Allen West | Weekly Wrap Up on @Next_GenTV | 8/9/13

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What Norway Teaches Us About America –  Allen West reflects on our principles and past while abroad

Col. Allen West is still traveling this week as part of National Review’s annual cruise, but to keep his readers in the loop, he has been sending observations from his stops along the North Sea. Here are two dispatches from Norway:

Bergen (Aug. 3) – Bergen is a lovely city, the second largest in Norway behind the capital of Oslo. Bergen was once the capital of the country.

It is also the home of famous classical composer Edvard Grieg, known for his Peer Gynt suite. We visited the Kode Art Gallery and saw the works of Edvard Munch, who is known for the “Scream” series.

It rains an average 219 days a year in Bergen, and boy howdy were we caught in a deluge. But later in the afternoon, the clouds blew over and a beautiful day shone down on the City of the Seven Mountains.

I learned that Norway has a state-sponsored religion, Evangelical Lutheran, and that the head of the state is also head of the church as part of its constitution. However, Norwegians still have freedom of religion.

Our founding fathers did not want America to have a head of state who also leads a religion. This is what “separation of church and state” means.

Stavenger (Aug. 6) – What a beautiful, breathtaking scene this city offers. The port is right in the city center below the old city.

We took a nice cruise through Lysefjord, and the pristine simplicity was spellbinding. We went by a small island where, in 998 AD, King Olaf held a meeting to unify the separate kingdoms into the Norway we know today.

The greatness of America is that those who left Norway came to our shores and found a place to be free, share their culture and be part of the immense opportunities our republic offers, allowing their entrepreneurship and ethic to strengthen our country.

America is exceptional because as a young, inner-city black kid from Atlanta, I got to experience Norway and its history with my wife and our daughters, the next generation.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen

Libertarian Voices Of The House GOP
The libertarian wing of the Republican Party has spent a long time in the political wilderness but is now the future of the GOP, Rep. Mick Mulvaney said at a panel discussion with three of his fellow libertarian-leaning House colleagues.

“You are the swing voters, and you are the folks that move easily back and forth between the parties and have no natural party lines,” the South Carolina Republican said. He added that libertarianism is the growth area of the party, as it was when Ronald Reagan ran against “country club Republicans.”

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said the ascendancy of libertarian Republicans is evident in the reaction of House GOP leaders to young lawmakers like him. Their commitment to limited government and individual liberty frustrates the establishment’s desire to compromise, he said.

“The party is changing right in front of them,” Amash said, “and I think that’s why you get a lot of backlash from some of the more senior members who are set in their ways about what the Republican Party should stand for.”

That’s true in the Senate as well, he added, where Republicans like Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky take principled stands against the party’s leaders when necessary.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, criticized Republicans like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Sen. John McCain of Arizona for their willingness to align themselves with Democrats. “What you’re looking at is people that are only interested in themselves and not interested in actually promoting the cause,” Labrador said.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., also spoke at the event. Click the video to hear what economist inspired him to become politically active. You’ll be surprised.

A Texas-sized Fight Over Voting Rights
Texas will need a big bankroll to fight the Obama administration’s push to reinstate strict federal scrutiny of the state’s voting laws but has a strong case, according to election law expert Hans von Spakovsky.

“They’re going to put up a pretty fierce battle to try to stop this,” he said of Texas officials, noting that South Carolina spent $3.5 million to win a similar battle against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Von Spakovsky discussed the genesis of the dispute, the history behind it and the legal dynamics at play in an interview with Michelle Fields of NextGeneration.TV.
Holder targeted Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which requires Southern states to get federal approval before changing their voting laws, is no longer constitutional.
“The Supreme Court threw it out because the coverage formula … was based on 40-year-old data,” von Spakovsky said. “It had never been updated by Congress, and the conditions are a lot different today.”
But Holder refused to admit defeat. He sued the state under another section of the Voting Rights Act to try to reinstate federal pre-clearance of voting laws in Texas for another decade. The Justice Department is upset that Texas enacted a law requiring voters to present photo identification, von Spakovsky said.
He critiqued the federal government’s rationale for the lawsuit, including allegations of long voting lines for blacks and Hispanics in Texas. But he said Holder won’t stop fighting even if he loses in Texas.

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