A new Rasmussen poll is simply astounding. The survey says 75 percent of American voters are angry at the federal government. Forty-five percent say they're very angry. Only 19 percent say they are fine with the feds.
Both Republicans and Democrats expressed frustration in the poll, and 60 percent of the voters agree with the statement that neither Republican or Democrat leaders have a good understanding of the country's problems.
So what is the "why" behind this?
On his Web site, Scott Rasmussen says most Americans believe the political system in Washington is broken. OK, but that's a general statement. Here's what "Talking Points" believes is going on.
On the right, there is tremendous disenchantment with President Obama. Conservatives and many independents feel the president is far too liberal, spends far too much money and is way too lenient on captured terrorists.
Also, Americans in general are apprehensive about the economy, and all the federal spending has not improved the situation very much.
Now, on the left, the health care fiasco is galling. Many liberals are furious that President Obama's signature issue remains in chaos. Also, some liberals do not like the Afghan war or Mr. Obama's aggressive posture towards Al Qaeda. For example, the ACLU is appalled by all the drone missile attacks.
In the middle, Americans remain skeptical that Congress and the president can solve health care, the huge debt and the economy in general.
So simply put, most Americans are nervous about the state of the union.
Now, the Obama administration understands that, as articulated by the first lady:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Rightfully so, people are frustrated, right? But one of the things that Barack Obama said and continues to say is change ain't easy, and it doesn't happen overnight. And it certainly doesn't happen in a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, that's a fair point. President Obama inherited many problems. It'll take time to sort them out. However, the president has not shown great leadership ability thus far. Most polls say Americans have little confidence in him.
So going forward, the president must impose financial discipline or the Democrats will lose everything. That is priority No. 1. If Mr. Obama continues to run up debt, his administration will fail.
On the health care front, the president still has not convinced most Americans his vision is to their benefit. Can he turn that around? I doubt it.
As far as terrorism is concerned, the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed-New York City debacle has hurt Mr. Obama big time. Can he turn that around? No. Even if he changes the venue and/or fires Attorney General Holder, the damage has been done.
But it is not all over for the president. If the economy improves, if fiscal responsibility is restored, and if he gets a big win on the terror front some place, the anger will most likely subside. But those are big ifs.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
We begin with four Olympic athletes, all female, all over-exposed somewhat in Sports Illustrated. Championship downhill skier Lindsey Vonn and three other less-known athletes posed for SI in bikinis.
Now, we believe our Olympic athletes are patriots because they train hard, represent America in international competition, and we also have no trouble with bikinis, an American invention. However, we understand some of you might disagree, so you make the patriotic call here.
On the pinhead front, the Northeast is expecting still more snow Wednesday, and the weather people are under great pressure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM KOSEK, ACCUWEATHER METEOROLOGIST: I'm Accuweather.com meteorologist Jim Kosek. A paralyzing, crippling, record-breaking storm comes today! Fourteen to 22 inches of snow! Winding down Saturday afternoon, blowing and drifting! Three-, four-, five-feet drifts! So you shovel, drifts back over, shovel, drifts, shovel!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Wow. Pinhead? Possibly.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org