Mason in the News

Posted: September 5, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Tuesday, Aug. 26, Jerusalem Post

Former Prisoner Tells Tale of Peace at Sulha

“On Tuesday, the eighth annual Sulha peace project kicked off on the grounds near the monastery at Latrun. The three-day event, which combines music, food and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, aims to promote coexistence and peace between the two camps by forging personal connections between participants, and familiarizing the two sides with each other, one person at a time. And while the harmonious scene seemed to show that peace was near, or at least nearby, others said that more work would need to be done to harness what was happening at Sulha, in order to create a real change of the realities on the ground. ‘The real key is changing people’s lives,’ said Marc Gopin, a professor at George Mason University and an Orthodox rabbi who works towards conflict resolution in the Middle East. ‘Changing people’s circumstances on the ground, because it feels very hollow to people who are suffering enormously to decide to vote against the Hamas guy that comes to their door and offers them $100.’ Gopin focused specifically on health care as one way of implementing such change, an area where Hamas has filled the void for average people, in providing them with money for health care.”

Sunday, Aug. 31, Chicago Tribune

Analysis: New goal, New Style of Speech for Obama

“In accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Obama responded to critics who say his inspirational words mask a fundamental lack of substance. The speech was designed to show Americans that he understands their problems, has clear ideas for solving them and is tough enough to fight for what he believes. Peter Pober, a communications professor at George Mason University, said the speech was effective as a tool for helping Obama’s campaign. But it was deliberately light on the eloquent rhetoric that makes a speech truly memorable. ‘It was a speech for the moment and not a speech for the decade, whereas four years ago it was a speech for the decade,’ Pober said.”

Monday, Sept. 1, PBS NewsHour

Experts Mull Historical Context of GOP’s Convention Postponement

The Republican Committee decided to delay convention events on Monday due to Hurricane Gustav. Richard Norton Smith was interviewed on PBS NewsHour to discuss the decision and its political significance in the context of past conventions. “There are going to be some people who won’t say it in front of a camera, but who privately see this as not entirely a cause for despondency,” Smith said. “Because the fewer people out there who see the president and the vice president this evening, the better it may be for the people in here.”

Monday, Sept. 1, Washington Post

This Time, There Won’t Be Cake

“U.S. District Judge John D. Bates gave the Bush administration another courtroom slap Tuesday in a long-running legal battle with Congress, deciding there was no reason to delay an earlier order requiring former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers to testify. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, responded by immediately scheduling a Sept. 11 hearing. As Bates wrote acidly: ‘It is difficult to see how the Executive can demonstrate that it has a substantial likelihood of success on appeal, or even that a serious legal question is presented.’ Mark J. Rozell, a George Mason University professor who wrote a book about executive privilege, says the irony of the case is that the administration could end up undermining presidential power. ‘If the president indeed wants to strengthen the idea of executive privilege, engaging in delay tactics and continually losing in the courts in this way is ultimately weakening the principle,’ Rozell said. ‘If they are acting to just run out the clock, over time they’re weakening the whole concept.’”

Thursday, Sept. 4, Washington Post

Athletic Complex Approved

“Also Tuesday, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to participate in a study to develop a plan for a George Mason University campus in Loudoun. [Mason] officials have long hoped to build a full-service campus in Loudoun, which they have said is an underserved area. They were on the verge of finalizing a location two years ago, but the plan was nixed after the Board of Supervisors rejected a large development integral to the university’s plans. County officials, who said a George Mason campus would be an economic boon and a prestigious addition, decided Tuesday to allocate as much as $34,167 toward a feasibility study. Their hope is that Leesburg and the school district will contribute money to offset part of that cost. George Mason and Northern Virginia Community College would pick up the rest of the roughly $100,000 price tag. Part of the study’s scope is to consider whether the community college should add a campus in Loudoun or share facilities with [Mason].”

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