Month: July 2016

Astoria Column is a summer must-see

Thoughts about my home town were inspired a few days ago by way of a short article in The Oregonian about one of Astoria’s landmarks.  The Astoria Column’s official dedication occurred 90 years ago on July 22, 1926. The column was built at the instigation of the president of the Great Northern Railway, Ralph Budd, who held a high opinion of America’s west coast pioneers and heartily felt they deserved a monument equal to their intrepid efforts to spread the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, Astoria Column is 125 feet high and exactly equal in height to Emperor Trajan’s column in Rome after which its design was duplicated. Rome’s version continues standing though it is well over 2,000 years old: It commemorates Trajan’s two military campaigns in Dacia—modern day Romania. Trajan’s column is covered with figures carved in low relief on 19 drums of Italian marble that provide a narrative of 155 key scenes from the Roman campaign in Dacia.  Astoria Column presents a painted pictorial frieze on the exterior in mural form that spirals along for 525 feet from bottom to top, displaying significant events in the early history of Oregon with representations, among others, of Native American tribes that lived in the area, the exploration of the Columbia River by Captain Robert Gray, Lewis and Clark’s expedition, the founding of Fort Astoria in 1811, and the ship Tonquin’s journey from New York to Astoria. Electus D. Litchfield and Attilio Pusteria painted the exterior mural on the...

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Clinton’s Philly vs. Trump’s Cleveland

By E.J. DIONNE JR. After a raucous Republican convention nominated the very conservative Barry Goldwater in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson’s campaign ran an advertisement quoting William Scranton, Pennsylvania’s moderate governor, describing “Goldwaterism” as a “crazy-quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions.” This is the week in which Clinton tried to nail down the support of the nation’s Latino and African-American voters while sowing deep doubts about Trump among what is likely to be the election’s key target group: college-educated white voters. She reinforced her appeal to them by picking Tim Kaine as her running mate. He’s thoughtful, experienced and respected, broadly progressive yet with a moderate, conciliatory demeanor. But Clinton has real work to do on her own behalf, which is why the Democrats’ conclave will be far more positive and upbeat than the GOP’s gloomy attack-fest. One objective will be to boost Clinton’s favorable ratings after a rocky period during which FBI Director James Comey’s verbal excoriation of her use of a private email server set her up for a polling tumble. Democrats will be battling what they see as a false equivalency in the media that casts both major party candidates in the same light because of surveys giving each of them historically high negative scores. Clinton’s campaign wants Democrats (who will form a large part of the television audience) to come away with new enthusiasm for...

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I got to go to the Disneyland of politics

From the Capitol By Bill Post I thought this month I would give to you my thoughts on my experiences as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. I was honored to be elected as an “at large” delegate, one of only 10 from Oregon.  I attended the 2012 convention in Tampa as a media person so I had some experience in a convention but nothing like being a delegate on the floor of the convention.  It was exciting and exhilarating. Being a long-time political junkie (well let’s be honest, a “geek”), it was like going to political Disneyland for me.  I was thrilled to meet some of my personal political “stars” like Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Phyllis Schlafly of National Right to Life, Col. Allen West, Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA, Gov. Haley Barbour and so many more.  As a delegate, you have a “free pass” to roam the floor when not voting and the floor is where all of the action is for a photo or autograph seeker. The real work, though, was the forming of and completion of the party platform and I am so proud of our Oregon delegation’s heavy involvement in forming one of the most conservative and complete platforms in Republican history.  Later, as the evenings went on, we heard from all kinds of people from all walks of...

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