From time to time in conversation with friends, and even in this blog, I lament about the condition of the United Stares. I have used the unwieldly phrase "banana-republification", as well as other terms.
James Fallows pointed to an article in der Spiegel which advances several themes about how we got in the condition we're in. Its interesting to see our quandary from the point of view of others. Maybe there is a little schadenfreude, but its gentle enough not to distract.
Anyway, if you've got a few minutes, take a look at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,726447-6,00.html