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Kickass News

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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Now displaying: November, 2018
Nov 29, 2018

David Priess returns to deliver a colorful political history of the schemes, maneuvers, and conspiracies that have attempted to remove unwanted presidents.  He discusses the various President’s who’ve died in office of natural and unnatural causes including two President’s who some suspect may have been poisoned and a bizarre conspiracy by a cabal of wealthy businessman to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt.  He explains the 25th Amendment which allows for the President’s Cabinet and Congress to declare a leader physically or mentally unfit to serve, the two Presidents who played instrumental roles in crafting it, and the closest we ever came to using it.  He walks us through the surprising history of Presidential mental illness and why some of Richard Nixon’s closest advisors questioned whether he was mentally stable.  We talk about the process of impeachment, when Presidential lies rise the level of a "high crime or misdemeanor," and whether he thinks Congress could realistically impeach President Trump.  Plus, the man who served as the daily intelligence briefer to former FBI director Robert Mueller weighs in on the Russia investigation, what might be going through Mueller's mind right now, and what we can expect as the investigation winds toward a conclusion.

Order David Priess's book How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with David at www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/dpriess or on twitter at @DavidPriess.  Today's episode was sponsored by The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 26, 2018

Best-selling crime novelist Michael Connelly talks about his literary hero Raymond Chandler, how he followed in the footsteps of the king of detective noir when he first came to Los Angeles, and how Chandler’s novels influenced his own writing.  He reveals why he spent over two decades working as a crime reporter before diving into fiction, how he went about cultivating relationships with LAPD’s top homicide detectives, and how those sources still inform his work today.  He talks about creating his most famous character Harry Bosch, how he came to name him after the 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, and how Michael's role as a writer and executive producer of the BOSCH television series has influenced his novels including his latest book DARK SACRED NIGHT.  Plus Michael Connelly shares why he gravitates to characters who are loners, some of the craziest things that his friends at LAPD have ever seen, and why he’s jumping into the world of true crime podcasts for his next project.

Order Michael Connelly's book DARK SACRED NIGHT on Amazon, watch BOSCH available on Amazon Prime Video, and subscribe to his upcoming podcast MURDER BOOK on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like listen. Keep up with Michael at www.michaelconnelly.com or on twitter at @ConnellyBooks.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch and The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 22, 2018

Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in America.  He talks frankly about how his own thinking has evolved on some social issues, and he weighs in on the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the news business.  He discusses a few of the dozen Presidents he’s known in his 60 years as a journalist and reveals the one word that has always carried Dan Rather through good times and bad.

Order Dan Rather's book WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.  Follow him on twitter at @DanRather or at www.newsandguts.com.  Today’s episode is sponsored by Loop Jewelry.

Nov 19, 2018

General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney.  He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.  

Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.   Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso MonsterHomecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Zeel, Bombas, and Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 16, 2018

Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spiderman, The Grand Budapest Hotel) shares how his beginnings in experimental theater inform his acting, what draws him to independent films, and what it’s like to make his 100th movie.  He talks about how his latest film At Eternity's Gate challenges the image of Vincent Van Gogh as a unappreciated mad genius and rethinks the constructs of the traditional biopic.  He reveals what it was like to immerse himself in Van Gogh’s world and find his inspiration in the very same scenery that inspired one of the greatest artists of all time.  He discusses the pressure of having to recreate iconic works art in real time and in front of the camera, and how artist/director Julian Schnabel taught him to "paint the light."  Plus we talk about the time Willem Dafoe tried to summon the ghost of Houdini and the beauty of "embracing the mystery in life."

See Willem Dafoe in At Eternity's Gate opening in theaters November 16.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, and Loop Jewelry.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 12, 2018

Greg Miller is one of the reporters for The Washington Post who received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for his groundbreaking stories on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and the resulting investigations of the Trump campaign and administration.  Today he shares how he cornered the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a science conference in Washington and caught General Michael Flynn in a blatant lie about his dealings with Russian officials.  He describes the almost comical level of incompetence surrounding the 2016 DNC hacks, gives an insider's look at the secretive Russian hacking agencies known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, and the troll farm behind Russia’s social media influence campaign.  He defends the Post’s longstanding practice of using anonymous sources and explains how they go about verifying those stories.  Greg reveals efforts by the White House to derail the Washington Post’s reporting on Trump’s Russia connections,
and how he learned that President Trump discussed targeting him personally and even putting him in jail for refusing to reveal his sources.  Plus he discusses what happened to the Trump-Mueller meeting that never was and we speculate on just what it is that Vladimir Putin might have on Donald Trump.

Order Greg Miller's book The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  You can read Greg’s reporting in The Washington Post and follow him on twitter at @gregpmiller.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Flatiron School, and the StarTalk All-Stars podcast.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 8, 2018

Comedian Chris Gethard illustrates his personal and professional manifesto "lose well" with hilarious and ultimately empowering tales about his own missteps, misadventures, and public failures from the cancellation of his Comedy Central sitcom after ten episodes to rediscovering his comedic voice and life’s purpose on a public access channel.  He recalls how getting miscast in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie changed his life, the time he invited a heckler on stage during his comedy set, and why the host of a rival cable access show tried to sue him for "violating her Constitutional rights.”  He discusses his love for Andy Kaufman, ponders whatever happened to cable access tv, and shares some of the wonderfully weird things he got away with on The Chris Gethard Show.  Plus, Chris reveals how he handles political differences on his show Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People and talks about "the worst scumbag he ever met."

Order Chris Gerhard's book Lose Well on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen and follow Chris Gethard on Twitter at @ChrisGethard.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment and Espresso Monster.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 6, 2018

Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who, discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist the drug fueled excess the 60s, and how it led to quite a bit of tension with his bandmates - especially The Who’s famously reckless drummer Keith Moon. Roger also reveals how he processed Moon’s tragic death in 1978, how it led to the band’s breakup in the early 80s, and a how it took a Silicon Valley con man to finally reunite the band.

Order Roger Daltrey's new book Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow The Who on twitter at @TheWho.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Loop Jewelry, and Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Nov 1, 2018

Sir Michael Caine has starred in over 100 movies and won two Academy Awards, and today he shares stories and advice from his remarkable career.  He reveals why he never believed in taking advice from older movie stars, why he never wanted to be James Bond, and how the 1960’s made it cool to be a young cockney in the movies.  He recalls his humble working class beginnings in the projects of London known as the Elephant Castle, shares how he learned his famous discipline while serving in the Korean War, and advises young actors to "make reliability your brand."  He talks about coming out of his self-imposed retirement over 20 years ago and says he’s getting better parts now at age 85 than he did when he was a young leading man.  Plus Michael Caine on why John Wayne never wore suede shoes, John Huston on a director's most important job, having the best time of his life filming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and doing Vegas with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

Order Michael Caine's wonderful new book Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @themichaelcaine.  Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso Monster and National Security Agency Career Recruitment.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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