Remind me Again Why We Left…

If we ever for­get one of the main rea­sons why we fled the US to the coun­try to the north of it, all we have to do is turn the TV on. It’s not just watch­ing news from the Seat­tle area (we get KING and KOMO, the local NBC and ABC affil­i­ates respec­tive­ly). The drum­beat of mur­ders, shoot­ings and oth­er vio­lence is remark­able when you stop watch­ing it for a while, as we do here. But we still keep track of what’s going on. We watch the Dai­ly Show, with Jon Stew­art, and that gives us plen­ty of rue­ful humor about the US, par­tic­u­lar­ly regard­ing the cur­rent occu­pant of the White House and his sup­port­ing cast of crooks, scoundrels and morons.

And of course, I also keep read­ing news on the Inter­net, and every once in a while, a sto­ry shows up on the por­tal I set as my home­page ( that gives me a full-frontal reminder of just why we ran for the bor­der. In this case, I can almost hear Jon Stew­art report­ing it on the Dai­ly Show before it airs, in my mind. Shall we tune in?

(Loud cheer­ing and applause from the stu­dio audience)
Good evening and wel­come to the Dai­ly Show, we have a great show for you this evening; our guest will include the Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Murtha, whose recent com­ments on the Iraqi con­flict have put him in the head­lines these days. And after all, where would we be with­out head­lines? That was a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion, no need to answer.

But first, (big pause), it’s impor­tant to put events in this day and age in in per­spec­tive. Our pres­i­dent, George W. Bush cer­tain­ly has. How, you say? With what some call a quag­mire in the Mid­dle East, an Immi­gra­tion Bill that is hav­ing a tough time in Con­gress, hear­ings on the Valerie Plame affair, a steadi­ly falling lev­el of approval in the polls… the list goes on… So what does The Decider, in fact…uh…decide to focus on? What press­ing issue could pos­si­bly be the one that puts all of these oth­ers in per­spec­tive? What item is so crit­i­cal, that trumps all of the oth­ers, that it requires the imme­di­ate atten­tion of the Com­man­der in Chief:

Bush pro­mot­ing ban on gay marriage
by Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Pres­i­dent George W. Bush will pro­mote a con­sti­tu­tion­al ban on gay mar­riage on the eve of a Sen­ate vote next week, weigh­ing in on an issue that could ral­ly his waver­ing con­ser­v­a­tive base in an elec­tion year.

Though the pro­posed con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment against same-sex mar­riage stands lit­tle chance of pass­ing, it is one of sev­er­al hot-but­ton caus­es Repub­li­cans are cham­pi­oning to appeal to right-wing vot­ers ahead of Novem­ber’s con­gres­sion­al ballot.

Bush planned to use his week­ly radio address on Sat­ur­day and a White House speech on Mon­day to push for the amend­ment that would allow states to rec­og­nize only mar­riages between men and women, admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials said on Friday.

Bush has nev­er made a secret of his views on the issue but has rarely talked about it in pub­lic until now.

“He believes the insti­tu­tion of mar­riage is between a man and a woman,” White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. “The pres­i­den­t’s made it clear what he wants. He would like to see the Sen­ate pass the bill.”

The Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee approved the amend­ment along par­ty lines after a heat­ed ses­sion on May 18. Because the mea­sure seeks to change the Con­sti­tu­tion, it must pass both hous­es of Con­gress by a two-thirds major­i­ty and then be approved by at least 38 states.

The full Sen­ate will take up the mea­sure on Mon­day with a vote expect­ed lat­er in the week, but the bil­l’s spon­sor, Col­orado Repub­li­can Wayne Allard, has acknowl­edged he has far few­er than the 67 votes need­ed to win passage.

That’s right, folks. This was the chal­lenge that Mr. Bush saw fit to con­cen­trate all of that (*ahem*) polit­i­cal cap­i­tal that he has amassed. Why this impor­tant, earth-shak­ing issue, that he dropped every­thing else to lob­by on it? Well we might as well give the stan­dard answer that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion gives as the ratio­nale for every­thing they do:

9/11 Changes Everything.

Some­times this stuff just writes itself.

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