Now scrolling: The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Wisdom from the Mary Todd Lincoln School of Finance

If you’re the type to worry about budget cuts, take a tip from Mary Lincoln on how to survive rough times. While Abe was scrounging for funds to put coats on the backs of Union soldiers, Mary was playing her own version of ‘flip that house’ by redecorating with French wall paper and personalized china purchased on shopping trips to New York.

By 1864, she was in debt to the tune of $27,000 and pressuring officials for personal loans by sharing political secrets with them. Spies used to get shot for doing this kind of thing. When this tactic failed, she tried to acquire the salary of an employee who had left the White House by assuming her responsibilities and also assuming she would be compensated for her work – an early case of identity theft. When this failed, she simply started padding the expense account until her husband could be re-elected.

Abe’s methods of earning money were a little different. While Mary was away, he wrote her, "You’ll be happy to know I’ve put money into the treasury at 5% interest." How dull.

Actually, I love Mary. She gets a lot of bad press, but no First Lady was more colorful. By the way, if you’re wondering what Abe was doing while Mary was away, check out this undercover tape submitted to me, courtesy of Hammer28.

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