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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
Apr 10, 2016

My guest today is renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.  He has made 26 documentary specials for PBS including The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The War (about World War II), The West, and The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait which have earned him 13 Emmy Awards, 2 Oscar nominations, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  He has a new two-part documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson which airs April 11 & 12 at 9PM Eastern on PBS.

On today's podcast, Ken Burns will talk about how the first black baseball player revolutionized the game and brought down baseball’s color barrier with the sheer force of his talent.  He’ll also talk about how Robinson inspired many civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and the difficult relationship he had with that movement in the later years of his life.  Plus Ken Burns will talk about his research process, what he looks for in a story, and how the “Ken Burns effect” ended up on every Apple computer.

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!

Apr 7, 2016

Fred Kaplan, Pulitzer Prize-winning national security journalist for Slate Magazine, talks about his new book DARK TERRITORY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CYBER WAR. We discuss why it took Washington decades to take cyber threats seriously, and how a computer pioneer and a Mathew Broderick film led President Ronald Reagan to sign the first presidential directive on cyber security.

Fred Kaplan reveals how the 2010 cyber attack that damaged Iranian nuclear facilities may have opened a pandora’s box, we’ll get an idea of just how much U.S. cyber teams are capable of, and we’ll weigh the cyber arms race between the U.S. and China. Plus we discuss the how the FBI broke into the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone and whether Hillary Clinton’s private unsecured email server might have gotten hacked.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, order DARK TERRITORY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CYBER WAR on Amazon or download the audiobook for free through a special trial offer just for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.com. You can read Fred Kaplan's column at www.slate.com or at www.fredkaplan.info. You can follow Jacob Weisberg on Twitter at @fmkaplan.

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!

Apr 5, 2016

My guest today is Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate.com.  He has a new podcast called Trumpcast, and he's determined to warn voters about Donald Trump until he puts an end to Trump's political ambitions once and for all.

We'll talk about how the whole Trump phenomenon happened in the first place,
the prospect of a brokered GOP convention, and Trump’s chances in the general election.  Jacob will discuss what a psychologist's analysis revealed about Donald Trump, what it is that Trump voters are so angry about, and why comparing Trump to Hitler is ridiculous, but comparing Trump to other authoritarian figures like Mussolini might not be ridiculous at all.  Plus we'll talk about getting trolled by Trumpinistas on social media and Jacob’s review of Trump wine.

If you enjoyed this episode, then subscribe to Jacob Weisberg's podcast Trumpcast on iTunes or at www.slate.com.  You can follow Jacob Weisberg on Twitter at @jacobwe.

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 31, 2016

Today I’m learning about the innovations that will drive the next industrial revolution with my guest Alec Ross, author of the best-selling book THE INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE.  Alec served for four years as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acting as the diplomatic lead on a range of issues including cybersecurity, Internet Freedom, disaster response, and the use of network technologies in conflict zones.  Now he’s a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and works as an advisor to investors, corporations, and government leaders.

Alec Ross will reveal the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, and examine pressing issues like the prospect of a cyberwar arms race and the impact of robotics on the U.S. job market. Plus we’ll discuss what skill sets will be most in demand in the next decade, how Americans can adapt, and what today’s parents can do to prepare their children for tomorrow.

If you enjoyed this episode, then you can order THE INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE by Alec Ross on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1RNws3e.  You can also download the audio version of his book for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics.  Follow Alec Ross on Twitter at @AlecJRoss or visit his site at www.alecross.com.

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 28, 2016

My guest today is Australian journalist Michael Ware. He’s a former Bagdad Bureau chief for Time Magazine and war correspondent for CNN. In 2003 Michael Ware arrived in Baghdad as a novice reporter on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops and scarred by having seen the unimaginable brutality of the group that eventually became ISIS. Now his story is told in a new documentary called ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF THE WAR that airs Monday, March 28, at 9PM Eastern on HBO.

On the podcast, Michael Ware talks about the time he was kidnapped and nearly beheaded by Al Qaeda in Iraq and he reveals how he became in his own words “obsessed” with the leader of that group Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. He also talks about being embedded with U.S. marines during the grueling battle of Falluja and having a front row seat for the birth of the modern day terrorist nation state called ISIS.

If you enjoyed this episode, then you can watch Michael Ware's film ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF THE WAR tonight, Monday, March 28, at 9PM Eastern on HBO.  Or you can view it with a subscription to HBO NOW or HBO GO.

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

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 22, 2016

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 18, 2016

My guest today is Steve Forbes is chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. He’s authored or co-authored 4 books including his most recent one titled REVIVING AMERICA: HOW REPEALING OBAMACARE, REPLACING THE TAX CODE, AND REFORMING THE FED WILL RESTORE HOPE AND PROSPERITY.

Steve Forbes discusses the tragic irony of a healthcare system caters to the insurance companies, employers and big government while all but ignoring the needs of the end user. He’ll reveal how one of the unintended consequences of Obamacare is that it’s forcing many Americans to take charge of their own healthcare and paving the way for a true healthcare market that put the needs of consumers first. He also makes the case for a flat tax as the one system that really benefits everyone and a return to the gold standard as the best way to stabilize and grow the U.S. economy. Plus Steve Forbes will talk about the future of Forbes, running for President, and more.

If you enjoyed my interview with Steve Forbes, then order his book REVIVING AMERICA: HOW REPEALING OBAMACARE, REPLACING THE TAX CODE, AND REFORMING THE FED WILL RESTORE HOPE AND PROSPERITY on Amazon. You can also download the audio version of his book for free with a special trial offer at www.audibletrial.com/kickasspolitics. You subscribe to Forbes at www.forbes.com and follow Steve Forbes on Twitter at @SteveForbesCEO.

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

 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 10, 2016

 

On this episode, we tackle that special breed of whacko known as the conspiracy theorist.  You've probably encountered them at a cocktail party or on your social media.  They're the ones who are always carrying on about the JFK assassination or Obama's birth certificate and they say things like "that's exactly what THEY want you to believe" or "you have to connect the dots."  The problem is that in most instances they're connecting "dots" that aren't there and fueling ignorance, irrationality and paranoia.

My guest today is an expert at dispelling such nonsense.  He's Dr. Michael Shermer, founder & publisher of Skeptic Magazine.  He also writes a monthly column for Scientific American and he's published 14 books about debunking conspiracy theories, the paranormal and pseudoscience including his newest book SKEPTIC: VIEWING THE WORLD WITH A RATIONAL EYE.

Today Dr. Michael Shermer will talk about the type of person who falls for conspiracy theories, the psychology behind conspiracy beliefs, how media figures like Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura are willing accomplices to the spreading ignorance and paranoia, and the danger of conspiratorial thinking infecting our politics.  Plus he'll debunk popular conspiracies surrounding the JFK assassination, 9/11, the moon landing, vaccinations, Area 51, the death of Princess Diana, secret societies, the Denver Airport, the Sandy Hook massacre, Elvis, Obama's birth certificate, and much more.

If you enjoyed this episode, then you can follow Dr. Michael Shermer on Twitter at @michaelshermer or at www.michaelshermer.com.  You can also learn more, subscribe to Skeptic Magazine and even join the Skeptic Society by visiting www.skeptic.com.  You can order SKEPTIC: VIEWING THE WORLD WITH A RATIONAL EYE or any of Dr. Michael Shermer's books 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 8, 2016

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 4, 2016

My guest today is two time Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative political cartoonist Michael Ramirez.  His cartoons appear daily in Investor's Business Daily where he serves as co-editor and his work is also syndicated in over 550 newspapers and magazines.

He'll will talk about what makes good political satire, what’s fair game and when is "too soon."  Plus we’ll discuss the very first political cartoon that he drew in college, how President Obama has been a gift comedy gods, and how one innocent drawing led to a not so friendly visit from the Secret Service.

If you enjoy this episode, you view Michael Ramirez's work each day in Investor's Business Daily at www.investors.com/cartoons.  Follow him on Twitter at @Ramireztoons and you can order his new book of cartoons called GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME OBAMACARE 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 1, 2016

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!

Feb 22, 2016

 

Just in time for Oscar weekend, my guest is Evgeny Afineevsky director/producer of WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, which is currently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.  He and his crew spent 93 days risking their lives to film the 2013/2014 Ukrainian revolution from the initial protests in Kiev's Maidan Square through the murderous government crackdown in the streets to the eventual overthrow of corrupt President Viktor Yanukovych.

We talk about what separates the Maidan demonstrations from the Arab spring and other recent revolutions, and how it can serve as a blueprint for democracy and reform around the world.  We also talk about the brutality of the now disbanded Ukrainian Berkut police force and how it brought Ukrainians of all types together in unity against the corrupt and criminal government of Viktor Yanukovych.   Plus Evgeny will talk about the emotional toll that making WINTER ON FIRE took on the filmmakers, and the inspiring story of one brave 12 year old boy who risked his life for freedom and his country.

If you enjoy this episode, then I encourage you to see WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. You can order it on Netflix or see it in select theatres.

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 19, 2016

Doug Schoen is Democrat pollster, campaign consultant, author, and Fox News political analyst. He pioneered overnight polling and has worked on the campaigns on Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Michael Bloomberg, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and three Israeli Prime Ministers just to name a few. He’s a regular columnist for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Newsmax.

He’s authored eleven books, and today he comes on the podcast to talk about his latest book THE NIXON EFFECT: HOW RICHARD NIXON’S PRESIDENCY FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED AMERICAN POLITICS. Doug makes the case that Richard Nixon was one of the most accomplished Presidents in history and the most liberal president in modern times. He’ll also talk about the profound effect that Nixon has had on the politics of the past 40 years including inventing the wedge issue, creating the “Silent Majority,” launching the GOP’s often misunderstood “Southern Strategy,” polarizing the two parties in ways we still see today, and unintentionally giving birth to the modern conservative movement.

Plus we talk about why the polling business has missed the mark in several recent high profile elections, what can be done to improve polling accuracy, and Doug’s recommendations for the most reliable public polls.

If you enjoyed this episode, then order Doug Schoen’s book THE NIXON EFFECT: HOW RICHARD NIXON’S PRESIDENCY FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED AMERICAN POLITICS on Amazon. You can follow Doug Schoen on twitter at @DouglasESchoen or at www.dougschoen.com. You can also read his regular column for Newsmax Magazine at www.newsmax.com.

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 16, 2016

Over the years, Iconic photographer Platon has captured every living U.S. President from Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama on film, and he’s photographed well over a hundred world leaders including Tony Blair, Ban Ki Moon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Adhmadenijad, Silvio Berlusconi, Mohamar Qaddafi, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin for the 2007 Time Man of Year cover.

 

His work has been featured on 20 Time Magazine covers as well as GQ, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Wired, Texas Monthly, and the New Yorker Magazine, with whom he won a Peabody Award for his large scale photo essay on Russia’s Civil Society. Platon also started his own non-profit foundation called The People’s Portfolio which “aspires to create a visual language to break barriers and enlist public support human rights around the world.”


On today’s podcast, he’ll reveal some of his secrets to getting the most powerful people in the world to let their guard down, he’ll talk about the most intimidating shoot of his life (Vladimir Putin), and he’ll give the inside scoop on his now infamous cover photo of Bill Clinton for Esquire. Plus he’ll talk about his photographing the Arab Spring protests and his new mission to put a face on human rights sufferers around the world.

 

If you enjoy this episode, you can view Platon’s work at www.platonphoto.com or on instagram at @platon. You can find out more about the People’s Portfolio at www.thepeoplesportfolio.com.


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 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.

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