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  • pani_6
    07-14 06:37 PM
    We are old horses fo IV and dont have an agenda against any particular groups or category..all that we are trying to highlight is that our situation since 01..that's it...that having said the people will who are have been objecting to this will get thier GC's this time and will be gone ...and we in EB-3 2002 have to wait for another 2-3 years to get out turn..Can you imagine our situation..So please support this initiative...send out the letters...

    God bless us all!


    I am too tired to go against any law (I have my plan A to Z..and I guess most in EB3 have something similar) ..I don't think that there is a strict law as to how the spillover should happen (if someone knows ..please post it)..what I am saying is some fairness..call it pleading ..call it the last resort ..call it begging ..anything. will DOS agree ..maybe No. but maybe,,,maybe they will atleast give out a statement as to the future of EB3...and people in EB3 can make a decision and move on.
    as to the post above ...I am not saying do spillover in some ratio ..do something ...I am sure there are lot of workarounds or loopholes or whatever.
    what I am saying is ..if EB3-I does not act ..nothing will happen ..anyone can say that with certainity.
    maybe if core IV has meetings with DOS or USCIS .. maybe they can just ask as to what is the hope for EB3 ..I am sure most in EB3 (who are stuck in 2001, 02 ,03 ) will be happy just with some information





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  • Administrator2
    01-08 03:25 PM
    Refugee_New,

    Please check your private messages. We do not encourage abusive language on this forum. We very much appreciate your participation in this very important effort but no one wants to see you use abusive language at all times, including when discussing controvertial topics.

    Thanks,

    Administrator2





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  • radhay
    04-08 04:16 PM
    As many have already suggested, location and time frame you have is the key. If you are in an area where there are more jobs being created and population is growing (parts of TX, NC) you should seriously consider buying if you plan to stay there for atleast 3 yrs.
    We are in a period of stagnant income growth for most of the population and increased inflation and hence there is little money left to pay for inflated houses.





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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 05:50 PM
    Very true. If it was a simple think to do -- tracking down all the illegals and deporting them in the course of an afternoon, I would be all for it! Fact is, it isn't that simple. That is why we have to cope with the situation at hand and make the best of it. The best of it, regarding the illegals, is to prevent prevent the problem (heavily increased borders and border patrol) and get an overview of the illegals already here.

    Regarding the vast H-1B abuse by people NOT POSSESSING REAL, FULL-TIME JOBS, the solution is a much simpler one -- stop the abuse by stopping the 'consultants' on the bench.

    Because its hard to deport you are not for deportation. Are you for local police getting powers to enforce the immigration laws too?


    Now I see where you going , I think your views are much more in alignment with ALIPAC , NUMBERSUSA , PROGRAMMERS GUILD and Minute man project in my own home town ...


    As far as i know none of the consultant friends i know are on "bench" for past 3 years and they make much more money and pay much more money in taxes than people who are in "permanent" jobs.



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  • NolaIndian32
    09-28 07:58 PM
    I agree 100% with the quote below; if Durbin gets his way, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel for the EB community.

    I have been in the US, legally for 14+ years. I have stayed within the law, regulations to get my green card, but still after 8 years in this antiquated and dysfunctional process, I am "in queue". Twice I have had to turn down promotions to executive level within my organization because of restrictions of "same to similar" regulation. Even my CEO is frustrated with this situation. If Durbin has his way, I can no longer afford to put my life on hold. I will be forced to sell my house and relocate to Canada.

    McCain supports immigration for legally employed immigrants. I pray that he wins the election this November.



    After 8 yrs of Bush, I sure am ready for Democrats to take over. America needs a change. But Sen. Obama's victory will surely spell doom and gloom for the EB community - of which I am one.

    I have been in the United States for 9 years - LEGALLY. I have bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law, irrespective of how convoluted it is. My kids are American Citizens. I pay taxes and contribute to the American economy. We even bought a house here in the hope that we can settle down in America. Me and my husband hold executive level positions in major multinationals. Here is the absolute kicker - I work in Satellite Telecommunications and my company supports the United States Government (DoD) and its contractors/ sub contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan!!

    We wanted Democrats to win...but guess what - the failed CIR 2007 woke us up to the fact that Sen. Durbin will never make it easy for us EB immigrants. His hostility towards this community forced us to secure the Canadian PR. We have a little bit more time to decide when we want to move there before our PR expires. If things don't take a turn for the better on the Immigration front, we will move to Canada. I just dread having to sell the house here though!!

    Till date, I only see Durbin driving immigration - and it is definitely against teh EB community. My question to Sen.Obama - what do you have to offer to us, the highly skilled immigrants? Would you rather we just liquidate all our assets (home, stocks, bonds, vehicles, etc) here in America and take it with us to another country that is more welcoming???





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-05 01:35 PM
    A guy in a bar was talking about how he always watched his wedding video backwards.

    When asked why, he replied:

    "Coz I love the end bit where she takes the ring off her finger, goes back down the aisle, and jumps in the car and disappears..."



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  • unitednations
    07-08 04:47 PM
    thanks UN..

    we don't mean to bug you..!!

    but sometimes these r so scary..it feels we r better off being illegal in this country..

    all this is just plain BS..when we r paying so much in taxes and SS in this country..we r still chopped and diced like vegetables ...

    btw..on the same note since you r here..does the 'out of status' count only after the last entry in to thr country..or it is still scrutinised right from the time you land into the US..

    pls post..


    Unlawful presence; overstaying i-94 card and not filing a timely extension before expiry of non immigrant status. Very serious issue; especially if someone overstays y more then six months.

    Out of status; legally here (unexpired I-94 card) but not complying with terms and conditions of the I-94 card.

    In both situations; everything is wiped out upon exit and re-entry. However; if someone has unlawful presence of more then six months then it is fatal if you leave as the 3 and 10 year bars apply to re-entry.





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  • Macaca
    04-17 08:40 AM
    To Conceal Donors, Some Political Groups Look to the Tax Code (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/16/AR2007041601352.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    An increasing number of organizations working to influence elections also are working to hide who is paying for their activities.

    Several political organizations colloquially known as 527s are relying more on or switching into 501(c)(4) groups, the type of tax-exempt entity that the tax code uses for advocacy groups.

    The 527s must disclose who gives them money; 501(c)(4)s do not have that requirement.

    The trend, which was discovered by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, runs counter to one of the basic tenets of modern-day election law -- broad public disclosure. Voters generally have the right to know who is helping to elect their representatives and senators. Armed with such data, they can decide for themselves who, if anyone, is trying to buy their congressional representatives.

    A lot of political influence is at stake if such transformations proliferate. In last year's elections, 527s spent $143.2 million. The biggest outlays on the Democratic side came from the Service Employees International Union, Emily's List and America Votes, a coalition of liberal groups. On the Republican side, the big spenders were the Progress for America Voter Fund, the College Republican National Committee and the Presidential Coalition.

    There are many reasons that 527s might want to alter their stripes. The main one has nothing to do with concealment: The Federal Election Commission has been cracking down on 527s, insisting they cannot explicitly press for the election or the defeat of candidates.

    But in trying to sidestep the crackdown, several 527s have chosen an alternative structure that is harder for the public to track. Tax-exempt groups of various types have always been able to keep their donors anonymous (except to the Internal Revenue Service). The exception to this, made in 2000, is the type of electioneering funds called 527s, which have to publicly name their contributors.

    In recent years, one group that has leaned more heavily on its 501(c)(4) is Progress for America, once one of the largest GOP-leaning 527s. Another group is converting outright: the Club for Growth, which supports conservative, anti-tax candidates. According to a letter obtained by the Campaign Finance Institute, the club sees many benefits in its transformation, including secrecy. "Unlike in the past, your donations to the Club will not be disclosed to the public, except in very limited circumstances," wrote Patrick J. Toomey, the group's president.

    Some experts doubt that the Club for Growth will be widely imitated. An organization cannot simply change its label to a 501(c); it must also alter its function so that it no longer primarily works on elections. Last week, Public Citizen, the liberal gadfly, formally complained that Americans for Job Security should not be allowed to operate as a 501(c)(6), or trade association, because of its large-scale electoral involvement.

    Veil of Secrecy
    A sample of entities involved in politics that operate as 501(c), (4), (5) or (6) groups, which are tax-exempt and do not have to disclose their donors publicly.

    Organization and Examples of 2006 political activity

    AFL-CIO Spent about $40 million on its pro-Democratic political program.
    Americans for Job Security Ran an estimated $1.5 million in ads on behalf of then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
    Chamber of Commerce Spent $10 million on ads thanking largely GOP incumbents for pro-business positions.
    Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund Spent $1.6 million on election-related activity, including voter education and mobilization.
    Focus on Family Action Sponsored radio ads in several competitive Senate races.
    League of Conservation Voters Spent more than $1 million on TV ads, mailings and other political outreach.
    NARAL Spent more than $740,000, mostly to rent voter lists for Internet communications.
    National Rifle Association Campaign war chest (excluding PAC funds) was reportedly $9 million.

    SOURCE: Campaign Finance Instititue



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  • niklshah
    07-13 09:29 PM
    I hope you get your GC soon. As for me its 'wait until dark'. It'll come some day.

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

    you did not get my post...last thing we want is silly argument regarding EB2 and EB3................





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  • alisa
    12-30 01:48 AM
    I think I agree with quite a lot of what you say. But I think there is some truth in Pakistani fears that India is already supporting anti-state actors in Pakistan, like in Balochistan.


    India is not yet spending its resources, and we all want India to spend substantial budget, say over $50 billion an year, to destabilize & disintegrate Pakistan.


    I don't think we all want that.
    I don't think even all Indians want that.
    I don't think its in the interest of India, or anyone else for that matter, to have a huge Afghanistan on its Eastern border.



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  • nojoke
    05-03 02:33 AM
    NAR has been constantly changing their prediction. They predicted that we will be having growth in the later part of this year. Now they changed their tune. It is now 24% down. Nextmonth they will say 35% down. NAR is a joke
    http://lansner.freedomblogging.com/2008/05/02/realtors-forecast-24-price-drop-for-california-houses/





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  • gclabor07
    08-05 11:48 AM
    Folks,

    Here are my thoughts on this based on my personal experience.

    USCIS should allow porting of dates not just based on approved I-140, but also based on approved LC.

    I applied in EB3 category back in 2003. My labor was stuck in BEC and my career wasn't progressing. So I decided to switch my employers and start the process all over again. Just before I left my previous LC was approved. I wish that process should have allowed me to port the PD of my first labor because PD is decided when you file LC and not when you file I-140. So right now I've EB2 with 2007 PD. I missed the July 07 bus as well.

    Was this fair? perhaps not. Am I having heartburn, not really. I'm happy that I made the switch and moved to the new employer with a better career path.



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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:39 PM
    All India Radia (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/All-India-Radia/articleshow/7179711.cms) By Jug Suraiya | Times of India

    Far from subverting democracy lobbyists help to promote it

    Niira Radia should be given the Padma Shrimati next year. As each new tranche of the leaked tapes of Radiagate are made public it becomes increasingly clear that, far from sabotaging India's democracy, the lobbyist was actually furthering its cause.

    Though Radia's method of operation - which reportedly involves large-scale hawala transactions - was often dubious, there is nothing wrong with her broad strategy to influence public policy by inducing media people and other opinion makers to get A Raja the telecom portfolio. That his appointment - at least partly engineered by Radia - led to the 2G scam is another matter.

    Lobbying - or what is often called public advocacy - is a perfectly legitimate, and indeed necessary, component of any democracy. In the US, for example, it is considered to be a high-profile and respectable profession made use of by everyone who would like to have a say in the framing of official policy. New Delhi has often employed US lobbyists to try and influence Washington's policies vis-a-vis Pakistan and Kashmir, among other things. In the US, there are accredited lobbyists for all manner of issues and individuals, from the right to bear arms to candidates for Senate seats.

    If looked at in its broadest sense, what does lobbying boil down to? Nothing more, or less, than trying to get people to see your, or your client's view. All public relations exercises - be they for business interests or causes like animal welfare or AIDS prevention - are examples of lobbying: they are attempts to get the members of the public to change their ways of thought and action in particular spheres of interest or concern.

    Similarly, all forms of advertising - and no media product, including this newspaper, could remain economically viable were it not for advertisements - are lobbying by another name. Advertisements try to persuade you to buy a particular product or service. A successful ad, a lobbying exercise that has worked, is one that makes the maximum amount of money for the advertiser, the client of the lobbyist, in this case the advertising agency. The most successful ads - the ones that have been most persuasive in changing public behaviour and thinking - are annually honoured by receiving awards given by the industry.

    All politics, and not just at election time, is nothing but lobbying in its most blatant form. In a democracy, it is expected of all political parties to shape or transform public policy through competitive lobbying of the electorate via election manifestos and professed agendas. The voter is seduced, persuaded, bribed by all sorts of promised inducements, often in the form of cash subsidies or tax breaks, to support this or that party or candidate. There is the Election Commission to see there is no hanky-panky or rigging at the time of polling. But no Election Commission can compel a political party or candidate to make good on election promises - i.e., bribes in one form or another - once the balloting is over.

    If politics is unadulterated lobbying, and it is, so is the media. All reporters and commentators - in the press, or on TV or radio, even those considered too insignificant to have been approached by Radia - try to shape public opinion, and through that try to influence official policy by having public pressure put on it, according to their own views, opinions and interests, or those of the organisations that employ them.

    Indeed, democracy with all its components - media, market and elective politics - is a vast enterprise in lobbying, a never-ending argument between competing interest groups to change public policy to suit their own ends.

    Radia's only fault was getting caught. But for having forced us, however unwittingly, to take a long hard look at our democracy and what it really means, she needs a commendation. Padma Shrimati? Heck, make her Woman of the Year. She deserves it. Or rather, we deserve her.



    An inconvenient truth (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Masquerader/entry/an-inconvenient-truth) By Anoop Kohli | Times of India





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  • gapala
    06-08 09:42 AM
    It is very nice discussion.

    I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th


    Are you new to Atlanta area?



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  • senthil1
    04-06 11:46 PM
    Law cannot be done to put restrictions only for new H1bs. They will put restrictions for any H1b for new H1b and also transfers. But if it applies to H1b extensions also then everyone are in trouble. But bill tells that all the hires of H1b. That means H1b extensions are not new hires for a company. So it should not be applicable.

    I knew that something of this kind is going to happen after seeing the first day H1b rush.This is extreme exploitation of the system and Govt has to take some steps atleast to show people that it is trying to take some action. If they are not going to take some kind of measures to curb this, even after (if at all) they increase H1b visas next year .... the same thing might repeat.

    I am one of those waiting to win the H1b lottery. But please can anyone clarify this one point

    ---This applies to all the applications filed after the enactment of this bill.

    So how is it going to effect the current H1b consultants?

    Thanks

    Amul





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  • h1techSlave
    04-15 02:57 PM
    I just want to list the difference in your home purchase decision when you have GC vs. you are in H1B/EAD.

    GC - You can splurge a little. Even if you have to move, you are almost certain that you are able to move within the US, or will be able to come back to the US. You will get better interest rates on a mortgage and a higher percentage of financing (upto 97%). You can buy your dream home (this usually means a nice community, big house etc. etc.) Even if the value of your purchase comes down, you can afford to wait for a longer period of time.

    H1/EAD - Think 10 times before purchasing a home. Take a conservative approach. If you think you can really afford a $400,000 house, purchase only a $350,000 house. Prepare to pay around 8% down-payment (some times even 20%) and you may not get the best interest rate. Plan very well for the possibility that you may have to move within the US or even out of the country. And prepare some plans considering that you may have to go out of the US and may not be able to come back. Consider the possibility of renting a town home or a single family home. In this market, you can even find homes by paying a rent which could be some times lower than the mortgage on the home.



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  • mariner5555
    04-12 10:20 PM
    For those of you who think housing will always go up and those that think it will back in few years..
    http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=7322611&ch=4226720&src=news
    or for those who intend to buy 2 - 3 houses for investment. This is a superb link (since picture is worth more than thousand words). honestly speaking - the delay in GC has saved me (and people like me who wanted to wait for GC before buying a house). I had lot of pressure from my wife (because all her friends were buying) and I said only one thing once we get a GC we will buy. now her / mine friends are repenting because they brought houses far away from their work (and v.v. far from the city / airports). the price appreciation graph is so steep that one wonders - Why should I be a sucker and make profits for others by buying at the peak !!





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  • h1techSlave
    12-26 09:59 PM
    Like a few of us are pointing out here, a full fledged war between India and Pak is only good for China.

    What India should do is
    1. Increase internal security. Our performace in tacking those 10-11 guys were pathetic, to put it mildly. Sure it is no mistake of those brave folks who actually fought the terrorists, but India has no political will power to tackle terrorits strongly (neither Indian politicians nor the voters who elect those politicians).

    2. Join NATO forces in fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. We had earlier turned down invitation from Americans to fight in Afghanistan because our rulers fear the Muslim vote bank. It seems (looking at the Muslim response to latest terror attacks), Indian Muslims also are fed up of the cross border terrorism. So if we join the NATO forces and fight islamists in Afghanistan; on one hand, the jihadis will be weakened and on the other hand, India will not be directly blamed by Muslims all over the world.

    My take on this is that there are two options

    Option-1:- Go for an all out war as i specified...however the risk here is that it could go on and on and on...like we have seen in otherparts

    Option-2:- Work with like minded countries (work with them covertly), to completely eliminate terror camps (difficult it may seem cause its the bread/butter and cheese of those who run the neighbouring country)

    Option-1, if we can come up with a quick operation (remember 26/11 took 60 hours), otherwise option-2, but we have to be on the ball and make sure we get one of the two done otherwise as i said the next strike could not be far away on one of our major cities....
    Also Option-1 should be directed at the Terror infrastructure (by infrastructure i mean man power included cause otherwise they will disperse and regroup like they do in the western border in the war that the superpower is waging)





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  • masaternyc
    01-11 01:50 PM
    Who crucified jesus, they are still on for other religions too??? including hindis, muslims, sikhs etc. Read the history, 100,000 people demonstrating in spain means nothing???
    Rally for GC was only few hundreds but people rallying in 100,000's in Spain atleast means something to me.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/01/11/europe/EU-Europe-Gaza.php





    unitednations
    07-08 05:49 PM
    .

    These two types of documentation were requested by US Consulate, Chennai for issuing H4 visa for my wife. I had to get these documents and send to india for stamping. They issued H4 immediately after reviewing the documentation. I have not faked any documentation. They have requested these documentation based on the assumption that my employer is letter pad company.


    In the last year to year and a half; I have definitely seen uscis and department of state get extremely difficult in approving cases.

    Chennai and california service center are pretty much standard in what they look for and request.

    I had never seen california service center deny another beneficiaries h-1b due to low payment of wages of other beneficiaries. However, now I have seen it.

    I know cases where an H-4 went to visa stamping and consulate requeted h-1b person who was in the states to appear at chennai consulate. They asked him to explain discrepancy between his tax returns; w2's and company information. He couldn't give satisfactory response and they revoked his h-1b visa.

    In approving another h-4 visa; they askd h-1b person why they didn't get paid for three month when they entered USA. Company president along with h-1b beneficiary said that he had to climitize himself and then it took a while to get the social security number. Once he got it then he got paid. Visa officer laughed at the explanation and gave the h-4 visa. Six months later; company gets a DOL audit request for possible h-1b violations. DOL officer said that consulate sent them notification that there was h-1b violations.

    Chennai consulate asked for a client letter for a person who was initially entering on h-1b. Company gets h-1b's sister who is working for a very large high tech company to give a letter. Chennai knows that big american companies do not give such letters. Chennai consulate contacts person who wrote the letter and then contacts HR at the company to verify. Company investigates and fires the sister for giving the letter.

    Last couple of years; uscis and dos have really ramped it up a few notches in the scrutiny they are giving people and documents.





    Macaca
    12-27 08:16 PM
    How Republicans prevailed on the Hill (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/531oekhp.asp) By Whitney Blake | The Weekly Standard, 12/27/2007

    THE HOUSE AND SENATE squeezed through last-minute bills in a marathon session last week akin to the final exams period some members' college-aged children just muddled through. A bleary-eyed, sleep deprived House and Senate finally emerged with the passage of some key pieces of legislation on energy, the Iraq war, the alternative minimum tax, children's health insurance, and a massive omnibus spending bill. In the end, Republicans proved to be the more astute bunch, pushing through Bush's lame duck agenda despite their minority status.

    With Democrats emerging victorious just a year ago in the 2006 midterm elections claiming a mandate to drive the country in a new direction, one would have hardly predicted headlines like "Bush, GOP prevail in host of Hill issues" in the Associated Press, "Dems cave on spending" in the Hill, and the Politico's "Liberals lose bigtime in budget battle."

    Leading mainstream publications agreed that Democrats had surrendered to Republican demands, and the left's base was utterly furious at the outcomes. In reaction to the $70 billion Iraq and Afghanistan troop funding vote, comments such as, "You are kidding yourself if you think the Democratic party stands for anything--clearly they do not--This is an outrage," were posted on Daily Kos. Huffington Post entries included, "Democrats lose evey [sic] time becuase [sic] they are a pack of spineless cowards".

    Even Republicans were surprised with the outcome. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remarked, "If we had been having this press conference last January and I had suggested that a Republican minority in Congress would be able to meet the president's top line, you all would have laughed at me."

    "We couldn't have scripted this to work out better for Republicans they conceded almost every issue," said Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI).

    Not only did Democrats eventually meet Bush's required $933 billion appropriations spending level, they also capitulated on unconditional funding for the troops, an energy plan without corporate taxes, a one-year patch to the alternative minimum tax without additional taxes (a $50 billion violation of Democrats' pay-as-you-go principles), and a straight extension of SCHIP without a large expansion.

    At first, the record is baffling, but the explanation for Republican success is simple. Not only was superior "strategery" involved on the part of the minority, to borrow a word from Bush's lexicon, but equally important was Democrats' miscalculations.

    Republicans decided early on to stick together on issues such as taxes and Iraq, said one senior Republican aide. Democrats were much more fractured. One Washington Post headline declared, "Democrats Blaming Each Other for Failures." The article cited House Democrats accusing their Senate counterparts of selling out and folding. In December 2006, Reid said in an interview, "legislation is the art of compromise and consensus building and I'm going to compromise." House Democrats didn't embrace this theme.

    They either failed to realize or didn't want to realize that anything they proposed still had to meet approval in the Senate, where compromise and coalition building are unavoidable, with 60 votes required to move any legislation through. "It took some people 11 months to figure this out," said one senior Republican aide.

    From the beginning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set up a structure that didn't emphasize debate and hearings, said Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy. The controversial spots were never worked out in the far-left appeasing bills that passed through the House.

    Even after the Senate voted a resounding 88 to 5 in favor of an AMT patch without offsets in the beginning of December, the House passed another version, attached more taxes to make up for the lost revenue, and sent it back to the Senate. The Senate had to vote three times just to show the House Democrats that it did not have the required 60 votes to pass a patch with offsets.

    Democrats were not only divided, they also misjudged the public's perception. The "general aversion to tax hikes" worked to the Republicans' advantage, and the overall success of the war in Iraq also played a key factor, said the senior Republican aide.

    Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid commented right before the recess, "I share the frustration of the American people who want to see real change." But Republicans argue Reid's idea of change is not in line with that of most Americans.

    They "got the wrong message from the election," which wasn't one of a "repudiation of conservative values," said Ryan. It was a call for "clean and transparent government."

    They "overreached" after the honeymoon period and "frittered away" high expectations "by taking a sharp turn to the left," he added.

    A CNN/USA Today poll taken back in May and June revealed that 57% of Americans favored making permanent the Bush tax cuts, while 37 percent wanted to repeal the temporary cuts. On the broader fiscal topics of taxes, government spending, and regulations for businesses, 41 percent of Americans consider themselves "conservative," 43 percent "moderate," and just 12 percent "liberal," according to a Rasmussen Reports study released about a month ago.

    Some Republicans admit Democrats could have gotten more of what they wanted had they played their cards right. Democrats had a "missed opportunity," said McCarthy, who has experience in a closely divided legislature as a former Republican floor leader in the California State Assembly.

    The majority could have still put forth very partisan bills at the outset, but "come back to where common ground was," said McCarthy. Democrats would have "enjoyed much more success" in the center, said Ryan.

    Some Republicans were reportedly amenable to partial offsets to the AMT. Perhaps if Democrats had not held onto appropriations spending $23 billion above Bush's request for so long, there would have been more time left to avoid axing the entire difference. Or if taxes were not as high as $22 billion for energy companies in the Democrats' version of the energy bill, some taxes may have been part of the compromise.

    But Democrats "were more interested in making a point than making law," said Don Stewart, communications director for Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It didn't get them very far: They essentially handed Republicans their agenda on a platter at the eleventh hour to prevent a government shutdown.

    In the end, Democrats were "driven by the clock and not by the product of what's created," McCarthy added. Serious negotiations could have occurred much earlier in the year, instead of holding out stubbornly until the end of the session when all eyes were on several major unresolved bills. Sensible bipartisan compromises in piecemeal over the year look much more authoritative, organized, and productive than the harried disarray that unfolded in the past month.

    Incidentally, according to McConnell, the only truly bipartisan piece of legislation where genuine compromise was part of the equation was ethics reform, signed into law in September. But even Democrats, who heralded the landmark reforms, took advantages of the loopholes in the bill to insert about 300 air dropped earmarks which had not been taken up by either the House or Senate on the floor or as part of a vote.

    Now, with the Democrats' base up in arms, the Democrats' infighting publicly aired, and the minority declaring victory, backed up by the mainstream media no less, the bills don't even appear bipartisan. Democrats came out with the short end of the stick, even though the odds were clearly in their favor after the midterm elections.

    While Hillary is busy wrapping up universal health care, and "bring troops home" presents for potential voters, Democrats won't be able to deliver these or any other promised initiatives this Christmas season.



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