Initiative Party in Sweden

One of the most intriguing movements toward a different kind of political party is the Initiative in Sweden. I first learned of it via an article in the New Yorker by Masha Gessen in December 2017. Below is the link to the article online followed by a quote that gives the gist of the Initiative.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-invention-of-a-new-kind-of-political-party-in-sweden

The Initiative’s most important innovation is launching a party without a program but with two lists. One is a list of six values that the Party espouses: courage, openness, compassion, optimism, co-creation, and actionability. The other is a list of three crises that the Party must address: the crisis of faith in democracy, the environmental crisis, and the crisis of mental health.

So far, I have not been able to find any online presence of the Initiative to see what progress has been made in the year since. I will keep on the lookout.

In the article, there are references to an older, similar party in Denmark. Here is the only online reference I could find about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alternative_%28Denmark%29

I am encouraged by the approach of the Sweden Initiative, and can easily endorse the six values they espouse. The three crises they deem central to their efforts may well be the most important in the United States as well.

It will be interesting to see if any of the candidates in the 2020 primaries are aware of this approach.

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Catching Up

Life sometimes intervenes to delay my review of recent POTUS actions, but sometimes just plain disgust with the whole regime, including the GOP Congress and party as a whole, settles in and motivation to read, review, and comment is so diminished I just procrastinate. Example of procrastination: Today I finally got around to publishing a post I drafted a week ago, then forgot.

To catch up, here are the actions posted by the White House since February 8. I’m going to just list them for the record (in order of their appearance on that site) without comment, because I have only given them a cursory reading and they all appear to be more or less routine.

[Ed. Note: With this post, I have decided to create and use tags that are being used on the White House website. A while back, the site was redesigned and the two things I noticed immediately were: 1) tags to categorize the presidential actions, and 2) inclusion of “Nominations and Appointments” to their listings. The former might prove to be useful, the latter just clutters up the site. I would have preferred they added “Signing Statements” to this list instead, but so far they must still be found in a different place.]


Official Titles and Links:

  • Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense
  •  Presidential Message to the Congress of the United States
  •  Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
  •  Presidential Message to the Congress of the United States
  •  Presidential Sequestration Order for Fiscal Year 2019

Memoranda and Proclamation dated from February 9 through 15, 2018

Guantanamo Again

Yesterday the one action posted – an executive order – is a continuation of authorization of continuous detention of some individuals deemed a threat to national security. The order also voids the order of 2009 when then president Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo base in Cuba.


Official Title and Link: Presidential Executive Order on Protecting America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists

Executive Order dated January 30, 2018

Odd Proclamations

Two actions titled proclamations posted yesterday appear to be a bit out of the ordinary. They are in fact imposition of tariffs on some specialized products being imported – one for solar panels, the other for washing machines – aimed at China.

News reports of these actions have been numerous, so I will not go into any more detail here.


Official Titles and Links:

Proclamations dated January 23, 2018

FISA Signing Statement

Apparently the only real reason this signing statement was attached to the bill is to complain that it did not extend the FISA powers permanently instead of the six year reauthorization this bill allowed.

There is an extended section of the statement that refers to additional protections for Americans, but that seems to me to be a smoke screen for the complaint about it not being permanent. Autocrats want permanence.


Official Title and Link: Statement by the President on FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017

Signing statement dated January 19, 2018

Actions of January 9

Three actions were signed on January 9, 2018. Two appear to be routine memoranda, the other an important executive order.

The memorandum to the Secretary of State is simply delegation of authority, but the significant part is the topic:  handling religious freedom abroad.

The executive order is, in my opinion, an important and much needed initiative, given the perpetual nature of the wars we remain involved in worldwide. It provides for automatic enrollment in V.A. programs for veterans as they begin the transition from uniformed service to civilian life. I only hope this program will be well designed and fully funded. With this congress, the funding may be less than is necessary for successful implementation and operation. NPR ran a story on January 10 that is a good summary of the program, including some of the caveats.

I find the memorandum to the Director of National Intelligence so confusing that I don’t know if I really understand the point of it. As best I can decipher, it orders development of better procedures for sharing information by national intelligence agencies with local, state, etc. authorities.


Official Titles and Links:

Memoranda and Executive Order dated January 9, 2018

Proclamation for January

After a little searching online, it appears the designation of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month began with congressional authorization in 2010, and first proclaimed by President Obama for January 2011.

While this is now and annual routine, it still remains important.


Official Title and Link: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 2018 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Proclamation dated December 29, 2017