Remember that whole War on Earmarks thing from last year? Well, so much for that.
Lawmakers had promised to cut back on earmarks and mandated better disclosure of them after steady criticism that they were funding programs with little debate or oversight. The promises led to an initial decline in earmarks last year that was trumpeted on Capitol Hill. But the new data show that they are surging again, at least in the proposed Pentagon authorization budget, which sets out priorities to be funded in a later appropriations bill. […]
Requests include $204,000 for an infantry platoon battle course from Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both Arkansas Democrats; $2.2 million for nanofluids for advanced military mobility from Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky); $98 million for a Northrop Grumman project to develop an aircraft sensor suite, from Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.).
Chambliss was a part of another bipartisan group of lawmakers who also requested allocating $497 million to United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Pratt; Whitney for "advanced procurement or line close down costs," the watchdog group's data show.
Funding for an indoor small-arms range in Connecticut? It's in there too, at $11 million, care of Sens. Lieberman and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).
All of which illustrates that you can scream about busting pork until you're blue in the face, but as long as we're spending trillions on defense with unprecedentedly lax oversight, every new defense authorization and "emergency supplemental" will be a grotesque festival of government waste.