Robert Novak

Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, last Monday delivered an unusually candid assessment of the Senate's notoriously light work schedule.

In a National Press Club luncheon speech, Specter noted it was "very hard to convene a Monday morning hearing" because of extended weekends. He continued: "We've fallen into a routine . . . of starting our workweek Tuesday at 2:15 after we finish our caucus luncheons, and people start to get edgy and heading for the airports early on Thursday. So we might increase the workweek by 50 percent, say, to three days."

Realizing it was highly unusual for a senior senator to talk so frankly of the chamber's work habits, Specter quickly added with a smile: "By the way, that's off the record." The speech was broadcast live on C-SPAN.


In the late rush for 2006 campaign contributions, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is requesting big bucks to attend undefeated Nikolai ("Giant Russian") Valuev's World Boxing Association heavyweight championship title defense against New York's Monte ("Two Gunz") Barrett in Chicago next Saturday night.

A new $50,000 member of the RNC's Regents will receive four tickets to the fight at the Allstate Arena. A $25,000 member of Team 100 will get two tickets, and a $15,000 Eagle will be given one ticket.

The contributors also are invited to a pre-fight "VIP reception" featuring boxing promoter Don King, who in 2004 emerged as a strong supporter of George W. Bush.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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