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Weekly Update 2-8 Nov 20

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

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Top Clips

Now Joe Biden needs to repair a badly broken country. By Franklin Foer for The Atlantic When President-elect Joe Biden last served in Washington, he lived on the campus of the United States Naval Observatory. Each time his motorcade exited its gates and veered onto Massachusetts Avenue, it passed the Master Clock, a digital timepiece perched in front of the compound’s driveway that synchronizes every other government clock.

Biden’s Mandate for Moderation...Americans desperately want bipartisan, common-sense solutions to the serious problems we face.

By Larry Hogan, for the Wall Street Journal I want to congratulate President-elect Biden on his victory. Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, should want him to succeed because we need our country to succeed. Precisely because I want him and America to succeed, I’d like to offer Mr. Biden some unsolicited advice. If he is going to heal and unify the nation, he must start by recognizing that this goal is in conflict with the Democratic Party’s lurch leftward. Pushing a far-left agenda would bitterly divide the country.

By Adam Nagourney, New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. waited a long time to give the speech he delivered in Delaware on Saturday night. Not just the five days since Election Day, but arguably the 48 years since he was first elected to the Senate, during which he ran for president three times. And at age 77, as Mr. Biden came trotting up the runway to an explosion of car horns and cheers, beaming and looking almost surprised by the ovation, it was clear that his moment had arrived. Here are five takeaways from the president-elect’s victory speech.

Trump was ineffective and easily beaten. A future strongman won’t be.

By Zeynep Tufekci for The Atlantic Now that Joe Biden has won the presidency, we can expect debates over whether Donald Trump was an aberration (“not who we are!”) or another instantiation of America’s pathologies and sins. One can reasonably make a case for his deep-rootedness in American traditions, while also noticing the anomalies: the early-morning tweeting, the fondness for mixing personal and government business, the obsession with ratings befitting a reality-TV star—the one job he was good at.

By Daron Acemoglu, Foreign Affairs After four horrible, discombobulating years, many Americans want to believe that the United States is on the verge of a new beginning. Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to have squeaked past President Donald Trump in a hotly contested presidential election that doubled as a stress test for the instruments of American democracy.  

Going digital would ensure faster results, easing concerns about legitimacy and providing a productive role for big tech.

By Ronijini Joshua for Foreign Policy

The gridlock over the U.S. election results is frustrating for voters, embarrassing for Americans, and, perhaps most important, damaging to the spread of democracy around the world. As the world’s oldest democracy (the United States is the only country with a continuous constitutional democracy more than 200 years old) the country has a unique obligation to show the world that democracy works. Whether it has worked this week is debatable. Whatever the eventual result, the questions raised about the electoral process will long outlast current events.

On this Washington Roundtable episode of the Defense & Aerospace Report Podcast, sponsored by Bell, our guests in segment one are Michael Bayer, the chairman of the Defense Business Board and the president of the Dumbarton Strategies consultancy, and Arnold Punaro, the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association and CEO of the Punaro Group consultancy to discuss the ongoing presidential transition and how to best accomplish the monumental task of a peaceful transition of power. In segment two our guests are Dov Zakheim, PhD, former DoD comptroller, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Gordon Adams, PhD, Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute, and Michael Herson, President and CEO, American Defense International.

By General David Berger, U.S. Marine Corps, USNI Proceeding

A fleet is more than a collection of ships, and a campaign is more than a single event. With the reemergence of great power competition, naval forces must clearly articulate what naval campaigning means today. How we develop, sequence, execute, and sustain naval operations over time will determine our ability to control the seas or deny their use to our enemies, to project power, and to secure the sea lines of communication in times of crisis.  

By Steve Walsh, NPR Only 10 of the Navy's 268 admirals are African-American, most are rear admirals and none holds the two highest ranks, according to data from a task force that's examining the history of discrimination in the Navy. Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, who heads the One Navy Task Force for the Chief of Naval Operations, concedes that those numbers are small.

By Brent Staples, New York Times

The Black press was at the peak of its influence as the country geared up for World War II — while segregating even the plasma in the wartime blood bank by race. Fire-breathing newspapers like The Baltimore Afro-American, The Chicago Defender and The Pittsburgh Courier were religiously passed from home to home and read aloud in Black barbershops. Even the marginally literate understood that Black men who had volunteered to fight and die for the country were being persecuted on military bases and housed in Jim Crow barracks.

By Allison Shapira, The Harvard Business Review Contrary to popular belief, the secret to confident public speaking is not about getting rid of your nerves. The key is to reframe your anxiety as excitement. Professional performers know that a certain amount of nervousness can be incredibly helpful. It keeps you focused and prompts you to spend your time preparing as opposed to procrastinating. As a former opera singer turned speaker, entrepreneur, and singer/songwriter, I’ve mastered physical and mental techniques that help me center myself and prepare to perform at my best in front of thousands of people. I now coach clients through a pre-speech ritual that includes breath work and visualizations to calm any nerves and get into the right mindset to deliver a presentation with confidence and authenticity.

By Cheryl Chambers, Mississippi State University, CNN The Conversation You wear your mask, keep 6 feet between yourself and others and are committed to safety. But the measures that help minimize your risk of Covid-19 can also have an impact on your interactions with others.

By Brooks Dubose, Capital Gazette

The big white tent outside Boatyard Bar and Grill has been there for months during the coronavirus pandemic, a necessary addition to the Eastport restaurant’s facade, making up for lost capacity inside. Recently, owner Dick Franyo has added two heaters to the tent, with two more on the way, as winter approaches and temperatures dip. This is the next phase in Annapolis restaurants' ongoing struggle to stay open and operating during the pandemic — renting expensive tents and heaters to avoid losing the outdoor capacity that has helped some businesses survive the last eight months. Yet, some have already closed for good, while others are mulling whether to shut down until spring.

Ownership and the players’ union need to figure out how to play in 2021 amid what’s shaping up to be a frigid employment market

By Kevin Jairaj, Wall Street Journal

It took less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the World Series for a top front-office executive to send a resounding message about what baseball players should expect this offseason. “Revenues are going down,” said John Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals’ president of baseball operations. “So it will be most likely [that] payroll will go down.” Mozeliak’s comments last week were the clearest sign yet of what people across the industry have suspected ever since the coronavirus threw the league’s financial landscape into a state of unprecedented turmoil. Owners are earning less money, and they will attempt to pass those losses onto their highest-paid employees—also known as the batters and pitchers on the field.

It was the classic Friday news dump. The Boston Red Sox sent out a press release at 5:02 p.m. announcing that Alex Cora had been hired as manager. Oftentimes, companies like to announce bad or controversial news right at the end of the work week. The thinking goes that the story will get less play from the news media on a Friday night and into the weekend than on a weekday. Not that the hiring of Cora is necessarily bad news. He did lead the Red Sox to the World Series title just two years ago.

And Finally...

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