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

First of all, I want to send my best to Captain Louise Alvarez in the  1st Cav currently serving in Iraq.  We know you guys are watching. We  really appreciate it — what you're doing over there —your service. Please  stay safe.

Secondly, this is kind of an interesting day for me, as I've now become a gossip guy after 30 years of a clean record.  I knew once we filed the extortion lawsuit yesterday this would happen.  The press  would go wild, printing embarrassing allegations. But I didn't have any choice. We  have to let the justice system deal with this.

Now the lawyers have asked me not to talk about this stuff any  further. I was on "Regis" this morning and that's pretty much going to be  it, because I have to respect the lawyers' requests.

And finally, thousands of you have written me great letters.  And your kindness is really appreciated. I hope you know that.

And now the "Talking Points Memo." Down to the wire for Bush and Kerry.  As you know, we don't choose winners in the debates.  We just tell you who  we think has benefited the most.

And last night, neither candidate changed many minds according to the  after-debate polling.  Most Americans know who they'll vote for in  November.  Maybe 10% that can be persuaded one way or the other.  And it is  those people who will decide the race.

Voting for either candidate contains an element of hope. Americans  hope President Bush can win in Iraq, or we hope John Kerry can improve the  Iraqi situation.  But nobody — nobody — knows for sure.

We do know the president is a tax cutter and a traditional guy with  deep conservative beliefs.  We also know Senator Kerry will expand the  government and try to up entitlements to the poor and the elderly. Congress, of course, has the final stay on that, but Kerry will make the  government bigger, no question.

So Americans do face a rather stark choice.Two guys with opposite domestic plans but also two guys who may or may not be effective overseas.

As I said, I think both men are patriots. I admire the president for answering my questions.  I hope Mr. Kerry will do the same, but time is growing short. Always remember that the true measure of a man is keeping his word and standing firm in the face of adversity.  And that should also be on your mind when voting November 2.  That's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

A rare public appearance alert:  On Friday night, October 22, I, your  humble correspondent, will be at the state theater in New Brunswick, New  Jersey, giving a speech, answering some questions.  It will be a great time  — at least for me.

Information is posted on billoreilly.com.  That's Friday, October 22,  right before Halloween.  I'll be in costume.  New Brunswick, New Jersey.   See you there.

Ridiculous only if you don't show up.  Then I'll be there all by  myself, and that would be ridiculous.

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