George Mason in the News

Posted: August 19, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national and international news coverage George Mason received during the past week.

Thursday, Aug. 11, San Diego Union Tribune

What Exactly Did Rove Tell the President?

“Among the many questions surrounding the investigation into who in the Bush administration leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer is whether President Bush’s top political adviser told his boss the truth about his connection to the case. Presidential scholars say a White House’s refusal to comment can suggest an administration in political trouble. ‘When under fire they suddenly hide behind the shield of secrecy as though they have no control over the matter,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University who has written five books on the presidency. ‘What we really don’t know factually is whether Rove lied to the president or whether the president knew something about Rove’s role and dissembled,’ said Rozell.”

Friday, Aug. 12, InformationWeek

Telecom Mergers Good for Competition: Study

“Telecommunication industry consolidation will be good for competition, according to a study by a George Mason University economist. In ‘Verizon and MCI: A Merger that Promotes Competition,’ Richard E. Wagner, Harris Professor of Economics at GMU, writes that the merger of MCI and Verizon, and of regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) and their long-distance competitors generally, will allow the merged companies to deliver a higher level of value and service to consumers. According to Wagner, the mergers ‘is an illustration of the competitive effort to provide valuable service in the presence of the striking technological changes that have rendered obsolete some long-standing notions about market boundaries.’”

Friday, Aug. 12, eWeek

Is VOIP Wiretapping a Privacy Threat?

“Has the Federal Communications Commission radically enhanced the powers of law enforcement with its new regulation to allow for Internet wiretapping, as some civil libertarians have been suggesting? Maybe. Some say that the FCC may be moving too quickly with this new rule. ‘I’ve seen no studies or analyses that examine whether CALEA has led to measurable improvements in public safety or homeland security,’ said Jerry Ellig, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University of Fairfax, Va. ‘This policy seems to be based on law enforcement’s assertion that they need to be able to wiretap phone calls, and perhaps some anecdotes showing instances where this has been helpful. But I haven’t seen any rigorous cost-benefit analysis.’”

Saturday, Aug. 13, Los Angeles Times

Letter Seeking Roberts’ Papers Cites GOP Arguments

“Democrats fired another salvo Friday in their increasingly heated battle with the White House over access to documents connected to Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr., citing Republicans’ past statements that attorney-client privilege does not apply to Congress. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge that the administration is trying to avoid using the term ‘executive privilege’ — a constitutional right that came under a cloud after President Nixon invoked it in Watergate and President Clinton invoked it during multiple investigations of his administration. ‘In the good old days they just said “executive privilege,” and now they are throwing out a lot of other phrases even though they mean the same thing,’ said Mark J. Rozell, director of a public policy program at George Mason University and author of a book on executive privilege. ‘They don’t always say “executive privilege,” but that is what they mean.’”

Monday, Aug. 15, (New Zealand)

Subsidies for Arts ‘Over-Rated’

Tyler Cowen, in Wellington as a guest of the Business Roundtable, said the increasing variety of art, music, dance, literature and films made around the world was because of the free market and globalisation. Professor Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University in Virginia, said government subsidies for the arts tended ‘to be over-rated’. The best art had always been created by artists who relied the least on taxpayer-funded grants. ‘Business is a useful check. If you’re doing something that simply nobody cares about, I don’t think you’re owed a living at the expense of whoever else. If no one finds your creations inspiring, you are doing something wrong. You look at French art in the 19th century, which was an amazing feat. It was really independent of government. Today it’s more dependent and much weaker. The average French movie is subsidised to at least 70 percent of the budget. One reason they don’t do well in international markets … is they are made to please the bureaucracy in many cases, not to actually appeal to viewers.’”

Monday, Aug. 15, Brunswick (Maine) Times Record

State Tax Hike Leads Warmings Market to Stop Selling Cigarettes

“According to a wide body of research, raising the cigarette tax is the best way to get people to stop smoking. At least one researcher, however, argues that in the age of Internet sales and a mobile population, these patterns no longer hold true. In a 2005 paper titled ‘State excise taxation: Horse-and-buggy taxes in the electronic age,’ economist Richard Wagner of George Mason University argues that smokers will simply buy cigarettes online, cross state lines or even buy cigarettes illegally when excise taxes become too high.”

Thursday, Aug. 18, Bloomberg

Clinton, Eying Future Campaigns, Weighs Effect of Roberts Vote

“U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is the favorite for re-election next year no matter how she votes on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. The political calculations for that vote are more complicated if the New York Democrat seeks the presidency two years later. At the same time, support for Roberts carries political risks for her in a presidential primary, said Mark Rozell, a professor of political science at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Other possible Democratic contenders — such as Massachusetts Senator John Kerry or former North Carolina Senator John Edwards — may argue to primary voters that support for Roberts is a betrayal of Democratic Party ideals. ‘She potentially alienates some of the hard-core partisans in the Democratic Party, and these are the people who are an enormous influence on the party nominating process,’ Rozell said.”

Thursday, Aug. 18, Los Alamos (N.M.) Monitor

Conference Fosters Research and Ties

The exchange of new and ongoing research at Overlook Park in White Rock included words from Genevieve Head, who shared findings of a survey conducted around Petroglyph Hill-Galisteo Basin in which a site of archaeological significance was found every eight acres. ‘There were 1,800 petroglyph panels on the hill itself,’ Head said of the joint effort survey among Santa Fe County, George Mason University and the Museum of New Mexico.

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