Ups and Downs for the Week of Feb. 4 - Feb. 8

This partial transcript of The Beltway Boys, Feb. 9, was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

FRED BARNES, CO-HOST:  Ups and Downs, time for that now?


BARNES:  All right.

Down: former Enron CEO Ken Lay

BARNES:  Down, former Enron CEO Ken Lay.  Citing the quote, unquote  "prosecutorial tone" of the Enron inquiry, Lay blows off a Senate hearing  this week and gets slapped with a subpoena to appear next week.

KONDRACKE:  Well, the advance word is that Ken, Ken Lay is not going  to take the Fifth Amendment.  I think what happened is that he looked at  the, the Jeffrey Skilling testimony...

BARNES:  Right.

KONDRACKE:  ... another former CEO...


KONDRACKE:  ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Jeffrey Skilling's line was, I didn't  know anything about what was going on in my own company.

BARNES:  Yes, right.

KONDRACKE:  You know, well, if, and he, he didn't get nailed...

BARNES:  Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE:  ... by the congressmen who were questioning him, so maybe  Ken Lay figures he can get away with the same routine.

BARNES:  Well, he might be able to.

Now, Democrats clearly have a goal here in these Enron hearings,  and in using this whole Enron business scandal, and that's to associate  President Bush and his administration with it.  And no one has tried harder  than Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina.  Listen to him a moment, and  you'll see why this attempt to associate them together probably won't work.   Listen.


U.S. SENATOR FRITZ HOLLINGS (D-SC), COMMERCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:   There's a culture of government corruption, and I never seen a better  example of cash-and-carry government than this Bush administration and  Enron, specifically, everyone knows how the Bushes got the cash.


BARNES:  Well, not only is Hollings a hypocrite, because he took money  from Enron himself, $3,500 for one of his campaigns, but a good bit of what  he said, one about the president, this cash-and-carry stuff is nonsense,  but he named a bunch of administration officials who he said had taken  Enron money, and they hadn't.

Is that the best Democrats can do?

KONDRACKE:  You know, after, after watching Fritz Hollings on that  tape, what I'm – I think of is that Strom – between Strom Thurmond and  Fritz Hollings...

BARNES:  Yes, yes.

KONDRACKE:  ... I would say that the people of South Carolina have  what you might call a seniority problem.

Up: New York City

KONDRACKE:  Anyway, up, New York City, one day after Bush's budget director  apologized for calling New York's fight for federal aid a, quote, unquote,  "money-grubbing game," Bush goes to the Big Apple to announce a $20 billion  aid package.  Here's Bush trying to undo the damage.


BUSH:  No, Mitch understands my pledge.  He understands what I said.   When I said $20 billion, I meant $20 billion.  And I'm the kind of fellow  does what I say I'm going to do.  And I think it's important for the  country to know that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) – it – that it – a vibrant New  York City is vital for our economy, and we got to have a strong New York  City.  It's, it's a – not only a part of our economic scene at home, it's  important for New York to be strong for international reasons as well.


BARNES:  You know what Mitch Daniels understands is that underlings of  the president have to be the fall guy sometimes, and he certainly was on  this, as he was on the farm bill when he had to sign some letter saying  that he's for, you know, $73 billion of additional farm spending over the  next 10 years.  He didn't believe in that.

KONDRACKE:  I, I love Mitch Daniels.


KONDRACKE:  He always says what he thinks, and he's usually  colorfully, even if it gets him in trouble.

BARNES:  Right, and it often does.

Down: Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge 

BARNES:  All right.  Down, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge.  Four months  into his tenure, Ridge is facing doubts both on Capitol Hill and within the  executive branch about his authority and ability to do his job.

KONDRACKE:  Well, as predicted, you know, Tom Ridge cannot command  subordinate agencies of the government, he doesn't control their budgets.   And the latest example is the Immigration and Naturalization Service and  the Customs Service as to border security.


KONDRACKE:  And they just won't do what he wants them to do.

BARNES:  Yes.  Well, there's only one person who can make them do what  Ridge wants them to do, that's President Bush.  He hasn't done it yet.

Down: the International Olympic Committee 

KONDRACKE:  Yes.  Down, the International Olympic Committee.  Amid  public outcry, the European-based group reverses course and finally allowed  the American flag recovered at the World Trade Center to be part of the  opening ceremonies last night in Salt Lake City.

You know, I half-wish, and only half-wish, that the terrorist – a  terrorist plane had slammed into the Eiffel Tower or the Roman Colosseum or  something like that so that these Europeans would understand where America  is coming from, and just outrageous that they at first wouldn't allow that  flag to be displayed.

BARNES:  Well, and if there was some flag from the Eiffel tower that  they wanted to use, we wouldn't complain about that, or some flag from the  Colosseum, that'd be fine.

Mort, haven't you noticed there's a lot of America envy in the world?   And these, and these – and it's rampant in Europe, of course, particularly  in France, and they're – they envy us because we're more prosperous, we're  the ones who hired – (UNINTELLIGIBLE) – have to carry the fight against  terrorism, and a lot of other reasons.

KONDRACKE:  You're right.

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