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 Saudi Arabia

June 19, 2017

Show Notes

Do we know more than 20 minutes of stuff about Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Only time will tell.

Ruchit lived in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

Where is that?

Map of Saudi Arabia

Saudia Arabia cuts off diplomatic ties with Qatar.


Why did these countries move against Qatar?

Qatar paid up to $1bn to release members of its royal family who were kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip, according to people involved in the hostage deal — one of the triggers behind Arab states’ dramatic decision to cut ties with the government in Doha.

More things we know about the Middle East

For one, Twitter is extremely popular there. Saudi Arabia royal family tree:

Saudi royal family tree

Everything We Know about Technology

AJ was really mad about Ruchit and I continuing the show about Bitcoin without him.

Did the Intercept bungle the NSA leak?


Ruchit: A New York Times article about the Fleet Foxes.

AJ: Tadashi Tokeida on Numberphile

Tom: Statements I Most Regret by Cass Sunstein


Everything We Know about Jim Comey

June 12, 2017

Show Notes

The team fires Ruchit for going on vacation, in an ode to capitalism.

Jim Comey Testifies before Congress

The Senate Intelligence Committee calls Jim Comey to testify.

Comey was asked several questions that we talk about:

Let’s turn our attention to the underlying activity at issue here: Russia’s hacking into those e-mails and releasing them, and the allegations of collusion. Do you believe Donald Trump colluded with Russia?
That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.


Are you aware of any efforts by Trump campaign officials or associates of the campaign to hide their communications with Russian officials through encrypted communications or other means?
I have to give you same answer, Senator.

Finally, everyone’s favorite Arizona Senator:

Are you aware of anything that would lead you to believe that information exists that could coerce members of the administration or blackmail the administration?
That’s not a question I can answer, Senator.

John McCain asks questions of Jim Comey

The United Kingdom had an Election

The UK election and the news roundup surrounding the election.


AJ: Giant of the Senate

TJ: KenM aka Kenneth McCarthy


Everything We Know about Bitcoin

June 3, 2017

Show Notes

AJ and Ruchit read a conversation they had in the slack about Bitcoin out loud to Tom.

Follow Up

Ep. 16, Everything We Know about Impeachment:

Around the News

People are beating up other people:

23:23: If you reach this far into the podcast, pause the podcast, go to this link and watch the video with us.

Stuart Jones video from Twitter

You can watch the full video here.

Hope Hick’s dear-leader statement on Donald Trump:

President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people, whether he is speaking to a room of three or an arena of 30,000. He has built great relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect. He is brilliant with a great sense of humor … and an amazing ability to make people feel special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible.

Did r/Bitcoin say it? Or did our friend Arps say it?

In this segment we play a game where we try to guess whether a quote is by r/bitcoin or by our friend Arps.

  • There are lots of towns that used to exist but no longer do, due to natural patterns of economic migration. False sentimentality isn’t a countervailing concern. - click for answer
  • The FDA kills more people than it saves. - click for answer
  • As a libertarian centrist I’d like to pick and choose the best of both parties. Unfortunately increasing polarization makes that hard. - click for answer
  • At some point it becomes dynastic - not that you Chelsea [Clinton] apologists see any problem with that. - click for answer
  • Winter is coming. Is it efficient to heat the house with old mining equipment instead with regular heating? - click for answer
  • Venezuela is a sneak peek preview of how a bernie administration would work out. - click for answer
  • Political parties are no longer mere proxies for positions. They are tribal identities, placeholders for moral standing. - click for answer
  • Breathing on your own is too “libertarian” for Hillary Clinton. - click for answer
  • Politics defeats the market, but technology defeats politics. - click for answer
  • Freedom is a mindset and BitCoin is freedom. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Trump’s sons hold BitCoin. - click for answer

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court

In this segment we review our Supreme Court predictions. We got some right, and we got others wrong. Currently, our batting averages are: Ruchit (0.630), Tom (0.625), and AJ (0.445).


TJ: Politwoops preserves deleted tweets by your favorite politicians, including:

AJ: Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

Ruchit: Ethereum is the forefront of digital currency


In the after show, AJ goes to bed. Ruchit and Tom continue to talk about BitCoin. What is BitCoin? What is Ethereum?

Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Further, every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds.

The average block size of a bitcoin block in the blockchain:

average block size of bitcoin block in the block chain over time

Bitcoin’s processing requirements:

Bitcoin’s worldwide computational output is currently nearing 200 exaflops—200,000 petaflops—or 800 times the combined capacity of the top 500 supercomputers in the world.

Bitcoin is a form of convenience technology?


Everything We Know about Impeachment

May 23, 2017

Show Notes

AJ is close to impeaching his cohosts, similar to how America is close to impeaching Donald J. Trump. We’re talking about impeachment today, and butchering it. Ruchit believes that Mike Pence is the Frank Underwood

Mechanics of Impeachment

If Orin Hatch were to be impeached, how would it go?

  • Article 2, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
  • Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5: House has the “sole” power of impeachment. Articles of Impeachment are adopted by a simple majority vote in the House
  • Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6: the Senate tries any impeachment proceedings.

People have their own takes on impeachment:

The Clinton Impeachment

The court has said that impeachment is a political question in Nixon v. US.

Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

Andrew Johnson was president and was impeached.

Richard Nixon’s Impeachment

The Watergate hotel:

The Watergate hotel

Ruchit really likes Richard Nixon. AJ doesn’t.

An Unassuming Member of Congress from the Midwest, like Gerald Ford:

Spiro Agnew plead guilty to not reporting the income from his bribes.

Trump Special Counsel

Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel.


TJ: My Family’s Slave, by Alex Tizon, The Atlantic, published posthumously. Tizon won a pulitzer in 1997 for investigative reporting. He died days before publishing the story.

Ruchit: What Trump should know about Comey & Mueller

AJ: AV Club Yo La Tengo Sugarcube

After Show

The crazy case of Samuel B. Kent.


Everything We Know about Macron

May 15, 2017

Show Notes

The French President — do we know anything about him?


Thirty-five of thirty-seven economists said Trump was wrong. The other two misread the question.

  • The survey asked and comments by the economists. E.g., Austin Goolsbee: “No, but it would put us in the running for a national Darwin award.”

Trump invented the phrase priming the pump. Merriam-Webster’s fact check’s President Trump. Google Ngram results show that the phrase “priming the pump” has been used as early as 1886:

priming the pump google ngram result

France had an election

And they elected Emmanuel Macron. They elected him over Marine Le Pen.

What is the Macron law?

Good things Macron did:

Five Thirty Eight takeaways from the French election:

Donald Trump fires Jim Comey

Trump tells Lester Holt that he fired Jim Comey because of the Russia investigation:

DONALD TRUMP: He made—he made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, uh the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, uh he made a recommendation but regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirms:

“We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,” [Huckabee Sanders] said, referring to the FBI’s probe into Moscow’s interference in last year’s election. “And we think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”

Was Comey good? Was he bad? Or should we not talk about it at all?

Everything We Know about this Supreme Court

This week in our Supreme Court segment, we talk about Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California.


AJ: The Texas Freedom caucus Mother’s Day Massacre.

As the clock ticked — and Freedom Caucus members used tactic after tactic to stall — other lawmakers watched as the chances dimmed for their bills to pass. State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, delivered a tearful speech begging the chamber to hurry up so it could get to a bill on experimental stem cell treatment that could benefit his wife, who suffered a spinal cord injury.

TJ: Apple, How to shoot on iPhone 7

Ruchit: The cheapness of Richard Burr, not to be confused with Aaron Burr.