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Listen, People

2007-07-06 - 1:32 p.m.

Boy, was I up late last night.

Finally got the chance to watch Dead Man's Chest (which was fun) and I installed a swivel stand under my TV (which was not).

I think I finally got to bed a little after 4am.

I have GOT to stop this. I need to get to bed earlier.


Yesterday, Smed (owner of a fine blog over here) made the following comment:

"On the July 5 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, while discussing President Bush's commutation of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's jail sentence, Neal Boortz falsely claimed that "Scooter Libby and Bill Clinton got sentenced and convicted for exactly the same crime."

As Media Matters for America has previously noted, Clinton was not indicted on criminal charges of perjury by independent counsel Robert Ray or his predecessor, Kenneth Starr.

By contrast, a federal jury convicted Libby on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton subsequently sentenced him to 30 months in federal prison."

I replied that, in my previous experience, Boortz is pretty good about posting corrections when he makes a mistake. Well, today Boortz did just that:

[MMfA] gave me some publicity yesterday over something that I said not once, but several times during the show. Technically, I was wrong … so kudos to MM.

Ok … here’s the deal. On Wednesday Jack Kielly, the National Secrity Writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote a nationally syndicated column that led off with this paragraph:

“’Scooter’ Libby will serve as much time in prison for lying under oath to a federal grand jury as Bill Clinton served for lying under oath to a federal grand jury.”

That statement is factually correct. The way I conveyed to my listeners what Jack Kelly had written was not. I used the word “convicted” in referring to Clinton. It is certainly true that Clinton lied under oath to a grand jury. Clinton agreed to a plea bargain with independent counsel Robert Ray in which he admitted that he gave misleading testimony to the grand jury. That’s the politically correct way of saying “I lied.” In exchange for the admission, and Clinton’s acceptance of a five-year suspension of his law license in Arkansas and the payment of $25,000 in attorney’s fees, Ray agreed not to indict Clinton for perjury.

Are you following this? Clinton admitted to “misleading testimony”, paid a fine, accepted other punishment, in exchange for not being charged with perjury. By the way, the U.S. Supreme Court later took away Clinton’s privileges as a result of his admission.

The fact remains: Libby and Clinton both lied before a federal grand jury. Neither spent any time in jail. Liberals see that as good for Clinton, bad for Libby. Conservatives see it exactly the opposite.

So … there you go. Clinton wasn’t “convicted.” He just admitted it.

Hope that clears it all up. Folks do make mistakes. Hopefully they'll try to fix them when they make them.


Came across this last night:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Avril Lavigne faces a lawsuit by the members of a 1970s rock band who claim her hit song "Girlfriend" rips off one of their tunes.

Songwriters Tommy Dunbar and James Gangwer alleged in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that Lavigne and her co-writers lifted their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," which was originally performed by new wave band The Rubinoos.

"We are not so naive as to chalk it up to some sort of cosmic coincidence," Dunbar said in a statement Thursday. "The lyric, the meter, the rhythm — they're identical."

The first court date has been set for Aug. 28 in Oakland.

A spokeswoman for Lavigne declined comment.

The lawsuit is not the first mention of the similarities between the songs. Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, in a review published on Billboard magazine's Web site, noted that the chorus of "Girlfriend" was a "total lift from the Rubinoos' `I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.'"

The Rubinoos toured and recorded from 1975 to 1983 and had a hit with a cover version of Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now." They also wrote the theme song for the movie "Revenge of the Nerds."

The Rubinoos were one of the bands on my I-gotta-listen-to-them-sometime list. Sadly, I never did. But I do remember a review of their album Back To The Drawing Board, where the reviewer mentioned that the band lifted the "Hey! You!" line from the Rolling Stones' "Get Off Of My Cloud" for their song..."I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend".

Again, I haven't heard any of the tunes listed. But I think it DOES make for a bit of a "cosmic coincidence."

Side note: If in fact Lavigne did unintentionally copy from the Rubinoos, she should take a leaf from the book of a classic-rock icon. This guitar legend had a huge hit in 1970 that he had accidentally lifted the entire melody and meter from a hit song that had been originally released in 1963. The legend did admit in court that he'd heard the original song and "subconciously" plagarized. There were a lot of other circumstances to this case; I found a fairly comprehensive write-up here.

The legend? George Harrison. His hit? "My Sweet Lord". The 1963 tune? "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons.


Got the following e-mail yesterday:

WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET A TRAFFIC TICKET: This advice was sent by a retired State Farm agent! This system has been tried and it works in every state.

If you get a speeding ticket or went through a red light, or whatever the case may be, you're going to get points on your license and a surcharge on your auto insurance. This is a method to insure that you DO NOT get the points.

When you get your fine, send in a check to pay for it. If the fine is $79.00 make the check out for $82.00, some small amount over the fine. The system will then have to send you back a check for the difference. However, here is the trick: DO NOT CASH THE REFUND CHECK! Throw it away!

Points are not assessed to your license until all Financial Transactions are complete. If you do not cash the check, then the transactions are NOT complete. The system has received its money and is satisfied and will no longer bother you.

This information comes from an unmentionable computer company that sets up the standard databases used by every state.

Send this to everyone you know. You never know when they may need a break.

Sound too good to be true? It is.


Onward into the day. Let's hope I don't melt.

Be seeing you.


2 comments so far

Brin - 2007-07-07 01:51:19 -
Did you know the Rolling Stones recorded a special version of that hit just for Scotland? The title is "Hey MacCloud, Get Off Of My Ewe."


Smed - 2007-07-06 23:48:05 -
Well, thanks for the compliment!


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