Author Archives: Bennett Minton

The House GOP’s stalemate

The House Republicans’ conundrum won’t end with the selection of a speaker, whether Kevin McCarthy or someone else. Their problem is fundamental to their narrow majority, and its origin dates back more than 30 years. I became a professional congressional … Continue reading

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Oregon’s 2022 report card: what voters said

Oregon’s polarized election results reflected those of other states but with the twists that typify the state’s distinctions, seen in four ballot questions as well as contests for office. From them I infer our political values and democratic health: we … Continue reading

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Portland’s Ritz Carlton (with its tax breaks) nears completion

The other day I took a tour of Portland’s Ritz Carlton, the 35-story, five-star hotel and condo to be completed next spring. The condo units, on the upper floors, are selling from $1.3 million for one-bedrooms to $10 million for … Continue reading

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The Oregon Trail in 63 photos

To complement the narratives I posted here over the fall, I selected 63 shots from my drive east from Portland to Independence, Missouri, sometimes more and other times less following the Oregon Trail, in reverse. The Trail, which branched into … Continue reading

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Three presidents and forks in the road: two steps forward and . . . .

On a sunny afternoon in November, I walked up to the Lincoln Memorial and felt a lump rise in my throat, as it has on this transcontinental trek in other places that represent human triumph and suffering: South Pass in … Continue reading

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Pilgrimage to Montgomery

In Charlottesville, I happened by a bright blue plaque on what was until recently Jackson Park, named for Stonewall Jackson. Also until recently, the park featured an equestrian statue of Jackson, installed 100 years ago, after Paul Goodloe McIntire deeded … Continue reading

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Lexington vignette

The campuses of Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute abut each other. W&L looks like a classical college: Roman Revival architecture, painted red brick, white columns. Stately. The main road through W&L runs north past the Colonnade, its … Continue reading

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Eastward Ho—to Independence

The second half of my Oregon Trail journey, west to east, began at Riverton, Wyoming, on the Mississippi side of the Continental Divide, where the Rendezvous of 1838 took place. The Rendezvous was an annual convention in the wilderness for … Continue reading

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At South Pass on the Oregon Trail

I had imagined this day as the climax of my Oregon Trail-in-reverse, the one on which I would cross the Continental Divide at South Pass, the 20-mile-wide flat in the Wyoming Rockies that trapper Robert Stuart “discovered” in 1812 and … Continue reading

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The Oregon Trail, updated

As a history student and native of the South, I’ve spent most of my life immersed in our Peculiar region, the soil in which the blood of Black and White was mixed. The foundation of American capitalism was slavery, and … Continue reading

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