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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: Category: house
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.

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May 23, 2019

Jared Cohen talks about the eight men who succeeded to the presidency without being elected to it and how they changed our history for better or worse.  He reveals that presidential succession wasn’t clearly defined for most of America’s history and that most Vice-Presidents come to the Oval Office with great reluctance and a serious inferiority complex.  We talk about the best and worst accidental presidents, the one who assumed the office with the heaviest burden and the least preparation, and the one who was actually accused of conspiring to murder his predecessor.  Plus Jared suggests a better way to choose a running mate, he talks about his childhood fascination with the JFK conspiracy, and shares unusual hobby - collecting presidential hair.  

Order Jared Cohen's new book Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America on Amazon and follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCohen.  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.

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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.

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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.

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Jan 31, 2019

Cliff Sims recalls his time as President Trump's Director of Messaging Strategy in a chaotic White House that he likens to "Game of Thrones with the cast of VEEP."  He shares the real story behind the fiasco around Trump’s inauguration numbers, how the administration takes disorganization to a whole new level, and how many times the President’s senior staff learn of about major policy decisions on cable news.  He recalls helping President Trump draft his notorious "enemies list," how he learned that Kelly Anne Conway was leaking to the press, and why he believes former WH Chief of Staff John Kelly had it in for him.  He discusses how he reconciles his own conservative evangelical values with the President’s less than Christian behavior, how he came to grips with the hard learned lesson that everyone is disposable to Donald Trump, and why he still respects the President even after Trump disavowed Sims and his book in typical Trump fashion - via an angry tweet.  Plus the Mooch is on loose, Sean Spicer needs a refrigerator, and the greatest mystery of all - Donald Trump’s hair!

Order his latest book Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp and Homesick Candles.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Dec 20, 2018

Leon Panetta talks about hard decisions, worthy fights, and "governing by leadership instead of by crisis."  He recalls growing up in Monterey, California as the first generation of Italian immigrants and warns the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration policies could mean fewer immigrant success stories like his own.  He reveals how he started out his political career as a Republican until President Richard Nixon fired him for daring to enforce civil rights.  He shares some early lessons in political civility and bipartisanship from his mentor Senator Thomas Kuchel and how those lessons served him well as a Congressman and President Bill Clinton’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  He discusses stepping in as Clinton’s Chief of Staff during a particularly chaotic time in his Presidency, how his early military training helped him get the White House in shape, and some words of advice he recently shared with President Trump’s outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly.  Panetta admits to his surprise when years later President Obama tapped him for Director of the CIA, opens up about what went through his mind as he watched the Bin Laden raid go down, and says that Obama’s failure to enforce his own red line on Syria’s chemical weapons may have embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Learn more about the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at www.panettainstitute.org.  Thank you to the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for hosting this interview.  Today's podcast was sponsored by the new Wondery podcast Safe for Work and Ben Sasse's audiobook Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Oct 15, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin revisits four of her favorite U.S. Presidents for her new book Leadership: In Turbulent Times.  Today she discusses the ideological family tree shared by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, how their character was shaped by their setbacks, and how their destinies were forged in times of crisis.  She shares how Abraham Lincoln gave purpose to the Civil War, how Teddy Roosevelt averted a coal strike that would have left millions of Americans in the cold, how Franklin Roosevelt got America through our greatest economic crisis by talking to every American as a trusted friend, and how Lyndon Johnson managed to accomplish what JFK could not on civil rights.  She recounts a meeting between a wily President Franklin Roosevelt and a young Congressman Lyndon Johnson, the time Theodore Roosevelt showed up to cheer on his own protesters, and how President LBJ gradually won over a very young and very skeptical Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Order Leadership: In Turbulent Times on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Dorris Kearns Goodwin at www.doriskearnsgoodwin.com or on twitter at @DorisKGoodwin.  Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso MonsterHeineken, Bombas, and BambooHR.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.

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Jul 16, 2018

Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes talks about how he survived a full 8 years in the White House, his close friendship with President Barack Obama, and what it was like to travel the world representing America.  Ben says the Arab Spring taught him that sometimes hope and change have to take a back seat to pragmatism and the big picture.  He reveals how he secretly worked with the Pope to reopen relations with Cuba, how sleeplessness led to some frayed nerves during the Iran nuclear negotiations, and how wild conspiracy theories around Benghazi continue to follow him even today.  He throws some cold water on Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the FBI to investigate him, discusses how he and Obama emotionally processed Trump’s 2016 victory, and talks about the somber mood on President Obama's final foreign trip as he tried to console/encourage other world leaders like Angela Merkel.  Plus the we talk about the Syrian red line, Hillary Clinton’s private server, sanctions against Russia, and Trump’s North Korean photo-op.

Order Ben's book The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House on Amazon or Audible and follow him on twitter at @BRhodes.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay and Morning Brew.

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Nov 13, 2017

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush discuss their surprisingly normal childhood when they assumed that everyone’s grandfather got to have an inauguration, and why they initially didn't want their dad to run for President.  Barbara discusses the difficulties of having the same name as the First Lady, and the time a Yale professor offered her an A if she could convince her dad to call off the Iraq War.  Jenna talks about the infamous night they got caught drinking underage and recalls her and her husband's comical first date at the White House.  They reveal the creepy dictator who had photos of them in his palace, their experiences on election night 2000 and 9/11, and weigh in on the recent story that neither their dad nor their grandfather voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

Order Jenna and Barbara’s #1 bestseller Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life on Amazon or Audible.  To learn more, visit www.sistersfirst.com.  Catch Jenna on The Today Show on NBC and follow her on Twitter at @jennabushhager.  Learn more about Barbara’s terrific charity Global Health Corps at www.ghcorps.org  and follow them on twitter at @ghcorps.  Thank you to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for hosting our interview.

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May 4, 2017

Professor Allan J. Lichtman has successfully predicted every US Presidential election since 1984, and now he predicts a bumpy road ahead for President Donald Trump in his new book The Case for Impeachment.  He talks about what he sees as the 8 most likely paths to impeaching Donald Trump including the possibility of removing Trump from office on the grounds that he is mentally unfit to hold office.  He discusses the surprising likehood of Republicans in Congress abandoning Trump in favor of VP Mike Pence, and he gives some tips for how Donald Trump could save his Presidency.  Step 1 - fire Steve Bannon!

Order The Case for Impeachment on Amazon or download the audio version for free with a special offer for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. Follow Professor Lichtman on twitter at @AllanLichtman.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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Nov 9, 2016

It's almost finally over!  Today, I share some final thoughts on the 2016 election and make my closing arguments against Donald Trump.  With guests Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, Pulitzer-winning New York Times journalist David Cay Johnston, former CIA/NSA director, General Michael Hayden, Stuart Stevens, chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review, CNN Global contributor Parag Kanna, Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of Slate Magazine, General Wesley Clark, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and follow us on Facebook at Kickass News or on Twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  You can also visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.

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