"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)
Topics: John Boehner, Debt limit, Immigration Reform, Budget, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Voting Rights Act, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Food Stamps, Acorn, employment non-discrimination act, Editor's Picks, Politics News
Last fall’s debt limit fight was (exciting, terrifying, revealing, interesting, pick your adjective) because many Republicans still believed there was a chance they could scare Obama out of his refusal to negotiate and pocket a ransom of some kind.
Today, Speaker John Boehner announced that the House will pass a clean debt limit bill tomorrow (ed. note: He’s since announced the vote will be Tuesday night). Democrats will provide most of the votes, Republicans will provide the rest. This outcome has been obvious for weeks.
Assuming nothing unexpected happens, it probably also marks the end of purposeful activity on Capitol Hill for the next year at least. Congress has a budget for the next couple of years. The debt limit is going up, and the GOP claim that a clean debt limit bill can’t pass is thoroughly discredited.
But at the same time, Republicans have basically foreclosed on doing anything proactive. They can’t do immigration reform because
Obama is a lawless tyrant it badly divides their members. They won’t pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act because trial lawyers it badly divides their members. They won’t extend emergency unemployment compensation because it’s unpaid for it badly divides their members. They probably won’t even patch the Voting Rights Act because ACORN it badly divides their members.
That means the calendar’s clear for moving smaller initiatives — restoring a military pension cut (after cutting food stamps and refusing to extend emergency UI) — and symbolic anti-Obamacare measures. A lot of this will be very educational. But the fireworks are over.
Brian Beutler is Salon's political writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @brianbeutler.More Brian Beutler.
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)