With the president's address about an hour away, a new Gallup poll has defined how Americans think the country is going. And we begin with the big picture: Eighty-six percent of us are satisfied with the overall quality of life in the USA. -- That's huge. It once again proves this is a great country providing more opportunity than anywhere else on earth.

Seventy percent of Americans agree with my opinion about that opportunity. -- It's there, if you work hard.

But here's a big negative. Sixty-three percent believe the moral and ethical climate in America is declining. And it is. The Internet and an irresponsible media have hit traditional values hard.

On the issues front, 70 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with how the federal government is controlling immigration. If President Bush doesn't get this message, he's flat out deaf.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe taxes are too high, even after the Bush tax cuts. If the Democrats don't get that message, they're deaf.

And here's something very interesting. 47 percent of Americans, nearly half, want more restrictions on abortion. Only 41 percent like the abortion laws the way they are. So the country is moving in a Pro-Life direction. Not good news for Planned Parenthood and the far left.

On the financial front, 52 percent of us feel the overall economy is good. That's the highest number of the Bush presidency.

And finally, 73 percent of Americans want the government to straighten out the healthcare mess. Most of us don't want the Feds to run healthcare. Instead, we want regulation in this area. We don't want to be gouged when we get sick.

So there you have it. What the folks think about the country according to a scientific poll by Gallup, which is usually very accurate. Gallup also says that President Bush's approval rating stands at 36 percent with 61 percent disapproving. That number is driven dramatically by the chaos in Iraq.

"Talking Points" believes if Iraq had been stabilized, President Bush would be a popular president. But Iraq continues to define him and only a sudden reversal of fortune over there will move the president's numbers up.

And that's "The Memo."

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