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5:43pm: "CNN-Facebook Republican Presidential Debate." How many horrible words can you fit into one intro, Jesus?
5:45 pm: Wolf Blitzer says, "This is the final Republican debate..." Hopes begin to lift, and then Blitzer finishes the sentence: "...before the presidential election year begins." Hello again, desperate gloom.
5:51 pm: Who is John Kasich again?
5:52 pm: The real meat of Rand Paul’s “What do we do about terror?” malarkey (Arab boots on the ground?) lies in the fact that he has dropped all pretense of formality or respect when referring to his opponents. “Trump,” “Rubio,” “Cruz.” Just last names, no titles. Gloves off. This will get ugly.
5:52 pm: Sorry Christie, NJ accent makes everyone sound dumb.
5:55 pm: USA! USA! Rubio upgrades America to "the greatest country in the history of ALL MANKIND!"
5:56 pm: Really, where will the language inflation end? The geological record?
5:57 pm: The real question is, How to describe Ted Cruz's perma-expression? "Like he accidentally took an Ambien 45 minutes ago"? "Cross between deep sorrow and deeply sour pucker"? "Cross between constipation and epic superiority complex"?
5:58 pm: The only proper response to Ben Carson asking for a moment of silence for anyone is to shout FUCK YOU.
6:03 pm: Jeb Bush goes on the attack, calls Trump a "chaos candidate" and disagrees with his "ban all Muslims" strategy. Trump's response: "He's failed in his campaign—no one cares."
6:05 pm: Rubio calls for countering terror "frontally."
(Dan Savage isn't here, but if he were, I'm pretty sure he would sing "while we're attacking frontally/ watch Brink-a-ley and Hunt-a-ley/ describing contrapuntally/ the cities we have lost/ no need for you to miss a minute of the agonizing holocaust, yeeeeah!")
6:08 pm: A few things: We'll bet $500 that no one on that stage can spell caliphate. Also: "10,000 cell phones with ISIS flags?!" And finally: Is it wrong to take pleasure in seeing Trump take Jeb down?
6:09 pm: Fiorina listed every social media advancement of the last decade but left out Grindr. Homophobic!
6:11 pm: Christie: "If a center for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino is a target for terrorism, then EVERYWHERE is a target for terrorism.” There it is.
6:12 pm: Kasich disgusted that a climate conference would be going on in Paris at this time on TERROR. Audience loudly agrees. Because... we really shouldn't be trying to prevent death via climate change, just death via terrorist attacks?
6:13 pm: “Kasich” sounds like something Tony Soprano would call his wacky cousin (but only if you pronounce it "ka-SEECH," like it looks.
6:19 pm: Did Rand Paul, the libertarian, just call for "more rules"?
6:21 pm: Carson: "First of all let me complain a little bit..." Oh sure, that's just what this needs more of!
6:21 pm: Rand Paul just said that border scrutiny would have prevented 9/11 and San Bernardino. Reality check: The people who perpetrated 9/11 were not immigrants. The San Bernardino attackers were radicalized WITHIN the US because of the internet.
6:22 pm: Rand Paul is REALLY working to associate the word “immigration” with the name “Rubio.” Weird.
6:27 pm: Trump's understanding of how the Internet works pretty much in line with this:
6:29 pm: Also, Trump wants to shut down the Internet. Also, Trump seems to think the internet is a tangible place.
6:30 pm: Fiorina was weirdly cogent about technology, but that was kind of a low blow blaming San Bernadino on Al Gore and his algorithms.
6:31 pm: That time warning bell is a fucking BRILLIANT innovation, lest one iota of dignity or integrity threaten to sneak into this farce.
6:33 pm: Carly Fiorina wants tech companies need to be “asked" to cooperate with the government to fight the “War on Terror.” Please see Google’s relationship with the NSA.
6:34 pm: Cruz: “Political correctness is killing people."
6:36 pm: Cruz really does look like a silent film star who had a botched facelift in 1923 when they still did the procedure with andirons.
6:39 pm: Trump brushes aside Bush's attempts to look tough. "It's not working," he tells Jeb. And Jeb's response? "You're not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency."
6:40 pm: Will somebody PLEASE get Jeb Bush his Applebee’s Tater-splosions™ before he strokes out in front of his two or three supporters.
6:46 pm: Experiencing some streaming troubles, not sure if it's changing whether this shit makes sense or not.
6:47 pm: Can’t any single one of them say ONE reasonable thing? This whole proceeding is so fucking insulting.
6:48 pm: The only question is: Is the threat of a Trump presidency too great a price to pay for the ENDLESS BOUNTY of pleasure provided by him spanking Jeb (as a proxy for all the un-spanked Bushes of history)? Probably not, but goddamn. It is truly edifying to see.
6:55 pm: Helpful reminder:
7:01 pm: Hecklers in the house. They seem to rattle Trump a little.
I’ve watched these debates since 1976. We have hit rock bottom in info-content and common sense. Reagan-Mondale was like LIncon-Douglas.
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) December 16, 2015
7:03 pm: Lord we hope this is real:
7:09 pm: The crowd is out of control. Angry extended Bush family members? People lost on the way to a Las Vegas Dolly Parton contest?
7:12 pm: Kasich just said he thinks it’s time to punch Russia in the nose? Nose-punching is the only way to defeat a shark, not a bear-riding former spy. Get your fucking metaphors straight, Kasich. Now Christie is talking about shooting down Russian planes. If we keep talking like this, we’re going to lose the coming war with Russia.
7:14 pm: Rand Paul looks at Chris Christie and says, "I think if you want World War III, you've found your candidate." (After Christie talks about being ready to shoot down Russian planes over Syria.)
7: 15 pm: Did we just hear the crowd cheer for World War III?
7:17 pm: Tump "sad" that CNN is leading Jeb Bush to attack him. Too much "Trump this, Trump that."
If Jeb Bush does nothing else but use his candidacy as a kamikaze political mission to take down Trump, maybe a good use of his time?
— Heidi N Moore (@moorehn) December 16, 2015
7:19 pm: Jeb, criticizing Trump, lightly plagiarizes Obama by saying, “You think this is tough? How are you going to deal with Putin? How are you going to deal with terrorism?” Trump goes sarcastic. No one does sarcasm like the Donald. “Oh yeah, you’re tough, Jeb, you’re tough.” His sarcasm is undeniably satisfying.
7:22 pm: It’s probably best that we think about what Ben Carson does, because that guy keeps saying that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain.
7:27 pm: Fiorina's just gonna talk, doesn't give a fuck about whose turn it is.
7:29 pm: Jeb Bush asked if all this anti-immigrant talk is the tone his party should be taking if it wants to win in places like, oh, Nevada (where the debate is happening). "No, it isn't," Bush says.
7:32 pm: TERRORIST MALPRACTICE!
7:33 pm: Wait, what was that about? Ben Carson trying to prove he knows what he’s talking about re: foreign policy by explaining that we send Kurds weapons by way of Baghdad, and that only 10 percent of those weapons get to the Kurds. But then—frantically flipping through the foreign-policy flashcards in his mind, no doubt—he lands on some talking point about “terrorist malpractice.”
The stage & podiums are getting stale. Next debate should held in a sandy pit or octagonal cage. Moderator: an actual wolf
— Alex Q. Arbuckle (@alexqarbuckle) December 16, 2015
7:38 pm: Wolf says "we are only just beginning"?!?!? NOOOOOOOOOOO.
7:44 pm: Carly Fiorina says, “Kim Jung Un is a dangerous leader without a doubt, and both Republican and Democrat administrations have been completely ineffective in dealing with him.” She says we need China’s help but adds, “I have done business in China for 25 years. In order to get China to cooperate with us, we need to first push back on their cyberattacks, so they know we’re serious.” Then we need to work with other countries to “contain China.” And then we need to solicit their help in dealing with Kim Jung Un.
7:47 pm: Jeb tries to land a hit against Hillary Clinton by criticizing her emails. He connotes excitement.
7:49 pm: Among the many things Trump is proud of: he says he totally called how the Iraq war would go.
7:51 pm: Question about who on this stage has the temperament to control the nuclear codes. Uh... no one?
7:54 pm: "Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator." That means SHUT THE FUCK UP, Ted Cruz.
7:55 pm: "We’re a month and a half away now from our first real test,” Wolf Blitzer said, and at first we thought he meant this debate is going to last for another month and a half.
8 pm: Closing statements? Could it be? Please, Wolf, let it be closing statements.
8:02 pm: Every other word Fiorina says is “Hillary” or “Clinton.” Someone should do a word cloud of words Carly Fiorina has said, just to see how big the letters “HILLARY CLINTON” can be.
8:05 pm In conclusion, Ted Cruz's expression hasn't changed. He's still sooooo sad for America. Donald Trump believes "nothing works in our country." And all of them promise that if you vote for them everything, suddenly, is going to be GREAT!