Ups and Downs for the Week of April 29 - May 3

This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, April 27, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: All right. Ups and Downs.

Up: House majority whip Tom DeLay

BARNES: Up, House majority whip Tom DeLay. DeLay flexes his political muscle by honchoing a pro-Israel resolution through the House despite White House objections.


MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, Tom DeLay actually, is — he's closer to your ideology than it is to mine.


KONDRACKE: But I've got to say that he deserves an up, not only for sponsoring this resolution that got 350-something votes in the...


KONDRACKE: ... in the House of Representatives, but also for pushing through an amazing array of legislation, even though the Republicans only have a six-vote majority, it's...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... it's harder to do than it looks, but he makes it look easy. And furthermore, the latest thing that he's doing is to, is trying to develop legislation that would overturn this disgraceful Supreme Court ruling that says that the First Amendment...

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: ... protects virtual child pornography.


KONDRACKE: So up Tom DeLay.

BARNES: ... yes, good for him, your friend Tom DeLay.

The — but there's another part. You know, Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, said to me the other day, he said he thought in life he would never come to a time when Tom DeLay would be more pro-Israel than the average rabbi in the average synagogue. I mean, DeLay talks about Israel in a way that the — its strongest supporters don't.

Down: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan

KONDRACKE: Down, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Annan is forced to disband a U.N. fact-finding team to look into military actions in Jenin after repeated Israeli accusations that the mission was stacked against them.

I mean, the fact is, the fact is that Annan appointed this group.

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: There was no massacre in Jenin.


KONDRACKE: It's, it's quite clear. And there's loads of newspaper reports to that effect, and, and findings, and Annan appointed this group that was...


KONDRACKE: ... that was stacked against Israel.

BARNES: Yes, right, no, look, there was just nothing to investigate, that's the main thing. Kofi Annan won't admit it. There were no eyewitnesses, there were, there were not all these bodies. You know, there was an investigation done by a — I don't know what you'd call it...

KONDRACKE: Human Rights Watch.

BARNES: ... Human Rights Watch.


BARNES: They found 48 bodies, which were fewer than the Israelis even said would have showed up. Most of them were soldiers and, and not innocent civilians. So, I mean, there was really nothing to investigate, and in the — as the Israelis pointed out, there are all kinds of atrocities that are carried out by the Palestinians, and it never occurs to the U.N., particularly its secretary general, to investigate those. OK.

Down: Fictional TV ad couple Harry and Louise

BARNES: Down, fictional TV ad couple Harry and Louise. The duo that helped to kill the Clinton health care plan is back, this time to help bolster research cloning. But this ad is coming under fire for misrepresenting the facts about cloning.

Take a quick look, and I'll tell you what's wrong with it.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What's with this stem cell research debate?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Lot of people in Congress have their facts confused.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Well, I'm shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: One bill puts scientists in jail for working to cure our niece's diabetes.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: So cure cancer, go to jail.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Alzheimer's, heart disease, take your pick.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why, is it cloning?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: No. It uses an unfertilized egg and a skin cell.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: So it's not making babies.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Just life-saving cures.


BARNES: Mort, that ad is dishonest, and I think ought to be taken off the air. Look, there is an argument — I don't agree with it — but there is an argument for cloning to do research in hopes of finding cures for other diseases. But this ad says that it is not cloning, and it is cloning. Why would they say that? I don't know, I mean, look, there is — as I say, there is a legitimate argument.

Now, I think this cloning, you're on the slippery slope toward places we don't want to go as a civilization. But they're completely wrong in this ad.

KONDRACKE: Well, I think the ad needs to be rewritten, but...

BARNES: At the very least.

KONDRACKE: ... the — but, but, but the point is, the point, I think, is correct. What, what we should do is regulate but permit research cloning of embryos and ban cloning to make babies.

Now, what this — the legislative situation in Congress is, that, that there are going to be two filibusters, and the, the net result of it's going to be that nothing's going to pass, which is going to permit crazy people, Dr. Frankensteins, if they want to, to go ahead and clone babies.  Not a good idea.

Down: Bill Clinton

KONDRACKE: Down, Bill Clinton. The former president reportedly has dreams of becoming the next Oprah Winfrey. The Los Angeles Times says Clinton met with NBC bigwigs this week to create his own talk show and is demanding an annual salary of $50 million.

BARNES: That's almost as much as you make. The...

KONDRACKE: Not, not quite, no. Oprah's — I know Oprah, she's not exactly a friend of mine...

BARNES: Yes, sure.

KONDRACKE: ... but I have been on her show. And even though Bill Clinton, you know, does know how to feel people's pain, and Lord knows, he knows a lot about...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... sex and scandal...


KONDRACKE: ... Bill Clinton is no Oprah Winfrey.

BARNES: You know, he is no Oprah Winfrey, but look, I mean, I think we have to think — I mean, to give Clinton at least some benefit or — of the doubt here. He is different. It's a different time, and he is younger than normally ex-presidents are, and he's going to do different things.  I'm — look, I'm not being cynical about this, I just think we have to expect that he may want to do something on television.

You can imagine some things that he could do — well, now, wait a minute, you're grimacing...

KONDRACKE: I'm grimacing. I am.

BARNES: ... I know you are. Some things he could do on, on international issues or something, not documentaries, but things that he could do on television that would be the right things to do. A talk show, however, no.

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