As I noted a few articles ago, I’ve kinda been ignoring John McCain in favor of covering the end of the Democratic primaries.  But, with those over, and things somewhat quiet elsewhere, the time seems ripe to go back to him.

John McCain, who I’ve always respected and liked a lot more than some other Republican candidates, is frankly starting to disappoint me.  He’s been increasingly shedding his maverick image, at least on the issues of the Iraq war and detainee treatment.

The John McCain of old bucked the Bush administration on detainee treatment.  But, apparently not John McCain, Republican nominee.  He has this thing wrapped up, and he is pandering to the far right on these issues.  Of course, it’s not entirely surprising.  He was one of the cheerleaders of the Military Commissions Act.  He also has to look tough on terrorism toward the base.

Yet, I’d argue that he can still look tough without pandering to the far right.  He can still call for negotiations on our own tough terms (with which I’d agree), and even a presence in Iraq until the Iraqis can effectively take control of military operations themselves (which they are starting to do very well) without compromising his positions on detainee treatment.

I think it looks bad to Independents and conservative Democrats when a candidate who seemed to enshrine human rights for our detainees is seemingly backtracking on this by the day.  The same guy who says our military shouldn’t torture is willing to reserve this right for organizations like the CIA, which I think sends mixed messages to voters.

In short, John McCain needs to decide where he stands on these issues.  It’s important to his electoral future.  I’d argue for a return to his maverick positions.  It may anger some of the base and the far right, but McCain needs the widespread support if he wishes to win in November.

More to come on all the nominees, including John McCain.

Multiple categories, for multiple topics.

Election 2006 is over, at least for Connecticut. I’ll admit I didn’t foresee Courtney pulling through like he did. What I did see is the candidate not having much of a mandate, though I foresaw it for Simmons instead. Every other predication was pretty much spot on, though. Everyone else won who I thought was going to win. So, with that, this election is put to rest.

TV time. There’s been some awesome stuff going on. Battlestar Galactica continues to impress. I like how, even though Adama and Tigh’s relationship has been strained, he still came to Adama’s rescue when Bulldog was trying to kill him. By the end of the episode, even though Tigh has still said he doesn’t want to retake the XO position, they seem to at least be patching things up. They both now have issues that are more or less out in the open, and they now have to deal with them, though Adama is able to put his past him more than Tigh can.

Heroes meanwhile, is quickly becoming my favorite above Lost. It is getting the big picture answers out faster, which Lost really needs to do. Anyway, I’ll admit I didn’t get the connection with the erroneous fire savior report and Sylar’s incompetence. At least the other cheerleader didn’t get her brain taken out. You all catch that telekinetic knife of his? It slices, it dices, it cuts skulls open!

Also, I was a little angry at Nathan for his actions in this episode, though I do understand the reasoning. He views his power as an impediment to his election. He’s not going to get many cookie points if he claims to fly. I think eventually, he’s going to come around, and, like Claire’s friend says, “embrace his inner freak.” Until then, though, he’s going to do everything he can to stay out of this whole mess. Mohinder seems to finally be a true believer. I don’t know if he has powers, but perhaps it won’t matter. Maybe he’ll be the guy to explain to everyone why things are the way they are. The go to guy for the information. Who knows.

Jessica’s getting dangerous, and Niki, though while worried, seems to view it as a necessary evil. This isn’t going to turn out good, I think. Her son (the technopath) and D.L. are on the run, but not for long I fear. I can’t quite seem to get D.L.’s intentions. We now know he was set up (by Jessica), so he might be good. I think they’ll get back together in some form or another.

Mr. Bennett. I thought he was going to be an evil dude at first, but now I think he’s more comparable to the rogue NID agents from Stargate. He’s not bad, per se, but he’ll do what it takes to get the job done. Though, not as arrogant. Still, I foresee him becoming an ally. He seems to have connections, which can only be useful to the heroes. Eden is a bit of an enigma. If you haven’t guessed yet, her power is that of command (like Saruman). Read the online comic for more. I don’t know where she’s going yet. She seems to be good, and also seems to be less “do whatever it takes” than her boss, Mr. Bennett. As for Haitian dude, he needs to talk some more.

Now on to personal life. I’m doing well. I MET Bill Nye last Thursday. What can be much better than that. He’s a very nice guy, and was extremely easy to work with for the interview. His lecture was great, too. Had a test on Friday, and I think I did fairly well on it. Was extremely tired, though, since I was up until 2am the previous night editing this video for Friday morning. Basically, what happened, is that it was Guidance Counselor Day. So, my friend Adam got his own segment to himself. We showed the video about Eastern Expedition, and then they played a mini-version of the game itself with three guidance counselors.

I came home on Friday afternoon, intending to skip the one class that was being held on Monday. Then I read my school email on Tuesday, where I discovered he canceled class anyway, since he was sick. Go figure. Not much to talk about for the first couple days, but I did go to Manchester vs. East Hartford tonight. Manchester…didn’t do well. Led by 18 for the first quarter or so, but then lost by 25 in the end.

A little bit of bad news family wise. My grandmother has to get her aortic valve replaced, and also needs bypass surgery because of clogged arteries. She’s already had a hip replaced and is diabetic and very much overweight (she’s tried to take it off, to no avail, apparently), which undoubtedly has contributed to this reality. She’s recently been having trouble breathing, and after a number of tests, this was found to be the problem. On Sunday, she’s going in for surgery at St. Francis Hospital. Please keep her in your thoughts.

Have a good Thanksgiving, and weekend.

Finally! I can get some election rest, now. The Secretary of State for Connecticut just had a press conference where she announced the official results: Joe Courtney has won the race for 2nd District Congressman by 90 votes. This brings the official count of elected officials to four Democratic representatives and one Republican from two Democrats and three Republicans.

While there are still some elections to be decided nationwide, the election season for me is all but done. I’ll write up my final wrap-up entry later today or tomorrow.

While Election 2006 may be over where you live, here in Connecticut, it’s hanging on by that thread that never seems to want to fall off.

The situation is the race for the candidate for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. As I’ve indicated previously, Joe Courtney and Rob Simmons are in a very close race, with Courtney currently leading by about 130 votes. Even Bush/Gore wasn’t that close.

The law says the recount currently going on has to be done by Wednesday. In the days the recount has been going on, I think Simmons has gained one vote to his count. Barring any major shift in the recount, which doesn’t seem likely to happen in the next three days, I’m going to guess that Courtney will be the next Congressman for Connecticut, giving Connecticut four Democratic congressmen when it previously had only two.

While this development says something about the opinions of the American public about Bush administration policy, Courtney is not going in with much of a mandate. His fate hangs on roughly 130 votes, meaning that people were highly torn about which way they should vote. I’ll cover this more on my Election 2006 wrap-up, which will come when the 2nd district Representative is confirmed. I’ll also be sure to discuss how some of my predictions were blown right out of the water, but not as much as I thought.

The AP and MSNBC are calling it, and saying the Jim Webb has won in Virginia. All the precincts have not yet finished getting in all their votes, though Webb is already preparing for his possible term in office. Webb and Allen are about 6000 votes apart. In Montana, the candidates are about 5,000 apart, with the race already called.

MSNBC apparently had an ego to fulfill last night, and were often the first to call seats. However, they also had a knack for being right on their predictions. If their luck continues, they’ll have called the new masters and overlords of Congress.

Actually, that was a pretty good movie. But, I’m not talking about luckdragons and a kid that apparently is supposed to represent Native Americans.

I’m talking about how the CT district 2 and Senate races STILL have not ended, and don’t seem likely to end for some time. Simmons and Courtney are apart by less than 200 votes now, with 100% of precincts reported. So, it will be inevitable that it goes for a recount. I honestly cannot call this one anymore, since it could go either way, depending on if the votes change during the recount.

I’m going to tentatively call a Democratic win for Montana and Virginia. It’s is very possible that both votes will go for a recount, but even if they do, I don’t think it’s going to make much difference. With that, I’m knock on wood tentatively calling that the Democrats will regain control of the Senate as well as the House, meaning they’ll have Congress back for the first time in twelve years (besides that stint in 2001) that was elected as such.

I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on the races for the rest of the day, and especially the Simmons and Courtney race. The Republicans have already lost one House seat in CT…will they lose two? Stay tuned.

Really, now. Unless Senate control is decided within the next five minutes or something (not going to happen), this will be THE last one for tonight.

Anyway, could the Democrats pick up the Senate as well? In Virginia in Missouri, the Democratic candidates have claimed a win, and do have the numbers to back up their claims, and both races have numbers wide enough to potentially not change in the next few hours. Tester in Montana has yet to claim anything, but with 64% of precincts reporting, his numbers are also enough to currently claim a win. He’ll probably wait until at least 85% of the precincts before trying to claim anything.

Some of the pundits are a bit shocked at what’s been going on, since it’s tradition to let the loser call up first and concede before the winner goes out and gives their speech. Yet, we have two candidates with (excuse my language) enough balls to try and claim a win before they’ve officially won the race. I agree: they’re ballsy as hell. If McCaskill, for example, were not to win, she’d be pretty embarrassed, I imagine.

Two have claimed to win, and they may well do so, which leaves one that’s really up in the air. Considering that I thought Simmons was going to win with a lessened but fairly comfortable lead (which isn’t happening), I’m not going to attempt to call Montana.

Good night and good luck.

I spoke too soon, apparently. Westbrook has now fully reported in, with Simmons winning it. This means it is down to Waterford to tentatively decide this race (if someone calls for a recount). The real numbers right now? 117,287 to 117,048. That’s 239 votes separating the candidates. There are a little more than 19,000 people in Waterford. So, it really could go either way now, but it’s probably going to less than 500 votes separating them. I predict that Simmons will win this, but that Courtney will demand a recount.

Senate’s still up for grabs…

Unless I hear something major on the Senate race in the next 10 minutes or so, this will be my last entry before the morning.

The count on Simmons/Courtney has stalled for the moment. Courtney picked up Enfield, but Waterford and Westbrook remain unreported, which sucks.

In the Senate, Republicans have picked up another seat, and it would appear the Dems are about to pick up another in Virginia. Democratic challenger Jim Webb seems to be about to win the seat there from incumbent George Allen with 99% of precincts reported. In Missouri, it is really too close to call since McCaskill and incumbent Talent keep flip-flopping like Simmons and Courtney earlier, with 81% of the vote counted. It is also too close in Montana, where Tester is currently winning against Burns, but with only 43% of the vote counted.

We won’t know the official results until at least tomorrow, and, in the case of Simmons and Courtney, possibly not for several days or weeks. There is also talk of other recounts and lawsuits in some of the three Senate races described above. So, we might be hanging in the balance for some time on who will win these races.

So, Democrats definitely have the house….maaaaaabye the Senate, and Joe Courtney might have a chance in district 2 here in Connecticut.

Well, barring any major news, I’ll wish you all a good night.