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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. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins runs from March through May at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo.

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Photo by Wonkette Operative 'Teecha'

If it's Sunday, this must be Nice Things, our weekly escape from the quotidian awfulness. Our featured doggo this week comes via a photo by Wonkette reader "Teecha," and we don't think Teecha mentioned a name for this lovely old rescue dog. If it is a dog at all: I think it may actually be one of Sia's more inventive disguises, like that time she was a little pony.

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The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

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