rough notes from the closing session speeches - apologies for typos:
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli - Virgina:
(suing regarding the unconstitutionality of Obamacare (Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius) and is also suing the EPA; backing a state constitutional amendment to curb the ability of the state to exercise eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another or merely for tax gain. Music for his intro was theme from "Rocky")
* great dormancy in federalism - but it's back.
* Founders pledged lives, fortunes and sacred honor to establish this nation on first principles - principles that apply as much today as they did in 1776. Americans are awakening to the idea that this matters not just to the nation but in their particular lives as they sit around the kitchen table.
* American people have asked government to do more and more and politicians have been happy to comply....but we were giving away our liberties a little at a time. Now we don't have a limited government, but a central government that needs to be restored to first principles.
* Seen people waking up to the issue. Republicans grew government and spending like no one could - well, except for Democrats. Spending, taxes and regulations are the three ways government increases their power and any time they do any of them, they infringe upon our liberty.
* now states are taking the role that founders intended to stop the over-reaching of the federal government.
* states are suing the federal government to protect the Constitution FROM the federal government. This is one of the roles envisioned for states when the founders set up our Constitution.
* federalism is the check between state and federal governments in the protection of our liberties. It's never happened that 26 states have sued the federal government.
* when we got the first federal judge to rule that Obamacare was unconstitutional - and you need to read Judge Vinson (?) ruling on the issue.
* the commerce clause does not give the government the power to order you into commerce. they can regulate you once you do, but they can't force you into it. If they can order you to do this, they can order you to do anything. That's why the case is not about health care - it's about liberty.
* If there was a bill that ordered everybody to buy a gun, would it pass?
* government's argument is that the decision not to purchase insurance is a decision to self-insure... clever way of saying 'doing nothing.' Judge who ruled for individual mandate said that what they're regulating is 'mental activity.'
* ultimately decided by Supreme Court - probably in the summer 2012 time frame.
* In colonial era, the question was whether or not a boycott of British goods was treason? Colonists had been well advised legally and had right up to the line but not crossed it. Conclusion was that British subjects couldn't be ordered to purchase British goods...but today, our government is saying it can order us to purchase a good. the irony.
* sued the EPA because they're committed an illegal act - not just because I don't like the policy (though I don't). Economically, they're implementing a failed bill administratively.
* EPA relied upon climategate scientists conclusions and, in doing so, exposed their approach to ridicule even among those who want the same things in terms of policy.
* questionable benefits - EPA says ruling will reduce temperature of the earth by a fraction of a degree by 2100; Lisa Jackson noted that the difference they expect in temperature change is immeasurable over the 90 years. I think this type of power needs to be reigned in.
* petitioned EPA to open the hearings on greenhouse gas findings due to new information that is now available. They rejected that request citing 'new information' that wasn't previously available. (the irony)
* Virginia is a coal state - we have exclusive authority to regulate the permitting of coal mines in Virginia...the word exclusive has been determined by a court to actually mean 'exclusive.' But they are trying, under federal law exclusivity, to elbow us out of the process.
* advantage of suing them...when I send them a letter that says 'if you don't stop doing this I'm going to sue you' - they believe me.
* Also involved in the Boeing/South Carolina/ NLRB issue...Virginia is a right-to-work state so this does affect us. NLRB is saying that moving from a union state to a right-to-work state is coercion. If that's the case, then no one will ever move. This is the overstepping of authority by the NLRB.
* so if the NLRB gets its way, no company will ever go to a right-to-work state. They'll be trapped like a roach (you can get in, but can't get out).
* Right-to-work states have a big advantage because we enforce freedom more than you do in non-RTW states. Hope RTW spreads - freedom breaking out everywhere!
* most brazen act - most defiant rule of all: the FCC has voted for Net Neutrality. First - not neutral. Remember 'opposite day' in school? Every day is opposite day when this administration is naming regulations.
* in 2010, the DC court that has jurisdiction over these agencies ruled that the FCC doesn't have authority to regulate the Internet. But the FCC ignored the ruling and did so anyway.
* they've violated their own federal laws so many times and they clearly have no respect for the U.S. Constitution. But with the FCC, they are showing the utmost disdain for the process that is supposed to be the objective arbiter of such things. And for a president to do this is truly amazing. Hard to overstate the historical importance of this.
* haven't had such federalism issues since states were trying to prevent blacks from voting.
* while federal government can't order you to purchase health care, the states can. Was asked why this is different - six of one... I told the congressman that that's not what the Constitution says. It's to limit the federal government and boy does it need it to be limited.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter - Michigan:
* you are our front line online - our cybersecurity to ensure freedom and liberty.
* Wants president to reject teleprompters so he can employ some cue card holders.
* This joke does point out the reality that the Democratic Party and the left practice the politics of the past.
* first, they are wed to big government ... but we know that it's not over, but it is imploding. we live in the era of a consumer economy - where the individual genius of your decisions in a free market advance the best decisions in the economy.
* But dems believe in big government where they can make your decisions for you and even regulate the weather. It's not just anti-American, it's insane.
* comparative effectiveness - where some genius in DC determines whether or not you get your treatment based upon your value to the government...that's what we get with Obamacare. Anti-American and we will not invert our sovereignty beneath that policy.
* seen it in Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality where people who disagree with what you say seek to prevent your ability to share it...politics of the past.
* seen it in the bailout...politics of the past.
* we must no longer nibble around the edges of our unsustainable spending in DC. We must fundamentally restructure big government into limited government - citizen-driven government that reflects the founders' vision.
* when we do, we will have matched the consumer economy with the citizen government and will usher in the next American economy.
* have choices between duty/indulgence; bankruptcy/profitability; exceptionalism/decline. We will choose rightly and show the world what a free people can achieve.
Herman Cain - candidate for president:
* good to be with you, but better that you are here; you are involved and inspired to take this nation back.
* quote: tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goals, but in not having goals to reach for; not a calamity to die without reaching dreams, but to die w/o having any dreams.
* The dreams of our founders for this great nation are under attack - but we can take it back.
* This nation has become a nation of crises; we are living a national nightmare; have an economic crises; an entitlement crises; an immigration crises; a foggy foreign policy crises; a moral crises; a severe deficiency of leadership crises.
* it appears as if nothing gets fixed; problems don't get solved - they get worse or they create more problems.
* we're living in this nightmare - callers to my radio show two years ago would say they are concerned about the future of the America. By January, they were 'fearful' about the future of America - an anxiety we all feel.
* I have some ideas for everyone of those crises - you can find them at HermanCain.com (C-A-I-N - like in the Bible but I didn't kill anybody).
* it won't take rocket science to get our nation back - just the will and you're showing that will and we saw that will last November.
* If I were president - I'm just saying - here's what I'd do about the economy: it's like having a train stuck in neutral; one boxcar has 15 million unemployed; one boxcar has small businesses hanging on for dear life; another boxcar with all the businesses that have filed for bankruptcy; and the caboose filled with Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank legislation, failed stimulus and debt. The reason the train isn't running is because there's no engine.
* One of Obama's senior advisers mentioned a couple of weeks ago that in order for the economy to get back, it was going to take the private sector to lead it out. The private sector is the engine of the train and the administration hasn't put fuel in the engine.
* here's the fuel - lower corporate and individual tax rate (no more than 25%); take capital gains taxes to zero; suspend taxes on foreign repatriated profits (profits made overseas that stay overseas to avoid U.S. taxes on them if brought back).
* this is just common sense. Think about it $3 trillion is sitting offshore that could come home if there were no taxes on it. Suspend the tax rate on those profits and some of them will come back home. Dad would say that's a no-brainer. How smart do you have to be to figure that out?
* also a payroll tax holiday of a full 6.2% for employers and employees so they can pay the bills they've got due.
* then, most importantly, make all these new tax rates permanent - remove the uncertainty and watch our economy grow.
* hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how much the media and administration spin it, the economy is not going to improve until end of 2012 - but hang on - help is on the way!
* plan for energy independence: I would not go to Brazil, loan them money and then tell Brazil that America is going to be their best customer for the oil they're going to drill with our money. Cain plan - we have enough resources to be energy independent: We are going to be America's own best customer with our own resources! (standing ovation on that)
* I was describing that to reporters lately and they said, that sounds good, but you can't do that in Washington DC and I said, If I'm president I can. But, reporter said, it's not politically easy. But Americans are tired of people going to DC to do what is politically easy - they want people to go there to do what's right whether it's easy or not. Told reporter I have a secret weapon: when they feel the heat, they will see the light - 'we the people' will be the heat to force the politicians to change.
* if the people understand it, they will support it and they will demand it and that's the difference between what we can do with the right leadership in the White House, compared to what we have today.
* America is an exceptional country; been through tough times - survived Civil War, World Wars, Great Depression, Civil Rights struggle - spirit of America make us great and that spirit is bubbling up.
* I firmly believe that the American people have decided that they are sick and tired of being sick and tired of the same old stuff in Washington DC
* Another skeptical question I get from reporters: what do you say to critics who say you're running for president but never held public office before? I tell them that the audience gives me a big "Amen" when I tell them I've never held public office...Americans know that having held public office is not assurance you're going to get someone who can solve the problems.
* another question: how can you run for president when you don't know how Washington works? I tell them, 'yes I do - it doesn't!'
* My job is not to learn how Washington works - as a president of the people, by the people, for the people, my job is to change Washington - not learn how it works.
* the people of the country are changing what's going on...your enthusiasm and work inspires me. I thought I would be able to retire and be on cruise control, but the country got off track. I can't *not* use the talents God has given me.
* I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and am now 5 years cancer free...obviously God thinks I have work I still need to do.
* it's not about us - it's about our children and grandkids. You're not here for yourself;you're here so we can give the next generation the same type of future that we had.
* closing song of the 2000 Olympics that express our American spirit: life can be a challenge; life can seem impossible; it's never easy when there's so much on the line; but you and I can make a difference; there's a mission just for you; just look inside and you will find just what you can do; just look inside and you will find just what we can do.
* the founding fathers did their job with a great vision and a great start to the greatest nation in the world and we must be the fathers that continue our greatest nation.