Here's a tweet from Matt Pearce:
Did a former president really say "America has no functioning democracy" in Atlanta and a German magazine is the only one that caught it?— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) July 18, 2013
Looks like it! Here's Google's awkward translation of a Der Spiegel story:
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in the wake of the NSA Spähskandals criticized the American political system. "America has no functioning democracy," Carter said Tuesday at a meeting of the "Atlantic Bridge" in Atlanta.
Here's the original German:
Der ehemalige US-Präsident Jimmy Carter hat im Nachgang des NSA-Spähskandals das amerikanische politische System heftig kritisiert. "Amerika hat derzeit keine funktionierende Demokratie", sagte Carter am Dienstag bei einer Veranstaltung der "Atlantik-Brücke" in Atlanta.
Our resident (rusty) German speaker here at The Stranger's offices fairly confidently confirms Google's translation. So either that's a mistranslation on Der Spiegel's part, which is always a possibility, or a former United States president said that his nation isn't a functioning democracy anymore. Even though we're talking about perennial outcast Jimmy Carter, that still seems like a noteworthy bit of news, doesn't it?
(Thanks, Everett Rummage, for bringing this tweet to my attention.)