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Subject: Lincoln Letter.
From: Hugh Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 17 Jun 2009 16:34:52 -0400

text/plain (48 lines)

In one of Peter's RAIN posts they talk about a lost Lincoln letter.  
Here is a snip from the description:

> Lincoln's note concerns the misfortunes of Robert Stevens, the son- 
> in-law of Lincoln's old friend, Oregon Sen. Edward Baker. Baker, a  
> fellow Republican, died in battle in 1861. That year, Lincoln had  
> appointed Stevens to a patronage job as head of the U.S. Mint in San  
> Francisco. However, in April, 1863 Treasury Secretary Chase fired  
> Stevens based on an investigative report listing six charges against  
> Stevens:
> 1) the hiring of bad men
> 2) partiality as to the wages of clerks and laborers
> 3) encouragement of insubordination and contempt for authority
> 4) "Sponges and Barnacles" on the payroll
> 5) purchase of inferior supplies at exorbitant rates
> 6) being arrogant and discourteous to his managers.
> Stevens protested his firing, finally resorting to writing to  
> President Lincoln. While Lincoln was not willing to override Chase's  
> decision, he did feel that Stevens deserved to see the charges  
> againt him, and that prompted the President to write this newly  
> returned letter.

See things never change!

This same letter could have been from the Bush or the Obama  
administration. And all the way back to Lincoln.

At the recent GSA Show an employee of FEMA said that things became  
confused under Bush and remain so today.  But the difference is that  
under Bush an order for $100 of office supplies had to be approved by  
two levels of management.  Now the Manager has the ability to spend up  
to $250,000 with no oversight.

Maybe if we passed a law that we had to reduce the number of Federal  
Employees by the same percentage of lost jobs in the Auto and private  
industry, then no matter who was in office they would work to get rid  
of barnacles and sponges and spur new job creation.

But as the letter reveals, nothing ever changes in Washington.


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