Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to be invited to the White House media Christmas party, or as they say in San Francisco, the "holiday party."
This is the fourth time I have attended the annual event, and I believe it's a privilege to go to the White House any time.
The president and first lady were very gracious to me. This is the first time I have spoken to Michelle Obama, and I was impressed. She is charismatic, articulate and beautiful. The president and first lady could not have been nicer to everybody.
The first Obama Christmas party was less crowded than last year, which of course was hosted by President and Mrs. Bush. Looking around, the decorations were not as elaborate and the tone of the party more subdued. I think that was calculated because of the recession. Nevertheless, everybody seemed to have a good time and there was good cheer in the air.
The president may have been feeling well because it looks like Obamacare will pass in a modified version. As we predicted here, there will not be a public option; that is a government-run insurance company which would badly damage private insurance companies. There will also not be expanded Medicare entitlements.
Most Americans want good health care for themselves and their fellow citizens, and I hope this enormous bill will provide that. But it is a hope. Nobody knows for sure what will happen. What we do know is that it will cost trillions of dollars, money the USA does not have.
Since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, government spending has risen almost 23 percent. America is now poised to owe $14 trillion. That is dangerous because nobody's going to feel well if the country goes bankrupt.
President Obama must make fiscal responsibility his top priority for the next three years. If the world loses confidence in America's financial position, we will have a far worse recession than we have now.
Congress cannot continue to ram through spending measures the country cannot pay for. With the exception of defense, all programs should immediately be cut by 10 percent. That would send a message and perhaps lift the president's approval rating, which Rasmussen reports is now just 44 percent among likely voters.
If we the people do not live within our means, we are punished and we could go bankrupt.
President Obama and Congress should live by the same rules we live by. Don't spend what you don't have. That's the most important Christmas gift our leaders could ever give us.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
The ordeal of Erin Andrews is just about over. The guy who stalked her is going to prison, but the pain the ESPN reporter has endured is substantial:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN ANDREWS, ESPN REPORTER: I want him to stay in jail as long as possible. He is a threat to women everywhere. He has done this to other women. And I felt like it was my duty to come here and tell this judge what he has done to me because, you know, I don't want — I don't want another family to be ripped apart by this. I don't want somebody else's career to be ruined because of this. So I — I don't know what he's going to be doing, you know, how long, but I hope, you know, I was able to help with all that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
We believe Ms. Andrews has shown courage and is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, I know we are overdoing this Lady Gaga business, but some Internet comedians have now spoofed her latest song, making it into a Christmas video.
The Lady Gaga holiday video satire may be a little pinhead-y. You make the call.