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.

Editor’s note: What say you, reader? Take this quick survey on Unions vs. Cargo Screening, and we’ll report back with the results, the first question, and what Cooper/Olive had as their entree.

Rich Cooper blogs primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More