The big rap against Barack Obama during the campaign was his inexperience. His time in the Senate was short and he never actually ran anything. Now he's running the most powerful country in the world and he's having problems, no question.
Last week was brutal for the president, as the AIG scandal made him and the Democratic Party look weak and confused.
Let's begin with the big picture. Barack Obama believes that spending trillions of taxpayer dollars will blunt the recession and lead to major prosperity down the road because the USA will change its energy, health and income-generating policies.
Those who oppose the president say the spending is irresponsible and will eventually bankrupt America, causing the dollar to collapse and making a bad situation — the recession — much worse.
Right now it is impossible to predict who is correct. Both things could happen.
But what is absolutely true is that Congressional Democrats have lost control of the massive government spending, as the AIG debacle demonstrates. In allocating trillions to help failed companies, the president, Treasury Secretary Geitner, Senate Banking Chief Chris Dodd, and House Finance leader Barney Frank apparently forgot to put any meaningful rules in place.
I know it sounds incredible, but there are no strings attached to giving away our money. Want to have a multi-million dollar party? Sure, take those bailout dollars and get down! Want to give millions to incompetent managers who drove businesses into bankruptcy? Fine. No problem. So that's exactly what AIG did.
I mean, how ridiculous is that? The feds take over a failing insurance company or bank or car company, and they don't impose spending discipline? Are you kidding me?
This is Hurricane Katrina redux. Spend billions and don't police where the money goes. Just keep sending and spending with no accountability.
Now there are excuses all over the place, but the folks understand what's going on and the president is getting hammered because he's in charge. So Barack Obama should realize where he is and what has happened.
First, the AIG deal has killed the blame Bush excuse. AIG happened on Obama's watch and that's that. So the president has lost a public relations club. President Bush certainly left a raging fire, but the heat is all on Mr. Obama going forward.
Second, that's it for the spending. You took your shot, Mr. President. Now you have to restore confidence before launching into any more expensive programs. Get the economy right. Then we'll talk.
Finally, get new guys. You need new blood in the economic arena already.
"Talking Points" is not one of those wishing bad things for President Obama, but chaos is chaos and mistakes are mistakes. Fix them.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
There is a group called The Patriot Girls now operating in 38 states. These ladies raise money for the military, the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Troop Appreciation, groups like that. Their pitch is beach-friendly, if you know what I mean, and we believe they are patriots.
On the pinhead front, Tom Hanks wants you to know he is No. 1. The actor was photographed signaling that sentiment in Hollywood, and whether he is a pinhead or not is up to you. But remember, guys like Hanks don't get a moment of privacy.
And for you pinheads who say there is an equivalency to us running down villains and the paparazzi taunting celebrities, two words: Wise up.
— 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
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.