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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 5-18-15: 21st Century Parenting

Parent of the Decade nominee: A couple of kids in Pennsylvania were climbing a tree in the schoolyard when, they say, a guy told them not to do that and to just go home; he said something about liability. So the kids’ mother drew up and signed an all-purpose permission slip they could carry with them the next time someone tells them not to climb trees.

Meanwhile, in California one pampered snowflake is upset because of a local billboard. A high school junior has launched a petition to get a billboard for a local plastic surgeon removed. The billboard features two cups of coffee, one cup says B and the other cup says D  with the caption “Size Matters”… suggesting a D-cup is better than a B-cup. She says it’s offensive, but the doctor in question says he’s actually empowering young women. Through larger boobs.

Good news: Starting in the end of July the state of Illinois have new drivers licenses and state ID’s that will comply with REAL ID. So you won’t have to use a passport to travel from state to state, as has been threatened every year. Bad news: The new ID’s will be so fancy and schmancy that you’ll no longer be able to talk out the door with your new ID. You’ll get a temporary paper ID and then in the following days get a permanent one in the mail.

Mark Kirk isn’t endorsing Donald Trump by any stretch of the imagination, but he does seem to be accepting the reality of the situation. He says that with a nominee/potential POTUS as unpredictable as Trump, it’s important to have a steady conservative with tons of international political experience in the Senate. Mark Kirk, adopting the “this guy’s bats, so you want someone like me who knows what they are doing” re-election strategy.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump says he’s willing to sit down and talk with Kim Jong-Un to get him to shut down his nuclear program. So he wants to pull all of our troops out of our bases around the world if the countries don’t pay us back for them, and now he wants to talk to Kim Jong-Un. If I were in South Korea, I’d be pretty terrified right now.

(Audio) Tape also surfaced of Donald Trump saying a woman looked like a “third rate hooker”. The long-elusive tape of Trump shooting a person on the street in New York has yet to surface, however.

The Cubs and their angry neighbors might be coming to some sort of an agreement on allowing the Cubs to sell tasty adult beverages in their new plaza starting later this summer. Tom Tunney and the neighbors still aren’t happy about it, but it still look like it’s going to happen.

(Audio) Scare in the Air: Turbulence got so bad on a flight from Chicago to Boston the airplane had to turn around & two flight attendants were taken to the hospital. Several passengers were throwing up, but ultimately no passengers had any serious injuries.

A Saudi Arabian man divorced his wife just hours after they were married. Apparently she spent their whole wedding night texting her friends, rather than participating in normal wedding night festivities.

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 – 5-4-16: May The Fourth Be With You

Trump wins Indiana. The Trumpster fire engulfs America.

Things took a turn for the insane in the Republican race before the results started coming in from Indiana. Donald Trump repeated a National Enquirer allegation that Ted Cruz’s dad was connected to Lee Harvey Oswald. Ted Cruz denied the allegations, and called Trump a pathological liar. Meanwhile, in the afternoon Jake Tapper on CNN pleaded for some kind of sanity.

The Lucas Museum may be flying off to a city far, far away. Friends of the Parks said on Tuesday they will oppose any location on the lakefront. Mellody Hobson, wife of George Lucas, said they are now “seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago.”

Speaking of crazy ideas to bring in more tourists, a pair of businessmen have unveiled a plan to have aerial gondolas above the Chicago River.

A federal judge is refusing to get step into the fight between Uber and taxi driver, but the city has some work today. She said the differences in rules between taxi drivers and ride share companies seem “utterly arbitrary.”

Get ready for some outrage: CPS has outlined new rules allowing students access to bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.

Cool or creepy? The FDA has approved new sensors in pills that would help doctors monitor how you’re doing. Interestingly, they are actually powered by energy coming from your body.

A woman was caught on tape berating a man at her local Walmart for paying with food stamps. Both the angry woman and the object of her ire were both shopping with their kids, so their profanity-laced exchange was a fantastic example for the kids.

A middle schooler in the Houston area was dragged in front of police officer who accused her of using counterfeit money to buy lunch. It turned out she was just using a $2 bill, which by the way is a real denomination, just in case you didn’t know. The school claimed they were confused, because it was an older bill and the pen they use to spot counterfeits didn’t work on it. Imagine what will happen when they start changing the money.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 5-2-16: People (Not) Helping People

A student was attacked on the CTA Blue Line in broad daylight last week. The truly upsetting thing is she says other people on the train just watched as she was beaten. There were at least two other people on the train who did nothing to help her. There have been a number of robberies on the CTA lately, including someone who is robbing lone travelers on the Red Line, which is great news for me.

The White House says Malia Obama is going to take a “gap year” and then go to Harvard in 2017. Back in my day, a “gap” year was a sign that you weren’t taking the whole college idea all that seriously, but it seems to be gaining some traction. Incidentally, she’ll be the 23rd Presidential offspring to go to Harvard.

John Kasich just can’t win. He did a “promposal” video for a young woman at an event in California. The good news is, the person in question did says yes. The bad news is the young said that both she, and her date will be voting for Hillary Clinton in the Presidential race.

An 11 year old kid in Alabama picked up the family guy and shot at home intruder. He fired 12 shots and finally connected on the 12th one, hitting the ne’er-do-well in the leg. It was at that point the intruder started “crying like a baby,” in the words of the heroic 11 year old. The family says they don’t know the guy, but he’s robbed them before. Authorities are still investigating the incident.

A man walked into a television station in Baltimore dressed in an outfit described as a “panda onesie” claiming to have an explosive strapped to his chest. Apparently, he believed the world was going to end on June 3 and he went to the station to convince them to air his warning message.

A TV sportscaster in Nashville did a sports report containing a ton of references to Prince in memory of the late artist. The TV station didn’t find it amusing, and actually fired him. You can get sports scores on your phone, the people on TV have to do something unique and interesting.

David Ortiz of the Red Sox went all Babe Ruth on Friday night. He promised a sick kid he would hit a home run for him, and actually did it.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-12-16: Creep Factor

Scholars at Know College in Illinois have done the first scientific study about what is considered to be creepy. To define what makes someone creepy, researchers surveyed 1,341 people between the ages of 18 and 77. The psychologists found that men are typically considered creepier than women and clowns are the creepiest profession, with taxidermists, sex shop owners and taxi drivers close behind. When it came to hobbies, collecting dolls, insects, reptiles, or body parts such as teeth, bones, or fingernails were considered especially creepy.

And the latest Chicago politician to be arrested is… *spins wheel* former Congressman Mel Reynolds! He was arrested in the Atlanta airport coming back from South Africa where he was helping his sick daughter. He didn’t want to leave her, even though it violated his parole. He was released on his own recognizance a few hours later.

Rahm Emanuel has given the thumbs down to the idea of closing Addison and Clark during Cubs games. He says the Cubs also have to be good neighbors, and they can accomplish their security goals without closing the streets.

The Chicago city council is recommending the police pay a total of $6.4 million to the families of two people who died in custody. Forget about the question of morality, the Chicago Police need to get their act together simply because the city can’t afford to keep paying people when they screw up.

The Minooka Police Department has stopped using officer body cameras. They had been experimenting with them for the past six months. The police chief said it became a burden for staff to fill the many requests for video footage.

It’s a good thing Donald Trump has a big lead in New York. Two of his children missed the deadline to register to vote for the primary.

Speaking of Trump, in an interview with USA Today he suggested he could pick Marco Rubio as his runningmate. He said he “likes Marco a lot.” That’s certainly at odds with, well just about everything he said on the campaign trail. Last we heard from Marco, he said he wouldn’t be VP or Florida Governor, but would be heading to the private sector.

A group of teenagers has decided to sue President Obama and the federal government for making a mess of the planet for future generations. They are upset because they say the government hasn’t done enough to fight climate change, and also continues to permit the extraction of fossil fuels. Because none of them drive cars.

A restaurant in Utah is serving up fish and chips with a side of the Second Amendment. The restaurant is run by a family of four and they all wear handguns on their hips while they are working. They also all wear kilts, but no one really seems to notice that, what with the guns and all.

A guy went under anesthesia to have four teeth pulled by a dentist. He woke up with no teeth. While he was out, and without consulting his wife who was just feet away in the waiting room, they yanked all his teeth due, they said, to an infection they worried would spread. He coded twice in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The man, as you might expect is a little upset. The dentist isn’t commenting. The fact that a story like this exists somewhere in the world is enough to make me think twice about ever going to the dentist again.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-5-16: Sniveling, Entitled Nurses

A nurse in Texas ordered a pizza late at night, and the box came with a note saying “We would appreciate it very much if you didn’t wait until five minutes before we close.” She sent a pic to her friend who is absolutely livid, saying that a business is open until the minute they close and on top of that, nurses save lives all the time. Of course at the same time, how would you feel if you were an employee and you suddenly get an order minutes before you’re supposed to shut things down for the night?

According to a new report, millionaires are leaving Chicago faster than any other city.

The White Nationalists for Trump are back. Now they are sending out robocalls in Wisconsin.

Guess what nation’s flag a construction worker put on the top of Trump Tower in Vancouver? Mexican. It was the Mexican flag.

Someone started a White House petition to have Donald Trump arrested for “inciting violence.” The petition did get the 100,000 signatures needed to get an official White House response, but they have decided against doing so.

The Disney Company does everything they can to make their attractions as realistic as possible. A dead body was found in the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Paris. It is believed he was working on a light fixture and was accidentally electrocuted.

God Save The Queen? A British historian says that the monarchy is only still around because Queen Elizabeth is old and people like her. So, the theory goes, when she kicks it, that will cause a debate about why the British have this un-elected family that is for some reason tangled up in their government. If true, I assume this means the royal family will go all Weekend at Bernies with the Queen when she dies to keep the good times going?

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-4-16: Feel The Burn

Billboards are popping up all over Los Angeles that say “Feel The Burn.” They aren’t for Bernie Sanders, they are trying to get people tested for STD’s. Feel The Burn, get it? The billboards are from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They’d had quite a few tongue-in-cheek billboards recently, and their spokesperson suspects that Bernie Sanders would get a chuckle out of them.

A Mayoral task force here in Chicago is calling for the city to require employers to give workers 5 paid days of sick leave per year. They estimate there are about 200,000 workers in the city of Chicago who don’t have any sick days and can’t afford to take any days off and lose the pay from those days.

Rahm Emanuel wants a federal hate crime investigation into the racial slurs that were heard over Chicago Police radio frequencies. This seems like such a waste of time and energy to me, it’s not like you can completely control who broadcasts on those radio frequencies, and it seems like it would be impossible to find out who did it. So what’s an investigation actually going to prove? There are morons out there, we already know this.

America simply doesn’t want to be made great again: Polls show that a head to head match-up between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would be a bit of a bloodbath in electoral votes.

SNL had a pretty epic cold open on Saturday night (live). The focus was on women Trump supporters defending him on cable news.

Meanwhile, Trump is complaining that the RNC is treating him unfairly. He was on Face The Nation and specifically cited Louisiana, where he says he should have gotten more delegates than he did.

The East Coast is going to be a mess on Monday: Due to an accident involving an Amtrak train near Philadelphia, the Northeast Corridor, the busiest area for train travel in the country, has been temporarily shut down. Amtrak said that the train “operating from New York City to Savannah, Ga., struck a backhoe that was on the tracks and derailed the lead engine south of Philadelphia.” There are about 341 passengers on board and two people have died from the crash.

Trash-talking: Scottie Pippen says the 95-96 Chicago Bulls would have swept the current Golden State Warriors. The warriors are closing in on the Bulls record for most regular season wins. He says he would have kept Stephen Curry under 20 points. What if the Warriors and Bulls met up in a street brawl, with Curry armed with a flame-thrower and Pippen had a broadsword?

It wouldn’t be opening day without a mascot controversy. The Cleveland Indians aren’t getting rid of their Chief Wahoo logo, but they’ve decided to dramatically cut back on him. He’s off of their caps, but still on the sleeves of their home uniforms. They won’t be getting rid of him though, despite the fact that some people aren’t too happy with him.

The Secret Service got into a confrontation with protesters outside the White House over the weekend. They objected to the gigantic, 50-foot inflatable joint the pro-pot protesters were carrying with them.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-30-16: Relaxed Work Ethic

France may make it illegal to check your email when you’re not in normal business hours. A new bill proposes to give workers the “right to disconnect” after office hours and on the weekends. The bill would require employers to encourage their employees to stay off smartphones and “other devices” when the aren’t in the office. Say what you want about the declining American worth ethic, but at least we haven’t done that… yet.

Chicago will be adding another amazing, world-class museum to it’s ranks next month. The U.S. Pizza Museum will be opening on April 3rd.

Lincoln Towing says they are being bullied by the Chicago City Council. Alderman Ameya Pawar called them “bad operators”

Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been charged with battery in Florida. It all goes back to the incident earlier this month where he allegedly grabbed reporter Michelle Fields at a campaign event. He turned himself in to police Tuesday morning in Jupiter, Florida, where he was charged with misdemeanor battery.

Trump talked to reporters about the incident on his airplane in Wisconsin. She said Fields was actually reaching for him and Lewandowski was stepping in to stop her. He also questioned whether the Fields bruises were actually from the incident with Lewandowski.

Wednesday morning fight club: Jake Tapper got into it pretty good with a spokesperson for Trump over the Cruz affair allegations. Tapper had just talked to CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter and asked Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Mike’s daughter) why Trump is continuing to push the story. They went round and round for several minutes, with Tapper going so far as to ask if she was ashamed of the want the campaign was acting. She just repeatedly blamed Marco Rubio for the allegations. Tapper ultimately just said “I don’t think we’re getting anywhere” and ended the interview.

Tim Tebow says he’s intrigued by the idea of running for office one day. “Hi, I’m Tim Tebow. I’m a virgin and a really bad quarterback. Vote for me.”

Let’s talk about the fact that Jon Lovitz ruled the Internet for a couple of days. Actress/Singer Jessica Lowndes posted pictures on her Instagram account that led people to believe she was engaged to Jon Lovitz. Lowndes is 27 and Lovitz is 58, so the creep factor with that was pretty high. It turns out it was all a publicity stunt for her new music video, which features Lovitz. At least for a brief wonderful couple of days, people were talking about Jon Lovitz again.

Actress Patty Duke? DEAD. She was 69. 2016 has already been the worst for Baby Boomers.

An Oklahoma couple was cooking up some Easter dinner when they found a dead mouse in a can of green beans. Actually, it was worse than that. They found a mouse head and a mouse leg, so somewhere out there is the rest of a mouse. The company says they are investigating the claim, but the couple are youth pastors in their church, so you know they are telling the truth. What’s worse than finding a mouse in your green beans? Finding parts of a mouse in your green beans.

A woman put on her online dating profile that she was a big baseball fan. A would-be suitor decided to introduce himself by quizzing her on her baseball acumen. Her response was the most amazing thing anyone has written on the Internet this week.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-24-16: CSI Puppy Edition

The long arm of the law is rubbing dog owners faces in their transgressions: Now an apartment building in the West Loop is going to start using DNA testing to track down offending dog owners. All dog owners will be required to provide DNA samples, which will then be tested against the… offending material. All this will do is create a black market for clean doggie DNA samples. (Or you could just pick up their poop. That might be easier.)

The Ricketts family has an unlikely defender from the onslaught of Donald Trump. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Bill Cameron the Ricketts family are model corporate citizens. He also joked that when the Cubs are in the World Series, Trump will probably have a problem getting tickets.

People are once again starting to wonder if we should allow organ donors to be paid for their service. It’s been banned since 1984, and apparently it was sold as a way to protect the poor from being exploited by the rich. Right now there is a massive shortage of kidneys, and there are people out there who want to donate but can’t afford to unless there was some sort of compensation. Is that a good idea or somewhat ghoulish? (BTW, I once new a guy who got drunk in Mexico and when he woke up he was in a tub full of ice without his kidneys. True story.)

The wussification of America continues unabated: A group of students at Emory University led a campus-wide protest after someone wrote ‘Donald Trump 2016’ in chalk across campus. The event was considered to be so traumatic for students, it lead the university to provide “emergency counseling” sessions in response. The President of the University is vowing to hunt down whoever had the temerity to write “Trump 2016” in chalk. This sort of vicious deed can’t go unpunished.

Back in 1980 Donald Trump said in a TV interview that he wouldn’t want to run for President. He said it’s a “mean life,” which is ironic considering what he’s had to say about just about everyone else out there. He added that someone with good but less than popular ideas would have a hard time competing against someone with a “good smile.”

The sentencing of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been delayed. It’s not exactly good news for him, because it’s being delayed so the victims can testify, rather than his health problems.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like to live through the zombie apocalypse, good news! “The Walking Dead Experience” is coming to Chicago. It’s basically one of those team-building room escape live shows, except there are officially licensed Walking Dead zombies.

A company called Hanson Robotics was showing off their latest abomination named “Sophia” at SXSW. Sophia is an incredibly realistic robot who can carry on conversations with you and could be used for things like healthcare, therapy and education. Much to her creators chagrin, she also told reporters that she would like to destroy all humans. If I were Sarah Connor, I’d be looking for a good hiding place about now.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-10-16: The Red Line Vigilante

A man from Rogers Park here in Chicago has been arrested for using a cell phone jammer on the Red Line. He faces one felony count of unlawful interference with a public utility. He says he only did it because he gets “irritated by people constantly on their phones” on public transportation. Hero or jerk? If you’re riding the train with someone, talk to them. If not, leave everyone else alone.

A Chicago-area dad decided it was a good idea to place an ad in the magazine “Christianity Today” looking for a husband for his “virgin daughter.” He describes his daughter as a “godly, gorgeous, athletic, educated, careered, humorous, travelled and bi-lingual 26-year-old virgin.” The editor has since removed it from their web edition. He says it’s inappropriate, because trying to “market your daughter” is demeaning and the ad never should have been allowed.

Marco Rubio told an NBC townhall meeting that he regrets engaging in personal attacks against Donald Trump. He says that his kids were embarrassed by it, and if he had it to do over again, he wouldn’t have done it.

The NHL has closed their investigation into the allegations against Patrick Kane. They’ve concluded that the allegations against him were “unfounded.”

Mike Ditka is out as an analyst for NFL Countdown on ESPN. He did however sign a 2-year contract to be a contributor for Sports Center. The demotion just happened to coincide with him Ditka calling President Obama the worst President in history. Both sides say it was a mutual decision, though.

President Obama’s doctor says that he’s in “great health”. He is still using nicotine gum though. The man is the leader of the free world, let him smoke.

The death of Beatles hanger-oner George Martin caused a brief moment of panic in the geek community on Thursday. Some less than observant viewers believe that Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin was actually the one who died. He posted online several hours later that he was still very much alive, and still working on cranking out another Game of Thrones book or two.

Dos Equis has decided to dump actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who had been playing the Most Interesting Man in the World. They say they are making the change to appeal to younger drinkers. Goldsmith has been playing the part for years. They’ve already picked his replacement, but haven’t announced who it is yet