This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, August 24, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's go to the Ups and Downs.
DOWN: Attorney General John Ashcroft
BARNES: The nation's secret intelligence court has rejected a request by the Justice Department to expand its counterterrorism powers. It says the FBI, mostly during the Clinton years, misused the law and misled the courts in its requests for search warrants and wiretaps.
Now, Ashcroft is a victim of other people's mistakes. In this case, he wants to broaden the law, a law that is so restrictive that the FBI wouldn't even seek a search warrant to look at Zacarias Moussaoui, remember, the guy who's the alleged 20th hijacker on September 11, wouldn't even seek a search warrant to look through his computer laptop before September 11.
Now, I think Ashcroft is right in seeking to broaden this law, but he lost.
CECI CONNOLLY, THE WASHINGTON POST, GUEST HOST: Well, and it's a very unusual situation that we even are able to read this decision. Normally their — the decisions are kept secret.
The judge did point out, though, in his ruling, that there have been something like 75 instances, Fred, where information taken under the espionage-type warrant has been misused by the Justice Department. Now, as you point out, a lot of that was the previous administration.
But I think it's pretty clear that this court is expressing real frustration with the way that the Justice Department does its job.
UP: The stock market
CONNOLLY: It was down a bit Friday, but the stock market has rallied the past four weeks, up nearly 20 percent.
You know, it's always cause for celebration when even fleetingly we get back to that taste of 9000-point mark, and we had a little bit of it this past week, so I don't know, maybe a good sign?
BARNES: Yes, well, no, I think it is a good sign. I think President Bush and Republicans need a Dow at about 10,000 if they're to completely neutralize that issue in the midterm elections coming up on November 5.
But I have a question for you about the media. Why is it that the media always emphasizes the market when it's going down, as it did earlier this year, but, but it barely covers the story at all, this recent one, when the market's going up?
I mean, that excuse that you've always heard from reporters that we cover the planes that crash not the ones that land really doesn't do the job.
CONNOLLY: Gosh, I think we read an awful lot in the past decade about the go-go good times of the '90s. I mean, think about all those high flyers at Enron and WorldCom and AOL. Where are we now, Fred?
BARNES: Well, I was thinking of those go-go good weeks of August that they didn't do much with. But any case, we've redressed the balance here on our show anyway.
DOWN: Georgia incumbents Democrat Cynthia McKinney and Republican Bob Barr
BARNES: Two of Congress's most colorful and controversial members are out of jobs after losing in primaries Tuesday.
CONNOLLY: Well, Fred, this — both of these primary races, I think, were as much a repudiation and a firing of two incumbents who were certainly controversial, turned out to be pretty unpopular even with many of their own constituents, and less about the folks who actually won.
It was very interesting, though, that turnout — they had an unprecedented turnout in that McKinney district that was about 45 percent. And interestingly, much of...
BARNES: That's a lot for a primary, yes.
CONNOLLY: It certainly is. And interestingly, many of the people that showed up for that turnout were Republicans, which, by the way, Cynthia McKinney is blaming them for her defeat. Take a listen to this, Fred.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D), GEORGIA: We saw massive Republican crossover into the Democratic primary. And it looks like the Republicans wanted to beat me more than the Democrats wanted to keep me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARNES: You know, the pollster for her opponent, Denise Majette, who beat her, Alan Seacrest, who is a respected Democratic pollster, said that she did not get enough Republican votes to actually win. She won among Democratic votes as well, so that wasn't the margin. I believe Alan Seacrest on that.
And Bob Barr, I don't think, should be — although I've just done it earlier — lumped in with Cynthia McKinney because he really is a principled Buchananite conservative, not my type of conservative, but he's a principled guy, and I think she's a whacko for all that stuff she said about Bush, you know, suggesting Bush knew what was going to happen on 9/11 beforehand.
CONNOLLY: Of course, you know, Linder and Barr have essentially the same voting record.
BARNES: They do.
CONNOLLY: I think this really came down to style and personality.
UP: House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt
CONNOLLY: He's coaxed Barbra Streisand out of retirement to perform at a big fund raiser for Democratic candidates next month. The Los Angeles event is expected to pull in $4 million.
And Fred, the interesting thing about this is not only that she's coming out of retirement, but I believe it's the first time she's ever done an event for House candidates.
CONNOLLY: Clearly they want to retake that House.
BARNES: Oh, they do, and I think what happens there will determine whether the guy who got her here to raise money, Dick Gephardt, whether he runs for president or not. If he's House speaker, and they retake the House, I suspect he won't run for president. Being House speaker, you know, after all, is a pretty good job.
And this may be, with the new campaign reform law, the end of Barbra Streisand's big fund raising.
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