According to the latest data from the Historical Climatology Network, the summer of 2014 has been the coldest they’ve ever seen in the United States.
From Real Science:
The frequency of 90 degree days in the US has been plummeting for 80 years, and 2014 has had the lowest frequency of 90 degree days through July 23 on record. The only other year which came close was 1992, and that was due to dust in the atmosphere from Mt Pinatubo.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has actually been in the United States this summer. It has been unseasonably cool for most of the country.
From The Weather Channel:
Temperature records set way back in the 1880s were broken as unusually cool air blanketed a large part of the country in the heart of summer. It felt more like fall from the Upper Midwest into the South this past week.
An unusually strong cold front for July began its southward plunge on Monday, July 14. The result was below-average temperatures for much of the central and eastern U.S.
Many all-time record low temperature records for the month of July were broken. On Wednesday morning Joplin, Missouri tied its all-time July record low of 50 degrees.
The state of Oklahoma recorded its coolest July day on Thursday with an average temperature of 63.6 degrees. The previous record was 66.3 degrees set on July 12, 1953. The average temperature is found by adding up all the high and low temperatures across the state, then dividing the total by two and then dividing by the number of reporting stations.
Go ahead. Get the whole “weather isn’t climate” thing out of your system. Obviously an isolated weather event isn’t climate. But lots of “isolated” weather events over a course of years is considered climate:
cli·mate, ˈklīmit: the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period.
Is nearly 18 years long enough?
It’s a phenomenon called “regulatory capture.” Government regulatory bodies set in place to police an industry eventually end up working to protect the very industries they were created to regulate. In this case, HIPAA regulations have grown to help hospitals cover their tails instead of protecting patients. As we say a lot around here, the road to big-government hell is paved with good intentions.
In the name of patient privacy, a security guard at a hospital in Springfield, Mo., threatened a mother with jail for trying to take a photograph of her own son.
In the name of patient privacy, a Daytona Beach, Fla., nursing home said it couldn’t cooperate with police investigating allegations of a possible rape against one of its residents.
In the name of patient privacy, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allegedly threatened or retaliated against employees who were trying to blow the whistle on agency wrongdoing.
When the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act passed in 1996, its laudable provisions included preventing patients’ medical information from being shared without their consent and other important privacy assurances.
But as a litany of recent examples show, HIPAA, as the law is commonly known, is open to misinterpretation — and sometimes provides cover for health institutions that are protecting their own interests, not patients’.
"Sometimes it’s really hard to tell whether people are just genuinely confused or misinformed, or whether they’re intentionally obfuscating," said Deven McGraw, partner in the healthcare practice of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and former director of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology.
For example, McGraw said, a frequent health privacy complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights is that health providers have denied patients access to their medical records, citing HIPAA. In fact, this is one of the law’s signature guarantees.
"Often they’re told [by hospitals that] HIPAA doesn’t allow you to have your records, when the exact opposite is true," McGraw said.
Let’s jump in our time machine back to right before Obamacare passed. The House passed a version and the Senate passed their own version, and the bill went to conference to work out the differences. However, a conference bill never appeared because Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts died, and Republican Scott Brown was elected in his place. With Brown’s election, the Senate no longer had a filibuster proof majority with which to pass a conference bill.
Thus, the House was stuck with the Senate bill. The choice was to pass the Senate’s version of Obamacare or pass nothing at all because no new version of Obamacare would get through the Senate with Scott Brown now able to uphold a filibuster.
Take a look at this Politico article from 2010 during the time when the House and Senate bills went to conference (emphasis mine):
On a conference call Tuesday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) walked the party’s leadership team through differences in the two bills.
Other differences the speaker mentioned Tuesday include: replacing the Senate’s state-run exchanges with a national exchange established under the House bill, adding tougher mandates to make sure everyone secures health coverage and closing a gap in prescription-drug coverage next year. Senate negotiators have agreed to close the so-called doughnut hole, but they haven’t agreed on a time to implement those changes.
Nancy Pelosi was not happy that that Senate bill did not contain a Federal Exchange, and her goal in conference was to insert this provision into the Senate Bill. This change never materialized, and Nancy Pelosi ended up leading the House Democrats to vote for the Senate Bill as it was passed with no changes.
It is clear from this that Obamacare does not give the Federal Government the authority to operate an insurance exchange and that power rests only with the states.
Why would an ancap want conservative blogs to follow?
This is a big deal:
The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday afternoon voted unanimously to allow federal prisoners behind bars for certain drug trafficking crimes to petition to have their sentences reduced. The change is expected to impact around 46,000 current federal prisoners, and to lower sentences by an average of more than two years.
The commission, made up of seven people, voted to allow tens of thousands of prisoners to petition judges for a sentencing reduction based on new guidelines. The implementation of the change will be delayed, however, with the first prisoners affected by the change likely to be released early in November 2015.
“This amendment received unanimous support from Commissioners because it is a measured approach,” Judge Patti B. Saris, the chairwoman of the Sentencing Commission, said in a statement. “It reduces prison costs and populations and responds to statutory and guidelines changes since the drug guidelines were initially developed, while safeguarding public safety.”