George W. Bush has commuted the sentence of "Scooter" Libby. Libby no longer has to go to jail, but he does have to pay a $250,000 fine. Of course he is not actually going to pay the fine out of his own pocket. The Right Wingers have already rased millions of dollars in a fund-raising campaign, much as they did for Ollie North.
They have already sent out the mass mailings and made the phone calls, as thousands of poor and middle-class conservatives were asked--once again--to contribute to keeping another criminal out of jail. Meanwhile the really deep pockets are busy contributing to Presidential campaigns where it will go to buy even more influence and power.
Perhaps some jail time would have helped Scooter straighten out his priorities. But of course if Libby goes to jail there is always the chance he will rat out his boss, Karl Rove. Bush can't afford to take the chance that Libby will turn on his masters and start talking about the high crimes of his bosses in the White House.
It's amazing that the Right Wing pundits have compared this commutation to Clinton's last minute pardons in 2000. Clinton didn't pardon anyone on the White House staff in order to cover up his own actions. Libby, on the other hand, probably knows where all the bodies are buried, and neither Bush nor Cheney can afford to have him start talking to prosecutors.