March: Book One - Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell

The Georgian Democrat recounts his personal involvement with the civil right's movement in this first of three installments. The story is definitely interesting and inspiring as to how a poor black boy could rise above the injustice around him and help pave the way for greater freedom and inclusion for more Americans. He is truly a great American. I will criticize that I would rather read an account of the movement in general rather than "Bob" Lewis's bio and, as I seem to always complain about, I found it more of an illustrated account when I would rather see a comic. 

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb - Nathan Fetter-Vorm

If I was a high school who had to write a report on the creation of the atomic bomb, the people involved, the events surrounded it, and the repercussions,  I would be very happy to have this book at the quick. It does a good job presenting the information in relatively basic terms in fair and broad strokes. I did feel that this isn't so much a comic as, exactly as advertised, a summary backed by illustrations, but I would rather have a comic. 

Time to Vote

Early voting has begun in Houston. Find your polling place and time here:Voting Early: http://www.harrisvotes.org/EarlyVoting/EarlyVotingLocationsSchedule.pdf Voting on Nov 5: http://www.harrisvotes.org/VoterBallotSearch.aspx?L=E

Here are my picks (feel free to scream at me if you know better):

Mayor: Annise Parker

COntroller: Ronald Green

City COuncil At Large 1: Stephen Costello

City COuncil At Large 2: David W Robinson

City COuncil At Large 3: Jenifer Rene Pool

City COuncil at large 4: CO Brad Bradford

City COuncil At Large 5: Jack Christie

City COuncil District B: JErry Davis

City COuncil District C: Ellen Cohen

City COuncil District D: Assata Richards

City COuncil District H: Ed Gonzalez

City COuncil District I: Graciana Gracie Gares

City COuncil District J: Mike Laster

City COuncil District K: Larry Green

HISD District I: Anna Eastman

HISD District II: Bruce Austin

HISD District IX: Wanda Adams

Prop 1: YES/FOR

Prop 2: No/Against

Prop 3: No/Against

Prop 4: YES/FOR

Prop 5: No/Against

Prop 6: YES/FOR

Prop 7: No/Against

Prop 8: YES/FOR

Prop 9: YES/FOR

A Brief History of Obamacare

Click to enlarge

By their own admission, Republicans in Congress made keeping Obama to one term their primary agenda: not jobs, not fixing the housing situation, not getting the economy under control. No it was stopping Obama. So any legislative victory had to be prevented, even when the legislation was a gift to Republicans.

That’s why passing healthcare reform was such a struggle. Of course, let’s not forget that Obama and the Democrats were fairly tepid about the fight---they completely eschewed the public option---and once the Affordable Care Act did pass, Democrats ran away from it as quickly as possible, because the Republicans had made it toxic with their non-stop mantra of Socialism, Communism, and Death Panels (regardless of how much sense their “argument” made). And because the Democrats were too scared to explain the new law---much less promote it---health care reform lingered as a problem in the public’s mind.

Which made it all the more infuriating, because when you actually talk about the specifics about the evil scary Obamacare, it turns out that Americans largely like what’s in it. (Which is probably why the Republicans wanted to prevent any type of rational conversation.)

So I’m glad to see that Democrats are finally starting to embrace the pejorative “Obamacare” label. Because for all its faults, the Affordable Care Act is a huge leap forward for America. And twenty years from now, when we’re fighting the next progressive battle, we’ll need to (again) remind people that it was Democrats, not Republicans, who have been looking out for their interests.

My Election Picks

For those of you living in USA/Texas/Houston, here's how you should vote: President: Barack Obama (D)

Senator: Paul Sadler (D)

Representative District 2: Jm Doughty (D) Representative District 7: James Cargas (D) Representative District 8: Neil Burns (D) Representative District 9: Al Green (D) Representative District 10: Tawana W Cadien (D) Representative District 18: Shiela Jackson Lee (D) Representative District 22: Kesha Rogers (D) Representative District 29: Gene Green (D) Representative District 36: Max Martin (D)

Railroad Commissioner: Dale Henry (D) Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term: Josh Wendel (G)

Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 2: RS Roberto Koelsch (L) Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 4: Charles E Waterbury (G) Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 6: Michele Petty (D)

Judge, Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, PResiding Judge: Keith Hampton (D) Judge, Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7: Mark Bennet (L) Judge, Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8: William Bryan Strange, III (L)

Member, State Board of Education, District 4: Lawrence Allen, Jr. (D) Member, State Board of Education, District 6: Traci Jensen (D) Member, State Board of Education, District 8: Dexter Smith (D)

State Senator, District 4: Bob Townsend (L) State Senator, District 6: Mario Gallegos, Jr (D) State Senator, District 7: Sam (Tejas) Texas (D) State Senator, District 11: Jacqueline Acquistapace (D) State Senator, District 13: Rodney Ellis (D) State Senator, District 15: John Whitmire (D) State Senator, District 17: David Courtney (G)

State Representative, District 127: Cody Pogue (D) State Representative, District 130: Art Browning (G) State Representative, District 131: Alma Allen (D) State Representative, District 132: Phil Kurtz (L) State Representative, District 133: Gerald Lafluer (L) State Representative, District 134: Ann Johnson (D) State Representative, District 135: Paul Morgan (D) State Representative, District 137: Gene Wu (D) State Representative, District 138: Lee Coughran (L) State Representative, District 139: Sylvester Turner (D) State Representative, District 141: Senfronia Thompson (D) State Representative, District 142: Harold V. Dutton, Jr (D) State Representative, District 143: Ana Hernandez Luna (D) State Representative, District 144: Mary Ann PErez (D) State Representative, District 145: Carol Alvarado (D) State Representative, District 146: Borris L. Miles (D) State Representative, District 147: Deb Shafto (G) State Representative, District 148: Henry Cooper (G) State Representative, District 149: Hubert Vo (D) State Representative, District 150: Brad Neal (D)

Justice, Court of Appeals, 1st Court, Place 2: Ron Lovett (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 1st Court, Place 6: Chuck Silverman (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 1st Court, Place 7: Natalia Cokinos Oakes (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 1st Court, Place 8: Nile COpeland (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 1st Court, Place 9: Kathy Cheung (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 14th Court, Place 3: Barbara Gardener (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 14th Court, Place 4: Jim Wrotenbery (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 14th Court, Place 5: Tanner Garth (D) Justice, Court of Appeals, 14th Court, Place 8: Julia Maldonado (D)

Judge, Civil District Court, 11th District: Mike Miller (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 61st District: Alfred Bennet (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 80th District: Larry Weiman (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 125th District: Kyle Carter (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 127th District: R.K. Sandill (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 129th District: Michael Gomez (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 133rd District: Jaclanel McFarland (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 151st District: Mike Englehart (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 152nd District: Robert Schaffer (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 164th District: Alexandra Smoots-Hogan (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 165th District: Josephina Rendon (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 215th District: Elaine H. Palmer (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 333rd District: Tracy D. Good (D) Judge, Civil District Court, 334th District: Donna Roth (D)

Judge, Criminal District Court, 174th District: Rueben Guerrero (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 176th District: Shawna L Reagin (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 177th District: Vivian King (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 178th District: David L Mendoza (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 179th District: Randy Roll (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 337th District: Herb Ritchie (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 338th District: Hazel B Jones (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 339th District: Maria T Jackson (D) Judge, Criminal District Court, 351st District: Mark McInnis (D)

District Attorney: Lloyd Wayne Oliver (D)

Judge, County Court at Law, No 1: Erica M Graham (D) Judge, County Court at Law, No 1: Damon Crenshaw (D)

County Attorney: Vince Ryan (D)

Sheriff: Adrian Garcia (D)

County Tax Assessor-Collector: Ann Harris Bennett (D)

County School Trustee, Position 3, At Large: Diane Trautman (D) County School Trustee, Position 4, Precinct 3: Sylvia Mintz (D) County School Trustee, Position 6, Precinct 1: Erica S Lee (D)

County Commissioner, Precinct 1: El Franco Lee (D) County Commissioner, Precinct 3: Glorie McPherson (D) County Commissioner, Precinct 4: Sean Hammerle (D)

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1 Place 1: Dale M Gorczynski (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 Place 1: JoAnn Delgado (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 Place 1: Mike Parrot (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4 Place 1: J Kent Adams (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 6 Place 1: Richard C Vara (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7 Place 1: Hilary H Green (D) Justice of the Peace, Precinct 8 Place 1: Tommy Ginn (D)

Constable, Precinct 1: Alan Rosen (D) Constable, Precinct 2: Chris McDonald (D) Constable, Precinct 3: Ken Jones (D)

Metro Referendum: For/Yes

Houston Council Member, District E: Elizabeth Perez

City of Houston Special Charter Amendment Election, Prop 1: Yes/For City of Houston Special Charter Amendment Election, Prop 2: Yes/For

City of Houston Special Bond Election, Prop A: For/Yes City of Houston Special Bond Election, Prop B: For/Yes City of Houston Special Bond Election, Prop C: For/Yes City of Houston Special Bond Election, Prop D: For/Yes City of Houston Special Bond Election, Prop E: For/Yes

Houston Community College System Bond: For

HISD Schoolhouse Bond: For

Flashback: Dear Mr. President...

Let's face it, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare") is a far cry from the public option for universal health care, and its provisions are practically straight out of the 1993 Republican playbook (how it went from "the conservative alternative" to "socialism" is beyond me), but it's a good day when more people can get health care. So in (modest) celebration of today's ruling, here's a little gem from 2010.

Inventor

Superheroes are pretty pathetic if you think about it. And the more powerful they are, they more impotent they seem to be at effecting any real change. Let's face it, instead of spending hours punching bad guys as Batman, billionaire Bruce Wayne could do more a lot more for Gotham by creating some Green jobs for the unemployed.

Of course, it’s not too big a leap to say the same about any real person, especially those whom our society deems “important”: millionaires, politicians, celebrities. Imagine if they used their vast resources to make a real difference instead of just further self-aggrandizement. Maybe if we had more heroes in real life, we wouldn't have so great a need for them in comics (or film for those of you who don't read comics).

That said, I would absolutely fight crime in other universes if I had the opportunity.

Burning Question

Burning Question Click to enlarge.

The phenomenon of climate change is well established within the scientific community. Unfortunately, the science is not what you see in the popular media. At one extreme, you have people denying that climate change is real. At the other extreme, you have movies like The Day After Tomorrow showing widespread planetary destruction.

You wouldn't trust a politician, a pundit, a corporation, or a Hollywood director with your health issues; you'd ask someone trained in the study of human anatomy, like a doctor.  Why do you listen to these people when it comes to climate change?

By the way, I use the term "climate change" rather than "global warming" because although the globe is warming, that terminology leads people to think that snow somehow disproves the science. In fact, large snow storms are completely predicted by global warming. Some areas of the globe will get much less water (drought), but that water has to go somewhere. If it is winter time, that water will show up has harsher snowstorms.