It's the big question most people want to know from those who work at and report on the United States Supreme Court: What's it really like behind those marble walls? A new book now helps bring to life the often mysterious place where great power is wielded by nine little-known justices.
I doubt Oliver Wendell Holmes was a soccer fan, but in thinking about this week's column, I recalled a great quote of his: "The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."
When Don Imus denigrated in clearly racist terms the championship women's basketball team from Rutgers University; when actor Michael Richards screamed at black guests in a comedy club, calling them the "n-word" and invoking the threat of lynching; when Trent Lott said that things would have been better if a southern segregationist had been elected president a half-century earlier, responsible white people from across the ideological spectrum stepped forward to explain that these individuals were not racist.
With three innings to play in the fifth game of the American League Championship Series, clubhouse workers and officials for the Tampa Bay Rays began preparing for a celebration in the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park. Twenty cases of champagne and 15 cases of beer were unpacked and loaded into huge tubs of ice. A separate stash of high-end champagne was set aside to be chilled for Rays executives. AL CHAMPIONS T-shirts were being sorted by size for the players. Nine outs still needed against the Boston Red Sox -- who, come October, die about as easily as vampires -- typically is no time to make party preparations. But if there is only one lasting lesson from the 2008 baseball season, it is this: The Tampa Bay Rays are not your typical World Series team.