Mueller prob­a­bly wishes he had turned job down

San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday) - - BAY AREA - By Wil­lie Brown

Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller has to be ask­ing him­self, “Why did I ever take this job?”

He had a stel­lar ca­reer as a fed­eral at­tor­ney and FBI di­rec­tor and a promis­ing fu­ture in the pri­vate sec­tor, only to be dragged into the big­gest mess of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion we have seen in years.

His job was to de­ter­mine whether Don­ald Trump or peo­ple in his cam­paign col­luded with Rus­sia to in­flu­ence the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Now his hot case is whether Trump was try­ing to swing a real es­tate deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow as late as June 2016, af­ter he had wrapped up the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

That might be po­lit­i­cally em­bar­rass­ing for Trump. But it wouldn’t be a crime. And it wouldn’t

be much for Tom Steyer and his band of im­peach­ment-crats to run with, ei­ther.

And how about Paul Manafort’s at­tor­neys call­ing the Trump team ev­ery night to up­date them on their client’s in­ter­views with the spe­cial prose­cu­tor, af­ter he had sup­pos­edly agreed to flip?

Mueller thought he signed up for “All the Pres­i­dent’s Men.” In­stead, he’s the straight man in a re­make of “Goodfel­las,” star­ring the Three Stooges.

Balance of power: I’m not sure Oak­land Rep. Bar­bara Lee ever had a real shot at be­com­ing the House Demo­cratic cau­cus chair, the job she nar­rowly lost last week to New York Rep. Ha­keem Jef­fries.

A lot of Democrats around the coun­try think Cal­i­for­nia will be do­ing just fine when the House is sworn in next year.

San Fran­cisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi is about to re­gain the speak­er­ship. Rep. Adam Schiff of Bur­bank will be run­ning the In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, and Los An­ge­les Rep. Max­ine Wa­ters will chair the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee. San Ma­teo Rep. Jackie Speier will have a lead­ing role on an Armed Ser­vices sub­com­mit­tee deal­ing with mil­i­tary spend­ing.

I’m told the New York del­e­ga­tion and oth­ers said enough is enough.

What’s in a name? San Fran­cisco Su­per­vi­sor Aaron Pe­skin has raised a very good ques­tion: What do you do when you’ve named some­thing af­ter some­body who’s still alive and sinned?

Pe­skin is mak­ing waves by call­ing for the re­moval of Mark Zucker­berg’s name from San Fran­cisco Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

Pe­skin says Zucker­berg has ig­nored pri­vacy con­cerns on Face­book, used op­po­si­tion re­search to smear his crit­ics and ap­pears to be to­tally un­re­pen­tant.

Do you erase the name? Most would an­swer “yes.” But then, do you give Zucker­berg back the $75 mil­lion that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, do­nated to the hos­pi­tal? I an­swer, no. Zucker­berg never asked for his name to go on the hos­pi­tal as a con­di­tion for the do­na­tion, so why should he care if it comes off ?

In mem­ory: The 40th an­niver­sary of the as­sas­si­na­tion of Mayor Ge­orge Moscone and Su­per­vi­sor Har­vey Milk was ac­knowl­edged at City Hall when Mayor London Breed pulled every­body to­gether for a mo­ment of si­lence.

Moscone’s son Jonathan and Milk’s nephew Stu­art set the tone. Let’s not weep — let’s do what Ge­orge and Har­vey would want us to do. Cel­e­brate their lives.

The elec­tions of Moscone and Milk re­flected sweep­ing changes tak­ing place in the 1970s in San Fran­cisco and led to many more. At­ti­tudes about the rights of peo­ple of color and LGBT folks that have since gone na­tional orig­i­nated right here.

If those two guys were alive to­day, they would be over­joyed. But they would also know there is work to be done. Movie time: “Creed II.” Michael B. Jor­dan plays the son of Apollo Creed in this lat­est in­stall­ment of the never-end­ing “Rocky” fran­chise.

The fight scenes will seem far-fetched to box­ing fans, but the story does demon­strate the ge­nius of Sylvester Stal­lone, who co-pro­duced the movie and shares the writ­ing credit. He fills the screen with side sto­ries that help make the film hu­mane, in spite of the bru­tal­ity in the ring.

“Green Book.” Viggo Mortensen and Ma­her­shala Ali star in a movie that will walk away with a bag of Os­cars, if there’s any jus­tice in the world.

Want to know what it was like to be black be­fore there were fair hous­ing and fair em­ploy­ment laws? Then see this film. It should be shown in ev­ery high school, to help young peo­ple un­der­stand why race is Amer­ica’s over­rid­ing un­re­solved is­sue. Home­com­ing: I went back to my home­town of Mi­ne­ola, Texas, for Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with 40 or so of my rel­a­tives. It’s al­ways a chal­lenge re­mem­ber­ing names when you have a sis­ter with 12 kids and an­other sis­ter with nine.

I left it al­most 70 years ago, but it still looks the same. The movie the­ater where I used to sit in the “buz­zards roost” for “col­oreds” is still there. The black ceme­tery that holds the fam­ily plot is still fenced off from the white side, only now there’s a his­tor­i­cal marker.

As I was get­ting off the train, I was greeted by Ed­ward Dickey, a high school class­mate of mine.

“There are only three of us left from the grad­u­at­ing class,” he told me.

“Ev­ery­one else has passed?”

“Yes. I’ve been to many, many fu­ner­als over the years,” he said.

“And don’t take this the wrong way,” he added, “but my goal is to bury you.”

Courtesy Wil­lie Brown

Wil­lie Brown and his daugh­ter Syd­ney stand next to a marker at the black ceme­tery in his home­town.

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