THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† When All Is Said And Done: The Boston Globe reports on a post-election roundtable at Harvard University's Institute of Politics moderated by PBS's Gwen Ifill a campaign post-mortem Bill McInturff and Rick Davis (respectively, John McCain’s chief pollster and campaign manager) and David Plouffe and David Axelrod (respectively Barack Obama’s campaign manager and chief strategist):
So, with just a few more weeks, could John McCain have pulled out a victory over Barack Obama?
“No - we lost,” McCain's chief pollster, Bill McInturff, said without hesitation before a packed auditorium last night at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. “We were happy it was over.”
It was the kind of blunt statement that, while unimaginable just weeks ago, has come to mark the ritual of presidential election postmortems: chummy get-togethers where top aides to the candidates sit together cordially, let bygones be bygones, and talk about what was and what could have been. …
Despite their heated, and often personal, general election battle, the four men left all that behind last night in exchanging civil, frank banter over the nitty-gritty of this year's historic march to the White House.
The Stiletto is beyond happy that these hired guns – whose salaries are paid for by donors who believe in a particular candidate’s platforms and promises – can let bygones be bygones so easily, and that they saved the frank talk until after Election Day. She’ll keep this in mind the next time she gets an overwrought solicitation letter warning that The World As We Know It Will End if Candidate X does not get elected, and that “we” must “fight” against Candidate Y by building a “war chest” to mount an effective campaign. Well after McInturff and Davis had concluded McCain couldn’t win, his campaign and other groups fundraising for him continued to send every member of The Stiletto’s family an endless stream of solicitations urging them to support the McCain-Palin ticket with their hard-earned (and rapidly evaporating) money. If that’s not fraud, then it’s pretty damn close.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, Is The Iraqi Criminal Justice System More Efficient Than Ours?): When an Atlanta jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision to apply the death penalty to “courthouse shooter” Brian G. Nichols, 37, Judge James G. Bodiford of Superior Court sentenced him to several life sentences with no chance of parole, and to several hundred more years on more than 50 charges, reports The Associated Press. “If there was any more I could give you, I would,” said Bodiford.
AP also reports that with the three-year, $2 million state-funded defense that nearly bankrupted GA’s public defender system ending with the whimper of a deadlocked jury in the penalty phase, GA legislators want to allow judges to impose the ultimate punishment without a unanimous verdict to prevent a "rogue" death penalty opponent on a jury from sabotaging a capital case. Believe it or not, it’s Repubs that have derailed previous efforts to pass such a law:
Twice in the last two years, the House passed proposals to allow judges to impose a death sentence if one or two jurors vote against it. Both times the plan was defeated in the Senate, where it faced fierce opposition from GOP attorneys who warned it would put life-or-death decisions in the hands of a judge instead of a jury.
Yet some opponents are now saying changes to the death penalty rules are worth another look.
"This case has rocked Georgia's criminal justice system. When you have a case where this much money is spent, this much time, it does beg the question if the system is operating properly," said state Sen. Preston Smith, a Rome Republican who voted against the bill in March. "I think we're going to take a hard look at it."
Smith, who chairs the Senate's judiciary committee, added: "This case has been a poster child for why there needs to be reform in the system."
Damage to was estimated at $1 million, authorities said Saturday. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to Central Mat-Su Fire Chief James Steele.
He said the blaze was being investigated as an arson but didn't know of any recent threats to the church. Authorities didn't know whether Palin's connection to the church was relevant to the fire, Steele said. …
Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say whether the church had received any recent threats. …
Palin, who was not at the church at the time of the fire, stopped by Saturday. Her spokesman, Bill McAllister, said in a statement that Palin told an assistant pastor she was sorry if the fire was connected to the "undeserved negative attention" the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate Aug. 29.
† Updates To Previous Posts (10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment of The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador:
Too many company Christmas parties end up with drunken employees making out (or worse) in a bathroom stall while another drunken co-worker is throwing up in the next stall. The Christmas party thrown by Silicon Valley’s Nvidia ended up with an entire school completely renovated with a new greenhouse; a new volley ball court; an audio visual lab and multi-media classroom; a state-of-the-art math and science learning center; 70 refurbished computers for the library; three murals, landscaping and other improvements, reports The Mercury News:
W.C Overfelt High School on San Jose's East Side swarmed with help beyond any school's wildest dreams Saturday as 1,000 volunteers from Silicon Valley chip company Nvidia descended for the purpose of giving the place a makeover.
They came bearing paint brushes, wheelbarrows, picks and shovels, hammers and saws and a dazzling array of computers … not to mention lunch and a deejay who blasted the campus with the strains of Earth, Wind and Fire, Santana and high octane rap music.
They brought their spouses, and their older kids pitched in while the tykes did crafts in the art room. …
"This is like, Whoa! People are coming to help us from all over," said Rosa Hernandez, a 16-year-old junior who plans to attend West Point when she graduates. "I feel good about it." "Awesome and amazing," said Eliza Dominguez, a 16-year-old senior as she watched the swarm of activity with several friends, including student body president Abbey White. "It's surprising how many people came out," said White.
"I'm speechless," said Ivonne Lopez, a 16-year-old junior. "Amazing," said Paco Alvarez, a 17-year-old senior.
The student body of Overfelt High School is largely poor and Hispanic.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, MSM, Obama Campaign: Joe Don’t Know Jack): Samuel J. urzelbacher (AKA “Joe the Plumber”) admitted that “he was appalled by the Republican presidential candidate's reasons for supporting the government's $700 billion bank rescue plan, and he said they nearly caused him to abandon McCain,” reports The Associated Press:
"I was angry," Wurzelbacher told conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday. "In fact, I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him." …
He said the only reason he didn't get off the McCain bandwagon was "because the thought of Barack Obama becoming president scares me even more." …
Wurzelbacher also campaigned with vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. He had only praise for her, calling Palin the real deal.
"It disgusts me on how often they try to bash her just for her sincerity," he said. "She really wants to work for America."
The Stiletto, too, was appalled that McCain blinked - rather than trying to broker a deal, McCain should have led Repub lawmakers in a march out the front door of the U.S. Capitol - and he’s done nothing since to make her feel good about her vote.