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Rational Security: The ‘Thelma or Louise’ Edition

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott reunited on our new recording day to talk through the week’s big national security news, including:

  • “Blocked and Muted.” Earlier this week, the Washington Post published a draft report by the Jan. 6 committee detailing how the far right used social media to organize and mobilize in the lead-up to the insurrection—the very same analysis that was reportedly kept out of the committee’s final report, over the objections of staffers. How substantial are these revelations? And how will they impact the committee’s legacy?
  • “Sino the Times.” The Chinese government is reporting that its population has declined for the first time in 60 years, decades ahead of projections. Combined with the fallout of the regime’s reversal on zero-Covid policies and a lagging economy, some are taking this as a sign of difficult times to come for the People’s Republic. How should we read these reports? And what do they mean for the China-U.S. relationship?
  • “Raising the Roof.” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government is beginning “extraordinary measures” to avoid a debt default, as the United States moves closer to the debt ceiling—without either party in Congress having an apparent plan for raising it. How serious a threat is this? What options might be available for addressing it?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the Australian kids series “Bluey” for those listeners with toddlers they need to keep occupied. Quinta, fresh off her vacation to the Grand Canyon, recommended an unlikely book: an authoritative account of everyone who has ever died there. And Scott passed along the best damn lentil soup recipe ever.