Well, that was easy. Less than 72 hours after President Bush commuted Scooter Libby's jail sentence (and that includes a national holiday), erstwhile Prisoner 28301-016 paid his financial debt to society. Cheney's Cheney's $250,400 check -- 250 grand, plus a $400 "special assessment" -- was posted on the U.S. District Court's docket this afternoon. So much for the financial hardship his supporters had touted in defending Bush's actions.
There was Tony Snow on Tuesday, strumming his air violin while throwing down the let's-see-you-pay-that gauntlet to reporters: "A quick show of hands: how many people in this room think that $250,000 is a wrist slap?...It is a lot of money."
And Mel Sembler, aka Ambassador de Sade, chairman of the Libby Legal Defense Trust, made a big point of telling reporters that Libby wouldn't be using any of the close to $5 million in trust fund money to pay the fine.
But, even without the help, Scooter seems to have come up with the quarter-mil without too much trouble.
Maybe he was able to get a quick Pay Day Loan. Or maybe he already has a cushy consulting gig lined up from one of the big money backers that populate his defense fund's advisory committee. Or maybe he smells a book deal advance coming (publishers might be anxious for another round of his unique brand of bestiality porn now that his profile is so much higher).
In any case, with Libby's two years of supervised probation now in doubt, what Snow called Libby's "very severe penalty" is looking less and less severe. Prison time: nope. Fine: paid. Probation: called into question.
Hmm, what's that sound? Anybody hear a wrist slap coming from the Oval Office?