Mason in the News

Posted: November 21, 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, Nov. 13, The New York Times

Hedge Fund Managers to Testify in Washington

“As policy makers consider overhauling the rules that apply to mortgage lenders, bankers and investors, hedge funds may also face new requirements for the disclosure of their trading methods. The Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies have been studying the effects of hedge funds on the market, and questions linger over what the government would do if a large hedge fund began to collapse. ‘On Capital Hill, there certainly is appetite for more hedge fund regulation,’ said Houman B. Shadab, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who will testify at the House hearing. ‘It’s not obvious to me that hedge funds caused this crisis, but they have been affected by it, there’s no doubt about that.’”

Thursday, Nov. 13, Washington Post

Study Highlights Teen Substance Abuse

“Some middle and high school youth in Alexandria are smoking, drinking and using marijuana at rates that exceed national numbers, drawing a ‘disturbing picture of youth substance abuse,’ a recent report found. The report, by George Mason University researchers, was released last month by Alexandria’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The report found that not only are Alexandria’s adolescents using what are known as gateway substances at higher rates, they are starting younger than students elsewhere. ‘Research evidence suggests if you start early, you are more likely to move on with more severe problems with substances,’ said Jerome Short, who wrote the report along with Christianne Espolito-Smythers. Short said Alexandria’s youth are more vulnerable, in part, because of the city’s proximity to the District, where these substances are more readily available, and because the high cost of living forces many parents to work long hours. ‘We believe there are a number of middle school youth who are relatively unsupervised after school,’ Short said.”

Sunday, Nov. 16, Washington Post

Peru Economy Grows, But Problems Abound

“These should be good times for President Alan Garcia. His country posted 9.9 percent economic growth in September at a time when world economies were crashing. And yet, times are tough for Garcia. He purged his cabinet amid an ongoing scandal over whether officials in his government received bribes in return for oil exploration concessions. He has declared a state of emergency in four provinces to quell violent social protests over distribution of mining revenue. The Shining Path, which terrorized the country in Garcia’s first term from 1985 to 1990, recently launched a series of attacks. And his approval ratings had sunk to 22 percent in October, the lowest level since he took power a second time in July 2006. ‘He was the worst president that Peru’s ever had,’ said Jo-Marie Burt, a professor of political science at George Mason University who studies Peru. ‘This is his chance to reclaim his place as a good president.’”

Tuesday, Nov. 18, CNN

McCain May Face Bumpy Shift from White House Run

“It’s unclear just how much political capital McCain has left in Washington, given the extent of his defeat and the GOP’s desire to chart a new course, and McCain may find it difficult to corral his Republican colleagues on a set of issues important to him or ones being pushed by the Obama administration. ‘He doesn’t have any weight in the House Republican caucus and very few supporters,’ said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. ‘In the Senate, he has some friends like [South Carolina Sen.] Lindsey Graham, but [minority leader Mitch] McConnell has never liked the guy, and he’s never been successful at leading his own caucus.’”

Wednesday, Nov. 19, Washington Post

A Familiar Precedent for a President-Elect

Barack Obama is contemplating Lincoln’s particular model of presidential leadership as he moves toward assembling his own team of advisers and Cabinet officials. His overtures to his former foes have suggested he may be mulling his own team of rivals, perhaps led by a certain senator from New York as secretary of state. Obama met with Hillary Rodham Clinton in Chicago last week. If Lincoln is the president against whom all others are measured, it is in no small measure because he was the greatest politician to occupy the White House, said presidential historian Richard Norton Smith. ‘Lincoln is a crossroads of character and political shrewdness,’ said Smith, a scholar-in-residence at George Mason University. By appointing his former rivals, he ‘displayed a remarkable generosity of spirit. On the other hand, it’s a very shrewd attempt to co-opt your potential enemies.’”

Thursday, Nov. 20, Boston Globe

EHarmony Settles Dispute over Gay Matches

“A settlement Wednesday between eHarmony Inc. and the New Jersey attorney general requires the online heterosexual dating service to also cater to homosexuals, raising questions about whether other services that target a niche clientele could be forced to expand their business models. The settlement stemmed from a complaint, filed with the New Jersey attorney general’s office by a gay match seeker in 2005, that eHarmony had violated his rights under the state’s discrimination law by not offering a same-sex dating service. David Bernstein, who teaches constitutional law at George Mason University School of Law, said the discrimination claim ‘seems like quite a stretch,’ but he worried it could encourage similar claims. ‘If you start a dating service for African Americans, do you need one for whites and Latinos? If you have one for Jews, do you need one for Christians and Muslims?’”

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