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The (final) Weekender: What a time to be alive

Spotlighting original BirdDog reporting and why a few headlines from elsewhere matter for Tennessee.

Grafitti. Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash



The BirdDog experiment: results, lessons and what’s next

This quote from André Gide reminded me innumerable times of why I decided to spend 2018 on an experiment.
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
I’m wildly proud of BirdDog. I hope you learned as much as I did.


Next health care evolution to test durability, role of Nashville’s powerhouse industry

Perspective: The coming era of change in health care could put Nashville on track for an awakening about the role and durability of its powerhouse industry even as HCA Healthcare projects the company is in “a bit of a safe zone.”


1. Ex-JPMorgan Traders Lost Millions on Bad Bets in Power Market

Tim Loh, Bloomberg

This is a fascinating read, and a great primer, about one small piece of the elaborate-yet-fragile U.S. power grid.

I think everyone should have a better understanding of the electric grid. And, like healthcare – there are federal regulations but markets vary from state to state.

2. If the Democrats retake the Senate, they will do it with moderates

The Economist

Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race took center stage in this Economist piece. It’s a Goldilocks-length with some interesting gems, including a great infographic about all the Senate seats in play.


3. On the Trail of a Deadly Disease That Cuts Down Farmworkers in Their Prime

Eric Fernandez, Bloomberg

Excerpt: The kidney condition, which has claimed at least 20,000 lives in Central America, is showing up in the U.S.

4. Why Mayors Are Rallying Around the Mississippi River

Lyndsey Gilpin, CityLab

I had not considered the future of the Mississippi River so I was glad to read this.

Excerpt: “There still isn’t a comprehensive look at how climate change will impact the Mississippi River, which is ‘mind-boggling,’ said Samuel Muñoz, the study’s lead author and a professor at the College of Engineering at Northeastern University.”


5. Putting Oversized Health Care Costs Upfront — On T-Shirts

Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News

The Maryland Health Care Commission is selling T-Shirts emblazoned with the cost of a few common health care procedures as a way to get people talking about prices.

You read that right. The shirts are for sale at, which says “we won’t control the high costs of health care until we’re all talking about it.”

What a time to be alive, am I right?

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