[Correction : the graph below is only for maximum temperatures. Average temperatures in 2012 were indeed warmer than 1934.]
The final data is in, and a apples to apples comparison (using only the same set of all 821 GHCN HCN stations continuously active since at least 1920)
shows that 2012 was slightly cooler than 1934, shows that 2012 was 0.4F warmer than 1934, but the trend since 1920 is downwards. The US has been cooling for 90 years.
2012 was an anomaly, not the new normal.
Prior to tampering by NOAA and GISS, 1934 was always the hottest year.
Whither U.S. Climate?
By James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato — August 1999
What’s happening to our climate? Was the heat wave and drought in the Eastern United States in 1999 a sign of global warming?
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.