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Hello Wonks! Welcome to the Sunday Rundown. With Christmas Eve upon us, I figured it's time for one last good ol' "Christmas Carol" style haunting for the wicked people of the political shows. Can't guarantee that they'll turn a new leaf and help people, but we certainly can make them fear the Christmases yet to come.

We begin with the chair of the House GOP conference and daughter of real life Grinch, Wyoming congressperson Liz Cheney. Appearing on CBS's "Face The Nation" with Margaret Brennan, the daughter with Dick Cheney's dark Sith powers and nepotism was asked about one of the many shortcomings of the Republican Party: Women.


MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about something we referenced on the intro, which is you're an incredibly powerful position in the new Congress, one of the most-- the most influential female Republican on the House side, but when you look overall at the new Congress the number of Republican women is at the lowest level since 1995. Does your party have a problem attracting candidates or is it getting people to vote for them?

REPRESENTATIVE LIZ CHENEY:
We need to do better at both things, Margaret. We need to do better at -- at making sure that we're helping and supporting Republican women as candidates. And we also have to do a better job at making sure that our message is getting out there and that we're attracting more Republican women -- more women voters to the party. And I think a large part of that is explaining to people why it is if you look at the policies that are coming in on the Democratic side, for example, they are very, very far left, as far left as socialism. And we need to do a better job as Republicans in explaining why we stand for freedom and opportunity for everybody.

Of course! It's just a matter of explaining your policies of "freedom and opportunity for everybody"! Like:

We end this week on real-life Ebenezer Scrooge and new acting director of every open Trump cabinet position, Mick Mulvaney. After spending the better part of the year figuring out ways to starve the poor, the elderly and children, Mulvaney was recently "promoted" to acting Chief of Staff after Trump fired his racist enabler John Kelly. Appearing on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos Jonathan Karl, he was asked many questions about his new role. But the interview became interesting when Karl confronted Mulvaney with his words about Trump during the 2016 campaign:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: Do I like Donald Trump? No. Is he a role model for my sons? Absolutely not. We have perhaps two of the most flawed human beings running for president in the history of the country. Yes, I supported Donald Trump. I'm doing so as enthusiastically as I can given the fact I think he's a terrible human being. But the choice on the other side is just as bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Terrible human being. I mean, that's made the rounds --

MULVANEY: It has made the rounds. He and I've -- he and I've talked about it --

KARL
: So have you talked to the president about it?

MULVANEY: Sure. We joked about it last night. So look -- I think the president -- what's wrong with Washington D.C. -- people spend a lot more time looking at what people say instead of what they do. I think my actions for the last two years -- in fact I know they have because I asked the president about this. He knows that I've been fighting with him to fight for ordinary Americans the last two years. He likes having me around and I -- I like working for him.

Go to minute 19:15 to see Mulvaney's backpedal on his 2016 comments:

And so we end another Sunday Rundown. For being good Wonks this year, I will be sharing a secret. Since I constantly am thanked/asked about how to maintain sanity watching the Sunday shows, here is a great way that helps provided by talented writer, Parker Molloy:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and see ya in the new year!

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Michael Mora

Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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The pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- heck of a name for these times -- recently announced US sales of a generic version of its HIV prevention drug Truvada would begin a year earlier than originally planned. The stepped-up schedule for the generic was at least in part the result of pressure from activists, who have made a lot of noise about the fact that Gilead's huge revenues from Truvada -- about $3 billion annually -- came only after the basic research for the drug was done at taxpayer expense, largely through grants from the Centers for Disease Control, which holds the patent on the drug.

At a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez let one of the witnesses, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day, know she wasn't personally blaming him or his greed for the high cost of the drug, which prevents the spread of HIV through "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP). No, that's all a result of the terrible incentives that come from the fact that the US, alone among developed countries, treats healthcare as a commodity, not a right for all. Which is why a monthly supply of Truvada costs nearly $1800 here, and roughly eight dollars in Australia.

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