Every once and again, the strange divide between the halves of my life comes into sharp focus. Yesterday was one of them. I'm in Lexington Kentucky covering the Yearling auction at the Keeneland racetrack--something Bob Baffert described to me yesterday as "The superbowl of horse auctions." And make no mistake about it--I'm having fun, learning a lot, enjoying the company and getting more than enough to turn in a really fun piece. But there are moments of the utterly surreal. In one action packed auction minute yesterday, I watched (from about 5 or 6 feet away) as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, one of the richest men in the world bid 9.7 million dollars for an unproven race horse. Applause erupted, the Sheikh gave a little fist pump, hugged his wife and went along his way.
9.7 million--that's just about as much as Ernie asked the state legislature for just 24 hours earlier in his attempt to keep the state public defender system going strong. One flick of the Sheikh's finger, dozens of lawyers for poor people all across Kentucky.