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Warming up

The credibility of James Inhofe is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.

Last year was the hottest year on record for the contiguous 48 states, marked by near-record numbers of extreme weather events such as drought, wildfire, tornadoes and storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In its annual report, State of the Climate, NOAA reported that the average annual temperature was 55.3 degrees — 3.3 degrees greater than the average temperature for the 20th century. It was also a full degree higher than the previous record-high temperature, set in 1998 — the biggest margin between two record-high temperatures to date.

The report confirmed what many Americans may have suspected over the last year: that extreme weather events are becoming more common. The only year when there were more extreme weather events was 1998, largely because a greater number of tropical cyclones made landfall, NOAA researchers said.

In 2012, the Upper Midwest was hit with floods, the mid-Atlantic with sudden summertime storms, the West with wildfire and the Northeast with Hurricane Sandy, among many other events. Most of the country even now remains in the grip of drought.

For years, climatologists have been reluctant to draw a line from climate change to specific weather events, and the NOAA authors of the report were cautious about making links. But a growing body of research has begun to indicate that climate change creates conditions for the kinds of temperatures and events the United States experienced last year.

AIG lawsuit

Taibbi on how they do have a point, but Hank Greenberg is the last person in the world who should be complaining. Very, very interesting.

Wha’ happens?

I don’t know why this is interesting, but it is. Your take?


I thought North Carolina was the sane one. I guess it’s relative.

The James Randi defense

Many people are influenced against the possibility of psychic phenomena by some of the real charlatans that exist in the “skeptic” community, James Randi prominent among them. I mean, I’m certainly down with the idea that parapsychologists subject their findings to scientific rigor, but having standards that are so much higher than those required for the rest of the scientific community isn’t really… scientific.

Rising costs over three decades


The textbook cost thing is ridiculous, yes. But the red line right below it is the rise in medical costs, which have gone up 575% since 1978. The brown line at the bottom is the current consumer price index (CPI) that measures overall inflation, which has only gone up by about 250% over the same time period.

Next time someone tells you that chained CPI, which would lower the estimated rate of inflation used to calculate Social Security and veterans’ benefits, is ‘more accurate’ … think about how much time people spend with doctors after they hit 60, think about this graph, and laugh at them.

Image source/larger image.

Chuck Hagel

Anyone the Beltway elite hates this much has gotta be good.

Fast Eddie for mayor

Of New York City? Huh?

The New York Times is reporting that “high-powered advisers to Mr. Bloomberg — and even the mayor himself” are looking for the next person to run New York City. Among the names floated: U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Gov. Ed Rendell.

The story quotes Rendell as calling mayor of New York City the second most difficult job in the country.” It doesn’t specifically say what the most difficult job is but we’re guessing it is president of the United States, not MSNBC political pundit (Rendell’s current job.)

Rendell, a New York native, told the newspaper he doesn’t know much about the city beyond Manhattan. But he also told Bradley Tusk, the Bloomberg adviser who broached the subject, to feel free to poll New York City voters to see what they think about a Rendell run for mayor.

Nothing but a miracle

Diane Birch:


Shelby Lynne and Daryl Hall:

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