etc 

For better or worse, one of the most glaring signs of global warming is right in our back yard, at Glacier National Park. In 1850, the beloved escape for many a cooped-up Montanan (as well as a favorite tourist trap for the visiting hordes) boasted some 150 glaciers, a number that’s dwindled to 27 today. Esteemed climate scientists like University of Montana’s Steve Running predict all the glaciers will be gone by 2030.

Just in case that gloomy circumstance hasn’t hit home yet, on May 11 the National Environmental Trust launched a contest to rename the venerable park. Suggested alternatives should last for decades to come, and will be judged by Running, Missoula Rep. Betsy Hands, former Billings Mayor Chuck Tooley and Rev. Brady Vardemann, director of Montana Association of Churches.

Our favorite candidate, though we still shudder at the idea of it becoming pertinent, is “Exhibit A National Park.” (We realize other pieces of evidence qualify too, so we also nominate polar bears to become “Exhibit Bs” and coastal cities to become “Exhibit C-Zs.”) You’ve got an idea brighter than Glacier National Park’s future? Enter the contest, which runs through June 11, at www.renameglacier.com.

•••

Partisan blogger Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of dailykos.com once described Gov. Brian Schweitzer as “the antithesis of the Democrat stereotype.”

“Too many Democrats look like targets for the school bully,” Zuniga said. “Schweitzer is a tough guy.”

Republicans have complained about Schweitzer’s bullying ever since he took office, but it wasn’t until recently that his playground antics finally crossed a line a with some in his own party.

“It looks to me like they’re doing two-and-a-half days of work in 10 days,” Schweitzer told a reporter last week, following up on a comment he made at the end of the regular legislative session in which he accused lawmakers of spending too much time “drinking that whiskey and eating the thick steaks provided by lobbyists.”

But before the final bell of the 60th legislative session, Democratic Sen. Jesse Laslovich of Anaconda stood up to Schweitzer:

“We have a governor who says we’re up here eating steaks and drinking whiskey and we’re going to let him get away with that?” Laslovich said during an emotional committee meeting debate. “Sooner or later I think we have to stand up for ourselves...We’re intimidated by a bully.”

While a number of Democrats might agree with Laslovich’s sentiments in private, don’t look for too much public sympathy for bullied Republicans during the 2008 election cycle.

“He can be a bully,” admits one longtime Democratic senator to the Indy. “But he’s our bully.”
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