AUGUST 5, 1948
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—We were delighted yesterday to welcome again a very lovely old lady who comes on a yearly pilgrimage from Erie, Pa., driving with her son, to visit the library, the house and my husband's grave here.
This year she wrote ahead to me asking if she might see Fala. And when she reached my cottage in the afternoon Fala and Tamas were on the porch with Miss Thompson and me. We were busily slicing string beans to put in the deep freeze. I thought the lady looked at us very enviously because she said that nowadays her son would not allow her to do any work of this kind.
Our household had been overwhelmed with three bushel baskets of beans during the morning, so everyone was pressed into service and we put up just as many as we possibly could. There are still more on the plants than we can go out and pick. And by next week we are going to have so many tomatoes that I think we can stock up on tomato juice and every other variety of preserved tomato to keep us going through the rest of the year.
The raspberry season seems to be pretty well over, and I think the birds and my youngest grandchildren are really sad about it. They used to have a fine time eating the fruit before I could get out to the bushes and pick it.
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We now have a family of cranes living in the marsh just across our brook in the swamp and today we saw the great white bird standing on the bank. Suddenly he took to wing and found his mate, which we could just glimpse coming out of the swamp on the far side.
In addition, we have a family of wild ducks, and I also can report that the purple loosestrife is just coming into bloom. In fact, our wildlife and wild flowers keep us from ever being dull.
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The Senate certainly showed up in a curious light Monday when Senator Vandenberg, in ruling on the Southern filibuster against the anti-poll tax bill, was obliged to admit that they had "no effective cloture rule at all" and, therefore, the Senate was at the mercy of "unlimited debate ad infinitum."
I have always thought that filibustering—in the way that the Southern Dixiecrats are carrying on against the anti-poll tax—is an insult not only to the intelligence of the Senate but to the people of the United States.
Who wants decisions made in such a stupid way? There is no real discussion on the bill itself. The Southerners just talk to talk. They even read out of books endlessly. Senator Taft, Republican policy leader, had to admit defeat and concede that a vote could not be forced on the anti-poll tax bill.
I only hope that this defeat, which will be laid partly at the door of the Republicans as well as that of the reactionary Democrats, will move the Senate to change its rules. It certainly is an undignified position for the Senate of the United States to be in. Why continue to be at the mercy of a few stubborn reactionaries?