Corker: Don’t Bypass Senate on Warren. Obama: Ok.

In an earlier blog post, I mentioned Tenn. Sen. Bob Corker’s letter to President Obama urging him not to tap Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer financial protection agency by using a recess appointment or some other method that bypasses Senate confirmation.

So Obama found a middle solution that’s not what either Warren’s populist supporters or Republican detractors were hoping for.

There’s a provision tucked in the Dodd-Frank bill that allows Obama to select someone to “establish” – as opposed to “lead” – the agency. They’ll staff it up and get it going.

If Obama so chose, he could nominate Warren to direct it down the road. But that’s probably a fight he was eager to avoid, for now, with the midterms coming up.

Here’s video from Friday’s press conference announcing Warren’s new job.

Obama Taps Elizabeth Warren

Ambassador of the Republic of Panama Urges Memphians to be ‘ambassadors of Panama’

His Excellency Jaime Aleman Healy, Ambassador to the Republic of Panama to the United States, said he hopes to continue growth and interaction between Memphis and Panama in an address to local logistics professionals Friday.

Healy said while he understands there are big issues on the Obama administration’s economic agenda, the pending trade agreements of Columbia, Panama and South Korea will increase the competiveness in those markets, generating a much more effective means of diplomacy.

Nearly half of Panama’s total imports come from the United States. With the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) in effect, there will be an opportunity to expand trade relationships between the U.S. and Panama, eliminate tariff and barriers and improve the world economy.

Healy said not one job will be lost in the ratification of the treaty. In fact, the TPA will create more U.S. jobs and “not cost taxpayers one single penny.”

“There is no logical reason for the U.S. to not ratify the treaty,” Healy said. “I ask all of you to be ambassadors of Panama by talking to your friends, your partners and writing to your congressman.”

Healy also addressed what the Republic of Panama is best known for – the Panama Canal.

Over the next five years, the canal will double its capacity in a $5.3 billion expansion, allowing 12,000 containers to be transported instead of the 4,000 currently. The net profit is also estimated to grow from $750 million annually to $1.5 billion.

While many Atlantic ports will gain from this expansion, Healy said the port of Savanna, Georgia will most likely reap the most benefits from the canal’s expansion.

FedEx Express sponsored the luncheon and Healy’s first visit to Memphis.

“I hope we will continue to have growth and interaction between Memphis and Panama, and the best example of that is through FedEx,” Healy said. “We’re both important hubs.”

MCS Board to Cash: Here’s Something to Smile About

The Memphis City School Board has extended superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash’s contract.

He looks pretty happy, don’t you think?

Tea Party Time

Republican Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter has kicked off an interesting discussion among his Facebook followers about Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party favorite who pulled off a stunner and won the Republican nomination for Senate in Delaware this week.

She comes with a lot of personal baggage, including a trail of debts, lawsuits and controversial comments about a range of social issues.

Her win has opened up a chasm among Republicans. When GOP uber-strategist Karl Rove took a few shots at her, for example, right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh fired back at him.

Anyway, here’s what Carpenter wrote on his Facebook page:

” If a candidate for public office had a judgment against her/him from the mortgage company, an IRS tax lien and had failed to pay campaign staffers while she/he was living off campaign donations, would that be the kind of person we need in office? Oh wait, that’s Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell. At some point character has to trump political ideology.”

TSA Debuts Advanced Technology Friday for Media

Members of the media are invited to attend a demonstration on the first advanced imaging technology unit Friday.

The unit will safely screen passengers for metallic and nonmetallic threats, including explosives, without making physical contact in efforts to keep the traveling public safe.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has ensured strict privacy protections are in place and the technology is optional for all passengers, according to the Press Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If the passenger opts out, they’ll receive a commissary level of screening, including a pat down.

Members of the media will be able to view a technology demonstration and observe the steps TSA has taken to protect passenger privacy during the screening.

TSA Federal Security Director Kevin McCarthy and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen will host the event at the Memphis International Airport at 9 a.m. at security checkpoint A.