Vox co-founder Ezra Klein reveals how America's political system is polarizing us and how we are polarizing it with disastrous results. He explains that the Founding Fathers planned for many things, but they did not designed a system of government that was intended to function effectively in times of hyper partisanship. He points out that politics came into being to represent deep social cleavages, but now politics is the cleavage, and our political affiliation has grown into a mega-identity that is consuming our lives, making us angrier, and destroying friendships and families. We discuss how politicians and voters got stuck in a feedback loop of negative partisanship and how polarization has lead many of our leaders in Washington to conclude that bipartisanship is actually irrational. Plus we discuss how demographic threat is fueling political anger, how the rise of extremism correlates with a decline in the influence of parties, and Ezra offers a few recipes for how to reunite the country and make America more democratic.
Order Ezra Klein's new book Why We're Polarized on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Read his political analysis at vox.com, follow him on Twitter at @ezraklein, and subscribe to The Ezra Klein Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen. Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave.
Adam Davidson, creator of NPR's Planet Money podcast
and award-winning New Yorker staff writer, says that the 21st-century economic paradigm offers new ways of making money,
fresh paths toward professional fulfillment, and unprecedented opportunities for curious, ambitious individuals to combine the things they love with their careers. He talks about his father and grandfather as examples of two different approaches to work and money, and says we’re entering an economy that combines the best of both. How explains how to tell between a hobby and a passion, how globalization and the internet allow you to monetize that passion like never before, and why it’s important to have what he calls "the Goldilocks of business models" to avoid getting undercut or replaced by bigger companies, foreign competition, or automation. Plus he shares some surprising examples of people who are making the passion economy work for them including one man who only sells to the Amish, a brush company that took the most basic of products and turned it into a high-priced specialty item for NASA, and an accountant who found his passion by helping others pursue their own.
Order Adam's new his book The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow Adam at www.adamdavidson.com or on Twitter at @adamdavidson. Today's episode is sponsored Wave and American Home Shield.
Comedian Whitmer Thomas talks about returning to his hometown to film his first hour-long comedy special at Alabama's legendary Flora-Bama Lounge where his late mother used to perform with her band Syntwister. He says his music and comedy is his way of honoring his mom, and in a way, he’s now fulfilling her dream by pursuing his own. We also discuss some of his most recent skating injuries, what it was like touring with comedian Bo Burnham, and how he went from being an angst-ridden emo kid in high school to parodying emo bands in his act. Plus we talk about Pee Wee Herman, Donald Trump, Blink 182 as the ultimate parody band, his early obsession with Zach Galifianakis, and the time a 3-year-old Whitmer got kidnapped by his own obsessed fan!
His hour-long comedy special Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One debuts on HBO on February 22 at 10PM E/P. Follow him on Twitter at @WhitmerThomas. Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy and Wave.
Actor Scoot McNairy talks about starring in season 2 of Narcos: Mexico as a DEA agent who heads an "off-the-books" operation to avenge the death of a fellow agent and take down a ruthless drug lord. He recalls growing up in Texas, coping with dyslexia as a kid, and his early ambition to be a wildlife cinematographer. He discusses how he prepares for a role and how most of his characters are drawn from a personal friend or acquaintance. He discusses spending time with real DEA agents for Narcos: Mexico, goes into the history of the Mexican narcotics cartels, and speaks frankly about the endless war on drugs.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about executive producing the History Channel miniseries Washington, some things she’s observed from watching Steven Spielberg on the set of Lincoln, and how the collaborative process of making Washington helped her through her husband's death. She discuss why she wanted to go beyond the highlights of George Washington’s life to explore the real man, and she debunks and confirms some common legends about our founding father. Doris reveals the long held personal grudge that led George Washington to join the American Revolution, the intense ambition that drove him to succeed, and how owning and exploiting slaves became essential to that success.
The Washington Post's DC bureau chief Philip Rucker discusses his new book A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America. He shares stories from White House insiders about the time President Trump tried to overturn the Foreign Corrupt Practices act so American businesses could bribe foreign governments, the time Trump wanted to turn a profit on the US military by turning our troops into a mercenary force, and the Pentagon meeting when Trump called his decorated generals a bunch of "babies and losers." Phil discusses the falling out between the President and his former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, how some world leaders have tried to turn Trump against his own advisors, and how the most powerful leader in the world solicited other heads of state for the Nobel Prize. Plus we talk about Impeachment, Trump tweets, Bolton, Mueller, and more.
Order A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. You can read more by Philip Rucker in The Washington Post and follow him on twitter at @philliprucker. Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy and Native deodorant and toothpaste.
In this age of insurmountable consumption of media where bad news travels fast from all directions, comedian Tom Papa wants to remind us to take care of ourselves, embrace who you’ve become, and absorb the beauty of life in his new Netflix special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great! He reveals where his trademark optimism comes from, why he rejects the cynicism often associated with standup comedy, and what he learned about being true to your comedic voice while touring with Jerry Seinfeld. He opens up about his anxiety over sending his daughter off to college and warning her that most men’s “nice guy act” is a total fraud. Plus Tom talks about his own real life ghost story, the lie of social media, the myth of "the good old days," and the symbiotic relationship between baking and writing comedy.
Tom’s new standup special Tom Papa: You're Doing Great is now streaming on Netflix, and look for his book You're Doing Great in stores May 12. Visit www.tompapa.com for his upcoming tour dates and follow him on twitter at @TomPapa. Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave. Wave's easy-to-use invoicing software, allows you to customize your invoices, look professional, and get paid faster for your work. Create your account at www.waveapps.com/kick and get started with 100% free and unlimited invoicing
Professor Allan J. Lichtman explains why he feels that it is necessary for America to repeal the Second Amendment to clear the way for sensible gun reforms and clarifies that repealing the Second Amendment does not mean that the Federal government is going to take your guns away. Professor Lichtman discusses why the outrage following every mass shooting quickly devolves into inaction by politicians, how the gun regulation lobby more effective can become more effective, and how to debunk some of the myths about gun violence propagated by the NRA. He tells the history of the National Rifle Association from its origins as a group intended to improve marksmanship in 1871 to the power special interest lobby that it is today. Plus the man who has successfully predicted the last 8 elections shares his data on the 2020 race, why election polls are failing us, and his thoughts on the Impeachment of Donald Trump.
Order his book Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow him on Twitter at @AllanLicthman.
Comedian Russell Peters talks about his life as a middle-aged man dealing with health issues, relationships and fatherhood. He discusses filming his new standup special Russell Peters: Deported in Mumbai, whether he’d consider doing a Bollywood movie, and why he was exposed to black culture more than his own Indian heritage when he was growing up in Toronto. Russell recalls getting some early mentorship from the late George Carlin, becoming the first comedian to hit it big on YouTube, and how he still maintains a sense of intimacy when performing in stadiums before tens of thousands of people.
Watch Russell Peters: Deported on Amazon Prime Video. Keep up with Russell at www.russellpeters.com and on twitter at @therealrussellp. Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave. Wave helps freelancers, consultants, and small business owners make, move, and manage your money with accounting, invoicing, payments, and payroll services that are easy-to-use, secure, and free. Visit www.waveapps.com/kick.
Republican political strategist Rick Wilson follows up his #1 Bestseller Everything Trump Touches Dies with a detailed playbook for how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020. He warns Democratic candidates that this election is not about policy but a simple referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. He also suggests that this race will be settled in fewer than 15 states, and Democrats need to focus on winning in the electoral college instead getting lulled into a false sense of security by Trump's poor poll numbers. He also says that this election will be a knock-down, drag-out bar fight unlike any others, and Dems should be prepared to go after Trump on his perceived strength - the economy, impeachment, and even his family.
Order Rick's book Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump --and Democrats from Themselves on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Rick at www.therickwilson.com or on twitter at @TheRickWilson, and look for his regular column at www.thedailybeast.com.
Neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist Dr. Daniel Levitin reveals that growing old is a lot more than just a gradual period of decline and indeed we get better at many aspects of life as we age. He explains how memory really works, why online brain games probably don’t do all that they promise, and how taking up a new hobby or starting a second career could be the best thing for keeping the mind sharp. Dan debunks most longevity diets and supplements as well as a whole bunch of common myths from the idea that old people get more depressed to the belief that the elderly need less sleep. Plus Dan shares the secrets of some of the world's sharpest and most active seniors
from former Secretary of State George Shultz to the Dalai Lama.
Order Dan's new book Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Dan at www.daniellevitin.com or on twitter at @DanLevitin. Today's episode was sponsored by Wave invoicing software.
Seven Worlds, One Planet is a seven part television event that marks the first time that BBC Studio’s Emmy-winning Natural History Unit has explored all the planet’s continents in a single series. Executive producer Jonny Keeling, and producers Emma Napper and Chadden Hunter discuss how BBC documentaries have turned nature programming into global television events, the logistics of filming on seven continents at once, and how their first episode is hoping raise awareness and support for fire relief efforts in Australia. They talk about some North American polar bears who have found a surprising way to adapt to climate change, how agriculture is threatening over 2000 endangered species in South America, and how Pacific fisherman who had nearly driven the whale shark extinct but are now finding ways to help this magnificent creature thrive again. Plus snakes, scary kangaroos, the real Tasmanian Devil, and a monkey that looks like Don King!
The seven-part series premiere of Seven Worlds, One Planet airs on Saturday, January 18th at 9:00 pm ET/PT on BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV. Visit www.bbcamerica.com for more information. Today's episode was sponsored by Online Trading Academy.
Director/writer Greta Gerwig discusses her Oscar nominated film adaptation of the beloved classic Little Women, how she imbued her movie with even more of author Louisa May Alcott's own personality, and why it was important for her to give a nod to the author's original intended ending. She talks about the status of female directors and writers in Hollywood, recalls a conversation she once had with a studio executive about how women talk, and how Meryll Streep inspired some of the film's most insightful dialogue about a woman’s role in 19th Century society. Greta also reveals that she was secretly pregnant while filming Little Women and what it is like to be in competition with her husband Noah Baumbach for Best Picture this year. Plus we talk about why actresses in the 30’s and 40’s got better roles than they do today, our mutual love of the films of George Cukor and Greta Garbo, and the wicked wit of Dorthy Parker.
Drs. Daniel J. Siegel and TIna Payne Bryson, the bestselling authors of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline discuss their new book The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired. They explain what it means to really show up for your children and how your interactions with your kids shape the course of their lives and literally altering their physical brain. They discuss the latest discoveries in attachment science, some tips for encouraging the "baby scientist" in you kid, and why sometimes with children, it’s best to answer a question with a question. Plus we talk about the perils of hyper-parenting, the difference between soothing a child and coddling them, and how even people who experienced neglect and abuse from their own parents can break the cycle for the next generation.
Order Daniel and Tina's book The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today's episode is sponsored by Native Deodorant. Visit www.nativedeodorant.com and use promo code KICK for 20% off your first purchase.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power recalls her early years as a freelance journalist covering the Siege of Sarajevo, how her Pulitzer-winning book about genocide got the attention of a young Senator Barack Obama, and what it was like for her to go from being an idealistic human rights advocate on the outside of government to working for change in the White House and at the U.N. She gives an inside account of the discussions in the Oval Office over how to handle the Syrian civil war and talks about how deeply that crisis affected her. Plus Ambassador Power discusses the rise of China, America’s loss of moral authority under President Trump, and the power of empathy and understanding in politics and diplomacy.
Dan Buettner has become an expert on longevity ever since he wrote his groundbreaking National Geographic article on the Blue Zones, the five places in the world where the most people live to 100 or older. One of the key factors is diet, and Dan has been studying what the oldest people in the world eat for more than 15 years. He reveals the health benefits of dietary monotony and periodic fasting, why HOW you eat is just as important as WHAT you eat, and why you want to load up on beans and veggies instead of meat and eggs. He shares some cooking secrets that he learned in the kitchens of grandmas in all five of the Blue Zones, including a Sardinian minestrone that has all the properties of a "superfood," a simple dish that he calls healthiest breakfast in the world, and the Greek Island of Ikaria’s unique take on the Mediterranean diet. He talks about traveling to Okinawa, Japan with his remarkably spry 84-year-old dad, and visiting 100 year old Costa Rican cowboy who still goes riding every day.
Order Dan's new bestselling cookbook The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100. Learn more at www.bluezones.com and follow him on Twitter at @bluezones.
Dr. Phil McGraw says that some of his guests still surprise him even after 2000+ episodes of his #1 daytime talk show The Dr. Phil Show. He recalls how losing a football game in junior high school inspired him to go into psychology, what it was like to go into practice with his father, and why he eventually decided to go from getting into the minds of his patients to getting into the minds of juries as a trial consultant. He explains how that put him into contact with Oprah Winfrey, how he convinced her to move her entire TV operation to Amarillo, Texas for 3 months during the famous mad cow beef trial, and why he was initially hesitant when Oprah first invited him to come on her show. He discusses his belief that problems are complex but solutions are often fairly simple, but he also says don’t be fooled by the magic of television and his easy going manner. He says hours of research and peer review by America’s top doctors go into every single episode of The Dr. Phil Show. He shares a little relationship advice from his 42 years of marriage, how his wife Robin is the "Dr Phil to Dr Phil" who always keeps him in check, and why Robin still sits in the audience of every taping of his show. Then Dr Phil discusses how his podcast Phil in the Blanks is a welcome chance to interview interesting people without the pressure of having to solve their problems, why he desperately wants to get O.J. Simpson on the show, and why he's planning to enter the popular true crime genre for his next project. Plus why he never volunteers advice to his friends, what he would say if he was mediating the government shutdown negotiations, and he weighs in on the prospect of an Oprah for President campaign in 2020.
Subscribe to Dr. Phil's podcast Phil in the Blanks on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify, and visit www.drphilintheblanks.com for more information and upcoming guests. The Dr. Phil Show airs weekdays and you can go to www.drphil.com to find your local listings. Follow Phil McGraw on Twitter at @DrPhil. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
Actor/director Tim Robbins discusses why his classic political mockumentary BOB ROBERTS is more relevant now than ever. He says Harvey Weinstein reminds him of the shady operators he knew growing up in New York’s Greenwich Village, he recalls studying real studio execs for his role in Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER, and he remembers Altman's mentoring Tim's leap from actor to director. He discusses how he funded his first play while he was still a struggling actor, how his play THE NEW COLOSSUS is putting personal faces to the immigration issue, and why he’s using The Actors Gang to bring theatre into California prisons. Plus Tim opens up about turning 60, weighs in on the current struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, and recounts the time he heckled Henry Kissinger outside of a famous celebrity restaurant.
Visit www.theactorsgang.com for tickets or to learn more. See Tim in Alan Ball’s excellent series HERE AND NOW with a subscription to HBO, HBO GO, or HBO NOW. Keep up with Tim at www.timrobbins.net or on twitter at @TimRobbins1.
For three days in November, 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin met in Tehran, Iran and made decisions that would change the course of World War II. It's the subject of a new book by Fox News' Bret Baier titled Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II, and today Bret Baier shares how his latest book fits into his Three Days in History trilogy, why the Tehran Conference was so crucial to Allied victory, and how it also set the stage for the Cold War. He reveals why Stalin held all the cards going into Tehran, how FDR managed to use Stalin's eavesdropping to his advantage, and why Roosevelt had to risk hurting Churchill’s feelings in order to make a deal. He also discusses how lots and lots of alcohol greased the wheels of diplomacy among the three leaders, similarities between the personal diplomacy styles of FDR and President Donald Trump, and some key leadership lessons from those three days in Tehran. Plus this beltway insider weighs in on the mood in Washington as Congress moves forward with Impeachment.
Special thanks to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum and the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum for hosting our interview. Order Bret Baier's book Three Days at the Brink: FDR's Daring Gamble to Win World War II on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Also check out the other books in his Three Days trilogy Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission and Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire. Watch Special Report with Bret Baier five days a week on Fox News and follow him on Twitter at @BretBaier. Today's podcast was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which wants to remind you not to drive drunk or high this holiday season.
Ash Carter and Sam Kashner discuss their new book about the EGOT-winning director Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Birdcage). They talk about his early years as one of the founders of the improv group that would become Second City, the story of how Nichols joined up with Elaine May to make comedy history, and how the creative differences that broke up Nichols and May opened the door for Mike Nichols to direct for Broadway and Hollywood. They reveal how the first time director got the nerve to stand up to movie mogul Jack Warner during the filming of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, why Nichols originally wanted to cast Robert Redford in The Graduate, and how Orson Wells tried to usurp him as director on Catch-22. They share stories of Nichols’ courtship and marriage of news anchor Diane Sawyer, his lavish life, his many friendships, and a lesson in how to go out in style.
Order their book Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Follow Sam and Ask on Twitter at @SamKashner and @Psmithjourno. Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches. Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
Craig Ferguson talks about his new limited series Hobo Fabulous, why he wanted to do a rockumentary-style show about his US comedy tour, and how he's ready to take a long break from the road after a 2 month American bus tour. Craig recalls that he never watched a late night television show in his life before taking over The Late Late Show on CBS, what it was like working with David Letterman as a producer, and how doing the show 5 nights a week for 10 years made him fall out of love with show-business. He says that late shows have become all about viral clips and clicks on the internet instead putting on a show for the tv audience and that he wouldn’t want to do a late night show in today’s politically charged environment. We also discuss his decision to become a US citizen more than 10 years ago, the one state in the US that won’t grant him honorary citizenship, and why he’s still paying taxes in the US although he's now returned to his native land of Scotland. Plus we talk about Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons, the Scottish production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, and Craig’s breakout role as "Bing Hitler."
All six episodes of Hobo Fabulous are available now on the Comedy Dynamics Network, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish and other platforms. Visit www.comedydynamics.com for more information. Today's episode was sponsored by Oris Watches. Shop their selection of Swiss made mechanical watches at www.oris.ch/kick.
Abby McEnany discusses her start in Chicago’s improv scene and how her one woman show turned into her new Showtime series Work in Progress. She reveals how Julia Sweeney’s Saturday Night Live character “Pat” made her life a living hell for a while and how she convinced Julia to join the cast of her new show. Abby talks about her perennial problem of getting misgendered in the women’s restroom, why the 51 year old sometimes feels like a "square" in the younger gay and transgender community, and why she avoids all social media.
Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for the New Yorker, talks about his experience embedding with the so called "Deplorables,"
and how he got a rare insider's glimpse into the pundits, trolls, and provocateurs who drive the conversation on the alt-right. He recalls his strange relationship with a right wing media influencer who is able to manipulate America’s political conversation, spread conspiracy theories, and even put words in the mouth of President Trump. He also discusses how Silicon Valley’s laissez faire libertarianism opened the door hate-mongers and conspiracy theorists, how social media algorithms actually promote that type of content, and why he says it’s time for tech leaders to stop hiding behind the 1st Amendment. Plus Andrew describes how Reddit is now cracking down on hate speech, the bizarre story of the neo-nazi who is married to a jewish woman, and the pitiful demise of right wing gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos.
Order Adam's book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Read Andrew Marantz regularly in The New Yorker and follow him on twitter at @AndrewMarantz.
Master of suspense Dean Koontz recalls the literary agent who said he'd never be a bestselling author and how he defied expectations with fourteen #1 New York Times Bestsellers. He discusses his new collection of six short suspense stories for Amazon, why creating an antihero with no memory and no identity appealed to him, and those stories have to say about the blessing and the curse of technology in our lives. Dean reveals the meticulous research that goes into his writing, how much of himself he puts into his books, and why his love of dogs always seems to make it into his work.
Nameless, collection of short stories by Dean Koontz is available for free to Prime and Kindle Unlimited members. Keep up with Dean at www.deankoontz.com and on twitter at @deankoontz. Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos HR Solutions.
CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries but he says that not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. He's attempting to right those wrongs with his Mobituaries podcast and his new book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving. We discuss celebrities who died on the same day, historical figures who were eclipsed by the actors who played them in the movies, and the old debate over whether famous people die in pairs or threes. Mo tells the stories of lesser known figures like Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy, the original Siamese twins Ang and Chang, and the world’s first fashion influencer. Plus we cover the unceremonious sendoff of founding father Thomas Paine, how Lawrence Welk proved it’s hip to be square, and famous rest stops along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Order his book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Subscribe to the Mobituaries podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen. You can also catch Mo on CBS Sunday Morning and follow him on twitter at @MoRocca. Today's episode was sponsored by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's new podcast In Bed with Nick and Megan, Kendra Scott Jewelry (use promo code KICK for 20% off), and Invitae genetic testing.