This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, November 17, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.


Here's our "Tip Sheet" for next week's action.  Mort, I'm going to go right to item number one, and that is Secretary of State Colin Powell will give a major speech on the Middle East at the University of Louisville.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST:  Well, Powell is going to propose that there be a Palestinian state, which is not big news.  What he's not going to do, apparently, is to offer that the Palestinians are going to get shared sovereignty over Jerusalem, along with the Israelis.  That's something Yasser Arafat could have had under the peace plan that Ehud Barak was proposing, and he's lost it.

BARNES:  You know, the timing on this speech is terrible.  This is a time for Colin Powell to say nothing about Israeli-Palestinian relations.  The Palestinian -- we finally have Yasser Arafat arresting some terrorists there, as he's been supposed to do, and we hope he won't let them out later.  The Israelis are easing off on their repression and -- in the areas where they had to move after terrorist attacks on Israel.  Things are fine there.  Why should he step in?  There's no reason.  All right.

Item two, the U.S. and Japan co-host an international reconstruction meeting next week at the State Department.  The subject, post-Taliban Afghanistan.  None too soon for this, huh?

KONDRACKE:  Well, the good news is that the Northern Alliance is -- the nominal president of Afghanistan, Rabbani, who is not a good guy...

BARNES:  Yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  ... he's the one who let Osama bin Laden in -- has offered to share power...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... with other groups.  That's good, and the United States should make it happen as fast as possible.

BARNES:  And they can make it happen by keeping troops on the ground, and then they can be from England, Italy, so on.  All right.

Item three, President Bush is expected to sign an executive order early next week naming the Justice Department headquarters after Robert F. Kennedy.

KONDRACKE:  Great bipartisan gesture.  The question is, is John Ashcroft the good Bobby or the bad Bobby?


KONDRACKE:  Bobby Kennedy could be a pretty mean guy.

BARNES:  Yes, what are you getting at here exactly?  Just...

KONDRACKE:  Well, you know, pat -- bypassing Congress...

BARNES:  Oh, geez.  All right.

Item four, Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving is coming up, and according to recent retail numbers, the forecast looks good, Mort.

KONDRACKE:  The, the forecast looks good only because...


KONDRACKE:  ... the auto companies were giving zero percent interest on new car purchases.  Congress should have passed a tax cut...


KONDRACKE:  ... in order to put money into people's pockets so that they could go out and spend it.  They didn't do it.

BARNES:  Mort, they have money.  The retail spending is already up.  What Congress needs to pass is something that gives incentives for businesses to invest.  That's what caused this recession anyway in the first place.  OK.

Item number five, Arkansas's special congressional election to replace Asa Hutchinson, the new head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, will be next Tuesday.  Republicans have controlled that seat for 34 years, but it'll be no cake walk for Republican John Boozman against Democrat Mike Hathorn.

KONDRACKE:  Well, the Republicans all said that Virginia governorship meant nothing, New Jersey governorship meant nothing.


KONDRACKE:  If Democrat Hathorn wins this race, watch out Republicans, for 2002.

BARNES:  That's true.

KONDRACKE:  Coming up...

BARNES:  You're right about that.

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