Overheard on CNN.com: Should President Obama sidestep Congress?
July 28th, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Should President Obama sidestep Congress?

Comment of the day:

"I don't know if I'm relieved or concerned about some of the revelations in this article. While they all seem a bit shady, I suppose it's good to know that there are still some executive options on the table to keep us from going over the brink that Congress has brought us to."–svscnn

3 ways Obama could bypass Congress

"We are having a debt-ceiling crisis because Congress has given the president contradictory commands," writes Constitutional Law professor Jack Balkin, "Congress has ordered the president to spend money, and it has forbidden him to borrow enough money to obey its orders." But President Obama may be able to save the United States from defaulting, he writes, perhaps by issuing $1 trillion coins or selling the Federal Reserve an option on $2 trillion in property.

katahdin62 said, "President Obama should do whatever he has to do to protect the country. Clearly most of the rational Republicans are gone, and the few who remain are too scared of the nuts to act in the best interests of the country. Since he's stuck dealing with screaming children who can't be reasoned with, the president should simply act on his own."

jschartz said, "Avoid the gimmicks of the first two options. Option three is viable since the Constitution may well grant the president that power based upon interpretation. If it comes down to the wire, I think President Obama should do this. Let Congress impeach him and question the constitutionality of this move. Maybe then America will wake up to the reality of our representation: Many House members place politics above America's well-being by refusing real compromise."

But mslman71 said, "No matter how frustrating dealing with Congress might be that is no reason to bypass it. What country is this? Hail the emperor, is that what you want? What happens when the pendulum swings back the other way and a Republican is in office?" MetsFan17 replied, "Where were you when Emperor W was running the country into the ground? Probably never saw a single thing wrong there."

jandrews10 said, "Defaulting on our debt would cause a collapse of the bond market, as I understand it. Interest rates would rise, causing a slowdown in the housing market because people wouldn't be able to afford to buy homes with higher rates. Credit card rates would rise. It would give the impression that our safest investment (bonds) are no longer a safe investment. It wouldn't be a good thing."

MsMaryE said, "I predict that on 3 August, President Obama will give a press conference on who and what will get paid. He will not use the 14th Amendment. He will let the tea party and Boehner hang themselves."

takingsides said, "Man, if the U.S. defaults I am going into business digging moats and building drawbridges."

Reaction to pastor giving thanks for 'smokin' hot wife'

A Baptist preacher who gave the invocation at a NASCAR race tickled some and offended others last weekend by thanking God for his wife and corporations for their cars, and then signing off, "Boogity, boogity, boogity, amen." Many CNN.com readers applauded the pastor, Joe Nelms, for his good humor and appreciation of his wife.

Karen said, "I think he's a sweetie-pie husband for saying that in the prayer! I think God loves it when we're crazy-in-love with our spouses!" shelly said, "I think it was wonderful! I've been married for 23 years and this was the first time my husband really heard a prayer!:))"

Ashlyn said, "I think it was sweet. This woman is married with kids, and if she had any supermodel days, they are long behind her. If her husband wants to proclaim her 'smokin' hot' for everyone (including God) to hear, good for her. We should all hope our spouses still find us hot after years of marriage and multiple kids. The product placement seemed a bit over the top, though."

Jesus Loves Nascar! said, " 'And yea, verily, thou shalt roar around a circle again and again in thy holy attempt to become rich and famous in a Jesus-loving way as thousands of beer-smeared yokels who haveth not much upstairs hoot and yowl and thinketh this is something amazing as they give lots of their cash to rich people and hope to see a gnarly crash, for Jesus loveth a few good smash-ups.' The Gospel of Rubes, 12:34-45"

But others were not amused. SAM said, "To pray in Jesus' name, the highest name, above all others and to make a mockery of it is a disgrace! God does not want us to act as if we are dipped in pickle juice and while you can ask anything in that name, this pastor went too far and should be ashamed."

peter lawrence replied, "Dear Sam, if Jesus was to hear that prayer he would be laughing as well. You, on the other hand, have no sense of humor and probably no life. Go get a life and have some fun and stop being an ass!" CN0 said, "Jesus loved a party." Don said, "God doesn't mind, he has a good sense of humor. How else would you explain the platypus?"

jacksonsaid, "It was a lighthearted remark made at a race. It ain't the pope speaking to the throngs in the Vatican Square." Jesus Loves Nascar! replied, "Actually, that was the Southern Baptist equivalent of the pope speaking to the throngs at the Vatican!"

Britain bans airbrushed Julia Roberts makeup ad

Airbrushed makeup ads of actor Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington are misleading, Britain's Advertising Standards Agency ruled. The watchdog agency banned L'Oreal's photos of the two, saying they exaggerated the ability of the products they were promoting to cover lines, wrinkles and blemishes. L'Oreal called the Roberts image "aspirational."

Kudos to the British, said many CNN.com readers. seter16 said, "Europe is so much further ahead of us in so many ways. In America we value that we can lie to our citizens to get them to buy a product." Neutral79 said, "Must be nice living in a country where the regulators actually do their jobs on behalf of the public." guru2u2 said, "They insist on truth in advertising? How odd and clearly un-American."

SomeDudeinNCsaid, "If you see how much work goes into Photoshopping an advertisement of even a beautiful woman, you would be shocked. They are so aggressive in removing every little blemish that people have a totally unrealistic view of who those people even are." pmichner said, "Just say at the very end of the commercial 'This has been an advertisement for Mega Airbrushing Company.' "

Claghorn said, "The thing I like best about makeup is the persistent use of the phrase 'natural.' Constantly telling you that coating yourself in several layers of chemical compounds is the way to achieve the 'natural' look." CG77 said, "If the makeup could achieve those effects, why didn't they?"

1MyOpinion said, "Look how good my product is (after I fix it)."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. ntmainstream

    Very poor representation CNN....
    What you are missing here, is what will happen next time if president will happen to be republican... Don't open this Pandor box, mr. Obama...

    July 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      We are seeing a demonstration of how the current government structure can slip into grid lock and fail. Rather than fail, I support anything Obama can do to lift the debt limit and debate these issues later. Our enemies are delighted beyond their dreams; doesn’t that tell you enough about where we are? Go for it Obama – and I didn’t even vote for him but he may be our only hope.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greg Rufe

    The first people not to get paid if there's a problem are the members of Congress, the President, Vice President and the Cabinet members, not the seniors who are the backbone of the country. I bet there would be a fast solution to the debt.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Thats a great idea why the hell should they get paid when its all there fault in the first place

      July 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Buddy R

    We have 3 branches of government for a reason. We don't want a dictator. The power of the purse rests with Congress, not the president. If he bypasses Congress he becomes a dictator and should be removed from office by force if you won't go willingly.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • teepee

      well you have a dictator...his name is Barrack...Mr Barrack to you...

      July 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Nobody was a big dictator that Bush Junior. The Tea Party conservatives are like Al-Qaeda. Be careful the threat from within.
      Obama, invoke the 14th – raise the debt ceiling.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharong

      Oh, get real! Boehner would be more the dictator type than President Obama! Besides which, I thought there was some law that if there was a tie on a vote, the President could be the tie breaker. It's not exactly a tie but it's a stalemate! A stalemate of epic proportions! Somethings got give and I sure don't want it to be the economy, do you? This would be an exception to an extreme situation . . not a dictatorship!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • college grad

      Buddy R YOU REALLY ARE A REDNECK! YOU ARE TALKING TREASON.

      July 29, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Are you kidding me? Obama has tried to work with republicans, even republicans have tried to work with republicans. Obama has consitently tried to use diplomacy, even up to a fault. If he used the 14th it would be a last resort and 80% of the public would support him for protecting America. No one would consider this the behavior a dictator except a t'bag.

      July 29, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. gregg123

    you guys really scare me americans are letting the democraps to destroy what used to be the people we no longer have a say as citizens but we have to pay taxes even for the lowlifes of america who dont pay any taxes oh thats right lets just make the wealthy pay more now thats discimination from the highest point get off your butts get a job and quit complaining if you really need help ask your favorite congressman for money lol

    July 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Gregg,
      ummm... is this the only news article you've read? The PEOPLE are in favor of eliminating the loop holes AND raising the debt cap. The small minority that oppose it are simply getting LOTS of air time in the news... it makes for good ratings. Unfortunately, an even smaller portion of that fringe group is controlling the GOP and is threatening to reduce campaign donations if they have to pay their FAIR share of taxes. Therefore, a small group of politicians is deciding the fate of millions of Americans based on the wants of a small, powerful group that is running a slightly larger group of nut jobs who would be happy to see calamity befall this country simply so they can act like its all somebody else's fault.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Well maybe if your repub buddies in congress had written 1 word of job creation legislation as they promised in the 2010 campaigns, those low-lifes you speak of might have a job to go to today. Instead they the hold the country hostage until their demand are met about lowering the debt. I hope the president finds a way to avoid default or YOU and everyone else in this country (except for those 1% who are millionaires and billionare who don't pay taxes) will be one of the new generation of low-lifes. I hope you like powdered milk.

      July 29, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. teepee

    is grits groceries?

    July 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    Reverend Blessed Pastor, I dunno about da smokin' hot but ya definitely gotta pig in the blanket...

    July 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tonyl

    The debt we have right now, which we have to pay for, is already spent by the Republcan congress and Republican president Bush. This is outrageous to say, this is Obama's debt only.We can cut spending for the future but still have to pay for what we have spent already. Blackmailing the nation of not raising the debt limit for having cuts as the please for the future is a low blow to America by few right wing terrorists. The cuts needs to be negotiated among all the representatives and all three branches including demcraticlly elected President, Senate and the house. It has to be a compromise to pass all the authority they all have. Taking a stubborn "my or no way" will not work. Instead they are pushing the nation over the cliff for a ransom. Of the do not pass a bigger package like Obama or the Reid plan the we get our AAA credit downgraded and the interest rates go up for which we will have to spend more on interest on our debt by billions every year. How does that make any sense? They want to cut the spending but they will increase the spending by making this move. This is known as self defeating.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kiki

    Clearly the Republicans will gladly destroy the country if it means getting Obama. They hate him more than they love America.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Douglas Fireman

    Rather than continue to do their high wire act at the expense of the American people, the Republicans need to cut the crap and balance their act. They need to step down from the high wire to Terra Ferma and start promoting the general well fare of the country and the people.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tonyl

    As the commander in chief and the the highest executive power holder in the nation, president should take whatever steps are necessary to save the credibility and the good name and save the economic collapse of this nation. We should not allow a few terrorists lawmakers to highjack our nations future.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. prythus

    ed....the clock doesnt have to be turned back, but the system must be reformed. it will collapse, and denying that fact is just capitalistic slavery.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NW1000

    Yeah, only Obama can save us. He is a clueless, bumbling, incompetent boob.
    Draft Hillary now.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Bailey

      Looks like we are heading for the Owe-pacalypse! (Feel free to coin that CNN).

      July 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharong

      You are clueless dumbo!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim Baxley

    Why didn't the Republicans speak up when Both Bush's went on a spending spree with the wars and tax cuts. If it is necessary to have wars then we have to pay for them. Bill Clinton had a balanced budget and the Republicans went on a spending spree and and raised our debt tremendously. The republicans were once in control of both House and Senate and had a republican President. They did nothing on trying to balance the budget, illegal immigration, or any of the other pressing problems. They could have passed any bill they wanted to. Why didn't they? Now they are complaining, complaining, complaining. It just does not make sense. Reagan raised the debt ceiling 17 times and not a word from them. I am confused and digusted with politicians.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Beth

    On Inauguration Day, 2009, Rush Limbaugh said, to his millions of mindless followers, that he was going to do everything to ensure that this president would fail. It never occurred to all who quote Limbaugh constantly that the failure of the president would be the failure of the country.
    In the 1950's, Nikita Khrushchev predicted that the United States would not fall to a foreign government but would fall from within. It appears that the time has come. One party is willing to let the government fail, the economy collapse, and the country lose all credibility in the world rather than let the duly elected president of the United States succeed in resolving the issue the Republicans. George W. Bush was not elected; he was appointed by the Supreme Court, a terrible precedent. He created a war without reason and spent through the trillions of dollar surplus left by Clinton and then he spent trillions the country didn't have.
    Are there no Republicans who depend on Social Security? Are there no Republicans who were wounded and maimed in the war who depend on veteran's services. Are there no Republicans who have benefited from Section 8 housing or the WIC program? Are there no Republicans, the party of the Christian right, who remember that caring for the least of their brothers is a mandate?
    Are there no Republicans who realize that citizenship comes before party preference?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharong

      Very well put, you go girl!!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • college grad

      BETH YOU GO GIRL! YOU ARE SO SMART AND ELOQUENT !

      July 29, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      I hope you don't mind, but I'm sharing your comment on my Facebook. It really says it all.

      July 29, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jack Be Humble

    The President should order the White House chefs to whp up a LARGe order of pie and coffer to be delivered to the Speaker's office, go grab Ried, and quietly show up there offering to do a late-night bill drafting session.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
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