Ups and Downs for the Week of August 2 - 6

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", August 7, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's take a look at this week's ups and downs.

UP: Jobs, barely

July's unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent, the lowest since October 2001, but only 32,000 jobs were created, bringing the total number of jobs created this past year to just under 1.6 million. Now, that was an anemic job creations number, no question about it. Economists and others had expected it to be in the 200,000 to 250,000 range.

Every, every other number looked great. Unemployment claims have gone way down. They're the lowest in, in years. Consumer confidence, which you always think is so important, is way up all of a sudden. Personal income's up. The manufacturing index shows that manufacturing is becoming incredibly robust.

Actually, of the 32,000 jobs created, 10,000 were manufacturing jobs, which had gone down for so many ... for so many months.

I think, and most economists think, and, you know, most economists are, are wrong sometimes, but the, it will still average about 200,000 jobs created this year. But there's no way around it, the 32,000 was a bad number for Bush in July.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Right. We said jobs up as the, as the title of this thing...

BARNES: Yes, yes ...

KONDRACKE: ... Bush down.


KONDRACKE: Because this is the third straight month that the job increase number has gone down. And, and in fact, the new estimate indicates that there were even less jobs created in the past two months than, than were originally indicated.

Furthermore...furthermore, the, the, the, the, the GDP growth rate for the last quarter...


KONDRACKE: ... was only 3 percent, down from 4.5 percent, indicating...

BARNES: Mort, 3 percent is still pretty good.

KONDRACKE: Still -- well, it's -- it, but it's not as robust as it was. And not only are the numbers bad, but, but I don't think the Bush administration has done a very good job of explaining. As a matter of fact you explained the, the, the, the economic situation a lot better than I've ever heard the Bush administration do in, in any ad. I mean, Bush does it on the stump...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... but that's to a limited audience. Or, and, and it, and it never gets really covered, and he never really makes any news when he goes and makes his speeches. So he...

BARNES: You were using me to bash Bush.

KONDRACKE: No, I'm not ... I'm, I'm complimenting you on doing a better job. They should...

BARNES: All right.

KONDRACKE: ... they should listen to you.

Now, the, the, the Democratic National Committee (search), following up on these job numbers, has roared in with this ad. Watch.


ANNOUNCER: Millions of good jobs lost to plant closures and outsourcing, yet President Bush protects tax breaks favoring corporations that move their headquarters overseas.

America can do better.


KONDRACKE: And according to a Fox poll, when asked, which candidate has a clear plan for creating and protecting jobs, Kerry beat Bush by 17 points. Bad.


BARNES: Bad for Bush, yes.


DOWN: Now It's Down, Gay Marriage

Voters in Missouri (search) voted a whopping 70 percent for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state. And gay marriage advocates fear that other states will follow. At least 13 states, including the swing states of Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Oregon, have similar measures on the ballot this November.

Now, this is bad news for John Kerry. This, this Missouri vote took place during a primary, which, where Kerry and Bush were not on the ballot. But the next one takes place on November 2, when they both are. And if the, the anti-gay marriage voters do what one would expect them to do and that they will vote for Bush, and that will, that will help Bush's...


KONDRACKE: ... Bush's reelect, reelection.

But let me just and say one more thing. If, if all these states...


KONDRACKE: ... Fred, are adopting constitutional amendments...


KONDRACKE: ... to ban gay marriage, you'll have to agree that this eliminates the need for a constitutional amendment at the, at the federal level, right?

BARNES: No, no, I don't agree with that at all.

KONDRACKE: ... why not?

BARNES: Because, because there'd be ...

KONDRACKE: But let the states handle it.

BARNES: ... states handle it would depend on, on the upholding of the Defense of Marriage Act that states are actually allowed to do this. And I think it's going to be struck down. We need to move on a constitutional amendment quickly.

The amazing thing about this, about this vote was so many people turned out, so many Democrats turned out to vote against gay marriage, and they didn't even vote in the gubernatorial race, where it actually dragged down the governor, who, Holden, who lost the primary as a result of, of, of his opposition to gay marriage. And attempts to keep it off the ballot.

I say let the people decide.


BARNES: All right.

KONDRACKE: On the state level.

DOWN: The United Nations

BARNES: Despite repeated calls for more U.N. involvement in Iraq, the United Nations has so far refused to help the Iraqis prepare for national elections for fear of being ... the target of a terrorist attack. Well, the U.N. can do one thing well, not many things, but one thing they've done well in the past is ... is help create democratic election machinery in countries.

And here they don't want to do that now because they say they, they're not being protected from, from terrorism. Well, the coalition forces, mainly the U.S., be glad to protect them, they all know we can't have them.

Or, or we could have the Iraqis. No, we can't have them. We want some third, the U.N. wants some third party to come in and protect them, and there is no third party to come in. France is not coming in, and so what are they doing, sitting on their hands.

KONDRACKE: Exactly. Well, you know, the U.N. was created to prevent horrific disasters like...


KONDRACKE: ... Rwanda and what's going on in the Sudan right now.


KONDRACKE: Where tens of thousands of people are being butchered. United Nations has utterly failed in that job. Eleanor Roosevelt must be weeping in her grave.

DOWN: Actress Sharon Stone

She says that a puritanical streak in the United States created by President Bush prevented her from enjoying a lip-lock with Cat Woman co-star Halle Berry. Quote, "Halle's so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. How can you have us in a movie and not have us kiss? That's such a waste. That's what you get for having George Bush as president."

You know...


BARNES: What is it about these Hollywood stars? They wonder why you don't take their political views seriously when the crazy things like that, I mean...

KONDRACKE: It's got nothing to do with political views. I, you know, I've always thought...

BARNES: ... she blamed Bush for it.

KONDRACKE: Well, I know. I've always thought that President Bush was lousy on the issue of, of, of cultural values, as a matter of fact. But this goes to show you, under a Kerry administration, we'll see lots of lip-lock.

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