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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 – 6-27-16: Inevitable Robot Uprising

Google’s holding company, Alphabet, has a new robotic dog from its Atlas-making Boston Dynamics subsidiary capable of clearing up after its human masters.  The new small robotic dog has a articulating arm on its back, which is capable of lifting and holding objects as fragile as a glass. Robots cleaning up after us. This is literally exactly how the First Cylon War started in Battlestar Galactica.

A restaurant owner fired the bartender for insulting a customer on a credit card receipt as “fatty.” It was a significant move, because the bartender was his own son. He’s gone as far as banning him from the property altogether.

The Battlecreek Bombers minor league baseball team decided it was a good idea to hold a “bring your gun to the game” night. They officially called it “2nd Amendment Education Night.” As my colleague Garry Meier says, “timing and good lighting are everything.” Maybe they should have rescheduled that after the Orlando terror attack. That reminds me of the time I won a gun rack at a Huntsville Stars game… I was 11 years old at the time.

Last week, I mentioned the story of the guy who was released from prison after years when it was proven he did not do it. I somewhat tongue-in-cheek asked if you’d take the $30 million he’s asking for in exchange for spending 13 years in prison. This week there is a guy who has served 20 years in prison for a murder he apparently didn’t commit. Rather than having the charges against him thrown out, he wants to stand trial again to prove in a court of law that he did not do it and the prosecution did not do its job. That’s strange, because it leaves the murder conviction in place until the trial proves his innocence. He’s that set on making a point about the job the prosecution did in his trial. Also, at this point is there anyone in prison who is actually guilty?

Say what you want about special interest groups, but a new poll says Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are less popular than the NRA and Planned Parenthood.

In science news, NASA has authorized five more years for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-22-16: Men In Black Invade Iowa

People in one Iowa town keep reporting sightings of men in black walking beside the road. They haven’t done anything illegal at this point, but they are really freaking people out. They seem to show up only at night, and they aren’t exactly dressed like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. They are wearing black trench coats and capes. More or less creepy than the clowns that will occasionally show up in a neighborhood?

Based on the success of the Saved By The Bell restaurant here in Chicago, you had to know more would be coming. A Golden Girls pop-up restaurant will be opening in New York. I anxiously await the opening of the Knight Rider-themed drive in. Here’s my problem with this: Saved By The Bell took place in California (Aside from the first season in Indiana, after which all of the main characters decided to move to California together… really) why is the restaurant in Chicago? Golden Girls is even worse, since they were in Miami. Shouldn’t the pop-up be in a location that is remotely tied to what happened in the show?

The whole religion thing worked out so great for Donald Trump in the primaries that he’s going to that well again. Now he’s questioning whether or not Hillary Clinton is actually religious. Because Donald Trump is the picture of religious piety.

Rory McIlroy has decided not to compete at this summer’s Olympics in Rio due to fears over the Zika virus. It’s the latest problem for the Rio Olympics. Do you think the IOC is regretting picking them? Tokyo and Chicago are probably looking pretty good now.

A 15 year old girl in Alabama decided it was a good idea to put on a Barney the Dinosaur head to prank her friends. The costume got stuck on her head and she had to call the police to get it taken off.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-6-16: Great Parenting Through Craigslist

Father of the Year? A father was upset because his son skipped work, so he immediately put his car up for sale on Craigslist. His son’s discipline had been an issue for a year. It’s not just the job thing, but also marijuana use. He’s worried it could lead to harder drugs, to prison, to death. He had tried taking away his son’s cellphone, taking away social media, talking to him. Now he’s decided to go the shame route. Effective parenting or alienating the person who will eventually pick his nursing home?

A Wendella boat rescued a man who fell into the Chicago River off of the DuSable Bridge. The passengers didn’t even have to pay extra for the show. The owner of Wendella says it’s becoming more and more common these days, because the river is so much more busy than in years past.

The Chicago Police Department is ending the Violence Reduction Initiative on July 1st. So this is what it looks like when violence has been reduced in Chicago. This just happens to coincide with the IPRA releasing their videos of police incidents.

Also, as the Chicago Police follies continue: The person running the CPD Twitter decided to Tweet a “Throwback Thursday” picture of a helmet and baton from the 1968 Democratic Convention riots.

It turns out Edward Snowden actually did attempt to raise concerns about surveillance and privacy prior to leaking internal documents. The NSA had always claimed otherwise. Does that you a little more sympathetic to him?

A third grader in California has been banned from wearing his “Make America Great Again” hat. He got the hat last week when he skipped school to attend a Donald Trump rally. He even got it signed by The Donald. He wore it to school for three straight days, and the other kids started confronting him about it. He says it’s not the hat that’s the problem, the other children just don’t like him.

A lawmaker in Louisiana wants kids in school to recite part of the Declaration of Independence every day.

Someone hacked a digital sign in Dallas, they changed an otherwise innocent sign to read “Gorilla deserved it.”

An anonymous kid sent the National Park Service a pine cone with a note taped to it. Apparently he stole the pinecone from Sequoia National Park, but he later felt bad about it.

Richard Simmons has been hospitalized for “bizarre behavior.” Bizarre? Did the authorities just now see the things Richard Simmons has been doing for pretty much his entire life?

Donald Trump singled out an African-American supporter at an event on Friday. He was referencing an incident where a Trump supporter confronted a man in a KKK outfit, but all anyone took away from the comment was Trump calling him “my African-American.” People were either bemused in a “look at grampa saying something racist again” sort of way, or they were filled with outrage. For his part,the man spoke to his local paper and said that he wasn’t outraged. He basically said Trump was just referencing the previous incident in a less than artful way.

(Audio) Authorities think a parrot may have been a witness to the murder of its previous owner. Ever since the crime, the parrot keeps repeating back “Don’t f**king shoot.”

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-2-16: Math Lessons From The School Of Hard Knocks

A middle school teacher decided it was a good idea to give 8th grade students a quiz asking math questions involving ‘Pimps,’ ‘Ho’s’ And Drug Deals. The 10 question quiz featured such thought-provoking questions as “Leroy has 2 ounces of cocaine. If he sells an 8 ball to Antonio for $320 and 2 grams to Juan for $85 per gram, what is the street value of the rest of his hold?” and “Tyrone knocked up 4 girls in his gang. There are 20 girls in the gang. What percentage of the girls in the gang has Tyrone knocked up?” Parents were outraged, officials were not amused either. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave.

Tom Ricketts latest Wrigley Field comparison: It’s like one of those old castles you see in Europe. He complained to the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce about the restrictions being placed on their new plaza by Tom Tunney. Apparently in his latest ordinance, access to the plaza would have to be restricted to ticket holders, who could then buy any alcohol they want, provided it’s under the same restrictions as inside the ballpark. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what the Ricketts want, since they are building the plaza to be a part of the neighborhood, not a part of the ballpark.

Awkward Media Moment: MSNBC had to shut down an interview with Libertarian vice presidential candidate Bill Weld because their fire alarm went off. This is nothing but the lamestream media trying to silence a heroic, freedom-loving Libertarian.

According to a FOIA release, it costs $206,337 every hour to fly Air Force One. President Obama has traveled overseas more than any previous President. I’m not sure what kind of frequent flyer program the Air Force Special Air Mission has, but he must be cleaning up. (The article makes the claim that it’s “ridiculously expensive,” as a matter of fact it’s the headline, but I did some research. A typical 747 can carry a max of 660 passengers. $203,000/660=$307. A $307 ticket for a 1 hour flight is a little steep, but not completely unreasonable.)

Poll Position: Hillary Clinton holds an average of 45% support while 43% back Donald Trump according to the new CNN Poll of Polls. They take five polls and mash them together.

A North Carolina woman bought a freezer from her neighbor for $30. She opened it and found a human foot inside. It turns out the neighbor killed her mother, dumped her body in the freezer and then sold it for a robust $30.

Most awesome story of the day: Arnold Schwarzenegger was chased by an elephant during a safari in South Africa.

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 – 5-5-16: Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Kodos

America collectively rubbed its eyes Wednesday morning and said “What the hell just happened?” and then they immediately ran to their computers. Google searches for the Libertarian Party skyrocketed early in the morning on Wednesday.

Both George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush are planning to remain silent in the general election. Neither plan on endorsing presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Donald Trump decided to do the “classy” thing and finally deny the whole Rafael Cruz/JFK assassination conspiracy theory. Wolf Blitzer asked him if he honestly thinks Cruz’s father was connected to the assassination. Trump said, “No I don’t.”

The Ukranian Village is one of the top neighborhoods in the country and there might be a new opportunity to move there. Two Satanists posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a new roommate. Rent would be $400 plus utilities for a 10-by-10 room. The Satanists request that those interested in the bedroom be open to raising a pig, ignoring the food dehydration business operating in their kitchen and “love Satan.” Also, no cats and no vegans.

Interesting/annoying stat of the day: Tens of thousands of Canada Geese are descending upon Chicago for the spring. It turns out that in addition to getting in peoples way, each goose also leaves behind one pound of poo every single day.

A new startup called “GetHuman” will sit through annoying customer service phone calls for you. It costs between $5-25, depending on the nature of the call.

Caitlyn Jenner is going to pose on the cover of Sports Illustrated with her gold metal from the 1976 Olympics. She says she never displayed the metal before, because she didn’t want her kids to feel like they had to win one in order to be considered a success. Oh yeah, did I mention she’ll be naked with her metal on the cover of Sports Illustrated? WHY?

A very angry person spray painted some angry messages on a Range Rover presumably belonging to their now-former significant other. The messages included “CHEATER” and “HOPE SHE WAS WORTH IT.” Oh yeah, the Range Rover was worth about $100,000. Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats…

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 – 4-21-16: Parenting Through Craigslist

Meet a woman who claims to be the “World’s Meanest Mom” in a Craigslist ad because she’s selling her 15-year-old daughter’s truck. That’s because the daughter was disrespectful at home, is skipping school and has bad grades. She is asking $2,750 for the V8, four-wheel drive truck with more than 158,000 miles on it, but she says she’s willing to negotiate.

A Chicago alderman wants to reward landlords who don’t pass their property tax increases onto their renters. Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa wants to give a tax break to any landlords who don’t increase rents for people who are within four times the poverty level. Means testing for property taxes? What about property owners who are within four times of the poverty level?

Musical theater has officially saved Alexander Hamilton’s place of immortality on the $10 bill. The Treasury Department has announced that Harriett Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. So Alexander’s new-found popularity forced them to ditch their original plan to replace Hamilton on the $10. This of course means that you really can’t playfully refer to dollar bills as “pictures of Presidents” anymore, since two people won’t be former Presidents. I’m not sure the Treasury Department too that into consideration.

One person not thrilled with the move? Ben Carson, who told Neil Cavuto they should leave Jackson on the $20 and put Harriett Tubman on another bill, like the $2. He says Jackson was a “tremendous” President.

A TV meteorologist in Houston threatened to kick some “behinds” if people get fired for missing work during the floods. The TV station is supporting him, which is ironic since he and his co-workers were at work during the floods.

Trump Force One has been grounded. His airplane has been flying with expired registration for two months. Who can remember to get a new sticker for your airplane’s license plate when you’re trying to make America great again?

Ever wanted to channel your inner carney? Navy Pier is looking for a few good ferris wheel workers. They have 15 openings. They are part-time seasonal positions.

If you’re looking for a job with a little more growth potential, you could join the Trump empire. An internship position is being auctioned off for charity, with the current bid at $40,000. It’s a 10 week internship. The money will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Stock up: Jimmy John’s will be offering customers $1 sandwiches on Thursday for customer appreciation day.