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In 2016, there will be two elections. 99.95% of us won't get to vote in the important one.

It's not every day I hear something and think, "I have to share this with everyone," and I really mean everyone. Left, right, center, inside, outside, upside-down.

In 2016, there will be two elections. 99.95% of us won't get to vote in the important one.

Do you ever watch the endless pre-primary coverage of the 2016 election and wonder where these people came from? Like, who decides who is worth even thinking about as a candidate?

I didn't get the chance to vote for them. And the odds are good that you didn't either. That's because there's another election you don't even know about. It's called the money election. And only 0.05% of Americans vote in it.

How can that be?


Here are the numbers, from around three minutes into an amazing talk by Lawrence Lessig.

In 2010:

  • 0.26% of Americans gave more than $200 to any federal candidate.
  • 0.05% of Americans gave the maximum allowable amount to any individual federal candidate.
  • 0.01% of Americans (that's the top 1% of the top 1% of Americans) gave $10,000 or more to federal candidates.
  • .000042% of Americans gave 60% of Super PAC dollars. That's 132 individual people. You literally could fit them all on a mid-sized plane, comfortably.

And candidates know they need to keep the donors happy.

Can you imagine how much our government could get done if they had 30%-70% more hours in the day?

Dependence on the funders is skewing our system, and the politicians are totally aware of it. At the five-minute mark, Leslie Byrne, a Democrat from Virginia, describes the advice she received on her first day at work in the U.S. Congress: "Always lean to the green." She clarified, "He was not an environmentalist."

"[This] is a corruption. ... I don't mean brown-paper-bag cash secreted among members of Congress. I don't mean Rod Blagojevich sense of corruption. I don't mean any criminal act. The corruption I'm talking about is perfectly legal. It's a corruption relative to the framers' baseline for this republic." — Lawrence Lessig

The good news, if you can call it that, is that the corruption is equally rampant on the left and the right.

That means we can all work together to fix it.

The framers — remember them? Gentleman farmers, revolutionaries, powdered wigs? — wanted us to have a branch of government that was answerable to us, the people. Of course, at the time, they meant just landowning white men, but one of the success stories of our republic is how we've managed to expand the franchise.

And now it's contracting.


How do we get it back? He picks that up around 11:28.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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