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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 10:44 AM
    May I ask, why you agree with PD porting and not labor substitution... Was it because you were affected in later case?
    Let us face it , we all are selfish. And if our self interest match then we are an organization.
    here is another point:
    i think its a childish and selfish idea...i agree labor substitution was absolute nonsense...but not PD porting!

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  • chanduv23
    03-25 03:50 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

    It is always good to utilize services of a good Attorney for complex situations. But anyways good luck.

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  • sk2006
    06-05 03:20 PM
    >> First off, a house is really both an investment and a home.

    If you look at the historical rate of appreciation vs. the risks involved - I think you will come to the same conclusion as I did - that it is a lousy investment in mature markets like US.

    Infact experts call an invest a good investment if
    #1 Returns are good
    #2 Expenses are low

    Investment in house does not meet any of these.. Returns historically are only slightly better than rate of inflation (forget the bubble years) and expenses which include property taxes and maintenance costs are too much to call it a good investment. And then you pay interest on the borrowed money.

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  • hpandey
    09-26 09:59 AM
    All this is going to happen in the very first year itself. Obama has already said CIR would be his priority for his first year. Dick Durbin and Obama will "reform" the EB system exactly the way you described below. In 2008 we have seen some eb friendly bills introduced by lofgren like visa recapture and exemption for STEM. Once Obama becomes president(which is almost a certainty) he will outsource the EB issues to Dick Durbin and he will make sure none of the EB friendly issues like visa recapture and exemption for STEM will happen. In addition obama and durbin will make our lives miserable with draconian restrictions on EB. We are alreday seeing USCIS denying AC21 485 (there is a seperate thread on this). If situation is like this now just imagine how horrible it would be with Obama and durbin.

    Last time the CIR bill died because a lot of people are against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants ( both Republicans and democrats ) . The president alone ( read Obama ) cannot decide that he wants to pass this bill because remember last year Bush was strongly in favour of the CIR bill and even had a conference with Senate leaders to push it through but it failed . The politicians know that the American people don't like the bill but they have to show that they are concerned with solving the illegal immigrant issue. This CIR bill is only a political gimmick. It came into picture because of the upcoming elections and next year I am pretty sure with no more elections the interest would not be that much to get it passed ( although I am sure there will be a lot of people interested in getting it to the House and the Senate ).

    As someone said before if they try to bring some anti - highly skilled workers bill then the big companies are sure to cry out loud ( Microsoft , Cisco , Oracle etc etc ) and the politicians don't listen to us but they will surely listen to them. They have got the clout to get themselves heard.


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  • Macaca
    02-17 02:14 PM
    The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 ( establishes criteria for determining when an organization or firm should register their employees as lobbyists. Lobbyists register with the Senate Office of Public Records (SOPR ( SOPR receives, processes, and maintains for public inspection records filed with the Secretary of the Senate ( involving the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Federal Election Campaign Act (, the Ethics in Government Act, the Mutual Security Act, and the Senate Code of Official Conduct. The office has many other responsibilities in addition to their lobbyist registration duties.


    Lobby Filing Disclosure Program (
    Example: Find amount paid by IV

    Go to Senate Office of Public Records (
    Click on Access the US Lobby Report Images for All Years (
    Highlight Client Name and then click on button Go
    Type Immigration Voice in client name field and then click on button Go
    Click on Immigration Voice Corporation (
    The 3 links are

    QGA registered IV as client (|2)
    Mid-Year Report (|3) (Jan 1- Jun 30)
    Year-End Report (|2) (July 1 - Dec 31)

    Follow above steps for anti-immigration organizations (FAIR ( FORM&CLIQUAL==), NumbersUSA (, ...) House (
    Lobbying Spending Database (

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 09:54 PM
    A little boy went up to his father and asked, "Dad, where did all of my intelligence come from?"

    The father replied, "Well son, you must have got it from your mother, because I still have mine."


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  • xlr8r
    04-09 08:35 AM
    What can we do to deep-six this bill?

    Need direction here!

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  • alisa
    01-04 05:35 PM
    No body is going to be caught and there is going to be another attack in India and then the Bombay will become the past and we need to forget the past and we have to start all over again.
    Then you would probably be right, that this is the active policy of Pakistan, and I would probably be wrong, that these are non-state actors that are the remnants of the past.


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  • Macaca
    12-21 05:34 PM
    Polls Aside, Bush Ends Year With Victories ( By John D. McKinnon | Wall Street Journal, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- President Bush is ending the year with the approval of just one in three voters, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, but he is enjoying a string of legislative successes in Congress, on matters from Iraq-war funding and the federal budget to energy policy, tax increases and mortgage relief.

    Bush aides believe they benefited from overreaching by Democrats flush with their 2006 election victory. The White House began the year by laying out relatively modest goals on issues like energy and federal spending. They clung to those goals, even as some Republicans in Congress wavered. White House officials wagered that voters care about concrete results and ultimately would blame Congress, not the White House, if results failed to appear. That made their hard-line negotiating more effective as the year wore on.

    Democrats became more eager to reach accords on issues such as energy after the Thanksgiving break, administration officials said. Meanwhile, with each victory -- on war funding, on foreign- intelligence wiretapping and on the proposed expansion of a children's health-insurance program -- Republicans on Capitol Hill gained more confidence.

    "I leave the year feeling good about our capacity to get some important things done," Mr. Bush said yesterday at a news conference.

    Meeting with reporters this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats might have raised expectations too high in their attempts to cut off Iraq-war funding. Some top Democrats said they were surprised Mr. Bush refused to cave in and negotiate a deal on children's health.

    Democrats rejected comparisons with the Republican Congress of 1995, which famously overreached in its clashes with the Clinton administration. Democrats also dismissed the White House view that Mr. Bush's determination helped congressional Republicans regain their political footing.

    "Here's the problem: When people say they want a change, the reference point is from George Bush," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic caucus chairman and a top party strategist. "And now the Republicans have decided to get closer in the photo [to] George Bush. I will pay their cab fare every day for them to go to the White House to do that. I'll rent the bus so the whole caucus can go."

    White House aides said they are developing contingency plans for next year, aimed at shoring up the economy, if necessary, and perhaps at sweetening voters' sour mood about their finances. The nature and extent of administration proposals depend in part on whether the economy weakens as some experts predict, but two possible prescriptions could include new health-care proposals and Mr. Bush's trademark tax cuts.

    The president said his administration will "consider all options" to stimulate the economy. He urged Wall Street banks to record all losses relating to the housing crisis immediately. To tighten wasteful government spending, he said his administration would consider options for overriding some congressional "earmarks."

    Democrats say many Republican successes resulted not from the popularity of their positions but from the high procedural barriers to passing legislation in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid's office this week sent out a list of 62 procedural votes that Republicans had forced in the Senate, contending it is a record.

    Democrats say they enacted five of their six major initiatives, including raising the minimum wage; passing energy legislation; enacting recommendations of the 9/11 commission; helping make college costs more affordable; and opening up stem-cell research. Mr. Bush vetoed the stem-cell bill, but the rest became law.

    While Democrats made big concessions on their spending totals, they say they realigned priorities within those limits. They also say the children's health issue will haunt the White House in the summer when states start to run out of money. And Ms. Pelosi said Democrats would be "relentless" next year in seeking to hold the administration accountable on Iraq.

    Sentiment Aside, Bush Scores Wins ( By John D. McKinnon | WSJ Blog, December 21, 2007

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  • dealsnet
    01-08 03:05 PM
    You think about using brain by them?? You kidding???
    Blind following the blind.

    What did they invent in this world.?
    May be using kids as suicide bombers.
    You may remember first attempt for Benezer's life by giving a 3 month old child covered with bombs, and it explode before she touched the child??

    All the religeous books were written based on contemporary circumstances. I have a friend named Mansuri, mentioned to me once why muslims don't eat turtles:

    "Few animals with hard shell were not hygenic or dangerous like crocodile. It was difficult to explain each animal separately to common people. So Mohammad advised that animals with hard shell should not be eaten. "

    Another one told by my friend Maqsood:

    "There were lots of cabella wars going on at the time of Mohammad. The prophet allowed to have more than one wives so that those ladies don't go on wrong route like prostitution. "

    Above examples seem acceptable over that time. At today they are not relevant anymore. Some people still want to follow the same words spoken 1300 years before literally without applying a slightest brain. They are abused and misguided by some selfish Mullahs who have their own agenda in life.

    Rather than abusing entire community, need to educate "spoiled kids" how they are misguided in current time. Unfortunately percentage of "spoiled kids" are very high as I mentioned in one of posts before.


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  • niklshah
    01-07 10:35 AM
    Those who said, Hamas was hiding inside school and firing rockets, go check the fact in CNN.

    U.N. 'sure' no militants at school hit by Israeli troops

    Human sheild, hiding in hospital, hiding in mosques, hiding in school - All are big lie and bullshit. Just to justify the killing of innocent lives.

    oh every one saw your link u sent, did u see CNN when they were showing mumbai killings.. Palestine and Israel are fighting for land and occupation but what was fault of people in mumbai??? think hard man if this war needs to be stopped it has to be stopped from all the sides u cant blame single community or nation for this..........

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  • panky72
    08-06 03:20 PM
    A man dies and goes to hell. There he finds that there is a different hell for each country. He goes to the German hell and asks, "What do they do here?" He told," First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the German devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day."

    The man does not like the sound of that at all, so he moves on. He checks out the USA hell as well as the Russian hell and many more. He discovers that they are all more or less the same as the German hell.

    Then he comes to the Indian hell and finds that there is a long line of people waiting to get in. Amazed, he asks, "What do they do here?" He told, "First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the Indian devil comes in and beats you for the rest of the day." "But that is exactly the same as all the other hells - why are there so many people waiting to get in?"

    "Because maintenance is so bad that the electric chair does not work, someone has stolen all the nails from the bed, and the devil is a Software Engineer , so he comes in, signs the register and then goes to the Cafeteria!!! !!


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  • xyzgc
    12-28 03:48 PM
    While I would love India to retaliate in some fashion on Paki soil to show them that there are going to be consequences for messing on Indian soil, I think this is not the time to strike overtly on Pakistan however.

    Why now is not the right time?

    Because this whole War hysteria is mostly being whipped by one side - Pakistan. Immediately after Mumbai atrocities there were street protests organized by Islamic fundoos like Jamat-ud-Dawa, JeM, etc in major cities in Pak to protest against India. They were supposedly protesting because India is going to attack Pakistan! Most Indians were amused at that time as they were busy attacking their own politicians at that time for their Intelligence failures. This shows to some extent that something else is going on here and Pakistan army or elements within it want tensions on Indian border.

    Why will they want that on Indian border in case it boils over into a war that they will never win? Because the Americans on Pak's western border are putting a lot of pressure on Paki Army to attack the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist nut cases that their own Intelligence arm - ISI - has helped train and arm. These nut cases are their assets for all the covert attacks on India to keep it tied down in Kashmir and elsewhere.

    Besides they know that India will never attack and even if they did the International community will be pissing in their pants (including US) about the prospects of Nuclear armageddon and come to Pakis' rescue with a ceasefire call. Zardari and his Civilian Govt. Institutions will take the blame in Pakistan for succumbing to international pressure and stopping the brave Paki army from decimating kafir/powerless Indians. Army will announce a coup promising more security against India and overthrow Zardari/Gilani or whoever and entrench themselves again back in power for another decade.

    What will America do?

    US and rest of the world while shaking with fear about the nuclear war that was averted will start focusing foolishly (or maybe for their own clandestine gain) on Kashmir as the core issue and pressure India to give it freedom! What more does Paki army need? India-Pak hypenation is back so that Pakis feel important in International circles again. Tensions alive on their Eastern border to keep the army as center of focus and power internally in Pakistan. Covert terrorism in Kashmir will again resume with all the international attention on it, and Indian army and diplomacy is tied down there, and all the Taliban and other Islamic nut cases that they trained and armed have a cause to give up their worthless lives and not be fighting the Paki army for achieving their goal of going to heaven for quality time with some virgins.

    Besides Americans dont care if Kashmir is blowing up - infact they would love to see an independant state their to get a leg firmly in South Asia.

    So what should India do?

    Not go to war overtly now. Start covert operations inside Pakistan on war footing and start funding and support for Balochi, Sindi, Mohajir, Pushtun, Baltistan freedom movements inside Pakistan. If there is any other terrorist attack in India, activate these people inside Pakistan to blow up their prime targets - Muridke headquarters of Jaamat-ud-Dawa for instance. Assinations of ISI officers, encourage suicide attacks on their army camps, cantonments. In other words make them feel the cost of any further attacks inside India, but covertly. And also take the covert proxy war to their soil.

    For now, India should not attack Pakistan and give their army an excuse to squirm away from fighting their own created Franenstein monster - Islamic Jehadists on Western border. Indian army should sit back, relax and let the Paki army take their own creation on their Western front.

    I hope the internal politics inside India dont come in the way of the above goal.

    Covert operations are also war. Read war as concrete steps to curb this terrorism. Terrorist camps may be moving targets, identify them using intelligence and eliminate them. India is already at war, the world is also at war with Terrorism. Its a global issue - at the very least your coworkers are going to be concerned about business trips to India, if this is not nipped in the bud.

    Here's a thought - India should start manufacturing and exporting armaments.
    We can also export some artillery to Pakistan and invest the profits wisely. That way defence budgets go down and the funds can be used for improving national security (e.g: junk the British Raj rifles Bombay police use, provide them better bullet-proof vests and helmets), humanitarian causes and so on.We can offer it at competitive prices so that Pakistan doesn't have to rely on the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans. And we don't rely on the Israelis and the Americans.
    India can be part of a profitable armament race and build a nation of defence contractors.
    It will also give a boost to allied manufacturing industries in India, generate employment, so that they can also contribute to India's GDP in a big way.

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  • Raju
    05-24 03:40 PM
    Nothing new. Of course the US needs to bring the bright and the best. Yes, I agree with you the US apparently doesn't have the necessary number of people with advanced degrees in science right now. I never told you to shut down the H1B or decrease the numbers. I am just saying, can people respect the other side and suggest more sensible mechanisms ? Can one understand that an automatic increase of 20% per year can cause hardship to citizens caught in a future and unexpected recession ? That's all I am saying.

    Folks, this is what concerns me. We are all very educated people and we cannot have a decent conversation. Many in this thread gets angry at me. As Lou Dobbs says, that is shocking. :-)

    Have a good one.


    Hey do you that if something like that happens then Congress will decrease the numbers automatically


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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 09:30 AM
    But why just Israel? Jordan and Egypt also got the slice of the pie. Why not fire rocket at them? Blame Israel just because it's the only non-muslim country in the region so they should pay?

    Secondly, Hamas is this powerful today just because people of Palestian allowed them, supported them, elected them now why shy from facing the fallout?

    It's sad and unfortunate that people are dying but they are dying because of their bad choices not Israel's so called "aggression".

    Its because they are the one that occupies others land and murdering innocent civilians brutally under the guise of self defence.

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  • Pagal
    06-20 03:45 PM
    Hello Hiralal,

    Indeed! But if the individual 'affordability' is such that you can pay the monthly payments even after moving out of US due to job loss/485 denial, and if the purchase lowers your tax bill, then it may make more sense to buy the house...

    Personally, I've always had intentions of buying real estate in US, EU and India.... have it in India, considering it in US and exploring how to buy it in EU... :) Wish had much more 'cash'... :D


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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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  • validIV
    06-05 11:43 AM
    Sorry but no matter how you spin it, owning a home is better than renting. Renting is not smart. period. your money is gone every month. You are not getting that money back.

    When you own a home, the money goes towards a mortgage, and although most of it goes to interest at first, all interest paid is tax deductible which is a huge chunk of change every year. I get more money back as an owner than a renter and in the long run I save more AND own the home.

    30 year renter vs 30 year home owner? That is not rocket science.

    here is a good point about long term housing prospects. I for one am glad that GC delay saved me from buying a house.
    this is from an article
    Why do I think housing is in the tank for the long term?

    First, I listen to people smarter than I am - a key to success from investing to recreation league baseball. When my rec team had its first losing season - after twelve consecutive great seasons (two per year) I did the logical and hired a professional coach. They were winners the next season. Ditto for analyzing stuff - and I follow Ivy Zelman and Whitney Tilson. They have been dead on about the mortgage meltdown - and see a larger one coming.

    Listening to them, reading data and being objective has led me to see the key to a rebound in housing is clearing inventory - too much supply and too little demand, and since lower than five percent interest rates have not spurred buying, supply is the issue. Supply comes from the sale of existing homes, the sale of new homes, and the sale of foreclosed homes.

    * Typically ten to fifteen percent of Americans sell or want to sell their home in a given year. Recent survey data shows the number is now 30%. Keep that in mind.
    * New home sales are incredibly low. Market wisdom said home building stocks would rise once the new housing start rate hit a million and inventory became tight. New home starts are roughly half of that and there ain't no rebound. As the poet said, times, they be a changing.
    * People are not selling, and builders are not building, not just because people are not buying - it is because prices are low and going lower and the driver here is foreclosures. Data can be found here, there and everywhere but the salient data points are a) banks are accelerating foreclosures, b) the next wave of resets of mortgages, the cause of most foreclosures, does not peak until the summer of 2011, c) banks are already sitting on more than half a million homes they have not listed for sale, and the whopper is d) the New York Times has reported that there are nineteen million empty housing units and only six million are listed for sale.

    This last point, when combined with another couple of million foreclosed homes, then with desire for people wanting to sell their home as soon as they can, means excess inventory for as far as the eye can see. I originally projected housing prices would, nationally, bottom at the end of 2011 and prices would begin to pick up in mid 2012. I may have been premature. With resets peaking in mid defaults will probably peak in early Q4 2011; this means foreclosure listings will peak in mid-summer 2012, after the peak selling season, not good for managing down inventory. Assuming demand picks up - a near heroic assumption at this time as interest rates will be higher and unemployment could be the same or higher at that time - you will start to see inventory declining in a meaningful way until 2013 at the earliest.

    I have focused on supply - was I too cavalier about demand? Well, that is more problematic - resets, defaults and foreclosures are fourth grade math and although the only thing I knew about housing was my own mortgage before this mess started, I can do fourth grade math and every forecast I have made about foreclosures and inventory has been right within a 30-45 day period.

    Using fourth grade math as our primary tool does have value in estimating demand. Roughly 40% of demand in the peak year - 2006 - was sub-prime or near sub-prime - and these buyers are out of the market for a considerable period of time. And a very large percentage - some analysts estimate as high as a third - of all sales were for investment and second homes. Most of this demand is gone for the foreseeable future. Add tightening credit standards, recession ravaged incomes and personal balance sheets, and a new frugality and it is hard to see demand in 2013 or 2014 climbing past 50% of demand in 2006. Even if the FHA does not go bust - which it will, requiring another Treasury bailout.

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  • xyzgc
    12-20 04:54 PM
    Everybody are blaming Bush for his failure in Iraq and Economy. But Bush had a big acheivement in his period. After 9/11 he successfully prevented Terrorist attacks. That was most important acheivement and that was overshadowed by other failures.

    Had it been Mr. Obama he would have done it no different post 9/11.
    What Obama should do differently is stop this policy of appeasing terrorist nations like Pakistan and use my tax money for this purpose...I don't mind contributing to rebuilding Iraq, you destroyed it for a reason (right or wrong) now have a moral responsibility to rebuild it, otherwise there is no difference between you and the terrorists.

    But I am dead against giving a dime of my money to Pakistan, unless I can rest assured that will not go to Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist outfits - either directly or indirectly but will be used for economic progress.

    06-05 03:24 PM
    don't think the rent will be much lower than paying the mortgage, it is true atleast in the city where I live. For example: If I am paying a mortgage of $1200 and the rental of an equivalent is $ 900, the $300 difference you get back in tax refund at the end of the year. So why pay rent when I can buy a house and do whatever I want to with it ?

    Where I live, the median house price is 200,000. I bought a house which is lower than the median and when the market was on the downward trend (september 2006). If you look at the post I quoted, you would notice that I am not subscribing to the crazies who bought houses with the example dollar amounts you gave. If you know your limits and do 2 hours of internet research, then the person probably will make a much better decision. The information and warning signs were there everywhere starting 2005, if people chose to ignore and got burned then shame on them.

    You are right. As I mentioned in my other post buying makes sense if Rent and mortgage are comparable. I would do the same when mortgages and rents come in line in my area.
    With the ratio of rent/mortgage you mentioned, it makes perfect sense to buy.

    12-28 08:03 AM
    House Members Spent $20.3M on Mailings ( By DENNIS CONRAD | Associated Press, Dec 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. House members spent $20.3 million in tax money last year to send constituents what's often the government equivalent of junk mail _ meeting announcements, tips on car care and job interviews, surveys on public policy and just plain bragging.

    They sent nearly 116 million pieces of mail in all, many of them glossy productions filled with flattering photos and lists of the latest roads and bridges the lawmaker has brought home to the district, an Associated Press review of public records shows.

    Some offered advice on topics one would more commonly expect to see in a consumer-advice column.

    "Keep your car properly maintained" to improve mileage, suggested Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., in a newsletter on how to deal with rising energy prices.

    Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., offered tips on home improvements.

    And Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who lost her primary race last year, sent out a taxpayer-funded newsletter a few months before the election that included this simple observation:

    "Convicted felons can vote," she said, if "your" prison sentence has been served, parole or probation completed and fines paid. While campaigning, McKinney, who is black, noted that blacks make up a disproportionately large share of the prison population, which she said dilutes their voting strength.

    A dozen House members spent more than $133,000 each to send 9.8 million pieces of mass mailings. Total cost? $1.8 million.

    Sometimes the lawmakers' taxpayer funded mailings topped what they paid for direct mail through their campaign funds.

    Of the 64 House members with at least $100,000 in taxpayer-funded mailing expenses _ and overwhelmingly for mass mailings _ 42 were Republicans and 22 were Democrats, the AP review found.

    In sharp contrast, 59 lawmakers in the 435-member House _ 35 Republicans and 24 Democrats _ spent nothing on mass mailings. They tended to be the more experienced House members, often with 14 or more years of service.

    Mass mailings cannot be blatantly political, but they still can have political benefits, said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers' Union, which has condemned mass mailings.

    "A taxpayer-financed mailing doesn't have to say 're-elect me' to have an impact on voters," Sepp said. "A glossy newsletter splashed with the incumbent's achievements in Congress can build useful credentials a lawmaker can take with him to the ballot box. The franking privilege is one of the main cogs in Congress' PR machine."

    Franking, practiced since the early days of the republic, lets members of Congress send mail with just a signature where the postage would normally be affixed. Although the mailings are regulated by a congressional commission to guard against overt political appeals and cannot go out within 90 days of an election, they still sometimes take a dig at the opposition.

    In a June 2006 newsletter, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., noted that under the Republican majority, Congress had passed tax cuts that "benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working families."

    Stark has been a regular among the biggest users of the congressional franking privilege. For 2006, his mass mailings alone cost $172,357, an amount large enough to rank him among the top congressional mailers. House documents reported his overall mailing costs to be about $37,000 less. The AP received no explanation for the apparent discrepancy from spokesmen for Stark, the House Administration Committee and House administration staff.

    Some lawmakers defend the newsletters as a vital way of communicating with constituents.

    "One of the biggest complaints my constituents had (with) my predecessor was that they never knew what was going on in Washington," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla. "They never had the opportunity to do surveys, etc. I promised I would communicate with them regularly."

    Brown-Waite is one of the biggest users of bulk mail, with 657,951 pieces at a cost of $129,428 last year. That surpassed the approximately $110,000 her campaign spent on direct mailings and related costs.

    One taxpayer-funded mailing featured a picture of her and the headline: "Medicare Prescription Drug Update: The Time to Act is Now." Another, entitled "Constituent Service Guide for the 5th District," included a survey and information about how to obtain U.S. flags, assistance from federal agencies and an appointment to a military academy.

    The House Democratic Caucus encourages members to use the mailings to communicate with constituents, spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said. She said it was a good way for congressmen to focus on an issue or, if survey questions are used, get a handle on what constituents are thinking.

    That argument doesn't persuade Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., who said he has never used the mailings in 13 years in Congress. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money," he said. "I don't believe in this self-promotion."

    LaHood argues that franking should be used only to answer constituent mail. He has repeatedly introduced bills to ban mass mailings and just as often the legislation dies in committee.

    For the House and Senate combined, the cost of taxpayer-paid mailings, including mass mailings, letters to individuals and groups of up to 500 people, was $34.3 million for fiscal year 2006, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. In 1988, before more restrictions were imposed on the use of mailings, the figure was more than three times larger, $113.3 million.

    The biggest senders in the AP analysis included freshmen in tight re-election fights and veterans who coasted to victory.

    Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C., had the most pieces of mass mailings: 1,257,972. His mass mailings' cost of $171,286 was among the highest in the House, as was the overall cost of his franked mail, at $177,706.

    Murphy, who advised constituents to maintain cars, was one of the House leaders in sending out bulk mail, with 1,003,836 pieces. The price tag: $165,650.

    Among legislative leaders, the biggest spender was Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who last fall became chairman of the House GOP Conference. He spent $133,053 to mail 844,336 pieces.

    Other leaders in the last Congress and the current one were not big users.

    The cost of postage is not the only expense for taxpayers. Printing and reproduction can add tens of thousands of dollars to a mailing's cost. The printing cost for one mailing from McCotter was $30,259.

    There is a practical limit on how much can be spent on mailings.

    Funding comes from a congressman's office budget, which ranges from $1.2 million to $1.4 million for payroll and other expenses. The more spent on mass mailings, the less money is available for such needs as staff, salaries and district offices.

    Senators can also send franked mail, but the amount for each senator is specific and generally based on the number of addresses in a senator's state. At no point may it exceed $50,000 a year for mass mailings. For fiscal year 2004, overall mail allocations ranged from $31,746 to $298,850.

    Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who mailed 906,788 pieces last year and won re-election with 60 percent of the vote, sees the mailings as helping him do his job.

    "Ours is a representative government, requiring an active dialogue between elected officials and those they serve," Stearns said in a statement.

    Mike Stokke, a political aide to recently resigned Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., when he was House speaker, said he would advise congressmen to send out mailings when they've fulfilled an important promise, such as getting money for a bridge in the district.

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