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United States Capitol dome at midday, east side.  July 28, 2011.  Photo by Mark Noel (mark.noel@mindspring.com).
Recapping yesterday's action:

The House made an otherwise boring day interesting with a little bit of procedural fun. The business of the day was the consideration of one suspension bill (regarding the sale of surplus federal real estate), and one bill under regular order that would remove the deed restrictions on a parcel of federal land in Accomack County, Virginia and give it over unrestricted to the county. Woohoo! Right?

Well, here's the thing. That parcel of land in Accomack County was given over to local control in the mid-1970s at no cost to the county, so long as it was used only for the purpose of public recreation. If the county sought to make non-conforming use of the land, the agreement was that ownership and control would revert back to the federal government. Now, the county wants to build an “aerospace technology park” nearby, meaning a "park" of the industrial kind (the site abuts an existing NASA installation), but needs the actual park land in order to pave it over with an access road for the technology park. And that would mean the land would revert back to the federal government, unless the feds transfer the deed to Accomack County, which they don't want to do.

That's where this bill comes in. The bill would force the transfer, regardless of the terms of the 1976 agreement, handing over an $816,000 piece of land to Accomack for free.

Now, it struck Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) that this $816,000 windfall, being directed to Accomack County by its local Congressman, Rep. Scott Rigel (R-VA-02), seemed reasonably close to what some folks would call an earmark. $816,000 in free land, handed from the federal government to Accomack. And these days, we're told, the rules require certain disclosures with regard to earmarks and the members requesting them. More than just that, the rules also prohibit consideration of waivers of those rules. (That's how you know they're serious!) So Grijalva raised a point of order against consideration of the rule for the bill, which contained a blanket waiver of all points of order against the bill, including the point of order that would normally prohibit waiving the earmark rules.

But gosh, golly-gee, one thing the rules forgot was that you can always waive rules against waivers, and that's just what the Republicans did, voting unanimously to allow consideration of the rule and its blanket waiver, even though that meant they were waiving the rule that said no waivers were allowed.

I wish I were kidding.

There was just a little more fun to be had with this bill, though, as Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-47) offered a motion to recommit the bill and add an amendment prohibiting the county from allowing their free gift land to be sold or used for the purposes of adult entertainment, or by foreign governments. But Republicans apparently weren't up for that restriction, either. So, Saudi Astro Porn it is! Congrats to all!

That last part I am kidding about. As far as I know.

Hmm? What? The Senate? Oh yeah, the Senate! Right! Well, the Senate held cloture votes on two alternative substitute amendments to the IPO deregulation bill (that Republicans are hoping you'll call the "JOBS Act"), neither of which succeeded. That leaves a cloture motion on the entire bill still pending, with debate resuming today. But no indication just yet of any intention to get to a vote on that cloture motion. Sounds like they're still hoping to find a path to 60 votes for a few tweaks to the bill.

Oh, and they had their picture taken.

Looking ahead to today:

The House jumps right into the cutting edge job creation stuff, with the start of debate on the tired, old horse of "tort reform." You know, the kind that would have prevented Rick Santorum's wife from winning so much money in her lawsuit against her chiropractor. (Don't worry, she didn't collect the $350,000 award. It was reduced, doubtless by some "activist judge" to $175,000.)

Of course, this bit of same-old, same-old is being sold under the acronym of "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare," or HEALTH.

Duh.

With six hours of general debate scheduled, plus six amendments, they'll likely stretch this thing out into tomorrow, so they can at least say they worked until Thursday.

The Senate returns to debate of the IPO dereg bill, with no clear exit plan visible. That doesn't mean something can't be worked out, but so far, Senate Dems have been unable to muster the votes necessary to make the changes they say are necessary to prevent this from just being yet another overbroad regulatory repeal.

Hey, remember when the Senate rules were the reason why the House-passed version of bills always had to take a back seat to the versions the Senate preferred? Yeah, that was awesome. I wonder what happened to that?

Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.

In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:

THE NIGHTLY WHIP: TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2012

TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

First/Last votes are expected between 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

“One Minutes” (15 per side)

Suspension (1 Bill)

  1. Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 886 - United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (Rep. Womack - Financial Services)

Begin Consideration of H.R. 5 - Protecting Access to Healthcare (PATH) Act (Rep. Gingrey - Energy and Commerce/Judiciary/Ways and Means/Rules)

The Rule provides for six hours of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:

Rep. Woodall Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Bonamici Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Alcee Hastings Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Reps. Dent/Sessions Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Rep. Gosar Amendment (10 minutes of debate)
Reps. Stearns/Matheson Amendment (10 minutes of debate)

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Floor Schedule for Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Convenes: 9:30am

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business for one hour with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the final half.

Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.3606, the Capital Formation/IPO bill.

The time from 2:30pm until 3:00pm will be as if in morning business to acknowledge the milestone reached by Senator Mikulski as the longest serving woman in Congress.

3/20 wrap-up:
Senate Floor Wrap Up for Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ROLL CALL VOTES

1)      Motion to invoke cloture on the Reed-Landrieu-Levin-Brown (OH) and others substitute amendment #1833 to H.R.3606, the IPO bill; Not Invoked: 54-45

2)      Motion to invoke cloture on the Cantwell-Johnson(SD)-Graham-Shelby and others amendment #1836 (Export Import Bank) to H.R.3606; Not Invoked: 55-44

LEGISLATIVE ITEMS

Completed the Rule 14 process of S.2204, the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act. (Menendez)

No EXECUTIVE ITEMS

Today's House committee schedule:
AGRICULTURE---------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture Subc.  On identifying duplicative federal rural development programs.  1300 LHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS--------------------------------------------------8:30-Ex.

State and Foreign Operations Subc.  On reviewing the near eastern affairs programs at the Department of State.  Dept. witnesses.  HVC-301 Capitol.

APPROPRIATIONS------------------------------------------------9:00-Open

Commerce, Justice, and Science Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for NASA.  Charles Bolden, Administrator, NASA.  2359 RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Agriculture’s research, education, and economics programs.  Dept. witnesses.  2362-A RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS-------------------------------------------------10:00-Ex.

Defense Subc.  On reviewing the U.S. Central Command.  Dept. witnesses.  H-140 Capitol.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Energy and Water Development Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Energy’s environmental management and health and safety and security programs.  Dept. witnesses.  2362-B RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Financial Services and General Government Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Internal Revenue Service.  Douglas Shulman, Commissioner, IRS.  H-309 Capitol.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Homeland Security Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security’s facilities.  Dept. witnesses.  B-318 RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subc.  On an overview of veterans employment and training programs.  Dept. witnesses.  2358-C RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS-----------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Shaun Donovan, Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development.  2358-A RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS------------------------------------------------1:00-Open

Interior and Environment Subc.  On testimony from public witnesses.  B-308 RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Financial Services and General Government Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Small Business Administration.  Karen Mills, Administrator, SBA.  2359 RHOB.

APPROPRIATIONS------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Eric Shinseki, Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.  H-140 Capitol.

ARMED SERVICES------------------------------------------------3:00-Open

Military Personnel Subc.  On the FY 2013 budget request for defense health programs.  Dept. witnesses.  2212 RHOB.

BUDGET--------------------------------------------------------10:30-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of the FY 2013 concurrent budget resolution.  210 CHOB.

EDUCATION & THE WORKFORCE----------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  On the FY 2013 budget request for the Department of Labor.  Hilda Solis, Secretary, Department of Labor.  2175 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE-------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Oversight and Investigations Subc.  On reviewing the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance and the healthcare law on its year anniversary.  MC’s and dept. witnesses.  2123 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES-------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subc.  On H.R. __ - Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act of 2012.  Public witnesses.  2128 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES---------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Oversight and Investigations Subc.  Markup of a subpoena to authorize the appearance of Edith O’Brien to testify on MF Global on March 28, 2012.  2128 RHOB.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS-----------------------------------------------10:30-Open

Full Committee.  On reviewing the current situation in Russia.  Public witnesses.  2172 RHOB.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS------------------------------------------------1:30-Open

Middle East and South Asia Subc.  On reviewing U.S. policy towards Iraq.  Public witnesses.  2172 RHOB.

HOMELAND SECURITY--------------------------------------------9:30-Open

Full Committee.  On assessing the threat from Iran and Hezbollah.  Public witnesses.  311 CHOB.

JUDICIARY------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subc.  On reviewing identification card standards.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2141 RHOB.

JUDICIARY-------------------------------------------------------1:30-Open

Courts, Commercial, and Administrative Law Subc.  On oversight of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2141 RHOB.

NATURAL RESOURCES-------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  On examining American resources to create jobs and addressing the rising gas prices.  Public witnesses.  1324 LHOB.

OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM------------------------------9:30-Open

Full Committee.  On examining the causes and consequences of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.  Timothy Geithner, Secretary, Department of Treasury; Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.  2154 RHOB.

OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM------------------------------2:00-Open

Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and Procurement Reform Subc.  On the Freedom of Information Act and using technology to improve transparency in government.  Dept. and public witnesses.  2154 RHOB.

SMALL BUSINESS------------------------------------------------1:00-Open

Full Committee.  On the economic impact of entrepreneuers.  Public witnesses.  2360 RHOB.

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE---------------------------10:00-Open

Water Resources and Environment Subc.  On reviewing financing approaches for community water infrastructure projects.  Public witnesses.  2167 RHOB.

Today's Senate committee schedule:
10:00 am
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security
                Hearings to examine balancing prosperity and security, focusing on challenges for United States air travel in a 21st century global economy.
SD-138        

10:00 am
        Armed Services: Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
                Hearings to examine military construction, environmental, and base closure programs in review of the Defense Authorization request for fiscal year 2013 and the Future Years Defense Program.
SR-232A        

10:00 am
        Foreign Relations
                Hearings to examine the nominations of Tracey Ann Jacobson, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo, Richard B. Norland, of Iowa, to be Ambassador to Georgia, Kenneth Merten, of Virginia, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Mark A. Pekala, of Maryland, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia, and Jeffrey D. Levine, of California, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia, all of the Department of State.
SD-419        

10:00 am
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                Hearings to examine retooling government for the 21st century, focusing on the President's reorganization plan and reducing duplication.
SD-342        

10:00 am
        Judiciary
                Hearings to examine convicting the guilty and exonerating the innocent.
SD-226        

10:00 am
        Veterans' Affairs
                Joint hearings to examine the legislative presentations of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Non Commissioned Officers Association, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Vietnam Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, and The Retired Enlisted Association.
SD-G50        

10:30 am
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Defense
                Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for the Department of the Army.
SD-192        

2:00 pm
        Judiciary: Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
                Hearings to examine Verizon and cable deals.
SD-226        

2:00 pm
        Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe [Link]
                Hearings to examine prerequisites for progress in Northern Ireland, focusing on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and the current challenges to full implementation of the agreement and the action that is necessary for continued confidence and progress in the peace process.
RHOB-2247          

2:30 pm
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
                Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
SD-192        

2:30 pm
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Financial Service and General Government
                Hearings to examine strengthening market oversight and integrity, focusing on fiscal year 2013 resource needs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
SD-138        

2:30 pm
        Armed Services: Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
                Hearings to examine military space programs in review of the Defense Authorization request for fiscal year 2013 and the Future Years Defense Program.
SR-222        

2:30 pm
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                Hearings to examine the President's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2013 for the Department of Homeland Security.
SD-342    

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is what a Senate on thorazine looks like, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, conniptionfit, bear83

    with the House still on weird gateway drugs.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Island"s, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 06:12:26 AM PDT

  •  Very good story. At the risk of sounding trollish (0+ / 0-)

    We really do need tort reform.

    The current system in fact helps no one, because data clearly show that most incidents of malpractice do not result in lawsuits, and the majority of lawsuits do not involve actual malpractise. Instead we have this bizarre lottery system where lawyers work on contingincy, settlements are negotiated with often tenuous basis on the merits of the case, and health care costs increase because of physicians practicing 'defensive medicine'

    In fact, there is a pilot program in the ACA looking for solutions to this issue. My guess is that the Repubs are doing this as a bit of political theater to help lock up the doctor vote, so I rather doubt any real reform will come of this. But that isn't the same as saying we don't need real reform. In fact, 'tired old horse' is a term that can well be applied to the issue of health care reform itself; some issues become 'tired' merely because they are never solved, and not being solved never go away

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 06:14:17 AM PDT

    •  Nonsense. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conniptionfit

      Does this silly argument extend to corporate negligence as well?

    •  I'm curious, do you have any (0+ / 0-)

      Facts and figures to back up your statement that we really need tort reform?  As opposed to a more efficient, larger system?  Should the Feds really be deciding ahead of time for all of us that our complaint against a Dr, or corporation, isn't worth the time and trouble of the court system?  Isn't it the court's job to sort out who has a legitimate complaint, and who doesn't?

      •  But they don't courts are overburdened (0+ / 0-)

        And the system is heavily weighed against the issue coming to trial. And yes, there are very many rigorous studies that support this; several excellent New England Journal of Medicine issues come to mind.

        Corporate tort reform is a much different issue, and I was really only commenting about medical tort reform - which to really be candid, I ultimately don't think is separable from health care reform in general. This set of attitudes doesn't make me popular with either side, but I can live with that.

        Besides, Repubs pretty much have the corporate vote locked up, so no need for political posturing there. Of course, they merely may be doing the corporate masters bidding; that assertion wouldn't be getting any argument from me

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 06:39:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If there are too many torts cases for the courts (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tle, MichiganChet, IPLawyer

          To handle, wouldn't the logical response be to enlarge the court system to deal with the overflow?  Rather than preventing folks from bringing cases?  Remember the phrase "Court of Last Resort"?  Isn't the court system where you end up if you have not been able to get redress for your injury?Isn't it the courts job to decide on the legitimacy of claims?
          What do you mean, that the system is heavily weighted against the issue coming to trial?
          I'm confused about why the NEMJ is publishing studies about tort reform.  Wouldnt they have a bias, since it's always Doctors who are being sued?  And anyway, isn't a court case always supposed to be decided on the individual merits of that specific case?  How can a study which lumps many cases together be germaine to a system that is supposed to deal with individual cases on a case by case basis.  In other words, studies make conclusions about statistics and numbers, while the courts are making value judgements about each case.  A study can't make a value judgement about whether a mass of cases were Legitimate.  It can only point out the number of cases that courts decided were legitimate, or not.  And the study can't comment on the cases which were never brought due to lack of funds, or time to persue the cases through the long process which the backlog of cases imposes on an inadequate system.
          These are real questions, and I do think it would have been nice if youd attempted to answer them, rather than rely on platitudes.  Thanks for your time, anyway.

          •  Well, here is a good reference (0+ / 0-)

            Because I take some pride in not being the usual often rightwing blogging dickhead who just throws in platitudes unbacked by vigorous research

            New Directions in Medical Liability Reform

            Note that the authors of the piece bith have J.D degrees and one of them is not a practicing physician; he is a very highly regarded harvard professor of health policy

            Here's the money quote:

            Discussions about malpractice reform often start with physicians' and insurers' complaints about the system, which include the high cost of malpractice insurance coverage, the number of nonmeritorious suits, the size and unpredictability of jury awards, and the inefficiency of litigation as a mechanism for resolving disputes. Each of these complaints finds an empirical basis in studies of malpractice claims and in the volatility seen in malpractice premiums over the past 10 years. Yet patients and attorneys also reasonably object that the current tort system is hard for many injured patients to access, takes an unreasonable amount of time and expense to deliver compensation, and often results in different litigation outcomes for patients with similar injuries. The best estimates are that only 2 to 3% of patients injured by negligence file claims, only about half of claimants recover money, and litigation is resolved discordantly with the merit of the claim (i.e., money is awarded in nonmeritorious cases or no money is awarded in meritorious cases) about a quarter of the time. Thus, from the perspectives of these stakeholders, evaluations of system reforms should consider the frequency with which claims are brought, the amounts that plaintiffs receive, the amounts that are lost to overhead expenses in the litigation process, and the ways in which these factors translate into insurance premiums.

            And their conclusions:

            Medical liability reform is headed in a new direction, reflecting dissatisfaction with both the narrow focus of traditional approaches to liability cost control and the lack of effectiveness of most traditional reforms in achieving even that limited objective. The launching of the federal demonstration projects may reduce the impetus for federal statutory reform in the immediate future, but it may reap longer-term gains. By spurring both private innovation and nontraditional public-policy reforms, the new approaches to medical-injury response that are now being tested may bring us closer to a liability system that fosters, rather than obstructs, progress toward safe and high-quality health care.
            To which I would re-state my main point that I do not think medical liability reform is ultimately separable from overall health care reform. This is not a pie-fight; this is a very very important issue from the standpoint of everyone in society who are often poorly served by the politics practised by those who should be representing them. If that last makes me biased, then that is a bias I am happy to have

            An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

            by MichiganChet on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you very much for this thoughtful (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichiganChet

              Reply.  I think that we are actually in basic agreement about this.  Unfortunately, the term tort reform has been taken over and redefined by right wingers to mean" we can save a lot of money for elites if we reform the system so that people with actual legitimate injuries are prevented from bringing cases, or are severely limited in their ability to recover"
              Wouldn't it be nice if we had the Justice system promised to us by our constitution, instead of the underfunded, withered INjustice system we currently have?

              •  Undoubtedly (0+ / 0-)

                the problem of our often UNjustice system is that it is often unjust, and this is a problem that goes well beyond torts. Note that I am a member of the abolish the death penalty group and it is in large part because of this reason. Unfortunately a root and branch reform of the 'justice' system would require far more money and political will than we seem to have at the moment. But that is the subject of several diaries in its own right, and at least we then seem to have convergence - one that I think could be generally shared on DK - that the current medical tort system poorly serves both physicians and patients and society at large.

                Thank you for the discussion

                An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

                by MichiganChet on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:05:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and I can't wait for the Obama applause line: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micwazoo, conniptionfit

      "We need tort reform!" Immediately followed by a polite golf-clap.

      Of course, it won't be as quite dramatic as the thunderous applause at GOP rallies where the misinformed asshats lose their minds at the mere mention of "tort reform" only to find that when the food processor that they purchased at Wal-Mart subsequently comes flying apart in a centrifugal ballet of blades and plastic parts that not only lop of the ears of one their nearby children, but impales the cat that was merely cleaning itself in the sunshine of the living room bay window.

    •  And isn't this "bizarre lottery system (0+ / 0-)

      Where lawyers work on contingency" what allows folks who have been harmed, but can't afford a lawyer, to seek relief?  What other rule could you put in place that would enable those of little means to have access to redress of their complaints?  Remember, we're supposed to be a country in which everyone regardless of means, has access to the courts.  Justice is not reserved for the Rich.

    •  and then 1 day no one has access to the courts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conniptionfit, happymisanthropy

      in this country for compensation because TORT REFORM!!!!!!! has limited their constitutionally protected access to them.

      Good plan.

    •  Another unspecified call for "tort reform." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conniptionfit

      Please explain what changes should be made to substantive tort law and/or to procedural rules in order to weed out non-meritorious cases.

      I'm particularly curious to hear why you think doctors deserve special exemption from negligence lawsuits (which is really what medical malpractice is), but not other professionals, corporations, and everyday laypeople.

    •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

      MichiganChet made a booboo.  The phrase 'tort reform' is boilerplate, intentionally misleading, mislabeling.

      The correct term is 'tort deform'.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 11:50:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So this parcel of"park" land that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83

    The Repubs want to deed over to Accomack County, is it actually being used as a Park by the residents?  What do the neighbors think of the prospect of an expanded aerospace tech park in exchange for their park?  Did anyone bother to find out?  County commissioners are often capable of rolling right over local wishes and inking boondoggle deals which end up costing local far more than the deal was worth.  But occasionally they make a deal that everyone wants. So which is it?
    Repubs often complain that Big Government types stick rigidly to the rules, without due consideration of real cost benefit analysis.  Is that what this is?  Is the Dem Rep from AZ simply trying to jam the Repubs with their own silly rules without regard to local sentiment, or does he know something about this issue? Is he protecting locals from a bad deal?  Did they appeal to him for help?

    •  On the subject of earmarks... (0+ / 0-)

      it doesn't make a difference. If there's 100% unanimous local support for the park, then there will be no problem, I'm sure, in attaching the local Representative's name to the earmark request.

      He'll be a hero.

      The land is either worth $816,000 or it isn't. But whatever it's worth, it's a gift from the federal government. If locals would rather have the road to the industrial park than the softball fields that are there now, that's fine.

      Just say the word. Correctly.

  •  "House Republicans drag out 'tort reform' " (3+ / 0-)

    Because nothing says "FREEDOM" like limiting your access to the American court system!

    Why? SHUT THE FUCK UP, THAT'S WHY!

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