War Pigfords

The New York Times – the apogee of American journalism, yessirreebob – has reported that a government program started under the Clinton Administration to settle discrimination claims by black farmers in dealings with the Agriculture Department was rife with fraud.

It started out as a small, measured payout.   The Justice Department thought it might wind up costing less than they’d feared.

They were wrong.

On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling, interviews and records show, the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court.

The deal, several current and former government officials said, was fashioned in White House meetings despite the vehement objections — until now undisclosed — of career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination. What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.

“I think a lot of people were disappointed,” said J. Michael Kelly, who retired last year as the Agriculture Department’s associate general counsel. “You can’t spend a lot of years trying to defend those cases honestly, then have the tables turned on you and not question the wisdom of settling them in a broad sweep.”

You haven’t seen me say this often on this blog, but read the whole NYTimes piece.

And then ask yourself – where have you seen it before?

Oh, yeah – Andrew Breitbart covered it.

Two years ago.

And the paid leftymedia – led by Soros’ pet reporterettes at Media Matters – has spent the entire time since claming it was a symbol of conservative racism.

19 thoughts on “War Pigfords

  1. Sweet, you hit the trifecta: blacks, fraud and the NYT.

    Speaking of sweet, U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. The U.S. sugar system is essentially a Soviet-style control on production and dates back to the pre-1800’s. The sugar-subsidy costs U.S. families about $2 billion annually

    These “subsidies” are the result what Congress sets in the farm bill. But like most subsidies, and U.S. agricultural policy more broadly, the program benefits the few at the expense of everyone else. Each year, the federal government bestows $25 billion in handouts on the farm industry. Most of it goes to large agribusinesses and farmers who on average earn much more than the average American.

    Take your pick; 1.33b in “fraud” or the 25b pr/yr in waste, fraud and abuse administered by Congress.


  2. good going Emery, first thing Monday morning you trot out the old tried but true “moral equivalence” argument.
    So should I assume that you don’t want anyone to address the Pigford reparations scheme until the sugar subsidy/farm bill is dealt with to everyone’s satisfaction or does that have to wait on the necessary modifications that are required to clean up Defense Procurement which are dependent upon cleaning up the mess in the Education Department which in turn must wait until HUD is fixed?

  3. Em, we would be better off if the Dept. of Ag and every thing it did was abolished, at least at the Federal level. FDR era programs didn’t work well then and they are even worse now.

  4. Congratulations Mitch! You got a shallow intellect to question Ag Subsidies. Mainly so he could take a shot at you on the race component of the story, but still.
    For his next feat, our low information friend will quibble with why milk prices are based on policy established in 1949 and depend on proximity to Vermont. Or why the government still pays farmers to grow tobacco.
    Also, Emery – thanks for reminding about the best part of white priviledge as noted by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal: “To be white in America is to have the privilege of being able to define one’s political identity in terms of one’s own superiority, whether real or imagined, over other members of one’s own race.”

  5. PS: “Take your pick; 1.33b in “fraud” or the 25b pr/yr in waste, fraud and abuse administered by Congress.”
    I pick, both! And all.
    At the same time how about we do away with subsidies for people who live in areas prone to flooding* due to the fact that they built right on the river. Make them self insure their million dollar waterfront properties instead of taxpayers picking up the tab every few years.
    *Also applies to areas prone to hurricane damage due to the fact that they allowed buildings to be built right on the ocean.

  6. This whole ‘Pigsford’ thing is a distraction. What the American people are focused on, like “laser beams”, isn’t jobs and the economy, or terrorism, it’s:
    -Amnesty for illegal aliens
    -Providing contraception for underage seventeen-round pistol magazines.
    Dare you refute my thesis? I think not!!

  7. Last month…..visiting relatives in Wisconsin. Read through their small town weekly paper. Big notice in it. “Last chance for black, female, Latino, Native American farmers to file claims”.

    Nothing wrong with what the paper did. They are just reporting the notice for free money.

  8. How a Republican decides who to vote for: We look at how to deal with a nuclear Iran. A poor ecomony. A messed up tax code. Reducing massive gov’t waste and fraud. Stopped terrorism. Create sustainable growth. Help businesses, large and small, grow wealth. Solve health care problems in a way that actually works for everyone. Find a solution to massive unfunded mandates that will bankrupt the country.

    Who a Democrats decides who to vote for? Who will give me free birth control pills. And promote genderless marriage.

  9. /”Amnesty for illegal aliens”/

    That reminds me of nothing so much as the states who blame all of their social ills on illegal immigrants from Mexico. Migration takes initiative and courage. Whenever this has been studied, it is found that people migrate towards opportunity (jobs and pay), not towards social welfare. Leaving home and family costs people far more than any government is going to give them in sociall programs in a new state. Migrants always produce more and take less than the natives, no matter how much they are resented and discriminated against.

  10. Migration takes initiative and courage.
    And you are not emigrating? Why? “Initiative and courage” are not, in themselves, virtues. Being a mobster requires initiative and courage.
    “Migrants always produce more and take less than the natives, no matter how much they are resented and discriminated against.”
    Unfortunately for the would-be migrants, this country belongs to the natives, and they can choose to reduce or eliminate immigration for any reason they damn well choose.

  11. I’ve got a great idea.
    Since human beings are essentially just units of economic activity, let’s replace all of our over-65’s with imported old people from mexico. They’ll be happy to get far less from social security than our current crop of lazy, pampered retirees. It’s really no different than importing immigrants to undercut the wages of our least skilled workers.

  12. It’s ironic that the US, which succeeded in the 20th century in exporting its language and culture throughout the world beyond the dreams of any of its imperial predecessors (including the UK), is fearful of the encroachment of other cultures. The dominant US culture has in fact been encroached upon and changed many times in the US’s short history by waves of immigrants. Every large wave of immigrants has had to adapt to American norms, and in response, American norms have had to adjust in generally small ways. Most people would admit under close questioning that those myriad adjustments have improved the US, but we still feel insecure. Probably it is because we lack deep cultural roots. Change may improve a country, but change is never welcome, even when change is the norm.

  13. Emery, the period when the U.S. was ‘exporting its culture around the world’ was the period when the U.S. was not permitting many immigrants (1922-1965).
    This was also a period when the U.S. culture was very self-confidant.
    Common sense is not ‘fearful of encroachment by other cultures’. It’s common sense.

  14. When a relative got out of the peace corp in 1989, he brought his new wife — a foreign national — with him. Because this relative did not have a job lined up when he returned to the United States, immigration refused to let his wife into the U.S. until someone — it turned out to be me — was willing to sponsor her.
    There were documents to fill out. Immigration got all my financials and they made it very clear to me that, if my relative’s wife became a public charge, I would be reimbursing the government for every penny she got.
    Twenty-four years later they hand out public assistance, no questions asked, all so Tyson Chicken can improve its bottom line.
    !@#$% Tyson Chicken. This is insane.

  15. “Leaving home and family costs people far more than any government is going to give them in sociall programs in a new state.”

    Pffft. It’s clear our pointy headed lefty dimwit never travels outside whatever bubble zone he inhabits. No one’s leaving family anywhere…sooner (than) later, every Greyhound busload of Chitown immigrants is followed by another chock full of the kith and kin, all their baby momma’s and homies.

    Catch a clue, fool.

  16. I think that I am far more knowledgable about the topic of immigration than you are, Emery.
    You seem to simply be echoing whatever the libertarians from Reason have been saying on the topic — and that is ideological and utterly divorced from reality.
    I have never met a person in favor of amnesty who was threatened by wage competition from the beneficiaries of amnesty.
    The people of this country have tried to set an orderly immigration policy. The laws have been ignored by the political class because, frankly, they would like to change the demographics of the country to suit their own needs.

  17. Terry, you are mistaken if you thought my 10:41 comment was directed towards you. It was not.

    What Swiftee alleges is boilerplate right wing hysteria, fueled largely by racism, and perhaps somewhat by other cultural prejudices. Most of his comment is essentially a children’s rant against people he doesn’t like, and to whom he ascribes quite a few negative characteristics without, of course, any supporting evidence at all.

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