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  • jung.lee
    04-09 12:51 PM
    Being an energy saving geek, I also recommend buying something with a large south facing roof (for lots of solar panels).

    Mark, I looked at the pics of the roof of your house. Nice work. Being a little bit of an energy saving geek myself, and this being Earth Day month and all, do you mind sharing some details on the solar panel roofing project?

    What brand of panels did you purchase and where?
    What is the price per square foot raw material, and with installation? Did you use a specialized installer, or a regular roofing contractor?
    What is the total area (ft-squared or m-squared) of the panels?
    What is the energy generated by the panels (I am guessing something in kWH/m-squared)?

    Last but not the least, how the heck did you get snow to stay away from the panels, when it is clearly visible on other roofing tiles at the edges of the roof:)? Is this a property of the panels' surface (smoothness of surface - like glass)?

    Also, hate to dump out here - how about some details the geo-thermal system? (I admit that I know nothing about them, expect for the basic underground heat exchange concept. I did not know that a compact residential system was available).

    Thanks for sharing!

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  • Macaca
    12-27 08:33 PM
    The Speaker's Grand Illusion (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/26/AR2007122601484.html) Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats Need to Get Real About What They've Accomplished By David S. Broder | Washington Post, Dec 27, 2007

    After one year of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, public approval ratings for Congress have sunk below their level when Republicans were still in control. A Post poll this month put the approval score at 32 percent, the disapproval at 60.

    In the last such survey during Republican control, congressional approval was 36 percent. So what are the Democrats to make of that? They could be using this interregnum before the start of their second year to evaluate their strategy and improve their standing. But if Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House and leader of their new majority, is to be believed, they are, instead, going to brag about their achievements.

    In a year-end "fact sheet," her office proclaimed that "the Democratic-led House is listening to the American people and providing the New Direction the people voted for in November. The House has passed a wide range of measures to make America safer, restore the American dream and restore accountability. We are proud of the progress made this session and recognize that more needs to be done."

    While surveys by The Post and other news organizations show that the public believes little or nothing of value has been accomplished in a year of bitter partisan wrangling on Capitol Hill, Pelosi claims that "the House has had a remarkable level of achievement over the first year, passing 130 key measures -- with nearly 70 percent passing with significant bipartisan support."

    That figure is achieved by setting the bar conveniently low -- measuring as bipartisan any issue in which even 50 House Republicans broke ranks to vote with the Democrats. Thus, a party-line vote in which Democrats supported but most Republicans opposed criminal penalties for price-gouging on gasoline was converted, in Pelosi's accounting, into a "bipartisan" vote because it was backed by 56 Republicans.

    There is more sleight of hand in her figures. Among the "key measures" counted in the news release are voice votes to protect infants from unsafe cribs and high chairs, and votes to require drain covers in pools and spas. Such wins bulk up the statistics. Many other "victories" credited to the House were later undone by the Senate, including all the restrictions on the deployment of troops in Iraq. And on 46 of the measures passed by the House, more than one-third of the total, the notation is added, "The president has threatened to veto," or has already vetoed, the bill.

    One would think that this high level of institutional warfare would be of concern to the Democrats. But there is no suggestion in this recital that any adjustment to the nation's priorities may be required. If Pelosi is to be believed, the Democrats will keep challenging the Bush veto strategy for the remaining 12 months of his term -- and leave it up to him to make any compromises.

    An honest assessment of the year would credit the Democrats with some achievements. They passed an overdue increase in the minimum wage and wrote some useful ethics legislation. They finally took the first steps to increase the pressure on Detroit to improve auto mileage efficiency.

    But much of the year's political energy was squandered on futile efforts to micromanage the strategy in Iraq, and in the end, the Democrats yielded every point to the president. That left their presidential candidates arguing for measures in Iraq that have limited relevance to events on the ground -- a potential weak point in the coming election.

    The major Democratic presidential hopefuls all have their political careers rooted in Congress, and the vulnerabilities of that Congress will in time come home to roost with them. Today, Democrats take some comfort from the fact that their approval ratings in Congress look marginally better than the Republicans'. In the most recent Post poll, Democrats are at 40 percent approval; Republicans, at 32 percent. But more disapprove than approve of both parties.

    That is another reason it behooves the Democrats to get real about their own record on Capitol Hill. It needs improvement. And in less than a year, the voters will deliver their own verdict.

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  • sledge_hammer
    06-27 09:17 AM

    Excellent points!


    You guys are still going by popular news article and media hype. You fail to understand the ground reality. I bought my house last year in a great school district. I used to pay $1,250 rent for a single bedroom condo of 800 sq ft. I could have as well flushed that money down the toilet. My house now is 1600 sq ft living area + completed basement + garage + deck, all for $2,500 (mortgage + insurance + tax). I'm in the 30% tax bracket and I know I'll get a huge tax benefit. My quality of life has been great with the addition of space in my dwelling.

    I'll have to reiterate - do not generalize your opinions. What's happening in Detriot is NOT happening everywhere!

    EDIT: The rent in my area for my home is of course not $2,500 but between $1,800 to $1,900. After tax deduction I'll be paying the same amount (or a tiny bit more) as a renter. If my home apprecites, I gain, if it doesn't, I DON'T lose anything. But I were a renter, my loss is guaranteed!

    Thank you Mr. Hiralal for your condensending post . Your trying to explain it slowly will not make your argument strong.

    I am not trying to justify my homeownership to you or anyone else here. I am just presenting the real facts that apply to my case. I did not buy a house to get rich neither would I become rich if I rented.

    I bought a house only a few months back and not in the real estate bubble time. I have paid a good price for it and my mortage is the same as my rent . The house has four times the area of the apartment I used to rent and is in a very very good area . So why should I go on renting.

    Anyway my primary reason to buy was for my 2 year old who ( and my family ) need more space to live rather than a cramped two bedroom apartment. I don't know about you but I have spent 9 years in this country . GC is no where in sight. Waiting for GC and wasting valuable years of your life living in a rented accomodation don't make sense to me when you can get a nice big house for your family at a very good price and low mortgage .

    Maybe you believe all these media articles but these are written for a broad view.

    Everyone is unique and every situation is unique. There are a lot of places in US where the prices did not fall that much and there are some place where they are in fact rising now .

    Mortgage rates are low now as are the home prices after correction but what about mortgage rates two years from now ? I can't predict if the home prices will go down or not since that depends on the location but I can say this for sure that mortgage rates will go up .

    Homeowners like me don't have our heads stuck in the sand as you say - I spent a good two years 2007 and 2008 making calulations , waiting for the right time and finding a good valued house at a good mortgage rate.

    We are not as stupid as you think.

    Thank you .

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  • kuppas
    04-09 02:18 PM
    The requirement 2f is good and now the companies can not exploid the H-1B cap.

    The requirement 2g is good too. There are lot of consulting companies don't pay properly to the employee though they charge lot of money from the client. This requirement at-least restrict employer who makes lot of money and buying multiple house, playing in the stock market, drinking in the bar, doing research by sleeping.

    There are lot of consulting companies fake the resume and says that candidate has more than 5 years of experience but actually candidate has only few months of text book experience. How do you differentiate such people with actual experience?

    Personally, I hate the consulting companies who just aims to make money instead of running business genuinely.



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  • sledge_hammer
    06-25 08:04 AM
    I agree with you 100%. These guys here are all getting worked up as if the world will come to an end in 2 years and it is unreasonable to think beyong 2011. A regular investor like us, someone w/ a job, one who saves in the bank, and/or dollar cost averages in a 401(K), should never think short term.

    Let's see 10 years from now who will be in a better position - the guy who owned a home or a guy that is renting.

    Of course, some guys will start complaining about GC, but then other posts here are claiming that regardless of GC, buying a house now is dissasterous.

    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

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  • abracadabra102
    01-02 11:39 AM
    Non-state actors are mentioned a lot here. Who are these non-state actors and who is responsible for acts of these non-state actors? If a few Pakistani citizens cross over and strike Indian cities at random and disappear back into Pakistan, what are India's options? Just to pray that in some 30-50 years into future all Pakistani terrorists will somehow realize their folly and turn into saints?

    We are also missing the elephant in the room. India has 150 million muslims and we have our share of Hindu fundamentalists. These Hindu fundamentalist groups have been trying for a long time to equate terrorism to Islam (targeting Indian muslims) and Indian public at large rejected this notion so far (rightly so) and that may change in future and it may not be long before a Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister. It will be a shame if a few terrorists destroyed that very tenet of India - "Unity in Diversity".


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  • abracadabra102
    12-27 12:24 PM

    Thanks for your posts. I'm glad to have a decent exchange of thoughts with you. I agree with you partly that 'non-state' actors are responsible and not Zardari Govt.. But Who created the non-state actors in the first place? Instead of paying unemployment benefits, who offered them job portability to Kashmir? Their H1B shouldnt have been renewed at all after they came on bench. How can a parent not be responsible for the errant child? The world wants to neutralize the errant child....but for the parent a child is a child after all and that too the one that served its interests once. If this child is abandoned, can future child ( with same objective) be created with the same ease?

    Those are the questions that are haunting many Indians on the forums.

    But I salute you and other folks for keeping this conversation civil.


    Nice job and you and Alisa started a good thoughtful conversation.

    I agree that war is not the best option but should not be discounted outright.
    We are thinking too much of Pakistani nuclear weapons (and to some extent India's nuclear weapons as well). When Pakistan and India last tested these (1998), many experts thought these were fizzles. I could dig up one article that hints that 1998 tests are a possible fizzles.
    1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/6037992.stm

    2. N. Korea tested nukes in 2006 and are definitely fizzles and these are built using the same techniques used by pakistan (AQ Khan actively involved).

    3. The other important aspect of nukes is the delivery. Pakistan's capability is suspect here as well. It is not sufficient just to have warheads and missiles (made in China), they should be tied together with proper trigger mechanism and it is uncertain if China delivered this technology to Pakistan or not.

    With points 1, 2 and 3, it is reasonable to assume Pakistan can not take out India even with first strike and with nuclear weapons. I definitely think India's nukes are more potent. Assuming Indian nukes are just as bad as Pakistani nukes, finally it boils down to conventional war, and Pakistan can never beat India in a long drawn out war. The simple reason is that, India has a robust manufacturing base and much more robust economy and can continue to produce weapons and support war, where as Pakistan has to stop the moment it runs out of the weapons it bought fron US and China. Pakistan can not expect military supplies from any country once the war starts.

    The only way Pakistan can win over India is to destroy India completely with nuclear first strike and it would have done that already if it had the capability.

    If there is a war between India and Pakistan, India wins that war with or without nukes, period. So nukes should not be a deterrent for India going to war with Pakistan.

    The other point every one is making is that wars can damage India economically. Not necessarily. Look at history and you will see that many countries prospered after wars (eg. US, UK, Germany, Japan etc. post WW-II).

    There is one more good reason for India-Pakistan war. The major reason for failed democracy in Pakistan is its military. A war between India and Pakistan has one outcome, India's victory and destruction/weakening of Pakistan army. With weakened military, Pakistan has a chance to develop as a democratic nation, and that is good for the entire region. Proof? look at what happened after Indo-Pak war of 1971 and Indira Gandhi created Bangladesh. There was resurgence of democracy, with Bhutto becoming prime minister until that crook Zia-ul-Huq murdered him.

    But I doubt any of this will happen now. I wish Indira Gandhi is Prime minister and leading India now.

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  • mpadapa
    09-30 04:07 PM
    If Obama becomes president can he restore the faith of high-skilled immigrant who play by the books and still have to wait for decades to get their Green Card.

    After graduating with a Electrical engg degree from a top school in India, I got a job with a world leading semiconductor company. I first came to USA almost 12 years ago on a business trip as part of a multinational chip design effort for high end Telecommunication market. I was very impressed with the group of professionals I worked with. I felt the work environment stimulated the creativity in me and brought the best out of me. After the short trip I went back to my home country but that visit left a lasting impression on me and I felt USA would be the place I can further my professional abilities. Couple of years later, I came to USA for my Masters to embark on that journey. Even though I graduated when the US economy was in recession (2001), my unique skill set was much sought after and hence I got a job with a R&D startup division of a popular Japanese company. Working with a great group of professionals brought out the creativity in me. I currently have 10 US patents. The sailing was smooth until I started my Green Card process. The outdated immigration system and the long wait in the limbo state has been impacting my professional and personal life. I am starting to doubt that my American dream is slipping away day by day. I hope if Obama becomes the president he would restore some credibility to my faith in the immigration system. But if Sen. Durbin is driving Obama's immigration policy then I fear even more long waits for high-skilled immigrants because of Sen. Durbin's aggressive stance against H1B's. Mean while I have started to look at immigrant friendly countries like Australia and Canada as my possible future destination. Due to too much headaches with immigration process my Director had decided not to hire any more foreign workers, this decision has crippled our divisions expansion as most of the interested candidates require H1's. All the new projects which otherwise would have started in USA has moved to other places all because of the broken immigration process.

    Obama has mentioned many times on the campaign trail that "his education" is the reason why he has risen to where he is now. I feel Obama is a person who values higher education and high-skilled professional and I do have great faith in Obama's skills, I hope he takes a strong stance on the need to reform the high-skilled immigration system.

    Many have been looking at the high-skilled immigrants through a narrow pin hole, even Sen Durbin has been swayed by such critics. NFAP report shows that almost 50% of the private venture backed companies started between 1995 and 2005 are founded by immigrants. Guess what Sen. Durbin and high-skilled immigrant critics majority of those immigrants would've taken the route of H1 -> GreenCard -> US citizen. The companies started by those immigrants employ thousands of Americans and millions in tax revenue. Then why is America so hostile towards the same high-skilled immigration system which in the long run benefits America. Why are Sen. Durbin so short sighted on the high-skilled immigration system? Hope Obama can look at the high-skilled immigration system with a long term perspective and persuade his colleagues in Congress to enact a legislation to fix this broken system.

    Here is the link to the NFAP report which I talked about

    http://www.nfap.com/researchactivities/studies/immigrant_entreprenuers_professionals_november_200 6.pdf


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  • gc28262
    07-13 10:45 AM
    I commend the initiative. But I see a few issues with it:

    You are complaining to DOS about USCIS and DOL. That will not work. Every agency has a specific role

    You are complaining to the official who sets visa dates. He has no authority to give relief just because some applicant/s are asking for it. He has to follow the rule every month and his responsibility is only to set the dates based on the statistics received from USCIS. This official has a very specific and limited role.

    Who has the authority to set the spillover mode ? (Vertical vs Horizonal)

    I read in some immigration forum that USCIS/DOS has switched between these at will in the past.

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  • engineer
    01-04 01:18 PM

    if we want to exchange usual blame game on both sides, we don't need to waste each other's time..we can read blames in respective newspapers which are available online.

    /Secondly, this is a pretty good opportunity for Indians and Pakistanis who live in the USA to engage in a conversation about the relations between their countries. I don't think this thread is anything more than that. So, unless I start asking you to loan (http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=22830&page=14#) me a million dollars, 'trust' is a moot point./


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  • riva2005
    04-06 08:31 PM
    What's going on here is that approx there are 500,000 people on H1B visas in this country.

    If Anti-H1 crowd propose a bill to throw all of them out, people will laugh at them and ask them to get lost.

    So what the anti-H1 crowd has done here is "Slow bleed" as described by admin. Get rid of 8000-10,000 H1Bs out of the country each month. That way, the impact will slow and it wont send any shockwaves. IF existing H1s go to renew their H1 and the new rules apply, half of them wont fit in the new rules of "You cannot do consulting". So they will have to go back.

    These guys are trying to do what UK did to Indian and Chinese doctors. They want all of us to go back. Only difference between what UK did to doctors and what these guys want to do to us is that these guys are smarter and they are trying to get this done in slow motion. IF they take Tancredo like approach of "Everyone out, and shut the door", then it wont work.

    They have learned from Tancredo's mistake and now have adoped this slow bleed strategy of getting rid of their competition.

    Basically, they want the 1990s back. They want to roam in job market with foriegn competition, where even high-school drop-outs can get jobs of $100,000 a year by writing 20 lines of code per week.

    Man up you xenophobes. Face the competition and stop being whiny boys running to Grassley and Sessions every time you lose jobs. Get a job and get a life. Unemployment rate is 4.4 %. If you cant find jobs right now, dont blame H1B employees. Something is wrong with you.

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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 09:20 PM
    Can someone note the

    - Best funny post on this thread
    - Best post of the thread
    - Worse post of the thread

    for the 3 awards and I will go through just those 3 posts and close the thread. :D

    I will open the thread once Rollling_flood files the lawsuit:D.

    What do you say?

    Best post and best funny post is the first post I guess! Whoever this person is started a good nice fight for no reason so it is the best post.

    That post is also the funniest post because that person also talked about a lawsuit as if it was the same as buying and returning something at Walmart.

    The worst post - All the rest including all of mine for falling hook line and sinker for this bait.


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  • ss1026
    12-22 11:00 PM
    Good post,
    You post is a testimony that not all hope is lost with Islam. There are still people like yourselves who can think objectively or at least open to one.
    And this is the reason why I am not against Islam as this would also mean that I am raising my fingers on the guys like urself.

    Though I sense your intent, I am too feeble to carry the burden even a fraction of the weight of your point. And I am not even trying to be modest here. Though there is a quite a bit of work to be done for moderate muslims to come forward and lead the way, Muslims have a very proud history (along with issues like most religions/races). Lets hope the people on all sides tone down the rheotric and live and let live

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  • file485
    07-07 09:41 PM
    Hi Manu..

    it must be living hell for you with this mess, we all pray for you to get some route out of this hell.

    When did INS ask for your husband's pay stubs for 2000-2001? although he was filed as a derivative when did they ask you for this..?

    pls post..

    waiting for your response.


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  • vamsi_poondla
    09-27 10:07 AM
    I wish Obama wins. His team has more clarity on many issues and he has the zeal like JFK for making things happen. But, a big but - I am very concerned about our Employment Based immigration. If he gets to win (I wish he does..as someone who want to see America regain it's global position not just with might but also being morally right), I am worried if it would be Sen. Durbin who will dictate the immigration policy.

    I wish we get some clarity in this aspect. In the economic downturn, I wish to work more than I ever did and see that US comes out of recession fast. But for that I have to be inside the country first. I have to be given a fair chance to contribute to this economy first and I need to be treated with respect and honor.

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  • unitednations
    08-03 01:52 PM
    Hi United Nation,

    If AC21 is so difficult to use what about EAD?? Is all these apply to EAD too??


    No; it is not hard to use.

    However; the way people use labor substitution, future base employment, labors in fast processing states, going from consulting companies to "permanent jobs"; job descriptions not matching, companies getting ability to pay queries on approved cases; uscis changing their interpretations of laws/regulations, people getting off h-1b after six years.... all of these things add a lot of complexities.


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  • delax
    07-14 03:28 PM
    I hope not. We dont seem to be open to another point of view. All of a sudden when the shoe is now on the other foot there is a lot of heart burn. Look up the March 2008 visa bulletin.

    EB2 ROW was Current
    EB3 ROW was Jan 1, 2005
    and EB2-India was a big U

    Effectively EB3ROW got preference over EB2-I which was a mistake to negate the category preference. This has been corrected now and I welcome the change.
    Where was all this heart burn at that time. All of a sudden when EB2-I moves ahead I hear voices of 'injustice', fair play and demands for visa number handovers. Sorry aint gonna happen.

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  • gc_on_demand
    08-05 02:21 PM
    Solution to all this is HR 5882. Even if will not make date current for all it will clear major backlog so people will see some hope in next year

    Please call your lawmakers and educate them ... once we reach house floor we might not have time to call all lawmakers.

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  • Humhongekamyab
    08-08 02:39 PM
    You MUST read them out loud

    1) That's not right ................................... Sum Ting Wong
    2) Are you harboring a fugitive?................. Hu Yu Hai Ding
    3) See me ASAP....................................... Kum Hia Nao
    4) Small Horse ........................................ Tai Ni Po Ni
    5) Did you go to the beach? ...................... Wai Yu So Tan
    6) I think you need a face lift .................... Chin Tu Fat
    7) It's very dark in here ............................Wai So Dim
    8) I thought you were on a diet ..................Wai Yu Mun Ching?
    9) This is a tow away zone .........................No Pah King
    10) Our meeting is scheduled for next week ..Wai Yu Kum Nao?
    11) Staying out of sight ..............................Lei Ying Lo
    12) He's cleaning his automobile ..................Wa Shing Ka
    13) Your body odor is offensive ....................Yu Stin Ki Pu


    :D One of the best.

    12-22 06:21 PM
    My feeble mind is unable to decipher your point, please explain a sentence a two.
    Only thing I know is group of 10 killed 300 in Mumbai
    and group of 21 killed 2000 in New York
    Where is the gray in there?

    Dude, dont decipher my post as supporting recent Mumbai attack or 9/11.
    You are trying to club everything under one roof. I hope your mind is not feeble.

    I'll ask you one question.

    Where were you and your sense of right and wrong when Sinhala govt. and people unleashed their acts on tamils living in Sri Lanka? I dont support LTTE's action and I regard them as terrorist. But the solution lies in bringing Tamils to the mainstream.

    You mentioned you support Israel whole heartedly! Where were you and your sense of right and wrong when Israeli govt. is controlling every aspect of Palestinian life? I don't support Hamas's action and I regard them as terrorist. But the solution lies in addressing the grievances of Palestinians and working on a fair and equitable solutions to both the groups.

    03-19 01:20 PM
    New Congress, Same Obstacles for Democratic Lobbyists (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/18/AR2007031801138.html), By Al Kamen, Monday, March 19, 2007

    The Democrats' takeover of Congress had a lot of their interest groups -- labor, enviros, etc. -- elbowing ferociously for long-sought legislation for their constituents. The groups' lobbyists are feeling the pressure.

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has been working hard to reopen contract bargaining with the Federal Aviation Administration -- it feels it got the short end in negotiations last year about work rules and pay -- and wants Congress to let it do so. But it's a tough go, NATCA President Patrick Forrey said in a March 10 "National Office Update."

    "I can imagine how frustrat[ed] our membership must be that our language has not been enacted to date," Forrey wrote, "considering the tremendous amount of support in PAC dollars and campaign activity we invested into the election process." No doubt. Sounds like they've got a good consumer fraud case if they want to pursue it.

    "For those who believe this should be a slam dunk," he said, "let me remind you that there are an incredible amount of organizations, associations, special interests and of course labor unions that have been subject[ed] to 12 years of bad government . . . the problem is, we are all competing against each other to get our separate issues corrected."

    But the Washington office is working on it. "If you could be in my shoes and talk with these very supportive members," Forrey explained, "you'd have the opportunity to realize the difficulty in undoing something that falls in a long line of things that need undoing . . . that is why it's so difficult to get the total support" from the House leadership on "controversial bills" that might hurt passage of other bills.

    But not to worry. "This past week has left us very encouraged about the progress we are making in securing a temporary legislative fix," he said, with Reps. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerry F. Costello (D-Ill.) having penned a joint letter to House Appropriations chair David Obey (D-Wis.) to put language in the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill that would reopen contract negotiations.

    "However, as of today," Forrey wrote, "we have not seen or been told of any language inserted" in the Iraq bill. "It appears that the final approval is going to have to come from Speaker Pelosi," he said, "so we are rounding up all of the support we can garner from" other members to get her "to give the nod."

    (Last Thursday, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill without the language.)

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