A To Do List for January 21st – Part II

A Wish List for the Day After the Inauguration

Where are We?

I hope you had a pleasant Memorial Day, and that you reflected on what that day means. A lot of what we talk about rests on that foundation of dedication and sacrifice.

Last week I shared with you five of my top ten goals for the Biden administration to pursue. Most of the big items are likely to get done in the first 12-18 months, and not many thereafter. Because of that political reality, setting priorities and timing is essential.

Keep in mind what order all these come in depends on how the election turns out all the way down the ticket.

A To Do List for January 21, 2021– Part I

A Wish List for the Day After the Inauguration


History teaches that caution is the prognosticator’s watch word when calling elections. For all the reasons one can think of, Joe Biden should be taking the oath of office next January. But we don’t know that. We will know in about 165 days, but not today. Still, let us surmise for the purposes of our conversation, that Biden does win. Not only does he win, but his party holds the House. Thanks to Donald Trump and friends for showing voters what they were. The Democrats win the Senate as well.

What’s the Big Deal About Inspectors General?

This is Not Just Garden Varity Corruption- It’s a Core Evil


What is an Inspector General?

I suspect that not all that many people know much about inspectors general (IG) – their purpose, their history, how they normally operate. That’s too bad. Because few institutions are more important to good governance and accountability. Thanks to Trumps latest attempt to block independent investigations, many of us are about to learn about IGs.

There are variants all around. Some corporate Compliance Officers function much like IGs. Ombudsmen for news organizations also fill similar functions.

Last Time Out We Shared Some Laughs. Now the Other Side

Two Articles Broke My Heart but They Need to Be Read. Our Friends are Worried About Us.

On my last posting, earlier this week, I shared some editorial cartoons that, as I noted, gave me some laughs, made me angry, made me think. Exactly what such a thing should accomplish. And it seems you agreed. We got a few comments and lots of email about how much we all enjoyed the change and a bit of light heartedness. Goodness knows we could all use a bit of that.

Today, I regret to say I cannot be so lighthearted,

OK, America. Who are We?

We Looked at Me/We and Freedom/Community. Where Did We End Up?

Earlier this week, we looked at sometimes competing values as we fight the pandemic. We have been in this thing long enough now to come to some conclusions. But before we do that, a slight diversion. Let’s talk about dreams.

Dreams About the Pandemic

Others have noted that more frequent and more vivid dreams seem to be a byproduct of all this isolation. It appears I have succumbed to this symptom. I have recently had two dreams on judging how we are doing as a people.

Is it Me or is it We? Is it Freedom or is it Community? All of the Above?

America is Having an Internal Search. Who are we? What Do We Value?

America Looks for Itself, in Itself

As the pandemic rolls through America, interesting characteristics are arising. They are arising for individuals and collectively. We find ourselves highlighting sometimes very different aspects of our values. Some are just different; some are in conflict.

This is not a new phenomenon. Like a collective Diogenes, we periodically seek to define who we are and what we stand for. But it is more important than ever this time. We must decide what are our national values and priorities going forward.

The Secret to Solving Big Problems? LOGISTICS

  • Hi Everyone Talks Tactics and Strategy. Making Things Actually Happen Requires Logisticians


Save Us from Armchair Experts

I learned a valuable lesson as a young Army officer, a lesson that time proved to be valid over and over again. The lesson is as follows. Everyone thinks of themselves as great armchair generals. Everyone thinks they know what is needed for tactics, strategy, and priorities. Darn few people have a clue about what it actually takes to make all those great plans happen on the ground. Master logistics or its all talk,

We Need a BIG Recovery- Here are 3 Pillars to Building Solutions

Trying to Get Well from the Pandemic Offers a Golden Opportunity to Advance


This country is going to spend a lot of money trying to restart our economy. That is a given, a necessary action. Whether we do so intelligently or not is another question.

Infrastructure Investments, Wherefore Art Thou?

This feeds into our so far, fruitless national discussion about infrastructure. We are about $13 TRILLION behind in our infrastructure investments. That includes not doing new work or maintaining what we have. Remember collapsing bridge stories? We still have thousands of unsafe bridges all over this country.

Leadership Right Under Our Noses, Just When We Need It

Often Lost in Media Coverage in Normal Times, Governors Actually Run Things

Consider Governors

Several recent presidents have been governors: Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II. Even so, governors often get short shrift in media and in public attention. We tend to gravitate toward Washington personalities. This is an understandable, if oftentimes shortsighted, approach to picking our national leaders.

Washington personalities have the natural advantage of being in a global media capital. At some level, Washington based individuals also often deal in foreign policy and foreign crises. These yield valuable experience for a potential president.

There is Another Deadly (but Curable) Virus Stalking the Land

Here is its formula: I+AxIL/NC = -0

As terrible as the Corona virus is, there is another that is ravaging our country. It is bad enough in and of itself, but it actually makes the other virus, indeed all our national problems, worse.

I am referring to the mental and emotional profiles that make up the Trump administration. If this were a biological infection, its component formula might read something like the following:   I+AxIL/NC = -0

The Chemistry of Failure

I: Ignorance. Simple failure to know, to understand, to study a threat or a problem.