Sally’s Saloon & Eatery, the venerable Stadium Village institution, apparently has some licensing issues, and it’s got Bon Jovi and Gwen Stefani mighty upset, sort of. According to FOX9, Sally’s is facing a federal lawsuit for its use of “Thunderstruck” and “Livin’ on a Prayer” all the way back in 2007 and “The Sweet Escape” last February, despite allegedly not having a license for any of these songs. What did they do with the songs? Well, it’s not completely clear. It might have been a band that covered it. It might have been somebody singing it during karaoke. But whatever the context, it might cost Sally’s as much as $90,000.
A little bit of context comes from a Malaysian website, for whatever reason: The Star Online points out that this lawsuit follows another, by “country hottie” Taylor Swift against an Idaho sports bar. TMZ has more of that story, in which BMI representatives found the bar was playing music they hadn’t licensed, and a copyright lawsuit resulted.
Why target little regional bars? A lawyer who represents these sorts of cases has an answer, as quoted by FOX: “The public is often misled by thinking these are greedy companies that are pounding on the little people to get money. That’s really not the case, it’s really like if someone created something outside of the music business and someone else tried to steal it, it’s that simple without paying for it.” Gosh yes. Singing an unlicensed song during karaoke is precisely like stealing an actual, physical object, so there’s no reason to think greed is involved when national corporations and multimillionaires join forces to sue small regional businesses for $90,000 for three songs. Glad that’s cleared up.
The Minnesota House has joined in the lawsuit against Tim Pawlenty for his unilateral budget cuts: The Associated Press reports that lawyers for the House prepared a 34-page brief arguing that the governor overstepped his authority when he slashed the last budget; the principal concern is that allowing these cuts to remain would give future governors “unfettered discretion” in likewise trimming the budget as they see fit. Interestingly, Tim Pugmire of Minnesota Public Radio explains that the Republican Party was especially hit by one of Pawlenty’s cuts: The Minnesota GOP made the largest use of a state tax refund for political contributions.
“It’s like crack,” one follower of the Tom Petters’ trial told the Star Tribune, and she’s right: It’s hard not to be a little disappointed as the trial winds down. There just hasn’t been a day that has gone by without something outrageous, and, since the Ponzi scheme at the center of this trial reportedly lost as much as $3.65 billion, the least we can do is try to milk the trial for maximum entertainment value. The defense rested on Friday, but not before Petters managed to blame his top executive for the crime (“She set me up,” he complained, according to the Associated Press). Petters also claimed that he had planned to tell the government about the fraud, also reported by the AP, but then, well, he got raided by the Feds. “The raid was unnecessary and a misunderstanding,” Petters explained, as reported by John Welbes of the Pioneer Press, and haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we all been just about to spill the beans on our company’s multibillion-dollar fraud when, gosh darn it, the doors are knocked down by men with warrants?
Madeleine Baran of Minnesota Public Radio does a story about area homeless shelters, and you can pretty much guess what the story is: They’re running out of room. She quotes a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities: “The truth of the matter is we were full long before the recession started, and we are beyond full at this point.” Among the homeless: About 4,000 military veterans, according to a story last week from the Associated Press.
Everybody’s favorite complaint this time of year is about Christmas creep: The fact that preparations for the holiday come earlier and earlier, from advertisements to decorating to the ubiquitous playing of holiday music. Oops, make that Christmas music, because the latest example of Christmas creep is that discussions of the supposed war on Christmas have already started, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! What’s the complaint? According to Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey, the American Family Association has decided that Supervalu, which runs Cub Foods, is a “retailer against Christmas.” Why? Because they use the word “holiday,” rather than “Christmas,” to describe decorations on its website and in ads. As the AFA points out, replacing “Christmas” with “holiday” was started by the Nazis, which explains all those jackbooted thugs you see at Cub marching through the dairy aisle and flinging egg nog to the floor. And, just for clarity’s sake, the Nazis didn’t replace the word “Christmas” with the word “holiday;” Germans don’t call it Christmas, they call it Weihnachten, and the Nazis regularly put out Christmas publications.
We made fun of the long cat-and-mouse game Brett Favre played with the Twin Cities before signing with the Vikings, but, sonofagun, now that he’s with the team, he’s determined to demonstrate that he was worth it. You probably already know about the four touchdown passes Favre threw against the Seahawks on Sunday, which beat the NFL record for most games by a quarterback with at least four passing touchdowns, so let’s look to Twitter to see what people are saying about him: “How can you not love Brett Favre?“; “Favre may have been the annoying story in the offseason, but he flat out would get my MVP vote“; and “The correct way to spell favre………M. V. P.“
In fact, fans were shouting, “MVP,” during the game, according to the Pioneer Press’ Sean Jensen. And that’s the not the only place where Favre’s name is ringing out: Jay Sorgi, published on WTMJ Newsradio, explains that if you’re a Wisconsin soldier serving in Iraq, detainees at a Wisconsin National Guard camp are going to constantly discuss Favre to needle you. He quotes a military official: “One of the big words they know now is shenanigan. They’ll constantly talk about ‘Favre shenanigans,’ ‘He’s so good for the Vikings,’ and ‘The Packers have got to really feel bad about that one.’ “