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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: August, 2020
Aug 31, 2020

Pulitzer-winning historian Jon Meacham recalls his 30 year friendship with the late Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.  Meacham describes as an almost Biblical arc to John Lewis's life, and how Lewis’s Christian faith informed his activism.  He describes the horrible day in Selma, Alabama known as "Bloody Sunday," and how Lewis remained steadfast and at peace even as state troopers beat him within an inch of his life on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  He discusses his final conversation with John Lewis shortly before Lewis's death in July, and how the civil rights leader continued to preach the power of non-violent protest in the wake of recent attacks on black Americans.  John Meacham also shares why he wanted his book about John Lewis to hit shelves before the 2020 election, what inspired him to endorse a Presidential candidate for the first time in his life, and what it was like to participate in a very different Democratic National Convention during the pandemic.

Order Jon Meacham's new book is His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Hope Through History and follow him on Twitter at @jmeacham.

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Aug 27, 2020

20 years after the film Erin Brockovich raised awareness about water contamination, the real Erin Brockovich talks about how her that movie changed her life, the moment when she realized that she had to stand up for the citizens of Hinckley, California, and her outrage that dangerous levels of Chromium-6 still exist in the water of hundreds of municipalities across the U.S.  She explains why environmental regulators aren’t doing their jobs, and how she’s helped angry moms mobilize their communities to demand clean water in Flint, Michigan, Hannibal, Missouri, and as far away as Greece.  Plus Erin offers advice on how to evaluate the purity of water that comes out of your faucet, what contaminants to look for, and who to turn to when something doesn’t look right.

Order Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis, and What We the People Can Do About It on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Listen to her podcast Superman’s Not Coming wherever you like to listen, and follow her at www.brockovich.com and on Twitter at @Erin Brockovich.

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Aug 24, 2020

Before Greg Gutfeld was a Fox News star and a New York Times bestselling author, he was a self-help writer for health magazines who had no idea what he was talking about. Now, after years of experience, he finally feels qualified to guide people on the journey of life with his new book The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help.  Greg returns to the podcast to share some of the lame self-help advice he used to give in magazines like Maxim and Men’s Health and why he generally abhors self-improvement books.  He explains his deceptively simple binary system for living a better life, some advice on coping with quarantine life, and how Greg is entertaining himself during the pandemic.  Plus how humans are mimicking robots, Greg talks about his most hated segments ever, and the time he put on a second grade puppet show of the Watergate hearings.

Order Greg Gutfeld's book The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  See Greg every weekday on The Five and every Saturday on The Greg Gutfeld Show on Fox News, and follow Greg at www.ggutlfeld.com and on Twitter at @GregGutfeld.

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Aug 20, 2020

Adam Carolla takes on cancel culture and hashtag heroes.  He explains why he has given up on apologizing to people, why he’s standing by his friend Jimmy Kimmel during the late night show host’s blackface controversy, and why he believes that people who virtue signal on behalf others are really quietly racist.  He discusses his political philosophy, his impression of Donald Trump from his stint on Celebrity Apprentice, and how a segment producer on that show hoodwinked him into getting fired from the boardroom.

Order Adam Carolla's book I'm Your Emotional Support Animal: Navigating Our All Woke, No Joke Culture on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to The Adam Carolla Show wherever you listen to podcasts and follow him on twitter at @AdamCarolla.

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Aug 17, 2020

Jim Belushi is a man of many talents, actor, singer, dancer, and now legal cannabis farmer.  He shares how he’s using cannabis to combat the opioid crisis and heal vets suffering from PTSD, how high school football might have led to his brother John Belushi's tragic death, and why he believes that John would be alive today if he’d done more weed and less cocaine.  Jim discusses some of his best films and his two seasons on Saturday Night Live, how a man known as the "Smell of SNL" is helping him run Belushi Farms, and how he and Dan Aykroyd created a new strain of weed worthy of name Blues Brothers.  Plus the biggest mistake he made as an upstart farmer, the musical tastes of cannabis plants, and his adventure into the mountains of Colombia in search of something called Santa Marta Gold.

Jim Belushi's new series Growing Belushi premieres on Discovery Wednesday, August 19 at 10 PM ET/PT.  Visit www.belushifarms.com to learn more about what he’s up to these days, and follow him on twitter at @Jim Belushi.

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Aug 13, 2020

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin talks about his new book True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump.  He discusses why this was the hardest book he’s ever written, and how he managed to gain access to a number Robert Mueller’s lead investigators (including a few of those so-called "angry Democrats").  He reveals why Mueller declined to subpoena Donald Trump, why he never attempted to get ahold of Trump’s financial records, and why he ultimately stopped just short of saying that the President had committed a crime in his written report. He describes Mueller and Trump as not a story old vs. new rather than good vs. evil, and he explains how Mueller’s integrity and restraint may have been his greatest weakness and how Trump’s all-star team of lawyers managed to outfox the investigation by dominating the narrative in the media.  Plus Jeff gives a damning assessment of Bill Barr’s conduct as Attorney General, questions whether Trump will be out of legal jeopardy once he’s out of the White House, and speculates on what might happen if a Supreme Court vacancy opens up between election day and the inauguration.

Order Jeffrey Toobin's book True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  You can find Jeffrey’s frequent legal analysis on CNN and The New Yorker, and follow him on twitter at @JeffreyToobin.

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Aug 10, 2020

CNN's chief national security correspondent and anchor of CNN Newsroom Jim Sciutto discusses the Nixon-era origins of the so-called "Madman Theory" and how it applies to President Trump’s unpredictable approach to foreign policy.  He reveals that the President’s intelligence team deliberately avoids bringing up Russia for fear of upsetting him and how this has lead to a dangerous ignorance of America’s number one geopolitical foe.  Jim delves into the President’s fraught relationship with China, how Trump went from "fire and fury" to "falling in love" with Kim Jung Un,
and what the failed Hanoi summit taught him about the limits of personal diplomacy.  Plus shares how the Pentagon dangled oil money to keep the President from withdrawing from Syria, one source who makes the cryptic claim that Vladimir Putin is Donald Trump’s "honeypot," and what Trump’s golf game can tell us about his approach to foreign policy.

Order Jim Sciutto's book The Madman Theory: Trump Takes On the World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  See Jim Sciutto anchor CNN Newsroom every weekday from 9 to 11AM EST, and you can follow him on Twitter at @jimsciutto.

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Aug 6, 2020

Ambassador Susan Rice is currently at the top of Joe Biden's shortlist for Vice-President.  It's not hard to see why.  She established a good working relationship with Biden during the Obama Administration, and she has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years.  She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy.  She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda.  She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi.  Plus she speculates on what might be behind Trump's cozy relationship with Russia, she says that in her experience Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor.

Order Susan Rice's memoir  Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's episode was sponsored by Chili.  One of the most effective ways to get better sleep is through temperature regulation.  Chili makes both the chiliPAD and OOLER, two really cool gadgets that fit over the top of your mattress and use water to control the temperature of your bed.  Go to www.chilitechnology.com/KICK, and get one-hundred fifty dollars off any sleep system with code KICK.

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Aug 3, 2020

Paul Begala, former strategist to Bill Clinton and CNN political commentator offers a game-plan for how Democrats can beat President Trump in November.  He starts be admitting what he didn’t understand about Donald Trump in 2016  and sharing which of the lessons learned in 2016 can be applied in 2020.  Paul tells the story of how the Obama White House warned the incoming Trump Administration about the threat of a global pandemic almost 4 years ago, and he outlines the best way for Joe Biden to address Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 Crisis.  He reveals his plan for expanding voting rights while still protecting election integrity, which Trump voters can be won back in 2020, and the two big issues that may plague Democrats long after Trump is gone.  Plus Paul discusses the time he lost an election to a cartoon character and why he says "it’s still the economy, stupid!"

Order Paul Begala's book You’re Fired: The Perfect Guide to Beating Donald Trump on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulBegala and look for his frequent political analysis on CNN.

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