Trump’s Action Could Lead to Free Health Insurance

“If President Trump prevails in shutting down a major Obamacare health insurance subsidy, it would have the unintended consequence of making free basic coverage available to more people, and making upper-tier plans more affordable,” the AP reports.

“The unexpected assessment comes from consultants, policy experts, and state officials, who are trying to discern the potential fallout from a Washington health care debate that’s becoming even more complicated and volatile.”

Bannon’s Speech to California GOP Has Some Nervous

“The California Republican Party’s decision to invite right-wing provocateur and former presidential advisor Stephen Bannon to address its convention Friday created an unsettled concoction of excitement, dread and rubbernecking curiosity for GOP loyalists in the state,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Bannon will appear before a California GOP desperate to reverse its deteriorating influence in a state where it has been losing members and where Republican victories in statewide political races have been nonexistent for a decade. His admirers hope his speech will invigorate the GOP base and lure Trump supporters outside of the party into its fold. But Republican critics worry he’ll undercut efforts to rekindle the party in a state where Trump and his policies remain widely unpopular.”

Most Think Trump Will Be One of the Worst Presidents

A new Marist poll finds that 58% of Americans believe Donald Trump will be remembered as either one of the worst presidents in the nation’s history.

Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “Deep into his first year as president, Donald Trump’s less than stellar approval rating has lowered expectations about how history will judge him. For history to treat him kinder, he will have to up his game.”

GOP Lawmaker Suggests Quarantine for HIV Patients

Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R), the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked in a hearing this week “what are we legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state, Stat reports.

Said Price: “I don’t want to say the quarantine word — but I guess I just said it. Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. … Are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

Congressional Approval Sinks Further

A new Gallup poll finds Americans’ approval of Congress fell to 13%.

“Americans of all political stripes hold Congress in similarly low regard. Just 18% of Republicans, 14% of Democrats and 10% of independents approve of the job the legislative body is doing. This month, these figures are unchanged among Republicans, while down slightly among Democrats and independents.”

Trump Nominees Working Without Being Confirmed

“The Trump administration is pushing the limits of an obscure federal law that restricts nominees from serving in federal positions before they’re approved by the Senate,” Politico reports.

A review “has identified four officials at three different agencies doing substantially similar work to the position for which they have been nominated – despite not yet getting a green-light from the Senate.”

“Lawyers and other experts said the moves to have unconfirmed nominees show up for work appears to skirt the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which prohibits most people who have been nominated to fill a vacant government position from performing that office’s duties in an acting capacity.”

Why Facebook Doesn’t See They’re a Problem

BuzzFeed News: “To truly understand how Facebook is responding to its role in the election and the ensuing morass, numerous sources inside and close to the company pointed to its unemotional engineering-driven culture, which they argue is largely guided by a quantitative approach to problems. It’s one that views nearly all content as agnostic, and everything else as a math problem. As that viewpoint has run headfirst into the wall of political reality, complete with congressional inquiries and multiple public mea culpas from its boy king CEO, a crisis of perception now brews.”

Virginia Polling Swings Are Normal

FiveThirtyEight: “The October average of Virginia gubernatorial surveys has Northam leading Gillespie by 7 percentage points, 50% to 43%.”

“With an average Northam lead of about 7 points, sampling error alone1 suggests that some polls should find Gillespie up by a little and some polls should find Northam with double-digit advantages. That’s exactly what we’re getting.”

“The results we’re getting in Virginia are totally normal and fine, and people shouldn’t be demanding that every poll show the exact same thing.”

Tillerson Insists He’s Not Going Anywhere

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Wall Street Journal he was confused about rumors of his departure and said he would remain in the job “as long as the president thinks I’m useful.”

Said Tillerson: “Who in the world is telling you that stuff?”

When asked if Trump should be reelected, Tillerson “paused for a beat, then said, ‘Well, of course. … I mean, I don’t think about it, quite frankly, right now… We’ve got these things we’re dealing with, but yeah.'”

Trump Blindsides Advisers with Promised Opioid Plan

President Trump “overrode his own advisers when he promised to deliver an emergency declaration next week to combat the nation’s worsening opioid crisis,” Politico reports.

“Blindsided officials are now scrambling to develop such a plan, but it is unclear when it will be announced, how or if it will be done, and whether the administration has the permanent leadership to execute it.”

“Trump’s off-script statement stunned top agency officials, who said there is no consensus on how to implement an emergency declaration for the drug epidemic.”

Judge Refuses to Erase Arpaio’s Conviction

“A federal judge shot down former sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid to sweep his criminal record clean,” the Washington Post reports.

“In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said the pardon only freed Arpaio from possible punishment. In a four-page order offering a check on the president’s executive power, Bolton wrote that a pardon could not erase the facts of the case.”