Gov. Judy Martz has been having a rough go of it. After a series of messy scandals and troublesome quotes, a recent Montana State University-Billings survey found Martz’s approval rating had dropped to a dismal 20 percent. We’d understand if she needed a pat on the back from more nominally popular Republicans. Hell, we’d understand if she needed a beer.

And indeed, just last week Bush presented the Governor and the state with some good news. Oops, did we say Bush? What we meant was Busch. As in Anheuser. The world’s biggest beer producer has recognized Montana’s reputation as a source of high-quality malting barley, and announced plans last week to build a new barley handling and storage facility in Sidney.

“We applaud Anheuser-Busch’s [remember, that’s Busch, not Bush] confidence in the state of Montana as a viable location for the company’s future growth,” Martz said at a press conference. “We will do everything possible to help Anheuser-Busch [again, we are not talking about the president] become an even more successful corporate neighbor in Sidney and throughout the state of Montana.”

If you can’t cozy up to President Bush’s popularity, the least you can do is bring home the Bud(weiser).

But what we’ve dubbed Martz’s Let-Them-Drink-Beer platform may not be a magic elixir. After all, “Let them eat cake,” as Marie Antoinette famously did not actually say, failed to quell peasantry unrest in France. And cake, unlike, say, Bud Ice, actually tastes good.

•••

If you’ve got a really nice old—as in really nice and really old—map of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s travels on the upper Missouri, you might want to give the UM Mike and Maureen Mansfield Library a call. According to a press release issued by the university last week, the value of a first edition copy of the Corps of Discovery journals recently acquired by the library’s Special Collections would jump $100,000 or more with the big folding map included with many copies of the 1814 edition. That kind of philanthropy could get you a wing of the library renamed in your honor. At the very least, circulation would probably waive all those fines you’ve got riding on the beach reading you accidentally left at the beach last summer.

Even without the map, the acquisition is a real score for Special Collections. Published eight years after the expedition’s return to St. Louis, the two-volume set bound in red Morocco leather represents one of some 1,417 first printed in Philadelphia and sold for $6 per copy. As an added bonus, the volumes once belonged to the personal library of Henry Villard, German-born financier and Northern Pacific president who brought the railroad to Missoula. When crews working from the east and west met near present-day Garrison Junction, Villard helped hammer home the golden spike before a crowd of 3,000 that included 10 senators, 26 representatives, nine governors, and visiting dignitaries from as far away as Germany, Hungary, Norway and Sweden.

The journals are also valued for their raw, adventurous quality. Does this mean tales of panty raids and beer busts at Traveler’s Rest will come to light? Sorry—not that raw and adventurous.

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