Mason in the News

Posted: December 21, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason in the News

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Friday, Dec. 14, Washington Post

Proposed School Budget Increase Adds to Shortfall

“A battle could be brewing between Loudoun County officials and the school district, which is seeking a hefty increase in spending in the face of a budget crisis that could result in significant property tax increases. But financial projections are grim across the region, as the drop-off in home sales, coupled with a spate of foreclosures, raises the likelihood that there will be sharp cuts in services and an increase in taxes in Northern Virginia and beyond. ‘You can’t save $200 million by just tweaking and letting jobs go unfilled or not giving raises,’ said Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. ‘Even though it is a four-letter word to say they’re going to raise taxes, that’s what they’re going to have to do.’”

Saturday, Dec. 15, Washington Post

Granny Got Game

“On the retirement community scene, bingo is looking a little like last year’s thing, as video games have recently grabbed a spot as the hot new activity. More specifically, retirees are enthusiastically taking to games on the Wii, which has been under-supplied and over-demanded at retail stores all year, thanks largely to the system’s appeal to a range of consumers. Andrew Carle, an assistant professor at George Mason University, said Riderwood isn’t the only retirement home with a Wii affinity. Among retirement communities, he said, the Wii is ‘the hottest thing out there. We’ve been looking for 20 years for something that goes beyond bingo in terms of activities for seniors,’ said Carle, an expert in elder care who had an earlier career in the retirement-home industry.”

Saturday, Dec. 15, CBS News: “The Saturday Early Show”

Profile: Michael Fauntroy on presidential politics

Michael Fauntroy, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy, was interviewed by co-host Maggie Rodriguez about presidential politics. When asked about Ed Rollins signing on to run the campaign of republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Fauntroy said, “I think it’s a coup. I think it’s an absolutely huge get, if you will. You have to remember, for many Republicans the name Ronald Reagan means almost everything, and Ed Rollins can claim credit as being the architect, if you will, of a landslide victory. I think it’s a great win for Huckabee. And it positions him to actually claim the Reagan mantle … more so than the other candidates who are trying to do that.”

Sunday Dec. 16, USA Today

GOP Candidates Tout Ability to Beat Clinton

“Two terms of a controversial Republican presidency and public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war have led to a political fatigue that most analysts agree favors the Democrats. It applies especially to front-runners Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Republicans might need a major break to push them into the forefront — a clear turning point in the war, a Middle East peace breakthrough or the capture of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, for example. ‘It’s difficult to come up with a scenario that puts the Republicans in the catbird seat by mid-October 2008,’ said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘Could happen, but it would take a lot.’”

Sunday, Dec. 16, New York Times

Cause and Effect

“Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to consider District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down Washington’s strict gun ordinance as a violation of the Second Amendment’s ‘right to keep and bear arms.’ The decision invalidating the district’s gun ban cites the second comma (the one after ‘state’) as proof that the Second Amendment does not merely protect the “collective” right of states to maintain their militias, but endows each citizen with an ‘individual’ right to carry a gun, regardless of membership in the local militia. Now that the issue is heading to the Supreme Court, the pro-gun American Civil Rights Union is firing back with its own punctuation-packing brief. Nelson Lund, a professor of law at George Mason University, argues that everything before the second comma is an ‘absolute phrase’ and, therefore, does not modify anything in the main clause. Professor Lund states that the Second Amendment ‘has exactly the same meaning that it would have if the preamble had been omitted.’”

Write to at