Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) is in the hospital with a condition described as "serious," according to a published report.
Philly.com, a website of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, reported tonight that friends of Specter's confirmed the 82-year-old former Senator has been hospitalized.
Since his retirement from the Senate in January 2011 after losing the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic primary to Joe Sestak, Specter has returned to the private practice of law and taken on several other ventures, including an autobiography.
Specter has also become a stand-up comedian, performing a set of largely politically themed jokes at the expense of friends and foes alike.
Specter was scheduled to perform a routine last week at the Stu Bykofsky Candidates' Comedy Night, but he canceled the appearance, Philly.com reported. The event is an annual charity fundraiser in which candidates for office in the Philadelphia area attempt stand-up comedy.
Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980 as a Republican and remained a member of the Republican Conference until 2009, when he switched to the Democratic side of the aisle. The move would ultimately give the Democrats a short-lived 60-vote super-majority once Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) was seated after a court battle.
An effort to reach the Specter family for confirmation was not immediately successful.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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