As we've mentioned, the two biggest challenges President-elect Obama faces are the economy and keeping Americans safe from the terror-killers.

"Points" likes Obama's proposed tax cuts for small business and working Americans. That's smart and will restore some confidence in the wobbling economy. But on the security front, big problems are rolling in.

Click here to watch "Talking Points."

Obama will nominate 70-year-old Leon Panetta to run the Central Intelligence Agency. An honest and smart guy, Mr. Panetta is Bill Clinton's former chief of staff and a man of great patriotism. But he has no intel experience, opposes coerced interrogation and many other anti-terror methods that have kept us safe for more than seven years.

It's not that Mr. Panetta could not learn quickly. He could. But with terrorism raging worldwide, is this the right time for on-the-job training?

FOX News analyst Charles Krauthammer nailed it when he said the far-left pressured Obama to select someone like Panetta:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SPECIAL REPORT")

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS ANALYST: The reason that this happened is because Obama has caved to his left. The left will not accept anybody who served in any way in the last eight years under the Bush administration because of the enhanced interrogation, the secret prisons and the eavesdropping programs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

That leaves people like Panetta.

If the CIA does away with effective intelligence gathering tools, well, I believe the risk of America being attacked rises dramatically. Certainly, terrorists everywhere are rooting for fewer overseas taps and no unpleasant treatment upon capture. Those things will make their mission to kill Americans much easier.

And some old CIA hands agree with me, people like Michael Scheuer, who once headed the bin Laden unit:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER CIA ANALYST: I think that the only way to change policy is sadly another attack in the United States, and I'm afraid that's coming.

O'REILLY: Do you — are you going to predict that?

SCHEUER: Oh, I think so, sir. I think within the next year we'll be attacked again. The opportunity is just too good a one. Taking down a lot of the rendition program and that kind of stuff makes things easier for the enemy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

But some Americans don't care. In fact, some Americans even support the enemy.

In San Francisco, ground zero for anti-American displays, supporters of Hamas openly demonstrate against Israel and the USA. These people believe that America is evil, and so do many in the media.

Bottom line on this: Barack Obama is taking a major risk by handcuffing U.S. intelligence in its vital task of disrupting and defeating terror. If we get hit, the president-elect will have some major problems.

As for Leon Panetta: good man, wrong mission.

And that's "The Memo."

Pinheads & Patriots

In her latest film, "Cadillac Records," Beyonce starred as the legendary singer Etta James. Tragically, Ms. James was a drug addict, and so Beyonce is donating her entire $4 million salary for that movie to some drug rehab centers. For this, she is a patriot.

On the pinhead front, another "you make the call" situation. Back in the summer of 2001, President-elect Obama appeared on TV as a restaurant critic.

Click here to watch "Pinheads & Patriots."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA: It's not gourmet cuisine, but that's not why I go to Dixie Kitchen, you know. I'm not looking for some fancy presentation or, you know, extraordinarily subtle flavors. I mean, what I'm looking for is food that tastes good for a good price. So Dixie Kitchen, I think, is a good option for people. I do have to put in a plug for their peach cobbler, which — which people...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if I layed off those corn cakes when they set them on the table, maybe I'd have some room for some cobbler.

OBAMA: Those Johnny cakes, they'll get you early, and then you won't have time for — room for the peach cobbler.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Anyone who doesn't save room for peach cobbler is a pinhead. I just had to play that tape. Did you notice that it was the Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop? Yes.

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: oreilly@foxnews.com