This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, November 23, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: It's time now for Mort to take on our universally renowned Tip Sheet, also widely regarded inside the journalism profession, I might add. Are you ready, Mort?
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: I guess I am.
BARNES: Well, all right.
Item one: President Bush will sign into law a bill creating a new Homeland Security Department and nominate Tom Ridge to head it.
KONDRACKE: Well, you know Ridge was the guy for the job and all this talk that he wasn't going to get it was always mystified me. He used to be governor of Pennsylvania. He knows how to run things, so he should get the job.
BARNES: Sure. Yes, but, you know, they say it won't get up and running for a year or more. Maybe he could do it faster than that.
Item two: Britain's House of Commons will debate the next steps with Iraq.
KONDRACKE: Well, you know, it's a pretty bland resolution, which says, We support the U.N., and if the Saddam doesn't abide by U.N. resolutions, we'll go back to the U.N. That's not Tony Blair.
BARNES: Yes, I know, but it's a pretty left-wing House of Commons...
KONDRACKE: That's why you've got to get it through, yes.
BARNES: Yes, OK
Item three: Israel's Likud Party primary election will be held next Saturday. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has a 17-point lead in polls over Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with less than a week to go before the election. I guess there is less than a week to go before next Saturday here.
KONDRACKE: Right, I mean, this is, this is a total reversal.
KONDRACKE: A couple of months ago, it looked like Netanyahu was going to end Sharon's political career, and this is why the Israelis have been so ferocious about responding to terrorist attacks. It's boosted Sharon's popularity among his right-wing party, and there we have it.
BARNES: Do you know the name of the new Labor Party leader?
KONDRACKE: I forgot.
BARNES: Amram Mitzna.
KONDRACKE: Oh, Mitzna. Yes, he's a leftie.
BARNES: Yes, very.
Item four: Even though the shopping malls and street decorations would have you thinking that the day after Halloween opened the holiday shopping season, au contraire. The day after Thanksgiving is the official start.
KONDRACKE: Well, let's hope that people go out and shop, let's hope they buy stocks.
KONDRACKE: The economy needs a boost. Otherwise we're going to have a stimulus package.
BARNES: We always go through this time right about now where the press says nobody's going to buy anything for Christmas. Always wrong.
Item five: All eyes are still on the hotly contested Louisiana runoff race. That's the Senate race. Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu will debate Republican challenger Suzie Terrell next week. The date for the runoff, December 7.
KONDRACKE: We called it. We called that there would be a runoff.
KONDRACKE: And we called that Terrell would win.
KONDRACKE: And she might.
BARNES: She is ahead in the polls amazingly enough, and held her own in that first debate.
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