Patterico's Pontifications


Stop Pigford Fraud! Interview with Rep. Steve King & How You Can Stop The Fraud In Under 5 Minutes

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 7:02 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

Here’s a chance to stop the Pigford fraud in its tracks – Rep. Steve King (R – IA) has introduced an amendment to halt Pigford Funding. This is about the multi-billion dollar “Black Farmers Settlement” that we’ve been exposing as a fraud for over six months at

The last time that King tried to introduce a bill to stop Pigford II funding last year, he was blocked by the Democrat controlled congress and it wasn’t allowed to come up for a vote. Now we have a chance to do the right thing and end the fraud.

Exclusive Interview With Rep. Steve King

How to help stop Pigford fraud in less than five minutes

You can make a difference, right now – this is a vote we can win.

You just need to make 4 quick calls, visit one site and then send and email or a Tweet.

  1. Call your Congressman and tell them you support Rep. Steve King’s amendment to stop Pigford II funding. This is especially important if you have a GOP Congressman.
    Not sure who your Congressperson is or how to teach them? Use this website.
  2. Call Republican Leadership and tell them you support Steve King’s amendment to stop Pigford II funding.
    1. John Boehner, Speaker of the House: 202-225-6205
    2. Eric Cantor, Majority Leader : 202-225-2815
    3. Kevin McCarthy, GOP Whip : 202-225-2915
  3. Sign the petition – it only takes a few seconds. Click here to read and sign.
  4. Tell a friend – Tweet, like on Facebook or email a link to this page.

Do it right now – the vote is in the morning. Just leave a message. for your Congressman.

Want more information on Pigford? Share with your friends…

Michele Bachmann speaking at our Pigford Press conference earlier this year; you’ll notice farmer Eddie Slaughter in the background:

Andrew Breitbart debating Pigford lead attorney Al Pires on John Stossel :

An interview with Georgia farmer Luscious Abrams, talking about the Pigford Settlement and how it’s hurt the real black farmers:


A short expose about “Dr.” John Boyd, one of the people behind Pigford II – you’ve got to see this to believe it:

A rough cut of the opening of the documentary Pigford Blues :

– Lee Stranahan

King Files Amendment to Block Pigford II Funds

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 3:24 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

Update: I put up a petition here – please take 10 seconds to sign it.

Just got this press release…this is a big deal; it’s chance to stop the fraudulent Pigford II funding. I’ll have more information later but the short version is – contact your Congressman!

More on this later…

Congressman King’s amendment to Agriculture Appropriations bill protects taxpayers from additional exposure to Pigford fraud

Washington D.C.- Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement after filing an amendment today to H.R 2112, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012, that prevents any funds appropriated under the act from being used to settle claims associated with the controversial and fraud-plagued Pigford II program.

"In the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress limited taxpayers’ exposure to the Pigford IIsettlement program at $100 million, a figure that was deemed sufficient to resolve the racial discrimination claims leveled against the United States Department of Agriculture by black farmers," said King. "Since that time, a lame-duck Democratic Congress agreed to President Obama’s request to pump an additional $1.15 billion into the Pigford II settlement program, doing so even though the program is rife with credible allegations of massive fraud that have not been fully investigated. This was an irresponsible act, and it violated Congress’s responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money."

"The new majority in the House of Representatives should not ratify the lame-duck Congress’s decision to increase American taxpayers’ exposure toPigford II fraud. I believe that an investigation into the program will reveal that the majority of the claims that have been filed are fraudulent, and Congress should not turn a blind eye to the real possibility that the money is being used primarily to build political goodwill for the President instead of being used to properly redress the much smaller universe of people who have actually suffered harm. If passed, my amendment would put the brakes on Pigford IIfunding, and it would prevent the Secretary of Agriculture from paying fraudulent claims one $50,000 check at a time."

– Lee Stranahan

Boehner: The War in Libya is About to Become Illegal

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:32 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Of course if you have followed my view on the subject, you would know I said it was illegal from day one.  I supported the idea, policy-wise, of doing something there.  We had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to kick that dictator and terrorist down.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to start a war, and one of the wrong ways is by unilateral presidential action.

If you don’t believe me, ask Senator Obama:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

And the fact that Obama once stated what is obvious—that the President cannot start a war without Congress’ approval*–transforms this into a willful violation of Obama’s oath of office to uphold the constitution.  He is not merely ignorant in doing this, but acting with full knowledge that it is unconstitutional.

And this business about 60 days, 90 days, is bull anyway.  The War Powers Act doesn’t allow you to make war at all, unless we  are attacked (or faced with an imminent attack).  (And don’t say the War Powers Act is unconstitutional because the Constitution provides even less support for this action.)

So we see that yesterday, Congressman Boehner sent a letter pointing out that the President had until Sunday to finally comply with the War Powers Act.  How much Boehner will respond if Obama blows him off is an open question.  I for one hope he finally does something, even if it’s three months too late.

And isn’t it nice to have a story where we are not talking about a representative whose name is a homophone for a part of the male anatomy?  You know like Obama, Rep. Boehner and…  ah crap.

Joking aside, another development is the filing of a federal suit challenging the war itself.  Now, there might be a serious problem in dealing with this suit under what is known at the political question doctrine—I frankly will have to brush up on that area of law before I can tell if there is a problem or not.   But for what it is worth, here is the complaint.  No, I am not thrilled to find myself on the same side of an issue as Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, but you know what they say about broken clocks, right?  And right is right, no matter who your allies might be.


* Starting a war is distinct from fighting a war that has already been started.  Thus if we are attacked by another nation, I don’t believe any declaration of war is technically necessary in order to make it lawful for the President to command our forces to fight back, because whether Congress chooses to acknowledge it or not, if we are attacked, we are in a state of war with another nation.  Still it is worth noting that both FDR and George W. Bush still sought Congressional approval before going to war, even after we were attacked.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Edwards’ Mug Shot

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:51 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

If you are hoping to see a broken man, you will be disappointed.  I am frankly a little surprised at how nice he looks in the pic.

Via Cnn.

But at the risk of going all Althouse on this, look at the image on the left.  First, how strange is it to smile for a mugshot?  I would be curious how often Patrick sees that reaction.  And am I the only one who finds that smile very forced and very thin?

The report also states:

A plea deal between the two-time presidential candidate and the U.S. Justice Department fell apart over the the Department’s requirement that Edwards serve jail time. Wanting to have “minimal” impact on his two younger children, the former senator refused to agree.

Hey, if you didn’t want to hurt your younger kids, Senator, maybe you should have waited until your wife was dead before dating other women.

Just a thought…

Update: In comments, ras links to this mugshot by another politician [link removed due to malware concerns] where the guy is smiling and Robin links another pick by a politician, speculating that this might be a politician thing, to smile in your mugshot.  Maybe so, but still it gives me the willies.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Where / Who Are Betty, Veronica or Patriot?

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 10:10 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

One of the strangest aspects of the #Weinergate story is that they are three people that are fairly central to the story that nobody seems to be able to locate. Neither the prescient Weiner-obsessed whistleblower PatriotUSA76, nor the two high school girls named “Betty and Veronica” in Tommy Christopher’s original piece reporting on the two.

I’ve discussed the situation with Patriot a number of times, so the update is – still, nobody seems to have ever spoken to them on the phone. Nobody knows who they are and there are contradictions in their story.

I had reporters calling me all weekend to try and find Betty and Veronica. These are people from major press organizations with big resources behind them. No sign of Betty or Veronica. Tommy Christopher says he spoke to Betty’s Mom on the phone and did other things to confirm their identities and it would be a fatal career move to just lie about that, so it’s hard to believe that that’s what happened. On the other hand, nobody else has seen this proof as far as I know (perhaps Colby Hall, the managing editor?) and Tommy has been very belligerently defensive about his reporting. And again, reporters have put dozens of hours into searching records and knocking on door with no trace.

Significantly, Betty seems to be connected at least four people central to Weinergate – Weiner followed her, she talked on Twitter with stripper @GingerLee, Betty contacted the 17 year old girl in Delaware, and she had some interactions with PatriotUSA76. It also seems like @GennetteC knew about her.

It’s weird and it’s weird in a way that’s not normal, either. When else has this happened? I can’t remember another story with 3 (or more, really) phantom people. The fact that Weiner is guilty of doing what Patriot long suspected him of doing makes it more weird, not less weird.

And no, they don’t all seem to be the same person. For one thing, Patriot is clearly anti-Weiner and Betty and her Mom (also MIA) are very pro-Weiner. I honestly just don’t know what’s going on. Maybe it will be a simple answer. The basic issue of identity shouldn’t be tricky. I’d prefer that.

– Lee Stranahan

In Which I Actually Don’t Know Who to Root For…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:28 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: Hat tip to Scott Jacobs, even though he just called me a dork.

Via TMZ we learn that fame seeker Gloria Allred is going to give a press conference with Ginger Lee about her relationship with the Weiner.  You might remember that Ginger Lee…

…has already been outed as one of Weiner’s online girlfriends. That will be at 12:30 p.m. and I will… not be covering it.  But I might look in afterward to see if anything interesting came out.

By the way, this is going to take place at the Friar’s Club, which I believe is the same one famous for its celebrity roasts.  Which is oddly appropriate if I am right.

But for now enjoy Norm MacDonald ridiculing Allred for her awkward bat demonstration:

So as you can see, Allred can handle uncomfortable sexual material with tact and class and we can expect a similar degree of class this afternoon.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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