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Provision Weekly Update 09 Aug-15Aug 20

Clips on media/communication, national security, politics sports, and pop culture worth knowing about in the days ahead.

At Provision Advisors, we prepare your team for the challenges, and 'what-ifs' you never thought you'd encounter--specializing in strategic communication planning, crisis communication, and media coaching for senior-level leaders and communicators. We look forward to hearing from you.

--Bashon Mann, Chris Servello, John Schofield

For more information on how we can help your team email us or click here.


Provision Participation

DEFAERO Report Daily Podcast [Aug 14, 2020] Week in Review

On this episode of the DefAero Report Daily Podcast, sponsored by Bell, our guest is Defense & Aerospace Report’s own  producer Chris Servello, a founder of Provision Advisors to review the key news and commentary from the past week.

Sing Second SportsSeason 1: Pod 16--'Bringing the Golf Course Back to Life'

On this episode we are joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to discuss the latest on. a fall football season as Navy continues to prepare for a Labor Weekend opener against BYU. In our special double segment we highlight the reopening of the Naval Academy Golf Course with special guests—-Men’s Golf Coach Pat Owen, Eric David, Superintendent of the Naval Academy Golf Course and Mallory Dietrich ‘10, owner of Stars and Sweets Bakery.

3Cs Coaching Minute--Is This a Crisis?

In today’s 3Cs Coaching segment Bashon Mann shares thoughts on crisis communication:-how to determine if your team/brand is in crisis-the need for a familiar and well exercised plan...ready to implement...should it be needed.

Top Clips

A Biden-Harris ticket is Trump’s worst nightmare

By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post

The Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris looks like President Trump’s most terrifying nightmare. You will recall that Democrats began this campaign cycle with such a bewildering array of candidates — contenders whose skill sets were uneven and whose ideological leanings were all over the map — that the debates had to be staged over two nights. The party should take a moment to congratulate itself for eventually settling on the presidential and vice-presidential nominees whom Trump and the Republicans apparently want to run against least.

Why Harris’s criticism of Biden for opposing busing was especially peculiar

By George F. Will, The Washington Post

The Democrats’ presidential nomination scramble had many strange moments, such as Elizabeth Warren’s promise to give a young transgender person veto power over her choice of education secretary. An especially peculiar event, however, was Kamala D. Harris’s criticism of Joe Biden for opposing what R. Shep Melnick accurately calls “the most unpopular policy since Prohibition.”

Trump, Biden and Taiwan

By The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

China’s Communist Party crackdown on Hong Kong gets more menacing by the day. This week’s roundup of democracy advocates including publisher Jimmy Lai is the latest assault on the once-free city, and hardliners in Beijing see Taiwan as the next prize. Given the possibility of a showdown over Taiwan in the next four years, the nature of America’s commitment to the island ought to make more than a passing appearance in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Military Families Have Been Voting by Mail for Decades

It’s practical, safe, and nonpartisan.

By Aleha Landry and Sarah Streyder, Opinion for The New York Times Ms. Landry is a military spouse living in Colorado. Ms. Streyder is the founder and director of the Secure Families Initiative, and is also a military spouse.

Politically, we don’t agree on much. One of us is a libertarian-leaning conservative, and the other a left-leaning progressive. But we are both active duty Air Force spouses who have found friendship through our common lives. We both work to shepherd our loved ones through long deployments, and are fluent in the sarcastic humor needed to weather military life. And even though we plan to vote for different candidates this fall, we’ll both be casting our ballots the same way: by mail.

Facebook, Twitter step up fight against misinformation on U.S. elections

By Kanishka Singh, Reuters

Social media platforms stepped up fight against misinformation on the U.S. elections, with Facebook starting a hub to help users with poll-related resources and Twitter expanding rules against misinformation on mail-in ballots and early voting. The move comes as online social networks have been drawing flak for what has been called a lax approach to fake news reports and misinformation campaigns, which many believe affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

This Is Where I Stand

By David Brooks, The New York Times

Radicals are not my cup of tea, but I’m grateful for them. The radicals who brought us Occupy Wall Street and the Bernie Sanders campaign gave the problem of income inequality a prominence it wouldn’t have had without them.

The founders of the Black Lives Matter organization put racial injustice at the top of the national conversation. The radical populists who ultimately produced Donald Trump showed us how much alienation there is in Middle America.

Radicals are good at opening our eyes to social problems and expanding the realm of what’s sayable.

A Geopolitical Earthquake Just Hit the Mideast

By Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times

For once, I am going to agree with President Trump in his use of his favorite adjective: “huge.”

The agreement brokered by the Trump administration for the United Arab Emirates to establish full normalization of relations with Israel, in return for the Jewish state forgoing, for now, any annexation of the West Bank, was exactly what Trump said it was in his tweet: a “HUGE breakthrough.”

To Get Tougher on China, Trump Needs U.S. Navy, Which Is Straining

By Nancy A. Youssef and Gordon Lubold, Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration’s escalating pressure campaign against China calls for a beefed up military presence to challenge Beijing’s claims in Asia, signaling a widening role for the U.S. Navy. The administration already has stepped up “freedom of navigation” exercises in the region, sending more U.S. warships through contested areas. Both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House national-security adviser Robert O’Brien have outlined plans for an enhanced U.S. military presence there.

The Scowcroft Model, An Appreciation

By Robert M. Gates, Foreign Affairs Few officials in American history have played as influential a role in shaping U.S. foreign and national security policy over as long a time as did former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who died on August 6. Perhaps none has mentored as many young people (including me) who would go on to senior positions in government—an often overlooked dimension of Scowcroft’s rich legacy.

The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back

By Robinson Meyer and Alexis C. Madrigal

The Atlantic Michael mina is a professor of epidemiology at Harvard, where he studies the diagnostic testing of infectious diseases. He has watched, with disgust and disbelief, as the United States has struggled for months to obtain enough tests to fight the coronavirus. In January, he assured a newspaper reporter that he had “absolute faith” in the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the virus. By early March, that conviction was in crisis. “The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect,” he told The New York Times. His astonishment has only intensified since.

After the Pandemic: the Future of Culture, Sports, and Entertainment-Eight leading voices from a sector that has been devastated like no other.


Perhaps no other sectors have been hit as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as those that enrich and entertain us, from culture and the arts to sports and entertainment. Concert halls are closed, museums are gathering dust, cinemas are insolvent. If your favorite sports team is playing at all, it is in an eerily empty stadium—with the effect that the game no longer offers us a thrilling escape from the world but reminds us of its crisis.

People Aren’t Reading or Watching Movies. They’re Gaming.

By Ruchir Sharma, New York Times

Since April, every week has ended with U.S. box office receipts down at least 97 percent and gaming revenue up by more than 50 percent, compared with the same week the year before. Driven by widening bandwidths that make digital games fun to play on mobile phones, global gaming revenues have risen steeply from under $20 billion in 2010 and are on track to hit $160 billion this year — more than books, music or movies.

Thanks to coronavirus and Zoom, we’re looking at the end stages of college as a commodity 

Opinion by Megan McArdle, Washington Post 

A pandemic is an essentializing force; it strips away the frosting of rhetoric and habit and forces us to confront bare realities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in higher education, which over the past few decades has been one of two sectors that have just kept increasing their prices, the share of national income and, of course, the share of our attention they claim. The other one is health care, and in both cases, Americans justified the increased spending in contradictory ways — invoking both pragmatic benefits and airy ideals such as “scholarship” or “caring,” which denied the necessity of even appealing to necessity. To skeptics viewing luxury dormitories and multimillionaire cardiologists, this always sounded a bit like middle-age men selling doubtful wives on a BMW’s engineering — “You can’t put a price on safety, honey.” But we all bought it, and in the case of health care, America has now had an accident that retroactively justified the expenditure — or at least left us in no mood to argue about it. But colleges are in the opposite position. As students balked at full tuition for online education, Elizabeth Cohen, a political science professor at Syracuse University, set off a minor Twitter storm: “Working at a college or university right now is hearing a lot of people say that they should pay less for something you’re working twice as hard to make available for them.”

Why are COVID-19 cases rising in U.S.? Republicans point to more testing, Democrats to more infections

By Pew Research Service

The United States has now recorded more than 5 million cases of COVID-19, but Republicans and Democrats point to different explanations for the recent increase in confirmed cases, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Overall, six-in-ten Americans say the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. is rising primarily because there are more new infections in the country, not just because more people are being tested compared with previous months. Around four-in-ten (39%) say the increase is primarily the result of more people being tested, according to the survey, which was conducted July 27-Aug. 2 among 11,001 U.S. adults.

Tribune Publishing closing Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis but staff will continue covering the community

By Brooks DuBose, Capital Gazette

Tribune Publishing, the parent company of Baltimore Sun Media, announced Wednesday it was permanently closing the newsroom of The Capital in Annapolis, as well as several other newsrooms around the country, but said news coverage would not be interrupted. The Capital staff, which has been working remotely since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be provided workspace as needed when The Baltimore Sun office reopens, Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief of Baltimore Sun Media, told employees in an email Wednesday afternoon. Reporters and editors may continue working from home or remote locations even after the Baltimore office reopens.

Infertility Was Distressing. The Military Made It Even More Complicated.

By Victoria Chamberlin, Special to the New York Times

The period of my life when I assumed pregnancy could be planned ended only two years ago — but it feels like a distant memory. It’s almost laughable, considering the years I spent worrying about accidental pregnancies. Once I was ready, I thought I would be in control of when and how it would happen. My husband, Mike, and I were both on active duty in the Army, with access to free medical care and paid parental leave. We had served together in two overseas duty stations and planned to start our family when we returned to the United States.

'It's so different when nobody is out there': Why this Masters will be unlike any other

By Bob Harig, ESPN 

Among the many things Tiger Woods will remember about his 2019 Masters victory is the noise ringing in his ears, the constant chanting of his name as he marched toward history, and the seemingly unending sounds of joy as he putted out for his 15th major championship victory. Imagine all of that being accomplished in virtual silence. It is depressing to think about, but that is the reality this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters on Wednesday announced it would be playing its rescheduled 2020 tournament without spectators or guests when the tournament takes place Nov. 12-15.

Disney’s CEO Is Scrapping Once-Sacred Businesses

By Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg

When Walt Disney Co. announced that it had closed more than 20 foreign TV channels last week, Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek looked like he was taking the knife to a big chunk of the company’s international audience. The move would have been unthinkable a few years ago. But Chapek -- less than six months after succeeding longtime CEO Bob Iger -- is using the Covid-19 crisis to transform Disney much faster than expected, all with an eye toward making the company an online juggernaut that reaches far more people worldwide.

Last decade was Earth's hottest on record, exposing grim reality of climate change

By Helen Regan, CNN

A new report released Wednesday details how 2019 was another year of extremes for Earth's climate, adding to a litany of evidence exposing the grim reality of our warming world. Last year saw devastating wildfires burn through Australia; large regions including Europe, Japan, Pakistan, and India experienced deadly heat waves; almost 100 tropical cyclones created havoc; glaciers and sea ice continued to melt at worrying levels; and drought and floods destroyed vital crops and infrastructure.Among the key findings of the State of the Climate in 2019, published by the American Meteorological Society, was that 2019 was among the warmest years on record, that greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are at their highest recorded levels and this decade is the hottest since records began in the mid-1800s.

Learning From the NBA and Microsoft Teams

Blog By: Ardalyst

A Look at the New Normal. Many people are becoming familiar with the phrase, “The New Normal.” We are constantly adapting in the effort to overcome the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the workplace, many companies are adapting to the new normal through what was once called “telework.” Now it’s just “work.”  The capability and functionality of Microsoft Teams has made these transitions and adaptations more seamless…so much so that many companies are realizing that there may be merit in keeping this new normal of remote work even after the pandemic subsides. Will attendance at professional sporting events follow suit? The NBA basketball season resumed last week without any fans in attendance.  But much like other workplaces around the world, people ARE in attendance. They are just working remotely.  Each game played in the NBA’s “bubble” features 17-foot tall LED screens, wrapping three sides of the arena, showing images of more than 300 fans using the new Together Mode in Microsoft Teams.

College Football’s Great Unraveling

By Amanda Mull, The Atlantic

This week, the bottom fell out of college football. The future of the fall season had been wavering for more than a month as the coronavirus continued to burn through much of the United States, and on Tuesday, the Big 10, the conference that comprises the Midwest’s major football programs, was the first to topple. It canceled its fall season, and a few hours later, the Pac-12, which represents major programs on the West Coast, made the same call.

Now ‘elite’ in the region, Naval Academy Golf Course reopens following yearlong restoration

By Bill Wagner, Capital Gazette

There were a lot of factors to consider when undertaking a major upgrade of the Naval Academy Golf Club. Up-and-coming designer Andrew Green, working closely with course superintendent Eric David and head professional Pat Owen, was charged with achieving the following goals:

  • Perform a complete face-lift of an 18-hole course that had not undergone any significant improvements since 1954.

  • Lengthen the course to make it more challenging for collegiate golfers, whose length off the tee had rendered numerous holes too easy.

  • Stay true to the original design concept created by renowned golf course architect William Flynn, whose drawings guided the project.

And Finally...

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