Mason in the News

Posted: May 1, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage Mason recently received.

Sunday, April 26, Scotland on Sunday

Time to Spend a Penny?

“A few months before the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond took one of the most audacious political gambles of his life. He challenged voters to pay a ‘Penny for Scotland’. It was a gamble that failed to pay off. Salmond’s suggestion that the so-called Tartan Tax should be levied had a frosty reception at the polls and was blamed for the SNP’s relatively poor showing during the first Holyrood elections. ‘Obviously, numerically raising the Tartan Tax would make a difference and if they used that as an option it would be possible to partly close the gap,’ said Andrew Hughes Hallett, professor of economics and public policy at George Mason University in the U.S. and a visiting professor of economics at St. Andrews. ‘But the money raised would not be enough to satisfy the need completely. It would also be possible to raise taxes from Westminster to close that gap. It would be anomalous to ask the Scots to pay to close their gap, but not ask anyone else to close any gaps in their funding.’”

Sunday, April 26, Washington Post

A Summer Spent Studying Alzheimer’s

“Until recently, Ashley Groth, 16, a junior at Brentsville District High School, thought she was going to spend her summer trekking across the country visiting colleges and playing video games with friends. Now her plans have changed to something a bit more productive: researching treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Groth is one of five Prince William County high school students who were selected out of more than 100 teenage and college-level applicants to George Mason University’s Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program at its Prince William Campus. Twenty-three students in the unpaid internship will work alongside the university’s scientists on issues such as antimicrobial drug design, developmental neurobiology, nanotechnology, biodefense and environmental science.”

Wednesday, April 29, New York Times

‘Jury is Still Out’ on Rulemaking after Obama’s First 100 Days

“Within its first 100 days, the Obama administration moved to scuttle last-minute Bush-era rules and revamp the White House’s role in federal rulemaking, but advocacy groups say President Obama must go further to boost transparency and roll back deregulatory practices. Jerry Ellig, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, said that he does not expect the new administration to make sweeping changes to the regulatory review process. ‘Back during the Clinton administration, the OIRA process was characterized as more of a consultative process than a gatekeeper process,’ Ellig said, a stance that the Obama administration may adopt. However, he added, ‘I don’t really know how OIRA can avoid serving as something of a gatekeeper if it’s going to do the job that the president wants it to do.’”

Thursday, April 30, Wall Street Journal

There Goes the Neighborhood: A Fight over Defining ‘Blight’

“U.S. Supreme Court rulings on property law don’t often serve as clarion calls to wide swaths of the population. But most rulings aren’t Kelo v. City of New London. States long have had the power to condemn private property for such purposes as building highways or bridges. But in the 2005 Kelo ruling, the court held that governments also can take property for the purpose of promoting ‘economic development,’ a broader justification than the court had previously allowed. The ruling led to a widespread backlash, with more than 40 states passing laws in recent years aimed at limiting the power of so-called ‘eminent domain,’ including measures to remove ‘economic development’ as a justification for seizing property. But in many states the effort to blunt the impact of the Kelo ruling has proven elusive, say some property-rights advocates and academics. The problem, they say, is that many states still authorize the seizure of property that is deemed ‘blighted,’ a term often defined so broadly that it enables ‘virtually any property to be condemned,’ says Ilya Somin, a professor at George Mason University School of Law.”

Thursday, April 30, Working Mother

Family Focus – I’m Talkin’ to Me

“There are times when our running inner monologues are spoken out loud. A mumble or two that escapes when the boss goes on a tirade, a grumble that the trash has yet to be taken out, the ‘What was I doing?’ when the mind goes blank. And now your preschooler seems to have the talk-to-yourself gene, constantly babbling as he builds his block tower or thumbs through ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ Should you be concerned? This is not only normal, it can be a good thing, assures Adam Winsler, PhD, a professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. ‘Young children may talk to themselves as they problem-solve or go about their daily activities, and parents and teachers shouldn’t think this is weird or bad,’ he explains, adding that private speech at this age is very common.”

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