Friday, August 12, 2011

The Gadfly Hits The Wall

The Gadfly
Hits The Wall
By Mike McCarville

Having watched as much of the "debate" between the GOP candidates for president as I could stand, I am more inclined than ever to move to Belize and snorkel my days away. Or, beat my head against the wall (which, these days, I am more and more inclined to do).

Pardon no, Clemency yes. Governor Fallin has about 25,000 signatures on her desk from Oklahomans seeking a pardon for convicted killer Jerome Erstland, the hapless figure who took "self defense" way too far during an attempted armed robbery of the pharmacy where he worked. I suspect that if we polled the entire state, we'd likely have 2,500,000 signatures of folks who want a pardon. A pardon, however, doesn't fit this case. Erstland clearly executed a would-be robber and the forensic evidence and videotape prove it. The jury of 12 ordinary folks who convicted him saw all the evidence, including the forensic stuff that gets lost on many, but the stuff that proves, or disproves, what happened. Erstland, however, didn't create the circumstance that put him at risk and for that reason, clemency seems reasonable. Time served? Perhaps. What purpose is served by keeping him behind bars for the rest of his life? He has no criminal record, or did not have, prior to this event.

Opting out of the race for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 2nd District this week was Kenneth Corn of Poteau, who apparently had a wide open run to the nomination. Friends say the unexpected death of his mother, and his resultant responsibilities, hit him hard. That appears to be the case. I'm told Corn was prepared to announce his candidacy, officially, next Tuesday. That, however, went out the window after his mother's death. Condolences to Corn and his family.

And Corn's withdrawal in the 2nd leaves...who...on the Demo side? Brad Carson earlier said no after saying yes; now, Corn says no after saying yes. The best-known Demo names now appear to be out of it. Repubs are loving it; many rub their hands together in glee as they see unfolding a scenario that puts the seat back in GOP hands.

Howard Cotner. I can't add much to the kind words that have been said about him following the longtime Democratic legislator's death. But I do echo the remarks of one, who said Cotner was the prototype legislator: no hidden agenda, no self-interest, no ego, just a desire to serve. Which he did, and well.

Rrecuperation, in my case, somehow doesn't do the situation justice. After open heart surgery on July 6th, the "usual" 5-7 day hospital stay stretched to 12; then, after a few days of freedom, back to the hospital for six more days. Hospitals are terrible places for sick people to be. The list of complications I've endured stretches from the absurd to the sublime and despite the best efforts of the visiting health specialists from Choice Home Health Care, I find little solace in not being able to drive, having to stay inside when the temperature tops 90, having to sleep with my legs straight up the air, running out of energy two hours after I awake and keeping what seems an unending series of appointments with doctors.

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