Circulating around Capitol Hill this month is a handy handbook for members of Congress. The booklet, "Politicians and Their Spouses' Careers," covers a subject the Founding Fathers never anticipated: the spouse's job. Former Capitol Hill administrative aide Marc E. Miller, the author of the book, said the need for such a booklet became apparent to him when Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was called to answer questions about her husband's business activities.
Miller said his serious and almost academic work is for all those two-career marriages that are going to increase as congressional couples attempt to survive in Washington on a legislator's salary. There are, he added, few rules or guidelines to keep them out of trouble.
The book even includes a detailed legal and ethical checklist the working couple is to answer. It can, however, all be summarized in one standard, Miller said: "How would you feel if anything about your career appeared on the front page" of your local newspaper? End Notes
In one of those unexpected turns of events, Viking Penguin will publish an authorized biography of Anatoly B. Shcharansky, the Jewish dissident who was allowed to leave the Soviet Union last week and is now living in Israel. When the publishers contracted for the work with British historian Martin Gilbert, a portion of the proceeds was to go to a fund for the Shcharansky family to continue to seek his freedom. That agreement remains now that he is free and the book is even more timely. Gilbert, who is the author of an eight-volume life of Winston Churchill, also wrote "The Jews of Hope," about Soviet dissidents, and "The Holocaust." A copy of the finished manuscript is to be sent to Shcharansky . . .
Father Gilbert Hartke, one of the fathers of Washington theater, is in critical condition with multiple heart and kidney ailments at Providence Hospital, where he has been since Feb. 12. The 78-year-old Dominican priest, who founded and was chairman of Catholic University's theater department for nearly 40 years, has had a number of hospitalizations over the past year. Since October, he has been hospitalized seven times . . .
Syndicated columnist Art Buchwald hosted a salute at New York University's Tamiment Library Wednesday to honor Virginia Durr, an 82-year-old civil rights activist from Alabama who published her autobiography, "Outside the Magic Circle," at the end of last year. Buchwald staged a "This Is Your Life" presentation. Among the guests were television newsman Mike Wallace, Bobby Kennedy Jr., authors Carlos Fuentes and William Styron and cartoonist Jules Feiffer . . .
Pop star Madonna and her tough-guy actor husband Sean Penn arrived in West Berlin yesterday surrounded by 15 bodyguards to keep the photographers and fans away. They traveled there from Hong Kong, where they were shooting a movie together, to attend the Berlin Film Festival. Penn is starring in the movie "At Close Range," which is being premiered there. Since Penn hates photographers so and has been in a few fights with them, the newsmen might have been thankful that the squad of bodyguards was present to keep Penn away from them . . .
Federal spending cuts of the kind mandated by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings act hit home for Illinois Rep. Lane Evans. His 58-year-old father Lee Evans is now out of work. He was one of four people laid off in Rock Island, Ill., because of cutbacks in the federal community development block grants the city receives. Evans, who voted against Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, said he knew the legislation could possibly affect his father, but he isn't worried about him. He said, "He's an old salt from the Navy. He's been through worse, and he'll get through this. It's going to mean far worse things to less advantaged people. I'm concerned how all these program cuts are going to affect those people" . . .
Vice President George Bush was in Cheyenne, Wyo., Wednesday where he met with John and Missy McPhillips, the brother-sister fourth graders who are attempting to get elementary school children to raise money to build a new space shuttle. NASA isn't keeping separate counts on how much money the space agency has received from individual groups to build another Challenger, but so far a total of $23,000 has been donated. At the billion-dollar-neighborhood cost of a new Challenger, the school kids have a long way to go . . .