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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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May 20, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough discusses his latest book The Pioneers, how it fulfilled his lifelong dream to write a nonfiction version of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and why he wants his book to serve as reminder of fundamental American values.  He tells the story of the New England minister who played an instrumental role in the creation of the Ohio Settlement, how he fought to outlaw slavery in the territory, and how his son carried on his fight for abolition a few years later.  He talks about the wealthy Irish couple who built a paradise on an island in the Ohio River and how they lost everything when they became embroiled in the Aaron Burr treason scandal. McCullough reveals what he’s learned in his 50 plus years of studying history, the importance of hindsight, and why historical figures feel like old friends.

Order The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This podcast was sponsored by Ancestry.com and Soundtrap for Storytellers.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

May 16, 2019

Bill Hader (SNL, Trainwreck, Barry) talks about his childhood love of film, his early days as a struggling production assistant in Hollywood, and how he's finally getting back to his cinematic roots with his dark comedy series Barry.  He discusses directing the much talked about episode 5 this season, how he staged an epic 30 minute fight scene, and why he had to hire a construction crew to build him the perfect tree.  Hader recalls his original audition for Saturday Night Live, his first meeting with Lorne Michaels, and a few of his favorite obscure impressions from SNL.  He shares what he learned about story from his time in the writers room on South Park and how his love of cheesy true crime shows like Forensic Files and Snapped inform the grittier aspects of Barry.

Watch the season finale of Barry this Sunday May 19 on HBO.  For more on Barry including out-takes and behind the scenes extras, Visit www.hbo.com/barry for more on Barry including outtakes and behind-the-scenes extras.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions, BetterHelp.com, and Soundtrap for Storytellers.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

May 13, 2019

Jordan Klepper returns to the podcast to talk about getting out of the studio and getting out in the real world again for his new Comedy Central docu-series Klepper.  He tells the story of a wrestling club in Texas that is helping veterans body slam their way through PTSD, what it says about how vets get treated by the VA and by their fellow Americans, and how Jordan faired when he donned a cape and got in the ring with them.  Then Jordan recalls sleeping in the swamp for two nights and capsizing his boat in the Louisiana bayou as part of a direct action protest.  He discusses how Georgia is making life difficult for children of undocumented workers and how they are looking to the civil rights movement of the 60’s for inspiration.  Plus Jordan opens up about the incident that got him arrested and his memorable stay in the Fulton County Jail.

Jordan Klepper's new series Klepper airs Thursdays at 10:30PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit www.comedycentral.com for more information and follow Jordon on Twitter at @jordanklepper.  Today's episode was sponsored by SiriusXM radio.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

May 10, 2019

Oscar nominated actor and director Sir Kenneth Branagh is the greatest living interpreter of the works of William Shakespeare, and today he talks about his life long love of Shakespeare and stepping into the shoes of his hero for his new film All Is True.  Branagh discusses why he chose to focus on the three years following Shakespeare’s retirement and why he wasn’t afraid to deviate from the accepted biography and embrace the mystery around the man.  He talks about teaming up with writer Ben Elton, forgoing digital graphics in favor traditional matte painting techniques, and the makeup that transformed Kenneth Branagh into the bard himself.  Plus he weighs in on the rumors that the mysterious "dark lady" in Shakespeare’s love sonnets might not have been a lady at all, the sex scandals that embroiled Shakespeare's family in his final years, and speculation that William Shakespeare wasn't the real author of his famous plays.

Kenneth Branagh's film All Is True opens in New York and LA on Friday, May 10 followed by a wide release.  Check your local listings for showtimes.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

May 6, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, scientist, and renowned polymath Jared Diamond reveals that many of the factors in how individuals cope with personal crises can also predict how countries survive national crises.  He profiles six nations in transition in his new book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, and shares his personal experiences and observations about those countries including why one should never utter the word "Finlandization" in Finland, how Chileans in the 1960’s never thought that their democracy would fall to a bloody dictator, and he says this doesn’t bode well for the U.S.  He discusses why some countries like Germany choose to acknowledge their violent past while others like Indonesia choose to bury it.  Then he warns of two nations currently facing crises Japan, who suffers from crippling national debt and an aging/shrinking population, and the United States, where he says the decline of political compromise and voting rights is eroding our democracy.

Order Jared Diamond's terrific book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold beginning Tuesday May 7.  Today's episode was sponsored by So, Bob podcast, SiriusXM radio, and Zebit.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

May 2, 2019

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich talks about his new political thriller Collusion: A Novel and how writing fiction has given him a chance to let his imagination run wild about the darker side of Washington.  He discusses why it’s almost impossible to make up a fictional super-villain like Vladimir Putin, his fascination Putin’s deadly penchant for high profile poisonings, and why he believes that Putin doesn’t mind taking the blame for those murders.  Plus he weighs in on President Trump’s Russia policy, the Mueller Report, what issues will drive the next election, and which Democrat could conceivably beat Donald Trump in 2020.

Order his book Collusion: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Newt at www.gingrich360.com, subscribe to his podcast Newt's World, and follow him on twitter at @newtgingrich.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 29, 2019

Congressman Seth Moulton talks about why he is running for President, what he sees as his path to the Democratic nomination, and how he plans to defeat President Donald Trump by running on Trump’s weakest issues.  He discusses why he chose do 4 tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq even though he personally opposed the war, what it was like working as a special liaison to tribal leaders in Southern Iraq, and what the experience taught him about compromise and bipartisanship. He reveals why he turned down the platinum health insurance afforded to members of Congress in favor of getting his healthcare at the Veterans Administration, what learned about what works and what doesn’t work at the V.A., and why he opposes a single payer healthcare program.  Plus we talk impeachment, abolishing the electoral college, and how he became the star of a popular Iraqi TV show “Moulton and Mohammed.”

Visit www.sethmoulton.com for more information on Congressman Seth Moulton or to donate/volunteer for his Presidential campaign, and follow him on Twitter at @sethmoulton.  Today's podcast was sponsored by SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 25, 2019

Janet Napolitano served the 4th Secretary of Homeland Security less than a decade after 9/11, and on today's podcast, she reckons with the critics who call it a Frankenstein's Monster of government run amok and takes a hard look at the challenges we'll be facing as it evolves to fight terrorism 2.0.  She likens the job to finding a needle in a haystack and describes how she used methods like "pushing the borders" and TSA-pre-check to shrink that haystack.  She says it takes a "dark imagination" to be Secretary of Homeland Security, but even in her darkest imagination, she never envisioned a hostile foreign government like Russia would interfere in a US Presidential election.  She takes to task politicians who engage in "security theatre," and this former border state governor has a few choice words about President Trump's zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration.  Plus Janet Napolitano weighs in on the college admissions scandal and outlines what she's doing to address the issue as President of the University of California Board of Regents. 

Order Janet Napolitano's new book How Safe Are We?: Homeland Security Since 9/11 on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos, SiriusXM radio, and the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 19, 2019

Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace.

Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 19, 2019

Former Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt discusses how former college football coach Bill Campbell mentored him and many of Silicon Valley's greatest visionaries from Jeff Bezos and Larry Page to Marc Andreessen and Steve Jobs.  Eric recalls how he initially reacted when venture capitalist John Doerr suggested that he work with a coach, how Coach Campbell helped shape the relationship between Eric and Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and how the coach talked Eric out of resigning as Google’s CEO in 2004.  He shares how Bill Campbell coached teams more than individuals, and talks about the importance of trust and even love to a company's success.  Eric opens up about his decision to step down as Executive Chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet in 2017 and his next big bet on the positive potential of artificial intelligence.  Plus Eric Schmidt reveals why starting a meeting with some little polite chit-chat isn't just a waste of time and the power of hugs in the workplace.

Order Eric's book Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 18, 2019

As the longest serving senior official in Obama White House, Valerie Jarrett was known as one who "got" President Obama and helped him engage his public life, but she was also an early mentor, trusted advisor, and family confidante to the Obamas for decades.  She remembers her first impression of Michelle and Barack Obama in 1991, shares her unique perspective on their marriage, and tells the story of the time when Michelle Obama recruited her to help convince a young Barack Obama to give up politics and get “a real job.”  She talks about being the person who kept President Obama connected to the world outside of Washington as director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and how her own experience as a single working mom influenced her to advocate for women and families.  She describes the surreal/heartbreaking experience of watching the 2016 election returns with the Obamas in the White House residence, how she's been handling the Trump Presidency, and a few of her “pinch me moments” from her 8 years in the Obama Administration.  

Order her book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Hulu original series RAMY.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 15, 2019

Bestselling psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb talks about the event that led her to seek help for herself, what it was like to switch roles and be the patient on the couch, and how her own quirky therapist got to the underlying issues of in life.  She discusses some of her favorite patients including an insufferable Hollywood producer, a newlywed diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the patient who she says was "like looking in a mirror."  Lori offers some ideas for how to address the mental health crisis in America and she weighs in on the ongoing debate among those in her profession over the Goldwater Rule.  Plus Lori reveals whether she’s ever dozed off on a patient, why her own therapist once kicked her in session, and what her colleagues think about her pulling back the curtain on psychotherapy. 

Order her book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Visit her website at LoriGottlieb.com and follow her on twitter at @LoriGottlieb1. Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 11, 2019

As America waits for the full Mueller Report, I talk with the first Trump official to plead guilty in the Mueller Investigation.  George Papadopoulos was the young foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign who reportedly told an Australian diplomat that Russia had thousands of hacked emails that could damage Hillary Clinton and tip the 2016 election to Donald Trump.  He talks about the Maltese professor who first told him about the Clinton emails and why the mysterious professor has now vanished.  I ask him whether he ever attempted to take the professor up on his offer, whether he reported news of the emails back to the Trump campaign, and why he didn’t take this information to U.S. authorities at the time.  Papadopoulos explains why he refused to wear a wire for the FBI, why he says he didn’t intend to lie to the Mueller Investigation, and why he now believes that he was a "patsy" in what may have otherwise been a legitimate investigation into Donald Trump’s connections to Russia.  Plus he discusses why he’s considering withdrawing his guilty plea and whether he might get a pardon from President Trump himself.

Order his book Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Rochester Institute of Technology.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 8, 2019

Comedian Chelsea Handler recalls her anger in the wake of the 2016 election and how Donald Trump became the unlikely catalyst for Chelsea to work through some unresolved personal issues with the help of a clever psychiatrist named Dan.  She discusses her decision to walk away from her Netflix talk show in order to dedicate herself to political activism and campaigning for minority and female candidates in 2018.  Chelsea opens up about how the sudden death of her favorite brother impacted every relationship she has had since then, she says she's finally ready to find a serious partner now, and she lists some of her dealbreakers for a potential mate.  Chelsea talks about the moment she realized she was incapable of operating her own television or making herself a cup of coffee, how she cured herself of “domestic amnesia," and she describes the humbling experience of making a documentary about white privilege.  Plus we get into her deep attraction to Robert Mueller, her obsession with rescuing Chow-Chows, how to fake a Jewish funeral, and more.

Order Chelsea Hander's new book Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and you too! on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Chelsea at www.chelseahandler.com and follow her on Twitter at @ChelseaHandler.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos and Zebit.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 4, 2019

Comedian Wyatt Cenac discusses how he wanted to distinguish his HBO docuseries Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas from his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show including forgoing the traditional studio audience and creating a fun retro 70s look for the show.  He talks about checking his own biases to explore different perspectives on the contentious issue of policing urban communities, what he wants to learn about America’s education system in Season 2 of Problem Areas, and why the topic of school choice is so controversial.  Plus we get into the college admissions scandal, goat yoga, and more.

Season 2 of Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas debuts Friday, April 5 at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.  Visit www.wyattcenac.com for more info on Wyatt including his upcoming standup dates and follow him on twitter at @WyattCenac.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Apr 1, 2019

Preet Bharara talks about his eight years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, what movies and TV get wrong about criminal investigations, and why the job is more than just "connecting the dots" or "following the money."  He says if you want to get a confession out of a bad guy, food works better than playing hardball, he discusses the devil's bargain of cutting deals with cooperating witnesses, and why sometimes the cases you don’t prosecute are just as important as the ones you do.  Plus Preet weigh in on the Mueller Report, whether U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s interpretation of the report can be trusted, why Mueller didn’t make any recommendations, and whether Mueller intended to "punt" those decisions to Congress rather than Barr.

Order Preet Bharara's book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Stay Tuned with Preet on Apple Podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @PreetBharara.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Mar 28, 2019

Stacey Abrams has become a political superstar since running for governor of Georgia in 2018 and delivering the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union this February.  We talk about her private meeting with Joe Biden, the rumors of a Biden-Abrams ticket in 2020, and what issues she’d campaign on if she does run for national office.  She discusses making history as Georgia House Minority Leader and her party’s nominee for governor, why she refused to concede defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race, and why she believes widespread voter suppression tipped that election to her opponent.  She explains the careful balancing act of being a woman of color in a position of power, why minority politicians undergo way more financial scrutiny than their white colleagues, and how the Republican Governors Association mocked her for daring to seek higher office as a woman.  Stacey also admits to being a Star Trek: Next Generation "super-fan" and reveals what the show can teach us about outsider politics.  She shares her personal philosophy of "work-life jenga," talks about moonlighting as a successful romance novelist, and opens up about finally making time for dating and romance in her own life.

Order Stacey Abrams' new book Lead from the Outside:
How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Learn more about Stacey’s voting rights group Fair Fight Action at www.fairfightaction.com,
and follow her on twitter at @staceyabrams.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Rochester Institute of Technology and Brother INKvestment printers.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and take our short listeners survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick.

Mar 25, 2019

 

 

Jeff Bridges discusses his 6 decades in Hollywood and what he learned about acting from dad Lloyd Bridges.  He recalls the "Little Rascals" version of Tucker that he and Francis Ford Coppola made prior to filming, laughing it up with Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam on the set of The Fisher King, and how he and his brother Beau tested each other in The Fabulous Baker Boys.  He shares stories about making The Last Picture Show, King Kong, Heaven's Gate, The Contender, and True Grit.  He talks about his Big Lebowski fandom, how he feels about being identified with his iconic character "the Dude," and why he says the Dude is a zenmaster.  Then Jeff Bridges gets zen about the environment with his new documentary Living in the Future's Past.  He discusses how we can take a more global approach to climate change, explains the evolutionary roots of our energy consumption, and says humans collectively form a super-organism that is exhausting resources at a faster and faster pace.  He calls for the removal of politics from the climate debate and suggests how everyone can make individual changes that can have a big impact.

Keep up with Jeff at www.jeffbridges.com and be sure to catch his film Living in the Future's Past.  This podcast was sponsored by Heineken and Espresso Monster.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

Mar 21, 2019

Bestselling authors Dr. Warren Farrell (Why Men Are The Way They Are) and Dr. John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) warn that boys around the world are in crisis and say it's largely the result of a crisis of fathers who suffer from a "purpose void" as their traditional role is being diminished. They reveal how moms and dads parent differently and how fathers use things like rough-housing with the kids to establish boundaries.  They discuss how the lack of boundaries can lead to ADD and ADHD in young men and caution parents to focus on the root cause of ADD before they resort to drugs like Aderall.  They talk about the difficulty they’ve had getting lawmakers to take the boy crisis seriously and offer some recommendations for how the government and our schools can help address this growing problem.

Order John and Warren's new book The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It on Amazon and learn more at www.boycrisis.org.  Keep up with Warren at www.warrenfarrell.com or on twitter at @drwarrenfarrell, and follow John at www.MarsVenus.com or on twitter at @RealJohnGray. Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment tank printers.

Mar 18, 2019

Alyssa Mastromonaco spent 6 years in the Obama White House as assistant to the president, director of scheduling and advance, and deputy chief of staff for operations.  She says working in the West Wing is a lot like VEEP and recalls some of the lighter moments including getting down on the dance-floor with Michelle Obama,
impersonating a hedge hog for President Obama,
and the time the leader of the free world tried to play matchmaker. She opens up about her at times comical struggles with irritable bowel syndrome including a few close calls at the most inconvenient moments, and the time that she contracted something called "beaver fever" (yes, it’s a real thing) during a state dinner in Tanzania.  She reveals all the care and protocol that went into every foreign trip she planned for President Obama, and why it was more than a little disheartening to watch President Trump bungle his way through a hastily thrown together North Korea summit.  She also warns that Trump’s use of a personal iPhone is a major security risk, she predicts what Democrats will be looking for in 2020, and she advises Dems to banish the term socialism from their vocabulary.

Order Alyssa Mastromonaco's book So Here's the Thing: Notes on Growing Up, Getting Older, and Trusting Your Gut on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow her on twitter at @AlyssaMastro44.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Kronos and BetterHelp.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at www.podsurvey.com/kick.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review.  Follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  Visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.

Mar 14, 2019

Actor/comedian Bryan Callen (THE GOLDBERGS, SCHOOLED, HANGOVER I & II) shares how his childhood growing up in countries all over the world inspired him to question labels and defy categorization, and he discusses his particular issue with the catch all term "Asians" to describe 48 different nationalities.  We talk about the polarizing effect of political parties, why he believes that liberals and conservatives share the same fundamental values, and why everyone should demand to be treated like a verb instead of a noun.  Bryan gets into the problem of political correctness and says that standup comedy is probably the last bastion of free speech in America.  We talk about how he became associated with mixed martial arts, what it’s like inside the surprisingly inclusive world of MMA, and how women in the UFC cured him of chauvinism.  Plus Bryan thinks he’d be a terrible border patrol agent, his proposal to make the world a better place thought "idea sex," and why at the end of the day we're all just complicated apes.  

Don't miss Bryan's new comedy special BRYAN CALLEN: COMPLICATED APES now available on Comcast, DirecTV, Spectrum, AT&T, Dish, Cox, iTunes, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, and many more.  Watch Bryan on his ABC shows THE GOLDBERGS and SCHOOLED, subscribe to his podcasts THE FIGHTER AND THE KID and MIXED MENTAL ARTS on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @bryancallen.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment tank printers.

Mar 11, 2019

Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, returns to the podcast to call on Americans to reject the culture of contempt and the outrage industrial complex.  He talks about the event that woke him up to the ugliness of our political discourse two and a half years before the 2016 election.  He pulls back the curtain on how political parties are pushing us farther apart and how talking heads in the media are profitting from stoking division and hate.  Arthur reveals the connection between trolling on social media and personality disorders and his own strategy for handling angry emails and twitter trolls.  He shares what we can learn about civility from the Dalai Lama and a leading marriage counselor.  We discuss the power of stories to bridge divides and the necessity of the competition of ideas to a health democracy.  Plus, Arthur shares what he thinks about President Trump’s two hour speech at last week’s CPAC conference, the time he got mistaken for a Mormon (and loved every minute of it), and why this free-market conservative says everyone needs a friend like Cornel West or Robert George.  

Order Arthur's book Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to The Arthur Brooks Show wherever you listen podcasts and follow him on twitter at @arthurbrooks.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Brother INKvestment Tank Printers and season 2 of Breach podcast.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at www.podsurvey.com/kick.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.

Mar 7, 2019

On the 50th Anniversary of the Navy's legendary fighter pilot school known as Top Gun, the founder Captain Dan Pederson discusses how the pilot losses he witnessed in the Vietnam War led to the formation of Top Gun, how he and the other original "9 bros" got it up and running in just a matter of weeks with little or no funding, and what they looked for in new recruits.  He recalls the days before Top Gun when aerial combat training was banned by the military and how he and his fellow pilots learned their skills at a secret fight club in the sky off the coast of San Diego.  He talks about getting to train against real Russian MIG fighter jets at the most classified location in America, the mental and physical stamina required to perform the kind of aerial acrobatics taught at Top Gun, and the toll that it can take on a pilot’s personal life.  Plus Dan shares what the famous movie Top Gun gets wrong, he reveals the absolute worst weather to fly in, and he offers a few choice words about the Pentagon’s current reliance on the costly F-35 fighter jet.

Order Captain Dan Pederson's book TOP GUN: AN AMERICAN STORY on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Please take our annual podcast listener survey and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card at www.podsurvey.com/kick.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.

Mar 5, 2019

Roger McNamee was a mentor to a young Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Facebook, but now he warns that the social media platform has become a threat to democracy, privacy, competition, and even public health.  He talks about when he noticed the first signs that not all was well at Facebook and what happened when he brought his concerns to his old friend.  He discusses the role that Facebook played in the 2016 election, how its algorithms are actually designed to polarize and spread disinformation, and how Russian trolls and companies like Cambridge Analytica were able to exploit those flaws.  Roger shares how Facebook employs tricks from psychology and slot machines to keep us coming back for more, and how you’re paying for the service with your personal data.

Order Roger McNamee's book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today’s podcast sponsored by Brother INKestment printers, BetterHelp, and season 2 of Breach podcast. Please support the show by taking our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick, and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card.   Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.

Feb 25, 2019

For 30 years, DEA special agent Jack Riley led the manhunt for the world’s most wanted drug-lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.   He reveals how El Chapo cleverly wrangled the cocaine trade from the Columbian cartels, how he saw America’s growing opiod epidemic as an opportunity to branch out into meth and heroine, and how he managed to run a multi-billion dollar drug empire from a Mexican prison (until he escaped).  Jack discusses being on the dangerous front-lines of the war on drugs as head of the DEA’s El Paso, TX office, how it led to $100,000 price on his head, and what he learned about policing the border, how drugs get into America, and where they go from there.  He reveals how Guzman escaped capture so many times,  and how the Mexican government had to postpone a raid on his compound because of actor Sean Penn.  We talk about the recent El Chapo trial, the US opiod epidemic and what needs to be done to address it, criminal justice reform, Donald Trump’s wall, and Trump’s wild assertion that El Chapo put out a hit on him.

Order Jack Riley’s new book Drug Warrior: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo and the Rise of America's Opioid Crisis on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today’s podcast sponsored by Brother Printers INKvestment printer.  Please support the show by taking our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick, and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card.   Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.

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