Odd and Ends 10/29/04

Random thoughts on a Friday:

* Question for the other online egomaniacs out there: I may be coming late to this particular party, but have you noticed spam domains in your referrer logs? I’ve never had this before, but suddenly my site is being “visited” by “people” coming from domains like “your-illegal-viagra-pharmacy.com” and such. Really, how pathetic is that.

* Ohio’s Republican Party got smacked around yesterday when all of its peremptory challenges to voters got dismissed in Summit County (which is where the city of Akron is), on the basis that those bringing the challenges (four really old folks more or less dragooned as stooges by the local party) did not in fact have any personal reason to believe that those they challenged had, in fact, incorrectly registered to vote. It should be noted, incidentally, that the move to strike the challenges came from the Republican members of the Board of Elections, which I think is a very positive sign.

I am, like most non-corrupt people, against voter fraud, and I don’t think that either party historically has much to be proud about in the annals of vote suppression. But I do think the Ohio GOP’s attempt to carve into the ranks of newly-registered voters signifies something. Not that the Ohio GOP is corrupt — it’s not any more than Ohio’s Democratic party is, I imagine — but that the Ohio GOP realizes that Bush probably can’t win on the number of people who will actually vote for him in the state, compared to the people who will vote for Kerry. Therefore, best to make sure as few people as possible can vote for Kerry. People whose registrations are challenged still get to vote, but they’re given provisional ballots, and which, as I understand it, are counted only after election day. If you think either party is going to let a state get taken away from them on provisional ballots after election day, you’re sweetly naive.

The GOP remembers that Florida was won on 500-some-odd votes, which is why you’re seeing this unsightly scrum for 100 voter challenges in one county, and 70 voter challenges in another county. Every challenged vote counts. I strongly suspect that the large majority of newly-registered voters in Ohio actually exist, but that’s not the point — the point is that every vote shunted to a provisional ballot is a vote that’s not on the election night tally. These are not the tactics of a party confident of victory, or in their candidate.

* Happiness is getting an unexpected mix CD of very good music from a very good friend. Everyone should have such excellent pals (with such excellent musical taste).

* Speaking of music, for the month of November, during which I will be on a writing hiatus here at the Whatever in order to focus on my book, I’ve decided to go the musical route, in which I’ll be posting links to cool (mostly)independent music I find online, on a (week)daily or semi-daily basis, because don’t you deserve some cool music? Sure you do. As a positive statement of intent, here’s something to get you mood: “Moon Boots” by the band Motel Creeps, off their EP Pleasantries in the Parlor. Imagine what Echo and the Bunnymen would sound like if Ian McCullough was actually happy now and then, and you’ll be right on base. It’s excellent. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

* On the subject of the hiatus, people have suggested that I won’t be able to resist commenting one way or another, come November 3rd. Ha! Just you wait.