This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Dec. 8, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Here's our Tip Sheet for next week's action. Fred's in the griddle here.
Item one, next week, the three-month anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks. President Bush has requested that the National Anthem be played at the White House grounds as well as sites in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.
FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: And, of course, it can be done at schools and businesses and anywhere around the country. I mean, anything that brings people together as one America I think is good for this country. Now, for too long we've been drifting in this way toward a Balkanized America of hyphenated Americans. I'm against that.
KONDRACKE: Item two, Mary Frances Berry, chairwoman of the Civil Rights Commission, rejects the appointment of Peter Kirasnow, and lawyers for Berry and the White House will meet next week.
BARNES: You know, she has become a warlord. She has this fiefdom, and she doesn't care what the White House says or Congress or anybody else says. She does not have a legal leg to stand on, and ultimately she's going to have to accept the White House appointee.
KONDRACKE: I agree with you.
Item three, the Fed is meeting next week, and all signs are pointing toward another rate cut in interest rates.
BARNES: And it looks like a quarter-point cut in interest rates, though I don't claim to be a seasoned Fed-watcher. But you do have to give the Fed some credit. They've had, I think, 10 rate cuts this year. Historically, we know that those work in reviving the economy, and I think they will this time.
KONDRACKE: Yes, elected politicians can't seem to agree on a stimulus package, so it's nice to have a czar, Alan Greenspan, around to help out the economy.
Item four, Charles Burlingame, the pilot of the American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon, is set to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
BARNES: Talk about needing a charm offensive. I mean, the Pentagon, how did they think – what were they thinking when they said, No, he can't be buried in Arlington Cemetery because he's only 52, he's not 60 yet? I mean, if his plane was being flown by terrorists into the Pentagon isn't – doesn't qualify as extraordinary circumstances which argue for his burial now, at least the Pentagon changed its mind, and now we're letting him be buried there.
KONDRACKE: Well, here's a case where elected representatives, apparently your senators from Virginia...
KONDRACKE: ... intervened with the bureaucrats...
KONDRACKE: ... and made something good happen.
BARNES: Yes, George Allen in particular.
And item five, Congress will hold a hearing next week to investigate how energy powerhouse Enron could have collapsed without any warning signs.
BARNES: You know, this is really a mess, this whole Enron thing. I mean, this is a company that everybody was investing in just about a year ago. Now its stock is, what, 14 cents? I mean, they diversified beyond the areas – the energy areas when they knew what they were doing, and they've created this huge pension problem of – for all their employees.
And now the Houston Astros are going to have to find a new name for Enron Field.
KONDRACKE: Not a mess, a scandal. I mean...
BARNES: I agree, yes.
KONDRACKE: ... both on the part of Enron's management, closely connected to the White House...
KONDRACKE: ... and all – and also accounting firms which gave these – this company a clean audit when it was, in fact, it was foul.
BARNES: Yes, there's no reason the White House – to think the White House had anything to do with it...
KONDRACKE: Do with it, no, but...
BARNES: ... Ken Lays...
KONDRACKE: Pals, right.
BARNES: All right.
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