Rich Cooper

Sep 22, 2010

Like any office space, there is plenty of banter back and forth
between my colleagues and me at Catalyst Partners where our corporate
motto is, “if you walk into our office with an ego, you will leave
without it.” Amidst our regular conversations, we also have some
friendly competition going on, but it has a classic Washington
beltway-spin on it.

While we make the arbitrary sports bets with one another, we also,
from time to time, will make a bet on which member of Congress is going
to ask the nastiest question at a Congressional Hearing; who will come
unglued to rail at a witness; and so forth.

This week, my friend and fellow Catalyst Partner David Olive and I had some back and forth as it relates to the upcoming hearing with TSA Administrator John Pistole about the future of the agency.

As it is the Committee Chairman’s prerogative to ask the first
question of hearing witnesses, David asked me what I thought the first
question would be about. I said, “That’s easy – he’s going to ask about
TSA and unions.”

David shook his head in disagreement with me and replied, “No he’s not. I say it’s about cargo screening.”

I responded, “You’re nuts! Of course he’s going to ask about TSA and
unions. It’s been the de facto question to start any TSA hearing for
the past two years.”

With that devilish smile of his, Olive smirked at me and said, “Wanna bet lunch on that?”

“You’re on!” I fired back.

So here we are. Lunch is in the balance. It’s all up to Chairman
Thompson as to who gets to pay for whom here. Either way, we know two
of the questions TSA Administrator Pistole will be getting, and if he
wants to stop by the lunch table when one of us pays the other off,
we’ll be happy to buy him lunch too.

What say you, reader? Take this quick survey on Unions vs. Cargo Screening, and I’ll report back with the results, the first question, and what I had as my entree.

This piece was originally posted on Security Debrief.


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