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. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Her Majesty The Queen
    With my humble duty,
    CSnSC called Her Majesty, "Your Grace."
    I think that he's used to an episcopacy.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      August 2nd, 2011: The Day Credit Killed America

      July 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Madame Royale

    Hmmm, it wasn't GWB's politics that raised the ceiling 6x during his Presidency?
    Hmmm, the Republicans have been campaigning for ousting Mr. President since day 2 of his Presidency, saying "we will make sure he's a one-term President",but that's not campaigning?

    Our POTUS is trying to make a decision based on what's good for the COUNTRY, despite party lines. He is angering both sides, but he is trying to get past the partisanship.
    I would think anyone would down with that.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • pray

      Wait, in all fairness, did not the democrats all vote (100% against raising the debt cieling in 2006 ?) Did not the democrats block 95% of all federal appointments bty GWB? Did not the democrats throw mud at Reagan non stop for 8 years? Me thinks thou doesn't protest too much.

      July 29, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pumpkin

    "De-Fault and let the chips fall where the Democrats laid em."
    You mean where the Republicans throw them, right? Since they're trying sooooooo hard to work with the President?

    July 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Facts About Money

    Money is debt. The fake economy created by the illusions of fiat currency and fractional banking will guarantee the collapse and failure of America. If anybody is even remotely serious about solving this problem, they would demand that once again Congress be responsible for American money and have that money backed by something real, as opposed to a Federal Reserve Note backed only by imagination. Anything else is merely a delay of the inevitable. Go ahead and be distracted by simplistic shiny labels (GOP, Democrat, Left, Right, Tea) instead of the real issue of guaranteed perpetual debt and a falling to no value dollar as it has steadily done since 1913.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Green Teeth

      Stop with all the facts. It so much more fun to call each other names and say stupid stuff like the Pres should just side step congress and the law.

      July 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tcaud

      is this a treatise, or a paper?

      July 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      What "Facts" is referring to is not just a return to the gold standard pre-1971, but a return to using only actual gold and other precious metals as currency. Sorry, but there has been more economic progress in the last 100 years than in the time before all the way back to the dawn of humanity. Paper currency created much of this progress and wealth because wealth stopped being limited to whatever could be mined and refined. The federal reserve system and central banks have learned how to manage this new and infinitely better system. So the clock cannot be turned back. You might as well advocate turning away from electricity or the internal combustion engine.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • college grad

      You have to spend money in order to make money.We need to raise the debit ceiling first. In this macroeconomy during a recession people start to save money.When we stop spending money,nobody shows up at the shops to spend.Consumption accounts for about 60% of all economic activity in the US. When you don't shop incomes go down and unemployment goes up. Consumer confidence is very important and can make or brake an economy. You need to read more. You have the wrong facts!

      July 29, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Obama can make decisions.
    Sometimes he's slow, and when he started I criticized him many times. He's very political, but when he has to draw a line, he can and does.
    I support him fully. He is trying to bring polarized POVs together.
    I'm a Republican, and few in my party are cooperating right now.
    The new Republicans in office are HURTING the party.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich

      100% with you. Signed, an ex-republican.

      July 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • pray

      such crap. The whole debt ceiling debate is pure politics and lies. You mean no more money will be coming from income taxes suddenly? No more money coming from lease agreements? This is all garbage and any thinking american knows this

      July 29, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. bob_lawbla

    If President Obama was any kind of a leader he would be pushin

    July 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Skip Wenz

    Don't worry folks. There will be a safe place for your money after August 2. You can get a coffee can and bury it in your backyard.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chew

    1. interest payments are usually just re cycled.. in other words .. buy more shares in the treasury mutual fund.
    2. treasuries coming due.. here again.. the money is used to re buy other treasuries..

    3. this is a 117b of what is DUE.. BUT.. NO CASH .. needed..

    July 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. H22

    1776!! is all you need to know, don't let this ***** trick you into sabotaging your nation. It starts with articles like this, its crap.Obama is hijacking AMERICA

    Peace! from Canada......eh!

    July 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rich

    Obama should let the chips fall where they may. Republicans and the tea-baggers living in wonderland will pay big time in the next election. Republican party has become a party of religious freaks (I say this as a christian myself) and obstructionists. It no longer contains a Lincoln, Eisenhower or Roosevelt, and no inspirational figure like Reagan (what a dude!). It is sadly today nothing more than a party of "No, you cannot"

    July 28, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Franck

    He can bypass Congress IF HE WANTS TO KISS GOODBYE any chance of a SECOND TERM! Mwwwwaaah!

    July 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharong

      Frank, If he doesn't, we may be under Chinese rule come election time! phft!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken

    I hope something discussed bears something legitimate or the Repubs will use impeachment attempts to stall work on the economy as they did with Clinton. CNN just had Senator Alan Cranston from Obama's Economic Commission, and he made sense like nobody has in weeks of my watching CNN, MSNBC, FOX make believe, and all the local channels in NYC. Five minutes of a human being concerned for others, his country, and with a knowledge few of the gladiators in the Senate or House have. He made sense. Maybe we should fly him from Cody, and put him in the middle of the congress with an eliminator ray to bring us back to reality. Cranston represented the President, and he makes sense. We need to avoid default no matter how we do it, but I think the current scene has already destroyed any credibility we had in the world. I would be surprised if other nations no longer put their cash here, even if the problems were solved now, which, other than raising the deficit ceiling, will not be done.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gtbdave

    It seems funny, they are mandated by law to pay the bills, they have the means, yet somehow, Congress, or the House, is off the hook. Seems like if anyone is to be impeached, it would be those House Members. Obama could actually be impeached either way.

    Many things have changed with extremist around, went to the extreme. Like it takes 60 votes in the Senate now, like everything is being filibustered, but not really being filibustered. A Speaker of a republican House, is not really the Speaker. Now it's gotten to a point where they can only raise the debt ceiling for republican Presidents, probably the same way with democrats, when they get the House back, and there is a republican President, they will play hell to get that debt ceiling raised. We could be at war, several times over, and in a severe econnomic emergency, and they still would not raise the debt ceiling. Of the opposite, and still not raise the debt ceiling. The propaganda is thick, Bush the economic hero, Obama caused all the debt, caused the recession, wars, actually forced the stimulus/bailouts on Bush, just twisted his arm, made him cry, on tv, for all to see.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. s kel


    July 28, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. s kel


    July 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
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