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Moyers on America: Capitol Crimes

With disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff back in the news and on the big screen in Alex Gibney's new film, CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY, we re-present Bill Moyers 2006 exploration of Abramoff and his Washington world. CAPITOL CRIMES delved deep into the dark side of American politics — bringing to light a web of relationships, secret deals and political manipulation. The DALLAS MORNING NEWS said: "If anyone can untangle a complicated new story and make it understandable, it's Bill Moyers. So if you're trying to figure out the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, he explains it all in CAPITOL CRIMES."



Find out more Former Congressman Bob Ney is on the talk show circuit with Alex Gibney, promoting the documentary that chronicles his downfall. Jack Abramoff is due to be released from federal prison in December 2010. But has the system changed? For years Bill Moyers has been reporting on the corrupting influence of money on our political system. Visit our special collection, Moyers on Money and Politics. And, don't forget to use our campaign finance tools to continue to keep track of the money flow in Washington.


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Once we are used to this somewhat indirect format, I suggest that the conversation can be ongoing here, in spite of attempts to make it otherwise, and at least as long as the site permits and continues.

Those of us who took in the ongoing themes of considerate attention characterized by the visual presentations in the manner described and voiced in these comments can best show our appreciation by doing a little of the spadework ourselves.

Nobody really retires until they shuffle off this mortal coil. And maybe not even then.

While we still have the light, let's walk in the light, and shed a little, if possible, ourselves.

Right, Anna D. Eric Prince often brags to closed door meetings of supporters and investors about his private bases and assets in the USA as well as Afghanistan (and other nations). When we consider how these have been built against the public will using tax money we understand that Xe (Blackwater) and Goldman-Sachs are the same kind of Corporation. (Have these mega-citizens trampled your lawn yet?) We're all Zorba the Greek... no more paid work, and no retirement. (Zorba was assisting an outsider to harvest scarce Agean lumber.)

By far, the most valuable "news" is still being provided by PBS.

The exclusive interview with General Mc Krystal (sp?) yesterday on News Hour was a revelation.

The plutoRats are "global" - let's keep that in mind.

They do NOT use the military in a different way in each different country.

So everything that is being done in Afghanistan

is being done here in USA against US.

"Arrested development"...

Not the comedy TV show

But the REALITY of it as a "process" of GLOBAL "war".

"Arrested development" has been deployed against USA citizens.

PROFOUND consequences

when USA military is involved

in NOT securing the "homeland"...

We miss the investigative truth of THE JOURNAL. By silencing this hour, now the oligarchs can steal the country blind. While they are doing this they have wrecked the country and created a society of a few wealthy people and a majority of poor serfs.

No,Claire. You are not alone.

I found out on my birthday that Bill Moyers was going to be retiring. I cried.
His show has been a Sunday morning staple for me for a couple of years now, and of the 3+ hr block of excellent PBS news shows, Bill Moyers, of them all, was the one I made sure I was home to watch.
I see the way the world is going, and in my humble opinion it is not good. We have a world that is in political and economic turmoil; where the idea of an actual modern day 'plutonomy' is here, and frustrations that come with this economic structure (which is set up against the 'regular' person) could be culminating into 'class war'; and where mainstream media has the ability to sway populations at the behest of the corporate world (not to mention what could result from the recent Supreme Court decision).. the silver lining is that the most enlightened group of young people are coming up through the ranks. But they are coming up, not here and because of this you will be sorely missed Mr. Moyers, now more than ever. We need your choice of topics, of interviewees, your questions, your brilliant interviews.
I am Canadian, so any who are reading this may be wondering why I should be so concerned... well, America's decisions deeply effect my country, as it does most of the world, and many of your policies, both foreign and domestic matter to Canadians (ex: healthcare, banking regulation, immigration and border security, drug policies (both legal and non), drug costs, environmental policies, trade policies, etc.)
So it is a bitter-sweet mix of great sadness, love and good wishes for your retirement I send your way Mr. Moyers. I hope the best for you and your family, your country and mine and the world at large.
Again, you will be missed.
Diane Cooke.

I already miss Bill Moyers.
I looked forward each Friday to be engaged in a genuine discussion of important issues, and always left pondering points and reworking perceptions over the entire weekend.
As for the replacements, I may as well read Newsweek and Time and feel much less than satisfied.

Since the motivation is ALWAYS based on the trinity of greed hatred and revenge

somebody better get their hands on that LIST

that the "elite" have.

It's been too easy for them to slam someone as "anti" wha'ever...

They are a million times WORSE than McCarthy ever was...

and two of the new Justices

believe it's okay

to re-interpret" the First Amendment...

Get that list...it's REAL.

Jack Martin lamented, in part, "What is the value of immortality when one must spend it observing the progressive degradation of humankind within a ruined creation, and lacking the capacity to experience their better aspirations or assist them in any way."

It's the "experience" :-)

After anyone has seen the spiritual ugliness of selfishness, self-love and self-worship

and how that "feel" goo

suffocates the planet wide potential for "paradise"

immortality will be a piece of cake.

In Wem Winders’ Wings of Desire two angels observe humanity in 1987 Berlin, just as the Cold War is faltering. They resemble humans with wings and topcoats but exist in an armoured condition of immortality separating them from human vulnerability and struggle. Both are tempted by the option of becoming human and one succumbs. Morality for them is remote and there is not necessarily any distributive justice in their universe. Abandoning angel status seems almost a gradation of suicide to escape the boredom of detachment.

In January of this year I heard an All Things Considered segment by award winning NPR crime reporter Laura Sullivan about how the bail bond lobby controls sheriffs races in much of this country , and how opposed they are to self-bonding and pre-trial release programs for the indigent. I was then moved enough to listen to the other related Sullivan reports and her segment on Talk of the Nation. Laura strongly maintained a cloak of neutrality and behavioral detachment, which I admire, but as an activist could never duplicate. When she told of prisoners’ meager possessions being seized in their absence, how they were needed by abandoned dependents, how their skeletal family and support networks crumbled, I even resented her for failure to intervene.

For four years I harped on Bill Moyers like I wished I could on Laura Sullivan. A journalist sets personal and professional limits alone and would be mistaken listening to irate people like myself. I estimated Moyers as financially comfortable, above stringer Sullivan but below the Tim Russert league of softball pitchers to the oligarchy, and also that he expected people of conscience to state such a case. He did fail the people miserably on 9/11 Truth, but could rationalize that any examination by him would be like shedding his angelic journalistic armour, embracing a gradation of suicide, and falling to Earth to be muzzled like the typical citizen. There is a fiction of representing the people’s interest in there somewhere but I can’t easily sort it out.

When Bill Moyers asked for his well-earned retirement yet again these ideas and unresolved dynamics returned to irritate my thinking. Finally they gelled in the form of this question: ”What are you when you are deprived of or abandon journalism?” I suspect it depends upon what one includes as journalistic responsibilities and upon one’s worldly status. As an archangel of reporting Bill Moyers should be exceptional in his appraised duty to both the craft and to humanity. For if there were any morality in his universe it would include the axiom: To whom much is given much is expected.

I could stop there and let the grand jury of faithful indict or exonerate, but it is not Bill Moyers who should be on trial. Now that we have gotten to the point that we generally admit that our current wars benefit only a few highly placed operators, that the oligarchy exercises authority to rob entitlements and future taxpayers to bail out investment bankers holding sovereign loans, that our elections and regulations are invalidated by immense wealth, and that our education as well as our “news” are poisoned by diversions, half-truths and scapegoating we have to admit that this system cannot be reformed with a few minor adjustments. I know that this realization must be what retired Bill Moyers, that the task had become Quixotic and ever increasingly hopeless. Journalism as we have come to know it has become an exercise in futility, for it reports a tale too sordid to be told to a populace too powerless and quiessant and complicitous to react. I am now an atheist craving an afterlife for the powerful where they can receive their just desserts. Bill Moyers deserves that “pie in the sky when you die” as much as anyone I know.

What is the value of immortality when one must spend it observing the progressive degradation of humankind within a ruined creation, and lacking the capacity to experience their better aspirations or assist them in any way. That is a far worse fate than any career setback meted out by the privileged class.

Scandalous !!!

The national anthem should be changed to "home of the crooks and land of the victimized". That would be more appropriate and more actuate.

Out of the entire cast of characters in this whole story

Ralph Reed is a study in iniquity.

The "rule of law" is now designed to demolish "the spirit of the law"

in our "institutions".

But people can still CHOOSE what "church" they go to...that battle is over for demanding people "fit in" somewhere...

Too much press release sludge leaking out under great pressure? Maybe we could lower a concrete dome over the blowout and pump the truth to the surface? Nope, corporate goo freezes up and blocks the pipe. Try another fix, PBS. British sitcoms have a higher level of political consciousness.

I tried not to be critical, tried to watch, indeed I did. The first piece on the oil spill was good, but as you say, fast food - it would have been a great piece I think had it taken its points at a slower pace - there was enough there to inform on a need to know basis, and I thought the visuals of the rig display were intriguing to say the least. A bit more on BP's 'beyond petroleum image and a little less startled rabbit and I would have given a thumbs up.

I have to say the rest of the show was discomforting. I appreciated the nod in Mr. Moyers' direction, and I will hope it is more than a nod as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Perhaps what we should be doing Friday nights is continuing to critique here - it is always possible that the new show will respond. There was at least a refreshing amateurishness about it - I'm hoping they become more Moyerslike since they are all we've got at present.

Open mind continuing, for a while at least.

I did. Group therapy with a twist. And now larks rise at 9:00 PM on what was always the most important night of the week to come to serious terms with the news of the week.

Am I alone, or did anyone else feel as empty as I did after watching the show that replaced Bill's?
It's like fast food, filling but not much nutritional value. Help, I'm hungry!

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