Hosted by Hollywood producer and political media strategist Ben Mathis, KickAss News is a twice weekly podcast that features the most interesting personalities and thought leaders in politics, entertainment, tech, business, science, and more. Enjoy the podcast? Then please support the show and help keep us on the air by making a donation to our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/kickassnews. Another way you can support the show is to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review on iTunes to help keep us ranking strong on the top podcasts charts. For more information visit www.kickassnews.com. Thanks for listening!

LATEST EPISODE

Sir Richard Branson on his Adventures in Business, Space, and Beyond

Sir Richard Branson talks about The Virgin Group philosophy, why he likes to act fast when launching a new business, and how many of his best ideas came from his own desires and frustrations as a consumer.  He gives advice to young entrepreneurs and shares what he's learned from his mistakes.  He reveals his reasons for selling Virgin America to Alaska Air, and he outlines his vision of the future with Virgin Galactic and his latest venture Virgin Hyperloop One.  Plus he talks about his strange lunch with Donald Trump, his most harrowing adventures, and his habit of chopping off people's neckties. Order Sir Richard Branson's new book FINDING MY VIRGINITY on Amazon or download the audio book at Audible.  Keep up with Richard Branson at www.virgin.com or on Twitter at @richardbranson.  Today's episode is sponsored by Heineken and I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics podcast.   
00:36:37 9/19/2018

Past Episodes

Fox News' politics editor Chris Stirewalt discusses the history of American populism, how economic resentment fuels populism even in times of huge prosperity, and why the will of the people doesn't always make for great policy.  He discusses why populist leaders are so prone to hucksterism and easy answers including one politician who literally started out as snake oil salesman, and why it's a good thing that most populist leaders never actually get to govern.  He talks about how the least likely populist President Teddy Roosevelt's progressive Bull Moose Party impacted the GOP for over a century and how George Wallace shifted the focus from economic populism to cultural populism.  He explains why Pat Buchanan is the grandfather of Trumpism and how Ross Perot invented the trope of the businessman who can fix Washington.  Plus we talk about the time America flirted with electing a self-professed socialist and radical, why the election of 1864 still gives Chris hope, and why modern aspiring populists would do well to study Andrew Jackson's appeal to immigrants. Order Chris Stirewalt's book Every Man a King: A Short, Colorful History of American Populist on Amazon, subscribe to his podcast Perino and Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What wherever you like to listen, and follow him on twitter at @Chris Stirewalt.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken, Emma Email Marketing, NFL Podcasts, and Espresso Monster.
00:47:01 9/16/2018
Comedian Sam Morrill talks about getting his start as an intern on the Colbert Report and breaking into the New York comedy scene.  He reveals why dating and standup don't always mix and why his therapist misses him when he's on the road.  He talks about some of the jokes that have gotten him in trouble with social justice warriors on the internet and how he handles the moral outrage machine on social media. Plus borscht belt comedy, the worst gigs ever, #MeToo, and more.  Don't miss Sam's new standup special Sam Morrill: Positive Influence on Friday 9/14 at 11PM ET/PT on Comedy Central. Visit Sam online at www.sammorrill.com and follow him on twitter at @SamMorrill.  Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken and the Move the Sticks Podcast.
00:44:15 9/12/2018
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson returns to discuss the mutually beneficial relationship between war-makers and star-gazers. He says the military often serves as a source of creative inspiration for astrophysicists and shares some of the unexpected breakthroughs that emerged from government funded defense projects. Then Neil weighs in on President Trump's proposed Space Force. He cautions that just because Donald Trump suggested it doesn't necessarily mean it is bad idea, and in fact, he suggested just such an idea during the George W. Bush Administration. He recommends that a Space Force shouldn't just protect America and our Space assets from enemies but from asteroids and space junk as well. Neil describes what a full-blown space war might look like, and it's probably not what you're imagining. Plus we talk about a crazy scheme to weaponize asteroids, the power of the words "I don't know," and Neil suggests that America needs a "Truth Force" in addition to a Space Force. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson's book Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military is available Tuesday (9/11/18) on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. For more fun stuff visit www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson, subscribe to his podcast StarTalk Radio wherever you like to listen, and follow Neil Degrasse Tyson on twitter at @NeilTyson. Today's episode was sponsored by Heineken, Emma Email Marketing, Bombas, and NFL Podcasts.
00:53:51 9/8/2018
Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, follows up his #1 bestseller THIS TOWN with a probing examination of pro-football at a moment of peak success and high anxiety BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES.  This native Bostonian apologizes for those famously annoying Patriots fans, and discusses the Patriots superfan in the White House and Trump's weird obsession with Tom Brady.  He offers an unprecedented glimpse inside the one club that Donald Trump could never join...the exclusive group of 32 billionaire NFL owners known as "The Membership."   He reveals how Patriots owner Robert Kraft whines about not getting credit for the team's success and some comments about Kraft's love of New York that that have riled fans in Beantown.  We talk about the rivalry between Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Mark recalls losing a drinking contest with Jones on the famously raucous Cowboys bus.  He discusses fans hatred of Roger Goodell's astronomical salary and why the "Membership" still protects the much maligned NFL Commissioner.  He reveals just how worried owners were about the national anthem controversy and how it shined a light on the startling racial disparities in pro-football.  Plus we talk about deflategate, Superbowl excess, concussions, and ask "has America has reached peak football?" Order Mark Leibovich's book BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Keep up with Mark at www.markleibovich.com or on twitter at @MarkLeibovich.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Heineken, GooglePlay Audiobooks, The Dave Dameshek Football Program, and Espresso Monster.
00:49:00 9/5/2018
Ambassador Wendy Sherman was the lead negotiator on the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and she writes about it in her new book titled Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence.  Today she recalls working with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions in the 90's, and how they came close to an agreement only to see their efforts derailed by the chaos of the 2000 election.  She explains why negotiating with North Korea is always "one part diplomacy and one part absurdity," she recalls her personal interactions with Kim Jung Il, and weighs in on how his successor Kim Jung Un measures up.  Ambassador Sherman talks about the many months of diplomacy (both covert and overt) that went into the nuclear agreement with Iran, how much was lost when President Trump decertified the deal, and what her colleagues from across the negotiating table are saying about it.  She explains why the negotiation was a lot like solving a Rubik's Cube, just how heated things got in the behind closed doors, and why sometimes tactics are no substitute for pure raw human emotion. Order Ambassador Wendy Sherman's book Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence is available on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Follow Ambassador Sherman on Twitter at @WendyRSherman.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Heineken, NFL Podcasts, and ZipRecruiter.
00:48:41 9/2/2018
Republican strategist Rick Wilson was one of the very first conservatives to oppose Donald Trump and a co-founder of the Never Trump movement.  Today he enumerate the many reasons why Trump is so abhorrent to him, how his opposition to Trump has caused him to feel like a pariah in his own party, and how he gets far more death threats from crazed Trump-supporters than he ever got from Democrats.  He calls out the "vichy Republicans" in Washington who sold out out to Trump, and singles out former GOP Chairman Reince Priebus for special condemnation as the one person who could have stopped Trump from running away with his party's nomination.  He talks about the island of misfit toys that make up the President's inner circle, how any person with experience and integrity the inevitably leaves the Trump White House with his reputation in tatters, and we try to make sense of what has happened to Rick's former boss Rudy Giuliani.  Rick picks apart what he calls the "But Gorsuch" argument, looks at the potential field of Republican challengers in 2020, and he speaks frankly about inevitable fallout of the Trump Presidency and the long road ahead as the GOP struggles to rebuild its brand. Order Rick Wilson's book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever on Amazon or Audible.  Follow Rick on Twitter at @TheRickWilson.  Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay Audiobooks, Emma Email Marketing, and RelentlessMV.
00:54:17 8/30/2018
As the president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks has long worked to foster more civilized and productive discourse, and now he is exploring the art of disagreement on his new podcast The Arthur Brooks Show.  Arthur says the answer is not to stop talking with people on the opposite side of the political spectrum but to talk to each other better.  Arthur describes how social media lowers our inhibitions and makes us meaner, he discusses America's addiction to moral outrage as a form of virtue signaling, and says contemptuous political debates can actually impact our health or even lower our immune system.  He talks about the science of persuasion and how we change our minds, why people take politics so personally, and recommends that everyone take a 2 week vacation from politics every now and then.  Subscribe to The Arthur Brooks Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you like to listen.  Visit the American Enterprise Institute at www.aei.org and follow Arthur on twitter at @ArthurBrooks.  Today's podcast is sponsored by and Ladder Life Insurance.
00:46:22 8/26/2018
Rob Riggle (The Hangover, Step Brothers) shares how a running joke spawned his latest project and what it's like to play a "heightened version of himself" in Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy.  Rob recalls his 23 years in the Marines, what it was like handling public affairs in a country where people wanted to chop your head off, how he managed to juggle his military service with his comedy career, and his fateful decision to pass up pilot school to try his hand at standup.  He talks about studying improv at the New York's Upright Citizens Brigade, his strange interview with Lorne Michaels when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and why he thought he blew it during his big auditioned for The Daily Show.   Watch Rob Riggle's Ski Master Academy for free on Sony Crackle beginning August 23.  Follow Rob Riggle on twitter at @Rob Riggle, and subscribe to his podcast Riggle's Picks on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Emma Email Marketing, RelentlessMV, and Ladder Life Insurance.
00:49:28 8/22/2018
National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner has studied the the world's "blue zones" the 5 areas where people live the longest, and today he shares their secrets. He shares how calorie restriction can lengthen your life, what kind of exercises are best for longevity and mobility, and why loners rarely live to be 100.  He talks about an island in Italy where the men outlive the women, why people with daughters live longer than those with sons, and how modern conveniences are driving the world's blue zones to extinction.  Then he discusses the science of happiness including why people actually get happier with age, how money really can buy happiness (but only to a point), and why genetics play a bigger role than you might think.  Plus he reveals the one factor that matters most to your happiness and longevity even more than exercise and healthy eating. Order Dan Buettner's books The Blue Zones, The Blue Zones Solution, Thrive, and The Blue Zones of Happiness on Amazon or Audible.  Visit Dan's website at www.bluezones.com and follow Dan on Twitter at @BlueZones.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Hidden Truth Podcast and Ladder Life Insurance.
00:56:51 8/19/2018
National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner has studied the the world's "blue zones" the 5 areas where people live the longest, and today he shares their secrets. He shares how calorie restriction can lengthen your life, what kind of exercises are best for longevity and mobility, and why loners rarely live to be 100.  He talks about an island in Italy where the men outlive the women, why people with daughters live longer than those with sons, and how modern conveniences are driving the world's blue zones to extinction.  Then he discusses the science of happiness including why people actually get happier with age, how money really can buy happiness (but only to a point), and why genetics play a bigger role than you might think.  Plus he reveals the one factor that matters most to your happiness and longevity even more than exercise and healthy eating. Order Dan Buettner's books The Blue Zones, The Blue Zones Solution, Thrive, and The Blue Zones of Happiness on Amazon or Audible.  Visit Dan's website at www.bluezones.com and follow Dan on Twitter at @BlueZones.  Today's podcast is sponsored by Hidden Truth Podcast and Ladder Life Insurance.
00:56:14 8/19/2018

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