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Trump’s trial: This could be TV worth watching

It has become clear that President Trump’s impeachment trial will play out more as the latest installment of a reality show than a judicial process.

The presence of celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz on the Trump team is clearly a move by the White House to counter the crooked image of the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who himself may soon be in the legal hot seat for his own dealings with Ukraine. Giuliani said he would “love to try to the case,” but Trump didn’t pick him.

Former Bill Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr wound up on the Trump team to remind America that Clinton was acquitted after a Senate trial that rejected the case against him largely along party lines.

We even have a surprise last-minute potential witness: Giuliani’s former associate Lev Parnas, who says the whole business with Ukraine was indeed about digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden’s son in an effort to discredit Biden in the 2020 election.

I doubt if the gruff-speaking Parnas will be called to testify before the Senate. But if he is, it will be like a scene right out of “The Irishman.”

Democrats should think twice, however, about calling former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify. Bolton is a Trojan horse. He will raise a number of issues about Trump’s conduct, which will make for great TV. But at the end, he’s almost sure to argue that Trump’s conduct didn’t amount to an impeachable offense.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s picks for prosecutors in the trial were an interesting mix as well.

The Bay Area’s Rep. Zoe Lofgren was a natural for the team. Lofgren was a House staffer when charges were being drawn up for Richard Nixon, and she was a House member for Clinton’s impeachment. Just as important from Pelosi’s perspective, she’s low-key and not a showboat.

The surprise pick for me was Florida Rep. Val Demings. She’s the only non-lawyer on the seven-member House team. She is, however, a former police chief.

I guess Pelosi wants someone who knows how to slap on the cuffs.

Debatable: The Democrats’ debate lineup had better change quickly, or they’re going to lose the viewers they have left.

You know you’re in trouble when Tom Steyer sounds interesting.

The only highlight of last week’s dud-fest came after the debate, when a hot mike picked up Elizabeth Warren accusing Bernie Sanders of calling her a liar on national TV for denying he’d said a woman couldn’t be elected president.

He extended his hand. She didn’t take it. He said they should talk about it somewhere else.

As one guy said to me, “It was like watching Grandma and Grandpa get into a fight at Thanksgiving.”

Here’s the beef: Tad’s Steak House, a longtime fixture on lower Powell Street, is moving to just around the corner on Ellis Street across from John’s Grill.

I’m told Tad’s decided to make the move, after more than 60 years in the same spot, when its rent got jacked up to $60,000 a month.

Think about it. That’s $2,000 a day.

I stopped in at the new location the other day as they were getting ready for the reopening.

Tad’s is still a deal of a meal by today’s standards, with a Tad’s Famous Steak dinner, complete with green salad, baked potato and garlic bread, going for $18.99.

Still, it’s a far cry from the $1.09 I paid for my first Tad’s steak dinner back in my college days.

Movie time: “Little Women.” This is the seventh update of Louisa May Alcott’s coming-of-age tale. The latest version has been updated to include contemporary social issues, but frankly, all the plot add-ons get a bit confusing about halfway through the movie.

But it is worth seeing. It’s also one of those movies where you have to sit through the credits because you didn’t recognize a single face. I didn’t even realize that Meryl Streep was in the movie until the credits rolled.

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Two-term mayor of San Francisco, renowned speaker of the California  Assembly, and widely regarded as the most influential African American politician of the late twentieth century, Willie L. Brown, Jr. has been at the center of California politics, government and civic life for four decades.  His career spans the American presidency from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, and he’s worked with every California governor from Pat Brown to Arnold Schwarzenegger. From civil rights to education reform, tax policy, economic development, health care, international trade, domestic partnerships and affirmative action, he’s left his imprimatur on every aspect of politics and public policy in the Golden State. As mayor of California’s most cosmopolitan city, he refurbished and rebuilt the nation’s busiest transit system, pioneered the use of bond measures to build affordable housing, created a model juvenile justice system, and paved the way for a second campus of UCSF to serve as the anchor of a new development that will position the city as a center for the burgeoning field of biotechnology.

Today, he heads the Willie L. Brown Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service, where he shares his knowledge and skills with a new generation of California leaders.

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