Crimes against good taste: Lloyd Grove at the New York Daily News has a quick overview of Laura Collins’ New Yorker summary of Scooter Libby’s fiction debut, the 1996 novel "The Apprentice." The story is a thriller set in turn-of-the-century Japan, but Collins writes that "certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum." For instance: "The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the ‘mound’ of a little girl," and the "brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter." Collins says that "other sex scenes are less conventional," and quotes one longer passage: "At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest." A suspiciously enthusiastic reader review on Amazon writes: "Libby’s story builds and builds and builds until it reaches a crescendo of sexual and political tension. What a great read! Hope he is working on something new." (Also worth quoting is the opening image in the Daily News item: "The last time I saw Scooter Libby, he was trying to persuade Maureen Dowd to join him in doing tequila shots at the celebstudded Bloomberg party after the 2003 White House Correspondents Association Dinner.") (Lowdown, Amazon)
And who is Bigus Dickus tagging to replace the future Jack Henry Abbot? According to C&L, he has chosen David Addington as his chief of staff and John Hannah as his national security adviser, both of whom are named in the Libby indictment.
Keep your friends close and your prosecution witnesses closer.
Update: Steve Soto: [W]hat does it say about Bush’s commitment to separating himself from this mess if he didn’t stop Cheney from immersing himself even further into the morass of what he’ll be forced to testify upon at Libby’s trial. It looks like either Bush doesn’t care about the Fitzgerald indictments, or he still has no control whatsoever with Cheney’s office.
Update 2: TChris:
As TalkLeft noted here, Addington "attended strategy sessions in 2003 on how to discredit Wilson when the former ambassador publicly charged that the Bush administration misled the country in pushing its case for war,"and he "played a leading role in 2004 on behalf of the Bush administration when it refused to give the Senate Intelligence Committee documents from Libby’s office on the alleged misuse of intelligence information regarding Iraq." Addington seems to be Libby’s"mini-me," and Hannah was also involved in the Plame outing, a fact that TalkLeft discusses here and here. Their new roles assure that it will be business as usual in Cheney’s office.
Update 3: The ThinkProgress link that C&L cites has it wrong — Hannah was not named in the indictment. According to Ryan Lizza in The New Republic, those who stuck around after Fitzgerald’s press conference on Friday were told by spokesman Randall Samborn the identities of those mentioned only by titles in the indictment, "but not those left purposely vague." (?) The "Libby’s principal deputy" is in fact not Hannah, it’s Eric Edelman. Thanks for those in the comments who mentioned this.