A new study by Pew Research says that 76 percent of Americans do not trust the federal government, at least some of the time. Also, just 25 percent of Americans think Congress is doing a good job.
So what's behind this?
The Pew people say it is driven by economics, especially in the independent precincts. Folks are worried about their wallets, and they don't think the feds are responding very well. Thus, they don't trust the federal government.
But "Talking Points" believes there is something else in play.
When President Obama was elected 18 months ago, there was big time hope in the air. In fact, the president ran on hope and change, and many Americans were very optimistic that good times would be here again.
It hasn't happened.
The president still has time to turn things around, but we Americans are not a patient people, and there is anger in the air.
Yes, there has been change. We now have record spending and a new tone of humility overseas, but those things might not be good things.
Also, whenever you build up someone's hopes and don't come through, you become suspect. And the bigger the hope, the harder the fall.
President Obama's charisma energized many Americans, and now they are disappointed with reality. Therefore, a combination of those who didn't like Mr. Obama from the jump, and disillusionment because things have not gotten better, is driving all the negativity towards the federal government.
It is true that Congress is doing a terrible job. The health care bill was a colossal mess, and partisan bickering is out control. Both parties are at fault. The Republicans are undermining President Obama. The Democrats simply don't seem to care if the country goes bankrupt. They continue to spend irresponsibly, to load up bills with pork, and to basically thumb their noses at fiscal reality. That's not just incompetent, that's dangerous.
So once again, the American people are the ones with the common sense. They know the feds are not doing the job.
This is not a healthy place to be for America, and it is incumbent on the incumbent — President Obama — to turn this around, fast.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
At Sunday night's Country Music Awards, the very hot Zac Brown Band was a no-show. But they had a good excuse. They were overseas entertaining the troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAC BROWN BAND: I'll tell what I tell the crowd every night when we play back in the States. We tell them remember the people that are sleeping over in a sandstorm so we can be free over there and be able to have a concert.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
For doing that Persian Gulf tour, the Zac Brown Band are patriots.
On the pinhead front, our old pal Willie Nelson apparently believes 9/11 was an inside job:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE NELSON, SINGER: These two buildings imploded, and the one next to it, nothing hit it. No plane hit the one next to it. It just decided to fall on its own. So, naturally, I have questions. Never before has a building collapsed because it was hit by an airplane, a steel building, never before.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Has any building been hit by a 747 though?
NELSON: I'm sure they have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
One footnote: Willie admitted he had smoked pot before that interview. Not unusual for the crooner, but it may have made him even more of a pinhead.
— 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: email@example.com.
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly.