George Mason in the News

Posted: September 23, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Sunday, Sept. 18, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

President Sounds the Death Knell for Small Government

“The federal government’s traditional role after a disaster is to clean up debris, provide temporary housing and rebuild public infrastructure, but Bush’s vision also includes rebuilding neighborhoods and retraining workers for new jobs. The extent of the federal power grab isn’t yet known. One key question: Will hurricane victims be eligible for aid if they choose to stay in a place like Houston, or will they only get help if they rebuild in the hurricane zone? Russell Roberts, professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., hopes compassion will be directed to individuals, not localities. ‘I would give the money to the people, except for the infrastructure part,’ he said. ‘You don’t want to tell somebody who gets set up in Houston, ‘Well, we’re moving you back.’ We shouldn’t be moving people around like cattle.’”

Wednesday, Sept. 21, New York Law Journal

The Chief Justice Who Wasn’t There

“When President George W. Bush and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee describe John Roberts Jr. as the nominee to be the 17th chief justice of the United States, Ross Davies just chuckles. That isn’t a comment on Roberts or his qualifications. What amuses Davies, a law professor at George Mason University, is the number everyone uses. Davies is quite sure that Roberts, if confirmed, will be the 18th chief justice, not the 17th. In a 76-page law review article, set to be published next spring, Davies makes a forceful argument that William Cushing, a mostly forgotten associate justice appointed by President George Washington, in fact served as chief justice for two days in February 1796 before resigning and returning to the associate justice seat he had held since 1790. Davies knows his discovery is not earth-shifting, but thinks Cushing, a devoted justice and supporter of Washington, deserves his due. ‘It wasn’t very glamorous, not much happened; but he did it,’ says Davies, who has been researching Cushing’s tenure on and off for five years.”

Wednesday, Sept. 21, WAVY-TV

Northern Virginia Housing Market Slows

A keynote speaker at an annual economic summit for real estate agents says the Washington area is still among the nation’s strongest for new jobs, but there aren’t enough housing units being built to meet demand. Stephen Fuller co-directs George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. He says last year alone, the addition of 83,000 new jobs meant the area needed an additional 53,000 homes. But only 25,000 were built. There was some concern when housing sales in northern Virginia dropped seven percent in July compared with that month a year ago. In August, there was a four percent drop. But prices have remained steady. And Fuller says a $50,000 annual equity increase in the average single-family home is nothing to complain about.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, Wall Street Journal

Knowledge Deficit

“The Wall Street Journal Online asked blogger Russell Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, to discuss what the public doesn’t know about economics, and whether and how that knowledge gap might hurt. ‘High school classes, along with the media, often mingle the two kinds of literacy, which continues an unfortunate confusion that economics is mainly about money. Economics is mainly about the choices we make in a world where we can’t have everything we want and the consequences of those choices.’”

Thursday, Sept. 22, Boston Globe

Jordan’s King Extends Hand to Jews

“Convening an unprecedented meeting between a Muslim head of state and Jewish religious leaders, King Abdullah II of Jordan urged Jews and Muslims yesterday to ‘take bold steps toward mutual forgiveness and reconciliation’ to counteract extremist violence produced by distortion of religion. Rabbi Marc Gopin, a professor at George Mason University who is involved in back-channel diplomacy in the Middle East, said that the outlawing of such fatwas was vital, because ‘the extremism in recent decades has all been based on fatwas by self-appointed religious leaders like Osama bin Laden.’ Gopin, an organizer of yesterday’s meeting, said that Abdullah’s initiatives have aimed ‘to strengthen moderate Islam, an Islam which in the king’s view exists in harmony and peace with the rest of the world. It was most daring of him to reach out to Jews at a time when Jews, Israel, and Judaism have been conflated in many people’s minds into a conflict between Judaism and Islam.’”

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