Re: Is the American political system broken?

The system is pretty badly bent if it’s not broken. And it is beyond our capacity as reporters to fix it. I think a lot of it has to do with institutions. Start with the fundamental structure of the Congress; the ___________ in which Congressional districts are now drawn makes it almost impossible to have the House of Representatives function in its historical role of representing short-term swings in public opinion. Because so many of those districts have been gerrymandered to fix permanently for one party or the other. The political parties themselves have been weakened over the years, though they have come back somewhat in financial terms. And the relationship at the personal level between members of the two parties is as poisonous as I’ve ever seen it, and that is something that they have to solve. We can’t solve it for them.

I think it would be changing the way in which we draw the Congressional districts to make more of them competitive. I think if we had 200 competitive House races every two years instead of 30 or 40, you’d have a totally different kind of Congress – one where issues would be dealt with, not kicked down the road. Recorded on: 9/13/07

Stop the gerrymandering, Broder says.

Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
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  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.