So it's an accident that this Lincoln symposium was set up at the Dole Institute just as the head of the Dole Institute took over the Lincoln Library and Museum.

It's not as if the departing head of the Dole Institute used Dole money to spread a little patronage to build bridges to Lincoln scholars. No sir, not Richard Norton Smith (for it is he), and we are told that,

Strangely, Smith had been working on the Lincoln Week events before he was approached to direct the Springfield museum.

Mr. Reporter, Smith was approached at least twice, probably more times than that, by two separate administrations. Which "before" would you be referring to?

And did you know, "The Lincoln lectures ... are designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Kansas Territory." We all associate Lincoln with the founding of Kansas (don't we?), so why would an all-Lincoln program arouse any comment? Consider:

McPherson, who speaks on Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, said it was tough to separate Bleeding Kansas from Lincoln's involvement in the Civil War.

They are connected because it's tough to separate them ... and that's the kind of insight that sells millions of books.

And speaking of selling millions of books, thanks to the reader who pointed out to me the mercenary undertones in this:

James McPherson, said he expected a lot of focus on Lincoln and territorial Kansas during the next year.

Opportunistic publishing anyone? We flame broiled Antietam, we steam broiled Gettysburg, now come and get your bleeding Kansas on an anniversary bun. Over 700,000 served.