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No Labels

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Opinion: Why No Work Should Equal No Pay for Congress and the President

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

'No Budget, No Pay' proposes that Congress wouldn't get paid if they didn't pass the budget and the 13 appropriations bills on time, by Sept. 30, each year.

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Opinion: Now is the Best Time for a Third Party to Rise

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A centrist third party could prosper in today’s political environment and end the stalemate in Washington. There is a large body of moderate Republicans, disaffected Democrats and dissatisfied independents looking for the kind of political home that this party could provide.

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The Process is Political: Branding 'No Labels' with Starbucks

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Political Junkie Calendar: Wednesday with GOP contenders, Thursday with Obama, Tuesday with Starbucks CEO?: The centrist political group No Labels has joined forces with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who's trying to organize corporate executives to withhold campaign contributions "until Washington reaches a fair, bipartisan deal on our country's long-term economic future." This call to join a conference call was helped by full-page ads in the The New York Times on Sunday and in USA Today on Tuesday. This pitch for bipartisanship, of course, will be followed by Republicans and Democrats making their own pitches. Given all the confusion last week, I'll make those details super-clear. The latest GOP debate at the Reagan library on Wednesday at 8pm and televised on NBC. Obama's jobs speech to Congress on Thursday starts at 7pm and will be over by the NFL season kickoff, the White House promises. (No Labels)

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NY's 'Independents' Rally Not So Independent

Monday, February 21, 2011

WNYC

Two weekends ago I flew out to New York City, for a conference for independent activists.

I was hoping for a learning experience that would be welcoming for independents of all (or at least most) stripes, but I got a rally for left-leaning to left-wing independents. It really would have taken some serious effort to collect a less representative sample of independents.

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The Woodstock of Democracy

Monday, December 20, 2010

I attended the No Labels conference this week, whose slogan is “not left, not right, forward.”

As someone who cares deeply about our representative democracy, I went to the conference because I believe that our current political system is frayed by the worst partisan politics we have seen in generations. We have a government that simply does not function. Elected officials like Joe Wilson (“You Lie”) are rewarded for incivility who won his re election bid by a 10% margin. They are rewarded by the media for petty maneuvers that have no long-term benefits but short-term gains of winning the message of the day.

They are punished for talking straight to the interest groups that tie their hands. As we have seen the past few weeks through the lens of the tax debate, bipartisanship has now become a dirty word on the right and the left.

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Attacks on No Labels Only Mask Political Failures

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I've seen some outlandish claims about centrists, and the new political organization No Labels. Keith Olbermann, for instance, apparently thinks we're really conservative wolves in centrist/moderate sheep's clothing. As comical as conspiracy theories like this are, I was genuinely surprised to find similarly absurd claims in in a recent post on this site by Living Liberally founder Justin Krebs.

To be fair, Krebs is spot on in his assessment that No Labels can by no means accurately call itself a movement. They are an organization trying to spark a movement among a large and unrepresented segment of the electorate. Time will tell if they will succeed. Unfortunately, Krebs' post heads downhill from there.

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No Labels? No Movement.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why did the launch of “No Labels” – a new “movement” to become MoveOn.org for the political middle – receive such extraordinary attention on Monday? Unlike MoveOn, which earned its attention by giving millions of regular Americans an opportunity to express their frustration with the start of the Iraq War in 2003, No Labels doesn’t have a committed membership. Unlike the Tea Party – another analogue that was invoked during the day-long kick-off – No Labels hasn’t seen its followers organize around town hall meetings across the country.

Instead, No Labels seems to have become an instantly faddish phenomenon due to its high-profile attendees – and the love affair a certain set of elites has with claiming the middle of the road.

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Thomas Frank on The Magic Middle

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If the Democrats in the House scuttle this thing, it's just clear as day what happens. Taxes go up on everybody on New Year's Eve. The Republicans take control of the House a week later. A week and a day later, they pass a package which I promise you, from the Democratic standpoint will be not nearly as good as what we have right now, and then they tell the story that the Democrats, a week ago, raised taxes on every single American and we came in our white horses and lowered them.

- Thomas Frank, columnist for Harper's Magazine, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Empire

Consultants not on board with No Labels: 'Campaigns are fights'

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On NY1's roundtable last night, political consultants panned the No Labels movement.

Democrat Doug Forand said there was a "smugness and almost naivete" in their material. Not that there was much material (more on that here).

"I don’t think you can in this day and age get away with saying things like ‘we’re not going to talk about social issues because that’s not what we talk about.’ These are real issues in political campaigns," Forand said.

Republican Susan del Percio knocked the messengers.

"You have [Charlie] Christ who couldn’t make it in the Republican Party, [Joe] Leiberman who couldn’t make it in the Democratic Party and you have Michael Bloomberg whose been labeled a Democrat, Republican and Independent. I mean, he’s had more labels than anybody," she said.

(Lieberman was scheduled to attend the No Labels launch on Monday, but didn't make it because of travel delays.)

Democrat Risa Heller gave the most entertaining take-down of the movement, saying it's striking at the right time, but what they're calling for is impractical.

"Campaigns are fights," said Heller. "So, even if we were all members of the purple party or whatever it’s going to be called, we’d still fight, have a campaign and get mad at each other and bicker and go negative and do whatever. Government, when you’re talking about real issues, that matter to real people, every single day, people are going to fight about it, even if we’re members of the non-partisan party. I’m going to feel one way and you’re going to feel another."

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WNYC News

Consensus on Style, Not Substance, at No Labels

Monday, December 13, 2010

At the No Labels gathering, the most resounding message from centrist politicians and consultants on the stage was simple: “We need backup.” Policy wasn't on the table so much as political culture. Speaker after speaker mourned the loss of civility and the willingness to work – or even communicate – across the aisle.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Headlines Launch of 'No Labels' Group for Independents

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Labels, but a lot of bold-faced names. Stars from politics and punditry will be at the Monday launch of a new independent group that's looking to seize the center of the national political debate.

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Why I’m Coming from Nebraska to Help Launch a Centrist Movement

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why is a staunchly centrist independent blogger from Nebraska flying halfway across the country to go to the launch of a brand new political organization? That...is a heck of a good question.

Maintaining my blog, Rise of the Center, challenges me to keep my finger on the pulse of what is going on in the political blogosphere. Looking at the chatter from the last few weeks, No Labels is shaping up to be the best example of a political Rorschach test that I’ve seen in years.

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