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Monday, July 28, 2014

Coolest Summer On Record In The US?

I came across this post from Mark Perry on AEI-Ideas. The headline, "Inconvenient chart of the day: Coolest US summer on record," caught my eye, as did the graph, which I've reproduced below:


The data comes from the US HCN, the United States Historical Climatology Network, and the graph seems to show that the number of 90-degree days is been trending down over time.

Here's the question: is the number of 90-degree days per year a good proxy for the average US temperature during the summer? I'm not sure it is. The next chart tells the tale:


The chart comes from NOAA, and you can play with the time series. I've chosen to chart the average US temperature of the "lower 48" for the summer months of June, July and August.

The 90-degree day chart doesn't look like a good proxy at all: its trend line is sloping down, but the actual average summer temperature is sloping up.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ayn Rand Is Not Thomas Jefferson.

To his good credit, Mark Perry has updated a post containing an egregious error.

But why did he include it to begin with? Wouldn't a brief fact check have prevented this from happening in the first place?

What to file this under: confirmation bias? Motivated reasoning?

Do others on the right confuse Rand with Jefferson? I think so, and I'l look at Rep. Paul Ryan as a perfect example.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nick Offerman's Political Comedy Routine at the 2014 Correspondents' Dinner



Money quote: "The Second Amendment is not there to protect our right to intimidate the teenage cashier at Chipotle."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Witness Wednesdays: Voices of the Unemployed

99ers, and everyone reading this blog, please add your voice and share your story at WitnessWednesdays.org.

"The Center for Effective Government, the National Employment Law Project, the Coalition on Human Needs, and the National Women's Law Center have collected more than 2,000 stories from Americans suffering from long-term unemployment. Throughout June and July, our organizations will join members of Congress and faith, labor, civil rights, and nonprofit leaders to share some of these stories in a series of seven Witness Wednesday events. We invite you to join with us, listen to these readings, and demand an extension of long-term unemployment insurance."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

As Seen On Tumblr

"People ask me what I'm proudest of and what are my biggest frustrations as President. My biggest frustration is that this society hasn't been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do damage. We're the only developed country where this happens. And it happens weekly. Our levels of gun violence are off the charts."
President Obama sharing the difficulties of trying to change a culture in which school shootings are commonplace. (source)