law.
Its like saying , If a crime of theft is going to have a Death panelty starting 2010, then all the convicted people from past will be hanged in 2010." That somehow doesn't sound right...I would like to get opinion from other people.
By Matthew Mosk (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/matthew+mosk/), Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Last year, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) sat in the minority, with little seniority, calling for lobbyists to disclose when they're gathering stacks of campaign checks for members.
Now, his party is in power, he heads the Democrats' key fundraising arm, and he'll be judged in part by his ability to collect those bundles of checks from lobbyists.
The Democratic takeover last fall fostered change across Capitol Hill, but few are feeling the effects as directly as Van Hollen, the third-term congressman from Bethesda who will guide his party's 2008 House election efforts.
Van Hollen took over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in December, and the next month he distributed a four-page memo outlining his plans for protecting newly elected lawmakers. Central to that plan is the goal of raising $650,000 to $1 million for those "front line" lawmakers by June 30.
Typically, about a third of the money raised by the DCCC comes from member contributions, a third flows from direct mail and Internet solicitations and a third comes from individual donors, records show.
In many instances, that money comes from lobbyists tasked with collecting checks from colleagues, clients, family and friends -- bundlers. It's the same crowd Van Hollen took a crack at last year, when he attached his disclosure proposal to legislation in committee.
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Dude, refrain from doing it.....Doesn't serve the purpose of the forum.
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You get a job at company A you work for them. When you move to company B that company does your H1B.. if required again. Why should company A do your H1B than the individual work for somebody else as "consultant". This has been going on for too long affecting everybody especially scientists and doctors and academic community. These consultants are delaying GC for us. The bill takes care of that problem and I think its fair.
Also if the new bill requires repeating labor certification every time we move so be it. You are "best and brightest" correct.. prove it!
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we are targeting him because he is saying things which are inaccurate if not ludicrous regarding immigration. He is similar to tancredo. Did anybody know there was a xenophobe called tancredo before he started riling against CIR. Lou Dobbs and Tancredo realized they have stuck gold with there diatribe against immigration and they are riding this xenophobic wave for it full worth.
Wonder why he is not questioned, ridiculed or targetted by other TV standups or show masters. The truth is, Dobbs has a following - people who would like to hear again and again what they want to hear and CNN knows it. Even if he is spilling BS, at some point, repetetion may make it sound like " oh, there is something in what he says" attitude, mainly because of familiarity by that repetetion itself. Maybe he will end up a Congressman or a clown instead, the fact is, he can elicit attention of a few millions -by his talk show and write-ups. From McCain to Romney, Sen. Clinton to Bush, if people see the quick policy/face changes among the politicians and compare with some stray ---- like Dobbs saying (barking) the same thing over and over again, there is a chance that he might end up scoring more in popularity than the president.
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on a lighter note--
He has BS (you know what that is) Degree in economics from harvard.
Looking at his career he is quite a star.
Louis Earl Dobbs (born September 24, 1945) is the anchor and managing editor of CNN's hour-long weeknight program Lou Dobbs Tonight, an editorial columnist, and host of a syndicated radio show.
Dobbs was born in Childress, Texas, raised in Rupert, Idaho, and resides in Sussex County, New Jersey. He attended Minico High School in Rupert, serving as student body president in 1963. He later earned a degree in economics from Harvard University. He is married with children.
Dobbs joined CNN when it launched in 1980, serving as its chief economics correspondent and as host of the business news program CBS News Sunday Morning on CBS. Dobbs also served as a corporate executive for CNN, as its executive vice president and as a member of CNN News Chief Iran Correspondent’s executive committee. He also founded CNN News (CNN financial news), serving as its president and anchoring the program, Business Unusual, which examined business creativity and leadership. In 1999, Dobbs started Space.com, a Web-based multimedia company dedicated to space education and entertainment.
Dobbs left CNN in 2000, reportedly due to heated clashes with its president, Rick Kaplan, one of which actually occurred on-air when Kaplan suggested to cut from CNN News to a live address by Bill Clinton at Columbine, which Dobbs believed was a staged event and not newsworthy.  Dobbs returned the following year at the behest of his friend and CNN founder Ted Turner, becoming host and managing editor of the new and initially more general news program Lou Dobbs Reporting, which later became CNN News Sunday Morning. Dobbs also hosts a nationally syndicated radio show, The Lou Dobbs Financial Report, and he is a regular columnist in Money magazine, U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News.
In the 2000s, Dobbs has used CNN programs and columns to express strong personal views on several subjects. He has become particularly noted for two positions. Concerning international trade, he leans toward protectionism and is particularly wary of outsourcing and offshoring in light of the increasing US trade deficit, particularly with China. He also is opposed to a North American union.
Dobbs is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, immigration amnesty, abuses of the H-1B visa program and guest worker programs. He supports stringent enforcement at U.S. borders, whether by federal or state action, or by private groups like the controversial Minuteman Project. Dobbs often has stated the United States is becoming balkanized and immigrants and/or illegal aliens are refusing to assimilate. He has been critical of their demonstrations of ethnic or national pride, stating, "I don't think that we should have any flag flying in this country except the flag of the United States", and "I don't think there should be a St. Patrick's Day. I don't care who you are. I think we ought to be celebrating what is common about this country, what we enjoy as similarities as people." He has been accused of inciting xenophobia by some such as Libertarian journalist James K. Glassman of the American Enterprise Institute.
Lou Dobbs Tonight frequently features related issues under the ongoing billboards "Exporting America" and "Broken Borders". The newscast often couples references to illegal aliens with the word "invasion". Dobbs dismisses the allegedly excessive or misguided concern for language as "political correctness" in the segment billboarded "P.C. Nation".
Dobbs' stance on trade has earned plaudits from some trade union activists, on the traditional political left, while his stance on immigration tends to appeal to the right. Dobbs is a self-described "lifelong Republican"  who has become disenchanted with the policies of George W. Bush's administration.
In his "Broken Borders" segments Dobbs focuses primarily on the southern border with Mexico and the drugs and illegal aliens that cross it. Critics claim this is unfair because the 5000-mile border between Canada and the United States is longer and also permeable. On the other hand, proponents note the vast majority of illegal aliens and drugs pass into the United States via the Mexican border and that he has in fact had some segments dealing with the lack of security along the US-Canada border. As of the end of May 2006; some 829,109 illegal immigrants had been apprehended crossing from Mexico into the U.S.A. this year. Illegal Immigrants apprehended crossing from Canada to the U.S.A. are a tiny fraction of that amount -- 4,066.  Dobbs apparently also has lauded the Canadian government for cooperation in securing the border with their American counterparts.
In June 2006, as the U.S. Senate debates the Federal Marriage Amendment, Dobbs was highly critical of the action. He asserted that so-called traditional marriage was threatened more by financial crises perpetuated by Bush administration economic policy than by gay marriage. 
In July 2006, Dobbs criticized U.S. foreign policy as being disproportionately supportive of Israel, pointing out the U.S.'s rapid recognition of Israel in 1948, foreign aid to Israel, and other policy choices in the past and present. 
Dobbs has won numerous major awards for his television journalism, most notably a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, and a Cable Ace award. He received the George Foster Peabody Award for his coverage of the 1987 stock market crash. He also has received the Luminary Award of the Business Journalism Review in 1990, the Horatio Alger Association Award for Distinguished Americans in 1999 and the National Space Club Media Award in 2000. The Wall Street Journal has named Dobbs "TV's Premier Business News Anchorman". Dobbs even was named "Father of the Year" by the National Father's Day Committee in 1993.
Dobbs serves or has served on the boards of the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, the Horatio Alger Association, the National Space Foundation and the Imaginova Corporation, formerly known as Space.com, in which he owns a minority stake, as he does in Integrity Bank. He is a member of the Planetary Society, the Overseas Press Club and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
* Exporting America : Why Corporate Greed Is Shipping American Jobs Overseas (Warner Business Books, 2004) ISBN 0446577448
* Space: The Next Business Frontier by Dobbs and HP Newquist (Atria, 2001) ISBN 0743423895
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Sometimes you listen to your brain and take a decision.
I believe this situation should warrant you to listen to your brain and hire a good attorney.
Dont go by your hunch (or heart). Again a friendly advice because there is just too much at stake.
Good luck no matter what you decide.
The more and more I visit this thread, I am feeling I should have went with Attorney.
So I will stay away until I further hear from AO :confused:
Thanks to all of you who wished me
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Dude, don't get upset! There are terrorists from other faiths as you mentioned. Lets take last ten years. Put your hand on the heart, look around and when you hear/read about all those terrorist actions what do you think? Isn't it done in the name of Islam? If not 99%, a majority of terrorist acts are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. It is easily above 51%, a technical majority. Is mentioning that Propaganda?
Why did Mumbai happen? Why did Parliament happen? Why did Ashkardam happen? In all these cases the attack happened openly and security forces battled the terrorists. The people who pulled levers and initiated these actions did it neither for the sake of Islam nor for Indian Muslims, contrary to their claim. They have their own political calculations and Indian Muslims are used as a pawn in that game. Unfortunately, some Indian Muslims fall in that trap and help those perps in furthering their agenda. All in the name of Islam and protecting the 'interests' of Indian Muslims.
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I don't know whether VHP has a hand book. At least, I have not read it even if there is one. If they have it and they have expressed similar thoughts, there is nothing I can do about it.
There are several issues in Indian society. We are not denying it.
What we are demanding is that Pakistan should stop sponsoring terrorism. Not only that the nation must take active steps to root it out instead of simply disowning the terrorists. That's all.
I feel the mood getting a little lighter here and about time. What happened in Mumbia was dastardly and the responsible gotta pay. Lets keep the pressure and focus on it.
What I dislike though is the attempt by extremists to generalize a group of people to make them less humane and easy for the other group to kill them or worse ethnic cleansing. The point you mentioned is very often quoted to scare/anger the majority. The muslims have been guilty of been easily misled too so this is not unique to hindus.
Amen to the end of terrorism but India is way ahead of its neighbors. I do not even wish to compare us to our neighbors though I hope they wake up and get their act together
Fed is trying to supply short term funds to ease this crunch. I don't know how low Fed will go for this. What I am seeing is mortgage rates being stable or going down a little in near term bcoz of Fed easing. For long term, I believe rates will go up as bonds have to become attractive to get new investors.This may not be the best ( absolute bottom) but definitely very good time to refinance if it makes sense for your conditions.
For first time buyers like me, there are a lot of parameters to be considered. In my opinion the parameters are tilted towards faster house price drop . Hence I am waiting at least for a year. I will not do anything till next spring.
Thank you very much.
Trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce say a new lobbying law could require the release of their member lists, violating freedom of association protections granted by the Constitution.
The Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Society of Association Executives wrote Senate Secretary Nancy Erickson and House Clerk Lorraine Miller on Wednesday asking for clarification in how the new law will be applied.
The potential problem relates to a section in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 that would impose new lobbying disclosure rules.
The trade groups said Congress wrote the section of the law to shine light on so-called �stealth coalitions� that often use innocuous-sounding names to anonymously represent specific industries.
But the imprecision of lobbying definitions in the law could mean disclosure requirements would fall on a variety of trade groups, the groups said in the letter.
Groups that fail to accurately disclose their lobbying activities now will face criminal penalties, the letter also notes.
�The price for being wrong is extremely high,� said Steven Law, senior vice president and chief legal officer for the Chamber.
The letter was signed by Law; Jim Clarke, senior vice president of public policy for the American Society of Association Executives; and Jan Amundson, senior vice president and general counsel at NAM.
The lobbying law, passed in response to scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff and ex-Rep. Randy �Duke� Cunningham (R-Calif.), would require disclosure of any organization or entity that �actively participates in the planning, supervision, or control� in lobbying activities and contributes more than $5,000 per quarter for those efforts.
The �breadth and vagueness of the provision� require further clarification in how the new law will be applied, the letter stated.
The groups noted Supreme Court rulings that they say prohibit the government from forcing groups to disclose their membership without a compelling government interest in doing so.
�We take seriously the constitutional rights of our members to associate freely without government looking over our shoulders,� Law said.
Brett Kappel, a campaign finance and government ethics lawyer, said Congress wrote the provision to target ad-hoc associations that are formed to lobby on a particular issue.
�These typically spring up when there is legislation that would have a major economic impact on a small number of companies from a specific segment of the economy. That�s when they form the Coalition for Apple Pie and Motherhood and lobby against it,� said Kappel, who practices at the firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.
The new law �wasn�t designed to get at trade associations,� he said.
Law said the lobbying law gives the clerk and the secretary broad powers in implementing the new requirements. He said he expected further guidance from those offices by Dec. 10.