Politics and Government

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2017.

President Trump is facing a bipartisan backlash for his pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio who was found guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order in a racial profiling case. The controversial pardon came Friday while Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas. President Trump’s ties to Russia are also under further scrutiny after reports surfaced that his company pursued building a Trump Tower in Moscow at the same time he was running for president. Forum talks with political journalists about these stories and the other news out of Washington.

A man with a bullhorn and hat in a crowd during a May Day demonstration in San Francisco.

A wide range of counter protests, vigils and marches are planned across the Bay Area this weekend, as far-right groups stage rallies at San Francisco’s Crissy Field on Saturday, and Berkeley’s Civic Center Park on Sunday. Concerns about violence led mayors of both cities to urge community members to stay away. We’ll check in with activists about their counter-protest plans, and we want to hear from you. If you’re going to a demonstration — or avoiding all of them — tell us why.

Giselle Linnane, public information officer, San Francisco Police Department

Lizzie Johnson, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Kate Kendell, executive director, The National Center for Lesbian Rights

Nanci Armstrong-Temple, activist; nonviolence trainer, P.E.A.C.E. Out Loud, Anti Police-Terror Project

Rep. Jackie Speier

Jackie Speier joins us as part of Forum’s series featuring Bay Area members of Congress. Speier represents California’s 14th district, which stretches from the southern portion of San Francisco through San Mateo County to Redwood City. Speier will discuss her call to remove President Trump from office under the 25th amendment, the latest news from Washington and what’s next for Democrats trying to take back Congress in 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Americas military involvement in Afghanistan at the Fort Myer military base on August 21, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. Trump was expected to announce a modest increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, the result of a growing concern by the Pentagon over setbacks on the battlefield for the Afghan military against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

From Steve Bannon’s departure to President Trump’s Monday evening announcement about the war in Afghanistan, there’s a lot of news coming out of Washington. And things haven’t been quiet in Sacramento either: With the state legislature back in session, California’s GOP Assembly leader Chad Mayes is facing a bid to oust him after he supported Democratic climate legislation. In this hour of Forum, we discuss the latest political news, from Sacramento to D.C.

Callum Borchers,
politics and media reporter, the Washington Post
Marisa Lagos, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk
Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent, The Economist

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Jared Huffman represents California's 2nd district.

As part of Forum’s series featuring Bay Area members of Congress, Jared Huffman, who represents California’s 2nd district along the northern coast, joins us in-studio to discuss his legislative priorities, the latest news from Washington and what’s next for the Affordable Care Act. We’ll also hear about the former environmental lawyer’s legislative proposals involving climate regulation and public land protections.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake gained notoriety in July 2016 when he challenged then-nominee Donald Trump head-on during a tense meeting with other Republican senators. Now, he has emerged as one of President Trump’s most vocal Republican critics with his new book, “Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.” We’ll talk with Sen. Flake about what he sees as President Trump’s threat to conservative principles and democratic institutions.

A roll of I Voted stickers sits on a table at Oakman Elementary School during the US presidential election on November 8, 2016 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Fourteen states say they will not turn voter information over to President Trump’s commission investigating voter fraud, saying the request is unnecessary and violates voters’ privacy. Last week the controversial commission asked secretaries of all 50 states for a massive amount of voter information. Privacy and civil liberties organizations have filed suit to block the order. Forum discusses the political and legal reactions to the commission.

Jessica Huseman,
reporter, Pro Publica

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) approaches the microphones before talking with reporters with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) (L), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) (R) following the weekly GOP policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol June 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate plan to release the text of their health care legislation on Thursday. A draft of the bill was obtained by the Washington Post on Wednesday. The plan, which has been kept under wraps by Republican lawmakers, reportedly includes provisions to dramatically roll back Medicaid and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The draft bill is similar to the Obamacare replacement that narrowly passed the House last month, though the Senate version provides more subsidies for low-income people. Forum discusses what’s in the new proposal and the politics surrounding it.

Page Winfield Cunningham,
health care reporter, The Washington Post
Carrie Feibel, health editor, KQED

Leon Panetta

Former CIA Director and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says that under the Trump administration, the United States has entered “‘Chapter Two’ of the Cold War.” Panetta joins us to talk about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, North Korea and the Paris climate accord.

Leon Panetta, former director, CIA; former U.S. Secretary of Defense; chairman, the Panetta Institute for Public Policy; author, “Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017.

A gunman opened fire in Virginia this morning at a baseball practice session attended by Republican politicians. House majority whip Steve Scalise was shot, but is said to be in stable condition.  We’ll get an update on the shooting. We’ll also discuss yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied holding secret meetings with Russian officials.


Tamara Keith, White House correspondent, NPR; co-host, NPR Politics podcast

Anthony Zucker, senior North America reporter, BBC

Republican Senator Ben Sasse worries that Americans are fast losing the values of discipline and personal integrity. The Nebraskan — who likes to be known as “the last honest man in the GOP” — wants the American people to resist consumerism and recover a sense of meaning and personal integrity. Sasse outlines ways to achieve this in his new book “The Vanishing American Adult.” Senator Sasse joins us to explain his prescription for reviving civic culture. We’ll also get his take on the latest news from Capitol Hill.

Ben Sasse, U.S. Senator from Nebraska; author, “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance”

An excavator sits in front of a home under construction at a new housing development on March 17, 2015 in Larkspur, California.

The California legislature last week passed a package of housing bills aimed at reducing building costs, easing permitting and increasing spending for affordable housing in the state. With an estimated 1.5 million families in need of affordable housing, the state is under increasing pressure to streamline the approval process for new construction. In this hour, we’ll discuss what’s been proposed, including a plan by Assemblymember David Chiu to allow cities to establish “special districts” where developments could be fast tracked.

David Chiu, assemblymember District 17, California State Assembly; chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee
Guy Marzorati, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk
Jason Rhine, legislative representative, League of California Cities
Laura Foote Clark, executive director with YIMBY action

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo posts for a portrait.

Silicon Valley Congresswoman Anna Eshoo joined other lawmakers Friday in calling on President Trump to seek congressional approval if he intends to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria. We’ll speak to Representative Eshoo about what she sees as the United State’s role in Syria and in the region as a whole. We’ll also hear Rep. Eshoo’s views on a range of topics including the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, her ongoing fight to compel President Trump to release his taxes, and how Democrats and Republicans may find common ground in a hyperpartisan Congress.

The Women’s March broke records as one of the largest protests in U.S. history, with approximately 3 to 4 million participants. But what happened to the momentum after that? We discuss what makes an effective, sustainable protest movement today… and draw lessons from past movements by talking to longtime activists and influencers from AIDS advocacy, Black Lives Matter, the Tea Party movement, the Grab Your Wallet boycott and more.

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