The Lesser-Known Think Tanks of Washington

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APRIL 1, 2009

The Lesser-Known Think Tanks of Washington

A liberal, international-minded body dedicated to matching countries
that have no political disputes or shared interests but just might
get along. Recent successes include the burgeoning alliance of
Estonia and Benin, as well as a promising Facebook exchange between
Cyprus and Mongolia. Downplayed is the infamous Austro-Guyanese
bitchfest and a disastrous summit at which The Maldives failed to
"get" Moldova's sarcasm. Riots flared across the Indian Ocean,
prompting Moldova to scramble its air force--which, at the time,
consisted of several refurbished kites and an enormous Garfield
balloon on loan from Macy's.Middle Eastern Equivocation Center

Independently financed and fiercely ambiguous, meec has for 30 years
offered sophisticated socio-political analysis of the Middle East
without once advocating a position; steadfastly adhering to the
credo "Videamus Quomodo Eveniet," or, "Let's see how things shake
out." It is believed that, in the early 1990s, the group considered
publishing an article in support of the State Department's choice
of hotel for the final negotiations of the Oslo Accords, but the
piece was ultimately dropped in favor of a less divisive monograph
titled "The Majestic Camel." (Foreign Affairs, vol. 77, issue #3,
April 1993.)

Heritage Foundation RAW

The new home for policy recommendations too crazy conservative for
the Heritage Foundation. Rejecting the sissified scholarship of
"Red" Roger Ailes and "Comrade Kristol," Heritage RAW's all-white,
all-decrepit roster advances an outlandishly reactionary platform
in rooms so smoke-filled it is said that members can only identify
each other by their hacking coughs. At a recent meat- and-potatoes
breakfast meeting, resident scholars discussed abolishing the
minimum wage in favor of a "suggested donation," erecting a 700-mile
fence to secure the U.S.-California border, and a visionary plan to
privatize the House of Representatives.

Def Jam Think Tank

Dr. Dre meets Dr. Kissinger, Kanye meets Condi, and Wu-Tang meets
respected political analyst Norman Ornstein in Russell Simmons's
latest foray into policy development. Platinum-laden scholars
compete for Hill cred in highly profane freestyle policy battles
amid strobe lights, thundering beats, and sweat-soaked interns,
followed by an informal bag lunch. Although the Def Jam format has
yet to generate any policy ideas that could be regarded as
"serious," or "intelligible," the institute is widely credited for
introducing the adjective "weezy" to Beltway parlance, as well as
the sudden fascination with hydraulics at the Brookings
Institution.

The Chicago Bears

Credited with developing the framework for countless pieces of
congressional legislation, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, No
Child Left Behind, and key passages of the McCain-Feingold campaign
finance bill. Strong personal relationships on both sides of the
aisle have purchased considerable legislative influence for an
outside-the-Beltway organization. They finished in second place in
the NFC North, with a record of 9-7.

By Yoni Brenner

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