This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", April 24, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Time for this week's ups and downs.

UP: Washington Post Ace Reporter Bob Woodward

Despite the shots he's taken by some in the Bush administration, his book, "Plan of Attack," is fast becoming a bestseller and the talk of Washington.

And, in fact, Mort, I like the book. I liked his, his prior book, "Bush at War," I liked his two Clinton books. He had a particularly good book about the first Gulf War, "The Commanders." So I'm a fan of Bob Woodward.

But in this case, the press, which hates Bush, has tried to play up any parts of Woodward's book they could find that would look bad for Bush. But the truth is, the book is not anti-Bush, really.

For one thing, it shows Bush at -- as a strong, effective leader. It knocks down that ridiculous notion, I mean, you and I know it's ridiculous, that Cheney is really the puppeteer, you know, pulling the strings on Bush.

And I think if he reads the book, and I assume President Bush will, he'll feel vindicated that he not only gave about three-plus hours of interviews to Woodward, but told everybody else in the administration to talk to him.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: It, it's advertised on the, on the White House Web site...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... that you should go, that you should read the book. That, you know, they don't, they don't think it's a bad book for Bush.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: I mean, to read the advance notices, I was expecting that this was going to create an uproar in the administration, all about the Colin Powell allegedly saying that Cheney was, you know, behind the war and was fevered about it and all that kind of stuff, and that Bush would be furious with, with Powell for ratting, ratting on Cheney and, and causing discord within the administration in public, you know.

And it just hasn't...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... developed. And, you know, the, the whole thing seems to be blowing over quite nicely.

Here's Powell's reaction, for example, for the quote from Woodward's book about Cheney having a fever about Iraq as if, quote unquote, "nothing else exists." Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, was the vice president determined that we had to do something about Saddam Hussein (search) and that, that evil regime? You bet he was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KONDRACKE: And here's what Powell had to say about his relationship with Cheney now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POWELL: It's excellent. As Mr. Woodward notes at one point in the book, and this may sound a little improper, but when the vice president and I are alone, it's "Colin" and "Dick."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KONDRACKE: Now, they do disagree on policy.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: But I think this thing is less than the explosion that Maureen Dowd, for example ... in The New York Times thought that Powell ought to resign. OK.

DOWN: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan

He faces a widening oil-for-food scandal (search), which is now being probed by an independent panel, further threatening the U.N.'s credibility in Iraq at a critical time.

Well, you know, Paul Volcker, the former head of the Federal Reserve Board, is supposed to look into this and get, and get to the bottom of it. But whatever he finds, it's quite clear that Saddam Hussein stole billions and billions of dollars that were supposed to go to his, his own people.

And you remember all those critics of the United States in France and some here at home who were accusing the United States, because we were in favor of sanctions against Iraq, of starving Iraqi children? It was Saddam Hussein who was...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... who was starving them, maybe in cahoots with the French, the Russians, and the U.N.

BARNES: What do you mean, maybe? Of course he was in cahoots with them. You know, they were the ones who ... was a lot of French and German and Russian firms who he sold the oil to at a cut-rate price, and then they could charge more for it, and as a part of the -- a big profit, they'd give a kickback to Saddam.

And then he got kickbacks on the other side with the companies that were supposed to supply Iraq with food and medicine, he'd take a kickoff there -- a, a kickback there.

The other thing is, this tells you a lot about the U.N. and its capability and its penchant for corruption. They had more than 3,000 people working on this program. They winked at all this stuff that Saddam was doing with this program, the billions he was raking off, and some of them themselves benefited from it. Kofi Annan's son is implicated. I don't know whether he's guilty or not.

And, and the U.N. just couldn't handle a program this big in a competent fashion. It tells you why the Bush administration has only given the U.N. a rather limited role in Iraq right now, and that's to help set up the election of a, of a democratic government.

KONDRACKE: ... and it should be embarrassing. I mean, Kerry, John Kerry ought to be asked to, you know, if he's going to turn this whole thing over to the U.N....

BARNES: Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE: ... you know, what about this record?

BARNES: That's a very good point, Mort. Any, anyway, I'm going to move on to this next one.

UP: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan

Greenspan speaks, investors listen. Greenspan once again proves his words move markets after delivering this assessment of the economy this week. See, Mort, if you can translate it for me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: Looking forward, prospects for sustained, solid economic growth in the period ahead are good. But the Federal Reserve recognizes that sustained prosperity requires the maintenance of price stability and will act as necessary to ensure that outcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KONDRACKE: Now, I speak, I, I understand ... Greenspanese, I really do...

BARNES: Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE: ... and it, it's the public, it's the markets that, that get confused by this kind of thing.

BARNES: Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE: But what he's saying is that the economy is booming...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... and that interest rates inevitably are going to rise.

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: So what happens? The first day, the stock market acts as though ... he had said this, this economy is in terrible shape.

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: Then they figured, finally...

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: ... figured out that he said that the economy's booming, and the stock market went back up again.

BARNES: Yes, here's what he's saying. We're, we're going to have fast growth, we're going to have more jobs. John Kerry's going to have a lot of political pain as a result.

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