When I was censured by the Bangor City Council in 2010 for recording a meeting with city staff members without informing them, I didn’t protest or try to justify my poor judgment. I knew that what I did was wrong and I should have known better. It’s called taking responsibility.
No oil drilling off Maine coast
I was encouraged to see that both Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have come out against President Donald Trump’s proposal to open Maine’s coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling. Gov. Rick Scott has already had the entire coastline of Florida taken off the list, so we know it can be done.
And Collins has only strengthened her position and influence in the GOP with her key role in passing the recent tax reform bill, which included eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
I can see Republicans taking Maine off the list when the House of Representatives passes the legislation to stabilize health insurance markets that Collins was promised for her yes vote on that same tax reform bill.
Utilize public health nursing data
I appreciated the reporting by the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald that informed the public that Maine Center for Disease Control “sliced the ranks” of its public health nurses. Missing from reported details has been the failure of CDC to objectively leverage the 14 years worth of public health nursing documentation and data securely stored in a public health nursing information system and available to decision makers while this slicing was underway.
The existence of this data conflicts with any conclusion that “there was not enough documentation of what public health nurses were doing, which may have helped feed a perception that the positions could be cut back.”
I served as the nursing informatics consultant to the CDC’s public health nursing program from 2003 until my resignation in October 2017. I repeatedly informed CDC administrators that the documentation and data generation capabilities included precise demonstration of what nurses “were doing” and that this service information had been, at best, underutilized and had been, at worst, ignored, wasted or misrepresented by administrators.
I sincerely hope for the future public health nursing service success that Department of Health and Human Service Commissioner Ricker Hamilton has promised. Success will require more than the restored staffing specified by LD 1108, which was passed last session. Public health nurses will need to maintain their commitment to the kind of high-quality nursing service documentation for which the Community Health Accreditation Program has formally commended them and CDC will need to objectively and transparently leverage data, not misrepresent its value nor deny its existence.
Trump’s nuclear threats work
The media has been quick to criticize President Donald Trump for his tweet about the size of his nuclear button. If we were dealing with a nuclear capable nation-state, Trump’s comment would be ridiculous and dangerous, but we’re dealing with an inexperienced young despot who believes that threats will work with the United States because past presidents were predictable and diplomatic.
Kim Jong Un has recently instigated talks with South Korea regarding participation in the upcoming Winter Olympic games in South Korea. A very encouraging sign. Apparently, Kim Jong Un is reaching out to South Korea because he now believes there is no negotiation (real extortion opportunities) with the United States because Trump is really different than past US presidents and that Trump is mentally unstable and really would quickly destroy his country beginning with the capital city Pyongyang.
Sounds like “good cop, bad cop” routine to me. No matter, so long as it works.
Richard de Grasse