DEBATE GRAB BAG….Dodd sure got a huge round of applause from the audience when he said that NCLB was a catastrophe, didn’t he?

Clinton: National security is “absolutely” more important than human rights. No hesitation.

Biden is pretty obviously not really running for president. So what is he doing?

Barack Obama just used the phrase “sound science” in response to a question about nuclear waste. Bad Barack. Doesn’t he know that “sound science” is a conservative code phrase for “whatever corporations want”?

Hillary: “They aren’t attacking me because I’m a woman. They’re attacking me because [wait a beat] I’m ahead.” Huge applause.

Hmmm. Big boos when Edwards says something about Hillary Clinton and corporate interests. But I had just turned away and missed exactly what it was.

Thinking a bit during the break here….Starting out the debate with such a moronic attempt to stoke up the conflict between Hillary Clinton and everyone else actually worked out in Hillary’s favor, didn’t it? It was so obvious and so dumb that ever since then I think everyone has been a little hesitant to add fuel to such a transparently fabricated fire.

From Dave Weigel’s liveblogging: “8:30: As the conspiracists hoped, Blitzer is saving Hillary’s ass. He asks everyone about illegal alien licenses and they dish out the same poisonous gruel that Hillary did last time. No one can say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Except for Hillary, who says ‘no’ and smiles like she just took your house in a poker game.” That’s true, isn’t it?

Break is over, it’s back to real-time blogging. Kyl-Lieberman. Private contractors. Nothing new on either front.

Obama, responding to Hillary Clinton on Social Security: “This is the kind of thing that I would expect from Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, playing with numbers to make a point.” Oooh.

It’s 9:50 Eastern and Blitzer just said we have a “lot more” after the break. When does this thing end? I thought it was two hours. Or does five additional minutes now count as a lot more?

Biden’s top choice for the Supreme Court would be a female dogcatcher who supports privacy rights?

Obama on how he’d bring everyone together after he was elected: “I would convene a continuous advisory meeting including both Democrats and Republicans.” A continuous advisory meeting? Yeesh.

A fun question! Oh boy! Diamonds or pearls?

Coming up in two weeks: the long-awaited Republican YouTube debate!

Anderson Cooper: Let’s hear about the big Clinton-Obama slugfest!

And with that, I’m off to dinner. Keep ’em coming in comments while I eat.

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