Ups and Downs for the Week of Feb. 11 - Feb. 15

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Feb. 16, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST:  All right, let's go to the Ups and Downs.

Up: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf 

KONDRACKE: Up, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.  Musharraf gets a lot more  than just President Bush's thanks for his help in the war on terror.   Musharraf got $220 million in U.S. aid and could get more that – later  this year.

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST:  Could, will.

KONDRACKE:  Could, would.  I want to play you something that is  absolutely hilarious from a little – not, not too very much long ago.

BARNES:  All right.

KONDRACKE:  Watch this.


BUSH:  ... the new Pakistani general, he's just been elected, he's a - - not elected, this guy took over office.  He appears he's going to bring  stability to the country, and I think that's good news for the  subcontinent.

UNIDENTIFIED INTERVIEWER:  And you can name him.

BUSH:  General.  I can name the general.


BUSH:  General.


KONDRACKE:  He now knows that the guy's name...

BARNES:  Yes, yes, right, right.

KONDRACKE:  ... is Musharraf, and he knows a lot of other,  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) other world leaders...

BARNES:  He does.

KONDRACKE:  ... and, you know, and, and, and, you know something?  No  more name tags.

BARNES:  Yes, no, look, I mean, he really is in command.  Look at the  people.  He's not only knows their names, but he's charmed and won over,  Musharraf, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president – I mean, think of that – Vicente Fox, even Bill Clinton's best friend among foreign leaders, Tony  Blair.  So it's quite an achievement.

Down: the National Republican Senatorial Committee

BARNES:  I'm going to move on to the next up-and-down, happens to be a down,  and the down goes to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  The  campaign committee goes over the top in its recent TV ad by including  President Bush, who's been stressing unity during the war, in an attack ad.   Watch this ad.


ANNOUNCER:  When times are tough, Americans unite.  We put aside our  differences and do what's best for the nation.  It's why President Bush and  moderate Democrats reached a compromise plan to get South Dakota back to  work.

BUSH:  Lot of people have lost their jobs and don't have health  care...

ANNOUNCER:  But sadly, partisan Democrats like Tim Johnson voted  against that compromise.

BUSH:  There's something more important than politics, and that's to  do our jobs.

ANNOUNCER:  We agree.  Tell Tim Johnson it's time to do his job.


BARNES:  Here's my objection to that ad.  Bush is a wartime president.   He's pleaded for bipartisanship.  He's actually shown a lot of  bipartisanship in dealing with Congress, didn't intervene on campaign  finance reform.  He's not even backing his judicial nominee, Charles  Pickering, much, hasn't done anything to help him, as I think he should.   So he's been bipartisan there.

Why, when you're seeking that, go be star in an attack ad?  Look, I  don't have anything against the thrust of the ad, but the president being  in it?  I think that hurts his cause, doesn't help it.

KONDRACKE:  Well, you know, the, the fact is that he's, he's presumed  to be a uniter, not a divider.

BARNES:  Yes, yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  Well, here he is, is he really?  What is he really?  You  know, this you – this ad had to have been approved at the White House...

BARNES:  Sure.

KONDRACKE:  ... otherwise they wouldn't have used Bush's.

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  So if it's approved at the White House, that means that  the president really isn't a uniter (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but he is a divider,  and that undercuts his whole, his whole claim about, about his wartime  presidency.

Furthermore, a lot of these – three of these, three of the...


KONDRACKE:  ... senators against whom that ad was run voted for his  tax cut package, and they voted for a, for a stimulus package, just not  his.  I...

BARNES:  That's the only mistake he's made as a wartime president.

KONDRACKE:  I agree.

Down: the Senate Commerce Committee 

KONDRACKE:  OK, down, the Senate Commerce Committee.  To absolutely no one's  surprise, for Enron CEO Ken Lay took the Fifth this week.  But that didn't  stop members of the Senate Commerce Committee from passing up a golden  opportunity to grandstand as much as they could.  Check this.


U.S. SENATOR ERNEST HOLLINGS (D), SOUTH CAROLINA:  There's no better  example that Kenny Boy than cash-and-carry government.

U.S. SENATOR PETER FITZGERALD (R), ILLINOIS:  Mr. Lay, I'd say you  were a carnival barker, except that wouldn't be fair to carnival barkers.   A carnie will at least tell you up front that he's running a shell game.

U.S. SENATOR JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  I regret very deeply –  we're all reduced to these opening statements, which are – have their own  sense of futility, because questions won't be answered, because the truth  will not be forthcoming today.


BARNES:  You know, I found all that stuff appalling, this piling-on by  these senatorial midgets.  Ken Lay faces a criminal investigation, he faces  an extremely hostile and unfriendly press corps, and now he gets this moral  preening from these members of the Senate Commerce Committee.  The press  plays  a role here.

You know, the press – where has been the watchdog press holding  Senator Hollings accountable for all the things he said, saying all these  members of the Bush administration had gotten Enron money when they hadn't?   Where was the press, Mort?

KONDRACKE:  We were right here.


KONDRACKE:  We were right here, yes.

BARNES:  No, but where's The Wall Street Journal and The New York  Times, Roll Call?



KONDRACKE:  Some of these guys got their comeuppance, not enough, when  Sharron Watkins, the whistle-blower from, from Enron said that Ken Lay was  not the monster that he's been portrayed as but just a dupe.

Up: Canadian ice skating pair Jamie Salé and David Pelletier

BARNES:  All right.  Here's a big one.  Up, Canadian ice-skating pair  Jamie Salé and David Pelletier.  A French judge sparks a controversy when  she says she was pressured into giving the gold medal to the Russians, but  the International Olympics Committee overturns the final standings and  gives the Canadians the gold medal to share with the Russians.

KONDRACKE:  Justice, justice done.

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  This French judge has been kicked out, and now there's  going to be an investigation leading to, I hope, real reform in the ice- skating movement.


KONDRACKE:  So the judges somehow are shielded from national  influences.

BARNES:  We need reform of other judges as well.  Now is the time to  go back and give the U.S. the gold medal in 1972 in basketball that they  were cheated out of by bad refs, bad judges.  The Russians got it, and they  shouldn't have. All right.

KONDRACKE:  You've got a long memory, Fred...


BARNES:  ... that grudge I bear, I still hold.

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