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Weekly Update 06-12 Sep 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

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Provision Participation

Season 1: Pod 21--"No Excuse Sir!"

On this special postgame episode we are joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to breakdown Navy's home opening loss to BYU.

John, Ward and Wags, look at the few things that went right, where Navy needs to improve and then look ahead to the rest of the schedule.


Top Clips

When a Heart Is Empty

The consequences of Donald Trump’s inability to feel.

By David Brooks, NYT

In most times and cultures, people realized that understanding a person or situation is as much an emotional process as an analytical one. In the Bible the word “to know” covers a range of activities, from having a conversation with, to having sex with, to entering into a commitment with and much else — all the different ways we come to understand each other.

Bob Woodward gave Trump every chance to prove himself

By David Ignatius, Washington Post It’s a testimony to Donald Trump’s measureless ego that he thought he could charm Bob Woodward (and his tape recorder) into producing a positive book about his presidency. But you know that’s not how it’s going to turn out.

Trump, Loyalty and ‘The Godfather’

By Peggy Noonan, WSJ

The polls seem to show Joe Biden sailing forward with a solid national lead, and some tightening in the battlegrounds. Nobody knows what’s going to happen; after 2016 only dopes are confident. I’m thinking of the larger prevailing currents that may have some impact this year.

Who Can Win America’s Politics of Humiliation?

Trump or Biden?

By Thomas L. Friedman, NYT

About four years ago, without asking anybody, I changed my job description. It used to be “New York Times foreign affairs columnist.” Instead, I started calling myself the “New York Times humiliation and dignity columnist.” I even included it on my business card.

Should Bob Woodward have reported Trump’s virus revelations sooner? Here’s how he defends his decision.

By Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post

Two waves of outrage greeted the news on Wednesday of Bob Woodward’s latest White House chronicle, a book titled “Rage.” The first was Trump’s disclosure to Woodward that he knew as early as February — even as he was dismissing the novel coronavirus publicly — that the looming pandemic was far deadlier than the flu. The second was that Woodward, long associated with The Washington Post, didn’t reveal this to the public sooner.

‘It’s 8 P.M. on Election Day.’ Experts Share Their Nightmare Scenarios.

We asked security experts to tell us what keeps them up at night — and what to do about it.

By New York Times Editorial Staff

On Nov. 3, the networks will still blare the results, but don’t expect any familiar, steady march toward declaring a winner. Not with a pandemic that threatens to keep poll workers home, or a flood of mail-in ballots that may not be counted until well after Election Day. Never mind the foreboding sense that foreign intrusion or malignant domestic actors could spread chaos.

Prepare for election month, not election night

By Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

All of us need to start preparing for a deeply worrying scenario on Nov. 3. It is not some outlandish fantasy, but rather the most likely course of events based on what we know today. On election night, President Trump will be ahead significantly in a majority of states, including in the swing states that will decide the outcome. Over the next few days, mail-in ballots will be counted, and the numbers could shift in Joe Biden’s favor. But will Trump accept that outcome? Will the United States?

Trump is blasting the military-industrial complex: But he's one of its biggest boosters

By Jacqueline Feldscher, Politico

Since becoming president, Donald Trump has overseen historic increases in defense budgets, fawned over military equipment, installed a number of defense industry insiders in top Pentagon positions and made a major push to sell weapons overseas. But on Monday, Trump said leaders at the Pentagon “want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.” Trump's backers compared his comments to those made by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who closed out his time in office by warning of a permanent national security apparatus that guaranteed money would keep flowing toward arms manufacturers.

Military-Industrial Complex Speech

By Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

My fellow Americans:Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor. This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.

The Coming Tech Cold War With China

Beijing Is Already Countering Washington’s Policy

By Adam Segal, Foreign Affairs Three and a half years into its first term, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has finally assembled a comprehensive strategy for technological competition with China. From cutting chains that supply Chinese tech giants to barring transactions with them to regulating the undersea cables on which telecommunications depend, the Trump administration’s measures have often been incomplete, improvisational, and even detrimental to some of the great strengths of the American innovation system. They have, however, set the outlines of U.S. technology policy toward China for the near future. That policy rests on restricting the flow of technology to China, restructuring global supply chains, and investing in emerging technologies at home. Even a new U.S. administration is unlikely to stray from these fundamentals.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral

As the U.S. heads toward the winter, the country is going round in circles, making the same conceptual errors that have plagued it since spring.

By Ed Yong, The Atlantic

The U.S. enters the ninth month of the pandemic with more than 6.3 million confirmed cases and more than 189,000 confirmed deaths. The toll has been enormous because the country presented the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with a smorgasbord of vulnerabilities to exploit. But the toll continues to be enormous—every day, the case count rises by around 40,000 and the death toll by around 800—because the country has consistently thought about the pandemic in the same unproductive ways.

A Grand Strategy of Resilience

American Power in the Age of Fragility

By Ganesh Sitaraman, Foreign Affairs Every so often in the history of the United States, there are moments of political realignment—times when the consensus that defined an era collapses and a new paradigm emerges. The liberal era ushered in by President Franklin Roosevelt defined U.S. politics for a generation. So did the neoliberal wave that followed in the 1980s. Today, that era, too, is coming to a close, its demise hastened by the election of President Donald Trump and the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pandemic in Six-Word Memoirs

“The world has never felt smaller.”

By Larry Smith, NYT Since 2006, I’ve been challenging people to describe their lives in six words, a form I call the six-word memoir — a personal twist on the legendary six-word story attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Class Without Coronavirus: Students Take Schoolwork To Sleepaway Camp

By Jason Beaubien, NPR

As millions of students return to virtual classes at their dining room tables, some parents who are also trying to work from home have decided to ship their kids off to camp. This might seem crazy given reports that some sleepover camps that tried to open this summer turned into coronavirus hot spots. At one camp in Georgia, hundreds of campers ended up getting infected with the coronavirus. In fact, most sleepover camps in the U.S. didn't open at all due to concerns about spreading the virus among kids crammed into bunks and sharing communal toilets.

Foods That Battle Stress During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ

Are you anxious? Angry? Feeling depressed? Consider what you eat. For more than a decade, studies have shown that a healthy diet—high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and other lean protein—can help fight depression. Now, emerging research in the nascent field of nutritional psychiatry suggests that certain foods can help manage a broader range of emotional challenges, such as anxiety, anger and insomnia. And while the most established treatments for mental-health conditions such as depression remain antidepressants and talk therapy, researchers say food can also be a very useful tool.

China Injects Hundreds of Thousands With Experimental Covid-19 Vaccines


By Chao Deng, WSJ

Chinese pharmaceutical companies administer newly developed inoculations outside of clinical trials, despite dangers

‘We’re No. 28! And Dropping!’

A measure of social progress finds that the quality of life has dropped in America over the last decade, even as it has risen almost everywhere else.

By Nicholas Kristof

The newest Social Progress Index, shared with me before its official release Thursday morning, finds that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s.

What You Need to Know About Rebranding in the Era of Covid-19

By Young Entrepreneur Council, INC

With the pandemic reshaping the world, here's a few tips on how to reshape your brand.

5 tips for identifying—and avoiding—cognitive bias during a crisis

By Julie Wright, Regan's PR Daily

When facing the unknown, you might not even know everything you think you know.

Bezos, antitrust, and the power of media patronage

Bradley Tusk reflects on the enduring power of print—and the complicated politics of media ownership.

By Bradley Tusk, Fast Company

The modest, single-digit billionaire has to watch their wealth. Sure, $4 or $5 billion sounds like a lot, but the almighty dollar is fickle. A Gulfstream G550 is nice, but it’s a depreciating asset. Ditto the superyacht docked in Portofino. And one never knows when Elizabeth Warren might come knocking, wealth tax in hand. A proper Caymanian tax adviser doesn’t come cheap.

Jennifer Griffin defended by Fox News colleagues after Trump Twitter attack over confirmation of Atlantic reporting

By Jeremy Barr, Washington Post Jennifer Griffin caused an unexpected media firestorm Friday when she did something fairly routine for a reporter: A competitor had broken a story on her beat, so she set out to see whether she could match it.

TOPGUN instructor writes the book on leadership, complete with exciting tales

By Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News

Who feels the need, the need for a good read?

TOPGUN instructor Guy Snodgrass has written a book on leadership and it includes lessons learned while falling out of the sky in a $70 million jet and what can be learned from the “Top Gun" movies.

The Dangerous Naïveté of Coastal Elites

HBO’s tepid satire about the provincialism of U.S. liberals doesn’t play well in a year as catastrophic as 2020.

By Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic

Before any of its characters appear on-screen, HBO’s Coastal Elites introduces itself with a genteel red font that bears a striking resemblance to The New Yorker’s proprietary typeface. Within minutes, viewers are introduced to Miriam (played by a characteristically engagingBette Midler). A former New York City public-school teacher, Miriam delivers breathless denouncements of President Donald Trump directly into the camera, pausing only for enthusiastic asides about NPR tote bags and the joys of being Jewish. She yearns for a simpler time when the political climate was more civil: “Those people from Nebraska and Ohio and Alabama—I’d fly over them, but I’d wave!”

Burke will work as analyst during conference, NBA Final

By Joe Reedy, AP

Doris Burke will reach another milestone later this month when she calls the conference and NBA Finals for ESPN Radio, becoming the first woman to serve as a game analyst on a network television or radio broadcast this deep into the postseason. “Doris is a trailblazer who continues to reimagine what is possible for women in broadcasting and we know she’ll thrive in this history-making radio analyst role,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s executive vice president of event and studio production.

Dak Prescott Opened Up About His Struggles With Depression. It's a Lesson in Effective Leadership

By Jeff Haden, INC

After Skip Bayless criticized the Cowboys quarterback for discussing his travails with depression, Prescott deployed a tool used by many effective leaders: the vulnerability loop.

Politicians from six states ask Big Ten officials to reconsider postponed football season

By Adam Rittenberg, ESPN

Political leaders from six states sent a letter Tuesday to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the league's presidents and chancellors, urging the conference to reconsider its postponement of the 2020 football season. Lee Chatfield, speaker of Michigan's House of Representatives, wrote the letter, which is signed by nine other senate and house leaders from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All 10 lawmakers who signed the letter are Republicans, and the six states they represent include seven Big Ten schools.


And Finally...

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