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One Of The Best Summaries Of Our Political System You’ll Ever See. And It’s Only A Minute Long.

Lesley Stahl, “60 Minutes” correspondent, hits it right on the target with her description of “our form of democracy [that] is so broken with special interests on both sides.”  

Raising money IS all that our representatives do, even though they should be working to fix America’s problems. Unfortunately, moneyed interests are able to control Congress, turning them away from the needs of the rest of the people.

Although Stahl has many problems with our political system and how it is focused around the desires of special interests, she proclaims that there is no declared method of fixing it. But we have the answer: the American Anti-Corruption Act. Check out www.Represent.Us to learn more about our movement and join in being part of the resolution.

  • Michael Varian Daly

    Mass Democracy has failed, in large part because the average citizen simply does not have the capacity to do the ‘heavy lifting’ a modern democratic state requires.

    • poopookachoo

      True, but when the forces of evil are spending gazillions to accelerate the downward spiral in order to take over the system that has traditionally regulated their excesses there is a big problem.

  • RJG

    Notice as she makes this powerful point the producer starts the wrap it up, move it along, music!

    • Jennifer Fiche

      Yes, and it makes me cringe. The irony of talking about “special interests”: the studio’s special interests might be uncomfortable discussing it, so cut to commercial!

      It’s not just government that is broken. The media is terribly, horribly broken and contrived. I wonder if Leslie will still have a job next week.

    • Steve Anderson

      Ironic that Jackson Browne’s ‘Running On Empty’ is the song that they use…

      • dsc

        Noticed that.

  • barbara owens

    the problem in this country, right now, is this administration and the dems in the Senate…yeah, yeah, all sides are guilty of some things, but , the left wing nutcases in the Senate and obama’s administration, need to be stopped now….now…now…not the repubs fault..the DEMS…!! COME ON LEFT WING STAHL, YOU KNOW THAT TOO IF YOU STILL HAVE A BRAIN CELL LEFT AFTER YEARS OF LEFT WING IDIOCY

    • poopookachoo

      Neo Confederate Right wing religious nuts are the ones raising the stakes and they will be shut down by the majority who elected Obama twice. Can’t stand realty? Your kind never can. You lost. Now you want to undo what you could not do. Either you get out of the way of the majority or you get run over. Case closed.

      • wastedmercy3

        lol you are not the majority Even democrats are turning on THAT RACIST FAILURE OBAMA!

        • poopookachoo

          Last time I checked Obama beat the dust out of the neo fascist of the GOP Tea sluggers. I realize that your ilk is challenged by factual information so I will end it on that note. In my opinion you are no different than the Taliban, who by the way Reagan thought and said they (the Taliban) were the equivalent of the Founding Fathers. Google it.

    • Keith Tyler

      My favorite part of conservative deflecting is how they provide zero actual factual arguments to support their assertions that it’s all the lib-rulls’ fault. It just IS, and if you don’t realize that you’re just a dumb stupid commie. You’re not a dumb stupid commie, ARE YOU???

      • NOOBOMA

        Keith there are so many facts to support that the problems we are facing are caused by liberal policies that we assume you are informed enough to realize it on your own. But here are a few to help you out:
        Highest level unemployment in America’s history (using original formula to compute unemployment not the Oblamo way)
        Longest period of high unemployment in America’s history
        Worst Foreign Policies in history (Obomas asked not to come to England for Royal Wedding and New prince birth)
        Oboma’s administration spent more than all other presidents COMBINED
        First time in history more people put on welfare than jobs created
        Largest Tax hike in history (Oboma care)
        States and cities declare Bankruptcy most in history
        Racial tension at all time HIGH
        Stimulus packet proved to be the $1Tril kick back
        Most corrupt president in history
        Worse economy in history
        Largest government take over in history.

        Would you like to hear more or are some of these Oboma records good enough to make you understand why informed Americans are so upset!!!
        You would be upset too if you knew what Oboma and Reed are doing to this country

        • Matthew Thompson

          I’m no fan of Obama, but it’s pretty hard to take someone seriously who misspells his name. I’m guessing you do it on purpose, but it still looks foolish.
          Plus, these “most corrupt” and “worse (sic) economy)” in history comments are inflammatory. Maybe you don’t know much about Domitian’s reign of the Roman Empire.

          Plus, plus, I find it pretty hard to believe that racial tension is at an all time HIGH. I don’t even know how you would prove that. If you can, though, I’d love to see it.

        • edwinna

          Your “facts” are pure B.S. The only one that may be true is about number of cities going bankrupt, and those were caused by job outsourcing, white flight to the suburbs, and the financial crisis (caused by banks and Wall Street) led pension funds to be raided due to loss of tax revenue.

          You seem to know nothing of American history in the 20th century. Highest and longest unemployment, & worst economy in history? See “Great Depression”. Foreign policy? We propped up and even installed dictators all over the world, and our CIA was involved in assassinations. Most spending? Don’t make me laugh. Obama’s spending is the lowest in the past couple of decades. Reagan and Bush Jr. would win the prize for most. Racial tension (and which side might have caused this? Correct– conservatives, Tea Party, Limbaugh fans) much worse during ’50s and 60s Civil Rights era. Stimulus package– still being debated, but at least stopped the total collapse of the system at that point. And many companies paid back already. Did you notice who took advantage of the American taxpayer? That’s right– corporate CEO’s still giving themselves multi-million dollar bonuses on top of their obscenely high salaries, while being bailed out at the same time. Tax hike? Sorry, you have no comprehension of how Obama care works. It’s just a beginning step towards everybody getting coverage through the kind of universal plan most other modern, well-run countries have for their citizens. Most corrupt president? See Nixon and Watergate, Reagan and “Arms for hostages”, plus keeping those American hostage in Iran until his Inauguration Day, to make himself look like a big hero. Bush Jr. deserting the military in time of war, plus wasting $1millon of taxpayer money for training as a fighter pilot, when he deserted, PLUS lying about reasons to invade Iraq, PLUS ignoring warnings before 9/11 and going on vacation. Largest government takeover? In your dreams– WWII saw nationalization of heavy industry to make military goods and vehicles, food rationing for the whole country, forced round-up and relocation (internment) of American citizens of Japanese origin, government censorship of news media. THAT’S a government take-over.

          Go read a history book, and quit listening to a bunch of hysterical, ignorant losers being paid to believe and spread lies by the Koch Bros. and others.

        • Keith Tyler

          I might be upset if I didn’t know that everything you just said is either false, or just plain made up.

          How can this be the worst economy in history when all it has done since George Dumb-ya (since we’re using the oh-so-intelligent debate practice of using derogatory versions of people’s names) is get better? By definition this can’t be the worst economy in history. Even if Bush II’s economy in 2006-2008 were somehow not worse than our current economy, where are the breadlines and shantytowns of Hoover (R)’s Great Depression? This is worse than that? Says who? You?

          Administration spent more than all other presidents combined doesn’t even make logical sense, never mind be flat out wrong. Considering that every year of Obama’s presidency the government has spent less money than under Bush in 2005. I mean that’s not only silly and false but nonsensical. But don’t take my word for it, look at the numbers. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_spending_chart

          Really, the only thing that ever makes me upset anymore are that there are hordes of people like you who will believe anything they get from anyone, even things that make no sense at all, about someone they just plain don’t like for no good reason.

  • Edward Kirby

    At what point do we stop saying “politics is broken” or “Congress is broken” or “Washington is broken” and start saying that the two political parties are what is wrong with all of our governments, from the Federal on down to the local level?

    The reason we can’t get our legislators, executives and judges to properly do their jobs is because the two parties have invested the President with so much power and responsibility that every single election, decision, and sound bite somehow winds up eventually involving the current resident of the White House. And the more power and responsibility (and control over spending) that the President has, the more dysfunctional Washington becomes.

    This country does not need a situation where the presidency is a virtual monarchy. Especially one that gets more powerful each time a new king is crowned. And that’s been going on since George Washington; a slow degradation of the foundations of democracy. And that’s the irony: even as the right to vote was extended, first to blacks, then women and then 18-year olds, their vote has become increasingly meaningless with each election cycle.

    Thus, we should disempower the Presidency. The President should be essentially a crisis manager, with only five departments under his/her control: Defense, Homeland Security, State, Treasury, and Attorney General. [That last one simply because its not a good fit for the other two branches.] The other departments and their secretaries (Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, HUD, Transportation, Energy, Education, and Veterans Affairs) as well as the “Cabinet level officers” and their agencies (OMB, EPA, Trade Rep, and SBA) should all be re-organized under the legislative branch. None of these fall under the umbrella of a crisis manager.

    If we want to cure the ills of our current system, disempowering the Presidency is the first step towards disempowering the two political parties. In a nutshell, the presidency should be an apolitical position.

    [The very next step, of course, would be to disempower the individual members of Congress, followed by the Supreme Court.]

    • Keith Tyler

      You provide no reason to believe that different parties or more parties or a stronger Congress would result in less corporate control of government. There is none. It’s a strawman, an excuse, and in its worst form, a ploy to drive people away from paying attention to government and politics so that the moneyed interests maintain the upper hand with their shine and polish tactics.

      • Edward Kirby

        I also didn’t say anything about “different parties or more parties or a stronger Congress”; in fact, I said that we also need to disempower individual members of Congress. But we also need to disempower most of the Federal apparatus.

        The Senate was designed to be republican (with a small ‘r’) and the House to democratic (with a small ‘d’). To that extent, the Senators were to be chosen by the states’ legislatures (changed in 1913 with the 17th Amendment), while the Representatives were to have districts small in size (minimum of 30,000) and the number of Representatives in the House was to increase as the population of the country increased.

        [Its interesting to note that the House membership hasn't increased from 435 since (coincidentally) also 1913. That was the year after Teddy Roosevelt scared the crap out of both parties with his third party "Bull Moose" run. Also interesting to note is that, for a third party or independent candidate to win, he/she must not only 'win' a majority of the votes, but win more than the Red and Blue candidate combined. Anything less than an outright majority is only a plurality, and that means the election gets tossed to the House, and one of the two-partiers wins. A House with fewer, more powerful members becomes beholden to the powerful interests. Plain and simple.]

        If we followed the Framers’ original intent, the House would have between 5,000 and 10,000 members right now, Senators would be chosen like Supreme Court justices (and not elected), and campaign finance (among other problems, like gerrymandering) wouldn’t be an issue right now.

        Under this system, the downsized Federal government — designed to be paid for through tariffs (out of the question these days) — would be paid for with the next best thing: by taxing the 1%ers and the large corporations. As the rich would foot most of the bill, it wouldn’t be fair — nor could you get the Reds to get on board with this — if you didn’t give the rich a say in how their money was spent. That is why each state should make one of its senators a successful businessperson that has an unblemished record when it comes to social responsibility. [The other senator should be in the 'other' category: a retired general, a Nobel Prize winning scientist or a distinguished diplomat, say.] It is critical to get both the Reds and the Blues on board with reforms as radical as this, and dividing the already bi-cameral Congress up the way it was designed to be is the best option for that. Besides, having responsible and successful businesspersons steering our nation’s industrial policy is probably not such a bad idea, and may be the best option available.

        An important aspect of this would be the vibrant government at the local community (or ‘district’) level. It is there that the bottom 90% would see 90% of our tax dollars spent. If each district has between 30,000 and 100,000 constituents, some simple back-of-the-napkin math would reveal that there could be hundreds of millions of tax revenues available for use in the area surrounding your very home. [A district of, say, 60,000 citizens where a third are employed: 20,000 X average annual salary of $40,000 X 1/3 taxation rate X 0.9 = $240M!] That could easily take care of education, health care, seniors, infrastructure and so on for the entire district. [Using the local schools as a talent pool would be an asset; pick the smartest kids and pay for their college on the premise that they spend 'x' amount of years living in, and working in, the community where they grew up. If the district is well governed, they might even stay there.]

        The existing Federal programs that currently manage most of this would evolve into networks by which the district level governments can interact with each other to agree on protocols for things like highway administration, water management, and so on. The state and county governments would become even more disempowered than the Federal, essentially becoming rumps of what they are now.

        The Supreme Court should be expanded to 27 justices and they would have ten year term limits; no amendment needed to do this, just an act of Congress. The President should invoke the “advise” aspects of the “advise and consent” clause in the CotUS, and have the Senate send him their recommendations instead of the other way around. This would avoid the drawn out knockdown fights we see over every judicial nomination. It would also preserve the President’s independent apolitical position within the government.

        &&&

        Obviously, this is not going to go anywhere, but its what I think would work. And when people ask me if I’m Red or Blue, or if I favor Obamacare or not, the above plan is the lens I filter that through. The Reds’ plan — if it can charitably be called that — is ridiculous, for reasons I probably don’t have to go into with you. But the Blues’ plan is not workable either. It keeps adding many levels of complexity on top of an already huge cumbersome centralized system, and that has been shown to lead to societal collapse each time its been tried. [Read Toynbee, Tainter and Jared Diamond for details on that.]

        So take this for what its worth — not much I guess. But the take home from this is that its just one “third option” plan that’s floating around out there. Right now, if you listen only to the rich and powerful in Washington, it may seem as if there’s only two; a Red plan and a Blue plan.

        And that is clearly not true.

        • Patricia Stidham-Burns

          Regardless of how you want to lay out your power structure, you mad some gross errors.

          First the “power of the purse” does not lay with the Executive branch it lays in the lap of the Speaker of the House.

          Second, the President just simply doesn’t have all the power you are leading people to believe you say he does. If he did, do you really think Obama would still be in office…really? President Obama would be throwing his powers all over the place and making laws that he has ALREADY asked Congress to do and they have failed miserably!

          Third, you really think Thomas Jefferson, John Q Adams. Abraham Lincoln, all were presidents looking to be ravenous Dictators of some sort!?

          Fourth, I agree with you 100% we need something much better than a two party corrupt government system!

          • Edward Kirby

            Patricia, thanks for your reply.

            First, I’m aware of that the House (technically speaking, not the Speaker) controls the ‘purse’. Nothing in this suggests otherwise. For the purposes of Federal spending, nothing there would change. In fact, when it comes to the Constitutional structure of the Federal government, there would be little in the way of change. [In effect, however, the changes would be radical.]

            Second, under this system, the disempowered President would be primarily a crisis manager, and would not have much power at all — until a crisis comes along. Then, he/she would only have as much (and for a firmly defined period of time) power as Congress allows. [The exception to this is law enforcement issues, as outlined above, with the Attorney General and Homeland Security being part of his/her responsibility.] Until then, the White House would essentially be “keeping the tools sharp” by ensuring readiness for any crises that may arise.

            Third, regarding previous presidents, the quick answer is no; they weren’t evil dictator-wannabees. In fact, all of them truly believed that everything they did was for the good of the country. And, for the most part, their actions (arguably) were. But the slow, almost glacial rate at which these changes occurred have dramatically altered the manner in which the executive branch operates. This evolution developed because each President needed to adapt his powers in order to meet the challenges of the time. When the challenge was met (and usually, equaled) then the challenge goes away but the structural changes remained. Thus, it became another tool or weapon for the next executive to use to meet new and unanticipated crises. [This is why, for example, the President is now responsible for the state of the economy; Since FDR, all presidents have that burden.] With each successive President, more and more power was accumulated until we see the monstrosity we have now.

            Fourth, the big problem (design-wise) is not so much with the two-party system, although it is a plague upon our country at this point. The problem is political parties in general. European-style democracies have more than two parties but, like the US, they have a system by which fringe elements possess power disproportionate to their numbers. So the key, IMHO, would be to create a system of governance which works without parties at all. I believe that , because of technology, we can now accomplish that, using dedicated social networking software and Wiki-style templates. Use the former to govern — with the Representatives having online discussions of issues that they can then use to create alliances both pro and con, based on the issues rather than party affiliation. [Everyone else would have read-only access to these online conversations, in an open and transparent style of governance.] Use the latter so that the Representatives can solicit input from their constituents while also encouraging grass roots dialogs that are at the heart of a vibrant democracy. [Remember that in a House where there is both a ceiling and a floor on the size of a district, the number of citizens that would be active and engaged in the way their country is governed would be significantly smaller, and the Representative would not only be able to engage with them on issues of the day, but would probably even know their names, and be able to say hello as they pass them on the streets of their (common) neighborhood.] But getting back to your point, all pre-cautions *must* be made to avoid allowing the party system to ever arise again. If that appears to be happening, Congress must make whatever procedural changes required to prevent that. [And make no mistake: there are monied interests that will be absolutely determined to do just that.]

        • Keith Tyler

          “campaign finance (among other problems, like gerrymandering) wouldn’t be an issue”

          Gerrymandering started with Elbridge Gerry, in 1812, and was for state legislature districts. So I don’t see how the 17th amendment did anything to cause gerrymandering when the term and practice predates it by almost exactly 100 years.

          • Edward Kirby

            Keith Tyler,

            The “gerrymandering” part of that comment applied to the House only. The “campaign finance” part of that comment applies to both the Senate and the House.

            As per the above, the two — the 17th Amendment and the non-expansion of the size of the House — are related in both impact on our government today, and (perhaps/probably) in terms of the timing of their origin.

            The prime cause of gerrymandering at the Federal level — meaning, in the House — is the Apportionment Clause in the Constitution. Apportionment was a reasonable solution when the population of the entire country was less than four million people. Today, it is part of the problem.

            So resolve the apportionment problem (as described above) and you resolve gerrymandering.

      • Irena Gallier

        Why do you assume the problem is somehow restricted to corporate control of government? The issue is any point of view that harnesses money and uses it to advance their goals through government policy. The worst offenders are not for profit companies.

        • Edward Kirby

          The problem is money; period.

          My proposed reforms eliminate that problem.

  • poopookachoo

    So the Supreme Court has been an enabler in the demise of our Constitutional form of governing ourselves. Publicly funded elections and putting lobbyists money off limits to elected officials is the only answer. Public air waves can be available tp

  • disgvnv

    Take out corruption, ? , what would we have left ? I am lower middle or upper lower Class and everything I see runs on corruptyion , courts, food dist., medical, fuel, etc. and what isn’t corrupt , is not Fair to the population in general,

  • GreenGardener

    Thank you for speaking the truth.

  • Keith Tyler

    What few want to admit is that this is largely “our” fault; that is, the American people’s fault. We choose to be swayed by flash and glitz instead of substance. We choose not to look under the surface and instead choose the most superficial criteria for choosing our own leaders. We choose not to want to pay for a fairer society in our own interests, and as a result others pay for us and get their own interests met. We choose to support those captains of commerce who take our money and put it to work against us instead of investing in our own society. Americans are cheap b*st*rds, and we get what we pay for, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  • 4thaugust1932

    “If you wish to keep slaves, you must have all kinds of guards. The cheapest way to have guards is to have the slaves pay taxes to finance their own guards. To fool the slaves, you tell them that they are not slaves and that they have Freedom. You tell them they need Law and Order to protect them against bad slaves. Then you tell them to elect a Government. Give them Freedom to vote and they will vote for their own guards and pay their salary. They will then believe they are Free persons. Then give them money to earn, count and spend and they will be too busy to notice the slavery they are in.” –Alexander Warbucks

    • dsc

      What a system.

  • VincentVonDudler

    The problem is often misdiagnosed – even by Lesley Stahl. Money is only a minor problem. Democracy works when the electoral is meant to work. It’s our broken First-Past-The-Post electoral process that divides U.S. politics in two. When Tea Party, Libertarian, and Constitution party candidates are forced to be labeled as and then primary against Republicans you’ll get extremist candidates winning. Allow for third party viability via Preferential Voting and we’ll return to saner politics.

    • VincentVonDudler

      FPTP taints everything from the politics itself, to how it’s portrayed by the media (dem vs rep), to how the American public views politics (us vs them). Allow for more parties, allow for a more complex issue-based coverage of politics, and don’t allow the American public to vote while ignorant – it’s the news media’s job to ensure the public knows what’s important and provide context. They have been failing for YEARS now, including Lesley Stahl. The failure continues.

    • PrairiefireOriginal

      No, it’s the money. We won’t make ANY headway on reforming ANY aspect of the current system as long as we allow money to be more powerful than people. You cannot have the reform you want–it is literally impossible–as long as money is power.

  • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

    You’ve got to be kidding me. The media is the entire driver behind massive political spending. If she feels so bad about it, why don’t they donate the media time so that our political candidates don’t have to raise hundreds of millions of dollars? God knows if they don’t, MSNBC isn’t going to mention them.

    • WShann

      The entire driver… Yeah, you forgot about the money central banks pump into their member banks, who then donate to campaigns. Yeah it’s funny 0 people on this forum talk anything actually important, like waning shadow banking system collateral.

      • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

        And why do they need that money donated? TO PAY THE MEDIA.

  • PrairiefireOriginal

    I am boycotting the phrase “both sides” and am urging everyone else to stop using it. Challenge that phrase whenever you hear it. It’s
    misleading and dis-empowering the way that Stahl uses it here to create a false frame that we are surrounded by the bad guys no matter which way we turn. The vast majority of politicians are on the SAME side–moneyed interests–and the vast majority of voters are on many other sides–democracy, a fair economy, a sustainable environment, accurate transparent elections, good education, etc.

    Talk about “both major parties” instead, so that you don’t perpetuate the fiction that the two major parties are on different sides, or that those are the only two sides America has.

    • Matthew Thompson

      I long ago decided not to vote for Republicans or Democrats until all campaign funds came from public sources instead of donors. We know how to take money out of politics. It’s like voters are so scared that “the other side” will win and destroy the whole world that they cave in during every election. I know that no one I vote for will get into office. Quite frankly, I’m not worried about who holds office right now. I’m worried about changing laws so that my kids don’t have to deal with this corrupt bullshit.

      • Edward Kirby

        “It’s like voters are so scared that “the other side” will win and destroy the whole world that they cave in during every election.”

        Indeed.

        The part of my mind that wears the tin foil hat often wonders if they aren’t in cahoots to exploit this and keep the campaign funds flowing in. This came up after the two elections where the president was re-elected: 2004 and 2012. In the former, Bush made comments about privatizing Social Security right before he was re-inaugurated. In the latter, Obama came out forcefully on the gun issue after the Newtown massacre in December. Neither of them expected anything to actually happen on these issues, and the result was a massive flow of donations in to political candidates and PACs on the other side.

        Another aspect of this is the fight over abortion. I don’t think any Republican has really addressed the manner in which a law that outlaws abortion across the land would be implemented. In order to enforce it, a monstrously intrusive (and expensive) police state would need to be constructed that would be rife with corruption and violent resistance. IOW, it would be similar to what happened Prohibition, except with political activism also added to the mix. [And the same thing applies to the gun argument from the other side.] I don’t think either party wants that. Not because its unjust — that doesn’t bother them as much — but because its just too expensive.

        But these fake “social issues” are the only things that distinguish the two parties from each other. [Without them, they would essentially be the same party.] They are also good for distracting the voters from understanding what is going on behind the scenes.

        To paraphrase what Mark Leibovich wrote in his book “This Town” (that’s currently the rage of the all the Washington elites), the division of power in DC is not between the Republicans and Democrats; its between the millionaires and everyone else.

    • planckbrandt

      BINGO! The sides are the owners of the banks and corporations, and everybody else they make their money off of. End of story. And, the owners are the real owners. The ones who put directors on the board, control the votes, and get the vast majority of the dividends.

  • YouOldFool

    In the last frame of the video you can see a hook coming out to grab Lesley around the neck….

  • David

    It’s the nature of government, i.e., a forced monopoly.

  • JoyceEarly

    Democracy? We are a Republic. How stupid is the media. Too stupid to have a camera on them!

    • Edward Kirby

      In theory, we’re a democratic republic. The House is (supposed to be) democratic and the Senate *was* a republic (changed with the 17th Amendment).

      • JoyceEarly

        You contend the 17th amendment removed the Constitution as the rule of law, and changed the country into a Democracy? That’s laughable. We are a Republic Rule of law, never a Democracy. We wouldn’t have created a amendment to negate the Constitution that’s idiocy!

        • Edward Kirby

          No, that’s not what anything close to what I said.

          Senators, prior to the 17th Amendment, were appointed by the states’ legislators in a manner similar to the way a President appoints a Supreme Court justice. That is a small-r republican construct. The 17th Amendment voided that and mandated that Senators be democratically elected instead.

          The Constitution is still the law of the land. Its just that the entire Congress is now a democratic construct rather than a democratic-republican hybrid.

          • JoyceEarly

            So you admit in fact we are a Republic and not a Democracy!

          • Edward Kirby

            In theory, we’re a democratic republic.

          • JoyceEarly

            No such thing, that’s a made up form of government and would actually contradict itself if it actually existed.

          • Edward Kirby

            Every democracy is by definition a republic. There are republics, however, that are not democracies. The definition of a republic is simply any government that is not a monarchy. Thus, the Soviet Union was a republic. [The "R" ins "USSR".]

          • JoyceEarly

            Absolutely false! A Republic is defined as Rule of Law. The US Constitution is our law. If the majority passes a law that is Unconstitutional, we use the rule of law to strike it down. The president isn’t elected by us, it’s done by representatives called the electoral college. So No we are not a Democracy. Never have been. You are absolutely wrong!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdS6fyUIklI

          • Edward Kirby

            OK, this is really my last response on this.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic

            “A republic is a form of government in which affairs of state are a “public matter” (Latin: res publica), not the private concern of the rulers. In a republic, public offices are appointed or elected rather than inherited, and are not de jure the private property of the individuals who hold them. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch.[1][2] ”

            That’s a dictionary definition for you. We have no king, as per the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution doesn’t enter into this discussion. Which, as I’ve said up top, is over.

          • JoyceEarly

            Wiki is not a reliable source for anything, users can change the content. It’s the same misinformation you’ve been given regarding our form of government.

          • Edward Kirby

            Merriam-Webster and Wordnet in the footnotes. These are just the definitions the rest of us use to communicate with each other. Feel free to use your own.

  • Guest

    Eileen Johnson

  • Eileen Johnson

    To me the solution would be to have a $ limit for each candidate to political office, no outside or lobbyist funding allowed, and the limit paid from govt funds (State funds for State Offices, County funds for County offices, and Federal Funds used for Federal offices.) This limit would pay for 1 minute of TV Ad time for each candidate, during which they can only state their qualifications. No negative campaigning allowed. Registered voters would be allowed to call in a vote for the candidate of choice. The top 10 winning candidates would then be on the ballot on election day. They would then get 1 or 2 additional ad minutes on TV to further state their qualifications and what they want to do for their constituents. Again, no negative campaign ads would be allowed. Any funding received by a candidate would have to be verified prior to their being sworn into the position. Once in the position, they may be lobbied for different causes, as long as they accept no pay or compensation other than say, a free dinner or (cost-limited) event.

    This is just a start. We need to take money out of politics.

    Please feel free to add any suggestions or changes.

  • Steve Saylor

    Don’t think about trying to fix things from within this system. Think about a new one. Don’t look at this as a disaster, but as an opportunity. The old system based on greed and selfish interest is dying, and a new one is emerging that’s based on planetary well-being and the realization that all of life is interconnected. A resource based economy. A natural law economy. Call it what you will. Just recognize that our current system is obsolete and won’t last for much longer. Thankfully.

  • planckbrandt

    It usually ends in social collapse, mass violence, holocaust or something like that Ms. Stahl. That is how it ends. There are plenty of examples in history of what happens with this kind of money system and the politics it buys. We have to go no further than the past.

  • BigJared

    The bushels of cash the networks that own the news make on campaign ads is one BIG reason you don’t really here much of this on TV news. The status quo is great for them.

  • Kirk Ross

    The problem is cancerous corporate greed and an insatiable materialism which has infected our culture. We need to starve the behemoth headless multi-national corporations down to a reasonable size. Pull your money out of the big banks (I actually did this last year) and buy from mom and pops as much as possible. If everyone in the country did that, the effect would be like a lap band surgery on the corporations and over time they would downsize to accommodate diminished demand. And, if we ignore the media (run by them) which will paint situation as the end of the world, they will be the only people suffering. Democrats, Republicans, Tea, Green, Libertarian… the general population has to unite against the common enemy. Call it a class war, call it whatever you want. The super rich greedy people want to get richer like a crack head wants another rock, and they will literally kill everyone to stay rich and get even richer. Personally, I don’t need a tiger on a gold leash or diamonds on my time piece.

  • TWBBug

    She will join the Ranks of Brokaw and Rather if she don’t watch out.

  • Guest

    Think they were trying to “play her out” with Jackson Browne to cut her off early, or was it just time for a commercial anyway?

  • rickymix

    It’s not rocket science, folks… the obvious solution is to take the money out of elections. If you have enough signatures to get on the ballot, you should get “x” amount of free media time, which the media companies should be required to provide in order to obtain their broadcast licenses. And no politicians nor their supporters should be allowed to buy additional advertising, period. “Freedom of speech” should be FREE, not something which the wealthy, Left or Right, can purchase to influence elections.
    Easier said than done of course, because the public is a bunch of idiots who deserve to be bamboozled.

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