Everything We Know About the American Heartland

We are three lawyers in Austin, Texas talking about the American Heartland and what we know about the American Heartland.

Everything We Know about Voting Rights

April 19, 2017

Show Notes

Today, we discuss do an autopsy on Mitt Romney’s binders, and whether states are stepping on voting rights.

Mitt Romney’s binders unearthed.

Ruchit thinks Mitt Romney is good. AJ thinks that Mitt Romney is bad. And the archeologists found Romney’s binders full of women, from the Washington Post. The original question that was asked to both candidates:

QUESTION: In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

Voting Rights

The Texas Voter ID law makes news as a Court in Texas holds that the law was passed with a discriminatory purpose.

“Is there any way to get a breakdown of the 2008 voter turnout, by race (white and black) and type of vote (early and Election Day)?” a staffer for the state’s Republican-controlled legislature asked in January 2012.

Partisen Gerrymandering

What is Gerrymandering? Who is Gerry?

Austin’s Gerrymander: Austin Congressional District

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court

Here we talk about Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc.


Follow up from the previous episode’s Sidebar: An Oral History of Something Awful

Aftershow & Indian Weddings

What is Paan?


Everything We Know about the FCC

April 9, 2017

Show Notes

Ruchit cites Eminem for the proposition that the FCC doesn’t let him be, but refuses to acknowledge Will Smith’s contributions.

Steve Bannon and the Globalists

We talk about the best way to give cultural compliments.

  • Steve Bannon calls Jared Kushner a globalist, and the gang pursues the band ideas.
    • Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Stephen Bannon reportedly called Jared Kushner a ‘globalist.’ Here’s why the term makes some Jews uneasy.
    • CNN: “Bannon’s faction has come to term Cohn as ‘Globalist Gary,’ an insult for those aligned with the Bannon’s populist views.”
  • What is Chapati and papadum?
  • What is Philo-semitism?
  • Trump patronizing Jewish people:
    • The Week: At the Republican Jewish Coalition Presidential Forum in December, Trump drew criticism for promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes while speaking to an audience of Jewish activists, many of them wealthy donors to the party. He suggested that they might not support him because he wouldn’t take their campaign contributions. He called himself a “negotiator, like you.” He said they were, like him, great dealmakers.
    • Rolling Stone: In a 1991 book, one of Trump’s former colleagues recalled him saying, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” (Trump called the things written about him in the book “probably true.“)

Ruchit has decided that Donald J. Trump is good

But AJ believes that everyone who associates themselves with Trump debases themselves.

  • Syrian air base is still in use according to Washington Post. But Trump responds:

  • Is this topic is off brand for the podcast?


The FCC passes a rule that requires a lot of privacy protections for consumers of internet service providers. Congress disapproves of this rule. We get into the weeds on this and discus what’s going on here.

First, the FCC classified broadband internet services as a Telecommunication Service:

Congress comes back and rolls this rule back because it’s easier for Congress to do it. Here are some of the things that this rule did:

  • Reporting requirements
  • Notice requirements to customers when privacy policies are changed
  • Consent requirements when ISPs sell customers information
  • ISPs have to take reasonable measures to protect your private information
  • ISPs have to notify you, the FCC, and law enforcement when they’ve been hacked.

What’s coming down the pipe? The FCC wants to replace net neutrality regulations with voluntary commitments

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court


Ruchit’s Sidebar is a restaurant in New York called By Chloe.

Tom’s Sidebar is Yale’s Climate Change Visualizations

AJ’s Sidebar is Twitter:


Everything We Know about Freedom (Caucus)

April 3, 2017

Show Notes

We check the show notes and talk about the Freedom Caucus. Are they good? Are they bad?

Ruchit thinks the Freedom Caucus is good.

Trump tweets at the Freedom Caucus and some members of respond:

Then, a Trump aide calls for Justin Amash’s defeat and maybe causes ethical problems.

AJ disagrees:

Then Ruchit brings up an Indian Epic

Massie says:

I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a [b*tch] in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.

Mike Flynn’s Immunity Request

At the request of friend of the show @TylerArroz, we discuss Mike Flynn’s immunity request:

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court

We make a prediction about the Supreme Court. This one comes back to our previous discussion about Textualism.

Then, we reflect on some of our previous predictions that we have gotten wrong. By “we,” we mean AJ:

Side Bar

Where we discuss unrelated topics:


Everything We Know about Textualism

March 29, 2017

Show Notes

Conservative judges claim to be textualist and originalist. What is textualism? What is originalism?

Textualism and Originalism.

We harp on the fact that Judge Gorsuch didn’t make Law Review, again.


Ezra Klien on Politics in 2014:

The data also explains why Democratic and Republicans have so much trouble understanding each other. Democrats tend to project their preference for policymaking onto the Republican Party — and then respond with anger and confusion when Republicans don’t seem interested in making a deal. Republicans tend to assume the Democratic Party is more ideological than it is, and so see various policy initiatives as part of an ideological effort to remake America along more socialistic lines.

Harold Pollack in Politico:

They didn’t do any of this, perhaps because they believed they would never have to. Secure in the knowledge that they would face President Obama’s veto, Republicans rammed through a succession of extreme repeal-and-replace bills that resembled AHCA’s original draft. These bills excited the Republican base, but would have horrified most other Americans if they ever found sufficient reason to look. Then Congressional Republicans suffered what George W. Bush might call a “catastrophic success” with Donald Trump’s unexpected victory. They had nothing real to deliver.


AJ hates Paul Ryan

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Everything We Know about Regulations

March 21, 2017

Show Notes

The gang explores a side business of creating soothing sounds for their listeners instead of a podcast.

Around the News

O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy: “For want of a comma, we have this case.”

Hawai’i Federal Judge halts second Muslim ban.

Uber’s troubles, starting with the Google lawsuit and sexism at Uber.

Regulations that the Trump administration has revoked.

Since become president, Mr. Trump has changed or eliminated over 90 regulations. Trump order that for every regulation passed, two must be removed has been challenged in court.

Trump’s regulatory attack:

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court

Packing v. North Carolina. Packingham posts on Facebook:

“God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismissed the ticket before court even started? No fine, no court costs, no nothing spent . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS!”

Kindred Nursing Centers Ltd. v. Clark

Hernandez v. Mesa. You can find the AP report on this story, including pictures of the culvert:

The culvert, care of the AP

AP Photo

Side Bar