Highlights of the Republican debate last night:
-Ted Cruz said it's CNN's fault that his staff misunderstood a report that Ben Carson was going home for a change of clothes after Iowa, and told everyone he was quitting the race. Ted continues to believe in the magic of incantation, and that if the President said "radical Islamic terrorist" ISIS would go away in a puff of smoke.
- Chris Christie tagged Marco Rubio for making up a one-line answer to questions, followed by a 25 second memorized speechlet. Rubio obligingly did just that, repeating the same speechlet, three times in five minutes.
- Ted Cruz has picked up on Ben Carson's fear of electromagnetic pulses, only in his version, millions will die.
- Drinking game tag lines:
Jeb: voids are filled.
Cruz: military hands tied behind their backs.
Christie: I spent seven years as a US Attorney prosecuting [fill in an issue].
Rubio: Obama wants to make us like other nations.
- Jeb says North Korea picked up a drunk UVa student right after Iran released hostages because we are a weak-looking nation.
- Marco Rubio says it's not leadership to actually lead. If you can't get the people to support something, you should bail on it.
- Ted Cruz and Donald Trump want the least-regulating state in the nation to let insurance companies write health policies from there so everyone can get them cheaply. No one remembered how it worked out when we deregulated air travel in a similar fashion. We got cheap AND crappy.
-Ben Carson wants to make every American a self-insurer for health care. You're born, you get an empty savings account for life. And whatever you put in it, you can spend on health care.
-Ben Carson also has a lot to say about North Korea and if anyone had asked him, he'd have said it all.
-Donald Trump shouted down Jeb Bush and then shushed Bush because he wanted to talk.
-Donald Trump also says we are the highest-taxed nation in the world. Regrettably, no one asked why we can't cut taxes to the point where we get the sort of high wages, universal health care and support for arts and education (not to mention bullet trains) less taxed nations enjoy.
-Chris Christie says American can be blackmailed by its billionaires. If we raise taxes, they will take their money overseas to places it will be treated more kindly. Across America, teenaged boys with dogeared copies of Atlas Shrugged traced dollar signs in the air.
-Ted Cruz says we have the best military in the world but Obama has gutted it into ineffectiveness at the same time.
-Jeb wants to turn over environmental regulation and health care and aid to the poor to states with records like North Carolina's.
-Ted Cruz says the US Air Force is the smallest it has been since 1916. In 1909 the US government bought its 1st military aircraft. Today it owns 5,032. You do the math on that one.
-Jeb says the US cannot get anything done in the world except by military strength. We are not to be respected for our ideas, or the examples we set, only feared, and that will come only if we have bigger piles of weapons than everyone else.
-Jeb also says women should register for the draft as an equality thing, even though we know there will never be a draft. Chris Christie says women should have to register to fully realize their goals in life.
-Jeb says his record shows he occupies "the sweet spot" in abortion politics.
I skipped the closing speeches.