Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to End Special Immigration Policies for Cubans

Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to End Special Immigration Policies for Cubans. Interesting article. It appears Cubans migrating to the United States will continue to receive the same benefits they would if they were refugees. Wise policy decision.

#ImmigrationReform is needed

It is trite but true to say we are a nation of immigrants. Other than Native Americans none of our ancestors lived here before the "New World" was discovered. Accordingly, we are really no different than those who come here now regardless of legal status. Legal status is arbitrary because it doesn't make a person anymore legitimate than if they came here "legally". It takes so long that it is all but impossible to come here unless you wait for years in another country and have someone willing to pay hefty fees and act as a surety for you. In other words, you can't be poor and immigrate here unless you are a refugee or seeking asylum, and those are statuses that few achieve.

We need mass amnesty, and the waiting times need to be shortened for those who come after the amnesty and use the legal process.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lawyers should be honest above all else

A surprising number are not, and they shouldn't be lawyers. They are better suited as pariahs. And they will eventually be if not already.

I have no tolerance for dishonest lawyers and dishonest people in general. We have only to look to the media to see examples of both.

#SocialSecurityDisablity backlog stands at one million according to #NOSSCR

Social Security disability cases are slow, and they are about as slow as they have ever been. Currently the backlog is 1 million cases. That's hard to believe, and it is unacceptable. Congress has tried to respond through the "CARES" plan in order to alleviate the backlog in some instances. Hopefully it will help speed up the processing time from 500 or so days on average to 200 or so days on average. This would certainly help my clients. I know it would help others too.

Monday, March 28, 2016

#MondayMotivation #inksketch #Zeitoun

Disbarred Winston-Salem attorney charged with sex offenses

Disbarred Winston-Salem attorney charged with sex offenses: A Winston-Salem lawyer who was disbarred last year on allegations he had sex with a client has been charged with several sexual offenses.

#amwriting

I wrote 1,000 words at lunch today. Definitely progress. Being a writer and a lawyer is difficult, but I enjoy it. Very rewarding even though the rewards are small--at least at this point.

"We can't help you, goodbye" #SocialSecurityDisability

I heard these words spoken by an automated voice. Happy Monday to me. And why did I hear these words spoken by this atonal, automated voice? An explanation could take a few months if I were as thorough as I needed to be. So I will boil it down to a few reasons.

First, SSA is understaffed. And why are the understaffed? Congress hasn't adequately funded Social Security disability for going on a decade now. This makes claims very slllllooooowwww. If it is this frustrating to me, then I can't imagine what it is like for my clients.

I win a large percentage of my cases (this doesn't insure I will keep winning though), but it it gets harder and harder to get paid due to needless delays. 

There are gauntlets the federal government purposefully sets up. For example, SSA has to communicate with claimants about payment options even though they already have their bank account information. Many of these claimants are difficult to reach. This delays payments and can lead to an outright dismissal of the case.

Second, I was calling about my legal fees. The government wants to hold those monies as long as possible. If lawyers don't get paid, then SSA gets to hold onto the money, and lawyers won't take the cases. If lawyers don't take cases, then SSA won't have to pay out as much. If you don't think Social Security is making these calculations, you are naive. That's government.

In conclusion, it is tough for anyone to get paid even if you win, but you can still get paid--eventually.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NC General Assembly wastes $42,000 in order to discriminate against #LGBT in bathroom bill and deny a higher minimum wage-- it will use fines from speeding tickets to pay for it!

And they called a special session to do it. The NC General Assembly is so intrusive that they want to keep transgendered people in the bathroom for the "sex they were born with." I take it they don't grasp the nuanced distinction between gender and sexual identity. Most of these goofballs wouldn't know nuance if it jumped down their pants and bit them. This law was passed in response to Charlotte's local ordinance aimed at creating more tolerance of transgendered individuals through a more flexible standard for use of bathroom facilities. Our General Assembly doesn't want such things.

Sheriff BJ Barnes, who is a blithering idiot and my sheriff, supported the legislation by taking time off work (work which my tax dollars pay him to do) to show support by attending the special session.

Oh...and they decided to deny a higher minimum wage to people in the same bill.

The ever worthless John Blust and John Hardister voted for the bill. Surprise, surprise. 

So bravo for being stupid bigots. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Note left by Darryl Hunt set off search

Note left by Darryl Hunt set off search: When Darryl Hunt disappeared, leaving a note at the home of his friend Larry Little, it set off a search that ended more than a week later when Hunt’s body was found in Little’s pickup truck on March 13.

#micropoetry "Gone too fast"

People die too fast sometimes.
And some live too long.
It sounds crass to speak that way.
But it is true.
There are many good people in the world.
But some are rotten.
We lost two good ones recently.
They were gone too fast.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Social Security applicants struggle for disability benefits

Social Security applicants struggle for disability benefits: By Elizabeth Earl
Brian Hoge was recently informed he’d be switching careers. His new vocation? An egg-packer.
It was baffling to Hoge, a former commercial fishermen and oil worker. Staring at the letter from the Alaska Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, he couldn’t make sense of it. He’d never even heard of an egg-packer.

Social Security disability is a lifeline for many in northern Minnesota

Social Security disability is a lifeline for many in northern Minnesota: By Jessie VanBerkel
The dependence on Social Security Disability Insurance is most acute in a handful of northern counties, where desk jobs are scarce and the work takes a heavy toll on workers' bodies. 
It seemed so minor — a box slipped from Rita Ray’s hand at the office. But 25 years later, she is still struggling with the consequences of the slip that tore a muscle in her hand, “destroyed” a tendon in her arm and forced her to undergo 14 surgeries.

Why does anyone care about #ErinAndrews?

I know the trial took place a few weeks ago, but who cares? It is a non-story. I know, I know. I am talking about it, but it is just so stupid. Don't get me wrong: I feel bad for Andrews, but why is this a national story? It is hardly the O.J Simpson trial. In fact, it is not notable at all. But I suppose people are interested in hearing about it. Ironically, this story alone probably did more to help Andrews' career than anything she's done.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

#Immigration was supposed to be easier

And it was until the nutjobs started talking about " securing our borders."