Ups and Downs for the Week of February 9 - 13

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", February 14, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Guess what, Mort? It's time for the ups and downs.

UP: Secretary of State Colin Powell

The usually mild-mannered Powell, fires back at Ohio Congressman Sharrod Brown (search) during a hearing on Iraq for accusing President Bush of being AWOL in the Vietnam War. Watch this, please.


REP. SHARROD BROWN (D), OHIO: We count on you. The president may have been a, may have been AWOL. The vice president said he had other priorities ... during Vietnam, other high administrative officials never served. You understand war. We absolutely count on you.

And we, I think a lot of us wonder what happened between that Post interview and your statement the next day when the said the president made the right decision.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: First of all, Mr. Brown, I won't dignify your comments about the president, because you don't know what you're talking about.

Second, let me get to the points that you were raising...

BROWN: I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean, Mr. Secretary.

POWELL: You made reference to the president...

BROWN: Said he may have been AWOL.

POWELL: Mr., Mr. Brown, let's not, let's not go there.


BARNES: And you know what? Brown didn't go there after that. That was a great slap-down by Powell ... and you know, that was, with Powell in the witness stand, that was the wrong time to take a cheap shot and with the wrong guy there testifying.

But only a person who had never served in the military would come up with that kind of a cheap shot at a time like that. And sure enough, I checked. Sharrod Brown, who seemed to be condemning Cheney for not serving in the military, for Bush for maybe missing a few National Guard meetings, he never served a day.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Yes. I think, look, I think this National Guard story, Bush National Guard story, is a lot of hooey ... frankly. I mean, it was 30 years ago at a time when Bush, by, has admitted himself that he was young and irresponsible.

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: And unless there's a felony conviction or in his record someplace ... that we don't know about ... which I doubt, I think this ought to go away.


KONDRACKE: But the press is obsessed with it, because there are records, there are hidden records ... and they can keep going after. But ... was an issue around in the 2000 race.

But it is preventing Bush from getting any other message out, and somehow he's got to change the subject.

BARNES: Yes, he will.


UP: Colin Powell's Son FCC Chairman Michael Powell

In the wake of the Super Bowl fiasco, Powell and the FCC are poised to finally crack down on indecent material on television, including stiffer fines and revoking the licenses of serial violators.

Now, there was a point at which, for a long time, while Joe Lieberman and Sam Brownback and, and Bill Bennett and, and John McCain were trying to get Powell to crack down on indecent television and by the media, you know, Powell was, was resisting.

I think what finally happened was that he saw the muck rising from his ankles to his knees...

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: ... and ... he figured that it was going to, it was going to drown out the culture, which it will ... if it is not stopped.

BARNES: You know who also deserves some credit here is Congressman Fred Upton, the Republican from Michigan...

KONDRACKE: You're right.

BARNES: ... who, even before the tawdry halftime show at the Super Bowl, had a hearing because the F-word was used on television, and the FCC didn't do anything about it, as they should have. And, of course, Mort, you deserve some credit as well, because you complained about this stuff. But you're a prude, you know ... avant-garde person like myself, you're a prude.

All right, I'm going to move on.

DOWN: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

While President Bush tries to rein in nuclear proliferation, Musharraf pardons nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan (search) for selling nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya, and says Pakistan would not submit to outside inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Here's President Bush Wednesday, vowing to crack down on the nuclear black market.


PRESIDENT BUSH: We must act on every lead. We will find the middlemen, the suppliers, and the buyers. Our message to proliferators must be consistent, and it must be clear. We will find you, and we're not going to rest until you're stopped.


KONDRACKE: Well, Bush, Bush had an initiative to deny equipment to make, to enrich uranium and produce plutonium to countries that don't have it. Now, this is very late in the day ... I mean, we are, Bush has been in office more than three years, and, you know, he has not made nuclear proliferation a major top item on his priority list, much as he failed to make terrorism a top priority until after, after 9/11.

To quote his national security adviser, Condi Rice, you know, what we have to worry about is that the first warning we get of the results of this A.Q. Khan thing may be a mushroom cloud.

BARNES: Yes, but you'd agree, what Bush didn't do in three years, Bill Clinton didn't do in eight years. Right?

KONDRACKE: Well, you know ...

BARNES: I don't remember this initiative coming from Clinton.

KONDRACKE: Well ... the, the Democrats have been urging this...


KONDRACKE: ... for a very long time...

BARNES: Well, why didn't they urge ... why didn't they get their president, Bill Clinton, to do it? They weren't urging very hard. Look...

KONDRACKE: They, they tried with North Korea ... and failed.

BARNES: ...the real problem is, look, they signed a treaty with North Korea, and then North Korea cheated. Yes, violated it. So it wasn't much of a treaty.

Treaties don't work here. You have to lean real hard on these rogue states, and even non-rogue states like Pakistan. That's the only thing that's going to work, the ... U.S. power and influence. All right.

DOWN: Gregory Mankiw, Chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers

The White House and the president himself are seeking to soften the blow from Mankiw's remarks this week defending American jobs going overseas. Here's what he said and President Bush's response.


GREGORY MANKIW, CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: I think outsourcing is a growing phenomenon. But it's something that we should realize is probably a plus for the economy in the long run.

BUSH: There are people looking for work because jobs have gone overseas. And we need to act in this country. We need to act to make sure there are more jobs at home.


BARNES: Yes, I'm for more jobs at home. But, you know, a bunch of Democrats and the Republican House speaker, Denny Hastert, jumped all over Mankiw, who had the benefit of being 100 percent correct on this thing.

You know, look, what does outsourcing do? It gives low-income jobs to other countries, it saves money for corporations who can invest in an R&D and technology and produce newer, better, higher-paying jobs. That's one thing.

Outsourcing allows companies to compete and not go bankrupt ... and if companies did, then they'd lose a whole lot of jobs.

KONDRACKE: Yes ... all that's true in the long run...

BARNES: Yes, yes, it's true in the short run as well.

KONDRACKE: ... no, in the short run ... what it does is, it depresses wages. When American workers lose good jobs, and have to take bad jobs, their wages go down. And what's ... furthermore...

BARNES: Producing better jobs. Don't you understand?

KONDRACKE: It's not producing by itself...

BARNES: That's the way a vibrant economy works...

KONDRACKE: I understand, I understand ...

BARNES: Yes, I don't think you do.

KONDRACKE: ... done in the short run.

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