Friday, August 15, 2014

On How Libertarian Think Tanks Party

The New York Times Magazine recently had a piece on the rise of libertarianism and mentions two libertarian think tank grandaddies: Cato Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  Here is what it had to say about CEI's annual dinner:
She [Fox Business Network host and former MTV host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery] was the M.C. for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner, which, as [Reason magazine editor in chief Matt] Welch put it to me, “in the tallest-dwarf category is considered to be one of D.C.'s best annual galas.” The C.E.I. is a 30-year-old organization that routinely sues federal agencies, often when new and onerous regulations are posted in the Federal Register. Tonight’s banquet had advertised itself as having an ‘80s theme, and so several of the 800 attendees arrived dressed as pop icons of that decade. After being introduced by Kennedy, the institute’s president, Lawson Bader, strode to the stage wearing the decidedly pre-1980s Scottish formal attire of black jacket and kilt. Announcing pending lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act and the N.S.A., Bader thundered, to righteous applause, “C.E.I. will continue to push back!
Between dinner courses, Kennedy informed the audience that there was to be a contest, with a prize awarded to the attendee who had recently flouted the most egregious law or regulation. My tablemates — among them Welch; a longtime member of the libertarian Cato Institute; a French academic; and a woman dressed as Cyndi Lauper — each scribbled their infraction on a piece of paper. One had smoked a joint on the sidewalk with a stranger, while another had traveled to Cuba without authorization.
At the night’s conclusion, Kennedy announced the winner. It was a woman who, despite her lack of veterinary certification, had illegally massaged a pug.

Think Tank Watch should also point out that although CEI likes to sue, it is also being sued.

And, talking of libertarian parties, the Cato Institute will be holding a Cato Congressional Staff Happy Hour on its Ken & Frayda Levy Liberty Garden rooftop on August 20.