This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", November 12, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let’s check out this week’s ups and downs.
DOWN: French President Jacques Chirac. I like the sound of that.
Despite promises that the French government will address the problems facing the urban poor, the damage has already been done after Chirac’s mismanagement and weakness during the crisis.
Now, you know, Mort, let’s be clear whom we’re talking about. We’re talking about Arabs and Muslims, who are, they’re, what, five to six, 5, 6 million of them in France.
Chirac, and his prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, thought that they were going to be heroes with these Muslims and Arabs in France because they had opposed the U.S. of intervention in Iraq.
Well, it didn’t work out that way. And the question is this, why have Muslims in France not done anywhere near as well as Muslims and Arab immigrants in the United States? And the answer is so simple. Economic opportunity and social mobility are here in America, but they’re not in France.
Now, and so you have these young, poor Arab Muslim men who don’t have jobs, they don’t have much hopes, they’re poor, they’re really cut off from the rest of French society, and they’re rioting. And they fall prey to Muslim extremists who tell them, you shouldn’t assimilate, and you need to live in parts of France where we keep the French out.
France is going to be changed by these riots.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Yes, well, for the reasons you cite. I don’t know how France will get out of this and the potential for these, right now. The Islamist fundamentalist radicals did not run these riots. But for all the reasons that you say, these disaffected Muslim youth are ripe for recruitment by the Islamist radicals. And you could have these separatist demands backed up by the threat of terrorism constantly.
I mean, the answer for Europe, and it’s all over, it’s Germany, the Netherlands and every place, is to become more like us. The problem is, they can’t, both for economic reasons and because they don’t want to, they don’t want to integrate these people into the country. It’s pretty sad.
DOWN: ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond. He’s the poster boy for perceived corporate excess and price gouging at the pump. His company alone reaped $10 billion in profits in a single quarter, and he and his fellow executives were asked to defend the windfall at a Senate hearing this week.
Here’s Raymond’s explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE RAYMOND, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EXXONMOBIL: Prices for products did increase, of course. But there was no panic and no widespread shortages. Retailers responded to the short-term supply disruption, consumption decrease, and imports increase to make up the shortfall.
In a word, markets worked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: Well, you know, I think it’s pretty interesting that it’s Republicans who have collected over the years millions and millions of dollars from oil companies in campaign contribution who ran these hearings. I think it’s another indication that they’re scared, politically scared.
But I wanted to say something about the House Republican moderates, lots of them friends of mine, and people I admire, who used their political clout this week to stop oil production in ANWR.
Now, if we’re trying to bring down oil prices, what better way to do it than to increase supply? And over the long run, that’s what ANWR would produce.
Second thing that’s wrong with what they did is that they’re obviously preferring the caribou in Alaska over the people who are going to suffer from the other Republican budget cuts, the Medicaid and Food Stamps and, and student loans.
BARNES: You don’t mean your hero, Mark Kirk, of Illinois.
KONDRACKE: One of them.
BARNES: You know, the Exxon guy was exactly right. Markets worked. Supply is down; demand stays the same or is up, what do you do? You don’t hold the price down, because what’ll happen then? Gas lines. You don’t want gas lines, so you allow the price to rise. And people did the right things, you know, they bought less gas, they traded in their SUVs. The system did work. You know, free-market economics, Mort, it always works.
DOWN: Mort’s friend Barbra Streisand. Her hatred for President Bush is reaching astronomic levels even for her. Here’s her recent tirade on her Web site: "If there was ever a time in history to impeach a president of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late. We should have done this before the election to spare the country the misjudgment, the incompetence, and the malfeasance of this administration. This president will go down as the worst president in American history.”
That’s pathetic. I mean, look, this is typical of liberals, and she’s one of the great liberal strategists, where they want to get rid of somebody, they want to do something, but they don’t want to let the people decide. Let’s not have an election.
KONDRACKE: Hello, Barbra, you need a high crime and misdemeanor, and I didn’t hear one.
BARNES: All right.
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