October 14th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Virginia's 'jobs creation officer' boasts progress

When Bob McDonnell was sworn in as governor of Virginia in January, the Republican promised to focus on jobs, and he quickly named Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling the state's "chief jobs creation officer."

Eight months later, Virginia's 7 percent unemployment rate is well below the national average of 9.6 percent, and the state boasts that it has added more than 71,500 jobs since the start of the year.

"What we've tried to do in Virginia is make sure that we have the most business-friendly environment in the country," Bolling said.


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Filed under: Jobs • Virginia
October 5th, 2010
10:23 AM ET

Bystanders play key role in bullying, expert says

Catherine Bradshaw is associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence

While bullying is often seen as a two-character act, psychologists say bystanders, including parents, teachers and students, can play critical roles in either enabling or defusing bullying.

"When other kids that were bystanders intervened on behalf of the victim, the victim was less likely to experience anxiety or depression," said Dr. Catherine Bradshaw, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

However, "when other kids try to [step] in, the situation can escalate," Bradshaw cautions. So if a bystander comes to the defense of a bullying victim, she says, it should be done carefully, without the threat of physical violence, in a bid to ratchet down the confrontation.

Parents must not ignore their children's complaints of bullying, Bradshaw said, but should instead notify school officials. A wrong approach for parents, she said, is for the parent to say, "Buck up, you can take care of yourself."

There's also a clear strategy for teachers to employ in an effort to curb bullying behavior. Bradshaw recommends that teachers intervene immediately; separate the students, talking first with the victim, then with the bully.

Bradshaw, an associate professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, develops and implements anti-bullying and school-based violence prevention programs in Maryland.

Hear Bradshaw explain the dynamic here:

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Filed under: Bullying • Child safety • Maryland • U.S.
September 24th, 2010
05:20 PM ET

'Contract With America' signers look at GOP pledge


Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari watched with keen and sentimental interest as House Republicans unveiled their campaign blueprint this week, "Pledge with America."

The husband and wife are former Republican members of Congress who played key roles in advancing the House Republicans' "Contract with America" in 1994. The congressional couple signed the contract, then, following a quick honeymoon, hit the campaign trail armed with the Contract, stumping for Republican candidates in 52 congressional districts in 30 states.

They remember a somewhat similiar political climate. "There was some unravelling of the Clinton mystique by 1994," Molinari said.

"Today there's this palpable concern in the country literally about the future of America," Paxon added.

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Filed under: Politics • Republican Party
March 31st, 2010
03:26 PM ET

Environmentalists critical of Obama drilling plan

Several environmentalists expressed disappointment and dismay over President Barack Obama's decision Wednesday to open key Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters to oil and gas drilling.


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Filed under: Energy