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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Joe M., thanks!


Thanks for this - the view that all Democratic politics in NM automagically devolves into the Diane vs. Marty fight is starting to get tiresome. It was amusing for a few weeks but folks give us all a break.

Speaking as somebody who ain't a fan of Mayor Marty - where is one shred of evidence that Bryon Paez is a Martista put-up job? I've heard it all before and while it might solidify some of Martin's support with groups that don't like Marty it really doesn't help Martin nor does it hurt Bryon one little bit,

I totally agree with his reader's comment that:
"Marty has run before. So why would he need a hand me down organization? The truth is that Paez plugs into Marty's players. Not the reverse."
Bryon Paez is running because he decided to do so. Based on the reception he got both inside and outside the Plumbers & Pipefitters Hall at last Thursday's Bernalillo County Democratic Party meeting he has a support base that spreads throughout the County.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Political Pete

So, now Saint Pete wants us to believe he has jumped ship on the Iraq War.

Nonsense - he's still Bush's rubber stamp. He was his rubber stamp last month and will be his rubber stamp next month. This is about his election campaign not about what he actually believes.

From Feb. 2007 in Las Cruces - the obviously unwell Pajama Pete lectures us on the need to give the surge a chance. On that day he still supported Bush and his Iraq War.

Based on Pete's February performance a few suggestions to his handlers:

1) don't do any debates!
2) don't do any public appearances!
3) pray that the Albuquerque Journal keeps its subscribers and continues to protect Pete from all enemies. It worked hard for him during the Iglesias affair but Pete will need them more than ever to stay hidden through this election. They are his best hope for success.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

For the Morons who want a flag burning amendment

A 4th of July thought from Penn and Teller explaining why we don't need a flag burning amendment to the US Constitution.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

H1B visa - what's next? What's Plan B?

No one should have a moment's doubt that supporters of H1B visas will give up and go home after the death of the Immigration bill. The question is not if they will go for an increase but rather how to do it. The Corporations that want the increase to occur have lots of power and lots of money, they "control/own" many members of the Senate and the House - it will be fascinating to see who they choose as their water carrier.

From Computerworld:
June 28, 2007
by Patrick Thibodeau

The demise of the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform legislation is a setback for the technology industry's push to increase the annual cap on H-1B visas. But count on a Plan B from H-1B proponents.

The Senate bill was the primary vehicle for efforts to raise the H-1B cap from its current limit of 65,000 visas per year, plus another 20,000 visas that are set aside for foreign workers who have advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

But the proposed legislation, which also would have mandated the development of a national electronic employment verification system, died an early death on Thursday after its sponsors failed to garner enough support for a procedural motion that sought to end debate on the bill and bring it to a vote. The motion got only 46 of the 60 "yes" votes that it needed in order to be approved.

However, the high-tech industry has other options for pursuing an increase in the visa cap, according to various policy analysts within the IT industry.

"There are several options—it's just a matter of making the case," said Robert Hoffman, vice president of government and public affairs at Oracle Corp. and co-chair of Compete America, a Washington-based lobbying group that today vowed to continue its efforts to increase the H-1B cap. See the group's statement here.

The H-1B cap for the federal government's next fiscal year, which starts in October, was exhausted on the first day that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting visa applications in April. The USCIS received about 150,000 applications that day, and Hoffman said he thinks the strong demand for visas makes a compelling case for why an increase in the cap is urgently needed.

Option one for H-1B proponents: stand-alone legislation such as the so-called SKIL bill, which was reintroduced in both the House and Senate in April after failing to win approval last year. The bill—officially called the Securing Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Act—would raise the cap to 115,000 visas and provide market-based mechanisms for further hikes. But a separate measure may be the least attractive option for H-1B backers because it could become a magnet for all sorts of bill-killing amendments related to immigration reform.

Option two: increasing the cap through an amendment to a spending bill. That approach has worked in the past.

Option three: adding an H-1B provision to one of a number of bills that Congress is considering as part of the Democratic majority's so-called Innovation Agenda—such as legislation intended to improve science and engineering training programs. But the IT industry isn't likely to embrace legislation that is seen as partisan because it has backers for increasing the H-1B cap from both parties.

The Senate's action on the immigration reform bill means attention on the H-1B issue will shift to the House of Representatives, said Ken Wasch, president of the Software & Information Industry Association. The Washington-based SIIA issued a statement today saying that the high-tech industry will have trouble finding enough skilled workers if the H-1B cap isn't raised (download PDF).

At this point, Wasch said he isn't sure what the next step will be for H-1B proponents. But like Hoffman, he said that visa relief is needed. "Our companies have a huge problem," Wasch said. "And if the immigration problem is not solved, we create an enormous incentive for our companies to do more of their development work where talent is being developed."

Re: the options presented by the article's author - my vote is for "Option two". There are too many folks complaining about H1B's to go with "Option one" and "Option three" will just be too public. Expect a late night add-on to some massive bill and lots of prayers no one will notice.

H1B visa mess - the $3,500 surcharge is a crock!

I find it troubling how Dems often sugar coat things to make them look acceptable to the base. The fact that they think we will buy into the nonsense is even more troubling. I remember that after voting for the recent onerous bankruptcy bill Bingaman tried to play fast and loose with his treachery by emphasizing he had introduced an amendment to allow bankruptcies for folks who suffer crippling medical bills at a county party meeting. Good try but the audience wasn't buying it. Everyone knew he still voted for the bill even after acknowledging that most bankruptcies are cause by medical debt.

Senator Bingaman - we just aren't that stupid.

So, here we go again - in the posting below we hear that:
Last week, Bingaman voted to impose a surcharge of $3,500 on employers who hire H-1B workers (in addition to the $1,500 fee) to raise scholarship money for American students to pursue degrees in mathematics, engineering, nursing, medicine, or computer science.

Lovely -

Does he think this matters? Certainly he thought it was good enough to keep us from seeing what he really wanted to do!

Enrollment in IT/Computer Science programs across the US is dropping. Students know there are no jobs. Off-shoring and programs like H1B visas have robbed them of that possibility. So how are a few $'s gonna change that? Why are we training folks for jobs that don't exist jobs that the House and Senate are actively exporting out of the US? Moreover, the $3,500 will simply be extracted from the "hides" of the poor slobs that get the H1B jobs - it won't come out of the pockets of corporations.

This is just a crock designed to cover up a bad vote and bad program. When will Bingaman realize that we are smart enough to see through this crap?