Archive for the ‘Mountain Blogs’ Category

by Pete Talbot

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has a great blog called The Fix. Besides dishing Washington insider info, he does an annual column on the best political blogs, state-by-state. I’m proud to say that 4&20 usually makes the list.

Now Mr. Cillizza has compiled the best political tweeters from each state. Here’s the link but you’ll have to scroll down a few stories to find his column on “tweeps.”

I’m familiar with most, but not all, the names. For example, our own jhwygirl made the list. I’m not sure who assigned the (D) behind each name but here are the players, copied straight from The Fix site:

EllieHill (D), c_sjohnson, brycebennett (D), JameeGreer (D), montuckyliberal (D), Mike_Wessler (D), jgrennan (D), dpogreba (D), jhwygirl (D), chasemohney (D).

Since I don’t have a Twitter account, I’m running late and I’m technically challenged, I can’t find links for all of the above. Maybe someone could help me out?

Anyway, congratulations. I’m sure about the time I start tweeting, some new technology will make the scene, rendering me obsolete, again.

(Update: The Missoula Independent gives us the links here. Thanks for doing the work, Indy, and a hat tip to p-bear and Mookie.)

by jhwygirl

2nd Grade Bike Rack has an interesting post.

HB198 has bi-partisan support both among the proposers and the the votes that moved it out of the House.

Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.

by jhwygirl

I’ve been hampered in my blogging since Tuesday when I (feebly) installed a new wireless router and ended up with a laptop that won’t connect. Tonight I cave and plug in the damned ethernet.

In between that time I got one of those neat ereaders. Fun.

All of that being said, Jay, the founder of this blog 4&20 blackbirds and principal blogger over at Left in the West, gave me a call Wednesday morning to tell me that he was moving on. It was a busy day for me and I have to admit I kinda didn’t think it was actually going to happen..I guess?

But then the post went up. Or I should say the emails started. Either way – whoa.

It was something that was briefly discussed when he moved to PA, but I guess I never saw a need for it…even though I knew that Jay was involving himself locally – which is a great thing.

But then the next day the other foot – Matt Singer – drops? Seriously, I was like WTH?

I have more admiration and regard for Matt Singer than I can put into words. Or if I did, I’d embarrass him or at least make his face all red. Though that hasn’t stopped me from trying every once in a while when he was extraordinarily newsworthy, and you can search our Matt Singer archives here for posts.

Here are two guys that have made an indelible foot-in-the-ass imprint on the politics of Montana. For more than half a decade.

Then tonight I find out that there is a going away party for Matt. So his heading to Oregon isn’t happening in a while, it’s happening soon – and all of this becomes so much more real.

For me personally, both Jay and Matt are the reason I blog – so ya’all can pretty much blame them both equally there – and for Jay’s part, when he headed on to take the helm as COO of Left in the West, he handed the reigns over here.

So the blame on Jay can be spread on a little thicker, I guess.

And Jay made it a point in our conversation on Wednesday to say how much he enjoyed the writers here….always the cheerleader for opinion and discussion. Always.

Wulfgar! wrote his own thoughts about Matt and Jay’s goodbye to Montana politics. Wulfgar! is another one who can whomp some darned fine progressive blogging out, and I have to say I am somewhat relieved by reading his posts that he doesn’t show any of the same indications.

Montana progressive politics will never be the same – but they also wouldn’t be what they are without the imprint of Matt Singer and Jay Stevens.

Go be famous elsewhere. The world deserves it.

by jhwygirl

Bunches of good stuff I’ve been reading through for some time now – – –

The Center for the Rocky Mountain West has just released its Spring newsletter. There’s an interesting piece in there on population migration within the U.S.

When Wulfgar! writes that he was thinking of wearing “a flower print dress and my best tea-party bonnet,” you know you better be paying attention. I immediately began planning my trip to Bozeman. Good thing I read the rest of it, otherwise I’da been highly disappointed.

Then he goes after his favorite (Not!) local conservative blogger Andy Hammond with a piece titled “Asplode!

Pogie over at Intelligent Discontent took a jab at Rep. Dennis Rehberg and his hypocritical schizophrenic behavior concerning earmarks. It’s always good to get more clarification on Rehberg.

He also made two strikes with one blow on both the Chair of the Montana Republican Party and Rep. Dennis Rehberg in Is Liane Pronounced Lyin’ – A Pathetic Defense of Dennis Rehberg’s Record.


Both Button Valley Press and Will Fish For Work brought Walleye Welfare bill SB425 to my attention. Stop over and give ’em both a thanks for helping to save an important warm water fishery, along with a move that will ensure our fishing licenses won’t be increasing anytime in the near future.

Also celebrating the death of SB498…The Editor had put one one last scary post on the ills and unanswered questions behind carbon sequestration on Friday morning, and by late morning – early afternoon the bill was effectively killed in committee.

One ugly ugly bill that is sitting on the Governor’s desk, waiting for his signature is SB95 which concerns water quality standards for local municipalities. Politics, Peaks, and Valleys has a great piece over there, SB 95: Bucking Feds & Water Quality Standards. Anyone say “Mmmm, I love nutrient discharge in my water?” What’s shocking about this bill is how it is in direct conflict with federal EPA regulations. Look – legislative audits this past summer demonstrated how woefully inadequate Montana DEQ is acting as the agency responsible for the state’s water quality…why would we sign a law into effect that just continues to perpetrate that which is in violation of federal law?

Although, maybe Montana is better off with the feds taking over DEQ’s water quality division?

The Dead are apparently back out on tour The New York Times has two nice little nostalgic pieces – that one there and this one which is a collection of photographs, including reader submitted.

Matt Kohler has a piece up at Clean Green Sustainable about mountaintop coal removal. It’s a major issue out east – in king coal country West Virginia…which reminded me of something someone brought up the other day: “If all these coal advocates want to tout jobs-jobs-jobs when talking about coal, what about West Virginia? Isn’t that one of the poorest states in the U.S.? What about jobs and money down there?”

James Conner of Flathead Memo is not happy about the state of the CHIP initiative – and the state GOP’s role in the situation. When Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy facilitated that budgetary decision, well…let’s just say James got even more incensed.

No one is, really – and the hypocrisy surrounding that vote to reduce a citizen-backed program is mystifying. Singer points out the hypocrisy of it when transposed on the issue of redistricting, while in another post he points out how there simply isn’t any logic to the way they are coming to this decision.

Me? I see it pretty hypocritical of the Montana GOP to jump out on the Capitol steps and lambaste Democrats on the downfall of society for their pro-choice votes while failing to ensure that an additional 15,000 kids get healthcare and while voting in support of state-sanctioned killing in the death penalty? What kind of respect for life is that?

This one really ticked me off: Army Vet Billed $3,000 for War Wounds. My friend, who was Army, said that the Army should be sued for malpractice.

Bridger Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, of Bozeman, is climbing Mt. Everest and they’ve got a blog up with fabulous stories and photographs. I’ve been following it for weeks.

by jhwygirl

Really, the above line is by Dave Crisp, of the Billings Blog.

Go read the rest.

from Pete Talbot

Seminal Montana bloggers Matt Singer and Jay Stevens over at Left in the West were chosen to represent Montana at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Howard Dean even sent them a personalized video!

We await your posts with bated breath.

(We wanted to link readers to a Missoulian piece on the subject but, as often as not, it couldn’t be found online.)

by jhwygirl

Stealing the headline and pretty much the whole thing from Dave Crisp over at Billings Blog

Seems at least one political pundit has our Governor Brian Schweitzer on the top tier list for VP candidates.

They even had criteria and everything.

by jhwygirl

An extremely worthy cause, which has been brought to my attention by (ah-hem) Dave Budge. Which goes to show that I do agree with conservatives on some things. Welcome Home Montana is the second of such public agreements.

Budge has been involved in helping organize a group of local businesses with the goal of providing an extended support system for military service personnel, active and veterans.

Absolutely a worthy endeavor, Welcome Home Montana is ready and willing to include other local businesses that wish to throw their hats into the effort.

The official grand opening, so to speak, is a community picnic, Sunday, June 15th, at Caras Park, 12 – 6 p.m. 6 hours of live music and a chance to meet and thank the men and women that have served with honor. There will be a raffle and prizes – so if you’ve got something to kick in, get to that website and make a contact.

As Budge notes, it’d be helpful if the rest of the MTBlogosphere would give this site some linkage. The name doesn’t suggest Missoula only – and I guess a short email to them would clarify that.

by Jamee Greer 

As if there wasn’t already enough on the internet to distract me from schoolwork, Missoula’s blogosphere is kinda stepping on the gas with fresh startups lately. It couldn’t be happening at a better time, as my friend Audra has helped structure my procrastination by introducing me to Google Reader, keeping each of my daily hits nice and organized.

Sean Morrison, a fellow member of Students for Economic and Social Justice and ASUM Senator, has begun posting regularly on student concerns at his own blog.

DJ Erol-E, who just spun for the inaugural after hours party at Missoula’s greatest barcomplex, is posting on the Missoula and Bozeman music scenes at Audio Blasphemy.

by Rebecca Schmitz

It’s come to our attention (after only four days–good thing none of us are getting paid to do this) you rascals voted us “Best Local Blog” in the Missoulian’s 2008 Missoula’s Choice awards. Second place went to and third to our friends at Gosh. Thank you very much.   You guys are awesome, too.  Although, I have to admit it–I’m questioning some of your other choices.  (Really, Missoula?  Starbucks has the best coffee?)

Now, what should we wear to the awards ceremony? Do we all look good in formal wear?

by Jamee Greer

Recent UM grad, and pal of mine, K’Lynn Sloan is rockin’ MTV as a Choose or Loose Citizen Journalist this election year — featuring reports on the political scene here in the MT.

Check out her videos, and read her blog.

by jhwygirl

Or is it tragedy in humor?

First there was this.

Then there was this.

Not so ironically brought to us by Shakespeare (& Co.).

The man should write a book.

by jhwygirl

Normally I watch Meet the Press (immediately after watching Face the Nation) on Sunday mornings, but this week’s Face the State program caught my ear as the topic was the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN).

Face the State is a locally produced news show – produced at any one of the several CBS affiliates across the state. It is on here in Missoula on Sunday mornings, at 9 a.m.

Gayle Carlson, who heads up the Great Falls Food Bank, was guest on today’s show. She presented some startling statistics on hunger here in Montana.

708,000 persons received food assistance here in Montana in 2006.

That figure is over double from 2004.

2006’s figure equates to a number that would be nearly 2/3 of all Montanan’s.

Nearly 50% of those receiving food assistance have someone employed in their household.

Those facts are startling folks.

Ms. Carlson told of a recently divorced woman, with 3 children, who came to the local food pantry for assistance. In her own words, Carlson said that “she’d never have thought that this woman would have needed assistance,” but that she was going through a hard time, and that the food pantry gave her the boost she needed to get her through the rough patch. She is doing fine now, and no longer needs assistance.

Myself, I see hunger in my own neighborhood. It’s not that obvious. I get up every morning around 6:30 to walk the dog, and that is where I see the need. I see several neighbors who are picked up (by others needing breakfast? by volunteers?) to be taken to their morning meals.

An older gentleman who lives nearby has meals-on-wheels delivered. I occasionally take him a meal – he loves my beef stew and my chicken and dumplings. The first time I did it, his gratefulness was so apparent, I have never forgotten to make large batches of that stuff (when I do make it) just so I can make sure he gets some.

Montana’s citizens rank somewhere near the bottom in terms of personal income – ranking 45th in 2004 (what was a move up the scale at the time), but ranking 49th in 2006. What Ms. Carlson emphasized is that the face of hunger in Montana isn’t necessarily what people would typically assume – it is not just homeless and unemployed people. It is the “working poor class” that is food challenged. It can be neighbors, it can even be co-workers.

This giving season, Craig at MTPolitics and Matt at Left in the West have revived what I think we all hope will be another successful fundraising event – the Montana Bloggers Fund for the MFBN.

The Montana Food Bank Network is a network of food banks and food pantries. It is also part of the nationwide organization America’s Second Harvest.

Montana’s food banks are large warehouses that distribute food, as needed, to community food pantries located throughout the state. A donation to the MFBN will help people throughout the state.

Please donate if you can.

by jhwygirl

Last year, Matt from Left in the West and Craig from MTPolitics joined together for the worthy cause of helping feed the hungry. A total of $1,600 was raised last year to help fund the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN).

Well, the guys are at it again this year, and as Craig points out, bloggers from both sides of the blogsphere came together. Let’s do that again, folks.

The MFBN is a private non-profit, founded in 1983 to help feed families across Montana. They have pantries all over the state.

You can have some fun in the process – MFBN is kicking off this giving season with a Groove & Give event at the Badlander this Friday, November 16th. Local R&B band Zeppo MT is playing. $5 at the door gets you in – and buy a raffle ticket and get a chance at a new 8 GB iPod.

Follow this link to donate to the Montana bloggers fund for the MFBN.

by jhwygirl

Not only do they continue to try and paint Lewie Schneller a Democrat, but apparently they’re touting a fake Bin Laden Democratic Presidential campaign.


And we’re supposed to take them seriously? A reasonable voice for conservative politics?

They’re making it a bit difficult, I say.

If you want to go straight to the good stuff from the right, may I recommend for your reading pleasure the following:

The Montana Misanthrope, and Montana Politics.

– all blogs that I enjoy, and where I can count on reading a thoughtfully presented conservative viewpoint.

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