Rational Security 2.0: The 'Whole Damn System is Out of Order' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by their fellow Lawfare senior editor and Brookings Institution fellow Molly Reynolds! They sat down to discuss the week's national security news, including:

“Winners Use Google Slides.” The January 6 committee has revealed some of the texts and emails handed over by former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, including a notorious powerpoint presentation laying out apparent plans for a coup. What do these revelations tell us about what happened on January 6—and what our expectations should be of the committee?

“The Smog of War.” A top secret cell of elite U.S. soldiers is accused of manufacturing ambiguity on the battlefield in order to evade legal and policy limits on the targeting of civilians. What do these allegations mean for the way America fights its wars?

“8 Simple Rules for Legislating in an Age of Disorder.” Progressive Democrats have urged their leadership to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s determination that bills passed through the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process can’t include certain types of immigration reforms. Do these demands threaten the operation of the Senate? Or is something entirely different at stake?

For object lessons, Quinta passed along a fool-proof holiday cookie recipe. Alan noted a list of blockbusters he was looking forward to enjoying over Chinese food this Christmas. Molly recommended a somewhat unlikely legislative procedure-themed holiday movie, "Operation Christmas Drop." And Scott urged listeners to watch the holiday classic, "The Muppet Christmas Carol," which Disney+ has only recently restored to its full glory.

Also, Rational Security is hoping to close out the year with a mailbag episode! So if you have any burning questions you want the RatSec crew to answer, wild hypotheticals you want them to suss out, or object lessons you want to share, no matter how serious or how frivolous, be sure to email them to rationalsecurity@lawfareblog.com before December 22.