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. Santiago

    Obama is in way over his head. The Marxist agitator and 'Community Organizer' never saw a budget in his life before, now he lords over all as if he understands it. He is an economic illiterate with no understanding of the simple fact that more government means less freedom, less liberty and more inefficiency.

    Ronald Reagan once said that the problem is not that government doesn't tax people enough, the problem is that government spends too much.

    This Marxist had better get with the program. He has already damaged the economy badly enough, and now has scared the markets with his reckless talk of default. This clueless nitwit should be impeached if he screws this up. Utterly incompetent, in this, his very FIRST REAL JOB.

    July 29, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • 100% American

      So, being a US Senator is not a job? Dumb a$$ tea Bagger!

      July 29, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • unretired05

      Regan often said one thing and did another and, yes, he raised taxes.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      First and for most Obama does not have the power to pass or even suggest a bill let alone a budget. Obama's ONLY power is to veto if he doesn't agree with it and to date he has not vetoed anything. It is the congresses job to get him a bill to either sign or veto and to date they have not done that. The congress has failed not the president! I don't really like Obama but to blame him for any of this is beyond stupid. The GOP has been talking but they still have not passed anything- how is that Obama's fault? When/if Obama does veto something then I might be able to throw some blame his way, but I can't blame him for something he hasn't done. The sole blame of this mess rest on congress and from following the reports it seems mainly from the GOP. Now if you want to get into it further- Bush (a GOP guy) started 2 wars (spend spend and more spending) while cutting revenue (Bush tax cuts) which by definition creates a deficit and he did this for 8 yrs and then bailed the banks out (yet no GOP raised any concerns about that UNTIL a dem came to office then it’s oh we can’t spend 1 penny more- they should have done that when Bush was in office if they wanted me to take them serious about their arguments). No sane person could say Obama is at fault for this or that he could have corrected 8yrs of blank checks in 2.5yr. It seems the GOP are h$ll bent on running this country to the ground- they are the ones that created this giant mess- they are the ones refusing to do anything about the tax codes which allow GE, BOA, ect to pay NOTHING in taxes yet claimed they are taxed enough? Really giant corps pay NOTHING and they want to defend that!? While at the same time saying we don't care if the (world) economy collapses as long as we get our way. I'm not a party person at all but after this I will NEVER EVER vote GOP again!

      July 29, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • RadioResearch

      Sir, you've forgotten about Executive Orders. Obama *can* overrule Congress and do what he darn well pleases with those.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. So

    Obama will probably do that because obama was overheard in a secret meeting that he wanted to become dictator of America and would do it by bypassing congress an do as he sees fit, looks like a rebellion will start soon.

    July 29, 2011 at 5:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Steve in North Carolina

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

    Senator Barack H. Obama, Congressional Record, p. S2237 (March 2006)

    July 29, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • G.A.P

      Who? George Bush?

      July 29, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Davidloc

      Foreign debt? The FED is the weathy section of the economy that feeds off the middle class. A weathy American invests in bonds and uses the money to influence Congress to refuse higher taxes and instead cut anything that benefits the middle class becasue it is only the bottom line that counts. Multiply this one wealthy person by about 300,000 and you have the bulk of the FED , Republicans that will not comprimise and about 80% of the debt holders was brought on by all the pork belly lobbyists paid for by the same 300,000, Do you get the point now?

      July 29, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      I fail to see how defaulting on our loans validates any of your arguements? To allow a defualt would mean our dollar drops and we become like Mexico (actually worse). I really don't think you get it. When a loaf of bread cost $30 and gas $25/gal are you still going to think your plan was a good idea? the fact is if we get downgraded it won't be a matter of we aren't going to spend anymore it will be a matter of your dollar is worth the paper it is printed on. So while you go to work for your current pay it will not go far enough for you to feed your family and you think that is a good idea? No one is argueing that our country is a mess with debt but to stop everything is beyond foolish- that would only drive inflation through the roof. I'm sure you think you would be fine, but I doubt you have any clue what it would be like. With all your complaining just ask yourself if your dollar was really only worth 5 cents could you survive bc that is what it will be worth if this is not passed. Why will any country buy our bonds after this or invest in the dollar at all? you sir have no clue about economy. You are the reason I think there should be a test before you are allowed to vote.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. John Deneen


    These political terrorists who have hijacked our Federal Government tell us:: "Your budget must be balanced right now, in this economy, and entirely on the backs of your poor and middle class. Give in to our demands, or we will destroy your nation's credit rating." They must be stopped!

    Please answer them by making 'debt-ceiling' votes forever moot. Then begin the honest discussion of how to balance the budget on the backs of those who have benefited the most from our country's resources!

    Btw, for the idiot above, who is quoting Reagan, he's the guy who started the tactic of 'borrowing and spending' ... he tripled the national debt. Even Reagan warned Congress in November 1983: "The full consequences of a default - or even the serious prospect of default - by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar."

    July 29, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. stacy12

    it dosnt matter we still have to get the dept down we cant spend nomore money we are bankrupt an we have our own greed to blame as americans we take money for granted and this is what is happening now we have dug ourself in hole now we can get out and more money is not the answer

    July 29, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • YEKKIE

      Money pays for everything, that's a fact. Want food, gotta have money. Want a house, gotta have money. Want an education, gotta have money. Money is needed for everything. There is nothing wrong with the way we have been spending for our government, we just need enough revenue in. You know how we do that? We create jobs, and put companies back here in America.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. fronco 123

    what choice does he have, this tea party planed this from the start to take down the country just to hurt Obama's presidency.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. The Zog

    Who is John Galt?

    July 29, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. RadioResearch

    He has every right to rule by Executive Order. Johnson and Roosevelt did it, and although a little scary and tyrannical, may be just the ticket.
    But if you really wanna stop the debt, end these wars and let the recipients of the shed blood of our nation fight for themselves for a change, repeal the patriot Act and cut the bloated military industrial complex, stop spying on Americans domestically, repeal and revamp this ridiculous Adam Walsh Act, and cut down on all these police powers. This alone will drop the debt dramatically.
    If these clowns don't work together by the 3rd, I say we will be able to get to Pennsylvania Avenue by following the strung-up bodies of politicians dangling from the trees and telephone poles. Wake up, Washington. We, the People, have bloody well had enough!

    July 29, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |

    He should do it by the 14th amendment. It's not gonna matter whether he's going to be impeached or not, because something needs to be done about the economy. Tax cuts, roll backs, whatever you want to call them, if nothing is done, there will be no worth in our money to deal with that. There is so much a stake right now, I don't get why anyone else is getting freaked out. A default has never happened, any time we have come close, the ceiling has been raised. That is the way we have dealt with it sine the 50's. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. There are 311 mill + plus lives involved in this country, it's no fair to leave it stalemate.

    July 29, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • RadioResearch

      I don't see a solution in the 14th Amendment. What part of it? Section 4 only ratifies the public debt approved by Congress. Those are the dummies who are squabbling right now! The rest of the 14th Amendment deals with citizenship and civil rights.

      July 29, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. fronco 123

    The republican tea party will pay heavy price for holding many senior citizens SS checks hostage, 56 million votes will it matter, maybe yes maybe not, i been a republican for 40 years but i won't be in 2012, never again.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Byrd

    Part of being a president is knowing when to step up and take the reins when Congress is falling all over themselves and failing the country at the same time. That time is now long past. Take charge, Barack. Now.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. SilverHair

    fifty percent don't pay federal income tax now. Lower taxes for who?

    July 29, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. LaidOffBuggyWhipDesigner

    More small farms now! Self-sufficiency should become a renewed way of life for us both as individuals and as a nation.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mmmmm

    Obama doesn't need to bypass sh!t! Let the house of repubs be held accountable for failing to perform. Since they are the ones showing everyone the backdoor, let their azzzzzzez walked through it. Let them feel the power of the Obama-no and the people-no! The republican good ole boys started this bonfire let the inept and their Grand Master Bonehead Boehner put it out amicably or they will be shown the door!

    July 29, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sheryl

    I really don't know what all the fuss is about.
    I have plenty of money. Oh, I don't think of myself as rich or anything, but let me paraphrase one of my favorite presidents about that and just say, it depends on what your definition of rich is.
    Now, c'est que I have money simply because I work.
    If every Ameeican in this great country of ours were willing to do what I do–work, I mean–we wouldn't have any problem. No, not at all.
    See, I used to have a nice job in an office, typing words into one of those processor things, and sometimes even numbers, but one day they told me I wasn't quite fast–and accurate–enough, so the company was losing money by keeping me on, and some sweet young thing on the other side of the world could a better job of it than I, and for less money, too. I cried a lot, and they didn't seem to care that I was a honors graduate of the New School and had a doctorate in social studies from NYU.
    But I didn't let that stop me. No, not at all.
    I just remembered teaching my little fox-terrier puppy what the definition of "no" was. He was smart. Every time. I'd say no, he'd try something else, to learn whether that was "no" or not. Eventually, he learned all the rules, and he's very happy playing now–yes, he is.
    So I thought about it, and then I put on my best red Chanel suit and my baby seal coat, sat myself down at the Oak Room bar, and ordered myself a martini–I personally don't care for the dirty ones. Just a twist, and almost pure Beefeater gin. If it's not really cold, I send it back–very politely, of course.
    That's whn I learned about the kindness of strangers and how I could turn that into money.
    Now I LIVE at the Plaza Hotel. I surely do.
    See, I learned that in order to have the things I want, I had to DO something that wouldn't have been my first plan. That'sa whatta Planna B is.
    If I could just get every American to seek and find his Planna B, and WORK–at SOMETHING, I don't care what–you know, "work, for the night is coming"–that's when I do most of my work–why, then, we wouldn't have any national debt.
    Not at all, if every one of us did SOMETHING. For money, I mean.
    If you'll excuse me, I've got to run across the street to Tiffany and pick up something...I'm not sure just what I want yet, but I'll find something nice. I surely will.
    I wish my cell would stop ringing–people want me to work all the time.

    July 29, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
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