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. ThoughtfulMonkey

    The president doesn't have to unilaterally extend the debt ceiling. If he were to enact a temporary suspension of debt ceiling legislation contingent upon Congress being able to deliver a legislative option to his desk then he would be placing the onus on Congress to act. Now that the Republican Party has rejected Boehner there is a greater chance of more moderate Republicans breaking off and voting with Democrats. The "Tea Party" tag has become toxic. People are rapidly coming to the realization that the Tea Party is comprised of a bunch of pathetic losers who complain about government spending as a means of externalizing their own frustration and self-loathing. We're going to end up with a House of Representatives that is comprised not of Democrats and Republicans, but of the adults and the children.

    July 29, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • JRH

      Well said! Bravo!

      July 29, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      No, "We're going to end up with a House of Representatives that is comprised not of Democrats and Republicans, but of the adults and the children."

      That is exactly what what we HAVE NOW, ever since we got the CLUELESS freshmen TP people in Congress, who came in to blow up Congress for 2 years and then go back home, while America burns to the ground...

      These folks have been there for 7 months and haven't even learned proper decorum yet!

      July 29, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl Homish

      The President should exercise what ever power he has to raise the debt ceiling. When did the Tea Party begin to speak for the American people. They don't speak for me and many others I know. Shut these clowns up once and for all........
      A

      July 29, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Repub/Tea Party motivation ...how quickly we forget ...it was less than 5 months ago they were Birthers... ah crap I'm exhausted of characterizing this malignant ,financially insulated ,toxic group of idiots. I finally blew my cookies when I heard Rep Brown saying he wanted to introduce legislation to "lower the debt limit". It is a shame we have a conservative Supreme Court because I would love Obama to evoke the sub section of the 14 th amendment. Not an answer, but it would sure be a great "Dirty Harry" moment.

      July 29, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Rogers

      It's obvious by your biased comments who you vote for blindly. Why do you and other liberals ignore the serious economic problems we face? Don't you realize that we need to reduce our debt? What's more important for your heroes, reelection or country? I suggest people start ignoring the parties and paying more attention to the facts.

      July 29, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Howard Levine

    I can't help but ask a simple question.....When Senator McConnell said on the first day after the President's inauguration that he was committed to making him a one term President was he inadvertently throwing out the race card? I am white so don't take this route but, have the Republicans done anything to support this President. If he loses in 2012 it will not be because of his race but because he hasn't completed mant campaign promises and has surrounded to the Republican too much

    July 29, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. WOT

    Oscar, and you know nothing about the Bible!

    July 29, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. JRH

    Absolutely he should. And he should go on national television to tell the nation why he's had to do it: because Congress, specifically the teabaggers and the GOP have acted like the spoiled brats they are. The left has given them miles of rope, and they've chosen to make nooses for the entire country (and the world) out of it. President Obama should invoke the 14th Amendment, raise the debt ceiling, and double-dog-dare the Republicans to do anything about it. Grow a pair Mr. President!

    July 29, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Right on JRH!!! I just hope it isn't too late for him to do so...

      July 29, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      Couldn't agree more.

      July 29, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. han

    I think he should tease or threaten the house with the action but the Republicans would want him to do it. I do not envy our president position on this. Remember ppl he has to get the Republican control house and democratic Senate to agree and they are way apart. Though I think the Democrats have been more reasonable than the Republicans, I mean come on the Republicans signed a pledge to another political party and value it more than American People. That is not responsible at all

    July 29, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nicodemus

    Invoke the 14th AMENDMENT!!

    Yes, the president should INVOKE the 14th AMENDMENT. The House can't get a bill passed. No one should threaten the borrowing power of the US in the way these Tea Reps have in Congress. The economy is weak enough as it is. The tea party, represented by the Speaker, has flubbed it and created the emergency. Now it's up to the President to protect the country. Invoke the 14th, call for the elimination of the debt ceiling, let it be settled in the courts if needs be, but our credit should remain AAA in the mean time.

    July 29, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cindy

    So how about this – the first group to not get paid are all Senators and Representatives! I imagine that would get them moving – every one of them including the Tea Party-ers! Let them deal with the repercussions first!

    July 29, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pamela Sue

    We squabble like Tea-gopers! 90 percent are supporting the President, 10 percent are hateful, ignorant, racists who prefer destroying our country rather than respect our President. Beth,Rich, Wot, Paolo, and other true Americans, I salute you; tea-gopers, go to hell!

    July 29, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. JenniferUCD

    Obama needs to invoke the 14th. The people, the senate and half the house are behind him. Afterall, his primary duty as president is to protect the American people. In any case, the Tea Baggers don't have enough money to impeach him for even if they wanted to. In fact I'd be very suprised if these T'bags will make it through the 2012 elections. If I was a level-headed republican, I'd move to impeach the T'bags out of office before 2012 and before they take they rest of the party down with them.

    July 29, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rich54

    I love all the Democratic rants on this board. Why didn't the Democratic congress pass THIS BILL last year? It was their reponsibility. Don't cry now.

    July 29, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Adrian

    My thought is this the tea baggers are a political tool created and used by higher ups to keep the country running the way rich individuals want it to be. Their interests don't seem to be in the best interest of the country they don't represent me or millions of others who never really wanted to pay atention to this political crap. I pay taxes and I don't mind doing so. I would hope they tax the richest among us more because it affects them less. These so called job providers or people like them were already moving and probably still are and would still move jobs out of the country for cheaper labor in other countries even if these current problems were not present. So I am not seeing why they should not pay more.

    July 29, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. Stan

    There probably won't be a technical default, the Federal Government will have enough cash to pay the bondholders. What it will not have is enough cash to pay for everything else ( Medicaid, Medicare, SS, FBI, Air Traffic Control, Border Patrol, etc ). It would make sense politically to allow the country to suffer some temporary enormous pain, then the President could invoke the 14th Amendment.

    I remember seeing at a Tea Party rally, a woman holding a sign that said " Mr President, keep your socialistic hands off my Medicare! ". She simply wasn't intelligent enough to realize that Medicare is a Government program, and that if the Tea Party has it's way, her Medicare would certainly take a severe cut. When things get rough I think we are going to see the Tea party implode, it seems the Republican Party is imploding right at this moment.

    July 29, 2011 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. seth

    The tea party is the only group that is acting responsibly here. The dems are the ones playing politics, they are refusing to budge also, now the twisted liberal media is making it the tea parties fault because they want to enact real reform. This country is in real trouble.

    July 29, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jay - Dallas, TX

    The President should invoke the 14th Amendment!!!!

    July 29, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Graeme Rodgers

    He will use his Executive authority on Monday if they don't grow up and do their jobs. He has no choice.

    July 29, 2011 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
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