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Washington: Playing Catch-Up On What Used To Be Called Think Tanks

image from www.cartoonstock.comDebate about the nonprofits once known as "think tanks" continued in Washington with last week's announced creation of a new Republican effort and a National Journal article noting that nonprofits are doing more lobbying than in the past rather than letting the political process pass it by.The new Republican think tank (a partisan media outlet, really) is an attempt to catch up with the Democratic tanks created during the 1990s, which were themselves a response to the Republican think tanks created during the 1980s.  (It's been a bad couple of decades for right-leaning think tanks, in case you hadn't noticed.  Cato, AEI, and Heritage are shadows of their previous selves.  Left-leaning tanks like New America and CAP have grown massively in budget and reach, along with media outlets like TPM and Media Matters.) As is the current style, the new initiative will spend more time involved in advocacy and infighting and relatively less time producing dispassionate reports and providing unbiased information. No word yet on how much if any time the new Republican operation will spend on education, or how AEI and Heritage and Cato will respond (if at all). Previous posts: Value-Added Ratings -- For Think TanksWill Reformers Ever Broaden Their Agenda?. Image via

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