Bipartisan group outlines 'shared vision' and a national strategic agenda

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Is it possible that Republicans, Democrats and independents can agree on strategic goals for the country – logical, commonsense steps that will move America forward in the 21st century? Could these goals be so compellingly reasonable that everyone agrees they become national priorities?

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of the leaders of the group No Labels, a bipartisan gathering of concerned citizens of many political stripes striving for common ground on national policy.  LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of the leaders of the group No Labels, a bipartisan gathering of concerned citizens of many political stripes striving for common ground on national policy.

A set of goals to meet these requirements recently has been proposed. They appear in a new e-book from No Labels, the organization of Republicans, Democrats and independents who pledge to put country ahead of party. Released in mid-January, the book is No Labels: A Shared Vision for a Stronger America.

These are the strategic goals articulated:

• Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

• Reform Medicare and Social Security so they are secure another 75 years.

• Balance the federal budget by 2030.

• Make America energy-self-sufficient by 2035.

Reaching these goals would alleviate our huge unemployment and underemployment problems; ensure that tomorrow’s seniors have dependable Social Security and Medicare programs; prevent a debilitating debt crisis; and disentangle us from dependence on unfriendly, Middle East oil-exporting countries.

This is achievable in a
country as rich and powerful as America. Our two main political parties could work together on strategic national goals, as opposed to fighting over tactical political goals. It requires both parties putting country ahead of party.

NO LABELS DOES NOT provide a detailed path to each goal, but rather how to create the necessary political environment to succeed. The issue is not developing a viable plan, but rather generating the political will.

Energy independence is an example. The Left should acknowledge that, for the foreseeable future, we are dependent on carbon fuels for most of our energy. Fracking technology and shale gas and oil deposits have provided us an incredible gift, making energy independence possible, and they must be managed and used properly. The Right would need to accept the need for focused research and development of renewable energy for the future.

The No Labels book is a quick and fascinating read that, in addition to laying out national goals, outlines No Labels’ national strategic agenda to move beyond the paralysis in Washington. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman, R-Utah, is the editor and introduces each chapter. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., writes the foreword and how problem-solving worked in his state.

Huntsman and Manchin are the inspirational leaders of No Labels, and are passionate about improving national politics. As governors, they worked across the aisle to make their states function and prosper. They, like most Americans, are disgusted by the endless political gamesmanship found in Washington.

In chapters by current and former members of Congress and past administrations, there are revealing examples of how difficult political issues were solved through bipartisan cooperation.

Former Secretary of State James Baker writes how Ronald Reagan was an idealist, but also was a realist, working with Democrat Tip O’Neill for the good of the country.

President Clinton’s chief of staff Mack McLarty recalls the president and Newt Gingrich meeting in the White House – not to debate, but to tally votes for legislation they both supported.

U.S. REPS. CHARLIE Dent, Peter Welch, Lynn Jenkins and others write about experiences with bipartisan success. They are among the nearly 90 Democratic and Republican members of Congress who belong to the No Labels Problem Solvers Group. Among them are U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston, John Barrow and Sanford Bishop of Georgia. It is the only forum in Washington where Republicans and Democrats routinely meet and discuss issues where they search for common ground.

No Labels: A Shared Vision for a Stronger America provides a path for America to resolve its political paralysis, and reasons politicians should fix, not fight. Now, more than ever, it is essential reading for citizens concerned about the direction of our nation.

Learn more at NoLabels.org.

(The writer is a retired U.S. Navy officer. He lives and writes in Savannah.)

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myfather15
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myfather15 02/09/14 - 07:32 am
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"NO LABELS DOES NOT provide a

"NO LABELS DOES NOT provide a detailed path to each goal, but rather how to create the necessary political environment to succeed."

Probably the most important point in this article!! So, what is this? Just another FEEL GOOD story? How do you vaguely tell people your goals, but give absolutely zero plans on how to achieve them?

"Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years." Ok, are we going to ease regulations on business here? Are we going stop TALKING about eliminating tax breaks for those shipping jobs oversees, and actually DO IT?? Are we going to actually bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the many others?

"Reform Medicare and Social Security so they are secure another 75 years." How many times have we heard this exact same line? What are you guys going to DO about it? This is easier said than done!! Especially with more and more people hitting the retirement age!!

"Balance the federal budget by 2030." How many times have we heard this crap??? Nothing but words!!!

"Make America energy-self-sufficient by 2035." Ok, so what are your plans? What are we going to do about this? Are we going to drill in ANWAR? Are we going to stop letting Brazil take our Gulf Coast Oil and drill it ourselves? Are we going to get the Keystone Pipleline passed?

I'm just so sick to my stomach of hearing politicians and their MOUTHS!! Then seeing them do nothing with their actions!! It SOUNDS so wonderful to hear politicians TALK about bi-partisan efforts, and working WITH each other; but it's just that, TALK!! Maybe we should start by NOT giving 360 million to George Soros for a media outlet like "Internews". I'm going to be honest; I have zero faith in mankind and our leaders of today!! If we had to rely on them, we would be doomed!! Without God, we are doomed!! But, thank goodness He is a reality and not just a religion!!! We do have a Savior!!

deestafford
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deestafford 02/09/14 - 11:00 am
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myfather is right on target...

myfather is right on target. It's easy to have these lofty strategic goals but the problems of implementation are at the tactical level where the rubhber meets the road and the job gets done.

It's analogous to telling GEN Eisenhower to "Take Europe and destroy the Nazis". It's easy to state that as a strategic goal but when you get down on the ground to the tactical level is where you are face to face with the enemy and have to whip him when he doesn't want to be whipped.

One thing these people of past administrations either don't see or refuse to say is that the current Democratic party if so much different than when they were in government. The people in the Democratic party at that time had a completely different vision of what America was and is than the party of today. By the way, the supposedly great relationship between Reagan and O'Neil has grown to the level of myth beyond how divisive it was.

The Democratic party of today is led by a malignant narcissist who has an openly confessed radical Leninist ideology and the members are all marching shoulder to shoulder with him to "fundamentally change America" toward something it was not Founded to be. Because of this push to change America from it Founding there is no way there is any middle ground upon which to compromise.

Just look at the make up of the current democratic party in the House of Representatives. There is a majority of them who are radical leftists who sympathize with Castro and other leftists throughout the world. If it were not for gerrymanding for racial affirmative action goals many of these incompetents would not be in Congress. Many of them could not even get a decent job on the private economy.

Former Congressman Alan West says about 90% of the Congressional Black Caucus are members of the communist/socialist party either overtly or covertly. I would not argue with that position. There are many who are not members of the CBC have the same leanings and ideology. We must understand we have enemies of the Founding of America in the Democratic party and there can be no "No Labels" compromise with them.

swcohen
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swcohen 02/09/14 - 11:15 am
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Good, Dee,

For a moment there I was afraid that racism was a thing of the past, and we'd all learned to at least coexist, if not, you know, actually respect each other. Tell us what really drives the old venom... You are apoplectic that there's a black guy in the White House... and he isn't serving iced tea or vacuuming the rugs. Man, the guy acts as if he won an election or two... just who does he think he is?

That "tired old race card" again. Jeez, I thought we'd gotten over that...

dichotomy
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dichotomy 02/09/14 - 11:27 am
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"These are the strategic

"These are the strategic goals articulated:"

Well, these "goals" have pretty much been the campaign speech for every political candidate for the past 50 years and NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER HAPPENED. I'm tired of hearing it from all of them. Every realist knows it's time to take your money off of the table, stock up on food and water, and lock and load your weapons. We have a 50/50 split in philosophy in this country and it cannot be solved by kumbayah lip service from a small group of the same politicians that told us the same thing 4 years ago and went to Washington and immediately started pandering to their base.

deestafford
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deestafford 02/09/14 - 11:40 am
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swcohen, You are way off base with your racial comment...

swcohen, You are way off base with your racial comment. If you would just look at the goals of the CBC and listen to what the Black Conservatives in Congress say about it you would understand that my comments and their's are exactly the same. As a matter of fact, they are stronger than mine. My comments are directed at the group's goals and ideology. If there were the White Liberal Caucus and had the same attitude on goals as the CBC I'd say the same.

As far as gerrymandering goes, look at the congressional district maps of each member of the CBC and you will see the districts were drawn in such a way as to insure the representative was black. In some cases a district boundary will be only as wide as an interstate highway for miles so it can connect with only black population pockets.

Tell me that Maxine Waters, Shelia Jackson Lee, Corrine Brown, or others like them can get a job in the private sector earning anything close to what they are now. That statement would also hold true for many others who are white in the House.

stuaby
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stuaby 02/09/14 - 12:45 pm
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1
Ha!

Joe Manchin is spearheading this? Hee! Joe Manchin, DEMOCRAT. If he were serious, why would he still have this _label_? Why not renounce the Democrat party first, then launch this effort?

Total bulsch. Total.

myfather15
55706
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myfather15 02/09/14 - 03:56 pm
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swcohen

"Man, the guy acts as if he won an election or two... just who does he think he is? "

Sooooo, because he won a couple elections; that gives him the right to force HIS will upon people? What is he, a king? I believe Geraldo Rivera believes so, since he was talking about Obama's "Majesty" on O'Reilly the other night!!

When the left wingers were calling Bush a murderer for "Invading" Iraq, I'm just curious if they considered Bush's "Majesty"??

Let me explain something to you; there is NO MAN in THIS Country who has "Majesty" or royalty!! We elected a President from within the PEOPLE, so he is just another PERSON!! He is not royalty and doesn't have a throne!!

The word "racist" is the exact reason this President gets away with everything he has done!! People are literally scared of this man, because of fear of being branded a racist!! He is unimpeachable, because there is ZERO, absolutely ZERO chance this Country will impeach their first black President. To many, he is above ridicule, mostly because of his race!! This is NOT RIGHT!! No man, is above ridicule or being held responsible for his words and actions!!

How many broken promises and lies, must a man tell before people will hold him accountable?? This isn't just Benghazi, Fast&Furious, NSA wiretapping and IRS scandals!! What about the lies he told while campaigning in 2008? He said spending us into more debt was "UnAmerican" and not patriotic; but he's has already spent more than Bush did in 8 years!!

He said firmly that he believe in traditional marriage, that being one man and one woman; THAT was a lie!!

He said he was going to close Git-Mo and that hasn't happened!!

He said his administration would be the MOST transparent in all of history!! Wow, was this ever a lie!! What happened to all his hearings being on C-Span? Amazing that people still have faith in this administration!!

stuaby
3896
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stuaby 02/09/14 - 04:38 pm
2
2
Right on, Myfath. I'm not

Right on, Myfath.

I'm not looking forward to a woman from the Democrat party being elected president because they'll be screeching the same thing: "You just don't like her because she's a woman!" This will happen, in spite of all the anti-American, anti-economical-growth, anti-anything-that-makes-any-dam-sense-at-all policies that this woman might propose.

Of course, if a Republican woman, such as Nikki Haley, were to be elected, you wouldn't hear this, at all.

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 02/09/14 - 06:51 pm
2
1
"Former Congressman Alan West
Unpublished

"Former Congressman Alan West says about 90% of the Congressional Black Caucus are members of the communist/socialist party either overtly or covertly."
That is most likely true. In the 60s and 70s the communist party used young dumb white girls to seduce black men into joining the party.

stuaby
3896
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stuaby 02/09/14 - 07:15 pm
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Did they really? Wow.

Did they really? Wow.

swcohen
584
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swcohen 02/09/14 - 08:15 pm
1
4
Tomato, tomato, let's call the whole thing off...

Hey, if you guys say "The Democrat Party," can we say "The Republic Party?" It seems only fair. We can all be the cool kids, dropping that last syllable. Also, if you call us Marxists, can we call you Fascists? Or, if you prefer, "Brown Shirts?" Ooh, ooh, I know... we can be Lefties, You can be Righties! I'm right-handed, but I'm a leftie! Or, I'm a Blue Voter in a Red State (temporarily, 2015 is right around the corner.) On that subject, I always thought that "Reds" were communists... So, why are "Repub-lic" states called "Red States?" Man oh man, you'd have a time explaining that to Joe McCarthy! Better Dead Than Red! Also, in your estimation, was Eisenhower too far to the left for your ideology? He always seemed to be the Ultimate Republic(an). But what do I know, I thought Nixon was one of your boys as well...

Little Lamb
45869
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Little Lamb 02/09/14 - 08:44 pm
1
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Fascism

Just remember, swcohen, that fascism is a left-wing ideology. Fascism allows some private ownership of factories, farms, and other businesses; but it puts those enterprises under complete governmental control. Fascism is an accurate description of the current United States political-economic system. Both the Democrat party and the Republic party espouse fascism. That is why it is time for freedom-lovers to support the Tea Party.

corgimom
32219
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corgimom 02/09/14 - 10:16 pm
1
2
That sounds like a whole

That sounds like a whole bunch of politicians that are trying to get themselves reelected.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/09/14 - 11:02 pm
0
2
"Tell me that Maxine Waters,

"Tell me that Maxine Waters, Shelia Jackson Lee, Corrine Brown, or others like them can get a job in the private sector earning anything close to what they are now."

They would not have the slightest bit of trouble, they could go to work for law firms or PACs or think tanks or become lobbyists. They could work as political analysts.

In fact, they would probably make more than they are now. Because they have CLOUT and they know where the bodies are buried.

For you to say that is absurd. What do you think happens to these people when they retire, or get defeated? Do you think they just shrivel up and go hide somewhere?

You don't know how California works, or the other states where liberals are in the majority, do you?

teaparty
11313
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teaparty 02/10/14 - 09:47 am
1
0
"You don't know how
Unpublished

"You don't know how California works, or the other states where liberals are in the majority, do you?"
corgi, I do know most are broke.

myfather15
55706
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myfather15 02/10/14 - 04:54 pm
2
0
"You don't know how

"You don't know how California works, or the other states where liberals are in the majority, do you?"

Yes we do!! They go broke!!

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