vineri, 1 iulie 2011

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  • Macaca
    12-30 06:57 PM
    A Bridge to a Love for Democracy (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/us/30iht-letter30.html) By RICHARD BERNSTEIN | New York Times

    I write this, my last �Letter from America,� looking out my window at my snowy Brooklyn neighborhood. It�s midmorning Wednesday, three days after our Christmas weekend blizzard, and my street has yet to receive the benefit of a snowplow.

    Cars, as the prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow once put it, are impounded by the drifts. The city is still partly paralyzed, pleasantly, in a way. There�s nothing like a heavy snowfall to give one a bit of a respite, to turn the ordinary, like walking to the corner store, into a little adventure. And there�s the countrylike stillness of this city block filled with snow, absent the usual traffic.

    It seems a good moment, in other words, to pause and reflect. My thoughts turn to a very unsnowy moment in 1972 in a village called Lowu, which was the last village in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong just before the border with China. I was a graduate student in Chinese history and a stringer for The Washington Post going to the territory of Chairman Mao for the first time in my life.

    There was a short trestle bridge at Lowu. I�ve often wondered if it�s still there. The Union Jack flew at one side, the red flag of the People�s Republic of China at the other. The border town on the other side was a little fishing and farming village called Shenzhen, now a modern city of skyscrapers and shopping malls, an emblem of China�s amazing economic development.

    I was favorably disposed toward China as I strode across the bridge, ready to experience the radical egalitarianism of the Maoist revolution, which was generally viewed with favor among American graduate students specializing in China. I was a member of a group, moreover, that partook of a certain leftist orthodoxy. We had learned the �Internationale� so we could sing it for our revolutionary hosts. We were supposed to return to America and report the truth about China, which was, essentially, that it was the future and it worked.

    But it took only about 24 hours on that first journey to China for me utterly to change my mind and, indeed, to become a lifelong anti-Communist and devotee of liberal democracy, to find great wisdom in Winston Churchill�s dictum about its being the worst of all systems except for all the others.

    The noxious cult of personality around Mao was the first thing that effected my political transformation. But deeper than that was the pervasive odor of orthodoxy, the uniformity of it all, the mandatory pious declarations, which, if they were believed, were ridiculous, and, if they were forced, illustrated the terror of it all.

    Many of my American fellow travelers felt very differently about this. In my intense discomfort, I found myself in a sort of Menshevik minority, criticized by the majority for what I remember one person calling my �Darkness at Noon� mentality.

    Still, that discomfort, and the unwillingness of most of the others to experience it, has informed my work as a journalist ever since. I have to admit it: When I went to China as a correspondent for Time magazine seven years after that first trip, my impulse was not so much to look with fresh and impartial eyes on a country that had just opened up to a degree of foreign inspection as it was to expose what I felt many Americans were missing in those rhapsodic days. Namely, that the country under Mao and after belonged to the 20th-century totalitarian mainstream � that it was a poverty-stricken police state and not a viable alternative to Western ways.

    There was a degree of bias in this view, and it led me into some mistakes. On China, in particular, I was perhaps focused too single-mindedly on its totalitarian elements so that I underplayed other elements, notably the speed of change in China, and perhaps even the unsuitableness of many Western democratic ways for a country so essentially backward.

    And perhaps, too, I extrapolated a bit too much from the China experience when it came to other places and other times. When I covered academic life in the United States, for example, I tended to see vicious Maoist Red Guards in the phenomenon of what came to be called political correctness, and, while I don�t think this was entirely wrong, it was an exaggeration.

    And yet, it seems appropriate in this final column to say, as well, that my nearly 40 years in the journalism game haven�t shaken me from the essential belief that formed during that first, memorable visit to China.

    Ever since, despite all our infuriating faults, our wastefulness, our occasional self-satisfied sluggishness, our proneness to demagogy and other forms of anti-intellectualism, our crumbling infrastructure, the Fox News channel, the cult of Sarah Palin, the narcissistic self-indulgence of our urban elites, the detention center in Guant�namo Bay and our crisis-creating greed and shortsightedness � despite all that � I continue to believe that, not to put too fine a point on it, we�re better than they are.

    This doesn�t mean that I think we�re perfect, or that our impulse toward a kind of benevolent imperialism has always had benevolent results. But I have stuck for 40 years to a belief that, yes, our ways are superior � and by our ways I mean such things often taken for granted as a free press, strong civil institutions, an independent judiciary and, perhaps above all, the belief that the powers of the state need to be restrained, and that the institutions of government exist to serve the individual, not the other way around.

    The essential difference with China, even the much-changed China of today, and most of the other non-Western political cultures, is the absence of this sense of restraint, and the primacy of the collective over the individual.

    That�s the idea that I was actually groping toward when I crossed the bridge at Lowu. It�s the idea that I want to end with here on this snowy day in New York in my final sentence on this page. Goodbye.




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  • tampacoolie
    07-08 05:02 PM
    Many people don't really understand the investigative powers uscis has or the extent they will go through. if person fakes paystubs to do an h-1b transfer; well uscis issues rfe's asking for a listing of all h-1b employees and payments made to each employee for last two years. I have seen them inter-relate this information for people who have faked these types of things.

    Recently; I saw uscis california service center request state unemployment compensation reports for all employees for wages paid for the last two years. ..

    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.




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  • pitha
    02-21 11:33 AM
    This is so ridiculous. Lou Dobbs is self-righteous self serving idiot that�s was well known but why is CNN pimping him. Don�t they realize as Lou Dobbs is becoming a laughing stock so is CNN by pimping him. I was trying to write some comments on this joke written by Lou Dobbs but CNN does not provide a means to write your comments.




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  • learning01
    05-24 12:44 PM
    can you tell me why nurses and physio-therapists are brought on H1B visas, and once they are employed their GCs are applied straight away and UNDER NO quota.

    You seem to be liking one or part of Lou's argument. You are only seeing the trees. My friend, start to see the forest. The big picture of Lou.



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  • purgan
    01-28 10:44 AM
    what has time to put 30-40 comments. Let the junkies who like him waste their money reading his crap...




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  • VSS2007
    07-13 12:28 AM
    Really Good Work!!!



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  • nojoke
    04-06 04:24 PM
    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.



    No. The truth is we are going to see a severe correction. .We need to wake up and stop being in denial. I have shown proof that there are already 50% reduction in some areas from my previous quotes. This is just the begining.




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  • nk2006
    09-30 02:54 PM
    Yes, you are right, the recent 485 denials for people using AC-21 have nothing to do with Obama/Durbin immigtaion policy. But I kind of remember there were some harsh provisions for people using AC 21 in CIR 2007 version. I am trying to find out the details about it.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    I dont think there were any provisions in 2007 CIR that curtail job movement using AC21 for greencard holders. I think we are over-analyzing this - that Sen.Durbin is against lot of H1B provisions is evident. Also he may not be in favor of visa-recapture for EB immigrants - but I dont think he will single handedly drive immigration rules and make the life of all EB immigrants tough. He may have some support in changing the rules in H1B - but I dont think even he is not that negative regarding GC aspects - even if he is, may not get widespread support for it in congress.

    Also Obama has shown his governing style (from the campaign, debate etc) - which is very level headed based on a bunch of things and discussions rather than following "one" ideological path blindly. If at all I think his administration will be more favorable to EB GC reform and somewhat unfavorable H1B reform (and completely pro-undocumented reform just like McCain). This is based on my interpretation of his immigration policies on his site and based on his general campaign.



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  • sw33t
    09-28 01:03 AM
    Living in the US for approx. 8 yrs, I am mentally getting ready to move back to India. Just waiting to clear my debt and then move back. I came pretty close to buying a house in summer based on EB2 dates moving in Aug. and Sept. 08 but I am glad I didn't. Luckily, I am single and can take my own decision. If I had the opportunity to vote, I would vote John McCain.

    Don't want to elaborate more but I have put up a blog entry for those of you who want to read more -

    http://www.skappy.com

    I am also exploring HSMP - Tier 1 (UK) and probably at Singapore as well (want to move closer to the shores).

    I'll definitely apply for the European Blue Card once it is ratified by the EU member nations.




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  • Beemar
    12-26 12:52 PM
    Guys,

    Looks like we may see some action from India within hours now. The war clouds have been gathering ever since the Mumbai attacks. But now the signs of an imminent war are unmistakable.

    Apparently India had given pak a deadline of one month to hand over the perpetrators of this attack. The deadline expires on December 26th.

    Both India and pak have canceled the leaves of their military personnel.

    People in border villages of Rajasthan are evacuating.

    CNN has been reporting that paki troops are on the move.

    If my hunch in right, something big will happen in next 24 hours.



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  • NeverEndingH1
    12-17 02:39 PM
    Now you may go and dig out my previous postings too!

    Ah! all these red dots are showered on me by you kinda folks for questioning this type of nonsense!

    Bring it on more (red dots) LOL

    Marphad,

    But none of their postings (jaspreetsinghgandhi & tabletpc) had your kind of religious-politics in it!




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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:34 PM
    Scamsters dictionary (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Scamsters-dictionary/articleshow/7173788.cms) By Dilip Bobb | Times of India

    Between Raja and Radia, the tapes and the taps, the Tata and the Chandra-Seeker, it's become terribly confusing trying to figure out who has done what and when and to whom. It's almost like one of those kids' birthday party games where you try and pin the tail on the donkey while blindfolded. Competitive politics has made it tougher to figure out head from tail.

    The reason everyone is totally confused is because the totals are so mind-boggling: Rs 1.39 trillion is the figure being bandied about and anybody who had that kind of financial spectrum would be giggling hysterically all the way to the nearest bank in Liechtenstein.

    It may have been a steep earning curve for someone but it has also been a steep learning curve for the rest of us, trying to figure out all those arcane acronyms being bandied about. Try asking Congress members what the 2G controversy is all about, and they will look quite blank. They have been conditioned to believe that 2G is short for the two Gandhis, Sonia and Rahul, and any other combination is beyond their comprehension. Mention 3G and the plot thickens with Priyanka added to the mix, even though she's now a Vadra. In Congress circles, however, a Gandhi is a Gandhi, and will smell just as sweet (with due apologies to Shakespeare).

    Back to the learning curve and the acronyms that everyone's so concerned about. Here's the first lesson in the Scamsters Dictionary. 2G led to CAG which in turn led to CBI which took it to DoT. Then the trail led to TRAI which, in turn, has led to all sorts of connections to the DMK in Chennai and elsewhere, made a sharp U-turn, and moved back to DIAL. And now we have the ED getting involved, trying to ensure that the PMLA has not been violated. Finally, we are still trying to get to the bottom of how VCCPL carried so much clout in such a short time. That, we're told by the opposition, can only happen if there is a JPC.

    So far, the investigative bandwidth is spanning the entire spectrum, from NGOs to chartered accountants, priests and editors, friends and family. Everything is relative. It seems to be like the 2G licence which has something called UAS or Unlimited Access Services. Now we all know who had unlimited access to whom, and the raids on Radia have even given us a new phrase to include in the Scamsters Dictionary, "Economic Terrorist", as contributed by Praful Patel who has been stung by his name popping up in the tapes. It's become a mad race to clear your name ASAP.

    For the uninitiated, the Scamsters Dictionary starts with DoT, or the Department of Telecommunications, which deals with anything to do with communications, from phones to faxes and everything in between. Then, we have TRAI, or Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, a supposedly independent body. Next is VCCPL, the company owned by Radia, which a very independent entity, aka TRAI's former boss, joined after leaving TRAI, raising eyebrows but also VCCPL's bottom line.

    We have another employee who had connections to DIAL, or Delhi International Airport Ltd, but so far he is not named in CAG which, by the way, is yet another independent body, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the one that originally set the feline among the pigeons. We now come to GAG, which is the type of order issued by the CHC, or Congress High Command, to its spokesmen and women. Meanwhile, the CWC, or Congress Working Committee, is working overtime to ensure its ties with the DMK don't go AWOL.

    Finally, between the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) we hope to untangle some very tangled wires and cross connections. In fact, in all the confusion, the Scamsters Dictionary will be incomplete without one more acronym: QED.



    What we need is really techno technology (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/jugglebandhi/entry/what-we-need-is-really-techno-technology) By Jug Suraiya | Times of India



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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-25 03:28 PM
    ok..lets see how it goes.

    I did not hire an attorney nor took a consultation..I thought folks here on IV combined are as good as an attorney :D

    Just came from the Post office..sent all documents they asked for including Resume.

    I dont know if my employer responded..I called them but they didn't respond..typical..huh

    Lets see how it goes..

    Should something bad happen (Which I dont understand why it would), you will see me in
    "Alberta Welcomes H1b" thread.. :D:D:D




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  • xyzgc
    12-27 12:00 AM
    In modern times, wars between nations are not started in days or weeks. Wars are not based on one event. There is a systematic three stage process to go to war and for a nation to convince the majority of the society/nation that the other guy is pure evil and your mortal enemy. Society in Pakistan is based on their haterade towards Indians. For many years children in Pakistan were taught that Indians are evil, their belief system is barbaric, and their existence means that Islam is in danger. That was the reason some of us saw posts on this forum talking about sati system in Hinduism or some others Pakistanis saying that Hindus are attacking Muslims in India, and then other Pakistanis talking about Modi, VHP and Bajrang Dal. The first step for creating a war involves propaganda within the population of the country that your enemy is evil. Pakistan has been doing this preparation very systematically for sometime.

    Second stage to go to war involves finding a reason after the decision has been made to go to war. In this stage, one has to come up with a reason and then waits for the trigger to create the reason to go to war.

    The third and final stage to go to war involves invoking the trigger, which will create a flash point for the war, and so the war begins. Mumabi was that trigger.

    The reason why I am saying this is, because someone wrote on this form "don't be a war monger". You see, we are not creating a war. The war is being forced on us. To defend oneself is not "war mongering". Our willingness to live in peace and harmony should not become our weakness such that someone openly and deliberately attacks the population of our country. I do not hold any false sense of myth of nationalism hosting the flag. But when war is forced upon us, there is no way we can run away from it.

    For a moment, just imagine, what would have happened if Mumbai attacks were done in China as "Beijing attack", or if Pakistani terrorists would have attacked Iran and they were "Tehran attack" or for that matter an attack on any country in Europe or say US. How will any other country China, Iran, UK, US, France, Germany, and score of other, how will these countries respond to the attacks like Mumbai attack? There is only one way to reply to such attacks. Respond swiftly and with full force. Personally, I believe that 30 days is too late to respond. I believe that response has to come before the ashes of the dead is still hot. Otherwise, justice hasn't served, because justice delayed is justice denied.

    If the war begins, this will be my last post.

    Adios



    As usual, well-said, we are not war mongering. we are not hate mongers.
    I have very similar thoughts but I could not have articulated it so well.

    Respond swiftly and finish it off because people like you and me get a chance to react and think too much.

    Too much thinking, weighing too many pros and cons creates confusion. When you are confused, you don't act. When you don't act, a fresh wave of terrorist attacks comes in. Terrorists are everywhere - temples, hotels, buses, trains - even your senate (parliament). Then you catch some terrorists .

    Ok, so you caught the one that attacked your parliament. There is a clear evidence, yet the questions remain.
    Should I hang them or should I not hang them?
    If I hang them, will they be martyrs? So what should I do with them? Should I feed them dal chawal or should I feel them dal roti? Ok, now Mufti's daughter is kidnapped, so should I release them, should I not release them?

    You still keep scratching your head. What should I do? Should I do this or should I do that? Pakistan is a nuclear power. Gilani keeps chanting that like mantra, what if there is nuclear war? What if it destabilizes the country further? why not let Pakistan die its own death - its a failed state (no sir, it may be a failed state but there are managing to get all the aid in the world, China is helping them, America is helping them, IMF is helping them, Asia Bank is helping them..they are not going to die anytime, they are walking away scot-free but they are slowly killing you, eating your house like termites - wake up and realize that!!)

    If you have roaches in your house or you have vermin in your farms, do you keep thinking what you should do about them? Exterminate them. Does it mean the roaches will go away? Probably not. But you do your job first and raise questions later. If they come in, you kill them again. you do your job and keep doing it.

    Just my opinion.



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  • bfadlia
    01-07 12:59 PM
    I participated in the "mumbai attacked" thread, but always tried not to give any analysis of the history because I sure don't have the background not belonging to the region..
    yet I'm reading the darnest things here from people who apparently read 2 lines from wikipedia, copy and paste here then start talking like they know everything about the arab-israeli conflict and think they can analyze it..

    The phrase foxnews and similar media have everyone parroting here is "Israel is surrounded by hostile arab countries that waged wars against it several times. Israel is always in self defense" Let's see..

    1948: Israeli Irgun and Shtern gangs, the prototype of the israeli army were going village to village massacring palestinians to drive them out of their villages to annex them to newly created israel which they did.. arab nations who were mostly still under colonial influence sent their police-like forces to try to protect the palestinians, but of course they were no match for the mostly european WWII-veterans Israeli forces

    1956: In a dispute between Egypt, Britain and France over the control of Suez canal that in no way involves Israel, Israel attacked Egypt and took control of Sinai peninsula until Soviets and US urged it to leave.

    1967: Without a single bullet shot at Israel, it attacked Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the west bank, occupying Egypt's Sinai, Syria's Golan heights, and annexing gaza, East Jerusalem and the west bank.

    1973: Only time Arabs started the offensive, Egypt and Syria attacked to get back their occupied lands. Egypt managed to get part of Sinai, and got the rest through peace treaty. Syria failed and the golan is still occupied till this day.

    1982: Israel invading Lebanon and occupying southern Lebanon till 2000.. Reason was meddling in a conflict between Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Lebanese factions in which none of these parties attacked Israel.

    60 years have passed with the civilized world issuing UN resolutions for israel to end its occupation and to let the millions of displaced Palestinians return to their homes inside israel and Israel rejecting them. Then we have the courage to blame the Palestinians for not taking it easy, accepting the miserable conditions israel imposed on them and firing their 7000 fire crackers that killed 4 people.. the ungrateful bastards!!

    I got a negative comment on this one saying "watch ur language"!!!
    someone didn't get the sarcasm in me calling the palestinians bastards, the whole message was defending them buddy




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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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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-05 02:48 PM
    Two guys are moving about in a supermarket when their carts collide.

    One says to the other, "I'm sorry - I was looking for my wife."
    "What a coincidence, so am I, and I'm getting a little desperate."

    "Well, maybe I can help you. What does your wife look like?"

    "She's tall, with long hair, long legs, firm boobs and a tight ass.

    What's your wife look like?"

    "Never mind, let's look for yours!"




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  • SunnySurya
    12-22 09:53 PM
    Shuyaib saheb ASAK and welcome to 21st century.
    And by the way thanks for enlightening us on the hindu scriptures, these are news to us.

    Its a known tendency of hindu groups of radicalizing muslims, so much so that Jinnah took into consideration and formed pakistan.

    Still the hindus will target an abominal act of 11 people and make a community of muslims, a country victim of their acts.

    Yet, even if a hindu preaches infanticide of girls, he is not terrorist, a hindu scripture preaching burning alive of widows is not terrorist doctrine, a mythical god preaching murder of low caste for chanting holy rhymes is not a terrorist! Hail Ram!

    India could fight british militantly under Subhash Chandra, and under Gandhi, and that is fight for freedom, yet Palestinians fighting for free country is terrorism! Will the Aryans return the land to Dravidians now?




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  • sin94
    03-24 12:17 PM
    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me



    Dude, it does not matter what you're reasoning is for getting into consulting. You do not even need to prove anything to me. Take your justification with you and present it to the guys that are going to approve your GC, NOT me!!!!

    If you are still so hard headed that you do not want to accept realities, what can I say!




    Macaca
    12-16 09:22 PM
    Democrats Assess Hill Damage, Leadership (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/16/AR2007121600306.html) 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.




    Macaca
    02-27 08:20 AM
    1. Insurers Prepare a Battle Strategy to Protect a Key Exemption (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022601142.html).

    2. Lobbying Winner -- and Loser (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022601142_2.html).

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the affiliated U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform have broken their own record for expenditures on lobbying. Their combined total skyrocketed to $49.2 million for the second half of 2006, more than double the $23.5 million they reported for the first six months of the year. The latest six-month period shattered their earlier record of $30.1 million, set during 2004's first half, PoliticalMoneyLine said.

    The institute, which alone spent $17.8 million in the second half of 2006, does all manner of lobbying and research to fight trial lawyers. The rest of the Chamber buys issue advertising and houses a stable of lobbyists and policy analysts.

    By contrast, the National Association of Manufacturers -- the Chamber's onetime rival -- spent just $3.6 million in the second half of 2006, down dramatically from $9.6 million in the year's first six months. NAM said the 63 percent decline resulted from its withdrawal from lobbying on the asbestos bill that it wanted but failed to get.

    NAM was outpaced in lobbying expenditures in last year's second half by a wide range of groups and individual companies. Twenty of these spent more than $5 million during the period.



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