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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 7-14-16: I For One Welcome Our Alien Overlords

A group of eagle-eyed YouTubers have uncovered evidence of the greatest conspiracy in history: Aliens are approaching Earth and NASA is covering it up. Apparently they have been shutting off the live stream from the ISS at strategic times to keep people from seeing it. I for one welcome our new alien overlords.

These candidates make me want to vomit in terror. There’s only one option that will make all of us happy: Sweet Meteorite of Death 2016.

Donald Trump will announce his running mate on Friday. Can you feel the excitement?

Pokemon Go continues to dominate the news cycle, cementing its place as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” of the summer of 2016. Senator Al Franken wants an investigation into what kind of info they are collecting through the app. Because he’s a serious United State Senator.

Hoping to capitalize on nostalgic millennials who now have some extra spending money, Nintendo is releasing a working mini replica of their original gaming system.

Nearly 8 of every 10 U.S. drivers admit expressing anger, aggression or road rage at least once in the previous year. I’m guessing this includes middle fingers. I just wish some of those people would use their turn signals.

Remember how shocked Disney was when an alligator ate a small child on their property? Firefighters at Walt Disney World were warned to stop feeding alligators at one of the resort’s fire stations two months earlier.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 5-9-16: Mercury Rising

On Monday the planet Mercury will wander directly in front of the sun — a rare “transit” that only happens about 13 times a century. Most people in Europe and North America should be able to view the event through a telescope or binoculars, weather permitting. You can also catch the show live on the astronomy website Slooh.com, or via live streams from the European Space Agency and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. (Instructions for building a solar filter for your binoculars.)

The Chicago Police Department will be deploying 2,000 additional body cameras in seven police districts by the summer. Chicago Police currently use about 30 body cameras in one district on the Northwest Side, and complaints about police officers are way down so Eddie Johnson says it will help increase public trust. Dean Angelo still isn’t thrilled with them, basically saying that it won’t help protect officers if someone attacks them. (How about we put a “body camera” on John and broadcast it on Periscope?)

The Cook County Jail was placed on lockdown Sunday morning due to low staffing levels. The lockdown is “for officer safety,” allowing inmates to move only for medical reasons, emergencies and visitation. Hire some part-timers, folks.

Finally, you can express your disgust with all of your options in the 2016 Presidential election. A new website is selling yard signs that read “Everybody Sucks 2016.”

SNL started off with Ted Cruz vs The Church Lady, and it was amazing. She actually introduced him as “Satan.” She also talked to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Oops: A high school in California is apologizing after they misidentified a young Muslim student wearing a hijab as “Isis”. The yearbook has already released a statement saying it was an accident but the student, who has asked that their name not be released yet, is less than convinced.

80 year old woman in Washington state shot and killed a home intruder. The man appears to have been a burglar and had already beaten her husband with a crowbar. She says she’s “not your typical granny,” which probably goes without saying.

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourn are calling it quits after 33 years of wedded bliss. If a love like that can’t last, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-20-16: The Day Democracy Died

Democracy is dead. The British Science Ministry won’t be naming their new research ship “Boaty McBoatface” despite the fact it was the overwhelming choice of The People.

Joe Biden has taken a turn for the smug. He says that he’s not comfortable being the “Goofy Uncle Joe” because he’s done such an amazing job as Vice President. He also says that if he had wanted to run for President, he would have beaten everybody who is currently running.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is putting money where his hydration is, and maybe his life on the line. He’s going to drink nothing but Flint, Michigan water for the next 30 days.

John McCain may be joining Mark Kirk in skipping the Republican National Convention. He’s blaming the fact that it’s so late in the summer this year, and he says he has a campaign to fight. Is it really a party if John McCain isn’t there?

A guy in New Zealand was due to appear in court for unpaid traffic fines when he learned the judge was retiring. So he went on a Facebook rant against the judge, mocking him. What he didn’t know is the judge wasn’t retiring until *after* his case. So the judge made him read his Facebook comments aloud in front of the whole court.

A 2 year old boy in Scotland was caught by his mom drawing on her mirror in lipstick. He immediately denied it, saying “Batman did it.”

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-8-16: Rating Your Fellow Human Beings

That new app called “Peeple” has finally launched. Controversy has swirled around it since it was announced. It’s described as “Yelp for human beings,” so much like you’d leave a review on Yelp for a restaurant you just went to, you can rate your fellow human beings based on your interactions with them. Critics say it’s nothing but an outlet for cyber revenge, and people will spend all of their time getting revenge for past grievances or just pranking their friends. The creators say it’s just a way for you to get more information about the people around you, a research tool to check before you hire someone, or date them, or hire them for a date.

Rather than striking, the Chicago Teachers Union is planning a rally on April 1st that may or may not close schools. If it does, Karen Lewis is telling parents to just think of it as an “extra holiday.” That seems a little “Let them eat cake”-ish, doesn’t it?

Thousands of people have signed a petition to get the University of Illinois-Chicago to cancel Donald Trump’s rally at the school pavilion Friday. As of Monday morning, nearly 43,000 people had signed the moveon.org petition arguing the rally “has no place in Chicago but especially not at an institution of higher learning.”

Someone has created a new PAC dedicated to Donald Trump’s hand size. Trump Has Tiny Hands PAC describes themselves as “patriotic Americans devoted to educating our fellow citizens about Donald Trump’s tiny baby hands.”

Remember Ashley Lindsey, America’s sweetheart/the porn star from the Ted Cruz campaign ad? She told CNN on Monday that she supports Donald Trump for President. Ouch. Porn stars hold a grudge.

A guy running for State Rep in Chicago may or may not have been attacked with a staple gun. He says he was attacked by people putting up signs for his opponent, they say he attacked them. He definitely had a staple in his forehead. A lawyer for the accused says it’s a “false flag” operation to get some attention for his “failing campaign.” He said Zwolinski may have stapled himself in the forehead just to get attention. They are currently looking for surveillance footage, and the lawyer says it will back up their side of the story, but stapling yourself in the forehead seems like a long way to go to get some attention.

Erin Andrews was awarded $55 million in her lawsuit against the stalker who film the naked video of her, and the hotel where it happened. Her legal team was arguing the hotel shouldn’t have allowed the stalker to find out which room she was in and get the one next door. My reaction? Definitely deserved, but if you’re Erin Andrews and you’re getting a gigantic check for $55 million, do you keep working or are you done?

Michael Bloomberg announced he won’t be running for President as an Independent. He said he came to the conclusion that he could not win the race, and if he got in would only end up contributing to a Donald Trump victory.

A woman who graduated law school and couldn’t find a job is suing the law school. She claims they inflated their graduates’ employment rate and therefore deceived her into thinking she’d get a job. Who goes to school assuming it will mean they’ll be able to find a job? She should learn a trade, then she’ll find a job, right? Any college graduates going through similar frustration?

A web designer has created a Java script that mimics what it’s like to read if you are dyslexic. It’s possible to read, but it takes a lot of concentration, and of course that’s knowing what it’s supposed to look like. If all you’ve ever experienced is the jumbled up version of the text, it would be very tough to make anything out.

Speaking of reading disorders, a detour sign in Lincoln Park has “Illinois” misspelled.

Was Alcohol A Factor? Police in Roselle stopped a woman driving with a large tree embeded in the front of her car. She told police she had struck the tree, but she did not remember where.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-4-16: Presidential Race Gets (Even More) Childish

It took less than ten minutes into the GOP debate tonight for Donald Trump to brag about the size of his penis. Really. That’s a thing that happened. Two days after Super Tuesday put the billionaire frontrunner on a nearly unstoppable path to his party’s nomination, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – now on a dual mission to deny him the 1,237 delegates needed to win – went after Trump with a vengeance that owed more to the wrestling ring than elective democracy. I need a drink.

CPS announced that all of their employees will be taking three furlough days. That should save them about $30 million. The Chicago Teachers Union says that all but assures there will be a strike on April 1st.

Chris Christie told reporters on Thursday that he was not being held hostage when he was with Donald Trump on Tuesday. He says that it was a press conference, and he was simply diligently listening to the questions and answers. Christie was not blinking a plea for help in Morse Code, either.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan said that he “laughed out loud” when Donald Trump threatened him.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering, “What does Miley Cyrus think about the Presidential election?” Well, she posted on Instagram that Donald Trump is a “f**king nightmare” and threatened to move if he is elected President. Now you know.

President Obama says that his family will be sticking around Washington, DC after his Presidency is over. They’ll be sticking around until Sasha finishes at Washington’s Sidwell Friends School in the spring of 2019. So the next Inauguration won’t feature the obligatory shot of the former President flying off into the sunset in SAM 28000, they’ll just be going down the street.

A prison inmate in Mississippi came up with a unique way of escaping. He didn’t tunnel out of the place El Chapo-style, he stole one of the guards uniforms and just walked out the front door.

Animal Stories: A Bald Eagle made a rare appearance in Chicago, close to Midway Airport. It immediately hit a power line, was electrocuted and died. Bird not gonna be OK, Uncle Larry.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-2-16: Democracy Doesn’t Work

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had big days on Super Tuesday, but it wasn’t quite the death blow they would have wanted.

Chris Christie was probably the biggest loser on Super Tuesday. He appeared with Donald Trump and looked like he was being held hostage. Naturally, Twitter responded accordingly.

The numbers just seem to keep getting worse. Chicago had 40 murders during the month of February. Chicago’s murder rate so far in 2016 is the worst in nearly two decades.

House Speaker Paul Ryan went after Donald Trump pretty hard and said the Republican presidential nominee must reject any group “built on bigotry.” He said the Republicans are the party of Lincoln and Reagan, and their nominee must understand that all people are “equal in the eyes of God and the government.” To me the most interesting thing is he sounded like an adult scolding a child for even having to comment on Trump’s antics. I always look for the adult in the room and it left me all hot and bothered wishing Ryan had been running.

Contempt level 11: An Ohio farmer spelled out “NO TRUMP” in his field in manure. 15 cows and bulls contributed to the effort.

Remember when the New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed Chris Christie for President? After he endorsed Trump, they published a retraction of their endorsement.

Good news for Ted Cruz: A judge has tossed out the lawsuit that aimed to get him kicked off of the ballot here in Illinois.

According to sources, the odds of Michael Bloomberg running for president are “very, very low — almost zero.” His decision will likely come this week or next. His campaign slogan should be “America, we need an adult.”… but not in a soothing,  authoritative tone, more like a terrified child running from a creepy old man sorta of tone. “WE NEED AN ADULT!!”

A woman in a fur coat robbed a bank in Chicago on Tuesday morning. She made a “threatening demand” but did not show a weapon of some kind. They have not released how much money she got away with. Two observations: a) Impressive costume choice, it obscures your identity and provides you with your very own criminal identity. b) It should be the policy of every bank that you demand to see the weapon before you hand over any money.

Scare (Not Quite) In The Air: Two airplanes slid off of runways at O’Hare during the snow on Tuesday. One was an American Airlines flight and the other was a corporate jet. No injuries were reported, but the incident is under investigation.

Former Red and now Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has been hit with a 30 game suspension for domestic abuse. He probably could have gotten more, but at the very least MLB still looks a little less clueless than the NFL.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-26-16: Life Imitating Art

The screenwriter for the movie Idiocracy has some concerns about what he’s seeing in the news these days. He says he “never expected Idiocracy to become a documentary.” Idiocracy is about a 21st century man who is frozen and wakes up 500 years in the future to find that society has completely collapsed and the Earth is ruled by morons with short attention spans and a pro-wrestler as President.

A teen from Aurora was swept into Lake Michigan by a large wave. He apparently decided it was a good idea to walk on a jetty out in the water with waves crashing all around. As a matter of fact, there were 15 foot waves.

It was an exciting day or so, but the SCOTUS sweepstakes continues. Brian Sandoval said thanks, but no thanks to being nominated to the Supreme Court.

Donald Trump has picked up his first Congressional endorsement. It’s from Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, and a wealthy former businessman. He said that Trump “understands the importance of American exceptionalism, and has the unique qualifications to make America great again.” So there’s at least one person in Congress who isn’t a “loser.”

Joe Biden is in Mexico this week. He said he felt obligated to apologize for the immigration rhetoric coming from the GOP.

Meanwhile, former Mexican President Vicente Fox talk to Jorge Ramos and said Mexico won’t be paying for Donald Trump’s *bleeping* wall. He said Trump has enough money that if he wants a wall, he should be the one to pay for it. He also added that he does not believe a democratic society would elect someone like Trump.

A guy has created a bot that might just win the war on telemarketers. When a telemarketer calls you, you add the bot to the call and it will engage the person in just enough inane conversation to keep them busy, perhaps for hours on end.

A bill that just passed in the Iowa legislature would let kids 14 years and younger have guns. Kids could possess “a pistol, revolver or the ammunition” under parental supervision. Apparently they can already use shotguns and rifles, and this would just apply the same rules to handguns.

A second grader in Vermont wrote a story in class about helping a farmer grow “special medicine.” That led the police to investigate and it turned out the his mom’s boyfriend was growing marijuana on their property.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-15-16: Republican Presidential Race Goes Thermonuclear

Donald Trump decided to extend his war on the Bush family to George W. Bush during Satuday night’s debate. He went full Iraq War Truther, saying that Bush liked about WMD in Iraq, and proclaimed that he knew all along that they weren’t there. Dubya has about an 80% approval rating in South Carolina, so it will be interesting to see how people react to that.

Saturday’s Republican debate was a real humdinger. The biggest fireworks were between Donald Trump & Jeb Bush, Donald Trump & Ted Cruz and Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio. Charles Krauthammer said it was “thermonuclear” and the GOPers went from WWE to UFC.

Ben Carson decided it was a good idea to quote Joseph Stalin in his closing statement during Saturday’s debate. He was basically saying that society is collapsing, and this election is about turning things around. The problem is Stalin never actually said that, it’s just a meme that’s been floating around Facebook for a while.

America is finally hearing from Amy Lindsey, the adult film actress who ended up in a Ted Cruz ad. She said that people called her to say the ad was being pulled before she even know it had been released. She says that she identifies as a conservative Republican, and she would still consider supporting Ted Cruz in the Presidential election.

Rahm Emanuel is bringing back the idea of an express train between downtown and O’Hare. It would cost some public money, but they are actually looking for a private company to build and operate it. Fares would range from $25 to $35 for the roughly 20-minute journey, which is half the time it takes for the Blue Line. We’d be better off researching teleportation.

A flugelhorn player was the victim of a smash and grab in Chicago. He was at a yoga class at the time (There’s the problem). The guys horns and the case they were in are worth about $8,000.

The health ministry in Jamaica wants to raise awareness of the Zika Virus, so they’ve released a new PSA. It features a reggae song about the virus, and it’s every bit as awesome as you think.

Good news: Cuba has returned our lost dummy Hellfire missile. It was somehow accidentally shipped to Cuba in 2014, and we had been working to get it back every since.

Watch porn to save the whales! To celebrate World Whale Day on February 13, PornHub has pledged to donate 1 cent for every 2,000 videos viewed on their site between February 8 to 29. All the proceeds will go towards the non-profit cetacean conservation group The Moclips Cetological Society.

Bill Murray got mad when some people at a party in California were taking his picture and threw their phones off of the roof. He was apparently annoyed at the constant flashes from the camera phones. Murray has offered to pay to replace all of the phones, so there wasn’t be any charges filed.

UPDATE: Remember the guy who was arrested for having sex with a woman on the ferris wheel in Las Vegas? He was actually supposed to marry another woman that week. His fiance told him that she was pregnant with another man’s baby, and he went on a drunken romp throughout the city that ended up including picking up a 21 year old stranger and going on a ferris wheel ride. The fiance ended up bailing him out of jail and doesn’t seem as furious about the whole thing as one would assume.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-12-16: Who’s Gonna Drive You Home?

More and more people are driving less and less these days. It’s just not the kiddies anymore, even middle-aged people are getting in on the act. According to an exciting new study, only 69 percent of 19-year-olds have a driver’s license in 2014, compared with almost 90 percent in 1983. The percentage of 20-somethings with driver’s licenses has also fallen by 13 percent over the past three decades, and fewer Americans in their 30s and 40s now have driver’s licenses. Remember, the problem with public transportation isn’t the transportation…

Marco Rubio’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week continues. Now he chipped a tooth biting into a frozen Twix bar.

The last of the Oregon protesters has surrendered. He made the FBI agents scream “Hallelujah” before he would come out, for some reason. Maybe he thought it would cause the heathen federal employees to burst into flames.

A guy in Naperville spent $5,500 on a billboard for his new laser skin care clinic. Imagine his surprise when the billboard ended up being posted upside down. The funny thing is, people noticed and his phone has been ringing off the hook. Now the advertising company responsible says they planned the whole thing, which I don’t buy for a second.

A Wisconsin man is blaming his drunk driving arrest on the fact that he had beer battered fish. It was his 10th drunk driving offense, so clearly he is a big fan of beer battered fish.

This week Harry Whittington went quail hunting for the first time in ten years. Harry Whittington would be the guy Dick Cheney shot, ten years ago this week. Cheney has yet to apologize to him, although he apologized to Cheney for all of the stress Cheney must have gone through after shooting. That’s a pretty amazing level of badassery, when you shoot someone and *they* apologize to *you.*

Dairy Queen doesn’t want the single folks to feel left out on Valentine’s Day, so they are offering the “Singles Blizzard.” Because you won’t feel pathetic at all when you walk up to the counter and order the “Singles Blizzard.” The delightful reminder of your desperation includes cocoa fudge, peanut butter cups, peanut butter, salted caramel truffles and just a hint of comments from your parents about how much they’d like to have grandchildren before they die.

Something for the Chicago tourism folks to take a look at? A town in Slovenia has decided to build a beer fountain in their town.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-9-16: The Seas Were Angry That Day, My Friends

Carnival Cruise Line had a rough weekend. The Anthem of the Seas sailed through hurricane-force winds and 30-foot waves off the East coast. Passengers were told to stay in their staterooms until the storm passed. It caused some cosmetic damage to the ship, knocking over furniture and four people reported injuries but none of them were serious. Passengers will receive a refund for their trouble plus half off a future cruise fare, should they decide to brave the high seas again.

The city of Chicago is failing to warn people that they might have high levels of lead in their water. The city is going a lot of work replacing water mains and meters, and according to a federal study that’s raising the level of lead in the water. But the city isn’t warning anyone that they could be in danger.

President Obama will address the Illinois State Legislature on Wednesday. The bad news is that the public will not be allowed in, only elected officials, people with credentials and invited guests.

Officials in Lincolnwood are recommending that pit bulls no longer be labeled in the village code as “vicious” based solely on their breed. Basically, they want pit bulls to be treated like every other kind of dog, which has to actually bite someone to be classified as “vicious.”

John McCain was on Fox News Channel responding to Donald Trump calling for waterboard and more torture. He was most concerned about Trump saying that he would “just classify it” if it was against the law, and asked if we want a President who would violate the law like that. He also talked about the fact that torture doesn’t usually lead to any useful information.

It turns out Scott Darling on the Blackhawks is a bit of a superhero. Apparently he helped out a random man who was down on his luck by paying for a place to stay for a whole month.

Michael Bloomberg has confirmed that he is considering a run for President as an independent. He thinks that frontrunners Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are too extreme. The deadline for a decision seems to be March, which would be around Super Tuesday, so it stands to reason that we’d have a pretty good idea who the nominees will be. Republicans hate him because of his Nanny State proclivities, Democrats hate him because he’s not a Democrat. The question is, does Joe Sweatsock hate him?

A Florida man went in the drive-thru at his local Wendy’s and threw a three-foot alligator through the window and into the restaurant. Apparently he picked the alligator up on the side of the road and took it to the restaurant. The incident happened back in October, but they just arrested him this week.

A man decided it was a good idea to rob a photobooth at an amusement park in Batavia. He apparently didn’t consider the fact that there is a camera in said photobooth and so now police have a picture to show everyone. He got away with $75 and caused another $75 in damages.