During the most recent presidential election, non-candidate Donald Trump crowned himself king of the "birther" movement, with his constant questions about whether President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or the United States.
In the age of the cellphone camera, interactions that are best forgotten instead escalate and become chew toys for the chattering class. When a video goes viral, the public's sense of proportion often goes AWOL.
Any day now, Donald Trump may walk back his Monday call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
There is something I forgot to mention in my Sunday column about California's gun laws and their failure to stop the San Bernardino terrorist attack last week: I supported California's 1989 assault weapon ban.
There are two kinds of Americans. One sees a mass shooting -- such as the recent killings in San Bernardino, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado -- and automatically thinks other people should not be able to buy or own guns or own some kinds of guns.
In 1997, I went to a "needle exchange" in San Francisco to see firsthand how the "harm reduction program" prevented the spread of HIV among addicts.
A federal program, once launched, is impossible to kill. It doesn't matter if the scheme wastes money. It doesn't matter if the program doesn't work.
Earlier generations believe that male enlistment in the military had an equalizing effect; wars brought men from all classes together to fight for a common cause.
Donald Trump is like a contagion who infects everyone around him. Once you've kissed, you can never wipe his saliva off your face.
President Barack Obama wants the United States to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees next year -- but in the wake of last week's Paris attacks and reports that one of the terrorists may have had a valid Syrian passport with a stamp from Greece, more than half the governors in this country, a mostly Republican group, are opposed.
"Why can't we take out these bastards?" CNN's Jim Acosta bluntly asked President Obama at a Monday press conference at the Group of 20 summit in Turkey. "These bastards," of course, are the Islamic State -- at least for Acosta. As Obama called Friday's attacks in Paris that left at least 129 dead a "sickening setback," he saw no need to reset his Syrian policy.
Former San Francisco 49ers star Kermit Alexander is death penalty opponents' worst nightmare. Foes of the death penalty argue that the criminal justice system is skewed against African-Americans and that prosecutors are less likely to seek the death penalty when victims are black.
Activists at the University of Missouri just won themselves a trophy Monday.
This story starts with a transgender high school student who was born male but identifies as female. As a public high school student, she wants the school to recognize her as a girl, to call her by her new legal name, to allow her to use the girls' bathroom and to accept her in girls' athletic programs.
Outsiders like to think of San Francisco as a hotbed of contentious activism.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the Republican in the 2016 presidential field whom Democrats I know like the most. He evokes his Christian faith to explain his support for government spending.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had a standout moment early in Wednesday night's Republican debate when he went after, not other Republicans, but the CNBC moderators, none of whom appeared to have "any intention of voting in a Republican primary."
I am starting to feel really sorry for Jeb Bush -- almost as sorry as Jeb! (his campaign nom de plume) apparently feels for himself.
Thursday's House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing delivered what oversight hearings so often do. One party was on the offensive; the other party was cheerleading the politician on the hot seat.
Is there such a thing as being too politically correct in San Francisco?