Connie Rice: Top 10 Weapons of Mass Distraction

Commentator Connie Rice shares another one of her ever-popular top-10 lists: "Top 10 Weapons of Mass Distraction."

Number 10: Corporate Show Trials

Watching Martha, Ken and the Fastows doing the perp walk is a great diversion from the real crime. These show trials divert our focus to a few criminal acts from what's really wrong — rules written by corporate lobbyists that legalized corporate tax evasion, corporate welfare, corporate pollution and looting.

Number 9: Donald Trump's TV Show The Apprentice

It's got us focused on Trump as this financial wizard and corporate titan — someone people would kill off their competition to work for. In real life, his casinos are on the verge of bankruptcy and receivership.

Number 8: Bush's Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

You'd think that marriage were somehow in imminent danger from gay infidels. But this is nothing more than a cynical wedge issue to increase the voter turnout of Christian evangelicals and cover broad failures of the Bush administration — three million jobs lost, the biggest deficits in U.S. history, a failed war in Iraq and Osama bin Laden stronger than ever. GOP operatives manufacture a fake constitutional crisis over imaginary gay insurgents, and they aim for the brain stem so that we won't think about the bigger failures.

Number 7: Tom Ridge's Terror Alerts

No one knows what they mean. The last one warning that Bin Laden intends to attack this summer made no sense — except to disrupt the Kerry-Edwards rollout. They are now rolling out plans for postponing the November election if an attack occurs.

Number 6: Rush Limbaugh

He's a masterful circus barker so skilled that he can seduce millions into surrendering their privacy rights under the USA Patriot Act. At the same time, he and the ACLU fight to keep his own medical records from a criminal drug investigation.

Number 5: Tax Cuts

The Bush administration has average Americans believing they are overtaxed and will benefit from cuts — cuts that go overwhelmingly to folk richer than them, and result in cuts in services that they need but the rich don't.

Number 4: Ralph Nader

The only issue discussed is his "spoiler" role, the only people funding his candidacy are pro-Bush Republicans and the only outcome of his run is that the people he claims to care about — the poor and the dispossessed — will be devastated if Bush gets four more years to practice his "compassion."

Number 3: The Cult of Celebrity and Entertainment

We're laughing and entertaining ourselves to death. While our kids watch eight hours of TV a day, and more adults vote for the next American Idol than do for the next president, our democracy is being looted by superpower corporations and other high-octane interests.

Number 2: The Invasion of Iraq

There clearly was no reason to invade, other than to hide the fact bin Laden still hasn't been captured, and likely to remain so — and the fact that Bush needed to kick any Arab butt he could to show that America hits back. Hussein's butt was the only one he could safely kick, so he did. Meanwhile, the war against al Qaeda flounders while the United States diverts its resources to the Iraq quagmire.

Number 1: The Republican Convention Lineup

They're going to dig up the few moderates (including Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, McCain and Romney) and black people they know and put them on TV, along with a whole bunch of black and Latino musical acts, to hide the real face of the GOP and its reactionary platform. The last convention looked like Saturday night at the Apollo — there were more black people on stage than in the entire convention.

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