Maureen Erwin

Given the severely degraded condition of national politics since Donald Trump took office, it’s not surprising that an unusual number of House Republicans are saying, “Peace out.” (Dreamstime/TNS)

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

Having trouble keeping track of the latest Republican House members who have…

Given the severely degraded condition of national politics since Donald Trump took office, it’s not surprising that an unusual number of House Republicans are saying, “Peace out.” (Dreamstime/TNS)
Each day, it feels like the Republic that Benjamin Franklin once spoke of is slipping further out of reach. (Courtesy photo)

Can the US ‘keep’ its Republic?

Are you numb yet? Are the daily disasters (fires, hurricanes, Trump administration…

Each day, it feels like the Republic that Benjamin Franklin once spoke of is slipping further out of reach. (Courtesy photo)
Board of Supervisors President London Breed on Tuesday called for a working group to speed up construction on accessory dwelling units, also known as in-law units. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco is a political proving ground

Learning of Mayor Ed Lee’s passing last week was deeply shocking and…

Board of Supervisors President London Breed on Tuesday called for a working group to speed up construction on accessory dwelling units, also known as in-law units. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
If Twitter’s monetary value is based on the number of eyeballs that peruse its platform, how can we expect the company to crackdown on abusive and fraudulent accounts? (Courtesy photo)

Twitter still turning blind eye to abusive bots

It’s been one year since I started this column at the San…

If Twitter’s monetary value is based on the number of eyeballs that peruse its platform, how can we expect the company to crackdown on abusive and fraudulent accounts? (Courtesy photo)
Former interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile, pictured in Philadelphia in 2016, has published a new book that’s causing a stir within the Democratic Party. (Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

What is Donna Brazile thinking?

Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, just…

Former interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile, pictured in Philadelphia in 2016, has published a new book that’s causing a stir within the Democratic Party. (Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein makes a statement on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 10 alongside Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)

The ‘ism’ that’s still acceptable

Most women cannot run with a firehose; therefore, women should not be…

Sen. Dianne Feinstein makes a statement on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on May 10 alongside Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)
Consider putting down your protest signs and sending Sen. Dianne Feinstein a thank-you note. (Courtesy photo)

No time for rookies: Despite past missteps, stalwart Feinstein is still the answer

It’s official: Sen. Dianne Feinstein is in, planning to run for another…

Consider putting down your protest signs and sending Sen. Dianne Feinstein a thank-you note. (Courtesy photo)
Members of the black bloc march into Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park after police officers retreated during a day of protests in Berkeley on Sunday. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Why use the term ‘Antifa’?

Antifa. The term is increasingly being used to scoop many people into…

Members of the black bloc march into Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park after police officers retreated during a day of protests in Berkeley on Sunday. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
A counter-protester who was struck with a stick by an “alt-right” member is covered with blood on his face during a rally on Aug. 12 in Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. (Go Nakamura/Zuma Press/TNS)

How we shut down the hate in San Francisco

After the violence in Charlottesville and the reaction by Donald Trump, let…

A counter-protester who was struck with a stick by an “alt-right” member is covered with blood on his face during a rally on Aug. 12 in Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. (Go Nakamura/Zuma Press/TNS)
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump exchange notes during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)

How to fight a kleptocracy and win

Have we found Vladimir Putin’s Achilles’ heel? The Russian president likes to…

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump exchange notes during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
Now, more than ever, shouldn’t a real call from a real person — even about a topic you don’t care for — be respected and even treasured? (Courtesy photo)

In an era of bots and fake news, we must appreciate real people

As a political consultant, I am responsible for at least some of…

Now, more than ever, shouldn’t a real call from a real person — even about a topic you don’t care for — be respected and even treasured? (Courtesy photo)
Vladimir Putin announced a massive cut to U.S. embassy and consulate staff in Russia on Sunday. (Courtesy photo)

Vladimir Putin needs a time-out

Russian intelligence operatives are driving around, presumably doing reconnaissance on our nation’s…

Vladimir Putin announced a massive cut to U.S. embassy and consulate staff in Russia on Sunday. (Courtesy photo)
Instead of human editors and consumers determining content, algorithms are driving what posts appear in your feed, based on what you’re expected to engage. (Courtesy photo)

Your social media feed is anything but random

#Disinfoweek. It’s a thing. It’s happening now. And here’s a phrase I…

Instead of human editors and consumers determining content, algorithms are driving what posts appear in your feed, based on what you’re expected to engage. (Courtesy photo)
It’s easy to forget that politicians are people, and we should “think bigger” about who we put in positions of power. (Courtesy photo)

Politicians are people, too

The prospect of dinner conversations veering into politics during the holidays boosts…

It’s easy to forget that politicians are people, and we should “think bigger” about who we put in positions of power. (Courtesy photo)
After the contentious Democratic primaries between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Democrats need to stand united. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)

It’s time for Democrats to take the long view

Unity isn’t easy. Especially among idealists. Sometimes, we Democrats even ugly cry…

After the contentious Democratic primaries between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Democrats need to stand united. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Why does France have no problem shutting down interference in its presidential election while the U.S. just rolls right over? (Hadrian/Shutterstock)

France sets precedent for propaganda crackdown

Say it with me: Robots. Are. Not. People. The Putinbots who were…

Why does France have no problem shutting down interference in its presidential election while the U.S. just rolls right over? (Hadrian/Shutterstock)
If social media networks like Twitter are the equivalent of roads on which hybrid warfare is conducted, then what is their responsibility? (Courtesy photo)

Searching for proof of Amy

There’s a powerhouse advocate of President Donald Trump on Twitter. She doesn’t…

If social media networks like Twitter are the equivalent of roads on which hybrid warfare is conducted, then what is their responsibility? (Courtesy photo)
Vladimir Putin’s deputies have been working to undermine our democracy. (Courtesy photo)

Modern warfare looks nothing like it once did

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the Democrat serving as vice-chair of the U.S.…

Vladimir Putin’s deputies have been working to undermine our democracy. (Courtesy photo)
Sun Tzu once said: “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” (Courtesy photo)

What would Sun Tzu do?

Sun Tzu, the Chinese military general and tactician born in 544 BC,…

Sun Tzu once said: “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” (Courtesy photo)
The Bulletin of Atomic Sciences moved the Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds closer to global catastrophe last week. (Courtesy photo)

Can San Francisco rely on tech leaders to recognize and resist global catastrophe?

Tech companies have a libertarian streak that we sometimes find in conflict…

The Bulletin of Atomic Sciences moved the Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds closer to global catastrophe last week. (Courtesy photo)