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  • Macaca
    12-30 07:26 PM
    Gay pride only goes so far in India
    'Queer' activists out and proud in Delhi and Mumbai have little connection with those forced to live in small-town secrecy (
    By Parvez Sharma | The Guardian

    I grew up in Saharanpur, a "small town" of 1 million people in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Saharanpur is very like the hundreds of other towns littering the vast plains of the region, and not notable for much except its mangoes and woodcarving industry.

    In the early 90s I was at a Catholic-run school in the town and had my first sexual experiences with another boy near the railway tracks. That's what my brother was alluding to when he phoned me a couple of nights ago with what he called "breaking news from our childhood".

    Under a headline saying "Gay party has been exposed", the local Hindi-language newspaper, Amar Ujala, had published a photograph of some 20 frightened-looking men sitting on the floor, many trying to conceal their faces with shawls and scarves.

    A series of bullet points beneath the photograph highlighted what the editors presumably thought were the most shocking aspects of the story: a doctor, MBA students and teachers were present; this "indecent" party was organised under the guise of a birthday party at a dharamshala (spiritual dwelling or sanctuary); and alcohol was served.

    The news item went on to name some of the men who were arrested; thankfully, all have fairly common first names, and their last names were not provided. However, the organiser of the party was identified as Bunty and the piece informed us that he runs a "beauty parlour" named after him. So, for anyone interested in following up the story with a spot of gay-bashing, the aforementioned Bunty should be easy enough to find.

    The English-language Times of India went further with its irresponsible reporting of the same story, mentioning the jobs and neighbourhoods of some of the men.

    The paper also chose to identify the host Bunty with his last name and gave the exact location of his beauty parlour. I read the rest of the piece in horror. The names of those arrested include both Hindus and Muslims (both religions have sizeable numbers in Saharanpur).

    The location of the dharamshala is just two miles from my old school, where I was mercilessly bullied for being too effeminate when I was a boy.

    There are quotes from the police officer who organised the raid, in which he talks about finding "used condoms" and guests in a "compromising position". Saharanpur is described as an "ultra-conservative" town and a college teacher called Ayub Qureshi is quoted expressing his indignation: "This is certainly unheard of in Saharanpur. I don't know where are we heading to."

    Thirteen men were arrested, though according to police the party was attended by more than 100. The arrests should be condemned. These "gay" men probably have nowhere else to meet and many perhaps still live with their families, where discussing their sexuality would not be an option.

    As I looked at the English-language news item, I noticed that one of the first comments comes from someone in the state of Haryana:

    "Dear sir, all these westurn gay thing is now allowed in our culture. v must stop these gay people from having sex because then they increase in population and soon our bautiful culture country will be full of them. police have done good job. kudos to them"

    The notion of homosexual activity being considered foreign � and often as specifically a western perversion � is an idea I came across before, when making my film, A Jihad for Love.

    Last month, out and proud gay men and women marched in Delhi's annual gay pride march. Many posed happily for the news cameras. Rainbow flags were in abundance, as was western terminology such as "gay", "queer" (even transcribed into Hindi on some signs) and "LGBTQ".

    As I looked at photos of the event taken by my Facebook friends, I realised that most came from middle- or upper-class families and would have a degree of ease with the English language. I have often wondered about the need to use western models of emancipation such as "gay pride" marches and rainbow banners in cultural contexts that are vastly different.

    While filming "gay" Muslims around the world, I realised that very often an absence of affirmative language for their sexual selves in their native tongues was what united them. I have always found the word "queer" problematic and find its use on signs in Hindi to be surprising at the very least.

    In so many countries, invisibility is the norm and the preferred option for those who have same-sex desires. I have no doubt that most of the men and women who were busy marching in Delhi waving their banners would not like to be seen at a downmarket venue like the dharamshala in Saharanpur and I am not even sure if many of these newly minted "queer" activists from India's big cities would find common cause with the small-town types arrested at this "gay party".

    India remains a land of some of the greatest dissonance in the world. A booming economy and the world's largest and probably most aspirational middle class, it still seems to be not completely at ease with the sexual freedoms that are usually touted as western.

    Just last year, the archaically worded anti-sodomy section 377 of the British-written penal code was successfully challenged in the Delhi high court. The vociferous activists in Delhi and Mumbai hope that the law will be repealed nationally, thus making homosexuality "legal" in the world's largest democracy. In the meantime, outdated laws written by colonisers with Victorian ideas of morality continue to be enforced in other parts of India.

    As I look at the picture of the frightened men in Saharanpur again, I wonder if I can recognise anyone from my school days. I wonder if Bunty or any of the other men would have wanted to attend the Delhi pride march. Would they understand what "queer" meant at all?

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  • ss1026
    12-22 11:14 PM
    Infanticide happens among muslims too, look at the way they treat their own women and produce dozens of children. The islamic laws make women virtual slaves of men.
    We should work for putting an end to this. These are bad practices carried out in the name of religion against members of the same religion. It is not cross-border terrorism.

    Though I strongly disagreed with some points made by the initial poster, some of your points look like they are out of the VHP's handy book. Muslims do have a slightly higher fertility rate, this is falling fast and there is only a slight difference between hindus and muslims. Partly it has to do with religion but there are various other reasons including higer female numbers and better mortality rate.

    See article.

    Another article(slightly older):

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  • gc28262
    03-24 04:07 PM
    No, they figured out that it is consulting companies that are exploiting loopholes.

    1) Tell me what proof you have that ALL consulting companies are complying with H-1B requriements.

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

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

    1. Why don't you give me the proof that ALL consulting companies are not complying. You are the one who is making the argument. Do you have any statistics to prove that ? Do you know all the consulting companies in US ? Do you know all the companies that directly hire H1 ? Do you know their compliance statistics ?

    2. Did I say any of these are legal ? If a company applies for H1B, the company has to comply with the requirements of the law. It is that simple. It doesn't matter whether it is a consulting company or a direct placement.

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  • ilikekilo
    03-25 04:27 PM are right..

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

    None of my business as to what you do but U not going thru a lawyer seems counter intuitive to me.. not sure why u r taking chances to see whether you would regret or not? anyways good luck man..


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  • Macaca
    05-13 05:42 PM
    What if you had to buy American? ( By Katherine Reynolds Lewis | MSN Money

    Legions of patriotic Americans look for "made in USA" stickers before buying products, out of a desire to support the country's economy.

    But what if we all were restricted to purchasing only those goods that were made in America?

    Our homes would be stripped virtually bare of telephones, televisions, toasters and other electronics, and many of our favorite foods and toys would be gone, too. Say goodbye to your coffee or tea, and forget about slicing bananas into your breakfast cereal -- all three would become prohibitively expensive if we relied on only Hawaii to grow tropical crops.

    We'd have to trash our beloved Apple products because the iPod, iPad and MacBook aren't made in the U.S. Gasoline would double or triple in price, given that we now import more than 60% of our oil. And you couldn't propose to your true love with a diamond ring: There are no working diamond mines in the U.S.

    Moreover, a complete end to imports would actually hurt the U.S. economy, because consumers and domestic companies would lose access to cheap goods. Trade protections, whether through tariffs or quotas, cost the economy roughly $2 for every $1 in additional profit for domestic producers, said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

    "If we restricted trade to just the 50 states, what would happen immediately -- and would increase over time -- would be a huge reduction in our standard of living, because we wouldn't have access to the cheap goods we get from other countries," Perry said. "We also wouldn't have any export markets, so companies like Caterpillar and Microsoft would have a huge reduction in sales and workforce."

    So what do we make of heartfelt pleas to save U.S. manufacturing by buying American, or the many websites (see one here) that catalog U.S. sources for an array of products? Or the Buy American Act, which curbs government purchases of products that are made overseas?

    Do such efforts actually hurt the country they're trying to help?

    The argument for buying American

    Marc Kruskol, 53, a publicist based in Palmdale, Calif., goes out of his way to purchase products that are made in the U.S. because of his concern over the decline in manufacturing employment.

    "I truly believe that we could go a long way towards fixing the economy if we would just put people to work making things in this country that are made in other places," said Kruskol, who spends hours scouring made-in-America websites or visiting brick-and-mortar stores in search of U.S. products.

    He recently spent $10 on a pair of salad tongs made in America, which he tracked down in a restaurant supply store, after rejecting 99-cent foreign-made tongs. And he was happy to spend $650 on a domestically produced barbecue grill rather than a $450 imported one, just to support his countrymen.

    But financial experts say that it's best for America if you buy the cheapest product you can find without sacrificing quality. Their explanation rests on the concept of efficient manufacturing. An efficient producer creates the most valuable goods with the least possible expense, selling those items at lower prices than competitors who are less efficient. A country benefits when its manufacturers become more efficient.

    When you spend more on an equivalent product simply because it's made in the U.S., you're wasting your money -- and supporting an inefficient manufacturer that, by rights, should become more efficient or go out of business. Moreover, the additional $9.01 or $200 that Kruskol had spent on an inefficient U.S. producer could have been spent on something else, helping the economy further. Or it could have stayed in his savings account and been funneled by his bank into the financial system, which in theory allocates capital to the most efficient producers.

    "He gave effectively $9 to an inefficient producer to motivate them to keep producing inefficiently," said Ken Fisher, the founder and CEO of Fisher Investments in Woodside, Calif., and the author of "Debunkery." "I understand the well-intentioned view. Doing that would be terrible for America."

    The most efficient producers are best-positioned to create more jobs and return profits to their investors, and to the government in the form of tax revenue. "We make the country better by allocating resources towards the ones that can use them best," Fisher said.

    The complex manufacturing question

    At the heart of the issue are the interconnected global economy and the changes in the manufacturing sector.

    There's no question that U.S. manufacturers employ far fewer people now -- about 11.7 million in April -- than when the sector peaked at 19.6 million workers in 1979. But the decline in jobs is largely due to technological advances that have reduced the number of workers needed to run factories, Perry and Fisher pointed out. The average worker today is responsible for $180,000 of manufacturing output, triple the inflation-adjusted $60,000 of 1972, Perry said.

    Despite that increase in productivity, a March report by IHS Global Insight put China's manufacturing output ahead of the U.S. for the first time ever, at $2 trillion in 2010, compared with $1.95 trillion for the U.S. That's up from $1.69 trillion for China and $1.733 trillion for the U.S. in 2009, based on U.S. and Chinese government data.

    But Perry argued that exchange-rate fluctuations and differences in data sources caused the IHS Global report to skew the comparison between the U.S. and China. Based on U.N. data for 2009, the most recent available, the United States' manufacturing output was 14% ahead of China's, he said.

    Moreover, as manufacturing has declined as a share of the U.S. economy while the service sector has grown, most of the world has followed the same trend. The proportion has held steady in China.

    "We've left the Machine Age, and we're in a new Information Age. It makes sense that manufacturing would be less important," Perry said, noting that as other countries have taken over clothing and other low-end manufacturing, the U.S. has become more competitive in producing pharmaceuticals, software, aerospace technology, industrial machinery and medical equipment. "We're still world leaders and at the cutting edge of those higher-skilled, higher-valued-added areas."

    Not convinced yet? The other conundrum in trying to buy only U.S.-made products lies in what that really means.

    Do you accept products that are assembled in America but contain components from all over the globe? For example, U.S. companies in February imported $58 billion worth of industrial supplies, such as petroleum and plastics, and $40 billion in capital goods, from computers to engines and laboratory equipment.

    What about products that are assembled in China yet include parts from U.S. suppliers and were designed by American engineers? Every time you purchase such an item, the money will flow back to those American engineers and suppliers.'s American-Made Index illustrates U.S. industries' complex trade relationships. The website ranks vehicles built and purchased in the U.S. based on sales, the origin of the cars' parts and whether assembly was in the U.S. The top two cars -- Toyota Camry and Honda Accord -- are produced by Japanese companies through their U.S. subsidiaries.

    "On the surface, it seems like it might be plausible to have these 'made in the USA' campaigns," Perry said. "It all gets real tricky in a global economy with parts."

    When buying American helps

    That's not to say you should ignore the origins of the goods you buy.

    When comparing two products of equivalent price and quality, feel free to choose the U.S.-made one out of domestic pride. It may make sense to buy a U.S.-made product if the quality or safety is superior.

    Alex Kaplan, 41, the owner of Celebrity Laser Spa in Los Angeles, recently bought a pair of ottomans online for $120, only to find them cracked and cheaply made. After returning the made-in-China set, he found a craftsman through Etsy who made similar ottomans for $160 but allowed customers to choose the fabrics.

    "It's much more satisfying," said Kaplan, whose blog chronicles his attempts to find products made in the U.S. "The most important thing when it comes to buying American is being aware and asking yourself, 'Where is this made?'"

    Is College a Rotten Investment?
    Why student loans are not like subprime mortgages. (
    By Annie Lowrey | Slate

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  • axp817
    03-26 05:57 PM
    Per my understanding, it absolutely is. An LCA amendment has to be filed each time there is a location change outside of commutable distance from the original location for which the H-1B was filed.

    Oops, I just saw UN's reply. His answer is more specific than mine, and mine is based on anecdotal evidence so please go with what he says since his is based on personal experience.

    UN, Thank you for following up on my question on the Baltimore case.


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  • paskal
    07-08 05:45 PM

    The outstanding questions, i guess, are:

    They allotted the visa numbers prior to actual approvals. This contravened their clearly stated policy. In fact the ombudsman mentions this policy and suggests change. If they allotted the numbers prematurely, and are still in the process of approving those petitions and sending out the decisions...should the numbers have remained current UNTIL THE LAST PETITION IS APPROVED?
    One could argue that per USCIS policy and stated process the visa numbers are still available till that day- a petition could be rejected at the last moment- sending a number back to the pool....

    the other question is- did they allot >81% of the numbers (27% per quarter) even before the fourth quarter began? Can they allot numbers on sunday while not accepting applications that day because they are "closed" thus denying petitioners from getting in while the numbers are current?

    i would be surprised if they went over the country cap- they have treated that as religion of late.

    the dates for india/china will only move after EB3 ROW becomes current. any ideas how far that is?

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  • ilwaiting
    04-09 08:47 AM
    This affects everyone. No one on H1B is left out. Just because one has a Perm-Fulltime job now doesn't mean he/she is safe. With Gc's taking so long, At some point during their H1B period they would have to move to a new company. They would not be able to transfer. Everyone please oppose this Bill.

    Tougher laws need to be brought in to stop abusing the program, but this bill is in its extreme and must be opposed.

    Infact, this affects everyone.

    Students looking for new H1B
    Students on OPT
    H1Bs getting extensions
    H4s transferring to H1Bs

    and all H1Bs indirectly and directly

    Because now ALL employers will be hesitant to hire an H1B in ANY field due to such tough laws and lot of paperwork and lot of restrictions.


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  • unseenguy
    06-20 05:55 PM
    Real estate is always a local phenomena. So those of you who are following national guidelines are misleading yourselves. Unless you are major investor, who would like to keep his/her real estate portfolio diverse, national level real estate indicator is not of much use.

    I bought a foreclosed house few months ago, but before that did thorough study at personal level. Not only analytically study your market, but also "go to genba". Feel the pulse, find where and what kind of people live in those sub-divisions.

    If you are leaning towards investing, lean with good intent. Avoid risk by thouroughly understanding your financial situation. I went with 30 yr fixed, to be conservative.

    Finally, have guts to make a call, either way. It's the right time, I would say.

    In my local area I see about 50-50 ratio of open homes to sold homes on MLS maps. However the prices are too high, I think. Also due to my income level, I do not qualify for Obama's homeowners rebate and I do not think prices will skyrocket in 2-3 years, so for my personal situation, I have an opportunity to save a LOT for my downpayment while I wait for my GC and be in a position to either buy a bigger home or take reduced mortgage when I decide to go for the kill. It also gives me flexibility to shift the liquid assets to India with relative ease. Dont get me wrong, I can buy a villa in Bangalore almost loan free. In that case, I am wondering if taking a mortgage and being tied to it during uncertainty is a smart move.

    Although there is a tax benefit to the mortgage , one thing we know for sure is that home prices are not about to go up anytime soon. So with low rent payment for next 2-3 years, I should be in a solid position to decide what I want to do.

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  • Beemar
    01-01 03:25 PM
    Oops!! Scratch that. Apparently these are old links. Some going back to 90's! Actually our country is threatening war for so many years that the links become all mixed up. It is embarrassing to see our country warnign pakistan with dire consequences for almost 20 years now, without dropping even a small firecracker in pakistani territory. Indian govt should at least threaten google to block all these stale links, or it should threaten google with surgical strikes :)

    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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  • gc_in_30_yrs
    01-29 09:48 PM
    Here is a link to a Video report from CNN's program Lou Dobbs tonight regarding USCIS incorrect approval of H1-B petitions beyond the 65,000 yearly limit.


    i think these numbers include H1B transfers from one company to other, and H1B extensions beyond first 3 years term or the further extentions based on labor pending, I-140 cleared etc. etc.

    This guy looks genuine in what he believes, but he is missing the important piece of information. American people are not dumb as they look, they have little brians to understand. USCIS obviously can not approve more than 85K of applications.

    Ofcourse even though it is said Visas Issued (i.e., permanent residence) but in the video they were showing H1B applications :)

    in any case, we should ignore this guy as a whole.

    Next thing, we should never spend lots of time or create any further threads. It gives them courage if we spend time on their issues.

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  • unitednations
    03-25 12:35 PM
    Oh, and I think I should elaborate just a little more.

    I am not asking whether the USCIS can or cannot exercise scrutiny on approving 485s where a person, under AC21 provision, switches to a small consulting company.

    Of course they can, the 485 is for a full time job, and whether a job with a small consulting company is of a full time nature or not, is up in the air and they can 'scrutinize' it all they want, if they choose to.

    My question to UN is whether he thinks if they will choose to go after 485 AC21 job switches to small consulting companies like he thinks they will for small consulting company H-1Bs, and not whether they can.

    Thanks again,

    You see on all these ac21 issues we rely on uscis memos. Every one of these memos state pending change to the regulations; we are going to follow the principles of this memo.

    it has been 8 years and they still haven't changed the regulations. Memos can be changed at their whim at any time.

    Currently; uscis position is that if someone ports to another company; they are not supposed to check the ability to pay criteria. However; they left themselvees an out that theey can check the genuineness of the ac21 employer. Becasuse of this last statement; what they have been doing is asking for ac21 employer tax returuns, and quarterly wage reports. If you are already on payroll then size of company doesn't matter. However; if you are not on payrroll and it is a very small company then they can challnge it.

    btw; I am not epecting quota to finish early this year. Many companies/lawyers are very frustrated with h-1b right now. I was talking to education evaluator and he told me that there is litteally no business right now. Companies I know of how filed 70 cases last year are not filing any this year due to a combination of issues (iowa issue, lack of approvals and great demand for tansfers by thos who were laid off or had theirr h-1b's cancelled.

    Right now; newer companies who don't have much experience with h-1b are going into the lions den without knowing there is a lion in there.


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  • dealsnet
    01-08 10:29 AM
    I have use the word bastard after you used for Jews. You have said, your war will end till Jews are defeated. So get my reply. Don't cry!!!!! foul !!!

    read your comments:

    I agree, the conflict discussed here is a political conflict. It could have been resolved much easier if all sides stopped looking at it with the religious-end-of-times lens (jews: nile-to-euphrates empire belonged to us 3000 years ago, christians: jews from all over the world must be transfered back there for the messiah to return.. and muslims: end of times won't come until jews fight the muslims and we beat them)..

    you called all non christian nations "satanic nations that will be wiped out", called 95% of egyptians war children, brain washed bastards and terrorists.. u r right, u don't use vulgar language, only racist hate speech..

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  • hiralal
    06-20 03:13 PM

    Though housing market may still have room to fall and not rise again for next decade or so, there are some factors to consider in 2009 that could tilt the decision in favor of buying a house:

    1. Location - If you are not in bad markets like CA, NY, FL but in more stable ones like TX, you should evaluate
    2. Taxes - If you've AGI above 300k, buying house is one of the few options left to reduce your tax bill
    3. Affordability - If your monthly mortgage, interest and maintenance payments are comparable to current rent amount (as taxes are adjusted during tax filing) and affordable even when you move out of US, buying house should be an option
    4. Price - If you are looking at localities where prices are close to 1995-2000 levels and the particular property has held the value steady, then buying the house could be an option

    Just my 2 cents... :)
    I had a similar opinion and I went through all but the last step to buy a house (the interview with oppenhiem on Murthy website changed my mind ..ofcourse my 4 buyer agents were terribly disappointed... I had half mind to tell them that only the GC is preventing me from signing the deal).
    the reason that I backed out is (this is in my case only ..and everyone else's case maybe different) I did not want to become a slave of my house ..i.e. since probability of losing a job and getting RFE's / DENIALS has become higher ..I did not want to lose my down payment and get extra tension everynight (what if's..). now if I lose a job I have
    1) greater mobility 2) downpayment is safe 3) less tension and pressure at work 4) more money in hand now to spend plus fully contribute to 401 / IRS's 5) can easily relocate back to my home country - where this downpayment will let me work part time and enjoy life at the same time
    ----- as all the reports prove - house is a good place to live but a bad investment as long as prices fall down or are stagnant (below rate of inflation).
    and a house will always be available in US at all locations at better prices (for next 2 -3 years) is plenty, homes are even more in supply (by some estimates 2 years of supply), baby boomers, flippers, investors bought 2-3 homes)and normal people selling their homes


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  • unitednations
    08-02 10:51 PM
    ouch. there is always uncertainty, all steps of this gc process :(

    thanks for the note. I only hope they 'go after' people if they suspect fraud or out of status or salary issues etc.

    We are just a widget/number to uscis adjudicator. All of these ability to pay denials were very scarce prior to 2004. However, in 2003 and 2004 a lot of the 245i labors got approved (gas stations, restaurants, etc.). USCIS started to see a lot of bogus companies filing for people. They decided to clarify in a memo how they were going to look at ability to pay. Now; ability to pay was used rarely, in those cases that didn't look genuine (if you go to AAO decisions you would have seen the type of companies that uscis usually went after). However, to combat the 245i labors they started to apply the memo to all companies. Just imagine that a company with $20 million revenue can get ability to pay denials; but a company with $15,000 in revenue can get approval.

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  • Macaca
    04-23 08:32 AM
    Lobbyists Profit From Power Shift In Congress As Democrats Get Jobs, Republicans Stay On (, By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, April 23, 2007

    The Democratic takeover of Congress has not only been good business for Democratic lobbyists, but it has also turned into a bipartisan boon: In the four months since the midterm elections, the number of new lobbyist registrations has nearly doubled to 2,232 from 1,222 in the comparable period a year earlier.

    "We're having a huge surge in business right now," said David M. Carmen, president of the Carmen Group, a mid-size lobbying shop that has added both Democratic and Republican lobbyists since the elections. "We are up almost 30 percent compared to last year."

    "There's more activity than I've seen in a long time," said Rhod Shaw, president of the Alpine Group, a bipartisan lobbying firm that has grown about 10 percent this year.

    The main reason for the surge is the need of interest groups and corporations to get access to -- and understand the thinking of -- a new set of Democratic chairmen in Congress and the constituencies that they listen to, such as labor unions, environmentalists and trial lawyers. Hundreds of Democratic lobbyists have been hired for that purpose.

    But those doing the hiring have kept most of their GOP help because Republicans, especially in the closely divided Senate, still have key roles in passing or, more often, blocking legislation that corporations care about. For example, Republican lobbyists are working overtime in the Senate to stop bills to reduce Medicare drug prices and cut oil-and-gas drilling subsidies.

    Republican lobbyists remain in demand also because the Bush administration continues to churn out regulations that affect businesses.

    "Business is going up for the Democrats in our shop," said J. J. Steven Hart, chief executive of Williams & Jensen, a bipartisan lobbying law firm. "But business is going up for Senate Republican lobbyists and Republicans who work with the administration, too." Hart said his business was up 7 to 10 percent over last year.

    The increase has its irony: Democrats won their majority in part by attacking Republicans for getting too cozy with influence peddlers.

    Lobbying firms raking in the extra dollars have attracted new clients from almost every industry.

    Washington's largest lobbying law firm, Patton Boggs, has nearly tripled -- to 75 from 27 a year ago -- the number of clients who have recently hired the firm or have expanded the work they want it to do. "There's an increase in business across the board," said Edward J. Newberry, Patton Boggs's deputy managing partner.

    Smaller firms also are getting more business. Revenue at Venn Strategies, a tax lobbying specialist, has increased about 35 percent in the first quarter, compared with the first quarter last year. "It's a very big increase," said Stephanie E. Silverman, a principal at the firm.

    For lobbying shops that employ only Democrats, there has been a gusher of new business. Steven A. Elmendorf, a former Democratic leadership aide in the House, opened his firm in December with one other lobbyist and 10 clients. Today he has 17 clients. Two lobbyists work with him and he is looking to add more. His new clients include Microsoft, Union Pacific and Home Depot.

    Another all-Democratic lobbying shop, Glover Park Group, has grown even faster. "It's fair to say that our lobbying revenue has about doubled since the first of the year," partner Joel P. Johnson said. "And the number of accounts has roughly doubled as well."

    All-Republican lobbying firms have not enjoyed the same expansion. A few of the smaller ones have lost business, but the largest have not fallen behind.

    Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock, which had $4 million in lobbying income last year, is on the same pace this year. "Our business is stable and probably up a little bit from a year ago," said Mark Isakowitz, the firm's president. Most of the companies that had contracts with his firm have stayed and hired Democratic lobbyists separately.

    The capital's largest all-Republican lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, is having a similar experience. O2Diesel, which makes ethanol-diesel fuel, recently hired the firm. "We're trying to get awareness at all levels of government of our product," said Alan Rae, the company's chief executive. "Some issues are not partisan."

    And there is even a new all-Republican lobbying firm -- the partnership of two former Republican aides, one from the House and one from the Senate. Ice Miller Strategies opened last month with two clients, including a drug company, and plans to hire a Democrat soon. "There are plenty of issues that share bipartisan support," said Graham Hill, former staff director of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "You need to have both parties engaged to get them passed."

    Corporations and trade associations searching for new leaders have hired mostly Democrats. Former representative David McCurdy (D-Okla.), president of the Electronic Industries Alliance, became president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in February. The failed attempt by Republicans to prevent McCurdy from getting his job with the electronics group a dozen years ago was the start of their K Street Project.

    Not all the plum association slots are going to Democrats. Steven C. Anderson, a Republican who led the National Restaurant Association, was named president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores in February.

    "Given the political realities right now, a majority of the trade groups and corporations are looking for individuals who have good relationships on the Democratic side, but it's not a complete reversal," said Nels B. Olson of Korn-Ferry International, an executive search firm.

    "People want somebody who can work both sides of the political aisle, and they don't want a political lightning rod," said Leslie Hortum, a headhunter at Spencer Stuart.

    In a town that is sometimes run by Republicans, sometimes by Democrats and usually by both, "our clients are looking for people who are well respected by both parties and could care less whether they wear an 'R' or a 'D' on their lapel," said Eric Vautour of the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

    In the meantime, lobbying firms are busy. "Usually at the beginning of a new Congress there's a drop-off in business as the last year's projects end, and later you bring new businesses in," said Shawn H. Smeallie, managing director of the American Continental Group, a mostly Republican lobbying firm. "But this year, for a change, we've increased."


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  • xyzgc
    12-27 01:29 AM
    great posts by alisa, gcisadawg and abcdgc. I don't agree with alisa but the posts are decent.

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  • desi3933
    08-05 03:26 PM
    It is not the Law. It is just a guidance provide in one 2000 Memo by a USCIS director.

    Incorrect. Read for yourself.

    Sec. 204.5 Petitions for employment-based immigrants.



    (e) Retention of section 203(b)(1) ( , (2) ( , or (3) ( priority date. -- A petition approved on behalf of an alien under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act accords the alien the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed petition for any classification under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act for which the alien may qualify. In the event that the alien is the beneficiary of multiple petitions under sections 203(b)(1), (2), or (3) of the Act, the alien shall be entitled to the earliest priority date. A petition revoked under sections 204(e) ( or 205 ( of the Act will not confer a priority date, nor will any priority date be established as a result of a denied petition. A priority date is not transferable to another alien.

    US Permanent Resident since 2002

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  • dealsnet
    09-29 12:45 PM
    It will be disaster for the country, if a man with only four year of national experience, out of which two year spend on primary campaign to run the country. Immigrant people only can talk loud. But he sensible american people will vote McCain to power. This openion poll is non sense. Demoratic party is like congress party in India. Trying to be socialist, not socialist, support everything all evils to get vote and support. Pleople planning to spend money for Obama is waste. Instead support IMMIGRATION VOICE.

    04-13 03:04 PM
    Hi gimme_GC2006,

    I am no expert in this matter but may be you should respond with all the info you have. Contact Number, Address, Supervisor Name, Phone Number etc - and a brief statement saying that the company does not exist anymore etc etc. If they want to -- they can track down your supervisor etc from the non-existent company if they want to verify your employment.

    Again its best if you get help with a qualified attorney - (should'nt hurt to spend a few $$ more to have a peace of mind) plus yours is the only case of this type I am seeing on these boards so is a bit disconcerting...

    All the best,

    08-05 10:07 AM
    :DGuys ,
    The "mahaul"(environment) seems so Tense around the IV forums that I thought of making a thread to share some light humor / Jokes etc

    Here are some funny quotes to start with

    I don't think President fully understands this immigration thing.
    Like today, when they asked him about amnesty, he said it's horrible
    when anyone loses their memory." --Jay Leno

    "As you know, today was Don't Take Your Immigrant To Work Day
    here in Los Angeles. No, all across the nation they had a Day Without
    Immigrants, is what they call it. Or, as Native Americans call it, the
    good ol' days." --Jay Leno