Archive for January 2nd, 2007

by Jay Stevens 

So it’s the start of a new year. I enjoyed a pleasant New Year’s Eve mingling festive family times with Colby at First Night – puppet show, ballet, and bag pipes! Colby’s family is charming, and much fun was had.

I’m not usually one for making lists or resolutions. I like to just do, whenever. But then I saw that Craig did a little retrospective of his blog in 2006, and…well…it looked like fun.

A couple of things before I kick off a 4&20 blackbirds’ retrospective. First, this blog ain’t even a year old. I started only on February 13th of 2006. I know a lot of people will be surprised – I sometimes act like I own the place, but really I’m just a damn newcomer to the Montana blogosphere. Additionally, I’m just a few hundred hits away from 100K, a pretty cool milestone I owe to my readership – tho’ I started the counting a couple of months after starting the blog…so I’m probably already past 100K…but never mind that little pesky detail. I know that’s a lot of readers for such a short time in the ‘sphere – it was a good time to be blogging about the Montana Senate race.

I want to thank Readbetween and the passel of guest bloggers I contracted to fill up the blog with posts back in October. Thanks for helping out.

Above all, thank you, dear reader, for stopping by and reading.

(One quick note: all of these posts were written by me. That’s not to say that some of Readbetween’s or the guest bloggers’ posts weren’t worthy of this list. I just conceived this retrospective as the (de)evolution of 4&20 blackbirds and my brain this past year…so take it for what it’s worth.)

February:

Debuts: Links…, Creeps, and Heroes.

A little brouhaha erupts over security at our nation’s ports…

I encounter the state’s soon-to-be-ex junior Senator from Montana, in the flesh.

March:

Missoula’s Air America affiliate demonstrates why the free market is neither.

Seattle-ites blame Montana for a mass-murdering Whitefish man.

Is going to the movies an act of treason?

April:

In which I find myself in the awkward position of defending corporate America.

A Nazi drops by the site, thereby earning the blog national attention. I am disillusioned with the blogosphere.

4&20 blackbirds puts the hurt on John Morrison’s campaign.

Debut: debate live-blogging.

May:

4&20 blackbirds makes its official endorsement for Montana’s disputed Senate seat.

Finally, Republican Congressmen oppose Bush administration’s penchant for unreasonable searchs…of their goodie bags.

No joke, some of my best material comes from my kids. And you wonder why I’m always tired?

June:

Tester wins his primary election.

JT also provides us the perfect metaphor for our soon-to-be-ex junior Senator.

Burns isn’t the only ethically-challenged representative from Montana.

The editorial board of the Missoulian demonstrates its complete ignorance of Missoula. I begin to suspect the paper’s editorials are being outsourced to India.

July:

Farewell, Patricia Goedicke. You are missed.

Blog-sampling: I steal from Justin to express outrage over gay marriage bans.

Howie Rich outed as the source for the terrible trio of fiscal extremist initiatives.

August:

Politics over principle: the NRA.

Pete McCloskey thinks Rehberg should retire from public service.

A hornet’s nest, stirred.

It’s the love, stupid.

September

Torture is un-American.

Torture doesn’t work.

So why would you want to torture a lefty blogger?

October

What’s a wrap-up of this blog without a denunciation of the Patriot Act?

Walter Schweitzer gives me a headache.

What’s few billion years between friends?

November

Tester wins! (Man, that was a long night. No, that was a long week.)

One of the worser results of the 2006 vote.

So…the election is over…let’s get things started for next one!

December

A football game happened, pitting my birth state against my adopted state.

And what’s a year-ending wrap-up of this blog without a self-obsessed examination?

A little taste of what’s to come in 2007. Whee.

Shameless self promotion

Incidentally, if you’re curious about me, Jay Stevens, check out my appearances on radio, television, and in the paper.

I also had the opportunity to write some stuff for the American Prospect, the Missoula Independent, and Gather.com. Check it out.

Obviously it was a dang busy year. I admit it: good times were had.

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Links…

JT prepares to take his oath of office.

Did Stan Jones cost Conrad Burns the election? Matt doesn’t think so, and jhwygirl in the comments wonders why folks are trying to blame everybody but Burns himself for the election results. Excellent points.

Matt comments on the property tax debate coming soon to a Montana legislature near you.

The Denver Post mulls over the West’s newfound power in Washington DC.

Climate change plus an El Niño equals the hottest year ever! Come on, reality deniers, what’s your spin on this?

Department of idiocy: Park Service can’t say how old the Grand Canyon is…for fear of offending creationists.

Yes, Virginia, elections really do make a difference.

Julie Fanselow asks “what’s the matter with Kansas?” The answer is, of course, “nothing.”

On the other hand, there is something the matter with Louisiana. It’s slipping into the Gulf of Mexico.

EJ Dionne says the Democrats’ first test is ethics.

A reason to like John Edwards: he kicks rhetorical *ss. “Obama is hope; I’m action.”

Chuck Hegel opposes escalation in Iraq.

U.S. troops in Iraq oppose escalation.

The Bush administration is preparing to escalate the war in Iraq.

So much for the “old guard” coming in and saving our failing foreign policy….not that I thought the ISG was at all helpful…

Oops. Apparently we can’t even hang Saddam Hussein properly. Is anybody surprised?

Mark T does remind us that Hussein was a U.S. government creation

Oh, and is anybody surprised that some right-wingers are accusing the left of mourning Hussein’s loss?

And is anybody surprised that the Bush administration might be in a little too close with Big Oil?

John Edwards: “what planet is George Bush living on?”

Time to hire the world’s dumbest “intellectual” – Bill Kristol – as a columnist. Wrong on just about everything, now he can be wrong for millions of readers. Maybe as balance, they’ll hire someone who’s usually right, but don’t count on it.

Ten video moments from 2006…and don’t worry: the “macaca” video is not among them.

Lists kind of get out of hand at the end of the year, don’t they? Like Alternet’s top 10 lists of 2006.

by Jay Stevens 

Did anyone catch the Fiesta Bowl last night???

I was lucky enough to stumble on the end of the game while channel surfing last night, I caught the last play of regulation and the overtime. Maybe the most thrilling end to a football game I’ve ever seen – or at least jostling the Pats-Rams Superbowl in 2001 for room near the top. (The San Francisco Chronicle calls it “the greatest game ever.” Let’s compromise…the greatest college football game ever? Certainly without a doubt the best bowl game ever.)

ESPN’s Pat Forde has a great recap of the game:

At the end of a game unlike any college football has ever witnessed, two of the great female icons in American culture staged a harmonic, hypnotic, borderline hallucinogenic convergence.

Boise State introduced Cinderella to Lady Liberty.

A head-to-toe, shining-beacon-to-glass-slipper miracle ensued.

The Broncos culminated an unrivaled string of gusto-laden, do-or-die trick plays with one of the oldest in the book, the Statue of Liberty. And when Ian Johnson grabbed Jared Zabransky’s behind-the-back handoff, scooted around the left side and scored two titanic points to beat lordly Oklahoma 43-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, magic bloomed in the desert.

Ford’s got great descriptions of all the trick plays Boise State (three? four? I lost track), so the article is well worth a read. Not to mention that Boise State’s star running back proposed to his girlfriend on national television minutes after scoring the winning two-point conversion…

The Fiesta Bowl, folks. The Fiesta Bowl…

After re-enacting the Statue of Liberty play for my startled wife, all I could think was that I’m glad there’s no playoffs for the upper-tier of college football. Could you imagine how exciting it would be to see the Boise States challenge for a national crown? I’m telling you, Division I college football playoffs would be more addictive than crack. Last thing I need as a father of twins with a full-time job and near full-time blogging habit is another exhausting and addictive sports-viewing habit…

Update: In Boise State’s victory, Western Dem’s Kari Chisolm sees a need to end the BCS bowl system




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