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Speaking of deep space, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and the GOP Gang of Nine debate again

NASA photo of five of Saturn's Moons from the Cassini spacecraft 7-29-11

There being "only" somewhere around 100 days left before the Iowa caucuses, nine Republican candidates had another debate anyway Thursday.

It seemed like the 10th debate in a week. But it was only the second.

Thaddeus McCotter, who was never in a debate, wasn't in again, as during the afternoon he quit the race that he was never really in.

The nine candidates all talked a lot. Not as much as the president. But a lot.

Sometimes two candidates talked at the same time. Like hockey refs, the moderators let them go at it.

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry discussed their books. Perry is still opposed to cancer, always will be. Michele Bachmann mentioned she's raised five biological and 23 foster children. Herman Cain, who beat cancer, was on 9-9-9 again. Gary Johnson told a dog joke he stole from Rush Limbaugh. But people laughed anyway.

Jon Huntsman has lived abroad four times but he came home each time, wiser. Newt Gingrich's huge head contains many big ideas, but he still overeats. Rick Santorum is from Pennsylvania. Ron Paul looks at least 76.

Megyn Kelly should be in every Fox News debate. Or was it Katherine Heigl?

Our running debate account is right here.

The full debate transcript is right here.

In interesting news, NASA has released new photos of fully five of Saturn's moons (see above) in one frame. The photo was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on July 29. It just arrived in the mail.

The moon on the right is Rhea. It's about 684,000 miles away, about the same distance as the 2012 election.

RELATED:

Behind the debate prep scenes with Megyn Kelly

Thaddeus McCotter quits the GOP race; Who knew he was in?

Obama hails America's building of 'the Intercontinental Railroad'

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: NASA /JPL-Caltech /Space Science Institute.

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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