24 Hours of American Liars:
Here's what we've learned in the last 24 hours or so, none of it terribly surprising in and of each separate thing, but in the aggregate, quite, umm, bowel-releasing frightening. We've learned there's different kinds of lies:

Lies of Omission - The Surgeon General of the United States was ordered by the White House to lie to America about everything related to, you know, health. When Richard H. Carmona was the Surgeon General from 2002-2006, Carmona wasn't allowed "to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues" and to water down a report on secondhand smoke (something he actually resisted). He was discouraged from attending the Special Olympics, for chrissake, because of Ted Kennedy's involvement in it. Also (and this is the Rude Pundit's favorite part), Carmona "was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches." Apparently, George W. Bush is such a needy little bitch that he gots to get his props whenever he can force people to do it.

Let's not give too much credit to Carmona here. He was a complicit pussy for four years. Someone who cared less about his own hide would've said, "Kiss my Vietnam vet ass, Karl Rove," and spoken for science, and not the World According To Bush. Fired or quitting after that, at least he'd have some self-respect and not be like every other career-fearing demi-loyalist who stayed in the administration because - why? Because they thought they could do good? Or because they feared getting Paul O'Neilled? Shit, C. Everett Koop finally told Ronald Reagan to suck his Amish beard and sent out the HIV/AIDS pamphlet to every household in America. Yeah, it was a few years too late, but at least Koop decided not to be a liar.

Lies of Bureaucracy - Alberto Gonzales was shown, again, again, again, to have lied to Congress. In 2005, when he was testifying on the renewal of the Patriot Act (aka the "Let's Strip Search Grandpa" Act), he told Congress, "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse" under the Act. And that'd be true, except that he had been told, repeatedly, of, well, shit, civil liberties violations by the FBI acting under the Patriot Act. But, according to a Justice Department lackey douchebag, it depends on what you mean by "abuses." See, if it's intentional, it's an abuse. If not, it's just - what? A meaningless fuck-up? If the FBI agents know you're not a terrorist and still beat the shit out of you for fun, that's an abuse. But if they just get your name wrong and beat the shit out of you, that's an innocent mistake. Par for the course for this administration. No one is accountable for "errors." Mistakes are made, don't you know? They just appear in the ethereal realm and inflict themselves on us. Shit, next thing you know, Gonzales will claim the Devil made him do it. But don't worry, America, there's a-gonna be a hearing.

Just Plain Fuckin' Lies - When President Bush spoke in Cleveland yesterday regarding the war in Iraq and a bunch of other shit on which no one cares what he thinks, he not only told Republicans to go fuck themselves, he lied, "[B]y the way, al Qaeda is doing most of the spectacular bombings, trying to incite sectarian violence. The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is the crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims, trying to stop the advance of a system based upon liberty." As not nearly enough reports tell us, this just isn't true of about 90% of the attacks in Iraq. And, despite his feints at differentiating, really, "al Qaeda" is shorthand for "filthy Muslims" in Bush's lexicon.

In a "Fact Check" document put out by the White House, not only does the administration torture the details to make the case that we're fighting al Qaeda, it actually cites as progress "Signs of normalcy in Baghdad like professional soccer leagues, amusement parks, and vibrant markets." Now, the Rude Pundit's not totally sure on this, but he's pretty sure that we're not talking Disney World Ramadi here. In Iraq, an "amusement park" is just a glorified playground. Don't expect an "It's a Small World" ride any time soon. If you can't get electricity to power your A/C, you sure as shit don't want it wasted on Space Mountain.

So here we are: the Surgeon General, the Attorney General, the Commander-in-Chief, all lying to us. Add the "Lies of Necessary Fears" by Michael "Gut-Feeling" Chertoff, and you've got a government that is actually functioning to bring harm to its citizens. If this was a real democracy, we'd be out in the streets shutting the nation down until Bush resigned, taking Cheney with him. The unions would call for general strikes, as would immigrant rights groups, poverty groups, families of soldiers. All seventy percent of us. Clogging the cities and towns, demanding that we take back the country from the people who want to harm us.

But this is not a real democracy. It is a group of geographically tied together people with pretense to democracy, fearful of actual power because it means actual responsibility for themselves, for each other.