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 Graham-Cassidy

September 25, 2017

Show Notes

Ruchit and AJ promise to block walk for Tom as long as there are only two or three blocks to walk.


Uber has been banned by the City of London.

We talk about healthcare again

We take a break for a week, and the GOP tries to pass a new healthcare law. Trigger warning: AJ and Ruchit take a deep dive into the technical details of healthcare policy.

Avalere estimates that it would cause a $215 billion cut between 2026, while the CBPP pegs it at $239 billion. Broadly, the two analyses agree: Graham-Cassidy means less money put toward health care programs.

Both show pretty clearly the trade-off Graham-Cassidy makes: it sends money from states that have high Obamacare enrollment (largely through Medicaid expansion) to those with less robust sign-ups. According to Avalere’s analysis, California loses $78 billion while Alabama gains $5 billion between 2020 and 2026.


AJ: Party World Rasslin; watch the Video.

TJ: How logos are remembered.

RS: BioLite Fire Pit


Ruchit steals popcorn


Everything We Know about Arbitration

September 23, 2017

Show Notes

Ruchit’s computer might have been hacked by the same hackers who hacked Equifax.

Trump declares war on North Korea

But first, Trump threatens to totally destroy North Korea.

Equifax Breach & Arbitration

Equifax had a giant security breach between mid-May and July, in what Ars Technica described as the worst leak of private info ever.

[The breach may have] compromised data from 143 million Americans including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers. About 209,000 credit card numbers were exposed as well as “dispute documents with personal identifying information” for 182,000 Americans, the company said in a news release.

Arbitration Clauses

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Game: Who said this about Arbitration.

Do I believe in arbitration? I do. But not in arbitration between the lion and the lamb, in which the lamb is in the morning found inside the lion.

Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor for almost forty years, between 1886 and 1924, and the nation’s leading trade unionist and labor spokesman. Not United States v. Cruikshank.

Never arbitrate. Arbitration allows a third party to determine your destiny. It is a resort of the weak.

Attila the Hun

Predispute arbitration agreements are problematic in a number of ways, one of which is the fact that such contracts are signed well before any dispute arises between the parties. These predispute agreements are often vague and give little notice to the signing parties of the kinds of conflicts that will subject them to arbitration proceedings and the specific rights they are surrendering. Because predispute agreements are entered into before the grounds on which the waiver of rights is based can be known, there is no real “meeting of the minds,” as contract law requires between two parties who commit to a binding agreement.

Ex parte Allen, 798 So.2d 668, 776–77 (Ala. 2001). (Roy Moore, concurring). Roy Moore was the Alabama Supreme Court Justice who refused to follow the Supreme Court precedent in Obergefell, among other scandals and ethics problems.


AJ: Was this headline a Breitbart headline or a KKK headline?

TJ: How does HBO’s Insecure light black actors?.

A tip for taking better selfies:

[S]he has a tip dark-skinned folks can use to improve their club selfies using just their phones. “Stand close to a soft light source and turn three quarters to the light, so that it’s not filling in everything the same way. Kind of like a Rembrandt painting.”

RS: $33 dress shoes from Amazon.


In the after show, we discuss the Apple keynote and all the new Apple things AJ is getting.


Everything Lara Knows about North Korea

September 15, 2017

Show Notes

This week, we invite Lara to talk about North Korea because she had objections about our last episode on NK. AJ worries he is socially inappropriate.

North Korea Redux

Kim Jong-Il wants to nuke Fayetteville, NC, AK, and TX. Should we fret?

North Korean leaders

The Washington Post published an article, North Korea could cross ICBM threshold next year:

The new assessment by the ­Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which shaves a full two years off the consensus forecast for North Korea’s ICBM program, was prompted by recent missile tests showing surprising technical advances by the country’s weapons scientists, at a pace beyond what many analysts believed was possible for the isolated communist regime.


Lara: Alaska Dispatch News, Eagles 1, Drones 0.

AJ: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

TJ: Budget Bytes


Everything We Know about David Brooks

September 9, 2017

Show Notes

In this week’s episode, we discuss a little of left twitter and David Brooks.

Follow Up

We start with some follow up about Ruchit’s hate of left twitter. Tom’s theory: Ruchit hates left twitter because of selection bias. Ruchit disagrees, but he is wrong.

Then, AJ clarifies that the New York Times is an establishment paper, more than a left or right paper.

David Brooks

David Brooks wrote a piece of Identity Politics called In Priase of Equipoise.

David Brooks

David Brooks describes equipoise as:

It’s the ability to move gracefully through your identities — to have the passions, blessings and hurts of one balanced by the passions, blessings and hurts of several others.

AJ hates this column and David Brooks.


Is the GOP using 800,000 individuals as a bargaining chip in the upcoming budget negotiations?


Ruchit: Yale Course on listening to Music.

AJ: 8 Bit Music Theory

TJ: Lens Rentals shows their gear destroyed by the total solar eclipse.

After show

In the after show, AJ makes David Brooks’ point.


Everything We Know about Sheriff Arpaio

September 2, 2017

Show Notes

Ruchit believes Twitter is only slight worse than Fox News. Specifically, he’s upset with @MelanieHannah. He’s also upset with @ajsmull.

Sheriff Arpaio

Let’s not call him Sheriff Joe, because that makes him sound like a lovable drunkle.

Sheriff Arpaio

But we need to talk about him because Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe.

Is Trump’s pardon a blank check to his cronies?

Donald Trump
I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.

Statements on the pardon:


Ruchit and Rex Tillerson both predict that he will not be Secretary of State by the end of the year. Rex Tillerson on Trump:

I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.
And the President’s values?
The President speaks for himself, Chris.
Are you separating yourself from that, sir?
I’ve spoken -- I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department.

More on Emails

This time from the Trump campaign to Russia


AJ: The Mystery of the Senate bathrubs

TJ: Burger King launches WhopperCoin crypto-cash/bitcoin in Russia

Ruchit: Arctic hideaway in Norway

After show

In the after show, Ruchit believes that Mike Huckabee is funny. 🤷🏿‍♂️