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Oprah's couch, WikiLeaks and the USDA's farmer lawsuits

Roll out the red tape — and possibly the red carpet. Roll it right up to the USDA collection booth and let the compensation flow. Better yet, dump all that charity in a trough and let the feast commence.

Alas, cruel reality. Indian farmers, the latest minority producers to sue USDA for discrimination, aren’t quite at the cash stage of their successful suit against the USDA. For them, the waiting game for payment has just begun. Slow train indeed, but no worries, it’ll be laden with booty as it comes around the bend.

With approximately a year before the Indian payments spill out, other minority farmer suits are churning along — clogging the payout queue outside USDA’s front door. With scarcely time for the dust to settle from the black farmer suit (Pigford v. Glickman), which preceded the Indian suit, USDA’s high wire act continues with separate blocks of women and Hispanic farmers jostling for a piece of the pie — a mammoth pie indeed.

The sequence of discriminatory farmer suits is numbing — and the USDA is seemingly closing the door on each with a whimper, certainly not a bang. With billions of dollars likely to fly out of the U.S. Treasury, USDA has yet to reprimand or fire the myriad employees requisitely involved. USDA’s silence is deafening as questions are mounting.

With the scope of claimants involved, it’s difficult to grasp the level of discrimination being asserted. Surely somewhere there must be a cast of villains yet to be dragged to center stage  — or at least to Oprah’s couch. It would certainly make the cases look more respectable. What a delightful scene: the band of bigots lined up on the empress dowager’s sofa, armed with tissues and nose rags.

Kinda warming to think USDA would have the U.S. public believe that the entire guilty gang could fit on a single piece of furniture.

Ahhhhhh wait, forget empress Oprah; possibly Julian Assange will throw us a bone. Maybe his doomsday WikiLeak file contains the list of USDA supremacists?

So come on then, let’s have’em. Give us the legion list of lawbreakers. It can’t make the scene anymore bizarre than it already is. The list could read off like characters in a Monty Python skit — and it still couldn’t take away from the surreal nature surrounding these suits. Rumor is the Hispanic farmers are going to demand payment in Kruggerands.

Culpability has either flown the coop or been escorted (by persons unknown) to other sectors of government. No doubt Charlie Rangel is kicking himself for not hiring the Pigford lawyers.

Give us the list of miscreants. Where’s our pound of flesh when we need it?

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