> Also, a software list update was pushed into that branch the day before release,
> which seems to fly in the face of the rule.
A software list for a newly-added system. Software lists are typically distributed separately on a per-system basis, and so adding a softlist for a newly-promoted system does not impinge on peoples' abilities to put together a full ROM/CHD set in a timely manner, and it does not risk changing a pre-existing software list.
It's actually perfectly logically consistent if you're not being an intentionally obtuse twat.