Weekend Wound-Up

Madison Cawthorn goes full-on Nazi after losing his Primary:

“It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command,” Cawthorn, 26, wrote on Instagram. “We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak members of our own party. Their days are numbered. We are coming.” Twitter users describe “Dark MAGA” — a take on Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan — as a group that believes there’s no political solution beyond vengeance, Newsweek reported, and that the former president has been too kindhearted and forgiving to his political opponents. It also has ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacy, Business Insider reported.

Aside from the fact we have yet to see a "light" MAGA, this is a typical reaction from an immature, spoiled rotten man-child. But we can't (or shouldn't) let this temper tantrum distract us from important business, like the NCGA's upcoming Budget adjustments:

Republican state House and Senate leaders are holding private meetings this week to work out a budget deal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The two chambers have not yet settled on a spending target, but were working toward an agreement on Thursday.

Late last year, after months of negotiations, legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper agreed to a two-year budget plan that includes about $27 billion in spending for the fiscal year starting July 1.

In even years such as 2022, lawmakers typically adjust their two-year budget to account for changing needs or revenues. This year, given the historic $6.2 billion surplus this budget cycle, it's likely that any adjustment will include some additional spending. How much, though, isn't clear.

There's an election coming up in November, so even tight-fisted Republicans should (hopefully) cut some of that money loose (for teachers, at least). Might be worth a few e-mails or phone calls, although my poor phone is still trying to get over the Primary. I mean, sheesh. I literally had to turn it off a few times, because cursing at it didn't slow down the texts.

By the way, remember Greg Lindberg?

A North Carolina insurance magnate must give up control of his private companies to comply with a 2019 agreement to ensure several insurers within his business empire are paid over $1 billion, a state judge has ruled. Ruling in a civil lawsuit from which he heard testimony almost a year ago, Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley wrote that Greg E. Lindberg had failed to carry out his side of a memorandum of understanding, WRAL-TV reported.

Shirley decided that Lindberg, who is currently serving federal prison time after being convicted in 2020 on corruption-related criminal charges, put up obstacles to cede control, even though he and his companies benefited from the agreement with up to $100 million in debt relief and $40 million line of credit.

“Lindberg acted with deceit and with the intent to defraud the plaintiffs,” Shirley wrote in the order filed Tuesday.

A $40 Million line of credit? Honestly, the only thing more disgusting than a fraudulent crook are those wealth managers who take such risks with others' money. Grrr.

Speaking of things that piss me off:

Oklahoma is only days away from enacting the toughest U.S. state ban on abortion and providers are preparing to stop terminating pregnancies while questions remained Friday about enforcement of the law's limited exceptions.

The law allows abortions to save a pregnant patient's life “in a medical emergency” and in cases of rape, sexual assault or incest that have been reported to law enforcement. But it doesn't spell out who decides what is considered a medical emergency, and the rape and incest exception won't help victims who don't report the crimes against them to police. State officials didn't immediately have answers to how the life-of-the-mother exception will be applied going forward.

Abortion providers said they are likely to be cautious because the new law, like a ban at about six weeks enacted earlier and a similar 2021 law in Texas, will expose them to potentially expensive lawsuits for alleged violations. They're planning to refer some patients to states like Colorado or Kansas, but some patients won't be able to manage the extra time or travel involved.

I have family in Oklahoma, including female cousins of various ages. They need to tip their state house upside down and empty all the misogynistic trolls out of there.

Okay, I've been a slackard in giving you folks the science that I promised, but this is some fantastic news right here:

Coccolithophores are important in today's oceans, providing much of the oxygen we breathe, supporting marine food webs, and locking carbon away in seafloor sediments. They are a type of microscopic plankton that surround their cells with hard calcareous plates, called coccoliths, and these are what normally fossilize in rocks.

Declines in the abundance of these fossils have been documented from multiple past global warming events, suggesting that these plankton were severely affected by climate change and ocean acidification. However, a study published today in the journal Science presents new global records of abundant ghost fossils from three Jurassic and Cretaceous warming events (94, 120 and 183 million years ago), suggesting that coccolithophores were more resilient to past climate change than was previously thought.

"The discovery of these beautiful ghost fossils was completely unexpected," says Dr. Sam Slater from the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "We initially found them preserved on the surfaces of fossilized pollen, and it quickly became apparent that they were abundant during intervals where normal coccolithophore fossils were rare or absent -- this was a total surprise!"

Despite their microscopic size, coccolithophores can be hugely abundant in the present ocean, being visible from space as cloud-like blooms. After death, their calcareous exoskeletons sink to the seafloor, accumulating in vast numbers, forming rocks such as chalk.

If you've had more than a fifteen minute conversation with me about Climate Change, I inevitably come around to talking about plankton (both kinds), and other sea flora and fauna. Which provide about 2/3 of the oxygen for our planet, while sinking a shitload of carbon. I've been worried that water temps and fluctuations in acid content of sea water could kill off much of that plankton, and we can't come back from something like that.

But apparently they're more resilient than I thought. Whew. Have a good weekend, folks.




So much to unpack.

Until then, fuck Cawthorn and the ADA enabled wheelchair he rolled in on. Still a loser. Still a poser. Gonna end badly for the POS.