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PBS Democratic Debate

-- Made it here just under the wire. Met a couple black conservatives (including LaShawn Barber). They do exist!

-- Other coverage is here.

-- Tom Joyner gets a big pop from the crowd. Apparently black media is powerful.

-- You should be aware that Tavis Smiley made some incorrect statements about Media Matters today.

-- The media room isn't in the actual room the debate is happening in, but the Blackburn Center where the media is assembled.

-- Tavis Smiley discusses the Covenant book, which I'm pretty sure most Americans have never heard of because it exists in one of those subcultures the MSM won't cover other than as a curiosity.

-- Deval Patrick (yay!) comes out to talk about Democratic superiority and warns about the dangers of compacency.

Question: Is Race Most Intractable Issue in US Today?

-- HRC talks about the fact that race is still important, hits the rollback of Brown decision and Katrina. The question was almost a soft pitch over the middle.

-- Biden talks about the importance of blocking Roberts, and importance of judges. Finally someone hits it. Now, frontrunners?

-- Richardson is getting existential on the issue. Talking about the abstraction of race versus more granular stuff like HRC and Biden did. I don't get it.

-- Edwards discusses the "Two Americas", makes sense and the first mid-speech clap. Easy one on voting integrity.

-- Obama nods to legacy of Howard and racial fight (Thurgood Marshall). Talks about how racial equality makes united America, but progress to go.

-- I wonder how the GOPers will answer this question - I mean, many of them think the racial issue is settled and not to be discussed. It will also be a lineup of lily white guys doing it.

-- Good line from Kucinich - the right tells us to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps... then they steal the boots"

-- Gravel goes off on the war on drugs. He'll destroy the war on drugs. Okay.

-- Dodd hits the issue from the education angle, and how its central to racial harmony. Would use tools as president to reverse the nutty SCOTUS decision from today.

-- Responses limited to one minute. And it seems like a hard limit because the shut up Biden and that's a miracle.

-- This is the problem with these debates: they all agree on things like early childhood education (the current question), just within degrees. No sparks. Someone needs to grab a steel chair.... Sen. Gravel?

Obama: When you've got a bill called no child left behind, you can't leave the money behind.

-- It would be awesome if they gave Mike Gravel an Archie Bunker chair to sit in, because then he would be at home as the resident crazy guy.

-- Hillary: It takes a village to raise a child. [AVAILABLE AT STORES NOW IN PAPERBACK!!!]

-- Obama discusses homophobia with black America. He's the only one I think who can be critical of black America's problems, and I'm glad he's doing it rather than mindless boosterism.

-- Casey Latrigue from CATO, who's right next to me, exemplifies the kind of silly thinking the right supports. Oh, the civil rights act passed we ought to pretend race is solved.

-- HRC gets first standing ovation pop for comments saying that if AIDS rate among white women was as bad as it is wiht black women.

-- Biden's line about Barack getting tested for AIDS is INSANE....... and Rev Al's facial response was GOLD. The media room was rolling at that whole exchange.

-- HRC: The economy was working a lot better in the 90s. [WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS PRESIDENT, HINT HINT NUDGE NUDGE]

-- I'm trying to figure out if this is the first debate to have the words "crack" and "cocaine" in them. I understand why, but....