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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-21-16: Go Directly To Jail; Collect $30 Million

A Colorado man is suing the City and County of Denver and the Denver Police Department for $30 million. He was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 14 for a murder he did not commit. You have to feel bad for the guy, since you know he was saying he was innocent all along and there were people who just refused to believe him. However, that having been said I can’t not make some sarcastic comment about it, so here’s my question to you, oh reasonable Internet reader: If someone comes up to you and offers you $30 million in exchange for spending 13 years in jail, do you take that deal? You could pump some iron, get in shape, maybe do a lot of reading or even finish that novel you’ve been working on. (I swear people, it’s going to get done one day…)

The latest sensation sweeping the Internets? Dads are seeing how many Cheerios they can stack on their sleeping newborns nose. Some have managed to get as many as 20.  Unfortunately, since it’s an Internet competition, you don’t win anything, like money to pay for future therapy when your child learns what you used to do to them for your own amusement while they were too young to know what was going on. Original Cheerios seem to work better than Honey Nut Cheerios. Just FYI.

Donald Trump fired his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski Monday, unleashing a major shake-up as he comes under pressure from his closest advisers — particularly his family members — to urgently reset his struggling presidential campaign. Oh yeah, he also has virtually no money to run in the general election, because instead of fundraising like a normal candidate, he just said crazy stuff on TV.

Parts of the Orlando shooter’s 911 calls that were originally redacted by the Justice Department are now available, including the moment when the shooter pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Speaking of Orlando, a Florida assistant state attorney has been suspended after allegedly writing controversial Facebook posts slamming the type of people in downtown Orlando and those who go to nightclubs. He posted that downtown Orlando is “a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs.” Things went (even further) downhill from there.

Sick of hearing about “Brexit”? You’re not alone, but at least it looks like our long, international nightmare will soon be over. Voters head to the polls in a couple of days and it looks like the UK will stay in the EU. It looks like there wouldn’t be a whole lot of an advantage for Britain to leave the EU, aside from the fact that a lot of Brits like the idea of giving the rest of Europe a giant middle finger.

Interesting Stat of the Day: A new study shows that astronauts who fly to and from the ISS aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and spend six months there have a threat of mortality comparable to those of U.S. infantry combatants on D-Day and New York City firefighters on 9/11.

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 – 3-1-16: Assault With A Deadly Emoji

Welcome to the Internet age: A 12-year-old girl is facing criminal charges for making a death threat… with emoji. And she’s one of several defendants across the country in cases where emoji are being interpreted as threats, including one in which a cop emoji was followed by a gun emoji. How seriously should the courts take emoji threats? Because some people see emoji as cartoonish and non-threatening in general, and others see them as the new (really stupid) universal language.

Everybody panic: The first Chicago case of the Zika virus has popped up at a hospital on the north side. She’s not pregnant and had recently traveled to Colombia. Officials are expecting the number of cases to rise over the next month or so, as people head off the warm weather destinations for spring break.

Donald Trump has hit 49% among Republicans nationally according to a new CNN poll. That would seem to be somewhat problematic for the “well if only Cruz/Rubio dropped out and it was a one-on-one race” crowd.

Trump was interrupted by a protester at rally on Monday. He asked her if she was from Mexico and scolded her for interrupting his punchline.

CBS head honcho Les Moonves has found the silver lining in the rise of Donald Trump. “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” and called Donald Trump‘s presence in the race a “good thing.” He’s not wrong.

El Chapo says he’ll plead guilty in the US under one condition, he wants to go to a medium security prison. Gee, I wonder why. He’s currently being held in the same prison he escaped from, and apparently he’s not happy with the way he’s being treated.

House of Squalor: A woman in Kansas City was living with 26 cats in her house. People thought the house was abandoned. Basically, they were squatting in the house with 26 cats. The city only allows people to have up to four animals, so even if they were living in it legally 26 would be a problem. She said she wants people to know she is not a crazy cat lady. Which is exactly what a crazy cat lady would say.

Pour some out for Joe Patroni. Actor George Kennedy has died at the age of 91. He was Dragline in Cool Hand Luke, Joe Patroni in the Airport movies and of course Ed in the Naked Gun movies.

Gabatron Morning Briefing – 12-23-15: Early Release Program

As many as 3,200 convicted offenders were mistakenly released too early from Washington state prisons. Apparently they made a mistake in calculating good time credit.

Interesting Stat of the Day: 18 percentage points. Donald Trump may be polling at 30 percent among Republicans nationally, but he has the support of just 19 percent of Republicans with a college degree, and 37 percent of those without a degree, a whopping 18-point difference.

A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles. No US officials have given any reason for why they were barred from coming into the country.

What’s bothering you, America? New data says that Americans are drinking themselves to death at a faster clip than ever before.

In technology news, on Monday night SpaceX did something no one else has ever done before: They flew the first stage of their rocket back to Cape Canaveral and landed it. It’s meant to be the first step to making rockets reusable.

Plus, British Astronaut Tim Peake just arrived aboard the International Space Station a few days ago. He is actually the first British Astronaut to fly in space in about 20 years. He decided to give his parents a call, from the space station, but they didn’t answer. He got their voicemail.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 10-16-15: Unlimited Supply of Cheap Labor

It’s the end of an era today, US Airways will make it’s final flight before it gets absorbed by American Airlines.

Mike Huckabee told a radio host in Iowa that indentured servitude as an alternative to jail time is a good idea.

More than a million people signed up for a chance to buy Cubs tickets online for the National League Championship Series.

Leaked information on the US drone program suggests that nearly 90% of people killed by drone strikes are not the intended target.

In technology news, Tesla has launched a software update for its vehicles – enabling the cars to have an “autopilot” mode. While not fully self-driving, the software means the Model S and new Model X can “automatically steer down the highway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic”.

Plus, there’s a black bear wandering around northwest Indiana.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 6-9-15: The Clinton Correctional Facility Redemption

The two inmates who escaped from prison in New York are still on the loose this morning. Authorities believe that there had to have been some inside help simply because their escape method was so elaborate. So they have started to question prison employees.

Interesting stat of the day: 46 cents. That’s how much a stamp is going to cost you, which is a surprise since that’s actually a drop in price.

Monday morning an Amtrak train crashed into a truck hauling 70,000 pounds of bacon. The truck was stuck on the tracks in Wilmington, just to the southwest of Chicago.

In sports, both Phil Jackson and Shaq are admitting that they deflated basketballs when they were players in the NBA. They say they did it to get a better grip on the ball, same as Tom Brady.

In politics, the G-7 summit is going on in Germany right now and as you might expect there are quite a few protesters. In addition to the usual anarchists and socialists, there was a group of six clowns protesting the gathering.

Plus, a Des Moines, Iowa man took to Twitter begging for help when he became trapped in the drive-thru line at a local Taco Bell.

Each morning Keith Conrad will give you a few stories useful for starting conversations around the water cooler at work. Assuming that your office actually has a water cooler.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 3-26-15: Distracted Driving

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will be released from prison today.

A new study from AAA suggests that teen distracted driving is a bigger problem than most people realize. They looked at 1,700 videos of crashes involving teens and found that in 60% of them the driver was distracted.

Scotland is preparing to ban smoking in cars with children present.

The United States Army has charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with one count of desertion and one count of misbehavior before the enemy. If Bergdahl is tried and convicted under a court martial, he could serve life in prison for misbehavior or five years in prison for desertion.

The voice recorder indicates that one of the pilots of the German plane that crashed in the French Alps was locked out of the cockpit before the jetliner crashed. Apparently the co-pilot was actually trying to crash the airplane.

Plus, congrats to NASA’s Opportunity rover for roving 26.2 miles on Mars, completing it’s first marathon. It took 11 years and two months.

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Gabatron Morning Briefing – 2-25-15: Get Busy Livin’ Or Get Busy Gabbin’

A man in Naperville who won $265 million in the Illinois lottery recently spent 12 years in jail on a drug conviction. He was busted about twenty years ago for manufacture and delivery of cocaine.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin and his wife are divorcing. She wants child support. She claims almost a million dollars in expenses every month.

A guy in Boston has started a side business selling mail order snow. While there will be some melting in transit, he guarantees you’ll get enough for a few snow balls.

New research suggests that gerbils, not rats may have been responsible for the “Black Death” in 14th century Europe. Apparently the climate in the years and months leading up to the outbreak would have been more conducive to gerbils.

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