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Friday, Feb 24, 2006, 7:57 am

Bill Moyers: Cheney, Medicare, Right-wing corruption and more

By Tracy Van Slyke

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The amazing Bill Moyers is traveling across California with the great group Public Campaign, where he has given an elegant speech on issues including Dick Cheney's hunting accident, links between Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist and more from the right-wing cult, to a reminder that Bush has had his own "K Street Project" in the Pioneer and Rangers program. Below are some brief snippets from his speech. Read the full text here.

"It is a Dick Cheney world out there – a world where politicians and lobbyists hunt together, dine together, drink together, play together, pray together and prey together, all the while carving up the world according to their own interests. "

[On the Medicare bill:] "There are no victimless crimes in politics. The price of corruption is passed on to you. What came of all these shenanigans was a bill that gave industry what it wanted and gave taxpayers the shaft. The bill covers only a small share of drug expenses. It has a major gap in coverage – the so-called 'donut hole.' It explicitly forbids beneficiaries from purchasing private coverage to fill in the gap and explicitly forbids the federal government from bargaining for lower drug prices. More than one consumer organization has estimated that most seniors could end up paying even more for prescription drugs than before the bill passed.

"While Tom DeLay kept a ledger on K Street, ranking lobbyists as friendly and unfriendly, the Bush campaign gave every one of his Pioneers and Rangers a tracking number, making sure to know who was bringing in the bucks and where they were coming from. In May of 1999 the trade association for the electric utility industry sent a letter to potential contributors on Bush campaign stationery. He told his colleagues that Bush's campaign managers "have stressed the importance of having our industry incorporate the tracking number in your fundraising efforts…it does ensure that our industry is credited and that your progress is listed…"

Tracy Van Slyke, a former publisher of In These Times, is the project director for The Media Consortium.

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