And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that regardless of how Americans feel individually about recent congressional decisions, many feel uneasy about the conduct of some of those legislators.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi stood at the podium and talked, or read letters, for eight consecutive hours, supporting a view which she knew was a lost cause. But it was her cause of the moment, and she wasn’t about to give up without making that view known, ad infinitum.

Later, Republican Senator Rand Paul talked until the wee small hours of the morning, repeating a position he has repeated and echoed time after time, again, in a lost cause.

As a result of the above, the legislative bodies toiled all night before reaching an early-the-next-moming vote, which confirmed what everybody knew all along would be the outcome.

Every time I hear something like this I am reminded of an incident which came fairly early in my newspaper career. The school board, as it was then constituted, was split on some important issues. That was in the time when school boards actually had some say in matters, before teacher unions and state mandates took away most of their power.

They often stayed in session until 1 a.m. without reaching agreement.

One of the members of the board was the late Nels Quandahl, public accountant with a practice in Waukon. I was prone to agree with Nels because he represented me in a dispute with Internal Revenue on the status of my Navy income. The IRS eventually won, but Nels fixed it so I did not have to pay penalties.

One early morning, when all board members were obviously tired and getting short tempered, Nels said he was leaving, because “no man should be held accountable for any decision he makes after midnight.”

Words to live by.

I skipped church Sunday, something I do not do lightly. For three previous days and the night before, I suffered from paroxysms of coughing, trying to clear lungs of congestion. I wasn’t sure if I could contaminate others, but was sure that anyone sitting within ten feet of me if I coughed, and I almost certainly would have, would have felt uncomfortable. Even I didn’t like being around me.

Speaking of winter woes, “Iowa nice” was demonstrated for me a couple times during our snowfalls. Before the season started, I was aware I would not be able to shovel and blow snow, so engaged a firm to do it. Twice I had to call off guys who, finished with their own snow blowing chores in the neighborhood, attacked my driveway before the hired firm arrived. All I could do was thank them for offering and explain why it would not be fair to let them continue.

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