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Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

US Sen. Richard Blumenthal went on the Rachel Maddow program last night to talk about this nice bill he's co-sponsoring with Chuck Grassley, but near the end of the brief interview, Blumenthal casually noted he thinks Donald Trump Jr. and other witnesses in the Trump/Russia investigation hadn't been 100 percent truthful in their closed-door testimony, if you can believe that, and that they may very well end up "ensnared" by Robert Mueller's investigation. One can only hope!

The real reason Blumenthal came on the show was to discuss a bill he and Grassley are co-sponsoring, the "Special Counsel Transparency Act," which would mandate that any special counsel investigation must include a report to Congress, and that the report must also be released to the public (with any necessary redactions for national security stuff). It's a seriously good idea that Donald Trump would surely veto, if Mitch McConnell even allowed a vote on the thing.

But the real newsy stuff came when Maddow asked Blumenthal if he could comment on whether any more witnesses' secret congressional testimony had been forwarded to Robert Mueller's office for possible investigation of lying like a lying liar. Bumenthal said he obviously couldn't say anything about that in particular, but then went on to say he sure hopes a whole bunch of people are called back to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oh, yeah, and wow, Don Junior is a nasty lying piece of work!


I can tell you this much: I was in the room when a great many of these witnesses appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee behind closed doors. I think many of them should be called back to testify in public, and I hope that will be true of other congressional committees as well, because behind close doors, there arose in my mind, very clearly, questions, serious issues concerning their truthfulness. And that issue pertained particularly to Donald Trump Jr., in a number of his contentions before our committee. So I think this common thread of lying to Congress [...] may ensnare a number of other potential targets in the special counsel's investigation and become a matter of criminal action.

Gee, what do you suppose Blumenthal could have been referring to? We bet maybe it was any one of the million or so lies Evan found in his liveblog of reading through Junior's testimony when it was made public back in May. Yes, "May 2018" was a thing that happened even if it all feels like a blur now. F'rinstance you have Donnie Boy not remembering hardly anything about the Trump Tower Dirt On Hillary But Really Just Russian Babies, BORING meeting, and his insistence that he has no idea whether he told his dad about it. And he certainly doesn't know who picked up when he called that blocked number right after getting the invite to meet with Russians, heavens no.

It sure will be a surprise if it turns out to belong to Dad. Dad gets miffed when you forget him -- unless of course you were supposed to forget him.

After Blumenthal's Oh yeah, Don Junior's gonna get nabbed, America got another astonishing revelation: Donald Trump Senior must watch "The Rachel Maddow Show," because he tweeted one of his boilerplate lying insults about Blumenthal within minutes of the segment airing. It was, as Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star's instant catalog of Trump Lies, pointed out, full of lies:

Then an aide came in and praised Donald Trump, calling him "Sir," and he personally monitored the US-Mexico border for fast vans full of duct-taped women being smuggled into the USA. And as he watched the detailed satellite imagery, Trump exclaimed, "I knew it! As soon as they got to the end of the fence, they turned left!" Weird how nobody believes him.

[AP-KMTR / MSNBC / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Remember "The West Wing"? Aaron Sorkin put a lot of effort into depicting Republicans -- okay, probably just Alan Alda -- as serious-minded, ethical mammals who just had a difference of opinion with the Democratic protagonists. It turns out "The West Wing" was as realistic as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." That's because too many Republicans are like Mike Lee. The Utah Senator more closely resembles a character from a bad USA comedy series.

Republicans are holding a procedural vote today on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal. Lee took to the Senate floor to tell us how terrible it is. He could have done this with facts and data. Instead, he went with Ronald Reagan and a velociraptor.

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Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has a radical idea: We should pay schoolteachers as if they'd actually attended school themselves. The California senator today announced details of her proposal to increase teacher salaries across the country. She'd first discussed the plan at a campaign event this weekend at Texas Southern University.

HARRIS: I am declaring to you that by the end of my first term, we will have improved teacher salaries so that we close the pay gap, because right now teachers are making over 10 percent less than other college-educated graduates.

The plan would raise average teacher pay by $13,500. That should permit them to quit at least one of their other part-time jobs. The federal government would pitch in the first 10 percent of required funding. States would have access to $3 in matching federal support for every dollar of additional state money until the pay gap is closed with other college-educated workers. In our home state of South Carolina, the average teacher would get a $9,300 raise, which is a 19 percent pay increase.

Harris elaborated further in an op-ed published in today's Washington Post.

HARRIS: The United States is facing a teacher pay crisis. Public school teachers earn 11 percent less than professionals with similar educations. Teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job. In 30 states, average teacher pay is less than the living wage for a family of four.
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