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Susan Collins is the Maine Republican who has conned voters for years into believing she's a "moderate." That description is true in the sense that she doesn't run campaign ads that feature her shooting off twin pistols like Yosemite Sam, but it's entirely false when you look at her actual record. She has voted with Donald Trump 78.9 percent of the time. Nate Silver's blog FiveThirtyEight has a handy tracker for this sort of thing that puts Collins's votes in context with the state she supposedly represents. Trump lost Maine by a narrow 3 points in 2016. Silver reckons that based on that margin Collins should only support Trump at 47.3 percent, which is what reasonable people would consider "moderate."

But the senator's tap-dancing days might be ending. People want Collins to put up or shut up on the whole "moderate Republican" thing. They are demanding she stop pretending her long-form birth certificate is dated yesterday and that she absolutely not vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, who even Half-Brained-Americans know will ruthlessly attack reproductive freedom if elevated to the Supreme Court.

Some more flamboyant types tried gifting Collins coat hangers, which only succeeded in persuading the senator to hang up her coats rather than leave them lying around the Senate buildings. The more practical-minded realized that Collins is a Republican so maybe cold hard cash is the key to reaching her.


Two Maine-based PACs, Maine People's Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership, have joined with activist Ady Barkan to crowdfund in support of Collins's Democratic opponent in 2020. There isn't even a candidate yet, but they've already raised $1,018,472. That's already half of what Democrat Shenna Bellows managed to raise for her campaign in 2014, and she was an actual person with a name. Who knows? Maybe I'll move to Maine in time for the next race. Maybe you will too!

The PACs promise to return the money to their donors if Collins doesn't vote to confirm Kavanaugh. This fairly straightforward offer has Collins crying "foul."

"Anybody who thinks these kinds of tactics work doesn't know Senator Collins," Annie Clark, Collins' communications director, told The Daily Beast. "This crowdfunded money to pressure Senator Collins is based on a quid pro quo… It is basically a bribe. These tactics will not work—Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination."

Clark carefully avoided saying "bribe" three times in a mirror so she wouldn't accidentally summon Marco Rubio, who famously refused to stop accepting bribe money donations from the concerned citizens of the NRA. Tuesday Clark tweeted some more silly stuff.

First place, it's obviously not a "bribe" because the money isn't in a big bag with "BRIBE" written on it. I know that's probably how Rubio rationalizes his life to himself so he can sleep at night. Also, the money will never at any point go to Collins. The group claims that if Collins folds like someone with a bad hand of poker, they will actively fund the election of a replacement who they believe better represents their views that women are people. This isn't "bribery." It's lovely, lovely free speech.

But if Clark is so concerned about propriety and insists that there's no reaching Collins, I propose raising enough money for her opponent to make an Avengers movie. Let's ditch this fraud once and for all. Send your out-of-state, out-of-Susan's mind money here.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.


In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!


Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!

[Politico]

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