Lightning Round: End the Washington Monument.

  • The founders would've scoffed at separation of church and state. Thus speaketh Sarah Palin: "Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our Founding Fathers, they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life." Personal faith of the Founders aside, try mulling this quote over, Ms. Palin. It's from James Madison: "The general government is proscribed from interfering, in any manner whatever, in matters respecting religion." Let's not forget about that silly First Amendment, either.
  • Faux-populist, right-wing noise compounded and amplified by the conservative media echo chamber: That's what the Tea Party is, say E.J. Dionne Jr. and Andy Ostroy, both chewing on last week's NYT poll of the so-called grass-roots movement. In other words, Ostroy emphasizes, the Tea baggers are -- shock -- Republicans. Dionne offers a slightly more constructive take. There's nothing new about wealthy, well-educated, white men stamping their entitled feet anytime someone threatens their hegemony. The real issue, Dionne argues, is the frustration fomenting everywhere but the right.
  • On a related note, today Pew unveiled a survey suggesting just 22 percent of respondents -- a near-low for the last half-century -- say they trust the government. (See Monica's take on the stats over here.) Yeah, that stings a bit, but today's discontent has been simmering for years. It would have been naive to expect Obama to slide in on a rainbow and sprinkle everything with fairy-change dust, leaving all of us blissed-out and singing a post-partisan kumbaya. But wait! Steve Benen reminds everyone there's, you know, the whole rest of the world out there, too. At least it doesn't hate us ... well, not as much it used to, reports the BBC. Andrew Sullivan chimes in. Growing global respect? Oh no. The terrorists must be winning.
  • Remainders: Freshly ground black people, or, this is why we hire proofreaders; Bill Clinton says Obama should go crazy with the Supreme Court; who keeps letting Rudy Giuliani on TV?; in honor of tomorrow, check out these super-fun reasons to end pot prohibition; and if you're going to one-up the competition, AT&T and Verizon, you probably should keep track of how many countries exist.

--Rebecca Delaney

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