Lesley Stahl

Emmy Award-winning journalist Lesley Stahl was a CBS News White House Correspondent, and then spent 25 years as a correspondent with “60 Minutes.” She covered Watergate, interviewed Margaret Thatcher, and reported from inside Guantanamo Bay. Stahl joins us to reflect on her career, the changing face of media, and the joy of becoming a grandmother, which she chronicles in her new book, “Becoming Grandma.”

Jeffrey Toobin

Lawyer and longtime Supreme Court analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote that Justice Antonin Scalia “devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed.” Forum talks with Toobin about the Supreme Court without Scalia and the politics of naming his replacement. We’ll also discuss Toobin’s 1997 book about the O.J. Simpson trial, which is the basis of a series currently airing on FX.

Michael McCaul

President Obama’s decision to lift sanctions on Iran will bankroll terrorism and put the US at risk, Rep. Michael McCaul said this week. The Texas Republican, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, has been a vocal critic of the Iran nuclear agreement. McCaul joins us in the studio to talk about that deal and his new book, “Failures of Imagination: The Deadliest Threats to Our Homeland and How to Thwart Them.”

Janet Yellen at a large desk.

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would raise interest rates for the first time since 2006. At a range of 0.25 to 0.5 percent, the rate hike indicates confidence in the economic outlook for the United States. Many economists support the decision, citing recent job growth and economic expansion as evidence that the U.S. economy no longer needs low-cost lending. But others have expressed concern that with low inflation and stagnant wages, the economy isn’t ready for higher interest rates. We’ll discuss the decision and take a look at how it might affect your wallet.

Planned Parenthood clinic

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Monday that he expects lawmakers to have a “healthy debate” about defunding Planned Parenthood, but that he does not anticipate a government shutdown over financing of the reproductive health services group. The announcement follows last week’s shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that left three dead and nine injured. We’ll discuss the ongoing campaign against Planned Parenthood and how the shooting may shape our national dialogue about abortion and gun violence.

Gloria Steinem in an office

Gloria Steinem’s first book in 20 years, “My Life on the Road,” chronicles her travels as a journalist and an activist visiting college campuses across the United States. Steinem sees travel as a transformative act, a way to truly understand the rich diversity of people in the U.S. For her, travel is also a way for women to escape their traditional place in the home, to get away from expectations and to grow. We’ll discuss Steinem’s memoir and get her thoughts on the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and the state of feminism today.

California Capitol Building

A new report from the Center for Public Integrity gives all 50 states low marks for government transparency and accountability. At a C-, California received the country’s second highest score on a range of variables that measure states’ ability to prevent and expose corruption. Forum talks with the author of the California portion of the report and KQED’s California Politics and Government reporter Marissa Lagos about the state’s record on government accountability.


Record-breaking wildfires in recent years as well as heightened concerns over the drought are prompting debate about how best to manage forests to prevent wildfire. A bill pending in Congress would expedite salvage logging of dead trees in national forests. We’ll discuss the legislation and best practices to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire while safeguarding forest ecology.


The U.S. may have the most Christians of any nation in the world, but a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows a decline in their numbers and a jump in Americans who identify as having no religion at all — a change that Pew calls “astounding.” The Pew study polled 35,000 people, and found more Americans — especially millennials — classified as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” We discuss America’s changing religious landscape, and how it’s been affected by ethnic diversity, religious intermarriage and non-Christian faiths.

A tank of the North Vietnamese Army in Saigon

Forty years ago Thursday, Communist forces captured Saigon, marking the end of the Vietnam War and triggering a mass migration of Vietnamese to California and other parts of the U.S. On this anniversary, we talk with local writers about fleeing Vietnam, living with the shadow of the war and the evolution of California’s Vietnamese-American communities.


Four states — Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky — have bans on same-sex marriage that have been upheld in federal appeals court. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether those bans violate the United States Constitution. The states say that a court ruling against them would thwart the will of their citizens. But defenders of same-sex marriage argue that equal protection laws afford them the same marriage rights as straight couples. A ruling is expected in June.

Fish for sale at an Albertson's supermarket.

According to a new Associated Press investigation, workers from Myanmar are being brought to Indonesia under the promises of a job, only to end up enslaved aboard illegal fishing boats. Their catch may be finding its way into the supply chains of major U.S. grocery stores like Safeway and Albertsons. We’ll talk about the humanitarian and environmental impacts of these illegal operations, as well as ways to avoid buying slave-caught seafood.

A job seeker waits to be interviewed during a job fair

Critics may need to revisit California’s reputation as the “job killer” state. New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that California added more jobs between January 2014 and January 2015 than any other state. But California still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. We’ll look at what’s working — and what’s not — as far as job creation in the Golden State.

The U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday over whether police must make accommodations in how they deal with a person who they know is mentally disabled. The case was prompted by the 2008 police shooting of a San Francisco woman with schizoaffective disorder. We’ll discuss the case and the challenges around police interactions with mentally ill individuals.

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