No when you have 1.15 billion dollars in settlement money to ask questions about. In the original lawsuit to which Mrs. Sherrod was a participant, there were roughly 27,000 black farm familes in the US...but the lawsuit of Pigford vs Vilsack has already paid out over 16,000 claims while,
Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
- Was Ms. Sherrod's USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization's settlement?
- How much "debt forgiveness" is involved in USDA's settlement with New Communities?
- Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in "pain and suffering" payments -- amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
- Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?
- Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
- Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
- Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?
The media and the blogosphere shouldn't be so quick to forget about Shirley Sherrod.
Members of Congress may approve another $1.15 billion this week to settle cases from what some estimate may be an additional 80,000 African-Americans who have also claimed to have been discriminated against by USDA staff.
Ummm...if there were 27,000 black farm famers in the US in 1998, when the original lawsuit was filed, where did the additional 53,000 people come from? Just a few more trying to suck off of Uncle Sam's hind tit?