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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has long pushed an amendment to limit those pesky and expensive transaction fees at automated teller machines, but his fellow senators didn’t go along with the idea this week. One possible explanation: Quite a few of Harkin’s aging colleagues appear to have little or no contact with the decades-old technology of cash machines.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D), for example, told the Omaha World-Herald this week that he has never once used an ATM, relying on bank tellers instead…But Nelson added: “I could learn how to do it. . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”
The remarks also appear to provide further evidence of a generation gap in the halls of an aging Congress. The average age of members is among the highest of any Congress in the past century, according to a February report from the Congressional Research Service. The CRS found that the average age of senators at the start of the session was 63.1 years, which is three years higher than it was four years ago; the average for the House was 57.2 years, which is up by two years.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”