The only chart you need on American exceptionalism
America is, in fact, exceptionally bad for income ineqality, food insecurity, life expectancy, prison population, and math scores. And we'd be exceptionally bad at DISemployment, too, if the real figures were used, instead of the nominal 10%.
So, by any metric except the rich getting richer, the people who run this country -- and that includes both legacy parties, D and R alike -- are in FAIL mode. Total collapse. Worse than Portugal, for pity's sake. Nothing that will happen between now and 2012 will change that, unless change comes from below, and not "change" from Astroturf organizations like Obama's 2008 campaign, either. That means that everything both legacy parties and their enablers say is at best froth, and at worse disinformation. Gotta write about it, because some people still watch state television and believe what it says, but froth and disinformation is what both parties do. Of course, it's always nice when one of 'em takes a chunk out of the other one, but that's tactical. The real object is to get rid of both of them.
NOTE Chart via the Times; go read!
UPDATE Our rating on democracy should be a lot lower than it is, given the election theft in FL 2000 (followed by Bush v. Gore) and the election theft in OH 2004 (followed by Kerry rolling over).