President Obama’s deficit reduction plan

President Obama is set to announce his deficit reduction plan which will include $1.5 trillion in new taxes. The plan will also look at the so-called “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire Warren Buffett, which would set a new tax rate for those making more than $1 million a year. The following Boston University experts are available to comment on all aspects of the President Obama’s plan:

Graham Wilson, chair of the political science department and an expert on American politics. He is also the author of Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Politics. He can be reached at 617-523-2540; gkwilson@bu.edu.

Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics and an expert on macroeconomics and fiscal and monetary policy. He is the author of Jimmy Stewart is Dead: Ending the World’s Ongoing Financial Plague With Limited Purpose Banking. He is also a regular contributor to Bloomberg and served as senior economist on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors. He can be reached at 617-353-4002; kotlikoff@bu.edu.

Tom Whalen, associate professor of social science and an expert on American politics and the American presidency. He can be reached at 978-888-3131; tjw64@comcast.net.

Tom Fiedler, Dean of the College of Communication and an expert on American politics and political reporting. He is the former executive editor of the Miami Herald and a regular contributor to PoliticoArena. He can be reached at 617-353-3488; tfiedler@bu.edu; Twitter: @BUCOMDEAN

Cornelius Hurley, director of the Center for Finance, Law & Policy and a former counsel to the Fed Board of Governors. He can be reached at 617-353-5427; ckhurley@bu.edu; Twitter: @ckhurley


Tips for proper backpack selection and usage

National Backpack Awareness Day is Wednesday, September 21st. Karen Jacobs, clinical professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and an occupational therapist, offers tips for proper backpack selection and usage in order to help reduce back, neck and shoulder pain.

Contact Jacobs at 617-353-7516; kjacobs@bu.edu; Twitter: KarenJacobsOT


Greek bailout delayed

Officials of the European Union have announced they will delay making a decision on an $11 billion installment of a bailout loan to Greece until October. International relations professor Vivien Schmidt is a long-time EU watcher and author of Policy Change and Discourse in Europe. She offers the following comment:

“This is a very dangerous game that the EU leaders are playing.

“The problem is that the brinksmanship with regard to the second Greek bailout is not a calculated decision to try to squeeze more out of Greece while appeasing national publics in, say, Finland or Germany. Rather, it is the same muddling through that has caused the fear in the markets.

“My best guess is that the markets will respond as they have to the slow responses and lack of leadership, by continuing to bet against the weakest members of the eurozone.”

Contact Schmidt at 617-358-1092; vschmidt@bu.edu


Arsenic in apple juice?

Joan Salge Blake, clinical associate professor of nutrition and a registered dietician, weighs in on the controversy surrounding how “The Dr. Oz Show” yesterday aired a segment about unsafe levels of arsenic in many brands of apple juice. The FDA, however, has called the show’s testing methods “erroneous” and “misleading” since they only looked at total levels of arsenic rather than distinguishing between the organic and inorganic types.  The agency asserts that apple juice is safe and does not contain harmful levels of arsenic.

According to Salge Blake:

“Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment as well as from contamination by humans. Inorganic arsenic is the harmful kind, so just like with cholesterol, getting a measurement of total arsenic doesn’t say very much.

“The FDA has been tracking the potential contamination in apples and other juices for years and concludes that there is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking apple juice.

“However, on another note, children ages 2 to 18 years consume more than half of their fruit intake as juice. Unfortunately, 100% juice lacks the fiber in whole fruits and when consumed in excess, can displace other healthy beverages, such as fat-free and low fat milk. While 100% fruit juice can be part of a well-balanced healthy diet, the majority of American’s daily fruit intake, young and old, should be from whole fruit.”

Contact Salge Blake at 617-353-7470; salge@bu.edu.


Campaign 2012: Elizabeth Warren enters Massachusetts Senate race

Fred Bayles, director of the State House Program, offers his analysis on Elizabeth Warren as a candidate in the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Contact Bayles at 617-353-7736; fbayles@bu.edu


Jacqueline Kennedy recordings

Recently released audio recordings of Jacqueline Kennedy reveal candid comments by the former first lady about her husband, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other issues facing the country in the early 1960′s. Tom Whalen, a professor of social science, is an expert on American politics and the American presidency. He is also the author of Kennedy versus Lodge, an analysis of a political rivalry between two powerful Massachusetts families which spanned nearly half a century. Whalen is available to offer insight on Mrs. Kennedy’s comments. He can be reached at 978-888-3131; tjw64@comcast.net.


Faculty and staff reflect on 9/11

In today’s edition of BU Today, several professors and administrators reflect on how the U.S. and world have changed in the decade since the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The story features Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations; Thomas Robbins, BU’s chief of police and executive director of public safety; Neta Crawford, professor of political science; Kecia Ali, professor of religion; Jack Beermann, professor of law; Hillel  Levine, professor of religion; Richard Cornell, professor of music and composition; Shahla Haeri, associate professor of anthropology; Joseph Wippl, professor of international relations; and Margaret Ross, director of behavioral medicine at Student Health Services.

Read BU Today’s complete 9/11 coverage here.


President Obama’s jobs speech

The following Boston University experts are available to comment on President Obama’s jobs speech:

Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics, an expert on macroeconomics and fiscal and monetary policy. He is the author of Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World’s Ongoing Financial Plague With Limited Purpose Banking. He is also a regular contributor to Bloomberg and served as senior economist on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He can be reached at 617-353-4002; kotlikoff@bu.edu.

Kevin Lang, professor of economics, an expert on labor economics. He can be reached at 617-353-5694; lang@bu.edu.

Tom Whalen, associate professor of social science, an expert on American politics and the American presidency. He is also a regular contributor to PoliticoArena. He can be reached at 978-888-3131; tjw64@comcast.net.

Cornelius Hurley, director of the Center for Finance, Law & Policy. He is a former counsel to the Fed Board of Governors and a regular contributor to PoliticoArena. He can be reached at 617-353-5427; ckhurley@bu.edu; Twitter: @ckhurley.


Campaign 2012: The Rick Perry surge

Texas Gov. Rick Perry continues to lead in the polls since entering the GOP field of presidential candidates. Boston University social science professor Tom Whalen, an expert in American politics and the American presidency, gives his view on what Perry’s surge means:

“I think the Perry surge is more about Mitt Romney dropping the ball politically. He was the front runner and now, all of a sudden, Rick Perry occupies that space in the Republican Party. And the reason is that GOP voters are not satisfied with Romney as an alternative or Michele Bachmann. Rick Perry, by default, is the front runner because conservatives in the party feel familiar with him, comfortable with him as a candidate.”

Contact Whalen at 978-888-3131; tjw64@comcast.net


Experts available to comment on political issues

The following Boston University experts are available to offer commentary, analysis, and insight on political issues facing America:

Tom Whalen, associate professor of social science and an expert on American politics and the American presidency; Regular contributor to PoliticoArena. He can be reached at 978-888-3131; tjw64@comcast.net.

Graham Wilson, chair of the Department of Political Science and an expert in American politics. He is also the author of Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective. He can be reached at 617-523-2540; gkwilson@bu.edu.

Tom Fiedler, Dean of the College of Communication and an expert on American politics and political reporting. He is the former executive editor of the Miami Herald and a regular contributor to PoliticoArena. He can be reached at 617-353-3488; tfiedler@bu.edu; Twitter: @BUCOMDEAN.

John Carroll, assistant professor of mass communication and an expert on media criticism and political advertising. He can be reached at 617-353-3493; carroll7@bu.edu; Twitter: @johncarroll_bu.

Tobe Berkovitz, associate professor of advertising and an expert on media strategy and political advertising. He can be reached at 617-353-7724; tobetv@bu.edu; Twitter: @tobetv