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The blotter

— The Washington Post uses Laura Bush's appearance for House candidate Joy Padgett (R) in Ohio yesterday to illustrate how Padgett has been hamstrung in her effort to replace retiring Rep. Bob Ney (R) by all the scandals plaguing Ney and other state Republicans, leaving Padgett with few high-profile party figures who can stump for her and hurting her chances of hanging onto an otherwise GOP-leaning seat. 

Today, the parties involved in the CIA leak case against former Vice President Cheney chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby will face off in court over which classified documents Libby will be allowed to use to defend himself against charges of perjury and obstruction at his trial in January, per NBC's Joel Seidman.  Libby's attorneys will battle with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald before Judge Reggie Walton in the first of several closed hearings on the topic.  Fitzgerald wants to limit the use of secret documents, believing that extensive use of classified materials at trial may in fact jeopardize national security and sink his case, Seidman says.  He has already agreed that Libby should be able to use his own White House notes.  But in order for Libby to make his case to a jury, he says he must rely on the daily morning briefings he and Cheney received from the CIA, which are classified.  His trial is four months away; jury selection is scheduled to begin on January 17.