Worst euphemism of the year: We've heard many euphemisms for fibbing over the years. "Over-firm denial" might just be our new favourite. The UK's Tory party chairman was found to have worked a second job under another name when he was a serving MP. When asked why he had previously denied this, he admitted that his denials were "overly-firmly" stated.
Mixed metaphor of the year: An honourable mention goes to Laura Tingle of the Australian Financial Review:
The high moral ground has become such a tiny wedge in the ocean for the government to stand on.
The Best Worst Quotes of 2015 - The top 20 bloviations, lies, and just plain dumb lines from U.S. government officials and politicians this year.
No. 9: Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of Central Command:
“I don’t currently know the specific goals and objectives of the Saudi campaign [in Yemen], and I would have to know that to be able to assess the likelihood of success.” (Hearing on U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Special Operations Command Programs and Budget, Senate Armed Services Committee, March 26, 2015)
Just days later, an anonymous Pentagon official stated, “If you ask why we’re backing this…the answer you’re going to get from most people — if they were being honest — is that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.” To summarize, Obama backed the Saudi-led bombing campaign of Yemen, even though the military commander in charge of that effort did not know its goals, because the humanitarian-disaster-creating war could not be stopped. A black mark on Obama’s foreign policy legacy.
The Scariest Part of This Season’s Weird Weather Is Coming Soon: Tornadoes, floods, and a heat wave at the North Pole - The remarkable storm will briefly boost temperatures in the Arctic basin to nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal—and the North Pole itself will be pushed above the freezing point, with temperatures perhaps as warm as 40 degrees. That’s absolutely terrifying and incredibly rare. Keep in mind: It’s late December and dark 24 hours a day at the North Pole right now. The typical average high temperature this time of year at the North Pole is about minus 15 to minus 20 degrees. To create temperatures warm enough to melt ice to exist in the dead of winter—some 50 or 60 degrees warmer than normal—is unthinkable.
ENSO: Recent Evolution,Current Status and Predictions - Update prepared by: Climate Prediction Center / NCEP 28 December 2015 - El Niño conditions are present. Positive equatorial sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies continue across most of the Pacific Ocean. El Niño is expected to remain strong through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with a transition to ENSO-neutral anticipated during late spring or early summer 2016.
Global Temperature - Below are maps of the mean surface temperature anomaly for the past month, the past three months, and the past 12 months. Regional weather patterns, apparent on the monthly time scale, tend to disappear in averages over longer time scales. In the chart in the lower right we show the 12-month running means of the global land-ocean temperature anomalies.