Previously on Forum

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaks to reporters about the proposed Senate Republican tax bill, after attending the Senate GOP policy luncheon, at US Capitol on November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Republican members of both chambers of Congress are hustling this week to reach an agreement on a tax plan. But major differences remain between the Senate and House bills, especially the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. We’ll get the latest on Republican efforts to pass a tax plan.

Peter Morici,
professor, Smith School of Business at University of Maryland; former chief economist, U.S. International Trade Commission
Robert Reich, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
Amanda Becker, congressional correspondent, Reuters

For the past decade Deb Perelman has been cooking meals in the tiny kitchen of her New York apartment and sharing them on her popular blog, The Smitten Kitchen. Pereleman has now published her second cookbook, “Smitten Kitchen Every Day.” We’ll talk to Perelman about squeezing good cooking into busy lives and we’ll get her tips, and take your questions, about what to serve for the holidays.

A man walks past an armored personnel carrier that's stationed by an intersection as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare on November 15, 2017.

Zimbabwe’s military placed its president Robert Mugabe under house arrest, took over state TV and filled the streets of the capital with military tanks. While it is being deemed a coup, the military has avoided calling it one. Successors have been vying for the elderly 93-year-old Mugabe’s seat, with some experts saying the military may try to replace him with his fired deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa. We get the latest on the takeover.


Andrew Meldrum, assistant Africa editor, Associated Press
James Robbins, diplomatic correspondent, BBC
Horace G. Campbell, chair of African studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Legon, Ghana

Customers buy marijuana products at the Perennial Holistic Wellness Center which is a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, California on March 24, 2017.

Time is running out for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to reach an agreement on marijuana dispensaries, as the sale and purchase of recreational cannabis becomes legal on January 1. While 74 percent of the city’s voters last year backed legalizing recreational use of the drug, some city residents want to limit where pot stores can be placed, keeping them 1,000 feet from schools or daycare centers. Still other neighborhoods want the right to ban dispensaries altogether. We’ll get the latest on where and how recreational marijuana will be sold in San Francisco after the new year.

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews, the longtime host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” is known
for his political analysis and combative style. He joins us in the
studio to talk about the Republican tax bill, the latest developments
in the Russia investigation and his new book on Bobby Kennedy.
We’ll also explore how politics and the media have changed since
the Kennedy era.

Yemenis take part in a demonstration calling for the Saudi-led coalition's blockade to be lifted, on November 13, 2017, in the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

Tensions in the Middle East continue to mount as Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri remains in Saudi Arabia, sparking suspicion that he’s being held against his will. Hariri disappeared into Saudi Arabia just as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman orchestrated a purge of dozens of Saudi ministers and businessmen. At the same time, Saudi Arabia continues to blockade Yemen, after Yemeni rebels launched a missile attack on Riyadh. Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise from an earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border Sunday night. In this hour, we discuss the latest developments in the Middle East.


Hanin Ghaddar, Friedmann visiting fellow, Washington Institute
Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and distinguished fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; author, “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President”
Donna Farvard, national field manager, National Iranian American Council
Janine Zacharia, visiting lecturer, Stanford University; former Jerusalem Bureau Chief and Middle East correspondent, Washington Post.

“Jumping at Shadows” is Sacramento-based journalist Sasha Abramsky’s polemic against what he calls America’s most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear. Abramsky portrays a political and cultural landscape that is, increasingly, defined by its worst fears and anxieties. And he examines how miscalculating risk impacts life, everything from the medicines we take to how we parent. Abramsky joins us to discuss his book and the political implications of fear.

Sasha Abramsky,
author, “Jumping at Shadows:The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream”

Mentioned on Air:
We Need Just One Republican to Break the Spell Trump has Cast on GOP Voters (Sasha Abramsky’s Op-Ed in the Sacramento Bee)

A long row of body bags where multiple bodies are stored in the 600 series long-term crypt at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office April 16, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA.

In his 36 years as a Marin County coroner, Ken Holmes saw everyone from murder victims to people who committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Over the years, he learned how to interview witnesses, search crime scenes for clues and how to be the first person to notify families of their loved one’s death. He also learned to identify a wide array of guns and drugs, and other lesser known ways people die. Holmes left the coroner’s office in 2010, but his story is the subject of author John Bateson’s book “The Education of a Coroner: Lessons in Investigating Death.” Both men join Forum to talk about the dead, and what can be learned from the clues they leave behind.


Ken Holmes, former coroner, Marin County Coroner’s Office

John Bateson, author, “The Education of a Coroner: Lessons in Investigating Death”

Lisa Fischer has been a backup singer for some of the biggest names in music: Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Beyoncé, to name a few. But after she appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” Fischer found the spotlight focused on her. She went on to collaborate with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in a production called “The Propelled Heart,” which returns for a repeat performance this November. Fischer joins us to talk about the show and her varied career.

Lisa Fischer,
singer collaborating with choreographer Alonzo King on “The Propelled Heart”

U.S. Celestino Almeda (C), Filipino veteran representing the Philippine Commonwealth Army, arrives at a Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony October 25, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.

Last month, Senate and White House leaders awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to roughly 250,000 Filipino veterans who served during World War II. The recognition was long awaited: it had been over 75 years since Filipino troops, alongside U.S. forces, helped resist the Japanese invasion of their islands. When U.S. commanders later surrendered, hundreds of Americans and about 10,000 Filipinos became prisoners of war and went on to endure the Bataan Death March. We discuss the Filipino veterans’ struggle for benefits and recognition, and the significance of this award.

Cecilia Gaerlan,
executive director, Bataan Legacy Historical Society
Antonio Taguba, retired major general, U.S. Army
Lou Tancinco, board president, San Francisco Veterans Equity Center

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