Independent Americans with Paul Rieckhoff

Righteous Media

Independent Americans is a weekly news show hosted by Paul Rieckhoff. He’s a fighter, a patriot, and an independent political and media force to be reckoned with. After serving as a soldier in Iraq in 2004, Rieckhoff emerged as one of the most dynamic political and social leaders in America. In every episode, he breaks down the most important issues facing our country. And he interviews the most influential and compelling people. He’s taking on Republicans, Democrats—and everyone in between. If you’re in the angry middle, Independent Americans reminds you that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together. Join the Independent Americans movement and subscribe now. Produced by Righteous Media.

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Introducing Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff
Mar 27 2019
Introducing Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff
Independent Americans is your trusted, independent source for news, politics, culture and inspiration. It’s a smart, fresh and candid perspective you won’t find anywhere else on the media landscape, hosted by renowned activist, author, social entrepreneur and veteran, Paul Rieckhoff. He breaks down the most important issues facing our country–always with a special focus on national security, foreign affairs and community action. And he interviews the most influential and compelling leaders from all political, media, business and entertainment backgrounds, ranging from Chuck D to Chuck Hagel; Sarah Jessica Parker to Meghan McCain; Stephen Colbert to Mayor Pete Buttigieg. America is more divided than ever before. But Independent Americans is adding light to contrast all the heat. Every episode brings the Righteous Media 5 I’s: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact–and explores the most pressing issues of the day with leaders who are shaping what America will be in the future. If you’re among the 40% of Americans who are independent, this is your show. If you’re a Republican or Democratic Party, but you’re not a die-hard partisan, this is your show. If you’re a concerned American who cares about the future of your country, this is your show. All are welcome. We invite you to join us and be a part of the solution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
182. Matt Zeller. Inside The Inspiring PACT Act Victory. Rolling With Jon Stewart. Veterans Protest On The Capitol Steps. The Opposite of Jan 6th. Afghanistan Withdrawal: 1 Year Later. Al-Zawahiri Is Dead. Why Independents Don’t Want Yang’s New Party.
6d ago
182. Matt Zeller. Inside The Inspiring PACT Act Victory. Rolling With Jon Stewart. Veterans Protest On The Capitol Steps. The Opposite of Jan 6th. Afghanistan Withdrawal: 1 Year Later. Al-Zawahiri Is Dead. Why Independents Don’t Want Yang’s New Party.
Sometimes, the good guys and gals win. Sometimes, the bad guys lose. This is one of those times. The historic SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act for veterans passed the Senate by a vote of 86-11.  But it was wild, it was emotional, it was dramatic, it was infuriating, and it was inspiring. It showed what is still possible in America if a group of concerned citizens are united, focused and motivated. And in this episode, we’ll take you inside one of the most dramatic and important political dramas in years.  Our guest in this episode was a key leader in making that victory happen. When, Senator Pat Toomey and the other Republican Senators that stood in the way of the PACT Act, he united the troops, stood alongside Jon Stewart, helped to rally an unstoppable force of veterans, and ultimately emerged triumphant. He’s a true leader and one we’re proud to call a friend of the show. He’s a humanitarian, an activist, and a badass superhero: Matt Zeller (@MattCZeller). Matt is one of the leading advocates for veterans, for Afghan allies, and for America. He’s a combat veteran and Army Major that made it out of Afghanistan alive only because of the courage of his Afghan interpreter. And he’s been paying it forward ever since. Matt is the courageous Co-Founder of No One Left Behind, aTruman National Security Fellow, the author of Watches Without Time: An American Soldier in Afghanistan, and the newest member of the powerhouse team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). Matt joined us on this show for Episode 138 and Episode 127 to sound the alarm about the imminent collapse of Afghanistan and the chaos that would follow. And now he’s back to break down the fight for the PACT Act–and update us all on the terrible state of Afghanistan one year after the disasterous American withdrawl. Matt was part of the veterans “Fire Watch”, a group of advocates camped out on the Senate steps pressuring the hold-out senators to pass the PACT Act. They served as America’s conscience–and inspired people worldwide. Matt has been on countless TV and radio shows, inside the chamber for the pivotal vote, and he’s somehow, still standing. Still fighting. And he’s back to break it all down for us in compelling detail. This is a pod that will leave you inspired–and hopeful.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff @PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America. And grab a vacation when you can. -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Watch video of Paul Rieckhoff and Matt Zeller’s conversation here. -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Represent for the show with some very cool Independent Americans merchandise.  -See the full roll call with the names of the 11 Senators that shamefull voted NO on the PACT act for vets with toxin exposures. -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Wanna advertise on the pod? Hit us up.  -Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
181. Senator Jon Tester. The Montana Maverick. PACT Act Fuckery. Roe’s Impact on Veterans. Will the VA Ever Change Its Sexist Motto? Dr. Ronny Jackson Then and Now. Farmers, Basketball, Yellowstone, French Toast and Choco Tacos.
Jul 28 2022
181. Senator Jon Tester. The Montana Maverick. PACT Act Fuckery. Roe’s Impact on Veterans. Will the VA Ever Change Its Sexist Motto? Dr. Ronny Jackson Then and Now. Farmers, Basketball, Yellowstone, French Toast and Choco Tacos.
Summer is supposed to be a time to chill, relax and enjoy life. And we’re all trying to do that. But the threats and challenges and wars and insurrectionists and viruses don't take summers off. As our host, Paul Rieckhoff @PaulRieckhoff) just found out the hard way. After two years of dodging it like Neo from The Matrix, COVID finally got him.  He shares what that’s been like, flies through the political landscape, explains the controversial demise of Choco Tacos, and lands on a breakdown and update on the most important piece of veterans legislation in decades: The PACT Act. It’s a bill that’s showing all of America all that’s right about Washington–and even more so–all that’s wrong. And we’ve got a powerful guest to dig into it, explain the stakes, and share the likely path forward. We’ll also dig into Roe’s growing impact on veterans, whether it’s better in Montana to be a Democrat or an independent, if the VA will ever change its sexist motto, and of course, waffles vs pancakes.  He started out as a farmer. He’s been an elementary school music teacher. He’s a grandfather. A moderate, and a maverick, now, he’s the senior Senator from the Great State of Montana: Democratic Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester). The Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is an influential voice on many issues. He’s also a lot of fun. He likes to crack jokes, doesn’t take himself seriously, and legitimately cares about people. They say America usually elects the candidate for President that they’d most like to have a beer with. There’s no politician in America we’d rather have a beer with than Jon Tester. And after this conversation, you’ll understand why.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America. And grab a vacation when you can. -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Watch video of Paul and Senator Tester’s conversation here. -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Here’s the full roll call with the names of the 41 cowards and hacks that voted NO on the PACT act for vets with toxin exposures. -Hear the new song “In The Clouds” by our friends from O.A.R.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Wanna advertise on the pod? Hit us up.  -Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
180. Bradley Whitford. Milo Ventimiglia. Arian Moayed. The Stars Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘, ‘Succession’ and ‘This Is Us’ Up Close and Personal. Special Summer Bonus Content Episode.
Jul 21 2022
180. Bradley Whitford. Milo Ventimiglia. Arian Moayed. The Stars Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘, ‘Succession’ and ‘This Is Us’ Up Close and Personal. Special Summer Bonus Content Episode.
This is a time for stars to shine. And the biggest stars of all, are also the helpers.  The helpers continue to emerge. After Uvalde. After Highland Park. After every Jan 6 hearing. The helpers are out there. And we’ve had some big stars of our own on this show. Sarah Jessica Parker. Steven Colbert. John Bernthal.  And three in particular that are at the top of their game on three of the biggest shows in America.  Last week we heard from some of the country’s leading voices on what it means to be an independent in America. This week we’re going to bring you a peek under the hood and a little deeper insight into some of the biggest names we’ve heard from on the show. From Bradley Whitford to Milo Venitmiglia to Arian Moayed they’ve all stood on the biggest stages imaginable and when their moment’s came, their star’s shined bright. They forged their own paths and preserved in one of the most brutal arenas that exists. Hollywood. And so in this episode we’ll hear from these iconic actors as they share a few of the things that make them tick in these behind the scenes bonus clips. If you’re a Patreon supporter you might have heard these (definitely worth listening to again!). If you’re not, you should be. Either way, they’re a great listen and a perfect quick hit preview of our Patreon bonus content. Get the full versions of the following episodes wherever you get your podcasts or at the links below: Episode 134: Bradley Whitford Episode 135: Milo Ventimiglia Episode 137: Arian Moayed -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America. And grab a vacation when you can. -Check out Rieckhoff’s America! Playlist mentioned on the show.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
179. Defining Independents. Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Tavis Smiley. Michael Smerconish. Evan McMullin. John Opdycke. Lindsay Church. The Search for a New Direction for America.
Jul 14 2022
179. Defining Independents. Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Tavis Smiley. Michael Smerconish. Evan McMullin. John Opdycke. Lindsay Church. The Search for a New Direction for America.
Over the years we’ve brought you some of the best voices on the biggest subjects. From Stephen Colbert to Pete Buttigieg to Rachel Maddow the guests have been important voices to hear from at critical times for our country. And this year we’ve taken some time away from the usual dumpster fire of partisan news to focus on the issue that is nearest and dearest to our hearts. The stick that stirs our drink. Independents. And specifically why we think independents are not only an important constituency but the key to solving our country's political stagnation and gridlock.  So as you listen to the rhetoric and divisive partisan media as the fall midterms approach, consider this a primer. Independents 101. It will make you a smarter voter. And it will make you a smarter citizen. Hear from the political mavericks that are challenging the status quo and seeking to redefine what it means to be political. Redefining what it means to be patriotic. Redefining the future. Get the full versions of the following episodes wherever you get your podcasts or at the links below: Episode 144 - Tavis Smiley Episode 149 - Congressman Adam Kinzinger Episode 151 - Michael Smerconish Episode 168 - Evan McMullin Episode 171 - John Opdycke Episode 177 - Lindsay Church Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America. And grab a vacation when you can. -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Check out Rieckhoff’s America! Playlist mentioned on the show.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
178. Amy McGrath. Former Marine Corps Fighter Pilot and Senate Candidate on Top Gun: Maverick vs The Original, Gun Violence, Roe’s Impact on Troops & Vets, Operation Liberty, Ukraine’s Air War, Rand Paul and Kentucky Politics, Rex Chapman for Senate?
Jul 7 2022
178. Amy McGrath. Former Marine Corps Fighter Pilot and Senate Candidate on Top Gun: Maverick vs The Original, Gun Violence, Roe’s Impact on Troops & Vets, Operation Liberty, Ukraine’s Air War, Rand Paul and Kentucky Politics, Rex Chapman for Senate?
As the summer heats up and we all plummet headlong into the danger zone, we’ve got the real Top Gun. The real Maverick (actually, call sign Krusty). The fighter pilot that went head-to-head with al Qaeda and the Taliban, and then came home to go head-to-head with Mitch McConnell. Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) flew 89 combat missions. And ran one of the most-watched 2020 Senate races in America. She is a trailblazing combat veteran, a former Naval Academy professor and a mother of three. And now she is leading the fight to protect women’s reproductive health and rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision. She’s a fighter, and after joining us way back in Episode 17 in 2019, Amy is back to join our Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) for an important conversation and, more importantly, a plan. A plan to help stem the tide. A plan to fight. A plan for change. In advance of Independence Day, Amy stood with fellow veteran Allison Jaslow and Paul Rieckhoff to launch Operation Liberty: a plan to protect American troops, veterans, and our national security after Roe. Amy outlines the new effort and explains the devastating impacts the Roe decision will have on women and nonbinary service members and veterans. She also responds to the latest mass shooting on July 4, breaks down the status of the air war over Ukraine, and explains the political landscape in her home state of Kentucky–to include the potential of a run by UK basketball legend and past pod guest, Rex Chapman. She also shares if she likes the new Top Gun movie more or less than the original. And why.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Watch video of Paul and Amy’s conversation here. -Check out Rieckhoff’s America! Playlist mentioned on the show.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
177. Lindsay Church. Roe’s Impact on the Military & Veterans. Independents/Independence Day. Pride 2022: LGBTQ Americans Under Attack. Jan 6 Hearings Get Crazy. The Supreme Court Gets One Right for Vets. Sean Penn, NATO & Rage Against The Machine.
Jun 30 2022
177. Lindsay Church. Roe’s Impact on the Military & Veterans. Independents/Independence Day. Pride 2022: LGBTQ Americans Under Attack. Jan 6 Hearings Get Crazy. The Supreme Court Gets One Right for Vets. Sean Penn, NATO & Rage Against The Machine.
On this Independence Day 2022, everything is different now. It’s a very dark moment in American history. And Friday, June 24, 2022 was a very dark day. So this July 4th, after the overturning of Roe vs Wade, hundreds of millions of Americans aren’t feeling like they have much independence right now.  In this episode, we’re gonna talk about Roe from an angle you won’t get anywhere else. How will the Roe decision impact the military and veterans? How will it impact our national security, military recruiting, and the lives of troops stationed in all 50 states and around the world? This Independence Day, everything is different now. And we’ll dig into Roe, the blockbuster latest January 6th hearings, John Wood launching an independent Senate bid in Missouri, a big decision from the Supreme Court you probably didn’t hear about, how Sean Penn is fighting for fighter jets for Ukraine, and why this might be the most dangerous Pride month ever.  This Independence Day, everything is different now. But leaders continue to rise to the moment. Leaders like our inspiring guest, Lindsay Church. Lindsay is an American badass. A fighter. An organizer. A patriot. Soon to be a parent. And an expert on the impact of Roe on the military, veterans, LGBTQ people and more.  Lindsay Church (they/them) is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Minority Veterans of America, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an equitable and just world for the minority veteran community – veterans of color, women, LGBTQ, and (non)religious minorities. Lindsay has nearly a decade of experience rooted in veteran’s advocacy and grassroots organizing. They have facilitated agency-wide cultural competency trainings, provided Congressional testimonies, and speaks on myriad issues related to the equity and inclusion for minority and underrepresented communities. They’ll break down the unique threats facing women, LGBTQ people and their families. And why some queer familes like Lindsay’s are rushing to get a lawyer and updated their passports. Lindsay is a leader for the people. ALL people. Their people. Your people. Our people. ALL PEOPLE. We’ve come far in the last decade, but have so much further to go. But brave LGBTQ military and veteran leaders have been on the front lines, made unimaginable sacrifices, paved the way, and made our country stronger. And Lindsay is one of those leaders. They represent the best of what our country is—and what it can be. This Pride month, we at Righteous Media and Independent Americans again celebrate these leaders. But we’ll also honor them by continuing the fight. Which is more urgent now than ever. And we’ll dig deep into all of it in an urgent, timely and extremely informative new pod.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Watch video of Paul and Lindsay’s conversation here. -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
176. Joe Walsh. GOP Tea Party Congressman Turned Anti-Trump Independent. The Republican Base is Radicalized. Beating Trumpism. Why Democrats Suck. Who is the Independent Trump, Obama or Zelensky? Populism: Good or Bad? The Gun Bill and The Midterms.
Jun 23 2022
176. Joe Walsh. GOP Tea Party Congressman Turned Anti-Trump Independent. The Republican Base is Radicalized. Beating Trumpism. Why Democrats Suck. Who is the Independent Trump, Obama or Zelensky? Populism: Good or Bad? The Gun Bill and The Midterms.
This is a fiery episode. Veterans lungs are on fire. America’s forests are on fire. Our conversations are on fire. Children and black people and LGBTQ people are UNDER FIRE. The United States is on fire. Our country is burning… in ways big and small. And the country is dying, literally, for leaders who can run into the fires, put them out with solutions, and help us find a path through the damage and through the smoke to better days.  That’s what the Ukrainian people have now in Zelensky. And that’s what America is thirsting for this summer. As radicals and weaklings hijack and dominate our politics, America is looking for leaders with common sense that can break through. Leaders who can speak the truth, understand the moment, and channel the emotion. And especially, the anger and disappointment of this moment.  But will a populist leader emerge to fight all our fires? How did the fire of Trumpism start in the first place? Where is it burning hottest now? Will the new Congressional gun bill fuel it? Who can throw water on it? Can it be put out? Who’s gonna be America’s fire brigade? Who’s gonna be our hero? Are independents the answer?  We’re gonna dig into all of it with a man who is now a political firefighter of sorts. But was once a political arsonist. A self-proclaimed reformed political gang-banger. And the perfect person to talk to about all this–and much more. Former GOP Tea Party Congressman from Illinois Turned Anti-Trumper Independent, Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom).  Walsh was once a star in the GOP. A Tea Party darling. A bomb-throwing, punch-thrower who started out as a social worker outside Chicago, who took a shot at acting, and went on to become a key figure in the social movement that became a wave of Tea Party Congressional victories in 2010. He said crazy shit, insulted many, and ran nasty races. And then he lost in 2012 to Iraq war veteran and Democrat Tammy Duckworth. And after that, he launched into a media career, hosted a talk radio show, stirred up controversy, stood for positions he believed in, and stayed in the arena. And in 2018, he turned against Donald Trump, calling him "a danger to this country." And in 2019, Joe Walsh decided to run against Trump in the GOP primary. It didn’t last long. In February, 2020, Walsh ended his presidential campaign after getting only 1% of the vote in Iowa. But he didn’t stop battling Trump—or his former party. He’s still throwing punches. He’s still stirring shit up. He’s still fighting for what he believes in. And he’s still very much against Donald Trump and his former party that he now calls a cult. A cult he was once a member of. And we get into all of it in this pod.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. And delivers a healing dose of the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Watch video of Joe and Paul’s conversation here. -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
175. Summer Situation Report Special. The January 6 Hearings. Ukraine Plays Mother-May-I. Democrats Popularity Tanks as Inflation Soars. 23 Senators Vote No on Veterans. More Closed Primaries. Squid Game America, March For Our Lives and John Cena.
Jun 16 2022
175. Summer Situation Report Special. The January 6 Hearings. Ukraine Plays Mother-May-I. Democrats Popularity Tanks as Inflation Soars. 23 Senators Vote No on Veterans. More Closed Primaries. Squid Game America, March For Our Lives and John Cena.
The battle on January 6th, 2021 was one that the good guys and gals won. Thankfully. Heroes like Officer Caroline Edwards sacrificed their bodies, their futures, and their lives, to win that battle. They successfully defended The US Capitol that day. They defended our country. And after the first few hearings held by the bi-partisan January 6th Committee, we can all see the truth now. It was a brutal, extended, coordinated, unprecedented battle. And it was a battle that the good guys and gals won. Maybe barely. That battle is over. But in this black summer of 2022, a year and a half later, the war goes on.  And this episode, we’re switching it up a bit. No guest this time. It’s just Paul Rieckhoff and you.  And a quick update with what you most need to know about the last week or so in America.  Soon, we’ll have more important, inspiring and iconic guests that are shaping what America was, what America is, and what America will be. Some VERY good guests. Guests who are making and breaking news. And culture.  But sometimes this summer, we’re just gonna fire off a quick situation report, or SitRep, of things you should know, might have missed, or need to see from a new viewpoint. An independent viewpoint. This is one of those times.  The January 6th Committee hearings (and video), Ukraine losing traction, progress on gun reform, veterans finally getting their due, a new round of primaries closed to independent Americans, Netflix making Squid Game a reality and much more. This is a fierce one.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. And delivers a healing dose of the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another insightful pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
174. Admiral James Stavridis. Gun Violence As a National Security Issue. How Long Will Ukraine’s War Last? Our Enemies Celebrate The Jan 6 Hearings. McConaughey’s Bullseye. Is America’s Next War In The Arctic? Are Vets the Future of Independent Politics?
Jun 9 2022
174. Admiral James Stavridis. Gun Violence As a National Security Issue. How Long Will Ukraine’s War Last? Our Enemies Celebrate The Jan 6 Hearings. McConaughey’s Bullseye. Is America’s Next War In The Arctic? Are Vets the Future of Independent Politics?
“There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility. Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.” That’s from legendary actor Matthew McConaughey. Born in Uvalde, Texas. Speaking for America. And finally, a powerful, reasonable, likable voice for responsible gun owners. This time is different. And he is different.  Independent Americans host Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) has often said Matthew McConaughey could win if he ran for Governor of Texas. Especially if he ran as an independent. Lots of folks didn’t take him seriously as a politician. Maybe that changed this week. He’s not going away. And this issue isn’t going away. Not in America. And not on this show.  Because gun violence is not just a public safety issue. It’s not just a public health issue. It’s a national security issue. And every time Americans kill other Americans, our enemies are celebrating.  And this is another hot summer in America. Another summer of fire. A summer fire that could clear the brush, or burn us down. And the violence is not going away. The heat is not going away. The fire is not going away. And stakes have never been higher.  This episode, we’re bringing back one of the best leaders and strategic thinkers in America, and in the world, to help break it down and guide us through the fire. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral Jim Stavridis (@stavridisj). Author of the new book, To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision, Admiral Stavridis spent more than thirty years in the US Navy, rising to the rank of four-star admiral. He commanded at NATO and previously commanded US Southern Command, overseeing military operations through Latin America. At sea, he commanded a Navy destroyer, a destroyer squadron, and an aircraft carrier battle group in combat.. He has published eleven books, including 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, with Elliot Ackerman, and is chief international analyst for NBC News and a contributing editor for Time. He is vice chair, global affairs, and managing director of the Carlyle Group and the chair of the board of the Rockefeller Foundation. He’s a leader, a teacher and a voice of reason. His vision for the future is as clear as his knowledge of history. And he goes deep on gun violence in America as a national security threat, what the likeliest scenarios for Ukraine are, and then a look at where the next wars might unfold. The answer might surprise you. Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. And delivers a healing dose of the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -WATCH the full video of this conversation with Paul and Admiral Stavridis here. And share it with your friends and family.  -Get a copy of To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision. Or listen to the audiobook for free now by joining Audible Plus. -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Righteous is an independent, American, Veteran-owned and led content company.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
173. Fred Guttenberg. Losing a Child in a School Shooting. Is Uvalde Different? “Good Guy with a Gun” Myth Implodes. Should We See Photos of The Dead? Raising Gun Buying Age. What Biden Can Do. The Pain of The Survivors. Will Fred Run For Office?
Jun 2 2022
173. Fred Guttenberg. Losing a Child in a School Shooting. Is Uvalde Different? “Good Guy with a Gun” Myth Implodes. Should We See Photos of The Dead? Raising Gun Buying Age. What Biden Can Do. The Pain of The Survivors. Will Fred Run For Office?
After the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas, and seeing Fred Guttenberg share his heartbreak and outrage on TV over and over again, our host Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) asked an important question: “How many more times are we going to do this to Fred?” And sure enough, it happened again. And again. And again–with multiple shootings occurring the same day as this recording–including one at a healthcare facility in Tulsa with multiple fatalities. This is America’s new forever war. This is our tragic and horrible new normal.  A normal where schools are war zones — and people in actual war zones are sending condolences to us. A new normal where an overwhelming 88% of people favor some sort of action on gun violence but are held hostage by 12% that don’t. None of it makes any sense, and as Americans continue to kill Americans daily, our enemies are celebrating. They’re celebrating the division sown by politicians that care more about their grasp on power than your child’s safety. And that division is deeper than ever. And the anger is boiling over and turning increasingly violent. From our kids' schools or to our local grocery stores, violence is everywhere. It’s our #1 national security threat. We’ve got to face it. And we’ve got to look for the helpers to help us find the way forward. Fred Gutenberg (@fred_guttenberg) is a helper. And a hero who is pushing for solutions. He suffered an unimaginable loss, when his 14-year-old daughter Jamie was murdered at Parkland, Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School. Despite his pain, he emerged the very next day to speak at a vigil addressing his community. It was carried nationally and the entire country was riveted by what he said. America has been riveted by Fred ever since. And he has not stopped ever since.  Fred testified before Congress, started a non-profit, is constantly meeting with leaders in Washington, and wrote a book called Find The Helpers. Fred joined us back in Episode 99 and also in Episode 74 and he’s here again. It’s an urgent and timely conversation you need to hear.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is pulled from the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. And delivers a healing dose of the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another insightful pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend exclusive events, get merch discounts and support this critical show that speaks truth to power by joining our IA community on Patreon.  -WATCH the full video of this conversation with Paul and Fred here. And share it with your friends and family.  -Support Fred Guttenberg, get his book, learn more about this charity and encourage him to run for office! -Get your own awesome “Born in a Riot of Love” PRIDE t-shirt from Minority Veterans of America (MVA) here.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Also check out other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
172. Bonnie Carroll. How Do We Make Sense Of All This? 19 Kids Massacred In Texas. Our Nightmare Normal. Ukrainian Children And Families Of The Fallen. Finding Hope In Tragedy. Memorial Day 2022 In A Broken America.
May 26 2022
172. Bonnie Carroll. How Do We Make Sense Of All This? 19 Kids Massacred In Texas. Our Nightmare Normal. Ukrainian Children And Families Of The Fallen. Finding Hope In Tragedy. Memorial Day 2022 In A Broken America.
"They f***ing failed our kids again."  How many more times? How many more times? That’s our friend and a conscience for America, Fred Guttenberg.  His 14-year-old daughter Jaime was murdered in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018.  Fred is again a conscience for America, a hero, a helper. But he shouldn’t have to keep doing this. It’s just not fair. To our children, to our fellow citizens, to him. He joined us back in Ep99 for one of our most powerful pods ever.  Fred is angry. And we should all be angry.  Because if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.  But being angry isn’t enough. Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. We have to be like Fred, and turn that righteous anger into positive impact.  This week, in an address to the nation, President Biden was focused, measured, empathetic, righteous and strong. After all the tragedy he’s experienced himself, this week is a moment Biden is built for. We need him to be at his best now more than any other time in his Presidency. Because mass shootings are–and continue to be–our greatest national security threat. This IS a national security issue. And it’s time to start treating it like one.  Ukraine is sending America condolences. That’s how bad it is. For the last couple of years this show has highlighted the ways that our political system is broken. We’ve explored how partisan primaries push us further apart, how elections are designed to make independents fail, to convince people that the choices we face are binary. Us or them. Red blue. Good bad. And most importantly, we’ve explored how the system is designed to divide. And during those years, our political system has continued to devolve. Failure after failure. By both parties. On almost every single issue. In poll after poll, the truth is obvious. The politicians aren’t representing the will of the people on either side of the aisle. From gun control to women’s reproductive rights to our schools, nothing that our broken binary system touches survives. Now more than ever, this is a time for change. Now more than ever, this is a time for Independent Americans.   And as America mourns the latest horrible tragedy, we’ve got a perfect voice to help us all navigate the pain. Bonnie Carroll (@Bonnie_at_TAPS) is a true helper and she has helped to guide so many people through similar awful journeys. Grief is an unbearable burden and Bonnie and the amazing volunteers that she works with at TAPS help the survivors to learn how to carry that weight. They’re helpers. And as we head into another Memorial Day weekend with heavy hearts, we all could use some help. As the war in Ukraine rages on, TAPS is there, helping them deal with the grief. Helping them navigate their pain. And she takes time out to join us for a very special episode, to help us all as we struggle to process the seemingly endless cycle of senseless violence that has occurred over the past few weeks. Every episode of Independent Americans is independent light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that call themselves independent. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and vets issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, events, merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul and Bonnie’s conversation. -Check #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous pods like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
171. John Opdycke. Opening Primaries For Independents. Who Are Independents? Millions Blocked From Voting. Taxpayers Are Funding Closed Primaries. New Maine Law Opens Primaries. Is Nebraska The Future? Massacre in Buffalo. Ukraine Wins Eurovision.
May 19 2022
171. John Opdycke. Opening Primaries For Independents. Who Are Independents? Millions Blocked From Voting. Taxpayers Are Funding Closed Primaries. New Maine Law Opens Primaries. Is Nebraska The Future? Massacre in Buffalo. Ukraine Wins Eurovision.
Huge primaries happened this week in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon and Kentucky. And millions of independent voters (the fastest growing segment of the electorate) were shut out completely. Just like they’re shut out of primaries in dozens of states across America. And will be shut out of the Presidential primaries in 2024. Democrats and Republicans are squabbling and battling and our children and neighbors continue to be slaughtered in mass shootings. This is America in 2022.  Putin is losing in Ukraine. But his agenda is winning in Buffalo. In El Paso. In Charleston. And most of all, in Washington DC. The broken two-party duopoly that George Washington warned us about continues to propel the problem. And ALL of our problems. The parties can’t find a way forward to solutions. On school shootings, on immigration, on the pandemic, on education, on the future. And in America in 2022, as our fellow Americans continue to die daily–in a hospital bed due to COVID, or in a supermarket due to a radical with a rifle–stakes have never been higher. America is broken. Because our politics are broken. But there is a path to fixing it. And this episode, we’re gonna explore it with a leader who’s dedicated his life to it.  John Opdycke (@jbopdycke) is the President of Open Primaries. Open Primaries is a non-profit focused on a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: No American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote. We’re digging into who independent Americans really are. Why millions of independents are blocked from voting In America. Why is the taxpaying public funding non-public primaries? Can Evan McMullin (our recent guest on this show) really win the Senate seat in Utah this fall? Will there be a viable independent alternative to the Democratic and Republican candidates for President in 2024?  This is an episode about solutions. And about how we can all be a part of them.  Every episode of Independent Americans is independent light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and vets issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, events, merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul and John’s conversation. -Check #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous pods like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
170. Nolan Peterson. Former US Special Forces Pilot Turned War Reporter.  Final Stand at Azovstal. Inside the Ukrainian Air War. Are Foreign Fighters Making a Difference? Bono Stands By Ukraine. Remembering Oleksandr Makhov. The American Dream 2.0.
May 12 2022
170. Nolan Peterson. Former US Special Forces Pilot Turned War Reporter. Final Stand at Azovstal. Inside the Ukrainian Air War. Are Foreign Fighters Making a Difference? Bono Stands By Ukraine. Remembering Oleksandr Makhov. The American Dream 2.0.
Witnesses are calling the Avostal plant in Mariupol a living hell. There are reports that the massive complex has been bombarded 34 times in just the past 24 hours. The Russians continue to attempt to storm the plant. But the Ukrainians aren’t backing down. 100 civilians, more than a thousand soldiers, and 500 wounded remain at the Azovstal plant. The city and plant were supposed to fall weeks ago. But like with so many other moments in this war, Ukraine has defied the predictions.  The Azovstal plant in Mariupol has become the latest symbol of Ukrainian strength, defiance and toughness. This is their Alamo. And they will fight to the last man or woman to defend it. Like they will for every other inch of their land. And we dig into the latest.  EASY is over. This is the long haul now.  The artillery and trench battles in the East are grinding into what could devolve into a stalemate that could last months, even years. This is where the war could turn into an even more brutal and horrfying grinder. You will want to turn away. You will feel a need to turn away. Putin WANTS you to turn away.  But you can’t. Ukraine is the fight of our time. A fight for all times. And Memorial Day, summer break in America, Roe vs Wade, The NBA playoffs, the midterm elections—none of that is a good enough excuse to turn away from the fight of our time. The fight for all time. It’s not just the people of Ukraine who must stay focused. It’s not just just our leaders in Congress and our president that must stay focused. Every single independent American who loves freedom must stay focused. This is a time to stay vigilant.  And in this high-impact episode we’ve got a guest who is changing the past, present and future not only of Ukraine, but of America. Another leader who knows both worlds–the US and Ukraine.  He has spent the last 8 years of his life living in Ukraine. And has spent the last 3 months on the front lines of the war helping us all stay connected—and stay vigilant.  He’s an American special forces veteran, a combat journalist, and the husband of a Ukrainian–who is telling the story of this war—-through his life in it: Nolan Peterson (@NolanWPeterson).  A former U.S. Air Force Special Operations pilot and veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nolan Peterson is Senior Editor for Coffee or Die Magazine, an acclaimed war correspondent, and a globetrotting travel writer whose adventures have taken him to all seven continents.  And he breaks down what’s happening now in Ukraine now: in the skies, among families, inside Mariupol, inside the units of foreign fighters–and into the future. He tells us all how to Stand by Ukraine. Check out all his recent articles from the war in Ukraine.  Every episode of Independent Americans is independent light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and vets issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, events, merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul and Nolan’s conversation. -Check #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous pods like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
169. Iryna Solomko-Bonenberger and Adrian Bonenberger. A Ukrainian-American Love Story. Evacuating Your Parents From Ukraine. American Initiative vs American Bureaucracy. The War on Women Rages On. The Roe v Wade Decision Rips Through Mother’s Day.
May 5 2022
169. Iryna Solomko-Bonenberger and Adrian Bonenberger. A Ukrainian-American Love Story. Evacuating Your Parents From Ukraine. American Initiative vs American Bureaucracy. The War on Women Rages On. The Roe v Wade Decision Rips Through Mother’s Day.
Right now in America, there’s a war being fought. A war on women. And right now, we’re losing. And losing sucks. So maybe the Democrats could learn a thing or two from the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians that are fighting — and winning — against overwhelming odds. And maybe we could all learn something from them. Something important. Something we all need to be reminded of. The value of freedom. The value of democracy. And of the horrible price of tyranny when that freedom is taken away. As we pass the grim milestone of one million dead from COVID here at home we mourn. As we lose more of our rights, we mourn. And despite the mourning, we will continue to fight. This is a time for fighters. This is a time for vigilance. And as the first rumors of a Russian troop build up swirled this winter, writer and Army veteran Adrian Bonenberger (@AdrianBonenber1) knew this was also a time for action.  After experiencing the killing of his translator by the Taliban during the fall of Afghanistan, and with his wife and fellow journalist, Iryna Somolko’s (@Iryna_Solomko) family squarely in the crosshairs in Kyiv, he knew that there was no cavalry coming to the rescue. So together with Matt Gallagher (@MattGallagher) and Ben Bush they formed a plan and went in to help evacuate her parents and to train and organize the local civilians so they could protect themselves. They join your host, Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) for a hard look at the realities of war. Some of them are things you want to look away from. But there are also moments of inspiration and beauty and even hope that can spring out of even the worst conflicts.  We heard from Matt Gallagher in Episode 161 back in March as they’d just left Ukraine crossing the border into Poland before returning home. And now, with their parents safe and out of harm's way, they're back home to tell their story and share what it’s really like to be in a war zone in the 21st century. Every episode of Independent Americans is independent light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and vets issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  Support the people of Ukraine and refugees of the conflict: Razom for Ukraine —   Ukrainian Freedom Fund —   IRIS CT (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) —   -Get extra content, connect with guests, events, merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul, Iryna & Adrian’s conversation. -Check #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous pods like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
168. Evan McMullin. Independent Candidate for Senate. The Democrats Just Endorsed Him. Can Utah Save America? Taking on Mike Lee, Trump & Putin. The Intelligence Fight in Ukraine. Gut Check Time for Mitt Romney. Trevor Reed, Mike Zacchea and The General.
Apr 28 2022
168. Evan McMullin. Independent Candidate for Senate. The Democrats Just Endorsed Him. Can Utah Save America? Taking on Mike Lee, Trump & Putin. The Intelligence Fight in Ukraine. Gut Check Time for Mitt Romney. Trevor Reed, Mike Zacchea and The General.
Garry Kasparov said, “easy is over.” And it’s more true by the day. The war in Ukraine is grinding on, inflation is dragging down wallets, Jan 6 revelations continue to pour out, Biden is failing to find traction, and Trump is rising again. Easy IS over. And the fight will be long. The fight in Ukraine–and the fight in the US. The war for the soul of America continues. And in 2022, the most pivotal battle for that soul is also the most important battle for Independent Americans in a generation. And it’s in Utah.  Utah is a tough place for anyone but Republicans. Trump won it in 2020 by 21 points. No Democrat has won statewide since 1996. No Dem has won a Senate seat since 1970. A Dem hasn’t received even a third of the vote in any statewide race in almost two decades. And it’s been four decades since it happened in a Senate race. Democrats can’t win in Utah. But can an independent? This fall, we’ll all find out.  Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) is a patriot. And an independent. He worked in the CIA, in business, and in Republican politics. In 2016, he ran for President as an independent and got over 20% of the vote in his home state. Now, Evan’s running for Senate against Trump-supporting Republican Senator Mike Lee. And it’s gonna be a hell of a fight.  February polls showed Lee at 34%, McMullin at 24% and Dem Kael Weston at 12%. But, now, Weston is out. In an exceptionally rare move last week, the Utah Democratic party endorsed McMullin–rather than their own Dem candidate. McMullin now has a chance to win. This year, he is the face for independents everywhere.  After joining us in Ep 101, he’s back. Now as the independent with the best chance of winning a Senate seat, dealing a blow to Trump, and changing the face of American politics, he’s back to chop it up with our host, Paul Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff). They go deep, breaking down Evan’s strategy to win, Lee’s ties to Putin, and why you should care if you don’t live in Utah. He shares his thoughts on Ukraine as a former CIA intel officer and if he wants Mitt Romney’s endorsement. You can only get this kind of candid conversation here. And speaking of content you’ll only get here, we’ve got a quick round up of national security news that the legacy media won’t touch. Like Marine hero Mike Zacchea losing his fight to cancer, Marine Trevor Reed being freed by the Russians, and Dispatch singer Chad Stokes supporting Ukraine. They’re helpers. And we salute them. Every episode of Independent Americans is independent light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and vets issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, events, merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul & Evan’s conversation. -Get the cool St Javelin t-shirt Paul mentioned (and wore in this pod) and support Ukraine.  -Check #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous pods like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
167. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Steve Schmidt. The Politics of Ukraine. The Political War Behind the War In Ukraine and the War Over Masks. Why Leave the GOP to Become a Democrat? Malcolm Nance Joins the Fight. Celebrating 420.
Apr 21 2022
167. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Steve Schmidt. The Politics of Ukraine. The Political War Behind the War In Ukraine and the War Over Masks. Why Leave the GOP to Become a Democrat? Malcolm Nance Joins the Fight. Celebrating 420.
What’s the political landscape like now? How will Ukraine impact the midterm elections? And the 2024 presidential? Will there be a viable independent candidate to provide an alternative to Biden and Trump? Or to capture enough votes to swing it one way or another?  On this week of 420, the day where the world celebrates cannabis. Joints aren’t the only thing being burned down. Our norms, our unity, elements of our founding values are being torched. In 2020, it’s all on fire.  For two months on this show; we’ve looked at the military and foreign policy developments, strategies and tactics. And we’ve looked at the geopolitics. But what about domestic politics? If the outcome of the war in Ukraine is dependent on American support, nothing could change that support more than the election of Donald Trump. So could it happen? What’s happening now?  In this episode, we focus on the American politics of the war in Ukraine with one of the most well-known political analysts in American politics. And one of the most controversial. He’s a Republican, turned Democrat, turned independent? Honestly, we don’t know what he is. But our Paul Rieckhoff will ask him.  Our guest is Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES). He’s a top strategist who worked on top Republican political campaigns, including President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator John McCain. Schmidt was the campaign strategist and advisor to McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. And pushed McCain to select Sarah Palin Schmidt is also a founder of The Lincoln Project, a controversial group founded to focus against Trump. It raised $90M, became the darling of the left and MSNBC, reportedly got a call from Biden after his victory to thank them for their help, then imploded after reports swarmed of its handling of sexual misconduct allegations against one of its co-founders, John Weaver, and of the management of its finances. From the war in Ukraine, to the American wars over masks, the fighting is non stop, the pace is exhausting, the stakes are high, and the casualties are mounting. It’s all burning down.  And maybe that’s another example of why this is a moment for independent Americans in particular. Maybe we can quell the fires and stop the burning.  We also talk about our friend and frequent guest, Malcolm Nance—who is now putting his own ass on the line to #StandWithUkraine.  Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is the truth beyond the news–and light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that proudly call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend events, get merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul and Steve’s conversation here. -Get the vey cool Saint Javelin t-shirt Paul mentioned (and wore in this episode) and support Ukraine.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous podcasts like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
166. UKRAINE WAR REPORT. Behind the Scenes With Frontline Leaders on Ukraine. Matt Gallagher. Quan Nguyen. Joe Cirincione. Chris Fussell. Seth Harp. Bonus Content.
Apr 14 2022
166. UKRAINE WAR REPORT. Behind the Scenes With Frontline Leaders on Ukraine. Matt Gallagher. Quan Nguyen. Joe Cirincione. Chris Fussell. Seth Harp. Bonus Content.
We’ve been focused on the War in Ukraine since before it started. But you’ve never heard our bonus content, that has until now been Patreon exclusive. It’s a little lighter than our regular stuff—and will help you get an idea of how the people on the front lines and in the center of the pressure cooker are keeping themselves sane and focused. From the food they miss back home, to the drinks they’re looking forward to, to memories of times that seem like a million years ago, these clips will take you behind the scenes and deeper into conversations with fascinating and impactful leaders at the epicenter of the most important elements of the war in Ukraine. A Navy SEAL Commander on tactics and weapons of the war, a best-selling author just back from training Ukrainian civilians to fight, to the Professor of Nukes. These are real leaders and real talk about the biggest news story of our time.  Join us on Patreon and get even more great extra content just like this, connect with guests, attend events, get merch discounts and more, all while supporting this show and community.  Go deeper and listen to the full Ukraine War Report episodes with these dynamic guests here: Matt Gallagher - Episode 161 - March 18, 2022 Quan Nguyen - Episode 162 - March 24, 2022 Joe Cirincione - Episode 163 - March 28, 2022 Chris Fussell - Episode 164 - March 31, 2022 Seth Harp - Episode 165 - April 7, 2022 Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is the truth beyond the news–and light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that proudly call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. You can also see video with every guest.  -Hear other Righteous podcasts like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
165. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Seth Harp. Investigative Reporting in Ukraine. Inside the Radical, Far-Right Azov Battalion. The Ukrainian Foreign Legion Doesn’t Exist. Is Bucha Just the Beginning? Why Did 97 Soldiers Die at Fort Bragg in Two Years?
Apr 7 2022
165. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Seth Harp. Investigative Reporting in Ukraine. Inside the Radical, Far-Right Azov Battalion. The Ukrainian Foreign Legion Doesn’t Exist. Is Bucha Just the Beginning? Why Did 97 Soldiers Die at Fort Bragg in Two Years?
Ukraine remains under attack. Civilians are still dying. Bucha, a suburb of Kiev, is the first of what could be many that reveal the scope and scale of war crimes. And it could get worse. Russian chessmaster Garry Kasparov said it–and I’ve been repeating since the war began. EASY IS OVER. The tide may have turned. But the flood is just starting. The flood of pain and loss. And flood of sadness and need. The flood of weapons. The flood of blood. Wartime is here. Not just for Ukraine. But for everyone who cares about freedom. And now, more than any other time in our lifetime, now is a time for us all to stay vigilant. We all need to help Ukraine. And understand the flood of pain they’re in right now. And do more to help.  Welcome to another Ukraine War Report. Seth Harp (@sethharpesq) was a sophomore at UT-Austin when the Iraq war started and his Army Reserve unit got called up. He went over there as a simple truck-driving private and did a 15-month tour from 2003 to 2005. And the first piece he wrote for Rolling Stone was about an ambush that befell one of his detachments.  After college he went to NYU Law and spent five years practicing law, first as a corporate lawyer, later as an assistant AG at the Texas AG's office. While he says there were a lot of things he liked about the profession, a strong desire to write led him to quit and go to Columbia Journalism School. He graduated in 2016 and started writing for Rolling Stone. They sent him to Syria a couple of times, as well as Iraq, and to Mexico on three or more occasions. He developed a specialty covering the intersection of the military, armed conflict, and organized crime, reporting not only for Rolling Stone but also Harper's, The Intercept, The New Yorker's News Desk, The NY Times Magazine's At War, Columbia Journalism Review, The Texas Observer, and The Daily Beast.  Now, he’s in Ukraine on assignment for Harper's and digging deep, running down leads, and gathering material for a number of stories. And he’ll preview them in this episode.  He’s on the inside and he takes us there with him. Into Ukraine. Into Kyiv. And into one of the most controversial units in the fight. The notorious, far-right Azov Regiment. Seth talked to it’s founder, visited its Kiev headquarters and shares what he found. He also shares new reporting and how few foreign volunteers are actually joining the fight. And, explains why, back at home in the US, so many elite soldiers are dying mysteriously at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. It’s a deep and insightful look into the conflict—and the Ukrainian and American militaries—that you can’t get anywhere else. Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is the truth beyond the news–and light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that proudly call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend events, get merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -WATCH video of Paul and Seth’s conversation here. -Get the Ghost of Ukraine t-shirt Paul mentioned (and wore in this episode) and support the folks there now deep in the fight. -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous podcasts like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
164. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Chris Fussell. Former Navy SEAL DEVGRU Commander Analyzes The Battlefield. All Hail Saint Javelin. What Do the Dead Russian Generals Mean? Ukraine’s Military Leadership Advantage. Putin’s Judo Background. Sean Penn vs Will Smith.
Mar 31 2022
164. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Chris Fussell. Former Navy SEAL DEVGRU Commander Analyzes The Battlefield. All Hail Saint Javelin. What Do the Dead Russian Generals Mean? Ukraine’s Military Leadership Advantage. Putin’s Judo Background. Sean Penn vs Will Smith.
Millions of civilians are caught in an unimaginable hell that continues to unfold in Ukraine.  But what’s really happening on the battlefield? What weapons are making a difference? How are the Ukrainian and Russian militaries critically different? What critical missions in/around Ukraine might American Special Forces get tasked with? We’ve all seen lots of retired generals on cable news. And we’ve all seen quick videos on social media of tanks getting blown up. In this episode, we’re going deeper in a way you haven’t heard before. With a guest who knows more about 21st century battle than just about anyone. He doesn’t just know it academically, he knows it personally. He’s a returning guest and a true leader. Former Navy SEAL DEVGRU Commander, Chris Fussell.  Chris (@FussellChris) is a man who knows war. Steeled by leadership roles in the most selective Special Operations units in the military, he understands the chaos of modern combat. He led the most elite unit: the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) and Navy SEAL Teams 2 and 8 on some of the most critical missions of our generation.  He joined us back in Episode 50 in March, 2020–right before the pandemic exploded. And a month later for a special Dispatches. Chris spent 16 years at the tip of the spear for America’s most complex national security challenges and as Aide-de-Camp to Gen Stanley McChrystal as he commanded the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in Iraq. He teaches leadership at Yale, speaks to packed audiences, and coaches top leaders worldwide.  He’s the author of the bestsellers, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World and One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams and now serves as President of McChrystal Group--an elite management consulting and leadership development firm in Washington.  A former wrestler and with a degree in philosophy, Chris is a true warrior philosopher. He has a Master of Arts in Irregular Warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School, and received the Pat Tillman Award for highest peer-rated Special Operations Officer. His thesis focused on the interagency collaboration and intelligence sharing processes that drove effective, cross-silo collaboration during the peak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Chris knows modern warfare. And he’s gonna break down the strategic and tacticial. The political and psychological. Almost nobody you see on TV or hear on the radio has the depth of personal experience in combat that Chris does. Or the mind to pull apart what’s happening beneath the headlines. Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is the truth beyond the news–and light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that proudly call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics and inspiration.  -Get extra content, connect with guests, attend events, get merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -Check out Chris’ book: One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams   -Here’s the video of the dancing Ukrainian troops that Paul’s mentioned.  -WATCH video of the Paul and Chris conversation here. -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us. -Hear other Righteous podcasts like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
163. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Joe Cirincione. The Russian Nukes Episode. Understanding the Reality. From Nuke Strikes to Nuke Plants to Loose Nukes. Biden in Poland. US Allows 100k Ukrainians—Slights Millions of Afghans. RIP Madeleine Albright, Taylor Hawkins.
Mar 28 2022
163. UKRAINE WAR REPORT: Joe Cirincione. The Russian Nukes Episode. Understanding the Reality. From Nuke Strikes to Nuke Plants to Loose Nukes. Biden in Poland. US Allows 100k Ukrainians—Slights Millions of Afghans. RIP Madeleine Albright, Taylor Hawkins.
The war in Ukraine has shifted into a new phase. Putin is quickly becoming more and more isolated. And more and more brutal. But Ukraine is on the offensive. And more and more by the day, the mighty Ukrainians are looking like they can win this thing. Almost single-handedly. On behalf of the world. But make no mistake. It can get worse. MUCH worse. Especially in Ukraine.  Worse than the targeting of schools and churches.  Worse than the shelling of civilians flying.  Worse than shooting missiles that kill kids. Worse than that? Yes. Worse than that.  What’s the worst that could happen? One word: NUKES. Yep, nukes.  We’re getting to the ground truth about what the real nuclear threats are, what the most dangerous nuclear threats are, and what the most likely nuclear threats are.  Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) is back. He worked on nuclear weapons policy in Washington for more than 35 years and is one of the top experts in the field. He was the Director for Non-Proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, and co-author of Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security. He was the president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. Taught at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service. He’s one of America’s best known weapons experts, appearing frequently in print and on FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR and occasionally on Comedy Central. After joining us for Episode 141 - Nov. 18, 202, he’s back to drop knowledge bombs about nukes. And it’s an episode you don’t want to miss. Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff is the truth beyond the headlines–and light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s content for the 42% of Americans that proudly call themselves independent. And delivers the Righteous Media 5 Is: independence, integrity, information, inspiration and impact. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. This is another pod to help you stay vigilant. Because vigilance is the price of democracy. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans will continue to be your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope.  Listen to President Biden's speech here: extra content, connect with guests, attend events, get merch discounts and support this show that speaks truth to power by joining us on Patreon.  -Read Joe’s latest article in Responsible Statecraft: Let’s curb loose talk of using lower-yield nuclear weapons - WATCH video of Paul and Joe’s conversation here. -Check the hashtag #LookForTheHelpers on Twitter. And share yours.  -Find us on social media or www.IndependentAmericans.us.  -Check out other Righteous podcasts like The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra, Uncle Montel - The OG of Weed and B Dorm.  Independent Americans is powered by Righteous Media. America’s next great independent media company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices