Mason in the News

Posted: December 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.

Sunday, Nov. 23, Chicago Tribune

Bush, Like Predecessors, Leaves His Mark on Environmental Rules

“Honoring a tradition that dates at least to Ronald Reagan’s White House years, Bush is pushing through a bundle of controversial last-minute changes in federal rules — many of them involving the environment, national parks and public lands in the West. Researchers who track ‘midnight regulations’ say Bush pushed 53 of them through the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the last three weeks, nearly double the pace of Clinton at the same point. Some of the most controversial rules deal with the environment — a legacy-cementing area where Bush diverges sharply from Clinton and from President-elect Barack Obama. Outgoing presidents ‘have an incentive to push stuff that the next administration won’t be in favor of,’ said Veronique de Rugy, a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who tracks midnight regulations. ‘It’s your last chance … to extend your influence into the future.’”

Monday, Nov. 24, Washington Post

Who Are the Better Managers — Political Appointees or Career Bureaucrats?

“Every time the White House changes hands between the Democrats and the Republicans, the outgoing party quickly sees the virtues of staffing government departments with competent managers. The incoming party invariably seeks to reward loyal campaign operatives with political appointments. Jim Pfiffner, a political scientist at George Mason University, suggested the number of political appointees be slashed by a third — but acknowledged this was unlikely to happen. ‘Presidents want patronage and think it will help them control the government,’ he said. ‘But the increasing number of layers of political appointees attenuates rather than increases control from the top.’”

Thursday, Nov. 27, Washington Post

George Mason University Analyst Offers Insight on McCain’s ‘Big’ Mistakes

“Republican Sen. John McCain made three ‘big’ mistakes while campaigning. Add those to the fact he had to follow in the footsteps of an unpopular president, and the Democrats were almost guaranteed a win Nov. 4, a political analyst said Friday. ‘It was a very unusual election, and almost all trend lines said it would be a Democratic victory,’ said Jerry Mayer, associate professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy and director of the master’s of public policy program. ‘It was not your year, Republicans.’ Mayer addressed the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly legislative leaders’ breakfast Nov. 21. The political commentator for networks including NPR and CNBC provided insights about the election’s outcome and what will happen when President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office. ‘His insights were all really good and very helpful,’ chamber President Laurie C. Wieder said of Mayer. ‘We are so fortunate to have a world-class university in Prince William and can bring in speakers like him.’”

Friday, Nov. 28, Arizona Republic

McCain, Kyl Back Napolitano for Cabinet

“Sen. John McCain, who underscored the threat of international terrorism during his unsuccessful race against Obama for the presidency, has been effusive in his praise of Gov. Janet Napolitano as a possible successor to current Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. One national political expert said the anticipated appointment of Napolitano would herald ‘shifting priorities’ at the Department of Homeland Security, which was set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. ‘(President Bush’s first Homeland Security Secretary Tom) Ridge and Chertoff were about the East Coast, 9/11. This is asserting that the border issue is as important as anything else that (the department) is doing,’ said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy near Washington, D.C.”

Wednesday, Dec. 3, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Try to Remember: An Emory Neurologist Has Developed a Simple Screening Test to Detect Memory Problems

“Scientists say [memory] lapses are normal, for the most part, even for people who are years away from being at high risk for dementia, but who have so much to juggle in a hectic world that sometimes their memories fail them. ‘There is all kinds of research that shows games, puzzles and software you can upload to test your mind actually do help,’ says Andrew Carle, an expert on aging at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., who studies brain-training products. ‘There is real science behind this empirical evidence to show that exercising your brain may delay mild cognitive impairment or even Alzheimer’s. People are terrified of losing intellectual capabilities.’ The games ‘are good things, but should be viewed like exercise equipment,’ he says. ‘You don’t want to put them in the corner with the Nordic track and not use them.’”

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