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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: February, 2020
Feb 27, 2020

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.

 

Feb 24, 2020

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.

Feb 20, 2020

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.

Feb 17, 2020

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.

Watch Season 2 of Narcos: Mexico now streaming on Netflix.  Today's episode was sponsored by Wave.

 

Feb 13, 2020

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 three night television event Washington begins Sunday February 16 at 8PM E/P on The History Channel.  Today's episode was sponsored by Wave and Kronos.

 

Feb 10, 2020

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.

Feb 6, 2020

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

Feb 3, 2020

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.

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