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Weekly Update 20-26 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.

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Provision Participation



Season 1: Pod 24--"I Guess We Are A Second Half Team"

On this Tulane postgame episode we are joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to breakdown Navy's exciting come from behind win.John, Ward and Wags, look at how the Mids turned around the game and maybe even their season by out scoring The Green Wave. Wave 27-0 in the second half.


Top Clips


How Faith Shapes My Politics

Not as much as you’d think.

By David Brooks, NYT

Over the past few decades, whenever a Republican president puts up an important judicial nominee — especially a Catholic one — we go through the same routine. Some Democrat accuses the nominee of imposing her religious views on the law.

No Other Western Democracy Allows This

Only in America does so much power rest in the hands of elderly judges.

By Russell Berman, The Atlantic

When the framers of the Constitution debated the document’s careful system of checks and balances, they confronted a question that would only become more important over time: Should there be a mandatory retirement age for federal judges? Alexander Hamilton argued against one. Writing in The Federalist Papers, he dismissed “the imaginary danger of a superannuated bench.” Hamilton won out, and the Constitution placed no term limits on the service of federal judges, including the men and (much later) women who would make up the Supreme Court.



The Election That Could Break America

If the vote is close, Donald Trump could easily throw the election into chaos and subvert the result. Who will stop him?

By Barton Gellman, The Atlantic

There is a cohort of close observers of our presidential elections, scholars and lawyers and political strategists, who find themselves in the uneasy position of intelligence analysts in the months before 9/11. As November 3 approaches, their screens are blinking red, alight with warnings that the political system does not know how to absorb. They see the obvious signs that we all see, but they also know subtle things that most of us do not. Something dangerous has hove into view, and the nation is lurching into its path.



Dire Straits

Should American Support for Taiwan Be Ambiguous?


By Bonnie S. Glaser; Michael J. Mazarr; Michael J. Glennon; Richard Haass and David Sacks, for Foreign Affairs

Four Unique Views



Trump’s Motto: Your Money or Your Life

The president claims you have to make a choice, but you don’t.

By Thomas L. Friedman, NYT

Whenever I talk about Covid-19 or climate change with skeptics, I use a simple analogy: Imagine that your child is sick with a disease and you decide to take her to 100 different doctors to get multiple opinions — and 99 doctors give you the same diagnosis and prescribed treatment and one tells you that there’s nothing to worry about, that your child’s disease will “disappear … like a miracle, it will disappear.”



The Rise of Remote Work Can Be Unexpectedly Liberating

What if you are better off without the office?

By Jessica Powell, for NYT

In the initial months of the pandemic, remote work seemed full of upsides: more flexibility for employees and an expectation of greater profits, productivity and retention for their employers. But what if the long-studied benefits of remote work look different in a post-pandemic world? In particular, what if employee loyalty and engagement decrease once remote work is no longer an exception but rather the norm? And what if that’s not a bad thing? What if a more disconnected work force leads to changes that could make employees happier and companies more compassionate?



The red-flag signs you may be burning out while working from home

By Aytekin Tank, Fast Company

Picture yourself this February, blissfully ignorant about the long and stressful road that would unfold before us once the calendar flipped to 2020.



Feared coronavirus outbreaks in schools yet to arrive, early data shows

By Laura Meckler and Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post Thousands of students and teachers have become sick with the coronavirus since schools began opening last month, but public health experts have found little evidence that the virus is spreading inside buildings, and the rates of infection are far below what is found in the surrounding communities.



Dollar loses ground as stocks gain on stimulus hopes


By Sinéad Carew, Reuters

The U.S. dollar lost ground as equities gained in volatile trading on Thursday with investors betting on the prospects for a new U.S. stimulus package to boost the coronavirus-battered economy after data showed rising unemployment claims.



The pandemic has devastated downtown D.C. Some fear the damage is permanent.


By Peter Jamison, Washington Post

It’s evening rush hour in the nation’s capital, and the McPherson Square Metro station on a September Tuesday is all but empty. Thousands once squeezed at this time onto the trains departing from the heart of downtown Washington, two blocks north of the White House. Now, the descending escalator steps only carry the shards of a broken bottle of Power Malt.

How to ride the $300 billion ‘contactless economy’ megatrend, according to Citi


By Yun Li, CNBC

The coronavirus pandemic is propelling a paradigm shift toward a contactless society, which created a golden moment for a handful of stocks at the forefront of advanced technology, including 3D sensors, speedy connectivity and AI processors.



Wisconsin Is on the Brink of a Major Outbreak

The state’s coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are at an all-time high.

By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

In New York, the decisive moment came in March. In Arizona and other Sun Belt states, it struck as the spring turned to summer. In every state that has so far seen a large spike of COVID-19 cases, there has been a moment when the early signs of an uptick are detectable—but a monstrous outbreak is not yet assured. Can a state realize what’s happening, and stop a surge in time? Wisconsin is about to find out.



Md. lawmakers prepare package of bills to help small businesses recover from Covid-19


By Holden Wilen, Baltimore Business Journal

Almost immediately after the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session ended prematurely in the spring due to Covid-19, a bipartisan group of lawmakers got to work brainstorming ideas on how to help the state's small businesses deal with the economic fallout.



How Can We Bear This Much Loss?

By Amitha Kalaichandran, NYT

If grief could be calculated strictly in the number of lives lost — to war, disease, natural disaster — then this time surely ranks as one of the most sorrowful in United States history.



Time to be honest: College admissions not a level playing field


By Steve Cohen, The Hill

The last of the celebrity defendants have been criminally sentenced in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. The timing couldn't be more ironic. Schools are struggling with how to get students safely back on campus, while a new crop of high school seniors earnestly prepare their college applications. Yet the college admissions system is as corrupt and corrupting as before. It is not, however, broken. It is working exactly as colleges want it to: unfairly, opaquely, and guaranteed to induce the frenzied anxiety that drives outrageously inflated tuition costs. I know this because I unintentionally helped create it.



Clark's ascent to Air Force Academy's top job makes history


By Tom Roeder, Colorado Springs Gazette

Lt. Gen. Richard Clark received a first-of-its kind homecoming Wednesday when he took command as the Air Force Academy's superintendent. Clark, a 1986 academy graduate, is the first former commandant of cadets to come back for the three-star job. He’s also the first Black superintendent in the school’s 66-year history.


The Art of Communicating Risk

By Ann Cleaveland, Jessica Cussins Newman and Steven Weber, for Harvard Business Review Most organizations can cope with straightforward bad news, and so can most people. We absorb the shock, and move on. But what happens when we don’t know how bad the news actually is? When it comes to crises, the news companies must deliver is often potential bad news. How should a technology company react when it learns that it might have suffered a breach of your data, or a supermarket discovers it might have sold you contaminated lettuce, or a medical device maker learns that patients may have a defective hip replacement? Communicating about uncertainty — what people call ‘risk communications’ in practice — has become one of the most important challenges faced by anyone who needs to convey or consume information.


PR Pros: What Can Having a Mentor Do for You?

By Nicole Schuman, PR News Online

Dwayna Haley reached a brick wall early in her career at the pivotal middle-management level at her agency. She found herself frustrated by feedback, and struggling to connect to her managers. Haley decided she needed a peek behind the curtain to move to the next level. “My best relationships have come from aligning with people who can give intimate, transparent counsel,” said Haley, SVP, practice director at Porter Novelli.



The biggest mistake you can make in a crisis? Letting go of young team members

By Ryan Wong, Fast Company Arguably no group has felt the brunt of layoffs, lockdown-induced closures, and hiring freezes in the past six months more than young workers. An International Labour Organization report found that one in six people under 24 had stopped working since March, with those still employed taking a 23% cut to their work hours. Job prospects for recent grads look grim too, with entry-level postings falling by more than 70% on popular job sites like ZipRecruiter.


The company email promised bonuses. It was a hoax — and Tribune Publishing employees are furious

The company apologized for the email intended to test its cyberdefenses


By Jeremy Barr, Washington Post

Employees of the Tribune Publishing Company were momentarily thrilled Wednesday after they received a company email announcing that they were each getting a bonus of up to $10,000, to “thank you for your ongoing commitment to excellence.” To see how big their bonus would be, they just had to click on a link that … well, that’s when they learned they had failed the test. And there was no bonus at all.



Why adding ‘Plus’ to the name of every streaming service is actually good

By Jeff Beer Picture this: You’re a big time media executive. (Yes you, congrats!) Today, your job is to figure out what to call your company’s new streaming service. It takes the content from all your channels and properties, and combines that with a bunch of stuff you own the licenses for. It will also be home to a lot of new, original programming. You gather your team into the conference room and/or Zoom call.


Want to Learn How the Pentagon Works? Then Play This Board Game.

A new game meant to help the U.S. government write the 2018 National Defense Strategy shows what happens when resources and commitments collide.


By Michael Peck, Foreign Policy

If you are someone who’d like to learn how to create a defense policy that balances strategic goals, military means, and a tight defense budget, there’s a board game for that. The ink drawing of the Pentagon—surrounded by little tanks and planes—on the game box is the first clue that Hedgemony: A Game of Strategic Choices is no ordinary tabletop game. It’s published by Rand Corp., the federally funded think tank known for wonkish policy papers and mathematical analyses. “Rand has been making games since the 1950s,” said Michael Spirtas, a Rand scientist and one of Hedgemony’s designers. “But we’ve never made one for sale to the general public until now.”



Billie Jean King: This is a powerful moment for athletes creating change through sports


Opinion by Billie Jean King, Washington Post Fifty years ago this week, eight other women and I stood up for pay equity and gender equality in tennis. In 1970, professionals had been allowed to play in Grand Slam tournaments for only a couple of years. Prize money for male and female tournament winners was wildly uneven, and there were many fewer events for female athletes.



Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal draw backlash for pushing back on Breonna Taylor outrage


By Jack Baer, Yahoo

Many prominent figures in the sports world, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, have voiced their outrage against the decision to not not charge Louisville police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor.



And Finally...



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