Speaking of smoking dope, Congress appears determined to spend more on military equipment that the military does not want:
The House panel that decides defense spending came out with a $570 billion blueprint Thursday that spares the USS George Washington aircraft carrier....
The spending bill echoes the broad defense policy bill that the House overwhelmingly passed last week that saves ships and aircraft despite pleas from senior military officers for the reductions....
Military leaders have warned that sparing what they consider to be parochial programs will undermine their ability to train soldiers, sailors and airmen to fight. But lawmakers are determined to protect favorite weapons [Donna Cassata, "House Panel Snubs Pentagon on Defense Spending," AP, 2014.05.29].
MSNBC's Steve Benen lists more items where Congressional posing trumps military budget sense:
The Pentagon requested a modest pay raise; Congress went beyond what was requested.
The Pentagon requested a slight increase in out-of-pocket costs for housing and food, in order to help control the cost of benefits; Congress turned down the request.
The Pentagon requested retiring the U-2 spy plane and the A-10 Warthog; Congress funded them anyway.
The Pentagon requested shuttering unnecessary bases; Congress is keeping them open.
Lawmakers, at least on the right, aren’t just throwing unwanted money at the department, they’re also ignoring military leaders on policy matters – the Pentagon wants to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and Congress doesn’t care [Steve Benen, "Pentagon Asks for Less; Congress Spends More," MSNBC: MaddowBlog, 2014.05.30].
Thank goodness we've saved Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg's favorite prop.
I thought candidates liked to get hyped up about listening to the military and not making battlefield decisions from political perspectives. But apparently neither the practical advice of the generals nor their own deficit-hawkery can stop Congresspeople seeking re-election from throwing money at the Pentagon.