Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Updated December 21, 2004 at 3:40 pm [revised slightly at 6:00 pm]
Cong. Judy Biggert [R- Hinsdale, 13th CD]: Well, it is just that it is the time to get those. We had so many that were—it wasn’t supposed to be—You know, we were supposed to go in, have the war, that would be over and then we would just plan for the peacekeeping—

Jeff Berkowitz: So, nobody planned for this kind of an insurgency for a year [and a half]?
This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features Congresswoman Judy Biggert. [See the end of this blog entry for a detailed suburban airing schedule, including some special Holiday airings of Public Affairs- the show airs on Comcast Cable in 34 Chicago Metro suburbs tonight and in 10 suburbs tomorrow night]. The show airs throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on Monday night, Dec. 27 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV]. An additional partial transcript of the show is included, below.
Jeff Berkowitz: [Secretary of Defense] Don Rumsfeld, of course you must have heard this, we are taping this on December 12 and he said, just a few days ago [when he was] out talking to the troops in Kuwait, the troops who are and will be fighting in Iraq—one of the soldiers raised an issue--it turns out prompted by a reporter [actually the soldier now has stated that he was not prompted by the reporter, Lee Pitts; that the reporter, Pitts, suggested to the soldier that he, in fact, tone the question down (as reported by Brit Hume on Fox’s Special Report, Dec. 20, 2004)], but nevertheless raised the issue of the kind of vehicles they are driving, whether they had sufficient armor, I guess, primarily to protect the soldiers from these improvised explosive devices [IEDs] which have unfortunately, very unfortunately, killed a number of our soldiers and the soldier said, “should we have better armor, should we have vehicles that are certainly safer and more protective,” and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said something to the effect that you know, “you go to war with the army you have [not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time].” What do you think of that statement?

Cong. Judy Biggert: I don’t think that was his best day. [Coincidentally, Rumsfeld and Cong. Biggert, who grew up in Wilmette, are both New Trier High School Alumni, although I think Rumsfeld preceded Cong. Biggert by a few years at the Winnetka High School].

Berkowitz: An off day for Don Rumsfeld?

Biggert: I think his comments- it was unfortunate the way that it came across and I have heard from him a lot- he comes and briefs us on a pretty good schedule and I think he is very good in what he has to say, so I think it- but that is a tough issue- something that we have heard about in Congress before. In fact, I have a company in my district that has been to see me just recently because they have developed a Humvee like vehicle that really has the capability of putting the armor on it and still having the engine to drive it. Even if they put some of the armor on some of these Humvees, then their engine, it dies, because the engine doesn’t have the capability for the armor.

Berkowitz: Is that right?

Biggert: But, that is no excuse. I think that we want to make our soldiers—our soldiers must be as safe as possible and we should be able to provide the armor, but, however, you know, I don’t think that we were as prepared as we should have been for the insurgents part of the war and that we haven’t had all of the vehicles that we needed, so they have had to go out and scrounge for vehicles. I was in Kosovo during that conflict and the military there were still taking, you know, planes or trucks that were—and cannibalizing them for equipment that they needed, so this has gone on for a long time. I mean it is not a new thing, but—

Berkowitz: Why is it happening [now]; why was it happening then?

Biggert: Well, because—Kosovo, just old equipment.

Berkowitz: Right, so does that mean that we are skimping on national defense?

Biggert: No. We have and Congress has said we will provide what the soldiers need.

Berkowitz: But, we haven’t. We didn’t in Kosovo. We apparently didn’t now. So, is it a planning issue? Or—

Biggert: Well, it is just that it is the time to get those. We had so many that were—it wasn’t suppose to be—You know, we were supposed to go in, have the war, that would be over and then we would just plan for the peacekeeping—

Berkowitz: So, nobody planned for this kind of an insurgency for a year [and a half]?

Biggert: So, they are speeding it up as far as providing that, but it is unfortunate, though and particularly with the bottom of the trucks that are being blown up.
Jeff Berkowitz: Legacy of George Bush? He [President Bush] has been there four years. He will be there another four years. Is it too early to start talking about what his legacy will be?

Cong. Judy Biggert: Well, I think one of his legacies certainly has been “No Child Left Behind,” the education bill.
Jeff Berkowitz: Back to guns, Gun Control. Do you favor an assault weapon ban?

Cong. Judy Biggert: No.

Berkowitz: You don’t?

Biggert: No.

Berkowitz: You think that people—why do people need to have assault weapons?

Biggert: I don’t think they need to have them. But, I think it is less- less government. We don’t see that that has made a real difference, as far as [reducing] crime, no. I think law abiding citizens—

Berkowitz: Do you support the Brady bill? Do you support background checks?

Biggert: Background checks.

Berkowitz: Would you like to close the tradeshow loophole? Has that already been done?

Biggert: Well, I think right now we have a FOID card in Illinois.

Berkowitz: But, what about nationally? Are the problems with the tradeshows [this episode of "Public Affairs" concludes at this point.]
Cong. Judy Biggert [R- Hinsdale, 13th District], recorded on Dec. 12, 2004 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of Dec. 20] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, Dec. 27 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See the end of this blog entry, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
Cong. Judy Biggert debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz the War in Iraq, anti-terrorism, the 911 Bill and resolution of the issues raised by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, drivers licenses for illegal aliens, social security reform, tort reform, 8th Cong. Dist. potential Republican candidates to run against Congresswoman-Elect Melissa Bean, Senator Dick Durbin’s new role as minority party Whip, No Child Left Behind and school vouchers, Chicago School Reform, abortion, gun control, North Korea and Iran
Cong. Biggert, who attended New Trier High School, Stanford University, Northwestern University Law School and practiced law out of her home in Hinsdale while raising four kids, spent six years in the Illinois State House and then won, in March, 1998, a tough Republican Primary in the 13th Cong. Dist. over now State Senator Peter Roskam [R- Wheaton], 45% to 40%.

Cong. Biggert is completing her sixth year in Congress, was re-elected in November to another term and her vote total in the last few elections has ranged into the upper 60s and lower 70s.

Coincidentally, Senator Roskam, now residing in the 6th Cong. Dist., is featured on next week’s suburban edition of Public Affairs.
The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka. Due to Holiday scheduling, during the Weeks of Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, Public Affairs will not air on Friday, but instead will have special airings in the above referenced 10 suburbs on Tuesdays, Dec. 21 [tonight] and Dec. 28 at 7:30 pm.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at JBCG@aol.com