Rational Security 2.0: The 'Almaty Too Hotty' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by three-peat guest Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett! They talked through some of the week's biggest national security news, including:

  • “What’s Almaty You, Eh?” Russia recently deployed forces to nearby Kazakhstan to aid an allied government in putting down a popular uprising. Will this have ramifications for the possible conflict over Ukraine? And what does it say about Russia’s regional strategy?
  • “He’s Talking About Voldemort, Right?” Last week, President Biden commemorated the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection with some strong words for his predecessor, without ever actually naming him. Does this signal a strategic shift in how Democrats are taking on threats to American democracy—and is it a good one? 
  • “Faceboo(galoo).” The sister of a police officer killed by a member of the far-right “boogaloo boys” is suing Meta, the newly renamed parent company of Facebook, for promoting the group’s content and connecting potential members through its content algorithms. Could this represent a way around Section 230 protections? And what would the ramifications be for other social media platforms?

For object lessons, Quinta called out Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch for recently declining to wear a mask at oral arguments. Alan drew the listeners' attention to a recent story of imperfect revenge: a shop owner who is now facing charges of retaliation for dumping 91,500 pennies covered in oil on the driveway of a former employee who claimed not to have received his final paycheck. Scott celebrated the fact that his prayers for a caffeinated cocktail had been answered but pointed towards what he finds to be an even better solution: coffee and Averna. And finally, Natalie noted the new metaphors for climate change that she'd discovered on recently re-reading the children's classic, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs."