Monday Mood [DOT 14/12/20]

Hey y’all! Hope you’re ready for Monday, whatever it brings…

This seems like kinda a big deal, but honestly I can’t tell anymore.

Russian government spies are behind a broad hacking campaign that has breached U.S. agencies and a top cyber firm

I’m in my 40s and I’m pretty sure I’ll be mad about this for the rest of my life. It absolutely did not have to come to this. [This article is old but predicted where we would be by now]

Forecast: 300,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 by December

Am I having a stroke?

A hardy FUCK YOU to one Joseph Epstein, BA.

The Wall Street Journal column about Jill Biden is worse than you thought

“Madame First Lady — Mrs. Biden — Jill — kiddo: a bit of advice on what might seem like a small but I think is not an unimportant matter,” writer Joseph Epstein began. “Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels a touch fraudulent, not to mention comical.”

They can’t help but saying the quiet part out loud.

Wisconsin, what you doing baby?


Agent: Master spy writer John le Carre dies at 89

CMA insists protocols were followed after Charley Pride dies of COVID-19 a month after attending event

I’m on a roll, why stop now?

Have a great Monday Deadsplinters!



  1. We are hitting another milestone today: During the day electors in all 50 states will meet to cast their ballots for either Biden or Trump. Barring any faithless electors (the ones who don’t vote according to the wishes of their state’s electorate) it will be 306/Biden and 232/Trump. There might be a few: in 2016 there were seven, five from Clinton states and two from Trump’s Texas. This was a record going back to 1948. All you need is 270 electoral votes, so 37 would have to swing to Trump, and that is very unlikely to happen. But it is 2020…
    But it’s not over yet! The Founding Fathers were so obsessed with stopgaps and safeguards that they built in one final firewall. On January 6th the votes are officially counted before a joint session of Congress. I’m a little hazy about what could happen but Congressmembers can object to slates of electors and then Congress “deliberates.” I think it’s at this point Mel would step in and like the 70s-era “Bond girl” that she is deploy her special training to do whatever necessary so she can get out of DC and FINALLY start the divorce proceedings. After all, only now does Trump have access to hundreds of millions of unencumbered dollars donated by the Trump faithful, something about defending democracy, rigged election, Trump 2024. Mel’s not stupid and she probably has every phone at fundraising HQ tapped and every computer hacked. 

      • Yeah, my wife called from Belgrade this morning (and woke me up) because her Google services were down and she  was panicking because she’s giving a final today and her university uses Google services for all kinds of stuff.  It appears the outage was very brief because things were back up by the time I made coffee and shuffled downstairs to my computer to see what was what.I’m also hearing about people who have Google Home who were sitting in the dark while Google was down because their lights wouldn’t turn on.  

        • See, this is why I refuse to use all of these “smart” services because the theoretical convenience does not outweigh the actual inconvenience when there’s a problem.  Currently, if my lights don’t turn on, then it’s because all the power is out.  Smart locks are bullshit–just use a key.  It’s fine.  Keyless smart cars?  Well, you’d better hope that you have cell signal throughout your entire route or you’ll be hoofing it to a place where you can call a tow truck to drag your car back to a location where it can turn on again.  Technology is fine and good and all, but now we’re getting to the point where people are using technology for no other reason than it’s tech-cool. 

          • “See, this is why I refuse to use all of these “smart” services because the theoretical convenience does not outweigh the actual inconvenience when there’s a problem.”
            Saaaaaaaaame. There is absolutely no reason why I can’t get up and flip a light switch or adjust the heat and I refuse to “smarten up” the house just because the kids think it’s cool. I won’t have a smart speaker or Alexa-anything, either. It’s just creepy. My phone is enough tech for me, thanks.

    • Yup – my coworkers in Spain and I were flipping out at 7AM – it was resolved for us by 7:30. It will be interesting to see if it was a DOD attack issue.

  2. Oh, how I miss raw beef at Christmas!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  The picture in that tweet, though, shows that they’re using the wrong cut of beef–generally speaking.  We always went with the ground round because it was so much leaner.  When my parents eventually discovered the miracle of opening gifts on Christmas Eve rather than on the 25th, my mother would set out a table full of horse duvers which included my two favorite things:  raw beef and Milwaukee Baby Dills.  Of course, I wouldn’t do it now considering how the food chain has deprioritized safety over the past 40 years, but damn that was great stuff.
    Also:  I didn’t actually read the WSJ op-ed so I thought the problem was the use of the word “kiddo”.  But now that I’m seeing that opening paragraph, the fact that he thinks an actual medical doctor using “Dr.” in her name is somehow fraudulent is just way off the fucking charts.

  3. Wow, the story about Dr. Biden is some seriously sexist bullshit. He has the nerve to call the use of her title highfalutin while crapping on her dissertation about meeting the needs of Community College students. Because why, Community College isn’t real college? Not like those highfalutin Ivy League schools, right? I love that Dr. Biden teaches at a Community College, that she cares about non traditional students, students with less income than those at bigger schools, and students smart enough to know they can get the same core classes they’d have to take at another school for a fraction of the cost. There is nothing fraudulent or comical about any of it. And by the way, Mr Epstein is a journalist, surely he’s read a few of the hundreds of stories about taxi drivers, police, fire fighters, and even children delivering babies. I don’t think that’s the standard I’d apply to awarding the title of Doctor.

    • I mentor teen parents and a so many of them get great starts at the local community colleges and the admins there champion our students! My current student transferred to a 4 year college and was so well prepared her first semester was ‘easier’ (though not ‘easy’ because she also has a two year old!!) 

      Also, technically Dr. Biden did deliver babies – her own! 


    •  I’ve been an adjunct profess or at several community colleges, and will be again one day. Community college is absolutely critical to adult learners, particularly those with reduced means. I’d teach them in a heartbeat over the privileged assholes at 4-year institutions who show up to class hung over (yes, not all of them do that). With very few exceptions, community college students are there to learn and I actually like helping them. I feel like I’m actually contributing to making society better.
      And my own daughter, who absolutely can get accepted to Ivy League schools, is going to community college now. It’s completely free as part of dual enrollment in high school here, and we are all committed to getting her through college with little to no debt. 
      This Epstein fuckwit is completely out of line with his bullshit. Fuck that guy.

      • Good for your daughter. It can be hard as a teenager to choose the benefit of going no student loans over the societal pressure to go to a prestigious school.
        When I made hiring decisions at my last job, I was always the advocate for people with community college on their resume (some other people in the room liked seeing prestigious colleges). 

        • I’ve had the occasional conversation with high school students who are hyper concerned about their college choices.  While community college wasn’t brought up much, one thing I always tried to get across to them was that nobody gives a shit where you got your bachelor’s degree anymore because advanced degrees are the new entry level. 

          • That’s very true. Also, unless you are going Ivy League, the particular school doesn’t matter much at all. Certainly not past your first job. Ivy League schools have networks and placement, etc, that can be beneficial. But here in Florida there’s not much different between UF, FSU, USF, UCF, etc. except for sports rivalries. That might provide some conversation fodder in an interview but none of the degrees are particularly more “valuable” than any other. And if there’s a certification process for your profession, like the bar exam, that trumps all the other stuff. It just matters that you passed that. 

    • Seriously, fuuuuuuck that guy. I saw other people talking about that article earlier and I did not click on it, because I do not need a rage stroke today. The couple of sentence summary is enough. I hate when people get all moody about phds using the doctor title, and it sounds like his reasoning is even more irritating than normal. Also, “kiddo”? Ugh. This guy can fuck off with his hilarious “jokes”. 

    • Long story, but fuck it.  I was working at a psych hospital and happened to mention to one of the psychiatrists that I had a PhD.  Next treatment team meeting he keeps referring to me as “Doctor.”  After the meeting he leaves, and the head nurse is staring at me with daggers in her eyes.  “What?”  “Are you going to continue to let him call you ‘doctor’?”  “Well, I do have a PhD.” “Really? mumblemumblesomethingorother.”  I don’t generally advertise my credentials unless they’re relevant so a lot of people are surprised when I do hear it.
      I guess that wasn’t so long, but fuck it anyway.

  4. woohoo i predicted something correctly for once
    4 hours from now at midnight we are going in to lock down with pretty much only supermarkets allowed to open for business till january 19th 
    good thing i got my christmas cards today (also holy shit cards and stamps came to 25 euros O.o…bah humbug!)
    gonna be a quiet christmas this year with only 3 visitors allowed lol

  5. “Wisconsin, what you doing baby?”
    Meg, sometimes ‘Sconnies are straaaaaaange😉🤣💖
    But this IS definitely a thing I’ve heard of/about…
    much more popular with the WI folks & former Wisconsinites, than MN-born Minnesotans…
    but it’s a tradition, in the same way that Iowans dig their “Loose-meat” sandwiches (aka “browned hamburger” sandwiches, basically “sloppy joes, without the sauce”)…
    it’s just a thing…
    And SERIOUSLY, about folks going on about the “backwards & backwoods” aspect of it online….
    Those SAME sorts of folks would probably go to a fancy resto, see “Steak Tartare” on the menu, maybe say “Ew!” And then move on, because that is considered “fancy-people-food”….
    This is basically just a steak tartare, minus the raw egg(!), served sandwich style…
    A bit odd, YEAH, sure! 
    But heathen-ish?

  6. And on the Dr. Jill thing……
    To say I have *feelings* about this whole infantile “op-ed” is….. 
    Let’s just say “infuriating” *begins* to get close to the rage I’m feeling about this sexist/”good ol boys”/ “boys’ club” piece of trash writing….
    But the fact that *I* have my subscription to the WSJ, *BECAUSE * of the university i attend, where most of my program’s “teachers” are women who have  THEIR PhD’s, and prefer to be called “Doctor ____” because–as they have explained to us, it took them all a LOT of hard work to EARN that honorific…
    It’s rageifying….. 
    Literally the ONLY professor in my program who has told us to *not* use Dr, and just call him by his first name, is one of the couple white guys (he’s a Gen X’er, so it TOTALLY makes sense!), but ALL the others in our program have told us they prefer “Dr. ____,” BECAUSE THEY WORKED THEIR ASSES OFF to earn that title, and it’s a sign of respect that we show them by using it.
    The fact that that ASSHAT, who *didn’t* earn his own honorific, and who apparently under the system he upholds as his own personal gold-standard for “earning” an honorary doctorate wouldn’t even qualify for one in the first place(!!!), has *declared* that Dr. Jill just *shouldn’tuse her OWN (EARNED) title is utter bullshit.
    I don’t see him saying that lawyers oughtn’t use Esq., or JD, because folks “might confuse them with a real doctor!”
    I also definitely noticed how he when he mentioned all those baby-delivering doctors,  they  juuuuuust happen to have pronouns which are male…

  7. I tell my students if they are not comfortable calling me by my first name to call me “Doctor” instead.  This is because I am a part-timer and “Adjunct Professor” isn’t a title at my school.  For HR purposes I am a “Lecturer” and therefore I am not really a “Professor.”
    They still tend to call me “Professor.”

    • Mine default to “professor” too. I don’t have a doctorate, just two master’s degrees. So it’s either Professor or sometimes just Mister. I think some are wary of “Mister” just because they aren’t sure if it will offend me or something if I’m not acknowledged as the teacher. It doesn’t. 
      I miss teaching. Had to give it up because I traveled so much. We’ve had a lot of upheaval at work and travel’s not really part of my job description now. So I’m wondering if I can get going again after the pandemic ends. 

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