Monday, June 26, 2017

If #Obamacare is repealed by the GOP #HealtcareBill, then #Medicaid won't survive

The cuts are drastic and deep, especially to Medicaid. I'm not sure if you've seen the statistics, but 47% of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. Many of these won't be covered if there are $800 billion in Medicaid cuts. That's not all that far from a trillion dollars. The Trump people are denying there are cuts.

20% of all people in the United States rely on Medicaid for their medical care. These are the most vulnerable people in our population.

1.4 million seniors rely on Medicaid to pay for their assisted living. Many of these seniors will be kicked off Medicaid under the new health care bill.

This is only the beginning of this cruel bill that only benefits the rich.

If you see these two coming, run #microstory #pencilsketch

They are coming for you.

And their victims never live to tell.

They shot a man a man to death just last week, and the D.A. declared it a clear case of self-defense. But the man had no gun.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Not the kind of lawyer you want to be #pencilsketch

The kind who doesn't do anything but play golf when he's at lesisure. We all know that type. Don't be him.
 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The disabled shouldn't be dragged away #HealthcareBill

Today police dragged disabled people out of their wheelchairs in Washington. And what did they do? They dared to protest in front of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office. God forbid people not want to be excluded from health coverage due to preexistibg conditions or to have huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. So the solution is drag them off, but that won't silence them. It won't silence those of us who oppose these Geatapo tactics.

Raise a hand up against the lunacy.

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Privilege is not getting shot by the police #micropoetry

I don't fear getting shot by the police
for doing nothing.
Not everyone is so lucky
to be free of such thoughts.
Never living under the burden
of such realities.
Bliss is unknowing.

#RighttoBearArms if arms defined differently #Merica

Let's say arms really means arms. Then what will these gun nuts say?
 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

How is this truck safe? #roadhazard

Its tires are too big. Its cab is too high. It tears up the road making our taxes higher. It shouldn't be street legal, but it is.

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

#MichelleCarter found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for telling her boyfriend via phone to, "Get back in," his carbon monoxide filled truck

Carter, who was 17 at the time, told her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy to, "Get back in," his carbon monoxide filled truck. Prior to the call, Roy sealed the windows with duct tape; he connected a hose to the tail pipe; and he fed it into the window where he filled it with carbon monoxide. Then he called Carter after he stepped out of the car. He told her he was trying to kill himself with carbon monoxide. When he asked for her advice,  she told him to, "Get back in." He got back in the truck, and police found him dead the next day. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carter was tried in front of a Massachusetts judge. The judge justified the ruling by saying:

 “She admits in subsequent texts that she did nothing, she did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family,” Judge Moniz said. “And finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: ‘Get out of the truck.’” From New York Times article.

This judge relied on voluminous online correspondence between the two in making his ruling. It certainly sends a message to people, and it should cause many to rethink what they say online, on the phone, and in person. Whether or not this message will continue to resonate remains to be seen.

Live tree among the stumps #inksketch

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Little troll #micropoetry

A little man with big ears
tells lies
by not saying anything at all.
"I don't recall"
or he doesn't want to.

Long Waits And Long Odds For Those Who Need Social Security Disability

Long Waits And Long Odds For Those Who Need Social Security Disability: In the U.S., less than half of all people who apply for disability benefits — about 45 percent — are ultimately accepted, says Lisa Ekman with the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Getting a hearing takes an average of nearly 600 days. 'It is not easy to get disability benefits, and it's a very complicated and difficult process,' she says.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Long standing policies...I believe they are written down #SessionsHearing #ObstructionofJustice

#SessionsHearing is on now

Here is the link.


Will #DonaldTrump fire Special Counsel Robert #Mueller ?

I suppose he could, but history has show us it isn't a good idea. Nixon fired Archibald Cox in the "Saturday Night Massacre," and this led to Nixon resigning to stave off impeachment. Trump surrogates--Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Newt Gingrich--are urging firing Mueller. This isn't a good group to seek advice from, but Trump does get his news from Fox. So what do you expect? Regardless, he is getting horrible advice.

If Trump fires Mueller, it will be strong evidence of obstruction of justice and likely result in a deeper probe. Ultimately, Trump will likely be out of office before the end of his first term. I don't see him withstanding all of this.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hollow eyed #micropoetry

Vengeance stared past me
Into the pit of his darkness
If it wasn't me,
It'd be someone else.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Guillotine #Microstory #Pendrawing

Ronnie saw a hole with a sign over it. "Look in here, and you will see some money."

He stuck his head in the hole.

Then...

#RealityWinner is a hero #freerealitywinner

Leaks are needed sometimes. Some information cannot be hidden, and we need to know what the Russians did. They hacked into our machines. They threw our election to Trump. This cannot be permitted. We muse know.

Reality Winner is a hero. She shouldn't be criminally charged. She is exposing treason.

The Justice Department miscalculated in charging her. This is only part of the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Blue Shoes #Microstory

Ronnie paid too much for the blue shoes. And he lost them in the woods after drinking all alone while sitting on a log, trying to get closer to nature. He had gotten closer, and now he had poison ivy on his feet.

"I should have worn socks and laid off the box wine," he said aloud. He sat alone at an Appelebee's with itchy feet waiting on a steak.


Can't cover it all up #micropoetry #sketchbook

Leaves rot 
to reveal 
what's under them.
Dense now
but fallen tomorrow. 

#SCOTUS Refuses North Carolina Racial Gerrymandering Case

The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal or the North Carolina legislature. The 4th Circuit ruled two of North Carolina's congressional districts were unconstitutional drawn based on race. 28 legislative districts were also deemed unconstitutional. It is up to the lower court as to whether it will conduct a hearing on ordering special elections. This could have a major impact on the 2018 midterm elections. It is seen as a victory for African American voters because the districts as drawn "packs" black voters into districts thus diminishing their vote. Ruling information.

#DonaldTrump and the hatred he fosters are at the heart of #Orlando

This is Trump's America. Homegrown terrorists. He will try and deflect the blame because that's what he does, but this is because of the availability of guns and due to hate. The blame for both lies at the feet of our Russian president, Donald Trump.


Friday, June 2, 2017

The cuts to a major disability program in Trump's budget

The cuts to a major disability program in Trump's budget: When Budget Director Mick Mulvaney assumed the podium in the White House briefing room last week and previewed the administration's 2018 budget, Heather Block's fears quickly turned to outrage.

Too hot #micropoetry #ParisAccord #ParisClimate

The world's gone crazy
or maybe it's just too hot.
Steamy and stifling.
But not as bad as it will be.
The orange haze
grows
and will kill us all.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#PortlandStabbing perp #JeremyChristian represents all that is wrong with America

He's a white supremacist, and he's unapologetic for what he did. He's a vicious murderer.

Trump to pull US out of #ParisAgreement

History will damn him. We need to protect the environment. Many of the conflicts we have flow from environmental issues. For example, our dependence on fossil fuel. This dependence makes us beholden to the Middle East, which embroils us in wars and other conflicts. But the oil companies are too powerful, and they stifle significant talk of non-fossil fuel alternatives.

The destruction of our environment will mean the death of animal and plant life.

People will die and have died. The rollback of this deal will only make it worse.

Conflict and death will result from pulling out of the Paris Agreement.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spend too much #micropoetry

It isn't your money to spend
if it isn't your's.
Some people like to
spend other people's money.
So they never miss it.

#Troll in a #sketchbook

Trump's budget director revives a fact-free conservative attack on disability recipients

Trump's budget director revives a fact-free conservative attack on disability recipients: Appearing Sunday on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, engaged in a drive-by shooting of some the nation’s neediest and most defenseless people: the disabled. Mulvaney’s attack shared its essential qualities with most previous Republican attacks on disabled Americans, in that it was arrogant, ignorant and abetted by the news media — in this case, moderator John Dickerson, who let Mulvaney’s words pass without comment. Both should be ashamed of themselves.

#SocialSecurityDisability cases are often "revisited" by SSA, and then benefits cease

Claimants spend years waiting on their disability benefits; many lose everything, and they almost starve or freeze to death. All the while they deal with a system that is skeptical about their case. They confront degradation and unfair stereotypes perpetuated by a group of people, politicians and other idiots. And, if they are "lucky" enough to "win" their case, then they receive benefits of a whopping $14,000 per year on average.

But. Then.

SSA sends them a letter saying they've "revisited" their case. And SSA's learned opinion is they are no longer benefits. Without warning benefits are yanked, and the ordeal begins again. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

#Resist

 

Wine drinkers are annoying #poetry

They swirl their wine 
in their glasses 
like they are in a
lab.
It isn't important unless 
they wrap their car around a tree
after.
They sniff.
Then they drink 
out of a glass 
that's way too wide 
and delicate.
Sophistication for the 
unread.
And then they talk about it 
with their stained teeth 
if it is red.
If white...
well that's a 
different form of annoyance.

Cold Water #micropoetry

The first time in the pool
Chills you till you can't
Breathe
Almost
Or maybe it is exaggeration
Because you get used to it

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#StarWars40th

 

Thrice #micropoetry

It comes in threes.
The trinity.
Three-peat.
Years in law school.
But it doesn't have to be 
three.

A ball that doesn't roll #micropoetry

Not all balls roll.
Some sit there unmoving.
It would be easy for you 
to roll.
But no one ever said
you were easy
to deal with.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#SocialSecurityDisability video hearing?

Isn't that the question? Will a video hearing hurt my case? Does the judge need to see me to understand my case? These are all questions that arise in the Social Security Disability world, and lawyers disagree. I believe in video hearings because they aren't all that different than live hearings. Furthermore, agreeing to a video hearing will likely make the hearing come sooner. Time is essential in disability cases because claimants are desperate. Waiting tends to be their greatest enemy. I say tends to be because losing is the greatest enemy. By losing, I mean losing the hearing, which is a setback, but doesn't preclude disability for all time. It just delays things. But time is more often than not the enemy for successful claimants, and sooner is better than later.

#LawyersLife #sketchbook

Old drawing, new day.
 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#MickMulvaney and the #TrumpBudget are unfair to #SocialSecurityDisability recipients as are the Washington Post, 60 Minutes, and NPR

1/10 get SSD. It usually takes a few years, and you have to show you can do no work at all. Average pay out is about 14,000 per year. Mick Mulvaney is really going after it. It is a shame the Washington Post keeps using the shoddy reporting; NPR and 60 Minutes have done the same. Kick the "little guy" when he's down is how the so-called liberal publications show they are not totally liberal I suppose. Really disgusting here


Debunking The Washington Post’s Latest Outrageous Attacks On Social Security

Debunking The Washington Post’s Latest Outrageous Attacks On Social Security: A just-released report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) reveals that, once again, the “serious people” in Washington are weaponizing shoddy, inaccurate data to stoke false claims about Social Security. The CAP report exposes The Washington Post’s misuse of data to inflate the numbers of working-age Americans receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits.

STATEMENT ON TRUMP’S PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY

STATEMENT ON TRUMP’S PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY: Englewood Cliffs, NJ – Today, NOSSCR Executive Director, Barbara Silverstone, released the following statement on President Trump’s proposed cuts to Social Security:

Disability Rights Advocates Accuse Washington Post Of Perpetuating ‘Myths’ About Benefits

Disability Rights Advocates Accuse Washington Post Of Perpetuating ‘Myths’ About Benefits: Disability rights advocates and a leading Democratic think tank are livid at The Washington Post over a March 30 front-page story on the prevalence of disability benefits in rural America. The newspaper claimed that “as many as one-third of working-age adults” in rural communities receive disability benefits. But as the Center for American Progress calculated ― and The Huffington Post confirmed by looking at the raw data ― that proportion holds true in only one county in the entire country.

Budget holes #micropoetry #TrumpBudget

What's a few trillion here and there?
When you are playing with house money.
Everything you do uses house money,
so why pay attention to a few trillion?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Quit fussing #micropoetry #sketchbook

Accountability is not in your DNA.
You were born this way,
yet you got worse.
Look at yourself, 
and you will see the lack of an answer.
 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

We already live in #theHandMaidsTale #micropoetry

We don't have far to go
before we fall into the abyss.
And we may already be there.
But it is too dark to see it.

Pinhead who knows nothing #Micropoetry #sketchbook

Ignorance abounds 
in some more than others.
But you wouldn't expect it from
a pinhead.
They are supposed to know.

Could this be us now? #TrumpRussia #Flynn #DonaldTrump

We are in a tailspin as a nation, or maybe our country is correcting itself. It is difficult to say. This all should end in a Trump impeachment, and a conviction, though I think resignation is more likely. Trump will resign and declare victory because that's how his mind works. He's crazy like that.

None of this is good. It was always going to lead here. Everyone knew that.

My how the "deckchairs on the Titanic" are being rearranged, but the iceberg has already hit. And the ship is sinking.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#SocialSecurityDisability and the value of the post-hearing brief

Advocacy does not always end after a Social Security Disability hearing. In fact, good advocacy sometimes requires work after the hearing to drive home arguments raised in the hearing brief, in the medical records, and during hearing testimony. Sometimes it is not enough to rest the case with the hearing, and this is when a post-hearing brief can make or break a case.
A post-hearing brief is not required, but it can be a helpful tool. The post-hearing brief is a brief or memo written after the hearing takes place that addresses a specific issue(s). I cannot speak for other attorneys as to why they feel the need to write (or not write) a post-hearing brief, but I write one when I feel there is a lingering issue that is essential to the case.
For example, I recently had a client, who had a history of hernias. These hernias greatly limited his ability to lift, bend, twist, and stoop. Given his age, past work, and education, my theory was the limitations imposed by the hernias precluded his past work and any other work, and this meant he met the definition of disability (cannot perform “substantial gainful activity,” essentially eight hours a day, five days a week).
Client had evidence of one of the hernias, but he had surgery for a double inguinal hernia while in prison in Colorado prior to the agreed upon date of disability. Obtaining medical records from a prison in Colorado is not easy, so we had to ask for additional time to obtain those records. The judge allowed it.
Client testified about the double inguinal hernia at the hearing, but there was no objective medical evidence of it until the prison records came in. I felt we needed evidence of all of the hernias to nail down that issue as an ongoing ailment precluding all work.
Fortunately we did receive the records, and I used a post-hearing brief to argue the new records corroborated the claimant testimony. This argument made the case stronger because it drove home the point made during the testimony and supported it with objective evidence, the medical records.
Lawyers can disagree over the value of post-hearing briefs. Some lawyers do not write briefs at all, which I completely disagree with because zealous advocacy requires it, in my opinion. Some do not write post-hearing briefs; they are content to “just handle the hearing,” and I disagree with this too. Sometimes just going to the hearing is not enough.
Post-hearing briefs are not needed in every case, but they are necessary when a lawyer, trusting his or her instincts and experience, has the nagging feeling that there is a lingering issue in the judge’s mind. If you have that feeling, you need to write the brief. I have never seen an instance when writing a post-hearing brief hurts your client’s case.


The sad state of things in America #ComeyMemo #TrumpRussia

Anyone who thinks has to be disturbed with what's going on in the United States these days. I certainly had my fears when Trump was elected president, but I wished him well because I wanted the country to do well. Trump has been an unmitigated disaster since day one. He has done even worse than I expected, but his downfall has been far more dramatic than I imagined.

Let's review the last week or so: 1) Trump fired Comey; 2) the story broke that Trump gave classified intelligence to the Russians; and 3) the Comey Memo came out, and it stated Trump asked Comey to stop the Flynn investigation. This is in about one week. The first charge against Nixon was obstruction of justice, and this is a textbook case for obstruction of justice because Trump tried to thwart an investigation into his campaign's dealings with the Russians. It is eerily similar, yet worse still because it involves collusion with a foreign enemy.

It appears Trump has sold America out, and this should come as no surprise to anyone. Perhaps the most troubling part of this is: there are people who elected Trump,  and they would vote for him again. Rough days in America are here, and they are ahead too,


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#ComeyMemo means end for #Trump

Obstruction of justice will be the first claim. There likely are many more. The doors and wheels are falling off the Trump Administration.
 
 

#LibrariesMatter #Fightignorance

Nothing will save you #Micropoetry #pencilsketch #sketchbook

Your options are like
hair falling out.
And you ramble
unheard.

Monday, May 15, 2017

#SupremeCourt says NO to North Carolina #VoterID law case @NCCivitas

The GOP effort to suppress the vote was stymied because the Supreme Court denied cert. Hopefully the GOP will eventually stop these unconstitutional efforts, but I doubt it. They care nothing for the Constitution.

But for today: YOU LOSE!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bye-bye #micropoetry

I don't bother to say hello.
Because I don't hear you.
Not anymore.
If you are noise,
I don't hear it.

Zinger #micropoetry

Words can sneak up behind you.
And they bite like a viper.
But you'll never pin it
on the snake.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Defective Phone" #flashfiction #microfiction

First time I saw one of those awful blue tooth ear devices was about three years ago. This guy, though, technology had bitten him in his scrawny, red, Irish ass.
He sat at the end of that polished bar right off 4th Street in a gray, button-up-the-front shirt with pink flowers and cream color slacks with woven basket sandals. And he had this bald shaved head that shone a light pink color because he’d forgotten to cover it in the sun. So it got burned up. I could even see it peeling under the low light.
None of it seemed to bother him as he rambled on the phone with his hook nose and beady eyes. He swilled this giant goblet of white wine. He sniffed the crap and then swirled it around his mouth. Then he slapped his lips like he was some freaking expert. What a tool.
I could over hear brief snip-its of what he said. “Yes…John-Paul…we inked the deal today. Yep…$1.1 million sale with a 6% commission for us.” Then he barked out this high-pitched laugh that sounded like a hyena caught in a lions mouth. All the while he stared off into the mirror behind the bar, and this blue light beeped on his ear.
I’d never seen anything like it, and my first thought was he was some redneck version of Lo-Bot from the Empire Strikes Back. Then I thought he was crazy and talking to himself, but I saw his rectangular black phone strapped to his thick, black, leather belt with the same blue pulse.
That’s some damn phone device, I thought.

Before I could ask him about it some blonde with a tight white dress and big boobs bounded up and kissed him. She looked like she could tear him apart, and she grabbed his hand. They started to leave out the front door as she tottered on her red spike heels. Apparently she’d had a bit to drink.
Then it got weird––that's not the right word for it––it became surreal.
Blue tooth guy started screaming. "My hip is burning. My hip is burning."
And it was. I saw this smoking coming from that giant cell phone. Pretty soon his pants started to smoke. I imagined they were highly flammable. Some guy ran in from the back room with a fire extinguisher, and he sprayed him off, phone and all. 
Then a guy from somewhere in the bar came and said, "Let's go." And they went without the woman. And she didn't seem to care. She started hitting on another dude at the bar. I supposed they went to the hospital, and she lost interest.
Things settled down. "And the band played on," as they say. 
I saw the bar tender with a wan smile on his face as he started to clean up the guy's glass and napkins. He saw me watching him. "Everyone knows those Samsung phones will burn up on you, but I guess he didn't get the memo. Too busy making deals." 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

All in a shirt #micropoetry

I saw the big one
in the hall.
With a fishing shirt on.
Does he try and catch himself?
And then take a picture.

Fired #micropoetry #comeyfired

Told late
about your own firing.
It's been coming
for awhile.
But it went down
strange.

It comes in threes #micropoetry

Three is a crooked number.
Its meaning depends on context.
Don't let anyone hang a crooked number on you.
Out of context.
Because it won't be good.

Advice from #TheHandMaidsTale rings true in light of #Comey firing

Always applicable.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Truth justifies itself #micropoetry

It glows in the dark
when all else can't be seen.
Because it can't be
benighted.

#SallyYates to testify today regarding #MichaelFlynn and #TrumpRussiaties

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is going to testify before Congress today regarding Michael Flynn's communications with Russia, payments from Russia, and alleged connections between the Trump White House and Russia. It should be interesting and potentially explosive.

Trump attempted to discredit Yates on Twitter this morning, but, as usual, the tweet appears defensive given the negative impact Yates's testimony will likely have on Trump and his administration. Sally Yates testimony

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stumbling #micropoetry

Over padded yards 
Unsure of foot 
And of direction 
Yet fully alive 
And in the minutes 

Picture from the Greensboro News and Record #ACHAnoVote #Obamacare #imapreexistingcondition

This lady's child with Down's Syndrome is in my child's swimming class. Under the House health care bill (if it were to stand), her child would not be able to receive health insurance. This is deplorable; it shouldn't be allowed to happen.