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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Same as it ever was. Once again, according to pundits on the influential Washington, D.C. cocktail party circuit, Hillary Clinton is in deep trouble. The National Bitch Hunt is definitely on. Surely you didn’t think we could have a female presidential candidate without one?

Rolling down the highway, listening to Diane Rehm’s NPR talk show last week, I wondered if I hadn’t driven into some kind of weird political time warp.

In a sense, I had.

“Someone said the other day that Washington may now have reached the state-of-the-art point of having a cover-up without a crime,” pronounced the Washington Post. By failing to come clean, Hillary had managed “to make it appear as if the Clintons had something to hide.”

“These clumsy efforts at suppression are feckless and self-defeating,” thundered the New York Times. Hillary’s actions, the newspaper continued, “are swiftly draining away public trust in [her] integrity.”

OK, I’m teasing. Both editorials appeared over 21 years ago, in January 1994. They expressed outrage at Hillary Clinton’s decision to turn over Whitewater documents to federal investigators rather than to the press, which had conjured a make-believe scandal out of bogus reporting of a kind that’s since grown too familiar in American journalism.  (Interested readers are referred to Joe Conason’s and my e-book The Hunting of Hillary, available from The National Memo.)

However, by failing to roll over and bare her throat, Hillary Clinton only “continued to contribute to the perception that she has something to hide.”

Another joke. That last quote was actually The Atlantic’s Molly Ball on the Diane Rehm program just last Friday. It’s the same old song, except that Ball was complaining about Hillary’s turning her email server over to investigators looking into a dispute between the State Department and the CIA about which documents should have been classified, and when.

She should have turned the gadget over six months ago, Ball opined.

Ah, but to whom? There wasn’t a State Department vs. CIA dispute back then.

No cage filled with parrots could have recited the list of familiar anti-Hillary talking points more efficiently than Rehm’s guests.

The email flap, opined the Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “creates and feeds into this narrative about the Clintons and Mrs. Clinton that the rules are different for them, that she’s not one of us.”

Most Americans, she added indignantly, “don’t have access to a private email server.”

Actually, most Americans don’t know what a server is, or why the hardware is supposed to matter. Then, too, most Americans have never been Secretary of State, aren’t married to a former president, and don’t enjoy Secret Service protection at home.

Stolberg saw a perception problem too. Nobody was rude enough to ask her about the perception caused by the Times public editor’s conclusion that her own newspaper appeared to have an axe to grind against the Clintons after it falsely reported that the emails were the object of a criminal investigation.

They are not.

Stolberg also complained that both Clintons “play by a separate set of rules, [and] that the normal standards don’t apply.”

Which normal standards? According to, yes, the New York Times:  “When [Clinton] took office in 2009…the State Department allowed the use of home computers as long as they were secure…There appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server; it does not appear to be an option anyone had thought about.”

So why are we talking about this at all? No Secretary of State previous to Clinton had a government email account.

Bottom line: when they start talking about narratives and perceptions, these would-be insiders, they’re talking about themselves.

But leave it to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who’s written about little else lately, to sum it all up with classic wifebeater logic. Hillary’s emails, he told NPR’s audience, “remind [voters] of the things they don’t like, the secretiveness, the paranoia, the sort of distrust….And then I also think it just feeds the perception that she is a candidate of the past. Do you really want to go back to this? Yes, the Clintons bring many good things. But they also bring this sort of baggage, this stuff that always follows them.”

See, if Hillary would just quit fighting for herself and her issues, they could quit ganging up on the bitch. Meanwhile, this has to be at least the fourth time the same crowd has predicted her imminent demise, if not indictment and conviction. All based upon partisan leaks (this Trey Gowdy joker is nothing compared to Kenneth Starr’s leak-o-matic prosecutors) and upon presumed evidence in documents nobody’s yet seen.

From the Rose Law Firm billing records to Benghazi, it’s the same old story. Because when the evidence finally emerges, it turns out that Hillary has been diligently coloring inside the lines all along.

And that’s because she’s smarter and tougher than her enemies — the very qualities that drive them crazy.

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for a campaign town hall meeting in Claremont, New Hampshire August 11, 2015.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder 

Poll: Most Parents Oppose Rapid School Reopening

Numerous local school systems around the country are plowing ahead with plans to resume in-person instruction despite growing evidence that children are just as capable of spreading the coronavirus as adults.

Classes were set to begin on Monday in Baker County, Florida. Masks for students will be optional, not required. "It looks like it's back to normal this morning, honestly," a local television reporter observed as parents dropped their kids off in the morning. Many students wore no face coverings.

The Trump administration and the GOP have pushed for full reopening of schools for months."Schools in our country should be opened ASAP," Donald Trump tweeted in May. "Much very good information now available."

"SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he reiterated on July 6.

"The science and data is clear: children can be safe in schools this fall, and they must be in school this fall," demanded Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Aug. 1.

"I believe our schools can, and should rise to the occasion of re-opening for in-person education this fall," agreed Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) two days later.

"The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics agree: We can safely get students back in classrooms," tweeted House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) last Tuesday.

But while Scalise, Mike Pence, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have all cited the American Academy of Pediatrics in their arguments for reopening, a new study by the group and the Children's Hospital Association raises red flags about how safe that will be.

Their report found 338,982 reported coronavirus cases in children as of July 30 in the United States. Between July 16 and July 30, the nation saw a 40% increase — 97,078 new infected children.

Last week, a high school student in an Atlanta suburb posted a photo online showing few students wearing masks in a crowded school hallway. Since that time, at least six students and three adult employees in the school have reportedly contracted the coronavirus, and the school temporarily has switched to online classes.

Another Georgia school district has already seen at least 13 students and staff members test positive since reopening a week ago.

A recent study in South Korea found that children aged ten and older spread the coronavirus at the same rates adults do. A separate study in Chicago suggested young kids might also be effective spreaders.

These contradict the false claims made by Trump and his administration that kids have an "amazing" near immunity to COVID-19.

"If you look at children, children are almost — and I would almost say definitely, but almost immune from this disease, so few. They've got stronger, hard to believe, and I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"You got to open the schools. They have a stronger immune system even than you have or I have," he told Barstool Sports on July 23. "It's amazing. You look at the percentage, it's a tiny percentage of one percent. And in that one case, I mean, I looked at a couple of cases. If you have diabetes, if you have, you know, problems with something, but the kids are in great shape." Children have made up nearly nine percent of all cases, even with schools mostly closed.

And DeVos incorrectly said in a July 16 interview, "More and more studies show that kids are actually stoppers of the disease and they don't get it and transmit it themselves."

In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for how schools could operate more safely during the pandemic.

Trump publicly ridiculed the guidelines, dismissing them as "very tough & expensive" and "very impractical."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.