la cage aux Foley

It's interesting to see the Republican spin machine whirling out of control over the resignation of Florida Congressman Mark Foley. The GOP is trying to deflect the blame away from the self-proclaimed party anointed by God and the keeper of all values worth getting single-issue voters to pull the ballot box lever in their favor.

Rush Limpballs and Deny Hastert are weaving the ABC/Democrat wool of conspiracy over the eyes of FOX viewers and while Lush and Sean Hyenaity are providing the ear enemas. In fact, our fellow bloggers over at www.ontheborderline.net -- the ones with the front row seats during the 2004 Bush visit to Hudson (All the better to polish you boots, Mr. President.) -- are doing their part to do counter spin of the Foley exposure.

The OTBL Admin says: "I dare say that ABC was in cahoots with the DNC and only because of this glitch did the age of the individual come out."

Of course, we all know the OTBL Admin has deep connections into all the workings of ABC and the DNC. Right, I believe I also saw an ad on his blog for ocean front property in North Hudson. (Pssst, looks like the OTBL'ers gave up their quest for capitalist blog domination in the Valley. The ads have disappeared. They've ended their career as cheap prostitutes.)

The OTBL Admin also notes: "An ABC Online glitch led to exposing the identity of the Foley Accuser. Turns out the individual was of legal consenting age, 18 at the time of IM’ing with Foley."

Of course this is where the confusion comes in. In another OTBL post, BJohnson tells us: "As it is, Republicans deny knowing about the explicit text messages that Foley sent to a 16-year-old congressional page back in 2003. In repudiating Foley, House Speaker Dennis Hastert called the messages “vile and repulsive.”"

So what is it OTBL, 16 or 18? You need to get into OTBL hot tub and do a group huddle on this one.

OTBL's BJ goes on to tell us: "If anything, the episode reveals the Democrats’ hypocrisy about their own behavior. The fact that Foley resigned virtually within minutes of being told that ABC News had copies of his salacious e-mails and text messages indicates he at least felt shame for his actions. Can the same be said for Democrats?"

I'm not sure which Democrats he's talking about? Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Kirk Fordham. Oh excuse me, those guys are Republicans. I must have been watching FOX News. I believe they were calling Foley a Democrat last night.

Or maybe I was reading this comment by OTBL's ChoosingLife: "If the Republican Party required a signature at the bottom of the GOP Platform and Resolutions, they would be able to weed out the Democrats in Republican Sheep’s Clothing and cull out non-platform/resolutions adherents. This is such an easy solution to a vast problem within the Republican Party. Foley was a pro-abortion/pro-sodomite so-called Republican. There’s many more like him within the Republican Party. The Platform and Resolutions are there for a reason. Americans should expect a higher standard from the Republican Party members, but if we keep electing Republican Party under miners, we will be as low as the Democrats before long. Republicans should demand accountability from the Republican Party if we expect it from the Democrats."

ChoosingLife will probably be directing the Reich side of the chorus line at the 2008 Republican convention in St. Paul. And so it looks like the OTBL zombies have put away their NRA-ass-kissing posts for the time being and got out their bucket of white wash to help spruce up the unsightly stains that are continuing to seep through their stage costumes.

Limbaugh and Hastert baselessly suggested that Democrats orchestrated Foley scandal

Summary: Rush Limbaugh and House Speaker Dennis Hastert advanced a theory that Democrats and the media instigated the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley to aid the Democrats in the midterm elections, ignoring ABC News reporter Brian Ross's statement that the sources for his reporting on Foley are, if at all politically affiliated, Republicans.

Read more and hear the audio at Media Matters.

Original cartoons complients of PO'd Toons. Thanks Fat Jon!


fuzz said...

This past week my wife listen to an author talk an Barns & Nobel. Jim Wallis discussed his book "God's Politics". I've since started to read it. As a Christian, and as a citizen I think the book put an interesting light on all political parties, and politicians in general. No one party has ownership in God. I doubt that Christ would give a hoot what political party anyone of us were from, but more so how we live our lives. As there are christians that happen to be Republicans, there are Christians of a wide variety of political opinions.

Cato said...

For years and years the Dems sat on knowledge of Franks. And then we found out "the page that Franks had sex with was 18 at the time" so it was okay that he was actually doing an inferior. It was so OK that he was reelected multiple times.

Here we have a story of a guy who seems to have talked dirty but possibly never actually did anything, and apparently he did so to an 18 year old.

So it's okay, since 18 is this magical age. The Supreme Court says so. According to the Supreme Court, 18 is the age where you learn right from wrong and can be held accountable as a human being (before that you are... I don't know. I don't think anyone does. Non-human, but what, I can't say).

You learn that murder is wrong the morning of your 18th birthday. You learn stealing and raping is wrong. You learn whether or not you like people your age, what sex you like, or if you like old men.

We all remember the epiphany we all had on that day. In this case, Mr. Jordan Edmund apparently already had that epiphany, so he must have known that old men were "right" not wrong for him, so we can't judge their love. At 17 years, 364 days -- we can judge.

18? -- NO NO NO.

666 said...


So it's alright for the party of moral values to sin as long as they can point back to a Democrat who has sinned? I noticed that Barney Frank didn't resign. He hung around and took his censure like a man. Evidently, Foley's problems are pretty deep, judging from his quick exit from the scene. The unfolding Foley story is about political power trumping protection of vulnerable children by powerful adults in a position of authority.

From you take on this, it's just like allowing grade schoolers the right to conceal and carry a gun. I believe you are saying the adults should have the right to prey on innocent children, because there is no such thing as "innocent children."

Evidently your libertain argument runs from the cradle to the grave. Protection of children's rights, I suppose, is just another example of socialism gone bad. Of course, you would like the repeal of child labor laws...as you've stated before. Physical and mental development are just touchy-feelly concepts that those liberals waste tax dollars on...I suppose.

Cato said...

Firstly, do you mean to imply the Republicans are the "party of moral virtues"? They are politicans and have sold their soul long ago.

Children are human -- this is why they should have the death penalty applied to them. To deny them this is to deny their humanity (in refrence to the Supreme Court's decision last year). Multiple standards simply because of age is ridiculous.

In these cases, it makes no difference if the kid was 12 or 16 or 18 or 24 -- it was a superior and an inferior and it was wholly inappropriate. Perhaps you did not see my post was dripping with quite obvious sarcasm.

Franks did not do the right thing; his actions were wrong and he was using his office for his personal gain as he initiated a relationship with an inferior at his office. The military, for example, is prohibited from engaging in vertical consensual relationships, for obvious reasons. I think the people we elect into office should at least meet this standard. It is actually more telling of the people that kept him in office, however.

Boris said...

Cato, You are so predictable. It is just sad. Your argument is just as weak as the post-caught Foley's attempt to get pitty.
I find it very telling that Foley blames his homosexuality on being abused. Funny how that fits right in with his party platform that being gay can not be inborn, but was forced upon him. Now there is some accountability. His attorney is a joke. Never make a statement without asking yourself the obvious next question. Like when he stated that Foley only contacted the paiges when intoxicated, which meant that he also voted while intoxicated. Didn't they expect those dots to be connected? Your defending him by comparing him to Franks sets the bar pretty low for someone claiming to hold the torch for the moral high ground. We are all "stupider" for having heard your argument.

Cato said...

I am merely stating I read your post but since you said absolutely nothing there is nothing to respond to. Try again.

Boris said...

Cato, Do you deny that your original comment bringing up the Franks issue resembles nothing more than the attempts made by the drudgereport to down play the latest Republican bungle of the day? I have read many of your comments and I thought you were a little above that. One can always find something in history to make a case of "oh yeah, but remember when x did y&z, what about that?" as an attempt to spin perception.
That is what I would call a dumbing down of the responsibility we should expect of each other. Not just politicians. Don't you agree that a path such as that does not square with your platform for life? And saying that all politicians have sold their soul is a huge generalization. If you take that track, you might as well say that all humanity has sold thier soul. I suppose that would include everyone but you.

Fuzz said...

Any person using their position for sexual gain is committing a crime. Whether the act was committed or not, the issue is the use of electronic communication, position, material, and influence.
The concern should not be political party, but victimizing anyone. I would be highly suspect that this act were only committed once. "If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a duck". For the most part Pedophiles are drawn to a specific stimuli (Age, appreance ect....). The same holds true for most serial killers.
Though deceptive, they are predators.
The other point is the willingness of males to come forward. In our society we have much more negative stigma with male victims of sexual assaults. It is very traumatic for any victim of a sexual assault to come forward, and much more so for males.
I don't know that I would deny that "Foley" may also have been a victim at some time, there is some consistency to victims (untreated)becoming victimizers. Ultimately pedofilia is difficult to change, and requires long term therapy.
In the end, there is NO justification to excuse any person based on their party line, or to cover these type of actions up based on ANY PARTY LINE.

Cato said...

Look, all I know for certian is that Franks actually did sleep with a page while Foley fantasized about it, and Franks kept his office. My point here is that so many people (NOT MYSELF) are quick to apoligize for some people and not for others. Clinton, for example, shamed the office of President in his actions, not because of what they were in general but because of what office he held. The office was the power -- power the people underwhelming gave him -- and he abused that for his personal gain. Now Monica may say it was an "adult consensual relationship" but the military does not consider vertical relationships such as that (the man with the most powerful office in the world and his intern is certianlly a vertical relationship) "consensual" since there is power of rank involved.

Similarlly, every page-House of Representative relationship, regardless of the age of the page, has this vertical relationship.

Blow the Rep, get farther in life. Don't? You could get no where in the life of politics. That's not "consensual."

I was not defending Foley in the least. The original posting here seems to want to point the finger at Republicans for being "hypocrites" over this. I waws merely pointing out that "both" parties are terrible.

AndyRand said...

CATO said:

"Firstly, do you mean to imply the Republicans are the "party of moral virtues"? They are politicans and have sold their soul long ago."

They have certainly sold themselve as such to the value voters that are the swing component to make them a majority.

As for bringing up the Franks incident. I think I'm with CATO on this. If what he said is true and he engaged in illegal sexual conduct with a minor but was not forced to resign, there is indeed a double standard. And as CATO points out. Foley never had actual contact, only inappropriate speech.
Don't get me wrong, I'm relishing the GOP imploding at present. But it's not unfair to point out a similar misdeed on the part of a Democrat.

Cato said...

Well, Franks (and the page) claim the page was 18 at the time so "it was okay."

I don't think it was okay because of the power Franks held as opposed to the page. I also think Foley's possible actions as well as his actions regardless were inappropriate and were using his office for personal gain, which is not what these people are sent to Washington to do.

You know what I wouldn't do? I wouldn't hire any of Foley's ex-staffers after this incident. They had to have known. And Hastert's staff -- fire them all Deny, they screwed him over like... oh nevermind.

So, in sum, my complaints are about the relationship with a superior and an inferior and the improper use of the office by whichever elected official you want to point out.

The age is not "so much" of a big thing to me because I find the age of 18 to be too general -- there are 12 year olds with higher maturity levels than 24 year olds. In general most people under the age of say, 25, are not exactly "wise" and I can see why it gives people pause, but I have not talked to this man and I do not know his reasoning capacity, so I can't say really if it was preying on a "child" or not. But I can say it was preying on an inferior by an elected offical. And that is wrong.

Cato said...




AndyRand said...

This has Karl Rove written all over it. Only you'd expect him to come up with this kind of GOP "explaination" much quicker.

Cato Is No God said...

Cato says: "Look, all I know for certain is that Franks actually did sleep with a page while Foley fantasized about it, and Franks kept his office."

Advice to Mr. Cato: Don't be so f*cking "certain" unless you are God - and I think you fall quite short of that standard. Clearly, what Mr. Foley did in Congress with the page-boys over the last 11 years is a secret that has yet to be fully revealed.

Cato said...

I am open to the possibility that he did more; all I know for certian at this point is that he fantasized about it, while Franks actually had sexual relations with at least a page.

Please learn to read. Also, profanity is not appreciated.

Boris said...

Andy, I am amazed that you are siding with cato on his bringing up the Franks issue as a means to downplay Foley. He says it is not his intention but come on. He may be trying to frame the issue and I can understand that, it is just that it sounds like textbook Drudge Report when coming from someone as black and white (except when it suits him to be gray)as cato.

AndyRand said...


ATBL is a place for open discussions and open minds. I think CATO brought up a comparison that is entirely valid, another Congressman who had inappropriate relations with a page. Isn't that the issue here? Are you going to give a Democrat a pass for the same type of misconduct as Foley is being accused of only because he's a Democrat?
I think what has people outraged is Foley's and the Republican's hypocracy of portraying themselves as the family value beacons of Truth and Rightiousness while acting in an
entirely contradictory manner and they deserve every bit of political fallout they are currently receiving.
I don't agree with CATO on much. I find his philosophy of life apalling and anathema to me, but if he presents a comparison that is obviously valid, one's political persuasion shouldn't be used to deny reality. If CATO were bringing this up to promote the Republicans he might be "framing". But CATO has criticized the Republican's almost as much as the Democrats.
I think if the mid term elections were not just on the horizon, this story wouldn't last more than a day.
It is obvious that the current political situation colors the actual deeds emmensly.

666 said...

I don't think Barney Franks gets a free pass. Who was in charge of the House and Senate them? Didn't he face censur and get repremanded?

Foley resigned two hours after the Republican leadership confront him with the details of the e-mails. He didn't have to resign. That was his choice. Obviously, Foley understood who deeply he had penatrated the hypocrisy zone.

fuzz said...

I see in todays paper there are now allegations about Foley back in 1997. Common now, how much denial will there be, lets blindly follow the REPUBLICAN PARTY as does the OTBL, and excuse some ones conduct because a Democrat did it before? The point is this guy apparently did some bad stuff on a consistent basis, and some of his buddies may have covered it up for the sake of THE PARTY, most certainly not for moral reasons. Yet while he was being a bad boy he also was preaching out of the other side of his mouth in opposition to exactly what he was doing!
That doesn't excuse other people, but it does not excuse him either. Sex crimes often are progressive. Take an example of a voyer, there is a frequency of progression from passive fanaticizing, to actually acting out in some manner. Don't think for a moment that if Foley didn't have the opportunity, something wouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, we'll most likley never know.

Cato said...

Ohhh censure I'm shaking I'm so scared. Hold me it's so terrible.

I am framing this issue. Looking back at past precedents, apparently it's okay to have relations with pages, even homosexual relations so long as they are 18. While allegations about other possible pages have come out, there have been no charges filed. Everyone has been so quick to damn this man but there has been no evidence of wrong doing that I have seen. Dirty instant messaging exchanges between two consenting adults and possibly suggestive emails (if you read them from a standpoint of him being a dirty old man) are not against any law I've heard of. Perhaps I'm wrong -- perhaps it is illegal and I can't have dirty internet sex with 18 year olds anymore, and that would be a shame. But doesn't the world's largest superpower have something better to do?

Anonymous said...


I would think your stand would be that it is alright for anybody to have sex with anybody else where ever and whenever they want. That's personal freedom and the pusuit of happiness.

Cato said...


Only if it is mutually consensual and vertical relationships are not.

fuzz said...

Lets see, he has been tracked back to 1997..... Males typically don't report sexual abuse.... He was sending sexually explicit emails while in session... his correspondence was with young males, some possibly under 18.... He was in a position of power.... he was using federally owned electronics????
What did I say about blindly following a party line????
Perhaps Cato, you wish to minimize this, most reasonable people consider this conduct a line that shouldn't be crossed. But then they are only the masses, a unit.
I for one don't care what party he, or anyone else is from, Democrat/Republican.... I don't care, this is disgusting, and I suspect illegal....
As to party affiliation, I vote on candidates, not any one party.

Cato said...

I am not trying to minimize anything. I wouldn't have voted for the man in any event. As I have said repeatedly in this thread his conduct was unbecoming of a gentlemen and -- worse -- an elected offical. He used his power for personal gain and that is wrong. What I was pointing out with the Franks observation is that some people, it seems, feel it's "ok" so long as the magical age of 18 is reached -- which is as "magical" as it is arbitrary. This, like with Franks, like any other sex scandal involving elected officals and their subordinates, is a vertical relationship devoid of consensuality and it is wrong. Of course, that is ASSUMING he actually did something. He should be ashamed of trying to get it but if he never even actually did anything the most we can do is point and say "Oh look a homo! Everyone point and laugh! He's a homo! He's a homo!" Because frankly, that's all that's left in this if indeed all it was was talking dirty to an 18 year old, right? Cuz 18 makes the kid not a child anymore right? A MAN. I don't care if he is a homosexual or not, the part that is wrong here is also not to deal with the age. Even if he had sex with an 18 year old page, the 18 year old is still a page and still his subordinate and THAT is what is wrong.

fuzz said...

Cato; the same case holds for Franks, I agree with you on that.
As for Foley, perhaps I'm more of a skeptic. The man resignes and checks into a treatment facility, says a lot to me. I don't disagree with that particular action, as I suspect that is where he needs to be.

Cato said...

I saw that more of a bunch of bull to try to gain some sympathy on his part. I have some person friends who claim they too were abused in their youth which is why they act like sexual deviants, and maybe that's true, maybe it isn't, but I do know it is no excuse.

"This one guy broke my arm once so it's okay -- well justifies -- that I do it to this other guy".

Uh, what?

Cato said...

'person' should be 'personal'

AndyRand said...

CATO said:

"This, like with Franks, like any other sex scandal involving elected officals and their subordinates, is a vertical relationship devoid of consensuality and it is wrong. Of course, that is ASSUMING he actually did something."

It seems that it is not necessary to "do" anything to be in violation of a law against soliciting a minor. Have you ever seen any of the NBC Dateline reports where they have a group of adults pose as teenagers on the internet and entice (or entrap )
adults to meet with them promising a sexual connection?
As soo as they show up at the house where NBC is waiting for them , as well as the police, they are arrested.
As an asside: NBC must be getting really good rating on this kind of
"report" because they must have aired it 10-15 times, or more.
Just by coincidence, another report like this was aired tonight.

Cato said...

Well was there actually soliciting of a minor? It remains to be seen.

I am not a fan of laws that punish people's "intents" -- intents that we can only guess at. Intent doesn't matter. What you DID is what matters.

If there was solicitation of a minor, and it is indeed illegal, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I won't defend his actions in the least.

AndyRand said...

CATO said:

"I am not a fan of laws that punish people's "intents" -- intents that we can only guess at. Intent doesn't matter. What you DID is what matters."

I agree, it's not just to punish intent. But if authorities can't do anything until a crime is committed, there is no real protection or prevention of crime.

Cato said...

The government is not your bodygaurd, for many reasons, one being it's nearly impossible. We can't protect people in prison from other prisoners, and, while it is a large number of people who are there who apparently don't have problems with violating other people's rights (and such concentrations would not be in society in general), even in a society of a true Big Brother the government could not prevent all crime. You are the person responsible for your own saftey.

The preventive measure the government offers is fear of the law.

Ever read or see Minority Report? It's still a choice at the very end, seconds before you pull the trigger or whatever you plan on doing. We can only guess what that choice would have been. We can be fairly certian, but not sure.

Anonymous said...


if authorities can't do anything until a crime is committed, there is no real protection or prevention of crime.

Andy this the point I made to a previous point. The protective side of governmetn is usually post de facto. Government prevention is a fairy tale.

Protection and prevention is best accomplished at the closest point of the source, the individual. Yet you still believe the answer to all problems is bigger and bigger government and its corollary of less individual rights.

The state of mankind has never fared for the better under the auspices of the state and never will.

AndyRand said...

I am not really an advocate for bigger
government but rather effective government. What we are agreeing to is that often times law enforcement cannot act until a crime is committed.
But isn't the presence of law enforcement and the knowledge that if a crime in commited in the proximity of law enforcement a stiff penalty will occer a deterent to crime?

I think a better example is Government inspection of food.
When I was a kid I never remember hearing of food poisoning out breaks of like we have today. The USDA has been decimated since the Reagan years in favor of "self inspection". I think just the fear of fines for non-compliance to health safety standards is a deterant to becoming lax in sanitary standards. I think food inspection by an entity that does not have a financial stake in stopping production for health reasons is a better solution than self inspection. So in this case the private entity is more likely to be lax and look the other way if problems show up.

Cato said...

One of the few things governmentshould to is uphold the law and punish criminals. But it is impossible to prevent all crime or much crime at all.

As for the USDA... a finaincial stake like being sued for putting out a product advertised as safe, and the loss of buisness from the publicity? That's enough for me.

Back to Foley, I thought it was funny how he immediatley did whatever things possible to place blame on others like his dad and booze.

Cato said...

Opps, can't delete. I meant to say "priest and booze."

AndyRand said...


"As for the USDA... a finaincial stake like being sued for putting out a product advertised as safe, and the loss of buisness from the publicity? That's enough for me"

I think law suits rarely bring justice and for sure never undo preventable harms. Besides the inflict incredible stress and hardship on all parties involved. The only winners are the lawyers. For this instance a return to the 1776 era may be in order recalling Franklin's quote that "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
CATO, you opted for law suits numerous times in these conversations. Do you have a stake in promoting them?

Cato said...

I saw two days ago this news item:


What about the company? They voluntarilly surrendered to the government's recall since otherwise it would look bad. But the government just cost them a bunch of money.

What happens now? Should the government pay restitution? Should I be paying for meat I (or anyone!) did not eat?

AndyRand said...

The link no longer has the story you seem to be referring to.
If you're talking about the voluntary recall of lettuce, I did see that and commend the company for doing the recall. However, there is incredible tempation to take a chance that there was no contamination to the actual product. Self policing only works for those with the highest ethical standards. You only need to browse your spam folder to find the hundreds if not thousands of companies that come nowhere near that level of ethics.

Cato said...

No, it was of meat. Since then they have tested the meat and nothing was wrong with it. THe company was out the money for 5,200 lbs of meat.

The linkis also here, and it worked:


The government forced them to either loose money by the threat of the (illegal) USDA's recall or they made us all poorer by giving them restitution for their loss. Either way, that's money that was just plain lost, for no good reason.

AndyRand said...


Out of 300 Million people in the U.S.
probably 1/2 of which pay federal taxes. HOw much poorer are you and I because of this incident. It's an insignificant amount. Perhaps you are right about the government over reacting in this incident. But would you like to be the one who purchased a tainted burger in Wisconsin if it had e-coli?
You naturally pick examples of waste like this because it supports your point of view.
Why is it that you are not bothered by other waste such as the TSA having to scrap a multi million dollar computer system to track terrorists because it just never worked. Or mercenaries (private contractors) driving empty trucks around Iraq to "earn" an outrageous per mile rate for Halliburton?
Or hiring Debold, a company with extraordinary ties to the Bush administration to design and build electronic voting machines with no paper trail?
A misstep in protecting our food source seems quite minor to me in relation to all the other waste that is occuring.

Cato said...

I don't know how you call electronic voting with no paper waste "wasteful", but okay. I am against government waste in general -- even if it is within the realm of their legal actions -- but I am against illegal government entites being wasteful even more. In this case, the USDA was wrong and lost money for 5,200lbs of meat. The threat of lawsuits is what should keep them in line. The threat of people not buying their product would do so. The government does not need to play nanny, and it is unconstitutional for them to do it and on top of that, they don't even do it well.

So we have an illegal irresponsible government agency that I will criticize.

Instead of bringing up fallacies by saying "why don't you criticize so and so?" (why do you assume I have not, by the way?) you should try to you know, make a reasoned argument as to how in the hell the USDA is legal.

I would like to point out that you say halfd of Americans pay income taxes.

That isn't fair. At all.

If there are to be income taxes, I suggest a flat % tax across the board, so that the poorest and richest pay equal amounts. That prevents what happens now: when less than half of the people pay income taxes the voters vote in a party that wants to raise taxes. Why? Because the voters are voting in a party that will take from the productful to give to the social ballast. It is disequally applying the law and it is morally abhorrent. At least with a flat percentage income tax it does not discourage productfulness as the current setup does.

"Tax cuts for the rich" is the EXACT same thing in this country as saying "tax cuts for tax payers."

Alice said...


Why would you call the USDA illegal?

The USDA makes sure the meat we eat is safe. The milk is not contaminated. The spinac h doesn't kill us. The eggs we eat don't have feathers in them.

Sure it's acting a Big Mother. In case you haven't noticed, less than 4 percent of the 300 million Americans live on farmers. The USDA is a buffer for our agriculatural ignorance.

Of course, big corporate farms have pumped lots of money into the pockets of our state politicians and the local municipalities can't fight the building of corporate farmers in the townships. The allows big business to pump concentrated loads of cow shit and piss into aquafiers. This of course would be good because it helps big business and we all know big business is looking out for everyone of use in the true free market sense.

Remember there is the guiding hand of capitalism and the intimates there is another hand. What do you think that hand is doing?

Cato said...

It is illegal because there is no authorization for it in the Constitution. Regulating interstate trade comes close, but monitoring the quality of products has never been thought of as "regulating interstate trade." They are conserned about quantity for tax purposes.

It is big brother. To an extreme. They are deciding what is good and isn't good for us to eat. I'll make my own decisions thank you.

As for corporate farmers, I'm in favor of ending all farm subsides and the artifical prices the government creates.

Alice said...


What other things does our government do that are not in the Constitution? You seem to be anal retentive when in a Conctitutional sense. Are you saving that all the laws coming after the signing of the Constitution are illegal? YOu seem to be someone who doesn't like to follow the rules. Where I'm from, we call those kind of people outlaws.

AndyRand said...

CATO said:
Instead of bringing up fallacies by saying "why don't you criticize so and so?" (why do you assume I have not, by the way?) you should try to you know, make a reasoned argument as to how in the hell the USDA is legal.

Do you want to have a discussion or do you want to prove how right you are all the time?
Please don't tell me what arguement to make, and how to make it.
As far as the USDA being legal, that's a moot point they are operating they obviously have power to enforce laws, in my book that makes them legal. You are one of a handful of people arguing about them not being legal and if you are that serious about it take it to the courts and see if you will win.
If you want an opinion on the constitution that really matters
try this one, it will anger and astound you:

If your goal is to argue about the constitutionality of every government agency in existence, I'm not interested in wasting my time. Your mind is set in concrete on that ,there is no point.
On a different matter. I heard a promo for a TV news story that I'm sure I'd side with you on. Outdoor smoking bans. Unfortunately I nodded off before I heard the details. I find this to be an extreme intrusion on liberty and I'm not or never have been a smoker.
Finally, I asked:
"why don't you criticize so and so?"
because I never hear you criticize the issues I mentioned earlier. It's obvious that the USDA irritates you more than the corporate welfare doled out to Haliburton.

Cato said...

No Alice, not all laws that came after the Constitution are illegal. That's a very silly statement to make. The Constitution's purpose was to set boundries for the scope of the government.

Why set up a government with a certain scope if no one respects that? If I'm "anal retentive" in pointing out the government is acting illegally then so be it, for if there is no respect for the Constitution there is no respect for the reasoning behind it, that of the reasoned rights of the individual.

Andy, you say that so long as the agency is operating it is legal. W-o-w. Let me ask you this: does the document known as the Constitution matter to you at all?

Cato said...

Also, if I am pointing out the government doesn't like to follow it's own rules, if I am right that makes THEM the "outlaws". And since health regualtions are obviously extra-Constitutional, in this specific case and in other cases, I am correct. I am not an "outlaw" for claiming and showing that the government is acting illegally.

AndyRand said...

CATO said:
"Andy, you say that so long as the agency is operating it is legal. W-o-w. Let me ask you this: does the document known as the Constitution matter to you at all?"

Well let's see. From what I understand it's the United States Supreme Court not the CATO Court of opinion that determines the constitutionality of legislation and even exectutive actions like the Bush detainee program.

For example:

President Bush has yet to sign into law Congress's new terror-detainee legislation, but defense lawyers are already asking federal judges to strike down key parts of the measure as unconstitutional.

Two suits were filed this week in US District Court here. At issue: Whether the new antiterror legislation retroactively strips the courts of jurisdiction to hear detainee cases, and if so, would that amount to an unconstitutional suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

Lawyers rushed to file suit before the measure, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, was signed into law.
So, here we have a challenge to the constitutionality of pending legislation. Do the opponents to pending legislation post on some blog site that the legislation is illegal and unconstituional and therefore it is? NO, they file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of key provisions of the pending legislation in federal court.

Now I ask you, are there law suits file challenging the consitutionality of the USDA inspecting the nations food supply?
I doubt it. So when you go around claiming that some activity or agency is engaging in their duties illegally and unconstitutionally what authority are you citing? The CATO Court of Privite Constitutional Interpretation?
If you truely belief all the activities you site as unconstitutional are truly unconstitutional then why not file suit and challege them in the courts instead of making statements on a blog feining the absolute correctness of you position?
So yes the Constitution means something to me but I trust the institutions established to determing compliance with the Constitution like the United States Supreme Court more than your opinion.

Cato said...


I won't make one more opinion about the Constitutionality of an issue if you can show me in the Constitution where it says the Supreme Court can decide the Constitutionality of an issue.


It doesn't?

Just because you like the idea of someone else taking care of you doesn't mean we all do Andy. Just because you like the idea that other people are smarter than you and can make sure everything is fine doesn't mean we all think that way Andy.

The USDA's various programs have been challenged but it has not itself. Unfourtently, the people have acquiesced to the Supreme Court's usurptation of the power from the people to void unconstitutional law. I would be pained to find standing on the issue, as taxpayers are not allowed standing soley because they are having their money taken from them to be spent on unconstitutional programs. I think if I am robbed I should have standing on the issue, but hey, I'm not the Supreme Court right?

The Supreme Court has NEVER been wrong. They Are ALWAYS right. All praise be the Supreme Court, keepers of the Constitution, for only they know the TRUTH behind it, whatever they choose it to be.

AndyRand said...

Article III

Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

I'm sure you'll INTERPRET this to mean something that suits your point of view.
My my CATO, you are certainly adament about being robbed.

You say: "I'm not the Supreme Court right?"

RIGHT you are not!!

All praise be to CATO The soverign interpreter of Constitutionality for the Ages.
Give me a break CATO. I have to say that statements like the previous do make you sound like you're full of yourself. I know no one claims to be smarter and wiser than those who are probably some of the most outstanding legal minds in the country (with the exception of Clerance Thomas who was appointed by a bigger fool ).

As I said waaaay back, I'm not a Constitutional expert, nor do I pretend to be one. If you say you are right about the Constitution so be it. That said. I'm certain I'll never see the day when you view of the Constitution will become established in law. I can sleep well knowing that fact.

Cato said...

That's it, make fun of the darkie! Make sure he knows his place!

I am not the end all interpretor, but neither is the court. That is all. Since it is not a power given (you could have at least quoated the case where they made up the power, not the Constitution which is mute on the subject) it is reserved by the people. Such a power would be too strong for one branch to have, and, indeed, it is. I suggest the other branches need to take heart and follow Jackson's lead and ignore the krytocracy. At least we can vote them out.

The way I veiw the Constitution is this: each part of the Constitution means the same thing as it did to everyone the day it was ratified. It's a quite simple view actually. No need to bend laws for find "penumbras" or whathave you. Just straightforwardness that can't be bucked by opinion. Scalia has had this view for quite some time, and some people thought the new orientation of the court was a "Return of Federalism." Alas, so far it has not been much, as just a few cases have really been that way (Voilence against women act overturned and violence in schools (can't recall the name of the act) overturned because it's not the Federal Government's buisness as in it isn't within the scope of the Constitution). But have heart, Roberts and Alito are there to kick some ass. Maybe one day there will be a return to interpretation by the people themselves but that involves greater civic awareness and a host of other things that will probabbly never happen. At least in the interim the Court is moving towards a view that the Constitution means something (aka, the view of "CATO The soverign interpreter of Constitutionality for the Ages")

AndyRand said...


Playing the race card? I had more esteem for you than to expect that.
Let's be honest, did you name Thomas as your favorite justice? At least Roberts and Alito are legal intellectuals. I'd even say the same for Bork but not Thomas, and race has nothing to do with it.

"No need to bend laws for find "penumbras" or whathave you."

I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to but I'm assuming it's discovering "rights" that are not deliniated in the Constitution.
I would even agree with you that former courts have abused this and twisted the Contitution into something it was not originally meant to be. But I don't believe that we can revert back absolutely to it's meaning the day it was ratified in the sense that there are issues that arise today that were unfathomable in that day. So my opinion for the little it is worth is some interpretation must be allowed but should be limited.

CATO, you realize debating the Constitution with me must be tantamount to shooting ducks in a barrel or batting against the littel league. I've said before this is not my area of expertise while obviosly it is yours. I am sincerely impressed with you knowledge of the subject but just can't agree with the outcomes of your reasoning.

Also you stumped me. Never heard of a krytocracy? Does it have to do with being appointed for life?

Cato said...

I'm merely trying to edjumacate the masses. A "krytocracy" is rule by judges. The "penumbras" I am refering to are the different aspects of privacy that the founders sought to restrict government from meddling with that somehow created an overarching right to "privacy" whatever that may mean. Had the people who wrote and ratified the Constitution wanted such a thing, they would have wrote and ratified such a thing. They did not.

As for Thomas, he is not a stupid person, although his arguments are that of "original intent" which cannot be determined. By looking into what the law meant at it's time of adoption, we find what the law means today. Not what those who wrote it wanted it to mean (Hugo Black used intent to argue for the complete application of the Bill of Rights against the states, so it's not his own backward thinking. Many judges use it even though it is, in reality, undeterminable). He has written many opinons and dissents for the court and I have read many of them myself. He does not come across as the rube or lawn-boy his enemies protray him as.

Cato said...

WHOA owner approval again?

AndyRand said...


I don't think I said Thomas was stupid, just not one of the greatest legal minds of the day. ( I could say less about myself).
Though I enjoy our arguments/discussions, Really, I don't know as much about Constitutional Law as you and don't have the same intense interest. I'm
not really qualified as I said before perhaps there's a more worthy opponent for you in that arena.

"By looking into what the law meant at it's time of adoption, we find what the law means today. Not what those who wrote it wanted it to mean "
Can we really fully understand what the law meant at the time? Perhaps in most cases, but I think we are limited being products of our age just as the founders were products of their's.

I think comment moderation was turned on because of an unruly interloper on another post.