Closing Arguments

While William H. Rehnquist lay in repose across the street yesterday, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) took a dig at the late chief justice during a Capitol news conference.

"It's an opportunity to have a different approach of collegiality," Specter said of John Roberts's nomination to the vacancy left by Rehnquist. "I argued a case in the Supreme Court a few years back and Chief Justice Rehnquist ran a stopwatch, interrupted in mid-sentence. The word is he was looking for a way to interrupt somebody in the middle of the word 'if.' "

Love to the Rescue

It's not called Love for nothing: The staff of the amorously titled Washington club is providing catered food and hygiene kits for the 200 from Hurricane Katrina evacuees who arrived at D.C. Armory yesterday. Love's owner, Marc Barnes, said he thought of the idea "as soon as they said they had survivors coming in" and called the mayor's office.

According to Barnes, members of his staff -- including chef Lois Spencer -- volunteered to cook Cajun-inspired meals for the evacuees. "Taking care of several hundred people at the Armory, that's no problem at all," said Barnes, whose club regularly caters large events. "We've talked to other nightclub owners and they plan on helping to pay the cost for us to cook."

While Barnes estimated the usual cost of catering to a crowd of this size at $15,000 to $20,000, he said the effort is merely a labor of love: "We want these people to get a good meal, not like airport or canned food."

Co-worker Justin Paschal said: "He turned his nightclub into a disaster relief headquarters. There are boxes everywhere."

The Love staff also put together travel kits for the evacuees, filled with 28 hygiene essentials including Q-Tips, Scope and razors, which they plan to deliver to the stadium at noon today. "We want to start getting these people something in their hands now," said Barnes. "That's what it's about."

The View From the Skybox

On a tour of the Houston Astrodome Monday with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush made a few, um, interesting comments about evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

The 80-year-old Mrs. Bush said the relocation to Houston is "working very well" for some of the poorer New Orleans residents forced out of their city by the storm.

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas," she told the American Public Media radio show "Marketplace." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

Her statements came while the two former presidents visited with hundreds of the 23,600 hurricane victims and announced the foundation of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

End Note

* Singer Sheryl Crow and seven-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong are engaged. Armstrong, 33, announced the engagement through a statement on his Web site. The retired cyclist said he proposed to Crow, 43, last Wednesday in Sun Valley, Idaho. This will be the first marriage for Crow and the second for Armstrong. A date has not been set.

-- Compiled by Korin Miller

from staff and wire reports

Former president George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara, who says Astrodome conditions are fine for the underprivileged.Mixed emotions for Arlen Specter.