Friday, October 23, 2020
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Major Scandal at GMU as Kochs’ Corrupt Influence FINALLY – After...

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A major scandal has broken out at George Mason University, and I thought it was important to comment on it. Specifically, see Saturday's Washington...

Time For Ken Cuccinelli To Mann Up & Apologize

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Remember Edward Wegman, the George Mason University statistician whose climate denial was repeatedly cited by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli? The one who was under investigation on charges of plagiarism & inaccuracy?

The GMU investigation is still dragging on, but USA Today asked several scientists to review the allegations against Wegman. Their analysis was damning:

The plagiarism experts queried by USA TODAY disagree after viewing the Wegman report:
  • "Actually fairly shocking," says Cornell physicist Paul Ginsparg by e-mail. "My own preliminary appraisal would be 'guilty as charged.'" 
  • "If I was a peer reviewer of this report and I was to observe the paragraphs they have taken, then I would be obligated to report them," says Garner of Virginia Tech, who heads a copying detection effort. "There are a lot of things in the report that rise to the level of inappropriate."  
  • "The plagiarism is fairly obvious when you compare things side-by-side," says Ohio State's Robert Coleman, who chairs OSU's misconduct committee.
If Ken Cuccinelli was a man, he'd apologize. To Michael Mann, the respected climate scientist whose work Cuccinelli has quixotically targeted. To Virginia taxpayers, for wasting their money on a political witch hunt. And to his own supporters for feeding them a steady stream of complete horse manure.

But Ken Cuccinelli doesn't have a shred of honor or dignity in his body. I expect him to continue to ignore reality & continue flaunting the truth. For all of Republicans' ranting against fraud & abuse, Ken Cuccinelli has no problem using your tax dollars to campaign for Sarah Palin's affection on the 2012 Crazy Train Ticket.

Excellent Review of “Netroots Rising” by GMU Professor

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Thanks to GMU history and politics Professor Priscilla M. Regan for the excellent review of Nate Wilcox's and my book, Netroots Rising, in the current edition of Public Administration Review. According to Professor Regan:
The most detailed coverage that Feld and Wilcox provide is for the two Virginia races-Tom Kaine's 2005 win of the governorship over Jerry Kilgore, and Jim Webb's defeat of George Allen in the 2006 senatorial race. Their analyses of how and why these two Democrats won in what traditionally has been a Republican state will be of great interest to political consultants and political analysts.
Yes, it was fun to write about the '05 and '06 Virginia races, and hopefully fun for your to read. If you're interested, check out the book and let me know what you think. For now, a few more excerpts from the book review are on the "flip." Enjoy.

Excellent Review of “Netroots Rising” by GMU Professor

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Thanks to GMU history and politics Professor Priscilla M. Regan for her excellent review of Nate Wilcox's and my book, Netroots Rising, in the current edition of Public Administration Review. According to Professor Regan:
The most detailed coverage that Feld and Wilcox provide is for the two Virginia races-Tom Kaine's 2005 win of the governorship over Jerry Kilgore, and Jim Webb's defeat of George Allen in the 2006 senatorial race. Their analyses of how and why these two Democrats won in what traditionally has been a Republican state will be of great interest to political consultants and political analysts.
Yes, it was fun to write about the '05 and '06 Virginia races, and hopefully fun for you to read. If you're interested, check out the book and let me know what you think. For now, a few more excerpts from the book review are on the "flip." Enjoy.

Video: Jim Webb’s Commencement Address at GMU

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The graduation ceremony was held on May 15 at the Patriot Center.

George Mason: Climate Denial U.?

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Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Northern Virginians have lots of reasons to take pride in George Mason University, as a rapidly growing academic community named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of US News & World Report, with Nobel Prize winning faculty and an occasionally great basketball team.

Unfortunately, GMU is also known as a "magnet for right wing money" which takes millions in corporate cash to run a network of centers to gin up and legitimate the latest ultraconservative talking points.

Now let me be clear: I strongly favor an academic environment that is open to debate and opinions from all across the political spectrum.  But there is a difference between principled, reason-based academic stands and corporate-funded attempts to skew debate and provide a fig leaf to cover naked profit-based self-interest.  

This brings me to the unfortunate role that our local university is playing in the political war over climate change. A lot of NOVA residents may not realize that GMU gives funding, support and - most importantly - academic legitimacy to some of the best known and most persistent deniers of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change - notably Patrick Michaels and S. Fred Singer.  In doing so, GMU perpetuates the myth that there is widespread academic disagreement about the facts and causes of climate change when in fact there is not.  

GMU Students, Faculty, Friends Protest Cuccinelli’s Homophobia

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I just got back from George Mason University Law School, where students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends and allies are currently protesting Ken Cuccinelli's appearance at the school. More broadly, they are protesting Ken Cuccinelli's anti-gay attitudes, which Cooch is attempting to force on Virginia as a whole. This is unacceptable, as the protestors and speakers are eloquently and powerfully explaining right now.  No wonder why  Cooch snuck in the side door of GMU Law School, is not allowing reporters into the event, and apparently is refusing to speak to reporters afterwards. I mean, I can understand why he wouldn't want any sunlight on him, but still that's pathetic.

Also, I should have video shortly of the first speaker, who was absolutely superb. For now, here are some photos, including one (see after the "flip") of Del. Bob Brink listening to the speaker. Also, Miles Grant is there, so he may have more reports and photos.

UPDATE: Follow Miles' twitter feed for more.  Other speakers included  Arlington Co. Board Chair Jay Fisette & Del. Brink. Also there are Del. Adam Ebbin, Arlington School Board Members Sally Baird, Libby Garvey and Abby Raphael.

Video: Obama at GMU

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This is the last 9:52 of President Obama's speech earlier today; I'll post the rest of the video when it finishes uploading to YouTube. The video isn't the greatest quality, but I think you can feel the crowd's energy. Also, it was great being just 15-20 feet away from Obama as he gave his speech. Hopefully, Obama's GMU speech will kick off a weekend in which Congress finally - after decades of trying - passes comprehensive health care reform and it is signed into law.  At least, that's the plan!

UPDATE: The rest of the video is now available, after the "flip."

Summary, Highlights of GMU Health Care Reform Rally

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Mary Lee Cerillo writes the following about the health care reform rally with President Obama this morning at George Mason University.

Have just returned from the Health Care Reform event at George Mason University.  It was unbelievable to see the thousands upon thousands of like-minded Americans of all ages and walks of life supporting our President and Health Care reform.  The Patriot Center was packed with very few open seats and the crowd stood for the President during his entire speech.  

The supporters for Health Care Reform far outnumbered the one hundred or so people who were outside the Patriot Center protesting.  Many of their signs were the usual misconceptions and lies about Health Care and what America needs to do for its citizens.  It was business as usual with protestors sure that Health Care Reform will kill granny, will be given to illegal immigrants and will involve a government take over.  What the signs didn't say was that Health Care Reform and the bill to be voted on this weekend involves a commonsense bill that takes into account both the ideas from Democrats AND from Republicans.  Rather than insurance companies or the government controlling our health care, control will be given back to the American people.

President Obama laid out three goals of Health Care Reform.  They include:

1. Ending the worst practices of insurance companies.  This will be a "Patient Bill of Rights on Steroids."  Thousands will have the right to buy health are.  Denying coverage to kids with preexisting conditions will be no more.  Insurance companies dropping coverage when a patient gets ill, will cease.  Young students will have the right to stay under their parent's health care until the age of 26 which will provide them with some security.

2.  Small business owners will get the same choices as members of Congress do, in choosing health care.  They will receive tax credits.  This will be paid for by the elimination of fraud.  It will be paid for up front unlike the past administration who passed a prescription bill that was never paid for ad resulted in a huge addition to the federal deficit.  President Obama promised young people that a credit card wouldn't be taken out in their name to pay for Health Care Reform.

3.  The cost of health care will go down.  Individuals cost will decrease from 14-20%.  Employees costs would go down $3,000 per employee.  Who knows?  Maybe that might result in a raise which would be a totally new concept for so many employees who have forgotten what it's like to get a raise in their paycheck.  Health Care Reform will also reduce the federal deficit whereas the so called fiscal conservatives raised the deficit by 1 trillion dollars.  Now their mantra is we can't afford this.  This was said about both Social Security
AND Medicare.

President Obama has the courage of his convictions to not care what the polls say.  They don't matter.  We need do this for Americans because it's the right thing to do!!!!!!!

The Time for Change and Reform is NOW.

Thanks to all of you who came out today and showed your support for our President!!!!  The crowd and support are still very much for President Obama.. God Bless America and let's hope this weekend our legislators do what's right for our citizens.

President Obama at GMU: Pregame Activity

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Prior to President Obama's speech on health care reform today at George Mason University, there was the standard "pregame activity" by protestors and supporters of various sorts. Here are a few photos, I'm hoping to get better ones later from people with real cameras instead of Flip videos...

P.S. Speaking of video, I'm uploading President Obama's excellent speech to YouTube now, hopefully it will be available later this afternoon or this evening at latest.

UPDATED: Excellent new photos thanks to Mary Lee Cerillo!