What happened on January 08, 2006
The Me Decade Erik Himmelsbach, Erik Himmelsbach is a writer and television producer. He is working on a book about the history of Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM and the alternative-culture revolution.
Dark shadows Karrie Higgins, Karrie Higgins is a writer in Portland, Ore.
Telling it straight David Freeman, David Freeman is a screenwriter and novelist. His most recent book is "It's All True."
The monster in the man Susan Salter Reynolds, Susan Salter Reynolds is a Times staff writer.
Gatsby in the White House Richard Rayner, Richard Rayner is the author of several books, most recently "The Devil's Wind," a novel.
Politics as usual Diana Wagman, Diana Wagman is the author of the novels "Skin Deep," "Spontaneous" and, most recently, "Bump."
You can't go home again Marjorie Gellhorn Sa'adah, Marjorie Gellhorn Sa'adah is at work on a book of nonfiction about downtown Los Angeles.
The human condition Wendy Smith, Wendy Smith is the author of "Real Life Drama: The Group Theatre and America, 1931-1940."
The House of the Spirit Mark Kendall, Mark Kendall is a freelance writer based in Ontario.
Cashmere Cashes In on Cool Christian M. Chensvold, Christian Chensvold is the creator of the website dandyism.net.
Bahhh'd to the Bone Linda Burum, Linda Burum is a frequent contributor to The Times' Food section.
Mission Impossible Lawrence Grobel, Lawrence Grobel is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles and the author of several books, including "The Art of the Interview" (Three Rivers Press, 2004).
Putting Place in a Glass Corie Brown, Corie Brown is a Times staff writer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
It's the jobs, stupid GREGORY RODRIGUEZ, GREGORY RODRIGUEZ is an Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Russia's thuggery backfires Rajan Menon and Oles M. Smolansky, Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone professor of international relations at Lehigh University and a fellow with the New America Foundation. Oles M. Smolansky is university professor of international relations, emeritus, Lehigh University.
Our legal guardians Cass R. Sunstein, Cass R. Sunstein teaches at the University of Chicago Law School and is the author of "Radicals in Robes" and "Infotopia," forthcoming this year.
Opening Salvo Joel Pett, Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.
The Senate curse Mark Z. Barabak, Mark Z. Barabak covers politics for The Times.
The risk of playing religion straight Diane Winston, Diane Winston, Knight chair in media and religion at USC, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iran's top mullah may be on our side Dariush Zahedi and Ali Ezzatyar, Dariush Zahedi teaches international political economy and political science at UC Berkeley. In 2003, he was imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage and later acquitted. Ali Ezzatyar is a doctoral candidate at Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.
'We are not afraid' Homer Hickam, HOMER HICKAM is the author of "Rocket Boys" (Delty, 2000), "October Sky" (Dell, 1999), "We Are Not Afraid" (HCI, 2002) and other books.
Alito's moment Edward Lazarus, Edward Lazarus, a lawyer in private practice, is the author of "Closed Chambers: The Rise, Fall, and Future of the Modern Supreme Court."
Is a hero of democracy trying on a crown? Ebere Onwudiwe, Ebere Onwudiwe is professor of political science and director of the Center for African Studies at Central State University in Ohio. He is also co-editor of "Nigeria's Struggle for Democracy and Good Governance."
Dr. Bush's flu flim-flam Madeline Drexler, Madeline Drexler is a Boston-based journalist and author of "Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections."
One-Man Show Wins Him Over Bill Plaschke, Bill Plaschke can be reached at email@example.com. To read previous columns by Plaschke, go to latimes.com/plaschke.