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.”

What Haslam Is Hearing From Biz Leaders

We will have more detail on this in the Monday edition of The Daily News, but during his two day campaign stop in Memphis this week Republican candidate for governor Bill Haslam met with executives of Wright Medical Technology in Arlington. Haslam was emphasizing the county’s medical device and technology sector during the swing through town.

In Arlington, he met with Bill Griffin, the senior vice president of operations, and Dean Morgan, the vice president of Wright’s tax section. Normally these kind of talks about taxes and politics between business and political leaders are private. But we sat in on the session to get a feel for not only what Haslam is saying but what business leaders are saying to him and probably to Democratic candidate Mike McWherter as well.

Morgan and Griffin gave the outgoing Bredesen administration high marks for officials who understand business needs. They urged Haslam to consider a business background in his appointments if elected governor.

“We’ve had some experience before in state government where there have been some appointees that don’t have a lot of experience and background,” Morgan told Haslam. “It just hasn’t worked out very well.”

A state grant will help Wright some as the company prepares to four lane the section of Airline Road that divides the company’s growing Arlington campus.

Morgan and Griffin wanted to know if there were additional incentives Haslam might commit to now.

“Due to the budget challenges that we face it’s hard to say,” Haslam said. “To do it right now is probably just not realistic.”

Haslam and McWherter differ significantly on the fiscal challenge the next governor will face. At their first debate of the general election campaign Wednesday in Cookeville, McWherter said the impact of federal stimulus money running out would be less dramatic than Haslam has said because it was spent on one time expenses. Haslam flatly contradicted that saying it has been spent on ongoing expenses.

“I’m not trying to portray gloom and doom. But one of your jobs as a leader is to define reality,” Haslam said in Memphis the day after the exchange. “It’s a difference between talking about running for office and actually being in office.”

Corker to Obama: Don’t Circumvent Senate

Tennessee’s junior Senator, Bob Corker, has written a letter to President Obama. It’s in response to rumors the president may bypass the Senate to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency created as part of the massive financial reform bill.

Warren, a Harvard professor, is regarded on the left side of the political spectrum as a tough advocate for consumers. And on the right side of the divide, she’s regarded as a political firebrand.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

September 15, 2010

President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington, D.C., 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to express my concern over reports that you plan to appoint an interim head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, circumventing the intent of the legislation passed over the summer which established a confirmation process. I hope, as sometimes happens in Washington, these reports prove to be unfounded.

It is a key responsibility of the U.S. Senate and its committees of jurisdiction to advise and consent and one that I believe was not meant to be abdicated by the Executive Branch’s use of appointments. I strongly believe the intent of the Dodd-Frank legislation was to have the head of this bureau go through the nomination, vetting and confirmation process.

This particular position, one that was created just months ago, is unprecedented in the nature of its unfettered and unchecked authorities, which makes the confirmation process even more important to the interests of the American people. The individual who heads this bureau will be able to make rules, with ultimately no checks and balances, that could have broad reaching implications for the U.S. economy as it relates to accessing credit, social justice and the safety and soundness of the U.S. banking system. The job is disproportionately reliant on the decisions of one individual with access to large sums of taxpayer monies to carry out the agency agenda. Taxpayers deserve better stewardship in the determination of who will take on this responsibility.

I hope you will take seriously the intent and will of Congress to have a Senate confirmation process for the head of this new agency. While I was disappointed in the outcome and lack of checks placed on this agency, I believe that the nomination, vetting, and confirmation process is an important tool to ensure that a qualified, nonpartisan individual will head this agency and be accountable to Congress, taxpayers and the safety and soundness of the banking system of this country in the face of tenuous economic conditions.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker

United States Senator

Ardent Sessions Raising Money for the Show

Since 2007, Memphis’ iconic Ardent Studios has produced live performance sessions listeners can download that feature up-and-coming local and national acts.

So far, it’s been financed by Ardent. Now it’s turning to the online fundraising platform Kickstarter to raise money that will go toward recording, mixing, mastering, video taping and other needs of the shows, which will continue to be made available for free.

Click here for the info.

The goal is $8,000 by Nov. 14.

Like the old Beatles song says, they’ll get by with a little help from their friends.

Dansette

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