Mason in the News

Posted: January 25, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Thursday, Jan. 17, U.S. News and World Report

The Debate Over the Dream

“Historians agree that Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson engaged in a sophisticated partnership, one in which the contributions of each man cannot be so simply parsed. Johnson, a master legislator, is typically given credit only for the political aspects when, in fact, he had a strong, personal commitment to equal rights. ‘He had civil rights in his heart,’ says Roger Wilkins, a George Mason University history professor who held various posts in the Johnson administration. ‘The guy cared really deeply.’”

Friday, Jan. 18, New York Sun

Economy Needs Some Help, Bernanke Says

“The two leading Democratic presidential candidates, senators Clinton and Obama, are backing fiscal stimulus plans in an attempt to bolster the effectiveness of Mr. Bernanke’s monetary policy moves. Ms. Clinton increased the size of her proposed stimulus plan to $110 billion from $70 billion because of signs of further weakness in the economy, according to a press release yesterday. ‘Stimulus packages are politically attractive because they appeal to our sense of metaphor: The economy is an engine, it needs more gas; the economy is a patient, it needs an injection,’ a professor of economics at George Mason University, Russell Roberts, said. According to Mr. Roberts, the measures would likely amount to little more than ‘window dressing to make people think the politicians will think about them.’ Besides, ‘money doesn’t come out of thin air,’ he said.”

Saturday, Jan. 19, Washington Post

Band of Scouting Misfits Attains Eagle Ranking

“Scouting has rarely been cool. Only 5 percent of Scouts achieve Eagle rank by age 18, when Scouting ends. But studies have shown that Eagle Scouts excel in school and participate in their communities, and admissions officers say the achievement can boost their odds of getting into college. ‘One of the huge advantages is it’s an award that has set nationally recognized standards,’ said Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions for George Mason University. ‘Colleges undoubtedly know it speaks to the student’s motivation, leadership and commitment.’”

Saturday, Jan. 19, New York Times

Lawyer Reveals Secret, Toppling Death Sentence

“For 10 years, Leslie P. Smith, a Virginia lawyer, reluctantly kept a secret because the authorities on legal ethics told him he had no choice, even though his information could save the life of a man on death row, one whose case had led to a landmark Supreme Court decision. Mr. Smith believed that prosecutors had committed brazen misconduct by coaching a witness and hiding it from the defense, but the Virginia State Bar said he was bound by legal ethics rules not to bring up the matter. Ronald D. Rotunda, who teaches legal ethics at George Mason University, said the rules in Virginia were murky about what lawyers in Mr. Smith’s position could do. But if the bar’s initial advice was correct, Professor Rotunda added, ‘there is something wrong about the law, particularly if you are talking about execution or years in prison.’”

Sunday, Jan. 20, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Merger Talk Ripples through Markets, Workers, Flying Public

“A huge airline merger may be in the making — a deal that would change the face of the industry and send shockwaves through metro Atlanta. The outcome of Delta Air Lines’ possible marriage with either Northwest or United is hard to predict because the details — if there are any yet — are unknown. Still, experts last week said the contours are not hard to see. From the standpoint of the airlines’ operators, the aim of a merger would be to eliminate overlaps and cut costs, while extending the merged company’s reach. Simply from its size, the company would hope to find ways in which it could act more cheaply than before merger, said economist Kenneth Button of the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘You can draw up nice little business plans that have synergies,’ he said. ‘You can find economies of density, of scale, of scope. You can also find economies of market presence.’”

Monday, Jan. 21, Washington Post

Rethinking Principal Priorities of Training

“Cities across America have long hunted for tougher, better-trained principals to turn around struggling schools full of impoverished children. Education schools, where most principals are trained, emphasize teaching and managing children. But organizers of a new Rice University program for ‘education entrepreneurs,’ and some top education officials in the Washington area, say an inner-city principal cannot succeed without enough business smarts to manage adults. Jeffrey Gorrell, dean of George Mason University’s education school, said there were ‘some good ideas’ in the Rice plan. But he said it was wrong to say education schools teach principals only how to manage children. ‘A huge amount of the course work and the internship experiences are related to working with adults,’ he said.”

Thursday, Jan. 24, Boston Globe

Some Think Ex-President Stooping on Campaign Trail

“Bill Clinton was already working the crowd with a vociferous appeal to vote for his wife when the dozens of people jostling to get inside the auditorium provoked a campaign worker to cry out, ‘Adults should not be acting this way!’ Several historians said he is redefining what it means to be a former president. They had to reach back generations to find a few lonely examples of ex-presidents waging political warfare, such as when Harry Truman opposed John F. Kennedy’s nomination or when John Quincy Adams won election to Congress after losing the presidency to Andrew Jackson. While Jimmy Carter remains vocal with his opinions, they say, he has steered clear of internal Democratic Party politics. ‘Bill Clinton, I think characteristically, thinks he can wear more than one hat, that of the elder statesman who runs a foundation, and that of an advocate for his wife’s campaign,’ said Richard Norton Smith, scholar in residence at George Mason University. ‘Like so many things about the Clintons, this is unique.’”

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