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  • dixie
    08-13 01:17 AM
    He said that average productivity of an american is greater than the productivity of 3-4 Asians and then went on to ask, why is then corporate american sending jobs outside of united states?.

    How the hell did he arrive at that figure ? the whole trouble with lou is he fabricates "research" such as the above statement with absolutely nothing to back it up. So much for the Harvard educated economist in him.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 02:14 PM
    violence is a two way sword..

    its not that hamas is doing gandhigiri there.. even though they were elected to rule palestine..those morons instead of providing good governence and hope to their ppl..have resorted to some mindless/aimless bombing of Israel.

    i care that kids are getting killed... but dont you care then when one of ur jihadi blows himself up..and many innocent get killed.
    I support that palestinians be given their right to self rule.. but they should learn to live and let live..

    so you are saying.. u can kill ppl in the name of god..and when someone responds..u squirm like a toad?

    grow up.. kid..

    Its another form of supporting state sponsored terrorism. Do you think people go and seek refuge in schools? Its what these biased media feed us and this is what we consume.

    This is how they justify their killing of innocent school kids and civilians. They don't even spare kids. Shame on us who try to justify the killing.

    News media says Palestinians have fired 6000 to 7K rockets into Isreal. But what they show is all Isreal aerial bombardment. Have they ever shown damage caused by Palestinians?

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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 03:24 PM
    Don't remember exactly, I can look into the wording of the law but I think
    post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 is a law and not Memo.

    If it's the law then Yates 2000 memo is having unintended consequences after retrogression hit.

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  • hiralal
    06-11 11:19 PM
    Mortgage of $95 dollars in California ????? man, even I would have purchased a house there ..once the honeymoon is over (100 dollar rent), even a kid can guess where this house will end up (and she wants help from govt ???) ..wonder how many such loans were bundled ..and how many houses will end up in foreclosure ?

    Will the coming wave of OptionARM mortgage resets look like the wave of subprime defaults?

    This Bloomberg piece paints a sobering picture of where things are at, and it's clear right off the bat why the resets are going to kill a number of buyers:

    Shirley Breitmaier’s mortgage payment started out at $98 when she refinanced her three-bedroom home in Galt, California, in 2007. The 73-year-old widow may see it jump to $3,500 a month in two years.

    Breitmaier took out a payment-option adjustable rate mortgage, a loan popular during the housing boom for its low minimum payments before resetting at higher costs later.

    We're not sure what the housing market is like in Galt, California, but if we had to guess, Ms. Breitmaier is pretty under water right now, and a refi is probably out of the picture. Now this might not kill the banks -- after all, the chart below is well known and we're guessing that much of their portfolio has been slammed accordingly. But in terms of flooding the market with foreclosed home, slamming prices, it's too early to believe that it's all priced in.

    And generally, the effect that will have on the economy and consumer confidence will be brutal:

    The delinquency rate for payment-option ARMs originated in 2006 and bundled into securities is soaring, according to a May 5 report from Deutsche Bank AG. Over the past year, payments 60 days late or more on option ARMs originated in 2006 have almost doubled to 42.44 percent from 23.26 percent, Deutsche Bank said. For 2007 loans, the rate has climbed from 10.1 percent to 35.25 percent.

    “We’re already seeing much higher levels of delinquencies of these option ARM loans even before you reach the point of the recast,” said Paul Leonard, the California director of the non- profit Center for Responsible Lending.

    The threat of soaring payments has counselors at Housing and Economic Rights Advocates busy.

    “There’s a level of hopelessness to the phone calls now,” said Brown.

    More than $750 billion of option ARMs were originated in the U.S. between 2004 and 2008, according to data from First American and Inside Mortgage Finance of Bethesda, Maryland. California accounted for 58 percent of option ARMs, according to a report by T2 Partners LLC, citing data from Amherst Securities and Loan Performance.

    Shirley Breitmaier took out a $315,000 option ARM to refinance a previous loan on her house.

    Her payments started at 3/8 of 1 percent, or less than $100 a month, according to Cameron Pannabecker, the owner of Cal-Pro Mortgage and the Mortgage Modification Center in Stockton, California, who is working with Breitmaier. The loan allowed her to forgo higher payments by adding the unpaid balance to the principal. She’ll be required to start paying principal and interest to amortize the debt when the loan reaches 145 percent of the original amount borrowed.

    ‘Pick a Pay’

    Such terms aren’t typical for option ARMs, which were also known as “pick-a-pay” mortgages. Interest rates on many payment option ARMS are “typically very low in the first one to three months” and can be as little as 2 percent, according to Federal Reserve data.

    Breitmaier, who has been in the home for 45 years and lives with her daughter, now fears she will lose the off-white stucco house that’s a hub for her family.

    “I wish the government would bail us out like the banks and the car businesses,” she said. “I’d like to go from here to the grave next to my husband.”

    Paul Financial LLC originated the loan and it was sold to GMAC, Pannabecker said.

    “This loan is a perfect example front to back, bottom to top, of everything that has gone wrong over the last five to seven years,” Pannabecker said. “The consumer had a product pushed on them that they had no hope of understanding.”


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  • abracadabra102
    08-06 05:00 PM
    Stroustrup C++ 'interview'

    On the 1st of January, 1998, Bjarne Stroustrup gave an interview to the IEEE's Computer magazine. Naturally, the editors thought he would be giving a retrospective view of seven years of object-oriented design, using the language he created. By the end of the interview, the interviewer got more than he had bargained for and, subsequently, the editor decided to suppress its contents, 'for the good of the industry' but, as with many of these things, there was a leak. Here is a complete transcript of what was was said, unedited, and unrehearsed, so it isn't as neat as planned interviews. You will find it interesting...

    Interviewer: Well, it's been a few years since you changed the world of software design, how does it feel, looking back?

    Stroustrup: Actually, I was thinking about those days, just before you arrived. Do you remember? Everyone was writing 'C' and, the trouble was, they were pretty damn good at it. Universities got pretty good at teaching it, too. They were turning out competent - I stress the word 'competent' - graduates at a phenomenal rate. That's what caused the problem.

    Interviewer: Problem?

    Stroustrup: Yes, problem. Remember when everyone wrote Cobol?

    Interviewer: Of course, I did too

    Stroustrup: Well, in the beginning, these guys were like demi-gods. Their salaries were high, and they were treated like royalty.

    Interviewer: Those were the days, eh?

    Stroustrup: Right. So what happened? IBM got sick of it, and invested millions in training programmers, till they were a dime a dozen.

    Interviewer: That's why I got out. Salaries dropped within a year, to the point where being a journalist actually paid better.

    Stroustrup: Exactly. Well, the same happened with 'C' programmers.

    Interviewer: I see, but what's the point?

    Stroustrup: Well, one day, when I was sitting in my office, I thought of this little scheme, which would redress the balance a little. I thought 'I wonder what would happen, if there were a language so complicated, so difficult to learn, that nobody would ever be able to swamp the market with programmers? Actually, I got some of the ideas from X10, you know, X windows. That was such a bitch of a graphics system, that it only just ran on those Sun 3/60 things. They had all the ingredients for what I wanted. A really ridiculously complex syntax, obscure functions, and pseudo-OO structure. Even now, nobody writes raw X-windows code. Motif is the only way to go if you want to retain your sanity.

    Interviewer: You're kidding...?

    Stroustrup: Not a bit of it. In fact, there was another problem. Unix was written in 'C', which meant that any 'C' programmer could very easily become a systems programmer. Remember what a mainframe systems programmer used to earn?

    Interviewer: You bet I do, that's what I used to do.

    Stroustrup: OK, so this new language had to divorce itself from Unix, by hiding all the system calls that bound the two together so nicely. This would enable guys who only knew about DOS to earn a decent living too.

    Interviewer: I don't believe you said that...

    Stroustrup: Well, it's been long enough, now, and I believe most people have figured out for themselves that C++ is a waste of time but, I must say, it's taken them a lot longer than I thought it would.

    Interviewer: So how exactly did you do it?

    Stroustrup: It was only supposed to be a joke, I never thought people would take the book seriously. Anyone with half a brain can see that object-oriented programming is counter-intuitive, illogical and inefficient.

    Interviewer: What?

    Stroustrup: And as for 're-useable code' - when did you ever hear of a company re-using its code?

    Interviewer: Well, never, actually, but...

    Stroustrup: There you are then. Mind you, a few tried, in the early days. There was this Oregon company - Mentor Graphics, I think they were called - really caught a cold trying to rewrite everything in C++ in about '90 or '91. I felt sorry for them really, but I thought people would learn from their mistakes.

    Interviewer: Obviously, they didn't?

    Stroustrup: Not in the slightest. Trouble is, most companies hush-up all their major blunders, and explaining a $30 million loss to the shareholders would have been difficult. Give them their due, though, they made it work in the end.

    Interviewer: They did? Well, there you are then, it proves O-O works.

    Stroustrup: Well, almost. The executable was so huge, it took five minutes to load, on an HP workstation, with 128MB of RAM. Then it ran like treacle. Actually, I thought this would be a major stumbling-block, and I'd get found out within a week, but nobody cared. Sun and HP were only too glad to sell enormously powerful boxes, with huge resources just to run trivial programs. You know, when we had our first C++ compiler, at AT&T, I compiled 'Hello World', and couldn't believe the size of the executable. 2.1MB

    Interviewer: What? Well, compilers have come a long way, since then.

    Stroustrup: They have? Try it on the latest version of g++ - you won't get much change out of half a megabyte. Also, there are several quite recent examples for you, from all over the world. British Telecom had a major disaster on their hands but, luckily, managed to scrap the whole thing and start again. They were luckier than Australian Telecom. Now I hear that Siemens is building a dinosaur, and getting more and more worried as the size of the hardware gets bigger, to accommodate the executables. Isn't multiple inheritance a joy?

    Interviewer: Yes, but C++ is basically a sound language.

    Stroustrup: You really believe that, don't you? Have you ever sat down and worked on a C++ project? Here's what happens: First, I've put in enough pitfalls to make sure that only the most trivial projects will work first time. Take operator overloading. At the end of the project, almost every module has it, usually, because guys feel they really should do it, as it was in their training course. The same operator then means something totally different in every module. Try pulling that lot together, when you have a hundred or so modules. And as for data hiding. God, I sometimes can't help laughing when I hear about the problems companies have making their modules talk to each other. I think the word 'synergistic' was specially invented to twist the knife in a project manager's ribs.

    Interviewer: I have to say, I'm beginning to be quite appalled at all this. You say you did it to raise programmers' salaries? That's obscene.

    Stroustrup: Not really. Everyone has a choice. I didn't expect the thing to get so much out of hand. Anyway, I basically succeeded. C++ is dying off now, but programmers still get high salaries - especially those poor devils who have to maintain all this crap. You do realise, it's impossible to maintain a large C++ software module if you didn't actually write it?

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  • vghc
    01-07 02:54 PM
    I didn't know Narendra Modi is a muslim. I didn't know those are committing genocide in Palestine are muslims. I didn't know those who attacked Iraq and commited war-crime under the pretex of WMD are muslims. I didn't know that these people are muslims.

    May be Narendra Modi was born to a Moghul Emperor. Others are born to ottaman emperors. What about you vghc? Are you a product of muslim?

    Me? Naaa....i just dislike any organized religion. They are the cause of a lot of problem in this world.


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  • xyzgc
    12-27 12:04 AM
    Pakistan's nukes' user manuals are in Chinese language. How will they know how to fire them?

    They will figure it out. You too, Beemar, well-said.

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  • coolest_me
    08-07 01:52 PM
    :D:D:D Loving this thread :D:D:D

    -My Attempt .. One liners

    If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation.

    Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

    A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.

    Plagiarism saves time.

    If at first you don't succeed, try management.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

    TEAMWORK...means never having to take all the blame yourself.

    Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Never! underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

    We waste time so you don't have to.

    Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away!

    Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker.

    A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.

    When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.


    Succeed in spite of management.

    Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.


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  • dixie
    07-17 02:46 AM
    This thread is very interesting to me. I've kind of lived though both sides, and it is really aweful for everyone but the abusive employer.

    My understanding of Immigration Voice's agenda is that this group is really for people who have H1B visas and are in the country already to bring their spouses and children here with full rights to travel and work, make sure renewals of H1Bs happen so you can stay in the country, and, even better, to convert H1B visas to green cards.

    My understanding is that the only reason that Immigration Voice supports increased H1B visa numbers is because people whose current visas are about to expire, and family members, are counted in these same numbers.

    Please correct if I'm wrong. I really would like to get this right.

    Anyway, if I do have it right, it seems to me that the AFL-CIO position (give people green cards instead of H1B visas) bridges the core concerns of members of Immigration Voice and the Programmers Guild. Whether or not everybody recognizes this is a different story, but it is good to know where the overlapping concern is, and hopefully in long term, get people talking about a solution that really does try to bridge the gap.

    For the record, we are neutral on the issue of H1-B visa increases. We neither support nor oppose increasing H1-B visas. The last thing we want to see is even more gullible H1-B folks with GC mirages being added to our midst. However, it often happens that ANY reform to the EB program is clubbed together with H1-B increases .. thanks to corporate lobbying or whatever .. in such cases we obviously have to support the broad package of high skilled immigration reform.

    We DO NOT deny the fact that H1-B has loopholes that make us vulnerable for exploitation .. that is one of our major reasons for pushing GC reforms. Our grouse with the likes of PG, lou dobbs etc is that they offer a one-sided criticism of the H1-B program full of half-truths, outright lies and insinuations about us "stealing" jobs. They highlight the exploitation part only to promote their agenda .. those occasional noises about giving GCs instead of H1-Bs is exactly that. Their real agenda is an end to all skilled immigration. Had they sincerely promoted balanced skilled immigration reform like tighter enforcement of H1-B provisions that protect US workers along with faster GC process for those meeting those tighter requirements, I would have gladly supported them.

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  • pitha
    09-26 06:49 PM
    You are not a citizen, you are not even a green card holder, you and I are H1, and whatever i said is from an h1 point of view. Dont think like a citizen or green card holder, think like a H1b and you will realize obama will roast us. with mccain it might be 4 more years of bush nothing good for eb but definetely nothing bad. The reason behind this thread is not to discuss socialism or capitalism in the general sense but through the lense of eb folks. Once we agree that obama\durbin CIR would spell dooom for us we can decide either
    1. We contribute to IV and put one last fight
    2. pack our bags and leave or
    3. waste our time arguing about capitalism and socialism in the general sense, argue about health care, jobs, etc etc etc when we dont even have a green card.

    This is complete non-sense. See the fact of capitalistic approch. Reckless free market approch brought the country to (wall) street. If no regulation and control by the government, the CEOs/Captialist screw you and me. see Enron. See WAMU. The CEO of WAMU walks away with millions of $ after screwing the bank. Where did you studied socialist goverment do not create high tech job? Captalistic form of government is good only if, the CEOs/capitalists are Gandi/Budda.


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  • rsdang
    08-11 04:53 PM
    :DH E A D A C H E S

    Joe was moderately successful in his career, but as he got older he was increasingly hampered by incredible headaches. When his personal hygiene and love life started to suffer, he sought medical help.

    After being referred from one specialist to another, he finally came across a doctor who solved the problem.

    "The good news is I can cure your headaches... The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition which causes your testicles to press up against the base of your spine. The pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles."

    Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he has anything to live for. He couldn't concentrate long enough to answer, but decided he had no choice but to go under the knife.

    When he left the hospital, his mind was clear, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He walked past a men's clothing store and thought, "That's what I need:
    a new suit." He entered the shop and told the salesman, "I'd like a new suit."

    The salesman eyed him briefly and said, "Let's see... size 44 long." Joe laughed, "That's right, how did you know?" "It's my job." Joe tried on the suit. It fit perfectly.

    As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about a new shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, "Sure..." The salesman eyed Joe and said, "Let's see... 34 sleeve and... 16 and a half neck" Joe was surprised, "That's right, how did you know?" "It's my job."

    Joe tried on the shirt, and it fit perfectly. As Joe adjusted the collar in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about new shoes?" Joe was on a roll and said, "Sure ..." The salesman eyed Joe's feet and said, "Let's see... 9-1/2...
    E." Joe was astonished, "That's right, how did you know?" "It's my job."

    Joe tried on the shoes and they fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, "How about a new hat?" Without hesitating, Joe said, "Sure..." The salesman eyed Joe's head and said, "Let's see...
    7-5/8." Joe was incredulous, "That's right, how did you know?" "It's my job."

    The hat fit perfectly. Joe was feeling great, when the salesman asked, "How about some new underwear?" Joe thought for a second and said, "Sure..." The salesman stepped back, eyed Joe's waist and said, "Let's see... size 36."

    Joe laughed, "No, I've worn size 34 since I was 18 years old."

    The salesman shook his head, "You can't wear a size 34. It would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache."

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  • funny
    10-01 05:17 PM
    I was thinking of buying a car but I have decided to hold off on it untill the presidentials elections are over. If obama is elected president I will not buy the car and will basically go into 100% saving mode because you never know when Obama\Durbin might kick us out. Nobody knows what sort of draconian rules are going to be put in place for EB community by Obama and Durbin. I have no confidence in Obama\Durbin to show any compassion\fairness towards Eb community. There might be hundreds of thousands of people holding off on purchasing a house, car or any big ticket item because of Obama\Durbin cir and there hostility towards Eb community. Hope I am proven wrong but I have not heard a single positive thing out of obama regarding EB community. Even when he was specifically asked about the green card delays faced by EB community he gave a evasive reply. He is always boasting about support for legal immigartion i.e family based immigration and not eb. I am not a obama hater nor a mcccain supporter but just a worried EB guy worried about his bleak future with Durbin lead cir.

    It is not clear what will happen to the existing applications, I don't think it would be simple to throw all the pending EB based GC applications out of the window and have everybody fall in line again in the new point based system....


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  • unitednations
    03-26 04:42 PM

    What I take from your reply is that if the company is on their radar (for reasons that they will never disclose or we will never know - but we can assume some kind of fraudulent activity - like what you suggest too many h1's etc) they can (and currently are for h1 applications) apply all of their might to deny applications.

    Most of us have become pompous and are living in a big bubble. We think that since we pay taxes we are special. I cant imagine how out of touch with reality we are ....when I see postings like these for example remove EB1/EB2/EB3..whatever classification quota since we "the special class" of people are suffering, remove per country limit since we have paid taxes for 10 years, we will solve the housing crisis if we get gc's, we are responsible for creating innovation, progress and jobs (though i agree small percentage of the total pool may well be responsible for some innovation but not all), we are some sort of super humans , calling up senators/congressman - wont they be more interested in protecting their constituent's -- who I hate to say is not us (that is would be immigrants)

    Isn't it time for everyone to wake up and see the reality ? Why exacerbate the current conditions that will create even a bigger backlash? can we all handle that ? I think the answer is NO

    Legal base employment candidates never had any representation as far as I know of until Immigration voice was formed. The other groups had some organized activity.

    From some of the postings I have seen from IV Core; I believe they know what they are doing. They seem to be getting right advice of when to go on offensive and when to be defensive.

    It is difficult for candidates/people who only have five to six years of history in this country to know how the system works here; ie., what arguments work and what arguments don't and what other side will do in ruining your credibility if they are pushed.

    Everyone wants their greencard and they try to find reasons which they think others will appreciate (whether they have much merit or not).

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 11:50 AM


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  • unitednations
    08-02 06:09 PM
    Thanks for the quick reply. I never overstayed my I-94 either before leaving US or re-entering US. But just a thought... Do you mean if somebody covered by 245(i) and never left US after filing the labor before April 2001, still be eligible to adjust status?


    A little unknown thing is that even if you get married to someone who is eligible for 245i; you also get that benefit. Even if someone divorced a person who was eligible for 245i; they still get the benefit.

    Therefore, someone who has overstayed, out of status and marries someone who had a labor or 130 pending before april 30, 2001 (even though this person was never out of status or overstayed); then spouse can claim 245i benefit.

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  • Rolling_Flood
    07-14 08:24 AM
    send the damn letter, nothing happens, and then come back here and vent your frustration again. as you said, buddy, HARD LUCK indeed !!

    I cannot believe the nerve that you EB-3 India guys have. You are begging for a GC based on your length of wait!!! laughable at best...........go wait a decade or so more, then come back here and start this useless BS again.

    one good thing happens for the EB-2 folks, and the EB-3 community cannot stomach it. pure freaking jealousy.

    fine, then why are we working so hard to remove the per country limit? That was set by law too!!!

    We can't pick only those options that would favor us. Sometimes changes bring hard-luck.


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  • aachoo
    03-24 02:21 PM
    I'm sure you meant Larry David ;)

    I am not sure which season this was from. If it was before season 7 (?) I bow to your superior knowledge.

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  • mariner5555
    04-15 04:26 PM
    one last addition ..I guess builders are normally the optimistic lot even when things are bad ..and they seem unhappy now (which means happier days are ahead for fence sitters like me (who are waiting for a GC by the way before looking) ..

    Fitch Ratings said in a conference call Tuesday that the housing sector is likely to continue to contract throughout 2008, and could worsen further in 2009 if the economy slides into a sharp recession. The ratings agency said low mortgage rates, cheaper home prices and government proposals to aid the ailing industry will not be enough to spark a turnaround.

    "Despite a few steps in the right direction, U.S. housing remains mired in a steep cyclical decline, with more pain likely for U.S. homebuilders through 2008," said Fitch homebuilding analyst Robert Curran

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  • wantgc23
    08-06 02:53 PM
    plz keep goin

    08-03 05:05 PM
    What exactly is the difference between current and future employments in the context of Perm labor certification and 485. I have seen people using two things interchangeably to suit their arguments. In context of finding ability to pay is there a difference in the way adjudicator looks at two things?

    12-16 09:22 PM
    Democrats Assess Hill Damage, Leadership ( By CHARLES BABINGTON | Associated Press, December 16, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats will have plenty to ponder during the Christmas-New Year recess. For instance, why did things go so badly this fall, and how well did their leaders serve them?

    Partisan players will quarrel for months, but objective analysts say the debate must start here: An embattled president made extraordinary use of his veto power and he was backed by GOP lawmakers who may have put their political fortunes at risk.

    Also, a new Democratic leadership team overestimated the impact of the Iraq war and the 2006 elections, learning too late they had no tools to force Bush and his allies to compromise on bitterly contested issues.

    Both parties seem convinced that voters will reward them 11 months from now. And they agree that Congress' gridlock and frustration are likely to continue until then _ and possibly beyond _ unless the narrow party margins in the House and Senate change appreciably.

    In a string of setbacks last week, Democratic leaders in Congress yielded to Bush and his GOP allies on Iraqi war funding, tax and health policies, energy policy and spending decisions affecting billions of dollars throughout the government.

    The concessions stunned many House and Senate Democrats, who saw the 2006 elections as a mandate to redirect the war and Bush's domestic priorities. Instead, they found his goals unchanged and his clout barely diminished.

    Facing a Democratic-run Congress after six years of GOP control, Bush repeatedly turned to actual or threatened vetoes, which can be overridden only by highly elusive two-thirds majority votes in both congressional chambers.

    Bush's reliance on veto threats was so remarkable that "it's hard to say there are precedents for it," said Steve Hess, a George Washington University government professor whose federal experience began in the Eisenhower administration.

    Previous presidents used veto threats more sparingly, Hess said, partly because they hoped to coax later concessions from an opposition-run Congress. But with the demise of major Bush initiatives such as revamping Social Security and immigration laws, Hess said, "you've got a president who doesn't want anything" in his final year.

    Bush's scorched-earth strategy may prove riskier for Republicans who backed him, Hess said. Signs point to likely Democratic victories in the presidential and many congressional races next year, he said.

    That is the keen hope of Congress' Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. They have admitted that Bush's intransigence on the war surprised them, as did the unbroken loyalty shown to him by most House and Senate Republicans.

    Empowered by Bush's veto threats, Republican lawmakers rejected Democratic efforts to wind down the war, impose taxes on the wealthy to offset middle-class tax cuts, roll back tax breaks on oil companies to help promote renewable energy and conservation, and greatly expand federal health care for children.

    Pelosi on Friday cited "reckless opposition from the president and Republicans in Congress" in defending her party's modest achievements.

    Americans remain mostly against the war, though increasingly pleased with recent reductions in violence and casualties, an AP-Ipsos poll showed earlier this month. While a steady six in 10 have long said the 2003 invasion was a mistake, the public is now about evenly split over whether the U.S. is making progress in Iraq.

    Opposition to the war is especially strong among the Democratic Party's liberal base. Some lawmakers say Pelosi and Reid should have told those liberal activists to accept more modest changes in Iraq, tax policies and spending, in the name of political reality.

    "They never learned to accept the art of the possible," said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., a former majority leader who is partisan but willing to work with Democrats. "They kept going right up to the limit and exceeding it, making it possible for us to defeat them, over and over again," Lott said in an interview.

    He cited the Democrats' failed efforts to add billions of dollars to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which Bush vetoed twice because of the proposed scope and cost. A somewhat smaller increase was possible, Lott said, but Democrats refused to negotiate with moderate Republicans until it was too late.

    "They thought, 'We're going to win on the politics, we'll stick it to Bush,'" Lott said. "That's not the way things happen around here."

    Some Democrats say House GOP leaders would have killed any bid to forge a veto-proof margin on the children's health bill. But others say the effort was clumsily handled in the House, where key Democrats at first ignored, and later selectively engaged, rank-and-file Republicans whose support they needed.

    Some Washington veterans say Democrats, especially in the ostentatiously polite Senate, must fight more viciously if they hope to turn public opinion against GOP obstruction tactics. With Democrats holding or controlling 51 of the 100 seats, Republicans repeatedly thwart their initiatives by threatening filibusters, which require 60 votes to overcome.

    Democrats should force Republicans into all-day and all-night sessions for a week or two, said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar for the right-of-center think tank American Enterprise Institute. The tactic wouldn't change senators' votes, he said, but it might build public awareness and resentment of GOP obstructionists in a way that a one-night talkfest cannot.

    To date, Reid has resisted such ideas, which would anger and inconvenience some Democratic senators as well as Republicans.