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

The Supreme Court weighs in on affirmative action.  That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.  The court has ruled that the University of Michigan cannot give 20 points or one-fifth the points needed for admission to applicants just because they're black.  Of course, the three radical members of the court, Ginsburg, Stevens, and Souter disagree.  But the court also ruled that Michigan's law school can use race as a factor in adding minorities to the class.

The conservative justices dissented on that one.  Now "Talking Points" believes these rulings are reasonable but flawed because race should never be an issue on college applications.  Not because affirmative action is bad.  It's not.  People who overcome adversity should be sought after by colleges and employers.

But adversity comes from being poor, not from being a certain color.  So affirmative action should always be based on economics.  That way, no group will receive preferential treatment.  And why can't our society get this?  We're all in it together and the poor need help to improve their status.  That should be the American way, helping those less fortunate.

But what has happened is preferential treatment based on skin color.  And that polarizes the country and goes against the constitutional mandate of promoting the general welfare.

Now, I hire people all the time and can tell you that if it's a tie between an affluent applicant and a poor applicant, the poor person gets the job.  Because the fewer advantages a person has, the harder he or she has to work.  And I want hard workers and problem solvers.

So if all this affirmative action stuff was economically based, black Americans would obviously get a needed boost based on a poverty rate, but no race would be shut out.  And here's the kicker.  At the University of Michigan, you check a racial box.  Blacks automatically get 20 points as I mentioned.  Do Michael Jordan's kids need those points?  No.  So what's up with that?

We live a great country which is dumb about race.  Polarizers like Jesse Jackson prey upon liberal guilt.  And the result is that good intentions often injure the innocent.  Let's help poor Americans help  themselves and knock the color stuff off.

And that's The Memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

The new Harry Potter book sold five-million copies its first day out.  So here's my dilemma.  I have a new book coming out September 30.  How do I get the title Harry Potter in there?

By the way, thanks again for keeping The No Spin Zone paperback [edition] on The New York Times bestseller list for almost four months now.  It's number two this coming Sunday...

It's way cheaper than Harry Potter, though.  But any other comparison might be ridiculous.

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