Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Last Call For Climate Of Destruction, Con't

This year's El Nino climate event is already on top of record surface temperature, and that means the oceans are several degrees above normal in North America, including the state of Florida, setting new temperature records daily this July.
Not only is Florida sizzling in record-crushing heat, but the ocean waters that surround it are scorching, as well. The unprecedented ocean warmth around the state — connected to historically warm oceans worldwide — is further intensifying its heat wave and stressing coral reefs, with conditions that could end up strengthening hurricanes.

Much of Florida is seeing its warmest year on record, with temperatures running 3 to 5 degrees above normal. While some locations have been setting records since the beginning of the year, the hottest weather has come with an intense heat dome cooking the Sunshine State in recent weeks. That heat dome has made coastal waters extremely warm, including “downright shocking” temperatures of 92 to 96 degrees in the Florida Keys, meteorologist and journalist Bob Henson said Sunday in a tweet.

“That’s boiling for them! More typically it would be in the upper 80s,” tweeted Jeff Berardelli, chief meteorologist and climate specialist at WFLA-TV in Tampa.

The temperatures are so high that they are off the scale of the color contours on some weather maps.

The warmth registers as a Category 3 out of 5 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine heat wave scale. NOAA defines a marine heat wave as a period with persistent and unusually warm ocean temperatures, “which can have significant impacts on marine life as well as coastal communities and economies.” The agency describes Category 3 as “severe.”

Such warm water temperatures “would be impressive any time of year, but they’re occurring when the water would already be rather warm, bringing it up to bona fide bathtub conditions that we rarely see,” Brian McNoldy, senior research associate at the University of Miami and hurricane expert for Capital Weather Gang, said in an email.

The toasty waters are influencing temperatures on land by raising the humidity, which makes it harder for temperatures to cool off at night. Numerous records for temperatures and heat indexes have been broken since mid-June, and the heat wave is expected to continue for at least a week. According to McNoldy, Miami’s heat index soared to 110 degrees on Monday and has reached at least 100 on 30 straight days.

Miami, Tampa and Fort Myers are expected to hit a heat index of 105 or higher on each of the next seven days, according to the The Washington Post’s heat tracker.

“It’s an astounding, prolonged heat wave even for a place that’s no stranger to sultry weather,” said McNoldy, who also cautioned that the warm waters could make tropical storms or hurricanes stronger. “It’s not something we like to see near land simply because it would allow a storm to maintain a high intensity right up to landfall or rapidly intensify as it approaches landfall.”

Hurricane forecasters have recently upped their predictions for the season in response to the rising ocean temperatures.

The marine heat wave is also causing coral bleaching, which can leave corals vulnerable to deadly diseases. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch has recorded an “Alert Level 1” off the coast of South Florida. That is the second-highest level, described by NOAA as “significant bleaching likely.”
Not that I expect Ron DeSantis to do anything, he'll just block any efforts to mitigate the damage and scream something about diesel and microbeads being good for fish.
When Florida's tourism, fishing, and farming industries collapse, you can thank him.

Guess the state's going to have to drown, burn, and melt before Florida gets rid of him.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Donald Trump's lawyers want to delay his federal documents trial indefinitely, claiming that a trial date can't be set until all of the legal motions surrounding the case have been decided by Trump Judge Aileen Cannon.  
The written filing — submitted 30 minutes before its deadline of midnight on Tuesday — presents a significant early test for Judge Aileen M. Cannon, the Trump-appointed jurist who is overseeing the case. If granted, it could have the effect of pushing Mr. Trump’s trial into the final stages of the presidential campaign in which he is now the Republican front-runner or even past the 2024 election.

While timing is important in any criminal matter, it could be hugely consequential in Mr. Trump’s case, in which he stands accused of illegally holding on to 31 classified documents after leaving the White House and obstructing the government’s repeated efforts to reclaim them.

There could be complications of a sort never before presented to a court if Mr. Trump is a candidate in the last legs of a presidential campaign and a federal criminal defendant on trial at the same time. If the trial is pushed back until after the election and Mr. Trump wins, he could try to pardon himself after taking office or have his attorney general dismiss the matter entirely.

Some of the former president’s advisers have been blunt in private conversations that he is looking to winning the election as a solution to his legal problems. And the request for an open-ended delay to the trial of Mr. Trump and his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, a personal aide, presents a high-stakes question for Judge Cannon, who came into the case already under scrutiny for making decisions favorable to the former president in the early phases of the investigation.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers pitched their request to Judge Cannon as a plea for cautious deliberation and as a means of safeguarding democracy.

“This extraordinary case presents a serious challenge to both the fact and perception of our American democracy,” wrote the lawyers, Chris M. Kise and Todd Blanche for Mr. Trump, and Stanley Woodward Jr. and Sasha Dadan for Mr. Nauta.

“The court now presides over a prosecution advanced by the administration of a sitting president against his chief political rival, himself a leading candidate for the presidency of the United States,” they wrote. “Therefore, a measured consideration and timeline that allows for a careful and complete review of the procedures that led to this indictment and the unprecedented legal issues presented herein best serves the interests of the defendants and the public.”

The lawyers also took note of the unusual intertwining of law and politics in the case, suggesting that Mr. Trump’s status as a presidential candidate should be factored into the timing of the trial.

“President Trump is running for president of the United States and is currently the likely Republican Party nominee,” they wrote. “This undertaking requires a tremendous amount of time and energy, and that effort will continue until the election on Nov. 5, 2024.”

“Mr. Nauta’s job requires him to accompany President Trump during most campaign trips around the country,” they continued. “This schedule makes trial preparation with both of the defendants challenging. Such preparation requires significant planning and time.”
The question isn't whether the motion is bullshit (it is) but whether Judge Cannon will grant it. Trump having the trial pushed back to after the 2024 election means if he wins the election he can dispose of the case, or more likely order the interim Attorney General he has after firing Merrick Garland drop the case as Trump would then be president.  If he doesn't win, and Cannon still has the case, Trump will just file for 2028 and demand another delay, and get it. 

We're about to find out whether this case goes to trial at all, and that's solely up to a judge that has already ruled that the government completely overstepped its bounds in obtaining evidence in the case in the first place.

Judge Cannon has the means here to effectively eliminate this case. We'll see if she does. Remember, she's tried to before. And I don't think being smacked down by the 11th Circuit previously will matter to her all that much, and there's not a lot the 11th Circuit can do here to interfere without blowing up the case and delaying it further.

It's literally in her court now.

Tales Of The Shattered Rainbow, Con't

As widely expected, and widely demonstrated by Republican lawmakers in red states, anti-trans policies to "protect children" are now anti-trans policies directly targeting trans adults
A Kansas judge has ordered Gov. Laura Kelly's administration to stop changing gender markers on driver's licenses for transgender people.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson issued the temporary restraining order on Monday at the request of Attorney General Kris Kobach, who is suing two officials at the Kansas Department of Revenue over the practice.

The lawsuit is an attempt from Kobach, a Republican, to force the agency under Kelly, a Democrat, to follow new state law from Senate Bill 180.

The law went into effect July 1 with a strict biological definition of sex. The attorney general and governor have disputed whether or not the law bans the current practice of changing gender markers on both driver's licenses and birth certificates.

"The Attorney General points out that driver's licenses are issued for a period of six years and are difficult to take back or out of circulation once issued," Watson wrote. "Licenses are used by law enforcement to identify criminal suspects, crime victims, wanted persons, missing persons, and others. Compliance with stated legal requirements for identifying license holders is a public safety concern.

Taryn Jones, vice chair and lobbyist for the LGBTQ+ rights group Equality Kansas, acknowledged the concern that allowing the state to keep making changes would make it more difficult for law enforcement, but asked, “How many criminals are you having that are trans?” She said trans people will still be able to change their names to align with their gender identities.

Jones also said potential problems for law enforcement should be weighed against the harm to the mental health and safety of transgender people who don’t have licenses that match their gender identities.
“You know, it’s hard enough being trans right now in America, especially in a conservative place like Kansas,” she said.

"Allowing Respondents to issue non-compliant driver's licenses pending a court hearing is an immediate and irreparable injury that supports the grant of a temporary restraining order on the terms requested by the Attorney General."

The order is in effect for 14 days, but may be modified, vacated or extended by the court.

Under Kansas law, a court is allowed to issue a temporary restraining order without providing prior notice to the other party if the facts "clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition."
First of all, it's our old fascist friend Kris Kobach, who I have covered extensively on ZVTS over the last decade plus years, so you know this is some fascist bullshit of the nth degree.
But second, did you catch that? The legal argument is that the state acknowledging trans people existing in official identification is a public safety concern preventing law enforcement from doing their jobs.

The state recognizing trans folks existing is a public safety concern that has to be stopped. That's where we are, and if you define a group out of existence, the state can simply eliminate members of that group.

Do you see where the GOP is going on this? Germans did this 90 years ago, folks.

It will end badly.
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