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Weekly Update 27 Sep-04 Oct 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 [Oct 01, 2020]– GE Engines for the B-52 & Service Academy Football

On this episode of the DefAero Report Daily Podcast, sponsored by Bell, our guest in segment one, Shawn Warren, vice president for large combat and mobility engines at GE Aviation, discusses COVID-19 mitigation and the offerings submitted by the company for the US Air Force’s competition to re-engine the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, expected to be awarded in the Spring of '21. In segment two, Chris Servello, Ward Carroll and John Schofield of Sing Second Sports, a weekly podcast about Naval Academy Athletics, discuss service academy football and preview the upcoming game between Navy and Air Force.




Defense & Aerospace Podcast [Washington Roundtable Oct 02, 2020]

On this Roundtable episode of the Defense & Aerospace Report Podcast, sponsored by Bell, 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, Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Herson, President and CEO, American Defense International and Chris Servello, a founder of Provision Advisors (and Defense and Aerospace team member).



Sing Second Sports Season 1: Pod 25--"Break a Leg"

On this episode we are joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to discuss the growing trend of major college athletic departments making cuts to sports and budgets and staff. We have an in-depth conversation with Navy Football Asst Coach RB Green ‘98 about his role as the Navy Football Team Director of Racial Equality…a critical position helping athletes register to vote and openly discuss racial issues on the yard. We are also joined by special guests RADM (ret) Jim McNeal ’86 and VADM (ret) John Christenson ’81. Jim McNeal talks about his new book, The Herndon Climb: A History of the Naval Academy’s Greatest Tradition.”

VADM Christenson, who recently retired and resides in West Annapolis, discusses his years as a Navy soccer player and the early years with legendary head coach Dr. Greg Myers.


Top Clips


Get Well, Mr. President

The health of the country’s top leader is a matter of concern for all Americans.

By The NYT Editorial Board

May President Trump and the first lady recover swiftly after testing positive for the coronavirus. For their sake — and for the sake of the nation. The president’s health is a matter of national security. That’s one reason it’s been so frustrating to watch as Mr. Trump has flouted basic public health guidelines and the advice of his own government’s experts. Every time he refused to wear a mask or observe social distancing guidelines, he put not only himself but also all of America at risk.



White House Medical Confusion

Mixed messages like those on Saturday hurt the President.


By The WSJ Editorial Board President Trump’s doctors said Sunday he could be released from Walter Reed medical center as early as Monday if his symptoms keep improving. This is good to hear, but it also underscores the need for the White House to be transparent about Mr. Trump’s condition on a daily basis. Sunday’s briefing was more forthcoming than Saturday’s fiasco when the President’s physician, Scott Conley, was evasive on whether Mr. Trump had at any time been administered oxygen.


The American People Need the Truth

The president is hospitalized. The public doesn’t need to know every detail, but they don’t deserve to be misled.


By NYT Editorial Board

Several days into President Trump’s battle with Covid-19, even basic facts about his illness — when he was diagnosed, how high his fever climbed, what triggered his hospitalization — remain hard to come by. The White House is being evasive and secretive. That’s nothing new, nor is it unreasonable to withhold some sensitive information from the public.



Trump’s Diagnosis Is a Wake-Up Call for Americans

Forget the snark. Just wear a mask.


By Nicholas Kristof, NYT

The first thing to say is simple: Best wishes to President Trump and the first lady for a speedy recovery from Covid-19. After the announcement that they had tested positive for the coronavirus, I tweeted that I hope we can all remain civil, avoid snark, seek lessons and wish the Trumps a swift recovery. The result was an outpouring of gloating and snark — one person responded that “my thoughts and prayers go out to the virus.”



We have a tough economic recovery ahead — no matter who wins in November

By Henry Olsen, Washington Post

Friday’s employment market report is the last to be released before the election. The decline in the headline unemployment rate, from 8.4 percent to 7.9 percent, is superficially good news for President Trump. But a deeper dive reveals underlying, structural barriers to returning to pre-pandemic levels that will bedevil whoever wins.



Capitalism After the Pandemic

By Mariana Mazzucato After the 2008 financial crisis, governments across the world injected over $3 trillion into the financial system. The goal was to unfreeze credit markets and get the global economy working again. But instead of supporting the real economy—the part that involves the production of actual goods and services—the bulk of the aid ended up in the financial sector. Governments bailed out the big investment banks that had directly contributed to the crisis, and when the economy got going again, it was those companies that reaped the rewards of the recovery. Taxpayers, for their part, were left with a global economy that was just as broken, unequal, and carbon-intensive as before. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” goes a popular policymaking maxim. But that is exactly what happened.



The American Dream Is Tax Reform’s Biggest Obstacle

By Christopher Faricy for the NYT Many Americans report dissatisfaction with a tax system that’s prone to exploitation by the wealthy, but paradoxically, they seem to love the provisions that create this inequity.Credit...Getty Images

Much of the commentary on the fresh revelations about President Trump’s tax returns has focused on how they illustrate the vulnerability of the federal tax system to exploitation by the ultrarich. This is for good reason: Mr. Trump aggressively used a set of tax breaks popular with real estate developers to pay no taxes in 11 out of the previous 18 years, and just $750 for both 2016 and 2017.



Millions of Americans risk losing power and water as massive, unpaid utility bills pile up


By Tony Romm, Washington Post

This Tuesday marked 67 days of darkness for Kenneth Parson. He fell behind on his utility bills in the spring — and his lights went off, and stayed off, starting at the end of July.



This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic

It’s not R.

By Zeyner Tufekci, The Atlantic There’s something strange about this coronavirus pandemic. Even after months of extensive research by the global scientific community, many questions remain open.



Saturday Night Live Misunderstands Its Role Right Now

Amid extraordinary national uncertainty, the show’s season premiere offered up normalcy. It should have torn up the rule book.

By Davis Sims

Saturday Night Live’s return to television last night seemed intended to project a reassuring air of normalcy. Yes, there may still be a pandemic ravaging the nation, and the president is currently in the hospital afflicted with COVID-19, but Season 46 of SNL was going to proceed much like the past 45, live from Studio 8H at 11:30 p.m. The show opened with a re-creation of Tuesday’s chaotic presidential debate; it introduced a new celebrity guest (Jim Carrey), in the recurring role of Joe Biden; and it mixed in plenty of goofy apolitical sketches alongside whatever Donald Trump zingers “Weekend Update” could rustle up.



How to Build Rapport … While Wearing a Mask

By Dustin York, for Harvard Business Review In these difficult times, we’ve made a number of our coronavirus articles free for all readers. To get all of HBR’s content delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Daily Alert newsletter.Nonverbal communication in the workplace is extremely important. Whether you’re trying to sell a car, pitch a project to your boss, or nail a job interview, what you convey beyond words can determine the difference between success and failure. This makes communication in the age of Covid-19 more challenging for the obvious reason that masks, a necessary component of fighting the pandemic, hide the parts of our faces that display facial expressions — particularly those micro expressions that we use without thinking to convey as well as perceive sincerity, trustworthiness, and good intentions.



How employee resource groups enhance internal comms efforts

Communicators share how they’ve leaned on employee affinity groups to respond to recent events.


By Meghan Madhavan, PR. Daily As organizations grapple with racial and social justice issues facing the world, employee resource groups can be a great way to help advance DE&I both internally and externally.



McDonald’s Hires Hilton Exec As New Communication And Policy Head After Year Of C-Suite Unrest


By Christian Kreznar, Forbes he McDonald’s Corporation announced on Thursday that Katie Beirne Fallon would assume the position of the company’s chief global impact officer, a new role that will report directly to president and CEO Chris Kempczinski. The position marries several roles for the fast food giant, creating a unified face for the company’s governmental affairs, communications, philanthropy and ESG strategy.


Communication Lessons From The Presidential Debate


By Ashira Prossack Forbes Contributor

The 2020 presidential debate presented many lessons in both successful and unsuccessful methods of communication. Let’s take a look at some of the key communication takeaways from the debate.

The 2020 presidential debate presented many lessons in both successful and unsuccessful methods of communication. Let’s take a look at some of the key communication takeaways from the debate.


Preventing Burnout Is About Empathetic Leadership

By Jennifer Moss, for Harvard Business Review How many of us are currently living without margins — the space to handle life’s simplest stresses. I know I’ve fallen into this trap myself. It can happen after being mentally stretched and dealing with chronic stress for too long. Basically, we are left with zero margin for error. It also means that we don’t realize we’re at our max until it’s too late. Before we know it, we’ve hit the wall.



How to Trim the Defense Budget Without Harming U.S. Security


BY Elbridge Colby, Mackenzie Eaglin, Roger Zakheim, Foreign Policy

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and its economic toll grows, politicians and observers on both sides of the U.S. political divide have called for cuts to the national security budget in order to free up funds for more pressing items. According to this logic, the defense budget is bloated, the federal deficit continues to climb, and the Department of Defense could, and should, do more with less.



U.S. airlines to accept billions in loans from federal government; still no deal to avoid furloughs


By Lori Aratani, Washington Post

Seven U.S. airlines will accept billions in government loans as they seek to navigate through the unprecedented financial crisis created by the global pandemic.



Priestly guidance on voting is dividing the Catholic church in America


By The Economist

In theory priests shouldn’t tell their flock how to vote. In practice they often do. Can a catholic vote for Joe Biden and avoid damnation? Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, a diocese covering 33 counties in east Texas, doesn’t think so. Last month he endorsed a video made by a priest in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, which urged Catholic Democrats to “repent of your support of that party...or face the fires of hell”. In a tweet, Bishop Strickland thanked the priest for his courage and urged his followers to “heed this message”.



In his day, St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson was feared like no other pitcher


By Tim Kurkjian, ESPN

In 2006, less than an hour after Tony La Russa had won his first World Series as the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, he was greeted in the hallway at Busch Stadium by an iconic figure. "Bob Gibson just shook my hand," said La Russa, who had won a World Series with Oakland, and won nearly 2,500 games by that time, yet he was glowing, in awe of what had just happened. "I just got welcomed to the club by Bob Gibson."


And Finally...



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