There’s been a lot of talk on this thread about the USDA falling down (no pun intended) on the job. And it’s definitely worth asking. But maybe it’s better to ask where was Congress? A bill that would have banned the processing of "downer cattle" was voted down by the Republican-led Congress, many members of which are in cahoots with the beef industry. Congress has spent billions providing subsidies to wealthy cotton and sugar farmers, but doesn’t want to shell out the few extra dollars it would take to provide an adequate number of inspectors at slaughter plants, and that’s just fine with the beef barons. Republicans preach about the benefits of "less government," and even Bill Clinton said, "the era of big government is over," but I’d rather have "big government" than CJD.