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September 12, 2019
Caitlin Doughty is a best-selling author, funeral director, and host of the popular YouTube channel Ask a Mortician.  She returns to the podcast to answer children's questions about death such as "why don’t we eat human’s after they die?" and "what if they make a mistake and bury me in coma?"  She says it’s illegal to own or sell human remains, but there's a loophole that might allow you to keep human bones and you can pretty much do anything with cremated ashes.  She explains how a whole person's ashes can fit into a tiny urn and what happens when a cemetery runs out of room  She unravels some famous movie myths about death, takes me behind closed doors at a funeral directors convention, and opens up about a mortician's worst nightmare! Buy Caitlin's latest book Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow her on Twitter at @TheGoodDeath, subscribe to her YouTube series Ask a Mortician, and learn more at www.caitlindoughty.com or www.orderofthegooddeath.com.  This episode is sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, BetterHelp online counseling, White Castle microwavable sliders, and MyBookie.
September 9, 2019
Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie talks about drawing on Cervantes and pop culture for his new novel Quichotte.  He describes having to consume a massive amount of "trash tv" in preparation for the book, how Quichotte addresses the most pressing issues of our time from opioids to immigration, and why the “the age of anything can happen” may not necessarily a good thing!  Rushdie opens up about his early career as a stage actor, his secret longing to be a second rate spy novelist, and why he finally decided to make a novelist a character in one of his stories.  Then we talk about the moment when a writer finds his own voice, how he developed his signature style of magical realism, and how it manifests in his latest novel with everything from mastodons to talking crickets.  Plus we talk about the fatwa that was issued against him 30 years ago and what it was like to play that scary event for comedy in the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Order Salman Rushdie's latest book Quichotte: A Novel on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @SalmanRushdie and visit salmanrushdie.com for a list of his upcoming public appearances (unless your fanatic trying to assassinate him...in which case disregard this).  This episode is sponsored by Purotrader and Invitae.
September 5, 2019
Comedian Anthony Jeselnik revels in making audiences a little uncomfortable and now he's making his fellow comedians uncomfortable as host of the hilarious new interview show Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik.  He shares how the Saturday Night Live bit "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" inspired his uniquely off-beat style of comedy, the time he auditioned to be the anchor of SNL’s Weekend Update, and some pretty smart advice he once got from Lorne Michaels on how to write a late night monologue.  Anthony recalls the Comedy Central Roast that changed his life and what makes for the perfect roast speech.  We delve into how Good Talk deconstructs the late night talk show, why this famously confident comedian never does self-deprecating humor, the power of silence in standup, and the one thing that Anthony says is the most important element of good comedy.  Plus talks about how to out-deadpan Tig Notaro, what it was like to roast a future President, and the comedic genius of HBO’s Deadwood. Good Talk with Anthony Jeselnik premieres this Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.  Keep up with Anthony Jeselnik at www.anthonyjeselnik.com or on twitter at @Anthony Jeselnik.  This episode is sponsored by MyBookie, and White Castle.
September 2, 2019
If you’ve ever seen the Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film Catch Me If You Can, then you know the story of the boy con artist Frank Abignale. Abignale has since reformed his ways and now he is a leading expert on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity who consults for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement. Frank discusses his early life of crime, how he turned it all around, and how he’s helping to protect Americans from scammers. He recalls how wearing the uniform of a pilot or a doctor played on people’s trust of authority, he reveals what kind of personalities were most susceptible to his schemes, and he warns that technology has made it much easier for crooks to pull off the same cons that he got away with in the 1960s. He discusses which demographics are most vulnerable to fraud and cautions that it actually has nothing to do with how smart you are. We talk about a range of specific scams including those spam emails from a "Nigerian Prince" and automated phone calls purporting to be the IRS. Frank also gets into how con artists are using crowd funding sites, dating apps, and even ancestry companies to rip you off. Plus Frank reveals why he doesn’t own a debit card and why he wants Americans to do away with passwords once and for all. Order Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-Off Artists on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Capella University's online doctoral program, and BetterHelp online counseling.
August 29, 2019
In 2018 Senator Jeff Merkley posted a viral video that triggered worldwide outrage at the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.  Now over a year later, he claims that there are still families who haven’t been reunited and that family separations are the result of a deliberate effort by the Trump Administration to deter immigrants by inflicting maximum pain.  Senator Merkley makes the case that Trump’s zero tolerance policy toward illegal immigration is violating both US and international laws, and he reveals what happened when he confronted his old Senate colleague Jeff Sessions about this issue.  He recalls his travel through war-torn Central America in the 80’s and actually claims that those countries are much worse off today.  Plus he shares heart-breaking stories from refugees who risked everything to escape worst imaginable kind of evil at the hands of gangs and drug cartels. Order Senator Jeff Merkley's book America Is Better Than This: Trump's War Against Migrant Families on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Senator Merkley on Twitter at @SenJeffMerkley.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.  We're also sponsored by AncestryDNA.  Go to www.ancestry.com/kick today for 20% off your AncestryDNA kit. 
August 26, 2019
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network.  In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered.  The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world.  He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season.  Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.  He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure! Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network.  Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
August 23, 2019
Adventurer and explorer Josh Gates has spent his career crossing the globe to investigate the world’s most intriguing mysteries as host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Network.  In the age of Google Maps, he says there are still unexplored parts of the world full of wonders to be uncovered.  The self-described “opened-minded skeptic” talks his obsession with Yeti and why these "mystery primates" appear again and again in cultures all around the world.  He reveals how Expedition Unknown helped recover Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, new forensic evidence they found in the case of D.B. Cooper, and recent developments that have lead him to revisit several topics in the new season.  Josh recalls some of his craziest adventures in Season 7 such as braving the Siberian winter to look into the bizarre Dyatlov Pass incident and scouring the ancient caves of Israel and Jordan for the lost Dead Sea Scrolls.  He walks me through how he decides which legends to chase, which ones are too dangerous, how to handle a shakedown by local authorities in a strange country, and the most awkward of conversations - how to divvy up a treasure! Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern on Discovery Network.  Keep up with Josh at www.joshuagates.com or on Twitter at @JoshuaGates.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, MyBookie, and White Castle.
August 22, 2019
This is a rebroadcast of an interview with former Secretary of State George Shultz that originally aired January 19, 2018.  Secretary Shultz recalls his close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, the moment he realized that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the U.S. could do business with, and Reagan's Pershing missile moment as a masterclass in peace through strength.  He suggests that President Trump may soon need to have a "Pershing moment" of his own, reveals what he learned in a meeting years ago with a young Vladimir Putin, and weighs in as an economist on the Trump tax reform act.  Plus George Shultz discusses why Ronald Reagan never bluffed, why foreign policy is a lot like gardening, and why the prospect of nuclear war still keeps him up at night. George Shultz is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and you can read some of his articles at www.hoover.org.  
August 19, 2019
Former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center Philip Mudd talks about the radical transformation that the intelligence community underwent in the first 90 days after 9/11, why CIA was never intended to be in the business of housing and interrogating prisoners, and how the CIA reached the decision to outsource the job to America’s allies at so-called black sites in what came to be known as "the Program."  He discusses some of the 13 enhanced interrogation methods that were approved by the U.S. Justice Department, how they delineated between aggressive interrogation and torture, and which techniques worked and which ones did not.  He says CIA operators express few regrets about what they did in "the Program," and many still feel they were thrown under the bus by members of Congress and also by former President Barack Obama.   Order Philip Mudd's book Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold and keep up with Philip at www.PhilMudd.com.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, White Castle, and PuroTrader.  
August 15, 2019
The Amazing Johnathan Documentary begins as a profile on a uniquely deranged magician, who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s, but it quickly becomes the bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian Ben Berman.  Johnathan Szeles and Ben Berman join me at the world famous Magic Castle to talk about the crazy experience of making this film. Johnathan discusses the heart condition that lead to his retirement in 2014, what his doctors say 5 years after giving him a year to live, and why Johnathan believes the secret to his survival is either stem cells, meth, or both! Ben talks about having to relinquish some control as a director and follow the Amazing Johnathan wherever this wild ride took him including having to contend with a second crew filming a totally different documentary about Amazing Johnathan.  Plus the psychology of magic, the gamesmanship of elaborate pranks, why David Copperfield and Chris Angel hate each others’ guts, and Johnathan knows a lot about faking your own death! The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is available on Hulu and in select theaters beginning Friday, August 16.  Keep up with the Amazing Jonathan at theamazingjohnathan.com or on Twitter at @TheAmazingJ, and follow Ben Berman on Twitter at @LipsBerman.  This episode is sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
August 12, 2019
Long before Star Trek, a very young George Takei was one of 145,000 Japanese Americans held in internment camps during World War II, and now he returns to this formative experience in his life as a historical consultant and star in the second season of AMC's horror anthology series The Terror: Infamy.  He talks about the painful experience of having his whole family uprooted by their own government, the eerie sense of déjà vu that he got when he first arrived on the set of The Terror: Infamy, and how he served as a link to the past for the other actors on the show.  He recalls being forced to live in a horse stall at a California race track for two months and then getting shipped across the country to an internment camp in the swamps of Arkansas, but that it all just seemed like a great adventure to an innocent boy who was oblivious discrimination and injustice.  George explains why he takes issue with the term "Japanese internment camps," why his parents were nearly deported over a citizenship questionnaire, and why he fears that history might be repeating itself under President Donald Trump.  Plus he reveals how an early experience in the camps partly inspired him to go into acting, and we talk a little Star Trek. The Terror: Infamy premieres on Monday, August 12 at 9/8 Central on AMC.  Order George Takei’s new graphic novel They Called Us Enemy on Amazon or wherever books are sold and follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeTakei.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business, Kronos HR Solutions, and BetterHelp.
August 8, 2019
Actor Wyatt Russell is the star of the most original show on television AMC's Lodge 49.  We discuss the allure of ancient fraternal orders, the importance of embracing everyday "magic," and getting curious about the places and the people we all too often drive past.  He talks about how the show speaks to the isolation of modern social media culture and our longing for fellowship.  Wyatt reminisces about previous career as a professional hockey player and the injury that sidelined him from hockey, but opened the door to a career in film and television.  He recalls getting his first big break just when he was ready to give up on acting, following in the steps of his famous parents Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, and what they taught him about keeping celebrity in perspective. Season 2 of Lodge 49 premieres on Monday, August 12 at 10/9C on AMC.  Visit www.amc.com for more information..  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business.  
August 5, 2019
Terry McAuliffe was Governor of Virginia at the time of the infamous Unite the Right rally that left three dead and many injured in Charlottesville, VA.  He offers a behind-the-scenes account of this infamous chapter in our history and shows how we can prevent other Charlottesvilles from happening in the future.  He shares his biggest worries in the weeks leading up to the infamous Unite the Right rally, why local authorities didn’t take his concerns nearly seriously enough, and why he believes that the ACLU shares some of the blame for failing to prevent the violence.  He opens up about the tragic loss his own family suffered on that fateful day and voices his anger at the out-of-state agitators who gave Virginia a bad name.  He discusses his phone call with President Trump on the day of the rally and his outrage when the President later made a wildly offensive public statement on the issue.  Terry McAuliffe also talks about running for Governor and recalls his efforts to bring Virginia into the 21st Century.  Then the former chairman of DNC weighs in on the Democratic debates and what he thinks Democrats are looking for in 2020. Order Terry McAuliffe's book Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @TerryMcAuliffe.  This episode is sponsored by Capella University, The Life Is Good Ping Podcast, and Magoosh online test prep.  
August 1, 2019
Walton Goggins and Jim Gaffigan talk about getting over their fear of snakes to portray Pentecostal snake handlers in their new film Them That Follow.  They discuss the beliefs behind the religion, why members of these Pentecostal sect live in fear of the law, and why they took particular care not to reinforce negative stereotypes about the people of rural Appalachia.  We talk about what attracts Walton to religious roles from The Apostle to Them That Follow, and how he manages to move so effortlessly between drama and comedy.  Then Jim Gaffigan discusses his own transition from comedy to drama, how his acting and standup inform each other, and what it’s been like hit the film festival circuit.  He goes into how his experience as a devout Catholic informed his portrayal in the film, his upcoming standup special for Amazon, and how his wife Jeannie’s recovery from a brain tumor has inspired him to get more personal in his act. Them That Follow opens in theaters this Friday, August 2.  Also look for Walton Goggins in HBO’s new limited series The Righteous Gemstones August 18 and Jim’s new comedy special Quality Time on Amazon Prime Video beginning August 16.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free. Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.  We're also sponsored by BetterHelp Online Counseling and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.
July 29, 2019
Diallo Riddle and and Bashir Salahuddin channeled their nostalgia musical variety shows like SoulTrain and Solid Gold into a hilarious new parody series Sherman's Showcase on IFC.  They reveal how they lured artists like John Legend to the show and why all musicians are secretly aspiring comedians.  They recall drinking with Lorne Michaels, writing sketches for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and how Sherman's Showcase gave them an opportunity to do all the sketches that were too risky for network television.  They reminisce meeting at Harvard, starting their own sketch group just to get better parts, and being on the ground floor of the Youtube comedy boom.  Plus Frederick Douglass sells hair products! Watch Sherman's Showcase starting Wednesday, July 31st at 10PM ET on IFC, and also be sure to catch Bashir and Diallo's other new show South Side on Comedy Central.  Visit www.ifc.com for more fun stuff about Sherman's Showcase, and follow Diallo Riddle on Twitter at @diallo.  
July 25, 2019
Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake have served as the top cyber security experts to three Presidents, and they discuss their new book The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats.  They discuss Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and say that Russia will almost certainly try it again in 2020.  They warn against the folly of continuing to allow local state bureaucrats to ensure the integrity of America’s electronic voting machines and suggest that Russia’s 2015 shutdown of Ukraine’s power grid might have been a dry run for a similar attack on the grid here in the US.  Clarke predicts that the next war that America enters will likely be triggered by a cyber attack.  They discuss the offensive and defensive potential of new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G.  They advocate for private companies to take greater ownership of their own data security instead expecting the government to protect them from attacks.  Plus they offer a few steps that every listener should take to protect themselves from cyber crime. Order The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Capella University's Doctoral Degree Program.
July 22, 2019
#1 Bestselling spy novelist Daniel Silva's books closely mirror world events, and he reveals how the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led him to toss out 250 pages of his latest novel and start over.  The New Girl is the 19th book in his wildly successful Gabriel Allon series, and he says he never imagined that his most popular character would last more than one book.  Daniel discusses the similarities and differences between his fictional Saudi Prince and the brutal Mohammed bin Salman and why he believes that Russia may have had something to do with President Trump’s decision to give bin Salman a pass on the Khashoggi murder.  Daniel recalls his start as a journalist working at CNN in the early days of 24-hour news, being there the night when the network brought Operation Desert Storm into America’s living rooms, and meeting his wife and fellow journalist Jamie Gangel during the Iran-Iraq War.  Plus Daniel talks about his unique writing process, his fascination with art restoration, and more.  Order Daniel Silva's latest thrilling novel The New Girl on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Visit his website at www.danielsilvabooks.com and follow him on Twitter at @DanielSilvaBook.  This episode is sponsored by TruGreen Mosquito Defense.
July 18, 2019
Joy-Ann Reid is the host of MSNBC's A.M. Joy and she discusses her new book The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story.  She says only a New Yorker who lived in the city during the turbulent 70s and 80s can truly understand the rise of Donald Trump.  She likens that era to the lawlessness of Gotham City, and says that if NYC is Gotham than Trump is the Joker sowing chaos at every opportunity.  She tells the story of her parents' immigration from Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and suggests that America could learn something about healing racial divides from post-Apartheid South Africa.  Looking ahead to 2020, Joy believes that unregistered voters are a potential goldmine for Democrats.  She explains that the hungriest constituencies win elections and women will be very hungry this time.  Plus she weighs in the first Democratic debate, shares her daughter's nickname for Beto O’Rourke, and predicts that 2020 will be the craziest election yet! Order Joy's book The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story on Amazon, Audible or whever books are sold.  Watch her show A.M. Joy on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am Eastern on MSNBC and follow her on twitter at @JoyAnnReid.  This episode is sponsored by Anchor.  Anchor is a Spotify-owned company that makes it easy for anyone to make a podcast, for free.  Get started at www.anchor.fm/kickassnews.
July 15, 2019
Silicon Valley icon Guy Kawasaki recalls his childhood in Hawaii, his start in the jewelry business, and how his skills at jewelry sales came in surprisingly handy when he became chief evangelist for Macintosh. He talks about personally witnessing the genius and dark side of Apple founder Steve Jobs, he shares some rules that he calls "the Gospel According to Steve," and opens up about the argument that led him to quit Apple in the 90s.  He talks about honor and honesty in the tech industry, his litmus test for doing business with someone, and why many of his best deals are done on a handshake.  He shares plenty of of sage marketing advice including what he calls "Guy’s Golden Rule" and gives me a crash course in how to be a social media influencer without letting it dominate your life.  Plus Guy discusses the costly mistake Hillary Clinton made with her Silicon Valley supporters, a cost/benefit analysis of standing up to Donald Trump, and the two asian celebrities for whom Guy always gets mistaken! Order Guy Kawasaki's book WISE GUY: LESSONS FROM A LIFE on Amazon, Audible, and wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him at www.guykawasaki.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter at @GuyKawasaki.  Special thanks to Live Talks LA for hosting our interview.  Visit www.livetalksla.org to learn more about their terrific line-up of speakers coming up including Malcolm Gladwell, George Will, and many more.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos and Ben & Jerry's.
July 11, 2019
In the President's campaign against what he calls “Fake News,” CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta has become public enemy number one, but Acosta warns that Trump's attacks on the press could have dangerous consequences for America.  Jim reveals some of the tricks that the White House uses to skew media coverage and avoid tough questions, and he says that the President’s war on the truth is changing journalism itself as reporters have to do double-duty as "real-time fact-checkers."  He shares some of the bone-chilling threats he receives from Trump supporters at rallies and on social media, and reports that hateful anti-media rhetoric only got worse in the 2018 midterms.  He suggest that Trump actually enjoys sparring with him in the press room and that the President only demonizes the press as part of an "act" to placate his base.  He even says he's figured out Trump's "tells" for when he's lying or losing! Order Jim Acosta's book The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous time to Tell Truth in America on Amazon, Audible and wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @Acosta and see him reporting from the White House on CNN.  Today's episode was sponsored by the TruGreen Mosquito Defense and BetterHelp.
July 8, 2019
Adam Savage (Mythbusters, MythBusters Junior) talks about building a working prototype of Marvel’s Iron Man suit for his new series Savage Builds and what it was like to fly around with tiny jet engines strapped to his forearms.  He discusses how Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson helped him take to the skies in a real World War I dogfight, why Adam's attempt recreate one of World War II’s most bizarre contraptions was less than successful, and how it served as a lesson in the importance of embracing your failures.  Adam talks about his love of juggling and magic, his friendship with magician and skeptic the Amazing Randy, his own relationship with the skeptic community, and how he discovered that Darwinism doesn’t make for good television.  Plus Adam talks about obsession with the dodo bird and why wire coat hangers are a maker's best friend. Adam's new series Savage Builds airs Fridays at 10 Eastern on the Science Channel.  Visit Adam at www.adamsavage.com for more fun stuff and follow him on twitter at @donttrythis.  Today's episode was sponsored by the Life Is Good Ping Podcast.
July 4, 2019
Today's episode is a rerun of a previous podcast that aired December 3, 2018 with guest Trevor Noah.  Trevor talks about his  standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself.  He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY SHOW, why the current President reminds him of certain African dictators, and how he deciphers what’s news and what’s nonsense in the age of Trump.  Plus Trevor talks about interviewing President Barak Obama, whether he would be down to do the same with Donald Trump, and the question that he would most like ask the 45th President. Watch THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH every weeknight at 11PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit www.trevornoah.com for more on Trevor including upcoming tour dates, and follow him on twitter at @TrevorNoah.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
July 1, 2019
Pulitzer Prize-winning Conservative columnist George Will answers the fundamental question “what is it that conservatives mean to conserve" and suggests that modern conservatives are losing sight of that purpose.  He extolls James Madison’s belief in the importance of natural rights and government’s role in protecting them, and he makes that case against his fellow Princetonian Woodrow Wilson who did the most to unravel the Founders’ vision.  George discusses his decision to change his political affiliation from Republican to Independent in 2016, why he still can’t make the leap to the Libertarian Party, and why he believes it would be better to vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in 2020. Order George Will's book The Conservative Sensibility on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeWill and look for his regular column in the Washington Post.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp and Ben & Jerry's.
June 27, 2019
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter takes me behind the scenes to reveal the inner workings of the Pentagon, its vital mission, and what it takes to lead it.  He describes just how massive the D.O.D. is, how he managed a $700 billion dollar budget, and how he recruited top tech talent to the Pentagon.  Ash Carter reveals why his background as a physicist came in handy in the Pentagon and how it led him to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s "Star Wars" program in the 80s.  He discusses how he came up with his successful strategy to defeat ISIS, but cautions President Trump against pulling out of Iraq and Syria entirely.  He talks about his effort to reach out to non-traditional military recruits and his history-making decision to open all combat roles to women.  Order Ash Carter's book Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by TruGreen mosquito defense.
June 24, 2019
Vince Houghton, director of the International Spy Museum, returns to take me on a wild tour of missions and schemes that almost happened, but were ultimately deemed too dangerous, expensive, ahead of their time, or insane.  These include weaponing animals such as eavesdropping cats, spooky glow in the dark foxes, and one plan to strap incendiary bombs to bats!  He reveals some of the CIA’s wackier attempts to take out Castro, the nazi scientist who tried to build a sun gun, and the Florida meteorologist who thought it would be a good idea to use a nuclear weapons to blow up hurricanes.  But just when you think it couldn’t get any crazier, Vince discusses the project that inspired the title of his new book - the U.S. military plan to nuke the moon!   Order Vince Houghton's book Nuking the Moon: And Other Intelligence Schemes and Military Plots Left on the Drawing Board on Amazon, Audible, and in bookstores.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Skimm and AncestryDNA.
June 20, 2019
As a 60 Minutes correspondent and former anchor of the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley has been a witness to events that have changed our world and he talks about some individuals who illustrate the best of America.  He recalls the heart-break and exhaustion of reporting on the 9/11 attacks and why he feels it was the finest hour for CBS News.  He shares the three rules of journalism that he learned from CBS legend Walter Cronkite, and why he believes that 24-hour cable news create even more demand for a show like 60 Minutes.  He discusses his time as a combat journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan, the question that landed him on Hillary Clinton’s blacklist, and why he says that President Donald Trump just can’t stop himself from lying.  Plus he elaborates on his accusations that the CBS Evening News was a hostile work environment, explains the secret to 60 Minutes’ longevity, and shares a few favorite memories of 60 Minutes’ lovable curmudgeon Andy Rooney. Order Scott Pelley's book Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter's Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.com and Kronos.
June 17, 2019
Senator Tom Cotton recalls the storied history of the Old Guard of Arlington National Cemetery and the rigorous training he went through to become a member of this elite regiment.  He describes what it’s like to perform a military funeral in America’s most hallowed cemetery and how the soldiers of the Old Guard manage to avoid getting choked up.  Senator Cotton shares some of the other ceremonies that the Old Guard performs and how the Old Guard played a pivotal role at the Pentagon in the hours and days following 9/11.  Plus we talk about the special soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier day and night in all kinds of weather, how they deal with unruly children and noisy tourists, and why modern science means there never be another Unknown Soldier. Order Senator Tom Cotton's book Sacred Duty: A Soldier's Tour at Arlington National Cemetery on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.com, Kronos, and Soundtrap for Storytellers.
June 13, 2019
Admiral William McRaven (Make Your Bed) reveals how a high school track coach inspired him apply for the Navy SEAL program and why he still compares any struggle he faces to the grueling endurance test of the Navy SEALs “Hell Week.”  He recalls the night he got a gut feeling he was going to catch Saddam and was right, how Saddam never made his bed while he was in McRaven’s custody, and what McRaven said when he finally decided to meet with Saddam face to face.  He talks about the strange experience of personally seeing monsters like Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden cut down to size, how he managed to keep the preparation of the Bin Laden raid a secret, and how 1000’s of special operations prepared him for that mission of a lifetime.  Plus he weighs in on the Navy SEAL who stands accused of war crimes, responds to calls for him to run for President, and expresses his sincerest regret that he’s the reason you have to take off your shoes at the airport! Order Admiral William McRaven's book Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Life Is Good Ping Podcast, Udacity, and Ancestry.com.
June 10, 2019
Best-selling author Michael Wolff discusses his new book Siege: Trump Under Fire and how he got so many White House sources to speak to him again after his explosive tell-all Fire and Fury.  He tells how Steve Bannon remains the ultimate Trump insider even though he's on the outs with the President and why Trump's misfortune has always been Bannon's opportunity.  We talk about how Robert Mueller carefully gamed out every step of the Russia probe and whether Mueller may have actually drafted an indictment of Donald Trump.  He shares how Jared Kushner’s suspicious dealings with shady foreign investors jeopardized his White House security clearance and how he sought the counsel of Henry Kissinger in his effort to install himself as Secretary of State.  He reveals why Nikki Haley really resigned as UN Ambassador and how Trump’s inner circle lives in constant fear of the day when the Me Too Movement may finally catch up to Trump.  He sheds some light on Donald and Melania’s marriage of convenience, reveals how Senator Mitch McConnell got the upper hand on the President, and shares how Trump started a family feud at Fox.   Order Michael Wolff's latest book Siege: Trump Under Fire on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.
June 6, 2019
Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) discusses his new documentary Pavarotti.  He talks about the art of filmmaking and storytelling, how he approaches a documentary versus a narrative film about a real person, and how he got the idea to present Pavarotti’s story as an opera.  We get into Pavarotti the romantic, how Ron got the various women of Pavarotti’s life to participate in the film, and why Pavarotti often compared his famous voice to a tempestuous lover.  He tells the story of how the Three Tenors were formed, and how Pavarotti took opera into sports stadiums and the mainstream by collaborating with everyone from Steve Wonder to Sting. Plus we talk about Pavarotti’s enormous appetite, his even bigger heart for charity, and Ron’s own chance encounter with this opera legend. Ron Howard's film Pavarotti opens in theaters Friday, June 7.  Visit www.pavarottifilm.com for information and show times.  Today's podcast was sponsored by The Life is Good Ping Podcast and Udacity.
June 3, 2019
David Epstein (The Sports Gene) reveals the flaw in the "10,000 hours" theory of deliberate performance, the fallacy of giving children a head-start, and how it could actually hinder them in the long-run.  He shares why athletes should be more like Roger Federer than Tiger Woods and how "serial innovators" tend to have a broad range of knowledge and experience.  David says the internet and open source information is a boon to generalists, but artificial intelligence may put a lot of specialists out of business.  He encourages the trend of midlife career changes and dabbling and suggests it's better to act THEN decide.  Plus how Venetian orphans inspired the world’s greatest composers,  why Nobel laureates always have a hobby, and why experts make terrible forecasters. Order David Epstein's book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with david at www.davidepstein.com and follow him on twitter at @DavidEpstein.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetterHelp.com, SiriusXM Radio , and Ancestry.com.
May 30, 2019
Neil Gaiman talks about adapting his book Good Omens for television, the book’s long journey to the screen, and how he took the reins as show-runner in a promise to his late co-author Terry Pratchett.  Neil recalls the origins of their book as a fable about nature vs nurture and opens up about the on screen cameo that was just too painful for him to film.  He discusses his writing process, how he manages to avoid distractions, and why he chooses to write across many different mediums.  Plus Neil shares the story of the time he and Michael Sheen accidentally dined on an endangered species and got a front row seat for a federal raid. Neil Gaiman's six-part limited series Good Omens stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant and is available on Amazon Prime Video beginning Friday, May 31st.  Keep up with Neil at www.neilgaiman.com and follow him on Twitter at @neilhimself.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Udacity.
May 27, 2019
Liam Cunningham discusses his 7 epic seasons as Sir Davos Seaworth on Game of Thrones and going from fighting "White Walkers" to fighting Ebola in National Geographic Channel's limited series The Hot Zone.  We also talk about his original audition for Game of Thrones, why he first thought he got the polite brush off from the series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and what it's like when he encounters hard-core GoT fans in person.  Then Liam discusses the true story of America’s close call with Ebola in 1989, the very real threat of a new outbreak in the U.S. today, the danger of the modern anti-vaxxer movement, and the importance of striking the right balance between rational and irrational fears.  He talks about filming The Hot Zone in the South African bush, his early years working as an electrician in neighboring Zimbabwe, and how the experience directly led to his pursuing a career in acting.  Plus he reveals the secret to not getting killed off by Game of Thrones producers Benioff and Weiss, we debate whether a knight can really create another knight, and we attempt to figure out who was responsible for that infamous Starbucks cup! The six-night television event The Hot Zone premieres on Memorial Day, May 27, at 9/8C on National Geographic Channel.  Visit www.nationalgeographic.com for more info and behind-the-scenes extras, and follow Liam on Twitter at @liamcunningham1.  Today's episode was sponsored by Hackable podcast.  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 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.
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.  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 and BetterHelp.com.  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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
April 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
February 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.
February 22, 2019
France’s leading public intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy accuses President Trump of following the same path of retreat begun by Barack Obama and suggests it has created a void that is now being filled by five old-world empires that are making an unlikely resurgence. Bernard-Henri talks about the Iran Nuclear deal and the larger problem of the Middle East, he discusses his long association with the Kurds who he says represent a hopeful new path for Islam, and he recalls his own role in the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi. He also gets into Russia’s election meddling and what he calls the assault on truth, why he worries that Brexit could lead to end of EU, and the rise of nationalism in his own country represented by the yellow vest protests. Order his book The Empire and the Five Kings: America's Abdication and the Fate of the World on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  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.
February 21, 2019
Parag Khanna says America has a China problem and the solution is Asia.  He suggests that rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and building stronger ties with other countries in the region are much more effective and less risky ways to gain leverage over China than a direct trade war.  He reveals what President Trump gets wrong when he says that America holds all the cards with China, and suggests that Trump’s tariffs may actually hasten China’s push to become self-sufficient.  He talks about the booming markets emerging in other parts of Asia and how leading American tech companies are getting in on the game by signing major manufacturing agreements in place like India, South Korea, and Vietnam.  Parag also discusses the growing cultural influence represented by the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians and discusses a new trend of Asian-Americans crossing back over the Pacific to pursue opportunities as "American-Asians." Order Parag Khanna's new book THE FUTURE IS ASIAN on Amazon or Audible, and follow him at ParagKhanna.com or on twitter at @ParagKhanna.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos and BetterHelp.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and rate and review the podcast.  Like Kickass News on Facebook and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  For more interesting stuff, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.  
February 18, 2019
Legendary comedy writer and director Larry Charles (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Borat) talks about traveling the world in search of humor in the most unusual, unexpected and deadliest places for his new Netflix series Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy.  He talks about meeting former child soldiers who perform standup in a cemetery in Liberia, the "Jon Stewart" of Iraq who has a price on his head, and the imprisoned terrorist who wanted to show Larry the lighter side of ISIS.  Larry also tells stories about working on the early seasons of Seinfeld, why Kramer was his favorite character to write for, and what he says Seinfeld has in common with Superman.  He shares how Larry David used to fight with audiences in comedy clubs, why David threw a fit when NBC wanted to move Seinfeld to the most coveted time slot in television, and what it’s like to direct Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm.  We discuss how Borat and Bruno exposed racist and authoritarian leanings in the US and abroad long before 2016, why Larry Charles had to play a character while he was directing those movies, and the crazy amount of commitment it required from that hilarious mad genius Sacha Baron Cohen.  Plus, what it was like to grow up in Brooklyn’s Trump Village (yes, that Trump!), how Larry went from selling drugs to selling jokes outside the Comedy Store in Hollywood, and the one country that scared the living hell out of him while making Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy.  Watch all four episodes of Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy available on Netflix now.  Follow Larry on Twitter at @LarryCharlesisms.  Today's episode was sponsored by Brother INKvestment Tank Printers.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and rate and review the podcast.  Like Kickass News on Facebook and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.  For more interesting stuff, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.  
February 14, 2019
Former NJ Governor Chris Christie sets the record straight about his tenure as a corruption-busting prosecutor and a Republican running a Democratic state, as well as what really happened on the 2016 campaign trail and inside Trump Tower.  He recalls how his friendship with Donald Trump began and the nasty details of the infamous Charles Kushner case that would later come back to haunt him.  He talks about why he passed on running for President in 2012, Hurricane Sandy and that notorious Obama hug (which he says wasn’t really a hug), and how the Romney campaign used it as a scapegoat for their own candidate’s shortcomings.  Christie reveals that he even had to convince his own son that he had nothing to do with the George Washington Bridge closure and in the end it boiled down to stupid people doing stupid things.  I ask him if he thinks the Trump-Russia collusion may turn out to be a similar situation, he says he could tell General Mike Flynn was trouble from day one, he talks about his former colleagues Bob Mueller and James Comey, and he shares the advice he gave President Trump when the whole Russia investigation began.  He reveals why he believed he was going to be tapped as Trump’s running mate, how Jared Kushner tossed out the entire Trump transition plan just to get even with him, and the day he finally got fed up and said "I’m done."  Plus Chris Christie on how he became the first Youtube Governor, why he unfollowed every New Jersey reporter on Twitter, and why it took him 3 months to convince Donald Trump to cash his check. Order Chris Christie's book Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow him on twitter at @ChrisChristie.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.
February 11, 2019
Madeleine Albright fled fascists during her childhood and faced them down as Secretary of State, and today she comes on the podcast to warn that fascism is once again on the rise.  She shares how her own refugee experience during World War II and the Cold War shaped her worldview and recalls her meetings with with authoritarian strongmen like Kim Jong-il, Slobodan Milošević, and Vladimir Putin.  She reveals that most fascists come into office through democratic elections or a constitutional transfer of powers, not a bloody coup, and in her experience, dictators can be surprisingly normal and polite despite their monstrous cruelty.  She discusses the upcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, says Putin plays a poor hand well and Trump plays a good hand poorly, and calls out Donald Trump as "the least democratic President in American history." Order Madeleine Albright's book Fascism: A Warning on Amazon and follow her on twitter at @madeleine.  Today's episode was sponsored by BetterHelp.com.
February 7, 2019
Former AOL exec and chairman of National Geographic Society Jean Case talks about her new book Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose.  She says leaders need to start viewing risk as R&D and failure as a learning experience.  In fact, Jean Case encourages people to talk about their own mistakes by sharing her own "failure resume" and hosting "fail tests."  She discusses why CEO’s need to get out of their bubble and get uncomfortable, and how greater diversity actually affects an organization's bottom line.  Plus she reveals the coolest thing about being the first female chairman of the National Geographic Society and talks about National Geographic’s history of fearless women going back over 125 years. Order Jean's book Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose on Amazon and learn more about the Case Foundation at www.casefoundation.org.  Today's episode was sponsored by Kronos Payroll Solutions, Blinkist, and Homesick Candles.
February 4, 2019
Encore.org founder Marc Freedman says seniors are an untapped resource and calls on society to stop segregating the elderly from society and renew the bond between young and old.  Marc talks about the mentors who influenced his life, what we can learn from the movie The Intern, and the evidence that shows that seniors who take an interest in a young person actually live longer, happier lives.  He talks about the elderly neighbors who act as "surrogate grandparents" to his own children, calls out the interests who are trying to pit baby boomers and millennials against each other, and reveals why artificial intelligence may create greater demand for the kind of interactions that only seniors can offer.  Plus we talk about the starry eyed dreamer who accidently created an "age apartheid," how Otto Von Bismark decided your retirement age, and why your kid’s next college roommate might be older than you are! Be sure to visit Encore.org for more information and order Marc Freedman's book How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Homesick Candles.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 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.
January 28, 2019
Science Communicator Professor Brian Cox reveals why he left a popular rock band for a career in particle physics, what he is learning through his participation in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, and why he says the LHC has disproven the existence of ghosts.  He discusses Brexit, the vital link between democracy and science, and his concern over the growing education disparity.  He talks about walking in the footsteps of his hero Carl Sagan as a leading science communicator, the scientific concept that he has the hardest time explaining to non-scientists, and how the digital effects wizards behind the movie INTERSTELLAR are helping him elucidate the wonders of the universe in his spectacular new live show UNIVERSAL: ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME.  Plus Brian says he's ready to call a truce in his ongoing feud with Deepak Chopra. Visit www.profbriancoxlive.com for dates, tickets and information for Brian Cox's live tour UNIVERSAL: ADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME.  Subscribe to Brian’s podcast THE INFINITE MONKEY CAGE and follow him on twitter at @ProfBrianCox. Today's podcast was sponsored by Homesick Candles, Flatiron School, and Blinkist. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 24, 2019
Award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother's Keeper, The Paradise Lost trilogy) reexamines America's most notorious serial killer on the 30th anniversary of his execution in his new Netflix documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.  He discusses how one of Bundy’s first jobs gave him an inside view of the flaws in America’s law enforcement system, how Bundy exploited those weaknesses to his own devilish advantage, and how it led to dramatic changes in how the FBI hunts serial killers and how state and local police share information.  We talk about how Ted Bundy’s clean cut good looks helped him elude capture, and the movie heart-throb who Joe Berlinger cast as Bundy in his new feature film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.  We talk about the media circus that turned Ted Bundy into a household name, the influence that the Bundy trial had on the true crime genre, and why Berlinger, known as the father of the true crime documentary, doesn’t actually like the term "true crime." Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is available on Netflix beginning January 24 and look for Joe's feature film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend and in theatres soon.  Keep up with Joe at www.joeberlinger.com or on Twitter at @JoeBerlinger.  Today's episode is sponsored by Betterhelp.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 21, 2019
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 new 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 new 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.  Today's episode is sponsored by Flatiron School.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 17, 2019
A year ago, Dr. Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now made headlines for giving hard data that proved that the world is safer, happier, and freer than ever, but he was surprised by how many people just don't want to believe good news!  Today Dr. Pinker returns to the podcast to review the metrics of societal progress that continue to show that the world just keeps getting better, but he also discusses two areas that give him cause for concern.  Steven Pinker ponders whether the immigration debate might actually be a positive turning point as polls show that Americans are rejecting alternative facts and alarmism.  He reveals how genetics may play a part in our political preferences and explores how linguistics can make for more productive political discussions.  Dr. Pinker recalls growing up during the turbulent 60’s in Montreal and how he went from a teenage anarchist to a leading proponent of science, reason, humanism, and progress.  Plus we discuss his ongoing fight against political correctness, why we need to stop giving words too much power, and why he says those baby boomers who say millenials are a generation of snowflakes have no one but themselves. Order his latest book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with him on Twitter at @sapinker or at www.stevenpinker.com.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Blinkist.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 14, 2019
Howie Mandel talks about making his first comedy special in 20 years, his childhood growing up in Toronto, and how the show Candid Camera inspired him to pull an elaborate prank that got him expelled form high school. He shares how "winging it" the first time he want on stage turned into his signature improvisational style, and how he still finds much of his comedic inspiration from interacting with his audience.  He recalls opening for Diana Ross in Vegas, his very first TONIGHT SHOW appearance, how the HBO YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL changed his life, and the time when a sitcom audition led to his getting cast in the serious TV medical drama SAINT ELSEWHERE. Howie reveals why he originally turned down the offer to host DEAL OR NO DEAL and the anxiety he gets whenever he sees contestants making bad decisions on the show.  He opens up about his struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, and how he went from fearing that it might be a career killer to using his fame to raise awareness of mental health issues.  Plus Howie Mandel gives the secret to winning the golden buzzer on AMERICA'S GOT TALENT. Howie's new comedy special HOWIE MANDEL PRESENTS HOWIE MANDEL AT THE HOWIE MANDEL COMEDY CLUB this Friday Jan 18 at 10PM E/P on Showtime.  DEAL OR NO DEAL airs Wednesdays at 9AM ET on CNBC and AGT: CHAMPIONS airs Mondays on NBC at 8PM ET.  Follow Howie on Twitter at @HowieMandel.  Today's episode is sponsored by Flatiron School and Hackable podcast.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 10, 2019
Abbi Jacobson opens up about the frustrations of TV development hell, playing “herself” on Comedy Central’s Broad City, and being a woman in a position of power.  She discusses her ongoing struggle with work-life balance, how it took a book deal just to make her take 3 weeks off to travel the country and get over a broken heart, and how that trip taught her that “the things we’re most afraid of, are the things that will most change us.”  Abbi reveals how she and co-creator Ilana Wexler got Amy Poehler to champion Broad City for television, how they convinced Hillary Clinton to guest star in the middle of the election, and what you can learn about a TV network from the snack selection in the lobby.  Plus Abbi Jacobson talks aura readings in Sedona, feeling a little out of place at a Mormon lodge in Utah, and why a bed and breakfast is the worst place to go when you just want to be alone! Order Abbi's new book I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Abbi on Twitter at @AbbiJacobson, and don’t miss the final season of Broad City beginning January 24 on Comedy Central.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 7, 2019
Brad Meltzer is the #1 bestselling author of political thrillers like The Escape Artist and The Inner Circle.  Today he talks about making his first foray into nonfiction for his latest book The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, all the research that went into it, and his initial concern that a long forgotten rumor of a secret plot to assassinate America’s founding father might turn out to be just that - a rumor.  He tells the story of America’s "other Benedict Arnold" and the deadly conspiracy by some of the very men charged with protecting George Washington’s life.  He reveals how the incident gave birth to American counterintelligence, why Washington wasted no time in making an example of one of the traitor, and why there was a deliberate effort to cover-up the plot to kill Washington for more than 240 years.  Plus he shares some of the wild conspiracy theories he hears from his fans at book signings, his alarm over the explosion of conspiracy thinking and paranoia in American politics, and a few memories of his friend the late President George H.W. Bush. Order THE FIRST CONSPIRACY: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington on Amazon or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Brad at BradMeltzer.com or on twitter at @BradMeltzer.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
January 3, 2019
Actor Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Rushmore) discusses how his music and poetry album New Worlds evolved out of a chance meeting with classical cellist Jan Vogler on a flight from Berlin to NYC. Plus, Bill Murray shares his philosophy of life, his favorite American humorists, and his thoughts on being an internet folk hero. New Worlds is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you buy music.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.
December 31, 2018
Today's episode is a rerun of my interview with journalist Bob Woodward that originally aired 11/04/15.  Bob talks about his book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN" which chronicles the White House career of Alexander Butterfield, who served as deputy assistant to President Nixon.  Through countless documents and hours of interviews, Butterfield gave Bob Woodward a revealing glimpse into the disfunction, paranoia, and corruption in the Nixon White House.  Woodward talks about how Alex Butterfield oversaw the installation of the infamous taping machine in the Oval Office and served as the right-hand man to Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  We'll talk about the isolated world of Richard Nixon, Nixon's relationship with his wife and with Henry Kissinger, Nixon's awkward though likely unconsummated flirtations with White House secretaries, and the chip on Nixon's shoulder that haunted him his entire life.  Plus we'll talk about the man known as "Deep Throat." If you enjoy this episode, then go to Amazon to order Bob Woodward's fascinating new book "THE LAST OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN."
December 27, 2018
Today's episode is a rerun of an interview with Anthony Bourdain that originally aired 10/12/17.  Anthony speaks candidly about the problem of food waste, who is to blame, and who is working on solutions.  He discusses how he and his fellow chefs have been fighting this battle for years in their own kitchens, including embracing the "snout to tail" movement, renaming so called "trash fish," and even turning table scraps into delicious pork.  He also shares how he manages to juggle his a hectic travel schedule, waxes about his love of Vietnam, and reveals some of his most cherished comfort foods.  Plus, Tony and I gripe about California's newly revived foie gras ban and the term "foodie." Anthony Bourdain's new documentary Wasted: The Story of Food Waste is available in the theatres, on demand, on Amazon, and on iTunes beginning this Friday, October 13.  Visit www.wastedfilm.com for more information.  Keep up with Anthony Bourdain on his website www.explorepartsunknown.com or on Twitter at @Bourdain. Today’s episode is sponsored by Nadex.  Please subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and take our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/KICK.  Visit www.kickassnews.com for more fun stuff.
December 24, 2018
John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan discuss their childhood love of the Laurel & Hardy movies, stepping into the shoes of the legendary comedy duo for their new film Stan & Ollie, and the transformation that allowed John to step in the famously large pants of Oliver Hardy.  They share how Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's 35 year showbiz partnership was a lot like a marriage, what it was like for Steve and John to find that same chemistry (having never worked together before), and how their director's emergency apendactomy gave them an opportunity to bond during an impromptu pilgrimage to Stan Laurel's hometown in England.  Plus John C. Reilly talks about being part of another famous comedy duo with Will Ferrell, Steve and John reveal how they recreated some of Laurel and Hardy's most iconic routines, and we debate the pros and cons of the old Hollywood studio system and the controversy over Oliver Hardy’s most memorable line. Stan & Ollie which opens in theatres in New York and Los Angeles this Friday December 28.  Visit www.sonyclassics.com/stanandollie for showtimes and more information.  Today's podcast was sponsored by BetDSI.com.  Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, visit our website at www.kickassnews.com, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
December 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.
December 17, 2018
Paul Lieberstein (THE OFFICE) talks about his 20 year struggle with crippling back pain inspired his funny and moving directorial debut film SONG OF BACK AND NECK.  He shares how the king of indie filmmaking Mark Duplass convinced him to make the movie himself rather than selling it to a Hollywood studio, how he made something as seemingly mundane as back pain visually interesting on the screen, and the complications that arise when you're directing yourself.  We talk about his nine seasons playing Toby on THE OFFICE and what it was like to do double duty as actor and show runner.  He reveals that NBC initially didn’t think the show would last more than a few episodes and weighs in recent talk of an OFFICE revival.  Plus, he addresses how THE OFFICE’s Michael Scott might fare in the age of Me Too, whether there was more to Michael Scott’s visceral hatred for Toby, and some favorite fan theories including one that suggests that Toby was secretly the "Scranton killer." Watch Paul Lieberstein's wonderful film SONG OF BACK AND NECK available on Video on Demand, and follow Paul on twitter at @PaulLieberstein.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Espresso Monster, BetDSI.com, Zeel, 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.
December 14, 2018
Comedian Pete Holmes talks about his new HBO comedy special PETE HOLMES: DIRTY CLEAN, paying his dues as a comic, and all of life’s weird and wonderful questions.  Pete says standup is still his first love, but podcasting is how he makes friends these days, and he believes everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should start of podcast of their own.  He talks about being a brand new father, why his audiences always want him to complain about his baby, and why he’s determined not to be that parent who indoctrinates his daughter with his own beliefs.  He discusses growing up evangelical, his spiritual evolution, how he learned that comedians aren’t all sinful scumbags...and even if they are, they can still be pretty good people.  He reveals what’s autobiographical on his series CRASHING, the real life comedians behind some of the words of wisdom that he receives on the show, and how he’s addressing the Me Too movement in Season 3.  Plus, Pete Holmes offers some sage advice like "tell a pregnant woman she looks small," "tell twins they’re nothing alike," "be better than a grouper," and "don’t be a slave to an iWatch." PETE HOLMES: DIRTY CLEAN debuts Saturday (12/15) at 10:00 PM E/P on HBO.  Mark your calendars for Season 3 of CRASHING which begins January 20 on HBO, and subscribe to Pete's podcast YOU MADE IT WEIRD on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.  Follow Pete on twitter at @peteholmes.
December 10, 2018
The legendary Tina Brown returns to talk about growing up in an entertainment family, how she got expelled from 3 different boarding schools for being a “subversive influence,” and how that same subversiveness served her well as editor of Vanity Fair.  Tina talks about her 37 year marriage to the former editor of The Sunday Times - Harry Evans, and their morning ritual of having a “news buffet.”  She talks about turning around The New Yorker after her successful run at Vanity Fair, how she adapted from magazines to the immediacy of digital news when she founded The Daily Beast, and what is was like working with media mogul Barry Diller.  She recalls her torturous years running Talk Magazine with the infamous Harvey Weinstein, finding some peculiar open-ended book contracts with young women when she ran Talk Books, and leading the charge of the Me Too era with her Women in the World Summit.  She reveals what recently attracted her to enter the world of podcasting, how her new show TBD with Tina Brown is a return to her roots as a journalist, and why “the mix” still matters whether you’re running a magazine or a podcast.  Plus, the author of The Diana Chronicles has some advice for Meghan Markle on how to navigate palace intrigues. Subscribe to Tina's new podcast TBD with Tina Brown on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, learn more about her Women in the World Summit at www.womenintheworld.com, and follow her on twitter at @TinaBrownLM.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Espresso Monster, and The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
December 6, 2018
Historian H.W. Brands discusses his new book Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants.  Professor Brands talks about how these three political giants crafted the Compromise of 1850 which barely held the Union together, why none of these three men was ever elected President, and how compromise went from being politics at its finest to a dirty word in today’s Washington.  He discusses John Calhoun’s beliefs that slavery was a moral virtue and that states had the right to nullify any federal law, and he says that the moralizing of abolitionists like Daniel Webster actually drove Calhoun to take an increasingly more extreme position on slavery.  He recalls Webster's legendary oratory skills in the days when eloquence was a ticket to political fame, and how one of Webster’s speeches once brought the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to tears.  Then he shares how Henry Clay earned the nickname "the great compromiser" by playing referee between Webster and Calhoun, and why Clay believed that the South would eventually outgrow slavery if he could just postpone a civil war long enough. Order his new book Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold and follow him on twitter at @hwbrands.  Today's episode was sponsored by The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
December 3, 2018
Trevor Noah talks about his new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA and why he dedicated it to his mom whom he calls “the first comedian that he ever saw” and “most gangster human being you’ll ever meet in your life.”  He discusses growing up in South Africa during Apartheid, the power of humor to fight oppression, and why he believes that hateful words aren’t nearly as important as addressing with the hate itself.  He shares how the 2016 election affected his own vision for THE DAILY SHOW, why the current President reminds him of certain African dictators, and how he deciphers what’s news and what’s nonsense in the age of Trump.  Plus Trevor talks about interviewing President Barak Obama, whether he would be down to do the same with Donald Trump, and the question that he would most like ask the 45th President. Watch Trevor Noah's new standup special TREVOR NOAH: SON OF PATRICIA now available on Netflix, order his memoir BORN A CRIME on Amazon, and watch THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH every weeknight at 11PM ET on Comedy Central.  Visit www.trevornoah.com for more on Trevor including upcoming tour dates, and follow him on twitter at @TrevorNoah.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch, Espresso Monster, Zeel, and Bombas.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 29, 2018
David Priess returns to deliver a colorful political history of the schemes, maneuvers, and conspiracies that have attempted to remove unwanted presidents.  He discusses the various President’s who’ve died in office of natural and unnatural causes including two President’s who some suspect may have been poisoned and a bizarre conspiracy by a cabal of wealthy businessman to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt.  He explains the 25th Amendment which allows for the President’s Cabinet and Congress to declare a leader physically or mentally unfit to serve, the two Presidents who played instrumental roles in crafting it, and the closest we ever came to using it.  He walks us through the surprising history of Presidential mental illness and why some of Richard Nixon’s closest advisors questioned whether he was mentally stable.  We talk about the process of impeachment, when Presidential lies rise the level of a "high crime or misdemeanor," and whether he thinks Congress could realistically impeach President Trump.  Plus, the man who served as the daily intelligence briefer to former FBI director Robert Mueller weighs in on the Russia investigation, what might be going through Mueller's mind right now, and what we can expect as the investigation winds toward a conclusion. Order David Priess's book How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with David at www.lawfareblog.com/contributors/dpriess or on twitter at @DavidPriess.  Today's episode was sponsored by The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 26, 2018
Best-selling crime novelist Michael Connelly talks about his literary hero Raymond Chandler, how he followed in the footsteps of the king of detective noir when he first came to Los Angeles, and how Chandler’s novels influenced his own writing.  He reveals why he spent over two decades working as a crime reporter before diving into fiction, how he went about cultivating relationships with LAPD’s top homicide detectives, and how those sources still inform his work today.  He talks about creating his most famous character Harry Bosch, how he came to name him after the 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, and how Michael's role as a writer and executive producer of the BOSCH television series has influenced his novels including his latest book DARK SACRED NIGHT.  Plus Michael Connelly shares why he gravitates to characters who are loners, some of the craziest things that his friends at LAPD have ever seen, and why he’s jumping into the world of true crime podcasts for his next project. Order Michael Connelly's book DARK SACRED NIGHT on Amazon, watch BOSCH available on Amazon Prime Video, and subscribe to his upcoming podcast MURDER BOOK on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like listen. Keep up with Michael at www.michaelconnelly.com or on twitter at @ConnellyBooks.  Today's episode was sponsored by Human Rights Watch and The Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 22, 2018
Legendary newsman Dan Rather talks about his 60 year career and how his travels and conversations have given him a “wide shot” of the American experience and the values that unite us.  He condemns recent attacks on some on those values (including freedom of the press), he shares his own family's experience during the Great Depression as a lesson in empathy, and he recalls how his time spent with men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medger Evers opened his eyes to institutionalized racism in America.  He talks frankly about how his own thinking has evolved on some social issues, and he weighs in on the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the news business.  He discusses a few of the dozen Presidents he’s known in his 60 years as a journalist and reveals the one word that has always carried Dan Rather through good times and bad. Order Dan Rather's book WHAT UNITES US: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIOTISM on Amazon or download the audio version on Audible.  Follow him on twitter at @DanRather or at www.newsandguts.com.  Today’s episode is sponsored by Loop Jewelry.
November 19, 2018
General Stanley McChrystal talks about the myths and reality of leadership.  He shares how he came to reassess the legacy of his military hero General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of Charlottseville, how he personally learned that the man at the top often gets credit he doesn’t deserve, and why leaders aren’t always judged by their results.  He discusses a 15th century Chinese admiral who has become the symbol for that country’s global ambitions, why he didn’t realize that Coco Chanel was a real person, and one leadership flaw that he shares with Walt Disney.  He reveals why he decided to include his former enemy in combat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the book, and what it was like to get into the dark mind of the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader.   Order General McChrystal's book Leaders: Myth and Reality on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.   Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso Monster, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Zeel, Bombas, and Flatiron School. Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 16, 2018
Oscar-nominated actor Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spiderman, The Grand Budapest Hotel) shares how his beginnings in experimental theater inform his acting, what draws him to independent films, and what it’s like to make his 100th movie.  He talks about how his latest film At Eternity's Gate challenges the image of Vincent Van Gogh as a unappreciated mad genius and rethinks the constructs of the traditional biopic.  He reveals what it was like to immerse himself in Van Gogh’s world and find his inspiration in the very same scenery that inspired one of the greatest artists of all time.  He discusses the pressure of having to recreate iconic works art in real time and in front of the camera, and how artist/director Julian Schnabel taught him to "paint the light."  Plus we talk about the time Willem Dafoe tried to summon the ghost of Houdini and the beauty of "embracing the mystery in life." See Willem Dafoe in At Eternity's Gate opening in theaters November 16.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, and Loop Jewelry.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 12, 2018
Greg Miller is one of the reporters for The Washington Post who received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for his groundbreaking stories on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and the resulting investigations of the Trump campaign and administration.  Today he shares how he cornered the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a science conference in Washington and caught General Michael Flynn in a blatant lie about his dealings with Russian officials.  He describes the almost comical level of incompetence surrounding the 2016 DNC hacks, gives an insider's look at the secretive Russian hacking agencies known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, and the troll farm behind Russia’s social media influence campaign.  He defends the Post’s longstanding practice of using anonymous sources and explains how they go about verifying those stories.  Greg reveals efforts by the White House to derail the Washington Post’s reporting on Trump’s Russia connections, and how he learned that President Trump discussed targeting him personally and even putting him in jail for refusing to reveal his sources.  Plus he discusses what happened to the Trump-Mueller meeting that never was and we speculate on just what it is that Vladimir Putin might have on Donald Trump. Order Greg Miller's book The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  You can read Greg’s reporting in The Washington Post and follow him on twitter at @gregpmiller.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Flatiron School, and the StarTalk All-Stars podcast.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 8, 2018
Comedian Chris Gethard illustrates his personal and professional manifesto "lose well" with hilarious and ultimately empowering tales about his own missteps, misadventures, and public failures from the cancellation of his Comedy Central sitcom after ten episodes to rediscovering his comedic voice and life’s purpose on a public access channel.  He recalls how getting miscast in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie changed his life, the time he invited a heckler on stage during his comedy set, and why the host of a rival cable access show tried to sue him for "violating her Constitutional rights.”  He discusses his love for Andy Kaufman, ponders whatever happened to cable access tv, and shares some of the wonderfully weird things he got away with on The Chris Gethard Show.  Plus, Chris reveals how he handles political differences on his show Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People and talks about "the worst scumbag he ever met." Order Chris Gerhard's book Lose Well on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Subscribe to his podcast Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen and follow Chris Gethard on Twitter at @ChrisGethard.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment and Espresso Monster.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 6, 2018
Roger Daltrey, founder/lead singer of The Who, discusses how the hardships experienced by Brits in WWII paved the way for the musical revolution of the 1960s, he recalls what it was like to be the poster-boys for the British “mod” movement (and why he never fully embraced the fad), and he remembers the “utter chaos” of performing at Woodstock. He talks about how he and Peter Townsend pushed each other’s creative boundaries during the making of the first rock opera Tommy, how he managed to resist the drug fueled excess the 60s, and how it led to quite a bit of tension with his bandmates - especially The Who’s famously reckless drummer Keith Moon. Roger also reveals how he processed Moon’s tragic death in 1978, how it led to the band’s breakup in the early 80s, and a how it took a Silicon Valley con man to finally reunite the band. Order Roger Daltrey's new book Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  Follow The Who on twitter at @TheWho.  Today's episode was sponsored by National Security Agency Career Recruitment, Homecoming on Amazon Prime Video, Loop Jewelry, and Flatiron School.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
November 1, 2018
Sir Michael Caine has starred in over 100 movies and won two Academy Awards, and today he shares stories and advice from his remarkable career.  He reveals why he never believed in taking advice from older movie stars, why he never wanted to be James Bond, and how the 1960’s made it cool to be a young cockney in the movies.  He recalls his humble working class beginnings in the projects of London known as the Elephant Castle, shares how he learned his famous discipline while serving in the Korean War, and advises young actors to "make reliability your brand."  He talks about coming out of his self-imposed retirement over 20 years ago and says he’s getting better parts now at age 85 than he did when he was a young leading man.  Plus Michael Caine on why John Wayne never wore suede shoes, John Huston on a director's most important job, having the best time of his life filming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and doing Vegas with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Order Michael Caine's wonderful new book Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @themichaelcaine.  Today's episode was sponsored by Espresso Monster and National Security Agency Career Recruitment.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 29, 2018
Senator Ben Sasse does a deep dive into the societal shifts affecting modern American life and the roots of our political divisiveness.  He talk about the outsized role politics plays in our daily lives, how "polititainment" celebrities like Sean Hannity are fueling dangerous tribalism in America, and how to build a healthier tribe of family and friends instead of political outrage.  He shares recent data that indicates that Americans are feeling increasingly lonely, and explains how the digital economy and smart technology are leading us to pull up our roots and lose our sense of community.  He then reveals how his own family has embraced the idea of a "digital Sabbath" and shares a few of his favorite tips for unplugging and living in the moment.  Plus I ask Senator Ben Sasse if he’s still comfortable with a GOP that seems to be remaking itself in President Trump's image and what would it take for Senator Sasse to challenge Trump for the nomination in 2020. Order Senator Ben Sasse's important new book Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold, and follow him on twitter at @SenSasse.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken and National Security Agency Career Recruitment.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 25, 2018
Anthony Atamanuik, host of Comedy Central's The President Show returns to the podcast to talk about his new book American Tantrum: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives, why the President wants to open his Presidential Library while he's still in office, and what kind of secrets we might find in there.  He shares the reason why he stopped doing field pieces in public as Donald Trump, he delves into the strange psyche of the man, and theorizes that Trump might actually welcome news of his extramarital affairs.  He talks about his new Comedy Central special A President Show Documentary: The Fall Of Donald Trump and gives us a glimpse of what’s to come with the 45th President.  Then I get the "President" himself to weigh in on Justice Kavanaugh’s first few weeks on the Supreme Court, how Melania is handling the Stormy Daniels scandal, and who he thinks wrote that anonymous op-ed in the New York Times. Order his book American Tantrum: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Archives on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  His special A President Show Documentary: The Fall Of Donald Trump is available on Comedy Central On Demand and follow him on twitter at @TonyAtamanuik.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken and National Security Agency Career Recruitment.   Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 22, 2018
Julian Castro graduated high school a year early, won election to city council while he was still in law school, and became San Antonio's youngest mayor at age 27, before eventually serving as President Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and making Hillary Clinton's short-list for VP in 2016.  He talks about his family's American dream including the remarkable story of how his Grandmother fled the violence of the Mexican Civil War for America and the values that his political activist mother instilled in he and his twin brother Joaquin.  He shares how he and Joaquin tied each other in their first election for Stanford University’s student senate and how a young Julian Castro ran for San Antonio city council and WON by winning over elderly voters.  He talks about his initiatives as Mayor to promote citizen engagement and pre-K education, why he first turned down a cabinet appointment in the Obama Administration, and what he calls the “weird experience” of being vetted to be Hillary Clinton’s running-mate in 2016.  Plus he talks seriously about running for the top spot in 2020 and lays out his playbook for beating Donald Trump. Order An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold, and follow Julian Castro on twitter at @Julian Castro.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken, Espresso Monster, and National Security Agency Career Recruitment.   Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 18, 2018
Legendary sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist recalls some of his favorite moments in sports and some of his favorite calls from Jack Nicklaus's final victory at the 1986 Masters and Tonya Harding's attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympics to Christian Laettner's buzzer beater in the NCAA tournament and the Auburn-Alabama shocker of 2013. Verne shares why one radio station owner wanted him to change his name to "Jerry Lund," why he hated his short lived stint as a local news reporter in San Antonio, and how Tex Schram lured him to Dallas to become the voice of the Cowboys.  He recalls how Scott Hamilton gave him a crash course in skating during his first Winter Olympics, why he took it as a demotion when CBS first moved him from covering the NFL to the South Eastern Conference, and he gets a little sentimental when he talks about the huge sendoff that he got during his final season announcing SEC football. Order Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports-From SEC Football to College Basketball, The Masters, and More on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Today's episode was sponsored by Tahereh Mafi's A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Heineken, National Security Agency Recruitment, and BambooHR.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 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 Monster, Heineken, Bombas, and BambooHR.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 11, 2018
As the founder of The Onion, Scott Dikkers practically invented "fake news."  He discusses the origins of the satirical news site as a print newspaper on college campuses, how he drew inspiration from National Lampoon and Spy Magazine, and the article about Bill Clinton and the War in Bosnia that prompted The Onion to finally go online.  He recalls creating cable news parodies with a young Stephen Colbert on the Dana Carvey Show, how the Onion fooled Mahmud Ahmadenijad, and the article that led Donald Trump to threaten to sue.  Then Scott shares why he’s turning his sharp wit on billionaire Elon Musk in his new book Welcome to the Future Which Is Mine. Order Welcome to the Future Which Is Mine on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Read the latest sidesplitting headlines on the Onion at www.theonion.com, and keep up with Scott at www.ScottDikkers.com or on Twitter at @ScottDikkers.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 8, 2018
Mitch Albom is the author the all time best-selling memoir Tuesday's with Morrie and six #1 Bestsellers that have sold over a million copies worldwide.  He talks about his new novel The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, how losing his adopted daughter to cancer inspired his latest book, and what the book has to say about mistakes and forgiveness.  He reveals how difficult it was to get Tuesdays with Morrie published, some of the lessons from Morrie Schwartz that have come to mean more to him 20 years later, and what Morrie who preached “don’t buy into the culture" would think about our social media obsessed society.  Plus Mitch discusses how came to care for an entire orphanage in Haiti, the band he formed with Stephen King and other famous writers, and the five people he would like to meet in heaven. Order The Next Person You Meet in Heaven available 10/9 on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold.  For more on Mitch, visit www.mitchalbom.com and follow him on twitter at @MitchAlbom.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken and BambooHR.  Visit Kickass News at www.kickassnews.com, subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts, and follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod.
October 4, 2018
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 during 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 The 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 individuals changes that can have a big impact. Living in the Future's Past opens in theaters Friday, October 5.  Visit www.livinginthefuturespastfilm.com for information and showtimes.  Be sure to catch his other film Bad Times at the El Royale opening in theaters Friday, October 12.  Keep up with Jeff at www.jeffbridges.com.  Today's 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.
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