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Joe Walsh speaking on YouTube
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America's favorite no-longer-a-deadbeat-dad, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-NoLongerADeadbeatDad), has taken time off from repeatedly telling his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, to stop talking about being a veteran in order to try to patch the damage done by repeatedly telling her she should stop talking about being a veteran. Specifically, he introduced a lovely new bill called the Renovate and Enhance Veterans' Meeting Halls and Posts Act, aimed at doing what it says on the tin.

There is, however, a problem. Aside from being rather obviously an act of big-spending government socialism (government is no longer allowed to build things, repair things, renovate things, or God help us all enhance things), it turns out that Walsh lifted the bill nearly verbatim from a 2010 bill written by Rep. Tim Bishop, a Democrat, without asking him or even mentioning it to him.

Even in the rough-and-tumble, bitterly partisan Congress, it’s probably safe to call that a faux pas — or worse if you’re Bishop or one of the staffers on his payroll who worked to develop the legislation.

“The REVAMP Act has been a great idea ever since Congressman Bishop came up with the concept in 2009, long before Joe Walsh had been elected to Congress,” said Oliver Longwell, Bishop’s communications director. “To pirate a legislative proposal without consideration of the original author is really unprecedented.”

Longwell wasn’t finished: “Perhaps it’s just a rookie mistake, but it’s a reflection of the total collapse of collegiality that has characterized the House since it came under the influence of the tea party, even on what should be the most bipartisan of issues: assisting our veterans,” he said.

This must be that self-made-man thing that the Republicans keep going on about. Nobody in government helped Walsh with his legislation, dammit, he wrote it himself! And if he didn't, he called dibsies, which is pretty much the same thing.

Less clear is why tea-partier Joe Walsh suddenly thinks it'd be a great idea to use the government to start renovating and prettying things up around VFW halls, since that is the direct opposite of what every goddamn tea partier says ought to be done with taxpayer money. What's that? Oh, right, he keeps getting caught on tape insulting a veteran about being a veteran. So he's got the best possible motivation for spending government money: self-preservation.

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