There really is no debate ... CNN blew it big time

In the cool of the dawn, I can make an overarching assessment of Wednesday's Republican presidential debate. I should have recorded it. Then, the next time I want a little quality time with myself I could play it back.

It cleared the living room of all signs of life in about five minutes Wednesday night. Not even the faithful dog Puff hung around.

So, I put myself among the losers Wednesday for sticking around for the full three hours. But at least I now know who we should put on the sawbuck. Margaret Thatcher. Or Mike Huckabee's wife. Or ... you get the idea.

And, I know what the politicians would prefer as their Secret Service code names. I chose Flabbergasted for mine.

It's all on the moderator.

Jake Tapper could have asked better questions.

Spend more than four minutes on climate change.

Surprise! They don't believe it, or don't believe we can fix it, or believe it would cost too much to fix it. Bonus surprise! "America is not a planet." Marco Rubio let that cat out of the bag.

To those who were arguing that moving from coal-fired plants would cause electricity rates to rise: We're getting a coal -- OK, lignite -- plant down here and our rates are going up.

And here's an interesting story that came out just before the debate on Inside Climate News about the Exxon scientist who sounded the climate change alarm in 1977. 

There was a question about Planned Parenthood. Surprise! The candidates all hate it.

And surprise! A lot of what they said was misleading -- to put it kindly. Here's a Reality Check.

It's generally agreed that Carly Fiorina improved her lot the most, primarily by turning Trump's "Look at that Face" wisecrack back on The Donald.

"I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said of Trump's effort to crawfish out of that tight spot.

But, the debate remained Trump's. The moderators wouldn't let the conversation veer too far from the man who brings the networks the ratings.

After the debate, SURPRISE!, they went to Trump for an assessment of how things went. Trump seemed to think he got his money's worth.

But the next three hours I spend in front of the tube will be watching a Cardinals game.