"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Condi-mentum?: The Drudge Report, the conservative news aggregator with close ties to the Romney campaign, reported last night that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a frontrunner for Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. The Romney campaign has not commented on the report, but Drudge has long been seen as a mouthpiece of the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign, loyally attacking his GOP opponents during the primary and defending Mitt when he gets in trouble.
Still, there’s plenty of reason to discount the report. Rice has repeatedly said, “There is no way I would do this,” when asked about the VP slot. She also holds some views that are anathema to the GOP base, including a moderate stance on abortion and immigration. Some have speculated the report, presumably coordinated or leaked from the Romney campaign, was really meant to distract from bad headlines on Bain Capital, and to earn Romney some points for supposedly seriously considering a female minority candidate for the number-two spot.
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin gave Condi her seal of approval on Fox News last night. And Rice gave a speech in Salt Lake City last month with a surprisingly partisan tone, calling on Republicans to “storm Washington DC.”
Dems push again on DISCLOSE: Democratic lawmakers in both houses rolled out a new version of the DISCLOSE Act yesterday, which would add transparency to the post-Citizens United campaign finance regime. The new bill was watered down from the original DISCLOSE Act in the hopes that it would secure more votes in the Senate, where Republicans killed the earlier bill. While the original legislation would require disclosure for any contributions and have stricter disclaimer rules, DISCLOSE 2.0 just requires disclosure of any political donation over $10,000. Republicans will almost certainly kill this version too.
Americans surprisingly understand science: A majority of Americans say they think climate change is real, according to a new poll released today, with six in ten saying they believe weather patterns around the world have been more unstable in the last three years because of climate change. The Washington Post/Stanford University poll found, however, that they’re less enthused about government action to combat climate change. Seven in ten do not favor a carbon tax increases on electricity or gas, though tax breaks for green energy were more popular.
Walsh attack backfires: Tammy Duckworth, the double amputee Iraq War veteran running for Congress in Illinois, set a fundraising record after Rep. Joe Walsh, her Republican opponent, attacked her military service earlier this month. She brought in nearly $900,000 in days after the attack, which contributed to “the highest quarter for any House challenger from either party,” her campaign said in a press release.
Threat against Michelle: A D.C. police officer who had worked as a motorcycle escort for White House officials and other dignitaries allegedly told fellow officers that he wanted to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama, and pulled out his phone to show a photo of the gun he would use. The other officers immediately reported the incident to superiors, and the department’s Internal Affairs Division is now investigating. The officer has been put on administrative leave.
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)