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. Sheryl

    I never could spell: I wrote "whn" for "when."
    That's all right. Spelling isn't my gift.
    However–I know what is.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • RadioResearch

      So do we, toots, so do we. Trojan stock just jumped through the roof.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Amber

      Again, how does a "lady of the night" pay taxes???? CNN, I dare you to allow a true question to this "honorable" person pass the administrator smell test.

      July 29, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • RadioResearch

      LOL, you ran ionto the same problems with the admin as I did, huh? My guess is she pays taxes the same way she earns her money. I reckon by now, most of the IRS officialdom is deathly ill.....

      July 29, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. LadyT9593

    Not suprisingly, and evidenced by the comments, most CNN readers are America haters. I wonder what percentage of them are taxpayers? Hmmm!Please by all means, move to Europe if you think it is any better there.

    July 29, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • RadioResearch

      Coming from a MENSA candidate such as yourself, I can believe it! I smell a troll.

      July 29, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • JenniferUCD

      I pay taxes and I think anyone who loves America should hate what is happening in DC today. The republicans are waging class warfare by asking that those who are suffering most to pay down the debt while asking nothing of the wealthy. Are you really suggesting that teachers, policemen, EMT, and others in their paygrades don't work hard or harder than hedge fund managers? Do senior who have worked all their lives deserve to live their last years in poverty so corprations can continue to enjoy their tax exemptions. Do veterans desreve to go without healthcare so billionaires can write off their private jets? How does the hardline republican stance extoll American virtues?

      July 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sheryl

    Taxes had nothing to do with it. I'd be glad to pay taxes if you made me legal everywhere in my country.
    I pay my own way.
    If each and every one of you honorable citizens did some work–ANY work at all–instead of loafing and waiting for your government check every month, we'd have a vital economy.
    You government-dependent people who don't work won't even cross the street quickly enough to let us drive our cars to work.
    Your sorry statement is clear, and we hear you.

    July 29, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      We all get some kind of subsidy from the government. most people don't even realize it. The problem is that this is all indicative of a massive problem of a system that is not based on anything but what the banks want. Blame the poor people all you want. That's what happens when we sell control of our country to bankster mafia that's out for everyone's REAL assets.

      July 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Use of the word "hater" here too often chastises a taxpayer who resents supporting persons who are not his family members or friends.
    Adaptive anger is the only rational response for such a taxpayer.
    Calling a productive, Robin-Hood-tax-manipulated member of society a "hater" is a transparent con game.
    Young, healthy welfare recipients and professional welfare-baby factories elicit no guilt whatsoever from me when they call me a "hater."

    July 29, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Sheryl's attached strings are always operated by a troll.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. JS

    With that kind of thinking, why have a Congress? Cnn is advocating totalitarian government.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. tomjv

    Somebody has to lead! if congress won't do their constutional duty The Preident must lead . the damage is already being felt Invoke the clause in the 14th ammendment. Lets be sensible & raise taxes on the wealthy & close loopholes while we also cut programs every american must pitch in. Lead ,follow or get out of the way.

    July 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It seems for the past 30 years or so, eveything has been for the military and these foreign, money-grubbing dictators abroad. This country needs to get off of it's 30 year, right-wing binge as today we're seeing the result of this unfolding on Capitol Hill.

    July 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Celeste

    The things that outrage me the most is that The Republican party is playing a dangerous game at a dangerous time. They continue to work against the President and the best interest of the country. The Republican Congress is not only dysfunctional, but they are the perfect example of incompetence, useless trouble makers, without an ounce of any reasonable reasoning skills. The term a empty wagon makes a lot of noise is an achievement that they earned. The more time you take to resolve what would have been a simple issue blown into a major problem now makes us an easier target for every fool out in the world. The other thing that I am furious about is that we are approaching the anniversary of 911. The dumb clucks Boehner and Cantor haven’t and can’t again pass a simple bill. Laid of FAA workers are beyond me. We are loosing 200 millions dollars a day, because the idiots couldn’t pass this bill. The airlines have picked up a windfall because of the incompetence Republican leadership. The President should up the entertainment since you Republicans are failures beyond imagination and call you each by your name. The treasury department needs to hold your checks until you earn them. The President didn’t make this mess. He has been cleaning up your do do since he took office.

    July 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TellurideGreg

    Sure, the President can sidestep Congress invoking the 14th Amendment. And We the People can invoke the 2nd Amendment.

    July 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. joann

    If,Obama doesn't,do something fast the whole world is going to default.And,no one wants that.Just think,no of the children,and people who,depend on Social Security,Section 8 and soforth.Please,do something and quick. JoAnn Bartholomew

    July 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Teresa Munoz

    I say we start getting rid of the waste in the White House! Why do these Men and Woman of the United States get to have Sunday off when the JOB is not done, Heck I would lose my job. We need to look at all the waste and get rid of it. We as voters need to look at this! I have one check book and mine is balanced every month as I'm sure alot of Americans do the same. We are asked to pay our bills all the time, So why is the White House even thinking of not paying there bills? I say do a 20% across the board tax bill for everyone, I say what we pay for to in port or export they meaning over seas pay the same! And why when we have a program out there we have to have another program out there to make sure the one we had first gets done? I say we bring home some of our Fine Americans over seas and start taking care of our own boarders! It's time to take care of waste and start saving. It does not take a Rocket Science to do this. I'll ever take my own time to help out with the BUDGET!!

    July 31, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alma Stevenson

    Listen to all these complaints of the people who do Not like President Obama but he is a righteous man who does not hide any from you. He is not like the Bushes who were presidents. Mr. Obama will fix the economy and he will win the election 11-8-11 for four more years. He is black like Jesus because the Son of God was in the Middle East. There will be peace because @resident Obama knows how speak by given the words from God. God loves him with all his heart. Amen!+++!

    September 11, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
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