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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: Page 6
Feb 12, 2016

Today I talk with campaign media advisor Mark McKinnon about his new documentary series for Showtime called THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH.  He co-stars with journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics as they follow all of the Presidential candidates as well as the campaign teams and traveling reporters.  They give an inside glimpse into the stress and craziness and the ups and downs of running for the most powerful position in the world.  

Mark McKinnon will talk about the break-neck pace of THE CIRCUS and how they manage to produce a political reality series in real time as well as what it's like for him going from being the ultimate campaign insider to being a member of the media following the campaigns.  He'll also talk about his experience as the chief media strategist to President George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and Senator John McCain in 2008.  Plus he'll give his observations from the trail and predictions for 2016.  

If you enjoy this episode then be sure to see Mark McKinnon in THE CIRCUS: INSIDE THE GREATEST POLITICAL SHOW ON EARTH every Sunday at 8PM EST on Showtime.  You can also read his weekly column at www.thedailybeast.com and support his efforts to take money out of politics at www.mayday.us.

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!

Feb 8, 2016

Today I talk with filmmaker Greg Barker, who won an Emmy for his HBO documentary MANHUNT: THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN, about his new film for HBO called HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTER-TERRORISM DILEMMA.  In his latest project, he explores the threat of "self-radicalizing" terrorists right here in America through the eyes of the Deputy Directors of the National Counter Terrorism Center and the FBI's National Security Branch, as well as the family members of the Ft. Hood shooter and other U.S. citizens convicted of providing "material support to terrorism."  

We talk about the film and the many aspects of the issue of homegrown terrorism including domestic surveillance, 1st Amendment rights, the availability of jihadi propaganda online, and the need for U.S. Muslims to take a more proactive role in combating that propaganda and saving young Muslim-American men from the influence of groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS.  

Greg Barker's film HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTERTERRORISM DILEMMA premieres Monday, February 8 at 9PM EST on HBO.

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!

Feb 1, 2016

Today is the Iowa Caucuses when the first votes are cast in the 2016 Presidential election!  But what exactly is a Caucus?  And why does Iowa get to be the first?  Is it different from a Primary?  Does the weather really affect caucus results?  Can a candidate win Iowa without loving ethanol?  And what the heck is a "full Grassley?"  We'll answer all of these questions and I take a comprehensive look at the Iowa Caucuses with my guests today - Congressman Steve King, nationally syndicated radio host Steve Deace, and Dr. Cody Hoefert Co-Chairman of the Iowa GOP.

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!

Jan 29, 2016

For 10 years The Senate Majority Leader office traded hands between Senators Tom Daschel (Democrat) and Trent Lott (Republican).  As the leaders of their respective parties in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lott and Senator Daschle often found themselves on opposite sides of an issue, but they kept things moving in the Senate and got things done for the American people by working together, showing mutual respect, and engaging in that four letter word-compromise.  

Today they say that politics is getting so ugly and divisive that has nearly stalled the legislative process, because no one is willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground.  They write about it in their new book, CRISIS POINT: WHY WE MUST - AND HOW WE CAN - OVERCOME OUR BROKEN POLITICS IN WASHINGTON AND ACROSS AMERICA.  Today they come on the show to talk about it and offer solutions to fix the rancorous partisan divide and get Congress moving again.

If you enjoy this episode, you can click here order Tom Daschle and Trent Lott's book CRISIS POINT: WHY WE MUST - AND HOW WE CAN - OVERCOME OUR BROKEN POLITICS IN WASHINGTON AND ACROSS AMERICA 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!

Jan 27, 2016

This week National Review Magazine published a special edition with the headline "Against Trump."  In that issue, the editors of National Review along with 22 noted conservatives like Bill Kristol, Glenn Beck, Katie Pavlock, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager made an impassioned plea for Republican voters not to nominate the brash real estate billionaire as the Republican nominee.  They look at Donald Trump's record (including his many years as a Democrat) and make a thorough case that Donald Trump is not a credible conservative.

I'll have a new episode for you later in the week, but in light of all the media and the controversy surrounding this "Against Trump" issue of National Review, I am rebroadcasting my interview from this past December with National Review editor Rich Lowry.  In it we discuss Donald Trump's worse than spotty record as a conservative, his influence on the conservative movement and his role in the GOP primary, and I'll ask Rich Lowry what his late friend and mentor William F. Buckley, Jr. might think of Trump if he were alive today.  We'll also talk about the 60th Anniversary of National Review, the possibility of a Cruz-Rubio showdown, hashtag heroics in the wake of the Paris attacks, and his memories of William F. Buckley, Jr.

If you enjoy this conversation with Rich Lowry, then click here to read more and subscribe to the online or print edition of National Review Magazine. You can also go to Amazon to order Rich Lowry's books Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream and How We Can Do It Again, Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, & his novel Banquo's Ghost.

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!

Jan 21, 2016

As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Michael McCaul has looked into the dark minds of America’s enemies and their most diabolical plans. In his new book FAILURES OF IMAGINATION: THE DEADLIEST THREATS TO OUR HOMELAND AND HOW TO THWART THEM, he lays out 8 horrifying scenarios for how terror groups and hostile nations might attempt to attack the U.S. The scariest part of it all is that these nightmarish situations are largely based on real intel about past, present and potential threats.

On today’s episode, we discuss everything from a North Korean cyber-attack on U.S. financial markets to terrorists releasing smallpox at Disney World or detonating a radiological bomb at the second busiest U.S. port. Chairman McCaul reveals the terrorist plots that form the basis for these theoretical attacks and what we can do to prevent them from becoming reality.

If you like this epsiode, you can order Congressman Michael McCaul’s book FAILURES OF IMAGINATION: THE DEADLIEST THREATS TO OUR HOMELAND AND HOW TO THWART THEM on Amazon or download the audio version of his book for free with a special promotion for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.
 
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!

Jan 12, 2016

In today's episode, I explore the areas where America's prisons are failing society and the growing call for sensible, results-based criminal justice reform.  My guests are Senator Rob Portman, author of the Second Chance Act, Julie Stewart president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Jeff Smith, author of Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What Me Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis.

 

In the first part, Jeff Smith will recount his eye-opening year in federal prison, and what he saw personally about how the prison system is failing to rehabilitate criminals, destroying families, and in many ways, financially crippling the most vulnerable Americans.  Then I'll talk with Julie Stewart, founder and president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, about how sentencing discretion has been taken away from judges, filling our prisons will non-violent offenders.  Finally, I'll talk with Senator Rob Portman of Ohio who authored The Second Chance Act and has been a leader on the Hill on the issue of criminal justice reform.  He'll explain how innovative programs like the Second Chance Act are doing a better job of reforming and rehabilitating criminals by giving them a shot at a better life.

 

If you enjoy this episode, visit the website for Families Against Mandatory Minimums at www.famm.org or follow Julie Stewart on Twitter at @julieonjustice.  Encourage your Congressman or Senator to support the re-authorization of the Second Chance Act and get involved with a local Prisoner Re-Entry Task Force in your county.  You can order Jeff Smith's book Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What Me Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis on Amazon or download the audio version of his book for free with a special promotion for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.

 

 

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!

Jan 8, 2016

Ben is sick this week, but he'll be back with a brand new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast.  In part 2 of The Political Genius of George Washington, I'll talk again with author and historian John Ferling about motivated George Washington to run for President, what motivated him to leave the office after two terms and what he might think of the political climate today.
 
 
If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes for a chance to win Ben's book of the week.  All you have to do to enter is subscribe and leave a review.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like show your support then donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics.

Jan 8, 2016

Ben is sick this week, but he'll be back with a brand new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast.  In this episode, I'll talk with author and historian John Ferling about the hidden political genius of our first President.
 
 
If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes for a chance to win Ben's book of the week.  All you have to do to enter is subscribe and leave a review.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please show your support at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics.

Jan 8, 2016

Ben is a little sick this week, but he'll be back with a new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast of Part 2 of his expose on E.M.P.

In Part 1 on E.M.P. or the phenomenon known as an electromagnetic pulse, guest Dr. Peter Vincent Pry (director of the Task Force on National & Homeland Security) warned that an electromanetic pulse, either caused naturally by a solar flare or by a high altitude nuclear detonation by our enemies, has the ability disable the entire U.S. electric grid and send Americans right back to a time before electricity.  And not just for weeks or months but for years.  The scariest part is that right now, the U.S. is completely unprepared and defenseless against an E.M.P.  We are a sitting duck.

 
In Part 2, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry will discuss why the U.S. government refuses to take the neccessary steps to protect the grid against an E.M.P. attack, the powerful lobby that is behind a misinformation campaign in the media designed to convince you that E.M.P. isn't even real, and how some states aren't waiting around for the Feds to act but instead are protecting their citizens against the very real threat of an electromagnetic pulse.
 
If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review for a chance to win Ben's book of the week.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please show your support at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics.
 

Jan 8, 2016

Ben is a little sick this week, but he'll be back with a new episode on Monday.  In the meantime, enjoy this rebroadcast on E.M.P.

If you have heard of an electromagnetic pulse at all, it's probably from sci-fi movies like The Matrix or novels, but an E.M.P. is not science fiction.  E.M.P. is a real scientific phenomenon that has the ability to destroy not just every single electronic in your home, but the entire U.S. electric grid.  It has happened before and will almost certainly happen again.  But next time, it may not be a natural E.M.P. from a solar flare.  It very well may be a man-made E.M.P. from a nuclear warhead detonated at a high altitude by one of America's enemies like North Korea or Iran.  And the scariest part is that right now the U.S. is entirely defenseless against an E.M.P. attack.  E.M.P. expert Dr. Peter Vincent Pry will explain what an E.M.P. is, how bad the devastation would be, and which countries have weaponized E.M.P. with the intention of using them against the United States.

 
If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review for a chance to win Ben's book of the week.  All you have to do to enter is subscribe and leave a review.  For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please show your support at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics.

Dec 30, 2015

My guest today is one of the leading scholars on the Middle East and Middle East history.  He's Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and publisher of Middle East Quarterly.  Prior to that he was appointed to the Board of the U.S. Insitute for Peace by President George W. Bush, and he served as director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.  

He says it is Islamists, not Muslims, who represent an existential threat to Israel and the West.  He says America should support moderate Muslims and reform in the Middle East, but he also says that real change will come from a brewing ideological civil war between moderate Muslims and radical Islamists who promote Sharia law and the goal of a worldwide Caliphate.  We also discuss which group the U.S. should be supporting in Syria, new signs of hope for an uprising by moderates in Iran, the new authoritarianism in Turkey, a three state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of Islam in Europe, and ISIS inspired attacks in the U.S.

You can read more about the Middle East Forum at www.meforum.org or follow him at www.danielpipes.org or on Twitter at @DanielPipes.

If you enjoy this episode, then 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!

Dec 9, 2015

 

In 1955, a 30-year-old conservative intellectual named William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review magazine.  Since then it has become the most widely read and influential magazine for conservative news, commentary, and opinion.  

 

In honor of the 60th Anniversary of National Review, my guest is editor of National Review Rich Lowry.  You've also seen him as a regular political commentator on Fox News, The McGlaughlin Group, and NBC'S Meet the Press.

 

On the podcast, we talk about his late mentor William F. Buckley Jr., National Review's role in the the future of the conservative movement, and his first job out of college working as a research assistant for Dr. Charles Krauthammer.  Rich Lowry also discusses Donald Trump as a populist in the mold of Andrew Jackson and his theory about an eventual two man GOP primary between Cruz and Rubio.  Plus Rich vents about our mutual pet-peeve - shallow gestures of social media solidarity like #PrayforParis or #IamCharlie.

 

If you enjoy this conversation with Rich Lowry, then click here to read more and subscribe to the online or print edition of National Review magazine.  You can also go to Amazon to order Rich Lowry's books Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream and How We Can Do It Again, Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, & his novel Banquo's Ghost.

 

And before you do your online shopping for the holidays, visit our site at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the Amazon link on our sponsor page. If you do that then Amazon will donate a portion of your holiday purchases to help support the podcast. It won’t cost you anything extra. Just do your holiday shopping for books, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. on Amazon, and your purchase will help keep us up and running here at KickAss Politics.

 

Another very important way that you can support the show is by helping us reach our end of the year fundraising goal before Christmas. Please donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics or click on the donate button on our website. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave us a glowing review. Thanks for listening!

Dec 4, 2015

My guest today is the Garry Kasparov.  For 20 years he was the World Chess Champion and is widely considered to the greatest chess master of all time. Then in 2005, he retired from chess to become a political activist in his native country of Russia.

He has since become the most vocal and high profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2008, he even ran for President against Putin’s hand-picked successor Dimitri Medvedev until being forced out of the election due to rampant corruption and election fraud by pro-Putin forces in Russia. Today Garry Kasparov is in self-imposed exile in New York, where he serves as chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and continues to call for reform in Russia and an end to the corruption and oppression of Vladimir Putin.

 

He has a new book called WINTER IS COMING: WHY VLADIMIR PUTIN AND THE ENEMIES OF THE FREE WORLD MUST BE STOPPED.  He says Vladimir Putin is no longer just Russia’s problem and he could pose a serious threat to world peace and free countries everywhere. Kasparov says talks about Russia’s rocky path to democratic reform in the 1990’s and the factors that made it easy for Vladimir Putin to quickly begin to roll back freedoms in Russia and consolidate his power. Kasparov says that Putin is a ruthless dictator with disturbing parallels to Adolf Hitler, and he will hold on to power at all costs.  Plus, just wait until you hear what he says Vladimir Putin may do if energy prices plummet.  It’s a wake-up call to the free world with my guest Garry Kasparov.

 

If you enjoy this episode then you can order Garry Kasparov’s new book WINTER IS COMING: WHY VLADIMIR PUTIN AND THE ENEMIES OF THE FREE WORLD MUST BE STOPPED on Amazon. You can also download the audiobook for free thanks to a special promotion for our listeners at www.audible.com/kickasspolitics. You can also follow Garry Kasparov at www.kasparov.com or at Twitter at @kasparov63.

 

And before you do your online shopping for the holidays, visit our site at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the Amazon link on our sponsor page. If you do that then Amazon will donate a portion of your holiday purchases to help support the podcast. It won’t cost you anything extra. Just do your holiday shopping for books, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. on Amazon, and your purchase will help keep us up and running here at KickAss Politics.

 

Another very important way that you can support the show is by helping us reach our end of the year fundraising goal before Christmas. Please donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics or click on the donate button on our website. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave us a glowing review.  Thanks for listening!

Dec 1, 2015

This is officially the 50th episode of KickAss Politics, and we’re celebrating with Karl Rove! He’s a Fox News political contributor and writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. He was the Senior Advisor to the President George W. Bush and Deputy White House Chief of Staff. As Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove masterminded the successful Bush/Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004 as well as the historic 2002 midterm election earning him the nickname “The Architect.”

 

Today he comes on the podcast to talk about his new book THE TRIUMPH OF WILLIAM MCKINLEY: WHY THE ELECTION OF 1896 STILL MATTERS. We talk about why 1896 was a crucial turning point for America, how the McKinley campaign invented many of the campaign tactics still used today, and how McKinely waged the first truly national campaign…all from his front porch of his house in Canton, Ohio. Plus Karl will highlight some uncanny similarities between the election of 1896 and the current political environment leading up to 2016, and he’ll draw some important lessons for those candidates running in the GOP primary right now.

 

If you enjoy this episode, you can order Karl Rove’s book THE TRIUMPH OF WILLIAM MCKINLEY: WHY THE ELECTION OF 1896 STILL MATTERS on Amazon. You can get the audio version of his book, narrated for free with a special offer for our listeners at www.audible.com/kickasspolitics.
 

And before you do your online shopping for the holidays, visit our site at www.kickasspolitics.com and click on the Amazon link on our sponsor page. If you do that then Amazon will donate a portion of your holiday purchases to help support the podcast. It won’t cost you anything extra. Just do your holiday shopping for books, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc. on Amazon, and your purchase will help keep us up and running here at KickAss Politics.

 

Another very important way that you can support the show is by helping us reach our end of the year fundraising goal before Christmas. Please donate at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics or click on the donate button on our website. If you enjoyed this 50th episode of KickAss Politics, then please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave us a glowing review. Thanks for listening!

Nov 17, 2015

Brian Kilmeade is the co-host of Fox News morning show Fox & Friends and host of his own national radio show called Kilmeade & Friends. He's the co-author of the  bestseller GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SECRET SIX, and new he and his co-author Don Yaegar have a new book on a often over-looked chapter in American History.  The book is called THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES: THE FORGOTTEN WAR THAT CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY.

200 years before Al-Qauda or ISIS, a young America led by Thomas Jefferson, took a stand against radical Islam and first asserted herself as a world power.  Brian Kilmeade will talk about how the Barbary Wars saved the U.S. economy and how Thomas Jefferson was a reluctant "hawk" who chose to flex America’s military might rather than pay extortion money the pirates who prayed on U.S. ships in the Mediterranean Sea.  Plus we'll discuss the war as a defining moment for new U.S. Navy and the Marines, our first attempt at regime change, and some very important lessons for America's modern day war on radical islam.

 

If you enjoy this episode, you can order Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar's book THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES: THE FORGOTTEN WAR THAT CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY from Amazon.com or you can even get a signed and inscribed book if you order at www.briankilmeade.com.   Or you can get the audio book for free with a special offer for our listeners at www.audible.com/kickasspolitics.

 

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Nov 12, 2015

 

With over 2 billion views on YouTube, The Young Turks has become the largest online news show in the world.  Every day, an average of a million and a half people watch The Young Turks or one of many programs from The Young Turks Network.  

 

On today's podcast, I visit the Young Turks Studio in Culver City, California to talk with TYT founder Cenk Uygur as well as Ana Kasparian (co-host of The Young Turks) and John Iadarola (co-host of TYT's Think Tank).  We'll talk about the future of news in the digital age and why TYT's irreverent mix of political news and entertainment has caught on with millennials.  Plus will talk about TYT's 99 hour filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, Trump on SNL, the American immigrant experience, and much more with The Young Turks.

 

You can check out The Young Turks on YouTube or at www.tytnetwork.com.

 

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Nov 9, 2015

Forbes Magazine recently announced their annual list of the most powerful people in the world, and for the third year in a row, they chose Russian President Vladimir Putin as #1. In explaining why Putin was picked as the most powerful person in the world for the 3rd year in a row, Forbes said “Russia's president continues to prove he's one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants --and get away with it.”

 

Putin has been described as cold, enigmatic, calculating, ruthless, and even megalomaniacal, but in this episode we go beyond the comic book villain idea of Vladimir Putin with my guest Steven Lee Myers. He’s been a reporter for the New York Times for 26 years, spending 7 of those years in Russia and part of that time as Moscow bureau chief during the period when Putin consolidated his power.

 

He’s recently written the most extensive biography to date on Valdimir Putin called “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin.” Today we’ll talk about Putin’s early life in the KGB, how he quickly rose from obscurity to Russian Prime Minister in less than 4 years, what drives him, how he views the west, and what his end game is.

 

If you enjoy this episode then order Steven Lee Myers new book “THE NEW TSAR: THE RISE AND REIGN OF VLADIMIR PUTIN” on Amazon.

 

Or you can download the audio version of this book for free with a special promotion for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics for a free 30 day trial and a free audio book download,

 

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Nov 7, 2015

This is a rebroadcast of an episode that aired in November 2014 celebrating the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's famous "A Time for Choosing" speech.  

 

In the final days of the 1964 Presidential election, actor Ronald Reagan gave a 30 minute televised speech in support of Republican Barry Goldwater. Goldwater lost by a landslide, but Reagan's "A Time for Choosing," later known simply as "The Speech," put Ronald Reagan on the road to the White House and defined the Conservative movement ever since. On the 50th anniversary of Reagan's "A Time for Choosing," I'll talk with political scholar and Reagan biographer Dr. Steven F. Hayward about the lasting impact that "The Speech" had on Ronald Reagan's political career and Republican party.

 

If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on Itunes for a chance to win Ben's book of the week. All you have to do to enter is subscribe and leave a review. For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please show your support at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics.

Nov 4, 2015

 

My guest on this podcast is Bob Woodward.  Together with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, he tied the Watergate break-in to the Nixon White House in 1972, bringing down President Richard Nixon and earning the first of two Pulitzer Prizes for the Washington Post.  Today he remains associate editor at the Washington Post and has authored a dozen #1 Best-Sellers on the New York Times Nonfiction list.

 

He comes on the show to talk about his new book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN" which chronicles the White House career of Alexander Butterfield, who served as deputy assistant to President Nixon.  Through countless documents and hours of interviews, Butterfield gave Bob Woodward a revealing glimpse into the disfunction, paranoia, and corruption in the Nixon White House.  Woodward talks about how Alex Butterfield oversaw the installation of the infamous taping machine in the Oval Office and served as the right-hand man to Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  We'll talk about the isolated world of Richard Nixon, Nixon's relationship with his wife and with Henry Kissinger, Nixon's awkward though likely unconsummated flirtations with White House secretaries, and the chip on Nixon's shoulder that haunted him his entire life.  Plus we'll talk about the man known as "Deep Throat."

 

If you enjoy this episode, then go to Amazon to order Bob Woodward's fascinating new book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN." Or if you want to download the audio version, go to www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics to get your free 30 day trial and a free audio book download of "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN."

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Oct 28, 2015

My guests today are Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke. Fred Barnes is the co-founder and executive editor of The Weekly Standard and Mort Kondracke served as the executive editor of Roll Call and former Washington bureau chief for Newsweek.  For over ten years, they co-hosted the popular weekly political show The Beltway Boys on Fox News. Today they still regularly appear as political commentators on Fox News, and they recently teamed up to write the first ever biography exploring the legacy of the late Congressman, quarterback and self-proclaimed bleeding heart conservative, Jack Kemp.

 

According to them, Jack Kemp may well have been the most important American politician who never made it to the White House and in their words, he’s a model of how politics ought to be. We’ll talk about how Jack Kemp’s pro-football career influenced his leadership style, and how he became the backbone behind President Ronald Reagan’s economic policy. We’ll also discuss his crusade to help America’s underprivileged and bring African Americans BACK to the party of Lincoln. Plus Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke will explain why the next speaker of the House may be the natural political heir Jack Kemp, plus Kemp on Trump, the turn in Jeb Bush’s political fortunes, what to look for in tonight’s 3rd Republican debate.

 

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Oct 26, 2015

My guest in this podcast is former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. From 2007 until just this year, she represented Minnesota’s 7th district in Congress and in 2012 Michele Bachmann ran for the Republican nomination for President. In Congress, she served on the House Financial Services Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which oversees the CIA, the NSA, and other intelligence agencies. She has been a strong supporter of the Tea Party movement from it’s earliest days and founded the House Tea Party Caucus when she was in Congress.

On this podcast, she’ll talk about the Tea Party’s role in the Republican party today and her thoughts on the GOP field in 2016. As a former tax attorney, she’ll also share her ideas on how to simplify the tax code, and talk about her grave concerns about Russia, Iran, and Syria, and America’s shrinking role in the world under President Obama. Plus she’ll reveal how one of her foster children’s 11th grade homework assignment led to her career politics.

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal & donate to the show at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is at http://www.podtrac.com/audience/start-survey.aspx?pubid=VaSxWQpFs7xV&ver=short

Oct 26, 2015

 

Mike Pesca hosts Slate's The Gist podcast 5 days a week and he's a weekly panelist on Slate's Hang Up & Listen podcast.  Before that he was a national desk correspondent for NPR covering sports, culture and politics.  He's won two Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in Electronic Journalism, and he has a loyal following of fans who tune in daily to heir his "spiel" of the day.

Today, he'll talk about the House Speakers race, money in politics, and the filibuster.  Plus he'll go off on his one man boycott of Starbucks, The Tea Party and his disdain for the phrase "no problem."

 

If you enjoyed this episode then check out Mike Pesca's weekday podcast called Slate's The Gist.  You can listen on iTunes or go to www.slate.com

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is and what you want.

 

Oct 19, 2015

Just in time for BRIDGE OF SPIES, Dr. Vincent Houghton comes on the show.  Vince is historian and curator of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC and host of SPYCAST, a popular weekly podcast covering all things espionage.

 

On today's show, he'll talk about the true story and the real people behind the U-2 spy plane incident and the movie BRIDGE OF SPIES.  Plus he'll talk about the greatest spy who ever lived, Cold War espionage, America's spy history from the Revolutionary War through the CIA, and he'll reveal some of the coolest spy gadgets in the collection at the International Spy Museum.

 

You can learn more about the International Spy Museum by going to www.spymuseum.org, and be sure to check out Vince's podcast on iTunes called SpyCast.

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is and what you want.

Oct 13, 2015

David Axelrod joins me on the show from Politicon in Los Angeles.  In his 40 year career in politics, he has advised over 150 Democrat campaigns.  He's the campaign wizard behind President Barack Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012 and he served in the White House as Senior Advisor to the President.  Today he's founder and director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago and he now has his own podcast called The Axe Files.

 

On the podcast, he talks about his very first campaign, his early days covering notorious Chicago politics for the Tribune, his 23 year friendship with Barack Obama,
and his love of the political process. We also discuss the healthcare act and the president’s relationship with Israel.  Plus he reveals why he almost sat out the 2008 election, why he shaved his mustache and at least one reason why he says Donald Trump isn’t so bad.

 

If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe to David's new political podcast The Axe Files on iTunes.  You can also purchase his fascinating and insightful autobiography BELIEVER: MY FORTY YEARS IN POLITICS on Amazon.

 

And if you're a young person looking at colleges and considering a career in politics, consider the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.  David Axelrod is the founder and director of the Institute.  Face it, whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, if you're aspiring to a career in politics, you'd be hard pressed to find a better teacher than David Axelrod!  Click here to learn more.

 

For more information, visit www.KickAssPolitics.com, and if you enjoyed the show and would like to help keep us on the air, then please help us reach our fall fundraising goal by donating at www.gofundme.com/kickasspolitics. Also, we’d appreciate it if you would take our listener survey to give us an idea of who our audience is and what you want.

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