Saturday, November 12, 2005

FBI Whistleblower Runs for Congress

The Washington Post ran an article from the Associated Press on Friday, November 11, 2005 on Coleen Rowley's run for Congress. After reading through the article, I had to (again) ask myself, "What liberal media?" I wish the reporter, Patrick Condon, had used the opportunity to report on more of the issues Coleen Rowley has identified as important. He could have asked her why she has decided to run against an incumbent in a right-leaning district. He could have reported that she was hard at work on a very grassroots campaign--you know, the kind of campaign the voters all say they want to see.

Unfortunately, the reporter chose to include only three short quotes concerning Coleen's views about the Iraq war. Most of the article was spent dissecting her campaign and giving voice to pundits, critics, and Republicans. Instead of lauding Coleen's decision to run her campaign on a shoe-string budget, it was pointed out that she had raised only a third of the amount of money that John Kline raised during the same time period. Hello? Coleen is running as a Democrat against a Republican incumbent!

Had Patrick Condon really been interested in learning about Coleen, he would have found that she is far from being a one-issue candidate--even though it was most certainly Bush's war that made her decide to throw her hat into the political ring. He would have discovered that Coleen is a champion of ethics. He would have written that she is someone with a national voice who is ready, willing and able to put ethics above politics. He would have realized she does have a clear message that resonates with voters. And if he would have interviewed any of her supporters, he would have included in his story that Coleen Rowley is not just their candidate of choice; but that, to them, Coleen is a hero.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

A number of weeks ago, I painted the walls in my foyer. I stripped off the age-old wallpaper to discover the bright pink paint underneath. There was a layer of sizing over the pink paint. I washed off all of the wallpaper paste, but was not sure whether or not I needed to use primer over the sizing. I consulted my friendly big box retailer "associate". Not to worry, I was told. Just paint right on over it! Sounded like good advice to me. I could save myself both time and money. I could start enjoying the fruits of a great paint job in short order.

My paint job looked great! Cross that baby off the list! There was lots more work to do before Thansgiving. On to the living room! On to the dining room! But I would step back to admire my wonderful foyer transformation. One day I noticed some cracks in the paint and the pink paint peeking out underneath. Each day, the spiderweb cracks appeared in more places and expanded in size. It was soon clear that I would have to start all over again. It was also abundently clear that I had saved neither time nor money. In fact, it was going to cost more of both than if it had been done properly the first time.

My cracked walls developed shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The lessons of the cracked walls seemed to mirror the lessons of Katrina. Preparing the infrastructure properly is of fundamental importance. The piece of work below the surface is often the most important piece of work we do. Crossing our fingers because that part doesn't show is a dangerous game.
If you think it is neither quick nor cheap to "do it right the first time", you better believe that it is more expensive to do it over. We need to build our infrastuctures to withstand the tides of misfortune. Be very leery of any advice that tells you that you can paint it, build it, or go to war "on the cheap"!