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Kickass News

Updated 8 days ago

TV & Film
Technology
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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

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Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

iTunes Ratings

2608 Ratings
Average Ratings
2290
103
35
39
141

Great interviews

By OnTelephone - Nov 15 2018
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I never miss and episodes.

Great questions, great interviews

By hannahmacxx - Jul 28 2018
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Really in depth perspectives and interviews, it’s a baller podcast.

iTunes Ratings

2608 Ratings
Average Ratings
2290
103
35
39
141

Great interviews

By OnTelephone - Nov 15 2018
Read more
I never miss and episodes.

Great questions, great interviews

By hannahmacxx - Jul 28 2018
Read more
Really in depth perspectives and interviews, it’s a baller podcast.

Listen to:

Cover image of Kickass News

Kickass News

Updated 8 days ago

Read more

Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

Bryan Cranston on Life Before Acting & Becoming Walter White

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Rerun of 9/5/17 episode w/ guest Bryan Cranston. Actor Bryan Cranston recalls a difficult childhood and the two year road trip that changed his life.  He shares some of his adventures before acting including traveling as a carny, catching shoplifters as security guard, and the time he ended up a suspect in a murder investigation.  He talks about getting a crash course in comedy from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, landing the role of a lifetime on Breaking Bad, and how he built one of the most iconic characters in the history of television.  Bryan Cranston also gives some advice for aspiring actors, reveals how his life has changed since "Walter White," and why he loves making small talk with old people.

Order Bryan Cranston's bestselling memoir A Life in Parts on Amazon or download the audiobook at www.audible.com.  Bryan Cranston stars in Last Flag Flying which opens in theatres November 3.  Follow Bryan on Twitter at @BryanCranston.

Apr 23 2018

52mins

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Al Jean, Head Writer/Exec Producer of "The Simpsons" Is Doing What He Loves

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The moment Al Jean completed the first episode of The Simpsons in 1989, he knew that he wanted to work on that show for the rest of his career.  He's been doing just that as the head writer and exec producer of The Simpsons, guiding that groundbreaking series to a record-breaking 28 seasons.  

Today Al Jean talks about his early days writing for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” including those famous letters to Santa that were supposedly from little children. Then he talks about the birth of the Simpsons, the origin of many of the characters, and the early controversies that surrounded the show including a strange rivalry between the fictional Simpsons family and the first President Bush.

We talk about the process of making the show, the challenge of keeping the show fresh after 625 episodes, and what he’d like to do with the final episode (if that day ever comes). Plus we talk about the fans and some of the crazy conspiracy theories they have about the show.

Be sure to watch the season premiere of The Simpsons this Sunday 9/25 at 8PM Eastern on Fox and watch Simpsons reruns five days a week on FXX.  For more fun Simpsons fan stuff, visit www.SimpsonsWorld.com.  Follow Al Jean on Twitter at @AlJean and you can even follow the Simpsons on Twitter at @TheSimpsons

Please subscribe to Kickass News and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnewspodcast.com for more fun stuff. Thanks for listening!

Sep 23 2016

49mins

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Part 1: Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist & Futurist Talks About Einstein, Gravity Waves, & The Future

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My guest today is world renowned theoretical physicist, futurist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science Dr. Michio Kaku.  He is the co-founder of string field theory and he continues to work on his ambitious mission to complete Albert Einstein's Unified Field Theory a.k.a. Einstein's Theory of Everything.  Today he'll talk about his work on the Unified Field Theory, he'll discuss how the recent discovery of Einstein's Gravitation Waves will give scientists "a window into creation," and how his lifelong love of theoretical physics and the science of the future began.  He'll reveal the real science that may one day make science fiction wonders like force fields, time machines, starships, teleportation, and travel to parallel universes possible.  Plus Dr. Michio Kaku saves my life from the same thing that took down Malaysia Air Flight 370.

If you enjoyed my interview with Dr. Michio Kaku, then follow him at www.mkaku.org or on Twitter at @michiokaku.  You can order his books "Einstein's Cosmos," "The Physics of the Impossible," "The Physics of the Future," and "The Future of the Mind" on Amazon or you can download the audio version of these books for free with a special trial offer at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics. Also be sure to subscribe to his weekly podcast on iTunes called "Explorations in Science" and you can check his site for stations that carry his weekly syndicated radio show called "Science Fantastic."

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Mar 22 2016

46mins

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Jon Meacham on the Soul of America and Donald Trump

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Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment of crisis in American politics by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame hatred and reveals how his latest book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels was born in the dark days following the infamous Charlottesville rally.  He talks about similarities between the current age and the 1920’s, how America during Great Depression could have easily followed the path of Germany into totalitarianism, and what Donald Trump could learn from the fate of red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy.  He discusses moments when Presidents have served as moral leaders for the nation including the day George H.W. Bush handed in his NRA card and an oft forgotten speech by Dwight Eisenhower that is all too relevant today.  Plus George H.W. Bush's biographer shares some candid memories of the late former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Order Jon Meacham's book The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels on Amazon or Audible.  Keep up with him at www.jonmeacham.com and follow him on Twitter at @jmeacham.  Today's episode was sponsored by Citizen Watches, Grasshopper, Quip, and U.S. Markerboard

May 07 2018

45mins

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Matt Ingebretson & Jake Weisman Go Corporate

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Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, the stars and co-creators of the new Comedy Central series CORPORATE talk about their own experiences in corporate America and the irony doing their new show for corporate conglomerate Viacom.  They discuss why they wanted a darker tone than typical workplace comedies, how they convinced Lance Reddick to play their tyranical boss, and why they took on the one holiday you that can’t make fun of in their season finale.  Plus Matt and Jake talk about development hell, marvel at the modern wonder of a simple banana, and reveal why everyone’s a number at Amazon.

CORPORATE airs Wednesdays at 10/9Central on Comedy Central.  For more information, go to www.cc.com/shows/corporate.  Follow Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman on Twitter at @mattingebretson and @weismanjake.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Google Cloud AI, The Looming Tower on Hulu, and Grasshopper.

Mar 01 2018

42mins

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Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard On the GOP Primary

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 My guest today is Bill Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and a political contributor to ABC’S This Week with George Stephanopalis. Just in time for the big GOP primaries in FL & OH, we talk about whether  Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich may have missed chance to beat Donald Trump outright. We discuss the possibility of a brokered convention and the prospect of an alternative conservative launching a third party run. Plus we talk about Bill Kristol’s 20 year career as editor of the #1 weekly conservative publication in America.

If you enjoyed this episode then go to www.weeklystandard.com to read Bill Kristol’s op-eds and subscribe to the print or online versions of The Weekly Standard. You can also subscribe to the Weekly Standard podcast on iTunes and follow Bill on Twitter at @BillKrystol.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Mar 14 2016

39mins

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Jennifer Palmieri Empowers Women w/ Lessons from the Clinton Campaign

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Jennifer Palmieri, communications director of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, says she wants to turn the results of the 2016 election into something empowering for future female leaders and advises the next woman who runs for President to write her own playbook not emulate her male predecessors.  She shares her insider’s perspective on the Clinton campaign, gives some insight into the candidate who she says was reluctant to run for President in 2016 and was all too aware of the slings and arrows that would come her way.  She also shares some wisdom from another famous female mentor of hers the late Elizabeth Edwards, she re-examines the role of former FBI director James Comey in the 2016 election, and explains why Hillary Clinton’s email problem was about way more than just emails.  Plus Jennifer Palmieri responds to all those armchair strategists who asked “where was THAT Hillary?” after her concession speech, she suggests that candidates for office should cry more and nod less, and she casts the Batman version of the 2016 election.

Order Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World on Amazon or download the audio version at www.audible.com.  Follow Jennifer Palmieri on twitter at @jmpalmieri.  Today's episode was sponsored by Grasshopper and AppRiver.

Apr 12 2018

45mins

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General Michael Hayden, Former Head of CIA & NSA

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General Michael Hayden is the only person in U.S. history to have served as head of both the CIA and the NSA.  General Hayden served as the Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 where he implemented a dramatic overhaul and expansion of the agency in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.  He later serves as America's first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and then as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President George W. Bush.  General Hayden has written a new book called PLAYING TO THE EDGE: AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE IN THE AGE OF TERROR.

On the podcast, General Michael Hayden will give a frank assessment of the intelligence failures leading up to 9/11 and talk about what he did as NSA director and later as director of the CIA to close those intelligence gaps.  We’ll discuss the conundrums of domestic surveillance, CIA black sites, and enhanced interrogation.  Plus we’ll talk about cyber warfare, the Apple encryption controversy, the personal toll for the men and women who keep America’s secrets, why he says the U.S. military may have an obligation to reject orders from a President Donald Trump, his thoughts on James Bond and the TV series Homeland, and much more.

If you enjoy this episode, you can order General Michael Hayden's new book PLAYING TO THE EDGE: AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE IN THE AGE OF TERROR on Amazon.  You can also download the audio version of PLAYING TO THE EDGE for free with a special 30 day trial for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.  Follow General Michael Hayden on Twitter at @GenMHayden.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Mar 08 2016

41mins

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Dave Itzkoff on Robin Williams' Comedy and Tragedy

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New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff talks about the surprisingly patrician upbringing of Robin Williams, his time studying to be a serious actor at Julliard, and Robin's early influences as a comedian.  Dave reveals how Star Wars helped Williams land the role of Mork the Ork, and why his shenangigans on Mork and Mindy might have landed him in hot water in the age of #MeToo.  He discusses Robin’s gradual evolution as a movie star, and why Hollywood didn’t really know what to do with him at first.  Dave shares how John Belushi’s overdose scared Robin Williams straight, what eventually caused him to fall back into addiction some 20 years later, and how a rare disease led to his tragic suicide.  Plus Dave Itzkoff recalls his own favorite personal encounters with the comedian, and why Robin always wanted to give total strangers what he called “an authentic Robin Williams experience.”

Order Dave Itzkoff's book Robin on Amazon or Audible.  Read more by Dave Itzkoff in the New York Times and follow Dave on Twitter at @ditzkoff. Today's podcast is sponsored by The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah: Ears Edition, LegalShield, and Dollar Shave Club.

Jun 25 2018

55mins

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Part 2: Futurist Dr. Michio Kaku On Amazing Inventions Coming In Our Lifetime

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Today in Part 2 of my interview with theoretical physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku, we look as some of the incredible advances in science and technology that will radically transform our lives within our lifetime.  In many cases, these inventions are already in the testing phase and may be widely available within the next 5 to 10 years.  

These include computers that will fit into a contact lens, Iron Man-like super soldiers, modular robots, liquid biopsies that will detect cancer 10 years before a tumor forms, replaceable human organs, hand-held MRI machines, recording motion pictures of our dreams, uploading information into our brain, downloading our entire consciousness onto a computer after we're gone, and recent discoveries that will dramatically slow down aging and perhaps one day even stop death entirely.  It's an amazing discussion about some very real technological leaps being made right now and the unbelievable inventions that could completely change our lives very soon.

If you enjoyed my interview with Dr. Michio Kaku, then follow him at www.mkaku.org or on Twitter at @michiokaku.  If you're interested in the science and technology of the near future, then I highly recommend Dr. Michio Kaku's books "The Physics of the Future" and "The Future of the Mind."  You can order them on Amazon or you can download the audio version of these books for free with a special trial offer at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics. Also be sure to subscribe to his weekly podcast on iTunes called "Explorations in Science" and you can check his site for stations that carry his weekly syndicated radio show called "Science Fantastic."

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Mar 25 2016

40mins

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Author James Patterson on the Shocking True Crimes of Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

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Author James Patterson has sold over 350 million books and had more #1 New York Times Bestsellers than any author in history. He is best known for his fictional Alex Cross novels, but today he comes on the show to talk about his newest book - a true crime story about the sensational case of Jeffrey Epstein, the Palm Beach billionaire accused of sexually assaulting or molesting as many as 47 underaged girls as young as 12 and 13.

James Patterson reveals how Epstein went about recruiting teenage girls on an almost industrial scale and how it led Donald Trump to personally ban him from Mar-a-Lago.  We talk about the recent rape allegations against Trump involving Epstein, as well as other high profile figures who have been drawn into Epstein’s sordid story including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Allen Dershowitz.  Patterson discusses how Epstein finally landed on the Palm Beach Police’s radar, and he talks about the strange matter of the Florida State Attorney who intervened in the investigation and some would say even  “stacked the deck” in Epstein’s favor.

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order his book Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein on Amazon or you can download the audio version for free at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Patterson also has a new novel in his popular Alex Cross series called “Cross the Line” coming out on November 21st.  James Patterson’s website is www.JamesPatterson.com and follow him on Twitter at @JP_Books.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Oct 25 2016

44mins

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Whitney Cummings Hacks the Female Brain

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Comedian Whitney Cummings talks about the humbling experience of being a first time director on her film The Female Brain, how she learned that every moment doesn’t have to be a joke, and why she says The Female Brain isn’t just for the ladies.  She shares how she broke free of a cycle of co-depency once she started understanding the neurochemistry behind her bad choices and why she says it’s a lot harder to come up with jokes when you don’t have all that none-stop drama.  Whitney weighs in on the Me Too movement and hints that the new Roseanne reboot (which she's executive-producing) might just help us understand how middle-America went for Trump.  Plus, Whitney talks about being a lady comedian in the Middle East, those women who see Marilyn Monroe as a feminist role model, and how she almost accidentally killed Sofia Vergara.

The Female Brain opens in theaters Friday, February 9.  For more information, visit www.ifcfilms.com.  Order Whitney’s very funny book I’m Fine…And Other Lies on Amazon, and you can keep up with her at www.whitneycummings.com or on twitter at @WhitneyCummings.  Today's episode was sponsored by Google Cloud AI.

Feb 08 2018

46mins

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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Trump's Attack on the Intelligence Community

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General Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA, talks about his concerns over President Trump's attack on the Intelligence Community and objective facts.  He refutes the President’s paranoid narrative of a so called "deep state" operating in the shadows, explains the lasting impact of a damaged relationship between the Intelligence Community and the Commander-in-Chief, and reveals what friends inside the IC are saying about that relationship including how they have to tailor the Daily Intelligence Brief to a President with zero attention span and constantly wonder “do you think he got that?”  General Hayden talks about the lasting impact of the IC’s decision to focus their efforts on cyber instead of information dominance and reveals how one analyst saw the early warning signs 2 years before the Russian attack of the 2016 election.  He weighs in on the President’s nominee for CIA director Gina Haspel, the decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, and why he believes Kim Jung Un is unlikely to give up his nukes.  Plus General Hayden discusses the advice he gives to those considering a job in the Administration, how the President’s Twitter addiction aids our enemies, and the Russian’s FSB’s nickname for men like Donald Trump..."the useful idiot."

Order Michael Hayden's book The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies on Amazon or Audible.  and follow him on twitter at @GenMHayden.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Citizen Watches, US Marker Board, and Grasshopper.

May 14 2018

48mins

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Director Barry Levinson on Paterno, Pacino, & Our "Wag the Dog" Reality

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Director Barry Levinson explores the Penn State sexual abuse scandal that ended Coach Joe Paterno’s career in his new film PATERNO on HBO.  He explains why he wanted to present the straight facts of the case without actually taking sides, talks the about the student riots that broke out when Penn State fired Paterno, and reveals what the film has to say about Americans’ views on issues of loyalty, tribalism, and the truth.  Barry Levinson also recalls his early days teaming up with another "coach" Craig T. Nelson to form a nightclub comedy duo, writing sketches for THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW, directing his first movie at the urging of his mentor Mel Brooks, and he shares behind-the-scenes stories from some of his classic films including DINER, TIN MEN, RAIN MAN, AVALON, and more.  Plus Barry Levinson talks about why Hollywood doesn’t make films about human beings anymore, whether he’d like to make a sequel to WAG THE DOG for the age of "fake news," and how an infamous drug kingpin got him into his first acting class.

PATERNO is available now on HBO GO, HBO NOW and HBO ON DEMAND.  Today's episode was sponsored by AppRiver, Adiamor Jewelry, and Grasshopper.

Apr 09 2018

44mins

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Dylan Thuras of Atlas Obscura on the World's Hidden Wonders

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Dylan Thuras is the co-founder and creative director at AtlasObscura.com, the popular travel site that revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious.  He co-authored a new book based on the site and it's called Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.  

Today we'll talk about some of the strangest attractions the world has to offer including a Fiery crater that has been burning in the desserts of Turkmenistan since 1971, the independent micronation of Sealandia on an abandoned offshore oil platform in the North Sea, and a saloon in the Ukon that serves cocktails garnished with a severed human toe.  Plus hipster tourism, lake monsters, doggie suicide bridges, and the hidden wonders in your neighborhood.

If you enjoyed this episode, then order Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders on Amazon and visit www.AtlasObscura.com to read articles, find new travel ideas, and join special Atlas Obscura tours abroad and in your city. Follow Dylan Thuras on Twitter at @DylanThuras and Atlas Obscura at @atlasobscura.

Please subscribe to Kickass News and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Oct 10 2016

43mins

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An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia

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Ambassador Michael McFaul helped President Obama craft the US-Russia “reset," and he later had a front-row seat for the end of the reset with the return of the hostile, paranoid Russian President Vladimir Putin.  He recalls witnessing history unfold during the attempted Russian military coup in 1989 and early encounter with a young unimpressive Vladimir Putin in the 90s.  He gives an insiders account of being with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she presented the infamous "reset" button, the first meeting between Putin and the newly elected President Obama, and his own thoughts on what motivates the Russian President.  He talks about arriving to protestors in Moscow on his first day as Ambassador, the Russian FSB’s sinister surveillance and harassment campaigns against him and his family, and the extensive efforts to gain Kompromat on US officials as well as certain wealthy American businessmen.

Order From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia on Amazon or Audible. Follow Michael McFaul twitter at @mcfaul or at www.michaelmcfaul.com.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Michelin Premiere Tires, Just for Men Control GX, and Travel Guard Travel Insurance.

Jun 18 2018

53mins

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Donald Rumsfeld On Modernizing The Military, Saddam Hussein, Snowflakes, & Churchill Solitaire

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My guest is former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  In his remarkable 50 year career, he has served as a U.S. Congressman, Director of the Office Economic Opportunity and U.S. Ambassador to NATO under President Richard Nixon, White House Chief of Staff to President Gerald Ford, Special Middle East Envoy for President Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of Defense...both for Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.  In fact, Donald Rumsfeld has the distinction of being both the youngest and the oldest Secretary of Defense.  

Today he comes on the show to talk about the his amazing career, the current state of national defense, and the "unknown knowns" that America might be missing.  Plus he'll talk about his first impression of Saddam Hussein, his favorite President, his prolific body of memos written, the issues that keep him up at night, and how Winston Churchill inspired him to create a fun new gaming app called Churchill Solitaire.

If you enjoy this episode, then be sure to go to your app store and download Churchill Solitaire for your tablet device or smart phone.  You can also find out more about the Rumsfeld Foundation at www.rumsfeldfoundation.org.  View the massive archive of his memos at www.papers.rumsfeld.com and be sure to order his fascinating books Knowns and Unknowns and Rumsefeld's Rules on Amazon.

Please subscribe to KickAss Politics on iTunes and leave us a review. You can also help us reach our fundraising goal for this year and donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Or go to the website for the show at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the donate button. Thanks for listening!

Mar 01 2016

51mins

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An Anti-Endorsement and Final Thoughts on the 2016 Election

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It's almost finally over!  Today, I share some final thoughts on the 2016 election and make my closing arguments against Donald Trump.  With guests Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist David Cay Johnston, former CIA/NSA director, General Michael Hayden, Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review, CNN Global contributor Parag Kanna, Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate Magazine, General Wesley Clark, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Nov 09 2016

42mins

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Dana Perino Says "If You Want a Friend in Washington, Get a Dog!"

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The former White House Press Secretary and co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel says if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.  She talks about her new book called Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog and how pets can bridge political divides between humans.  She also talks about her time as White House Press Secretary, the post-election vibe at The Five, how her dog Jasper became a social media celebrity, and her ideas for the next White House dog.  

If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order Dana Perino's book Let Me Tell You about Jasper...How My Best Friend Became America's Dog on Amazon or you can download the audio version for free at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews.  Watch Dana Perino on The Five weekdays on Fox News and subscribe to her podcast called Perino and Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What on iTunes or GooglePlay.  Visit her at www.danaperino.com and follow her on Twitter at @DanaPerino.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on iTunes and leave us a review. And support the show by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

Nov 28 2016

49mins

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Eugene Jarecki Goes Road Tripping with Elvis

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Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki drove across the U.S. in Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls Royce to talk to people about Elvis as a metaphor for the American dream in his new documentary The King.  He traces Elvis’s journey from his birth in a Mississippi town that's barely kept alive by Elvis tourism to the musical melting pot of Memphis, and ultimately to Las Vegas and the "sweaty sequined jumpsuit Elvis" who became more of a corporate brand than a man.  He reveals how he acuired Elvis’s Rolls Royce, and how it became a beacon for people on both sides of the political divide to have a conversation about the promise of America, the sins of the past, and where our country is headed today.  Plus Eugene Jarecki talks about the perils of driving and directing and roadtripping in a 55 year old car.

The King opens in theaters in NYC on 6/22 and in LA on 6/29. For information and showtimes, visit www.theking.film.  Today’s podcast was sponsored by Outside the Box podcast, LegalShieldMichelin Premiere Tires, and LightStream.

Jun 21 2018

50mins

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Andrew Marantz on Embedding with the "Deplorables"

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Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for the New Yorker, talks about his experience embedding with the so called "Deplorables," and how he got a rare insider's glimpse into the pundits, trolls, and provocateurs who drive the conversation on the alt-right.  He recalls his strange relationship with a right wing media influencer who is able to manipulate America’s political conversation, spread conspiracy theories, and even put words in the mouth of President Trump.  He also discusses how Silicon Valley’s laissez faire libertarianism opened the door hate-mongers and conspiracy theorists, how social media algorithms actually promote that type of content, and why he says it’s time for tech leaders to stop hiding behind the 1st Amendment.  Plus Andrew describes how Reddit is now cracking down on hate speech, the bizarre story of the neo-nazi who is married to a jewish woman, and the pitiful demise of right wing gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos.

Order Adam's book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read Andrew Marantz regularly in The New Yorker and follow him on twitter at @AndrewMarantz.  

Dec 09 2019

1hr 6mins

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Master of Suspense Dean Koontz

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Master of suspense Dean Koontz recalls the literary agent who said he'd never be a bestselling author and how he defied expectations with fourteen #1 New York Times Bestsellers.  He discusses his new collection of six short suspense stories for Amazon, why creating an antihero with no memory and no identity appealed to him, and those stories have to say about the blessing and the curse of technology in our lives.  Dean reveals the meticulous research that goes into his writing, how much of himself he puts into his books, and why his love of dogs always seems to make it into his work.

Nameless, collection of short stories by Dean Koontz is available for free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited members.  Keep up with Dean at www.deankoontz.com and on twitter at @deankoontz.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions.

Dec 05 2019

50mins

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Mo Rocca Honors History's Forgotten Figures

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CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries but he says that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves.  He's attempting to right those wrongs with his Mobituaries podcast and his new book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving.  We discuss celebrities who died on the same day,  historical figures who were eclipsed by the actors who played them in the movies,  and the old debate over whether famous people die in pairs or threes.  Mo tells the stories of lesser known figures like Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy,  the original Siamese twins Ang and Chang, and the world’s first fashion influencer.  Plus we cover the unceremonious sendoff of founding father Thomas Paine, how Lawrence Welk proved it’s hip to be square,  and famous rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Order his book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to the Mobituaries podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.  You can also catch Mo on CBS Sunday Morning and follow him on twitter at @MoRocca.  Today's episode was sponsored by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's new podcast In Bed with Nick and Megan, Kendra Scott Jewelry (use promo code KICK for 20% off), and Invitae genetic testing.

Dec 02 2019

56mins

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Alex Gibney on Putin's Public Enemy #1

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Oscar and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney discusses his new film Citizen K and what it was like to profile Russia's billionaire oil oligarch turned political activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  He talks about the parallel rise of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Putin amid the chaos of post-Soviet Russia and the public showdown between the two men that put Khodorkovsky on Putin’s enemies list and eventually landed him in prison.  Alex reveals why Khodorkovsky refused to flee Russia before his arrest and the personal transformation that he underwent during his decade in a remote Russian prison.  He shares how Khodorkovsky got out of prison and escaped Russia with $500 million in the bank, how the ex-patriot is now waging a political war against Vladimir Putin from London, and whether he worries that Putin might could target him for assassination.  Plus Alex reveals what Mikhail Khodorkovsky knows about Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, why Vladimir Putin employs a cast of actors to make himself look good, and what Mikhail Khodorkovsky believes is Putin’s worst nightmare.

See Alex Gibney's new documentary film Citizen K now out in theaters and follow Alex on twitter at @AlexGibneyfilm.  Today episode was sponsored by Uncommitted: Iowa 2020, an original podcast from VICE News that's available every Tuesday for free on Spotify and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood now out on digital.

Nov 28 2019

38mins

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Senator Sherrod Brown Talks Senate History, Impeachment, and 2020

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Senator Sherrod Brown reveals how he first learned about the rich history of his desk in the U.S. Senate and how he grappled with some of the contradictions and controversies of the men who sat there before him.  We discuss the singing cowboy turned one term Senator from Idaho who once spent a night in Bull Conner’s jail in Alabama and the Senator from Wisconsin who was a legendary penny pincher and never missed a vote.  He talks about getting back to a more movement-oriented definition of Progressivism, his belief in the dignity of work, and why he feels it’s a winning message for Democrats running against President Trump in 2020.  Plus Senator Brown opens up about his decision to stay out of the Democratic Presidential Primary, whether or not he might reconsider that choice in light recent calls for him to jump into the race, and how he plans to approach a potential impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate.

Order Senator Brown's book Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow him on Twitter at @SenSherrodBrown.  Today episode was sponsored by Uncommitted: Iowa 2020, an original podcast from VICE News that's available every Tuesday for free on Spotify.

Nov 25 2019

33mins

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Malcolm Nance on Trump, Ukraine, and Russia

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As the Ukraine scandal continues to heat up, MSNBC intelligence expert Malcolm Nance explains why US support for Ukraine is in our own national interest, what Rudy Giuliani is getting from being the President’s bag man to Ukraine, and how Paul Manafort started the conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election.  He also shares that Russia has been keeping tabs on Donald Trump since as early as 1977, how Trump went from an unwitting asset of Russia to a willing asset, and why he sees Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints all over Trump’s withdrawal from Northern Syria. Plus Malcolm weighs in on Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Democratic Presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset.

Order Malcolm Nance's new book The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow at www.MalcolmNance.com or on Twitter at @MalcolmNance.

Nov 21 2019

48mins

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Lawrence Lessig on Solving "Unrepresentativeness" in America

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Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig discusses the fundamental issue that he says underlies many of our current political problems - "unrepresentativeness."  He offers some creative prescriptions for how to cure America’s unrepresentativeness problem such as public funding of election campaigns (including campaigns for Congress), a radical restructuring of the United States Senate, and some ways to reform the Electoral College without having to change the Constitution.  He also says we the people are complicit in America’s political dysfunction, and suggests some ways that Americans can take a more proactive role in government such as  "civic juries" and citizen referenda.  Plus I ask this distinguished legal scholar to weigh in on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

Order Lawrence Lessig's new book They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him at www.lessig.com or on Twitter at @Lessig.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next purchase or mention this ad in your local Kendra Scott store.

Nov 18 2019

45mins

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Mitch Albom on the Little Girl Who Changed His Life

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Bestselling author Mitch Albom returns to the podcast to talk about how he came to run an orphanage in earthquake ravaged Haiti, how recent political instability in Haiti has led to some frightening encounters for the kids, and the hardest part about running an orphanage.  He shares how he became a surrogate father to a young girl with a terminal illness, how he learned what it means to be "kid tough," and how a girl named Chika taught him some valuable lessons about the important things in life.

Order Mitch's touching book Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at www.mitchalbom.com or on Twitter at @MitchAlbom.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer.

Nov 14 2019

35mins

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Jeff Garlin Finds Joy in Comedy

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Actor/comedian Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs, Curb Your Enthusiasm) reveals how Jimmy Durante inspired him to get into comedy as a boy, what it was like rooming with a young Conan O'Brien when he started at Chicago’s legendary improv group Second City, and the time he witnessed one of Larry David’s famous fights with his audience at a comedy club.  He talks about his worst gig as a comedian, why he always goes on stage to a different song, and why not everyone should follow their dream to Hollywood.  Plus Jeff shares how he kicked the sugar habit, what you can order in a catalogue for fat guys, and how he almost got fired from his hit show The Goldbergs.

Jeff's new hourlong standup special Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago is available on Netflix starting November 12.  You can also catch Jeff on The Goldbergs and the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm coming in 2020.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast and Kendra Scott Jewelry.  Visit www.kendrascott.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your next order.

Nov 11 2019

49mins

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Joe Posnanski on Harry Houdini's Enduring Magic

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Bestselling sports writer Joe Posnanski recalls delving into the rabbit hole of magician Harry Houdini’s legendary life and separating fact from the fiction invented by Houdini and his followers.  Joe discusses the handcuffs that Houdini almost couldn’t get out of, some of the more bizarre things people challenged him to escape, and how Houdini upped the ante with increasingly more dangerous escapes to keep audiences interested.  He explains why many people falsely believe that the magician died performing his most famous trick, and we talk about the secret code that Houdini’s widow Bess used  to try to make contact with him from beyond the grave.  Joe also gives us entre into the world of Houdini superfans from the couple who committed a crime to honor their hero to the mysterious man who calls himself "Houdini’s ghost."  Plus he reveals what it’s like inside David Copperfield’s private magic warehouse in Las Vegas, how Houdini learned from some of the turn of the century’s most bizarre sideshow acts, and his daughter’s favorite Houdini revenge story.

Order Joe Posnanski's wonderful new book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at JoePosnanski.com or on Twitter at @JPosnanski.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions and Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.  

Nov 07 2019

1hr

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Edward Norton Talks Noir, Jazz, and Lost New York

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Golden Globe-winner Edward Norton talks about his film Motherless Brooklyn's 20 year journey to the big screen and what it was like to write, direct, and star in this neo-noir masterpiece.  He shares some of the things he’s learned from working with directors like Milos Forman and Woody Allen.  Edward talks about the real life New York powerbroker who inspired his film’s antagonist, his own grandfather’s crusade for low income housing, and the things that get lost in the service of progress.  Plus we delve into our mutual love of jazz, classic noir detective films, and Manhattan landmarks of a bygone era.

Don't miss Edward Norton's new film Motherless Brooklyn now showing in theaters.  Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Afternoon Cyber Tea podcast, Invitae, and Purotrader.  Check out www.Purotrader.com and use the promo code NEWS for a chance to win a day at the Porsche Racing Experience in Los Angeles or Atlanta.

Nov 04 2019

43mins

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Stuart Russell on Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence researcher Stuart Russell says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well.  We get into the myriad unintended consequences of AI from the social media algorithms that are actually rewiring our political preferences to how AI that is intended to solve global climate change could go horribly wrong.  He suggests that we will need to rethink the standard model of how people use tools and technology to achieve our goals, and he gives just a few examples of the many ways AI will change our lives for the better if we get it right.

Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer,  Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.

Oct 31 2019

52mins

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John Hodgman on Secret Societies and Marginal Celebrity

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Actor, comedian, and humorist John Hodgman talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail.  We discuss his memorable appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, how his Daily Show colleague Al Madrigal got him into standup, and his podcast where he mediates minor disputes between squabbling couples.  He recalls his early days as a fancy New York literary agent, the worst book manuscript he ever read, and the writer who became his stalker.  Plus we talk about John’s remarkable skill at gaining entry into all manner of exclusive, and sometimes sinister clubs, from Yale’s secret societies and meetings of the New World Order, to the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base and Mar-a-Lago.

Order John Hodgman's book Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Be sure to subscribe to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and keep up with John at www.JohnHodgman.com or on Twitter at @Hodgman.

Oct 29 2019

50mins

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Chef David Chang

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Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance.  He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and Tokyo, then rebelling against New York’s fine dining establishment, and how struggling to get Momofuku off the ground shaped his success.  Dave talks about his new Netflix series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, smoking weed and touring Vancouver with Seth Rogen for the show, and exploring the mysteries of Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen.  Plus he talks about his love/hate relationship with the California food scene, customers who Instagram their food, how food delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is now available on Netflix.  Keep up with David at momofuku.com or on Twitter at @DavidChang, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast The David Chang Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin.  Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.

Oct 24 2019

51mins

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Susan Rice Dishes Some Tough Love

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Ambassador Susan Rice has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.  She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy.  She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda.  She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi.  Plus she speculates on what might have motivated President Trump to suddenly pull out of Northern Syria, she says Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor.

Order Susan Rice's book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, the Invitae Genetic Test, and the TRTL Travel Pillow. 

Oct 21 2019

48mins

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John Kasich on Empowering Everyday Americans

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Governor John Kasich shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change.  This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country than whose occupying the White House.  He talks about the importance of breaking free of political echo chambers, and shares what kind of news outlets make it into his own daily newsfeed. We talk about his uncanny abilities as a political prognosticator, and why he’s staying out of the Republican presidential primary (at least for now). Plus John Kasich on thinking about eternity, what he’d like his obituary to say about him, and the meditative power of playing golf.

Order his new book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Look for him regularly as a political contributor on CNN, and keep up with him at www.johnkasich.com or on Twitter at @JohnKasich.  Todays episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, Purple Mattress, Belkin, and Purotrader.

Oct 17 2019

38mins

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Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman on What It Takes

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Blackstone Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Stephen Schwarzman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence.  He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son of a linen salesman in Philadelphia, getting paired with a literal Nazi for a roommate at Yale University, and his own version of a summer at sea - working on Scandinavian shipping boats.  He reveals how a famous statesman convinced him to go into business instead of politics and how he was completely unqualified for his first job in finance.  He recalls how he took $400,000 in 1985 and turned Blackstone into an investment firm that today manages over $500 billion, and how he capitalized the fund just days before Black Monday.  He shares how an early loss completely changed how Blackstone evaluates risk, why the firm jumped into real estate at a time when no one was buying or selling, and how the company weathered the 2008 financial crisis.  Plus Stephen Schwarzman discusses his his friendship with President Donald Trump, his efforts to backchannel trade negotiations between the US and China, and why the Chinese know him by the nickname “Farmer Blackstone.”

Order Stephen Schwarzman's book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions. 

Oct 14 2019

45mins

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Dave Asprey on Hacking Longevity

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Dave Asprey talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever.  He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking the human brain. He shares the one food that he never ever eats, the benefits of periodic fasting, and how he manages to feel more rested on less sleep. We talk about the importance of light, gut health, and even jaw alignment to our wellness. Plus he describes some of the more cutting edge treatments that he’s tried from stem cell injections to blood transfusions, including a couple that he wished he hadn’t tried, and he reveals why Russians may have the inside track on hacking longevity.

Order Dave Asprey's new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subcribe to his podcast Bulletproof Radio on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and keep up with him at www.bulletproof.com or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec.  Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow.  Visit www.trtltravel.com and use the code KICK for 20% off.

Oct 10 2019

45mins

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Your Questions

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Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion.  He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s spirit, and a mother whose autistic son is torn between what he learns in Hebrew school and what he learns from Cosmos.  He talks about the tweet that enraged the musician Moby, the rapper who insisted that the earth is flat, and a man who asked Neil to help promote his "perpetual motion machine."  Plus Neil answers your questions about black holes, the speed of light, the moon landing, and more.

Order Neil deGrasse Tyson's new book Letters from an Astrophysicist on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Startalk on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, follow him on twitter at @NeilTyson, and visit his webpage at www.haydenplanitarium.org/tyson.  Today’s episode was sponsored by  Avalara sales tax solutions and Purple Mattress.  Text KICK to 84-888 for a FREE Purple pillow with the purchase of a Purple Mattress.

Oct 07 2019

55mins

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Ryan Holiday on the Power of Stillness

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Bestselling author Ryan Holiday discusses his new book Stillness Is the Key, how he became the leading modern proponent of Stoicism, and why many people today misunderstand what it means to be a Stoic.  He says ancient Greeks and Romans were every bit as distracted as we are today and reveals some of their secrets to ignoring the chaos and finding focus.  He also shares how he finds silence and serenity in his own life and how his daily routine keeps him calm and prepared even on the most hectic of days.  He discusses his definition of "stillness," how TV’s Mr. Rogers personified it, how Tiger Woods eventually attained it, and why President Donald Trump is the precise antithesis of it.  We talk about our mutual love of Winston Churchill, how learning to see the world like an artist helped Churchill keep it together while freeing the world from tyranny, and why he once altered a priceless painting by Peter Paul Rubens.

Order Ryan Holiday's new book Stillness Is the Key on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Ryan at www.ryanholiday.com and on Twitter at @RyanHoliday.  Today’s episode was sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling, Avalara sales tax software, Kronos HR solutions, and Purotrader.com.

Oct 03 2019

49mins

Play