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 the Virginia Elections

November 13, 2017

Show Notes

Virginia had elections that went for the Democrats. In this episode, we talk about that.

Health Insurance


Supreme Court

Jesner v. Arab Bank:

  • AJ: 8-1 Arab Bank
  • Ruchit: 6-3 Arab Bank
  • Tom: 5-4 Jesner


Ruchit hawks LuLuLemon shorts, like he’s done in many many previous episodes.

AJ: Irv Refkin, Brash Accidental Spy in World War II, Dies at 96.

TJ: Texas Tribune, How Renting Furniture in Texas can land you in jail?


Everything We Know about ICE

November 3, 2017

Show Notes


Everything We Know about Bob Corker

October 23, 2017

Show Notes

Turns out the gang knows a lot about old white dudes. But first we talk about whether Donald Trump is a dictator.

Follow Up

Ruchit has no ability to use technology.

Bob Corker

Ruchit likes Bob Corker and wonders if any democrats have said that Trump is leading us to war?

Have any democrats warned of the same?

  1. Prominent Democratic financial backer warns Trump will lead us into war.
  2. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, warns of world war.
  3. California Democratic representative warns of world war.
  4. 64 Democratic Legislators warn of Trump war.
  5. Huffington Post warns Trump could start WW3.
  6. DiFi et al warn of nuclear war.
  7. Several key Democratic lawmakers said that Mr. Trump’s heated rhetoric will lead to war
  8. Hillary Clinton says Trump is a clear and present danger to the world.

Bob Corker

Supreme Court Predictions

It’s about arbitration! Listen to our arbitration episode to find out more!


Ruchit: Ruchit was going to do something but he didn’t do it in Episode 29. He was going to listen to the Yale class on music and he was going to listen to an episode a week. He has listened to one class.

TJ: Singles Day

AJ: Ryan Zinke has a personal flag.


Everything We Know about Partisan Gerrymandering

October 16, 2017

Show Notes

We begin the episode by discussing whether we should discuss follow up first. John Siracusa © 1922.


We decide to not do any follow up and go directly to the main topic.

Gill v. Whitford

We actually discussed this case in Episode 11, Everything We Know about Voting Rights.

Justice Sotomayor was on point with her questions:

But they kept going back to fix the map to make it more gerrymandered. That’s undisputed. The people involved in the process had traditional maps that complied with traditional criteria and then went back and threw out those maps and created more -- some that were more partisan. . . . So why didn’t they take one of the earlier maps?
Could you tell me what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering? How -- how does that help our system of government?

Efficiency Gap

The best demonstration of the efficency gap:

Efficency gap computer simulation

Appellee’s Test

The appellees lay out their test for determining partisen gerrymandering:

First, it must find that the map was designed with discriminatory intent: “to place a severe impediment on the effectiveness of the votes of individual citizens on the basis of their political affiliation.” Second, it must determine that the map causes a “large and durable” discriminatory effect: one that is “sizeable” and likely to “persist throughout the decennial period.” And third, it must conclude that there is no valid justification for this effect: no way to explain it the legitimate state prerogatives and neutral factors that are implicated in the districting process.”

False Positives

The problem with false positives:

Sure. So I think some of the problems with the criteria that have been suggested, in particular with the tests that focus on these symmetry metrics, is that so far the metrics that we have, I mean, they identify false positives roughly 50 percent of the time.
This is plain -- Plaintiff’s expert studied maps from 30 years, and he identified the 17 worst of the worst maps. What is so striking about that list of 17 is that 10 were neutral draws.

Sam Wang

Sam Wang’s amicus brief poses a different test.

Texas’ Brief

Ken Paxton files an amicus brief

Predictions on Gill v. Whitford

Ruchit: 5-4 Whitford, but no standard. Four justices will sign on to Breyer’s test. Kennedy will write his own opinion, which five justices will agree with, but he won’t actually articulate a test.

TJ: 5-4 Whitford, but affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Court will likely find that these partisan-gerrymandering claims are justifiable, but will refine how to bring such a claim.

AJ: 5-4 Whitford


TJ: Please take care of my plant dot com

AJ: Big Mouth on Netflix

Ruchit: Google Pixel Buds


Everything We Know about Common Carriers

October 7, 2017

Show Notes

We start this episode starts by defining the American Heartland, with guest Laura Braunsberg.

Follow up

People tweeted at us and we spend a segment of the episode reading tweets:

Is Twitter a common carrier?

And will they ever ban him for violating their terms of service?

Lightning Round

Where we go through a few follow up topics fairly quickly.

North Korea

Crazy stories about North Korean hijinks.

New Travel Ban

Constitutional or no?

French Frog Emmanuel Macron

Macron’s patriot act. Seems like Macron is not liberal. 🤷🏾‍♂️


Laura: Super Troopers 2 has finished post production.

AJ: Wired: The Hidden Laborers Training AI to Keep Ads off Hateful Youtube Videos.

TJ: Zach Braff discovered he’s used to advertise erection pills.