Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Talking Points memo this evening is about a potential war of words between President Bush and former President Carter.

As you may know, Mr. Carter is in Cuba on a trip sponsored by private foundations.  Which ones, we're trying to find out.  But the Bush administration gave its approval for the trip.

But before Carter left the USA, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the press that Cuba may be developing offensive biological weapons.  Carter believes that statement has undercut his trip and says the State Department briefed him but never mentioned any biological weapons.

Powell says he doesn't know what his subordinates told Carter, but of course he can know if he wants to know.

Carter has visited a Cuban biotechnology lab and said he doesn't believe Cuba is exporting terrorist materials and information to countries like Libya and Iran.  Carter said he asked American experts if there was hard evidence of Cuban misconduct and they said no.

Now President Bush is heading down to south Florida next week to celebrate Cuban Independence Day.  He will deliver a speech, and Talking Points is betting heavily it will not be friendly to Fidel Castro.

So why, then, did Mr. Bush give Jimmy Carter permission to go to Cuba?

This is what is known as back-door diplomacy.  Castro likes Carter, and Carter sympathizes with Cuba, wants the embargo cut back.  So Castro, who's in big trouble economically, might be in the mood to compromise on some issues, and Carter is the messenger service back to Bush.

But the former president has now teed off the Bush administration a bit, and that wasn't smart.  Carter should have left the biochemical thing go and just looked and listened.

Remember, Bill Clinton totally disrespected Carter, and Mr. Bush has treated him well, but that could change after this fiasco.

Jimmy Carter is an aloof man who does good charitable work but has no clue when it comes to foreign policy.  Iran embarrassed him, and I still can't understand why we gave away the Panama Canal.  I mean, what did we gain from that transaction?

Carter could be a useful -- could be useful, I should say, as a goodwill ambassador to the third world, but he wouldn't know a terrorist plot if it moved in with him in Plains.

Castro is using the former president, of course, that's obvious, but it's not really important.  What is important is that Castro does no harm to the USA, because if he does, in this climate, the Bay of Pigs might have a very different sequel.

And that's the memo.


 

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time for the "Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day." 

Moe, the chimp, is in the middle of a custody battle.  He's 36-years old and was taken away from his owners, the Davises of West Covina, California, after he bit two people.  The Davises want him back.  But city officials say Moe is better off at a wildlife sanctuary with other chimps.  Presumably, he won't bite them.  And if he does, they'll bite him back.

Anyway, this whole thing has been going on for four years.  And Moe's lawyer, that's right, Moe the chimp has a lawyer, says the whole thing is still a mess and no one really knows where Moe will end up.  Of course, we wish the best for Moe, as we do for Larry and Curly.  But it may be ridiculous for chimps to have lawyers.  We'll hear the other side of that tomorrow on The Radio Factor when Moe the chimp's lawyer will calls in.

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com