There were lots of fireworks last night in Des Moines at the final face-to-face presidential candidate debate before Iowa’s Caucuses. Racial issues were paramount in the “Iowa Brown/Black Forum” and the Reverend Al Sharpton got frontrunner Howard Dean to grudgingly admit that when he was Vermont’s Governor, no black or latino was part of his cabinet. Sharpton said if Dean wants to lecture people on race, he needs to have the background and track record to do it. Dean said he would take a back seat to no one in his committment to civil rights, and Dean said he had the endorsements of more members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus than any other candidate. Sharpton told Dean “you only need co-signors if your credit is bad.” Former Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun lectured Sharpton for “making people mad at each other” because she said the country “can’t afford a racial screaming match” and must instead be brought together. Several of the candidates said immigrants and illegal aliens should be able to get a driver’s license; Senator Joe Lieberman supported reparations for the descendants of slaves. But other issues, like tax policy and national security, were discussed. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said he’d junk the color-coded terror alert system if he’s elected President because Americans don’t know what the colors mean. North Carolina Senator John Edwards, as he has at many debates, ended by stressing the positive. Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt mostly stuck to economic issues. And Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Congressman, expressed opposition to the President’s new space exploration goals. Kucinich said he’d been wondering why the President would — while the U-S is still in Iraq — start talking about going to the moon and Mars. Kucinich said “maybe he’s looking for the weapons of mass destruction still.”