chicago bureau

So, here we are.  After sixteen months, it is all on the line tonight.  So time to settle in with an oil can or three of some Union Made macrobrews from Wisconsin, and watch Ed Schultz get all Schultzy.

The early indications are that turnout is absolutely massive.  Hell, Dane County (home to dirty fucking hippies in Madison) reported a possible turnout of 119% at one point.  (This, of course, set all the voter fraud goons off.  Someone had to gently explain to them that same-day registration may actually make such a thing possible.  But, of course, gentle explanations are not terribly effective.)  The Dane County election overseers had to clarify the 119% number a bit, by saying it was simply a projection, and that absentee votes were goosing the projection models a bit, but still — this looks incredible from here.




And, like any other good championship fight, there is an undercard.  Four State Senate seats on the line. As things stand, if there is one pick-off for Team Blue, the unified stranglehold on state government that GOPers now enjoy will be all gone.  Of note, Scott Fitzgerald — one of the orchestrators of the right-wing movement in the Legislature last winter — is in a surprisingly tough fight.

Full-blown LIVEBLOG action, post-jump.

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It’s time once again to dip in to the sea of possibilities.  Time to push our Autotote ticket clerk against the locker.  Yes, yes: the Fifth Annual Stinque Kentucky Derby Open Thread is now open!

As of this writing (around 1300 ET), your favorite at 9:2 is Union Rags.  Which makes sense, as this race (as is the case with most Kentucky Derbies) takes place in Kentucky.  The Baffert-trained Bodemeister stands at 7:1, and Gemologist from the outside is at 9:1.  The pros are saying that these are the three to beat.  But there is a threat of rain, though, so the twenty runners might send Racing Forms into the blender.  As is usually the case.  (Really — handicapping a twenty-horse race like this is just about impossible.  Unless I pick the winner.)

No wimmin in this race — either the jockeys or the horses under them.  Fan favorite Calvin Borel is down close to the rail, as is his wont, on Take Charge Indy (fourth choice, at 10:1).  I think that’s overbet, so I’m going with El Padrino, a great value bet at 26:1.  Put him with Gemologist for some nice exacta action.

And now: ALL RISE FOR THE DEGENERATE GAMBLER NATIONAL ANTHEM! (Doo-doo-do-do-doot, do-do-doot, do-do-do-doooot!)

So, Frothy goes down.  (Which, truth be told, is not usually how he rolls.)

And thus we have the last joke about Rick Santorum and certain sexual practices which some people might find offensive.  Until, of course, he does something else that drives us all bonkers.  Or signs a book deal.  Or becomes a paid consultant for Fox News.  (Good God — the man is going to make BANK after this winter of GOP activist discontent.)

Seriously, nobody should shed a tear for Rick here.  The dude kept the torch alive for the hard-right wingnuts for three months longer than, by the merits, he should have.  I mean, the man was absolutely nowhere at Thanksgiving.  Disappointing Iowa performance, non-factor in New Hampshire, blow-out at hands of Gingrich in South Carolina, and… scene.  That was the prevailing theory.  But Tea Party types latched onto him like a raft after the previous torchbearers — Bachmann, Cain, Perry — flamed out spectacularly.

Trouble was, however, that he was never meant to be a Tea Party fave — as fully explained post-jump, which also includes a proper sendoff to our dear, departed nutcase, Rick Santorum.

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Honestly, the man must have had it on repeat while thinking up questions to ask the Solicitor General.

This is what might sink the health care mandate. Broccoli. Really. This is what the Union has come to.  But, given the way the Republicans relate to broccoli, it is somewhat predictable, perhaps….

Mind you, Chicagoans can give a rat’s ass about the GOP primary. And they could also give another rat’s ass about the Cook County Democratic primary, as it is a done deal for the slated types, as is normal.

But it’s time for the supposedly-moderate Collar Counties to face down the mouthbreathers south of I-80. It says here that this is Romney’s to lose, but we shall see. Jibber jabber away about the Illinois Primary if you’d like.

Me? There’s a Blackhawks game on teevee. so I’ll check in periodically to make sure everything is in its proper orbit and such. Maybe.

Your humble correspondent was humbled even further last night when I asked this question on Twitter:

Can somebody rerack #stopkony / Invisible Children for me: what the hell IS this? #help

And thus began an hour-long descent into madness — watching the Kony 2012 film, getting terribly moved and excited, and twittering my support.  And then, the thought of actually forking over money for The Cause crossed my mind.

And then a little voice began to whisper, and then shout: “STOP. You don’t know these guys from Adam.  And how much of this money is going straight into the group’s pizza-and-beer fund, anyway?”

And then the hope and empowerment and all that new-age crap turned into doubt, and cynicism, and then out-and-out disdain.  It culminated tonight with the heads of the group getting all mushy about “what happens next,” and why only a third of the donated dough actually goes to efforts on the ground in Africa — all as told to Piers Morgan on his Hour of Gab.

So, the final verdict (after all of 24 hours, mind you) is this: Stop Kony?  Sure.  But the holier-than-thou, preening minds behind it all can GET BENT.

All of this is terribly complicated.  They’re doing a service, surely.  But they’re getting famous.  And they are going to get a shitload of money coming in.  And nobody knew who they were on Monday.  In the immortal words of Vince Lombardi: “WHAT DE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?!”  Some thoughts, post-jump.

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(But, you know, there will only be one Super Bowl XLVI.  So this WILL be the last one before the Apocalypse.  So.  IS THIS THING ON?)

In terms of the battle for the bad-jokes crown: the preceding has been challenged to some Outclass Warfare by the damp squib that Occupy Super Bowl has turned out to be.  If the intent was to get attention?  At the moment — I’ve just caught the tail-end of the FIVE HOURS OF PREGAME — we have talking-heads making picks on the game.  On Twitter?  #OccupySuperBowl is nothing but a string of retweets of Cornel West.  Which is fine, but not indicative of mass revolt.

Speaking of mass revolt?  You know who did pull that off to great effect?  The Minutemen.  So it says here Patriots (-3 pts) def. Giants — it’s this year’s 10,000 STAR LOCK.

So: will Tom Brady get another ring?  Will Eli Manning get another ring?  Will the size of the diamonds on either ring indicate how much he is loved by the betrothed?  Answers, and snark on Madge and ads and NBC tie-ins, follow in this SUPER BOWL SUPER OPEN THREAD.