The power of the (auto) pen
In this handout photo from the White House President Obama swims in Hawaii on his holiday vacation last year. He directed the signing of the fiscal cliff bill via "auto pen" Wednesday while vacationing in Hawaii.
January 3rd, 2013
11:23 AM ET

The power of the (auto) pen

Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) - If you are a president who desperately wants to salvage your Hawaiian vacation, why stick around Washington to sign a bill when an automatic pen can do it for you?

That’s what happened Wednesday when the long-haggled over bill to avert the fiscal cliff was delivered to the White House for the president’s signature. With Obama 5,000 miles away in Hawaii, aides decided to prepare the president with an electronic version of the document for his review rather than commission a special flight to currier over the document.

Upon review of the electronic copy, the president directed his signature be affixed to the bill – via that auto pen back in Washingon. It’s a move that, while convenient, raised questions over just how a president can make a bill become a law.

After all, Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution provides that a bill must be presented to the president and “[i]f he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it” (emphasis added).

So can an auto-pen, where the president himself is not technically signing, conform to what the Constitution demands?

It was a matter the Justice Department considered in 2005, determining then that the word “sign” does not necessarily mean an active signature by the president himself. Rather, the Justice Department stated, “a person may sign a document by directing that his signature be affixed to it by another.”

“So long as the president retains this decision-making function, his instruction to a subordinate to affix the President’s signature to a document does not amount to a delegation of presidential authority in any meaningful or legally significant sense,” the department concluded in a 29-page memo.

A White House official also noted the president has used the auto-pen twice before: once to extend provisions of the Patriot Act in May of 2011 and another time to enact a government spending bill in November of 2011. Both times, the president was traveling out of the country when the bills were ready for his signature.

While the handy tool exactly mimics the president’s signature, its use to affix legal authority to bills is not without controversy. When Obama first used the autopen in May of 2011 to extend the Patriot Act, one lawmaker sent a letter to the president arguing that the use of the device in this context sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“Any number of circumstances could arise in the future where the public could question whether or not the president authorized the use of an autopen,” Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves wrote then. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

If nothing else, it appears safe to assume the auto-pen will become welcome practice to future presidents eager to begin a vacation thousands of miles away from the nation’s capital – even if a bill signing awaits him.


Topics: Congress • Economy • Fiscal Cliff • President Obama

soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. betterdays

    "Currier over" the document? Wow. Hurrah for journalism degrees.

    January 3, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  2. haystupid

    i thought obam sid there would be a 7 day waiting period before he signed any bill into law so citizens would have time to read it? they had the bill for 3 minutes before the voted on it , who read it? oh and the middle class wont get a tax hike, except for that 2% that obama didnt mention , oooops did he forget to tell everyone that?

    January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • InsertNameHere

      You are an idiot. First of all, that 2% that our president actually DID mention.. That isn't the middle class. That is extremely high income house-holds. Secondly, if he waited seven days before signing this piece of legislation our entire economy would have collapsed. Again. Knock it off.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Philip Pacha

      So, the removal of a temporary 2% reduction in FICA contributions is a "tax increase"? Why isn't it the ending of a temporary decrease? It was always going to be temporary; just another means of giving the working-wage citizens a bit more money to speed up the economic recovery.

      January 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Cynthia L.

      Someone who thinks to insult others by using the tag 'hay' stupid, probably wouldn't be reading it anyway. Just sayin'.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • NAM VET

      FOR A PRESIDENT THAT EATS MANS BEST FREIND BE ANYTHING BUT ONE WE HOLD IN GOOD STATIS–NOT VERY
      LIKELY. HE EATS MANS BEST FREIND AND SAYS HE IS GOING TO FREE US FROM OUR MONEY AND TAX US TO THE LIMIT. THIS IDIOT NEEDS TO GET CARE FROM THE SERVICES FOR THE MENTALLY IMBALANCED. HE IS NOT FIT
      TO HOLD OFFICE. THIS DUDE IS SICK AND SHOULD BE PUT AWAY. I THINK JOSE IMANEZ WOULD BE SOMEONE
      WHO WOULD ADD SOME CHEER TO ALL OF US. I BET NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA WHO HE IS. I WILL NOT TELL-YOU
      CAN USE YOUR NOODLES TO FINE OUT IF YOU REALLY CARE. YOU WILL BE VERY SURPRISED AND WILL ENJOY
      WHAT YOU FIND. GET OFF YOUR DUFFS FOLKS YOU WILL BE IN FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIVES.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • wondering Wanda

        I want you to look into a mirror and look yourself in the eyes and read what you wrote–you appear to be a person who is demeaning, rude and a hater. If you feel good about saying all that stuff to yourself be blessed

        January 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • NAM VET

      DUFUS IS A LIAR-CONMAN- TRAITOR AND JUST FLAT UNAMERICAN. FOR MOST IF HE PUT THE PEOPLES WHITE
      HOUSE UP FOR SALE THEY WOULD BELIEVE HIM THAT IT WAS HIS TO SELL. HE ACTUALLY THINKS THAT SAME THING--–IN HIS WILD DREAMS THAT IS. HE NEEDS TO WAKE UP OR SHAKE THE FORCES WHO WARPED HIS
      FERTILE MIND HE IS THE NOW MAN WHO HAS BEEN PROGRAMMED TO DESTROY OUR COUNTRY. HE IS NOT SMART ENOUGH TO HAVE FIGURED IT OUT BY HIS LONESOME SELF. HE NEVER TOOK A WRITTEN EXAM IN COLLEGE, THEY
      WERE ALL ORAL---ORAL? THAT IS SPOOKY–WHAT IIS GOING ON IN THE CLASSROOMS OF HIGHER ED--OR HEAD--–JUST SAYING.-----–LOTS OF QUESTIONS HERE FOLKS------–

      January 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  3. acdcguy

    29 page memo was needed to tell us he couldn't have stuck around for one more day to sign in person??? Then why did he even come back??? Wasting our $$$ as usual..........and guessing it must be tough to get a tee time on the islands..........

    January 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Logic N LA

      As usual, conservatives question Obama's vacation but not the 535 member of congress that left DC for their vacations and then came back- also at taxpayer expense. Or the fact that Congress took 14 month to resolve an issue they could have months ago.
      Hopefully the new Congress seeted today will do better than the worst Congress in history for getting things done ( a fact, not my statement)

      January 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • jerry

        read Wodward's book on the 2011 talks...then tell the world obama has done his job. The great divider takes his bows for nothing as he has done for his entire life...and empty shirt and a fraud.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Dan B

        Obama flew his plane to Hawaii and back twice at tax payer expense TO DO NOTHING

        January 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • John

        What libs either don't get or choose to ignore is the fact that all these clowns are on notice – all 500+ of them, from the most jr Congress person to Obama. These clowns have not done the right thing for the country for years. It was time for a change long ago.

        January 4, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • wondering Wanda

        since taking office he has approximately 85 vacation days–The House is only meeting 126 days in 2013–I liked bush but he was on Vacation between 200-225 days in about 18 months–go ahead and fact check

        January 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • NAM VET

      PERHAPS HE NEEDED TIME WITH A FREIND FOR 11 HR FLIIGHT. TO CONSOL HIM ON STUFF--–IN ANY CASE IT WAS A WASTED TRIP FOR THE TAX PAYERS .

      January 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Chris

      Hi there, Mr. Uninformed. The memo was written in 2005, by BUSH'S Justice Department.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:16 am |
  4. Rob-Texas

    Joke. Congress put in the hours, Obama takes a swim.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  5. Kool-Aid Police

    Looks like 4 more years of "vacation mode".

    January 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  6. nvmature

    Much ado about nothing...unless you just hate this President and will frown at anything he does or doesn't do.

    January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • wondering Wanda

      so many people can not stand that he ran the smartest campaign ever–The speaker of the House is eating crow since he was trash talking during the Campaign tour in OHIO–The media is wrong to allow them to the president does not have leadership skills.say does not leadership skills–when he a more global view than most people– They media allows the Repubs to bully the President all the time–

      January 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  7. anonymous

    He takes a vacation once a year? Commie bastard. Truth be told, however, Dubya set the bar pretty low, spending most of his first year in office clearing brush and fishing at the "western White House" instead of, you know, governing and reading PDBs regarding the terrorists and airplanes.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  8. Bill Dusterwald

    People who write for the press should know the English language. Currier is person who dresses and colors leather after it is tanned. Courier is a person who transports documents and packages.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Kool-Aid Police

    Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to leave the administration at the end of January, even if President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans haven’t reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • NAM VET

      THEY NEED TO SEARCH THIS DUDE ON HIS WAY OUT AS 100 DOLLAR PRINT PLATES WOULD FIT NEATLY IN HIS BREIFCASE AND THE RIGHT PAPER TO PRINT ON COULD LEAVE AS WELL IN SOME WAY SHAPE OR FORM. GOT
      TO REMENBER HE WAS A TAX DODGER BIG TIME.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  10. Kool-Aid Police

    The U.S. Treasury’s plan to sell its remaining 32 percent stake in General Motors Co. (GM) is a leap forward for the Obama administration’s effort to end a $418 billion bailout program that in four years was transformed from a political albatross to a winning campaign issue. The rescues of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and auto lender Ally Financial Inc. cost taxpayers $79.7 billion, and $40.9 billion has been returned. Taxpayers have invested $49.5 billion in GM and received $23 billion back, not including the $5.5 billion GM plans to buy from the Treasury.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • NAM VET

      THE TAXPAYER IS THE FIRST ONE TO GET SCREWED AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR THE STUPIDITY OF THOSE
      THAT SERVE US.---THEY SERVE US UP ON A PLATTER WHEN IT PLEASES THEM TO DO SO.---- AND GET
      PAY FOR LIFE WHEN THEY HAVE FLEECED US AND RETIRE WITH FULL BENIFITS THAT WE WILL NEVER HAVE THE
      SAME PARITYAS THEY DO. THEY WORK 9 MO'S OF THEYEAR AND HAVE THE REST OFF. SAME AS THE EDUCATORS. WE WORK FOR WHAT WE GET. THAT IS THE DIFFENCE BETWEEN GOV. AND UNIONS-WE SUPPORT THEIR GRAFT WITH OUR HARD EARNED MONEY. SOMETHING IS REALLY WRONG WITH THAT SCENARIO FOLKS.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  11. Disgusted

    Really? And this is a leader????? Glad this thing was so important to hang around for. How much more money can this man spend of our's. Taxes going up folks. You haven't seen anything yet.

    January 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • jean2009

      You do realize the President pays for his own vacations? Ho Hum false disgust over nothing.

      January 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • jerry

        oh...$7,000,000.00 eh? come on, grow a brain Jean.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
      • Kool-Aid Police

        Sure, we all believe that Obama paid for the fuel for AF1, the lodging and security costs, etc, etc, etc. Come on, do you really think people are that stupid?

        January 4, 2013 at 6:59 am |
      • James AL

        Kool-aid Police and all you other haters and complainers of the president, we must remember that he is the 'nation's' top excutive. He has the most demanding job in the world. Keep in mind that he lives in his office building and that he takes his job with him whereever he goes. Finally, remember that we pay him far less than CEOs of major corporations for doing much less.

        So the money we spend for his fuel, security, and assistants is better spent than what we waste on those republicans in the legistlative branch.

        January 4, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • Kool-Aid Police

        Read what she posted James AL

        January 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • Marie

        James... HE WANTED THE JOB. No one forced him to do it, and if he can't handle it without taking a bunch of vacation time then he should go back to teaching at the University of Chicago

        January 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        Marie, were you this outraged when George W. Bush was doing all the vacationing and flying around with Air Force One?

        He holds the record by the way.

        Were you this outraged when a Republican was President, period? Just wondering.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        Dammit, I did it again. Ignore that last part. Sorry.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Souptwins

      A bill was also just introduced on Friday in the House to repeal term limits for the Presidency. Maybe the conspiracists were right about Obama.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Souptwins

      Everyone should see what House Joint Resoluton 15 is all about. It was introduced Friday and would remove the term limits for the presidency. Are we so in love with Obama that we'd trust him with more power?

      January 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  12. DEcember 2012

    THE REPUBLITARD OUTRAGE IS SOOOOOO FAKE. COME ON, WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE ALL WEARING OBAMA T-SHIRTS. YOU ARE ALL JUST HOPING HE WOULD SIGN IT WITH THE AUTOPEN.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    January 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • haystupid

      everything obama said has been a lie , no laws signed till the public can raed it went out the window in his first term when the liberals forced a health care bill down everyones throats, it will cost 3 times what he said it would, The CBO said these new taxes will end up costing 4 trillion dollars over 10 years. no fake outrage , its veary real . maby you can use a auto pen when you sign the check every week to pay for your forced health care plan, or are you one of the many losers on the obama free ride program?

      January 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        JUST BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T READ THE BILL DOES NOT MEAN NOBODY DID. IT WAS ALL OVER THE NEWS NETWORKS! TRY TO KEEP UP.

        THE CBO SAID THESE NEW TAXES WILL COST 4 TRILLION OVER 10 YEARS. HOW ABOUT IF WE LET ALL THE TAX CUTS REMAIN THE SAME? HOW MUCH IF WE LET THEM ALL EXPIRE? CARE TO DO THAT MATH FOR US?

        IT'S HILARIOUS THAT ALL OUTRAGE IS DIRECTED ON OBAMA WHEN IT IS CONGRESS THAT PAYS THE BILLS. WHEN I THREATEN TO NOT PAY MY BILLS, I PAY THE CONSEQUENCES INSTEAD. THAT'S THE DEBT CEILING DEBACLE IN A NUTSHELL. CONGRESS IS ONCE AGAIN THREATENING TO POINT A GUN SQUARELY AT ITS OWN PEOPLE.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
      • jerry

        DEC...dont you ever get tire of rationalizing and making excuses for the marxists? Please educate yourself or just learn to think for yourself.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        I DON'T KNOW, DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF BEING SUCH A DUMB F****?

        January 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
      • jean2009

        I read parts of the bill the day it was passed by the Senate it was posted online as a pdf. Anyone with a computer could have read it if they wished to, or if they could read. Evidently haystupid is as dumb as his name as his horse food name..

        January 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
      • John

        Throbbing Member 2012 – you appear to be more stupid today than ever. The House had the bill for 3 minutes before they voted on it. If you think even one of them read it – you are a complete idiot.
        This was the stuff our fearless leader said would not happen anymore. But, as long as he has blind followers like you who thinks he is a king or God or something – he will continue to lie and cheat us.
        Over 70% of Americans just go hit with a new tax with many, many more to follow. You stupid libs have been in charge for years now. Is it still Bush's fault that Washington is "business as usual" with pork bills being passed?
        You say people are not angry at these clowns? You are mistaken.

        January 4, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • December 2012

        CRYING OVER THE PAYROLL TAX WHICH CONGRESS DID NOT WANT TO EXTEND AND THEN BLAMING IT ON OBAMA IS THE HEIGHT OF STUPIDITY THAT ONLY REPUBLITARDS CAN ACCOMPLISH. GOOD JOB!

        THE REST OF THE WORLD KNOW BETTER, THAT THE WORST CONGRESS IN OUR HISTORY, THE 9% APPROVAL CONGRESS, IS COMPLETELY TO BLAME FOR THIS MESS.

        CALLING ME STUPID DOESN'T NOT MAKE YOU ANY LESS OF A REPUBLITARD.

        January 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
      • December 2012

        OH AND THAT 'POWER' YOU SEEM TO HAVE TO KNOW WHO HAS READ WHAT IS TRULY SUPER. REMINDS ME OF SCOTT BROWN'S POWER OF KNOWING WHAT RACE YOU ARE JUST BY LOOKING AT YOU.

        YOU SHOULD PUT IT TO GOOD USE, LIKE MAYBE ON YOURSELF.

        January 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • December 2012

        OH, AND HOW CAN THE HOUSE ONLY HAVE READ IT FOR 3 MINUTES WHEN IT PASSED THE SENATE AND WAS NOT CHANGED. THEY WERE EVEN TALKING ABOUT MAKING AMENDMENTS TO IT FOR CHRISSAKE! SOMEONE HAS READ IT AND PASSED IT ALONG FROM LEADERSHIP AND DOWN.

        I KNOW THERE ARE A LOT OF STUPID PEOPLE IN CONGRESS, BUT TRY TO GIVE THEM A LITTLE CREDIT ON SOMETHING THIS BIG WITH ALL EYES ON THEM.

        3 MINUTES??? THAT'S GOT TO BE A NEW RECORD FOR THE REPUBLITARD OUTRAGE MACHINE OF EXAGGERATIONS AND LIES.

        January 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • December 2012

        THIS JUST IN: THE FISCAL CLIFF BILL PASSED THE HOUSE BECAUSE THEY DID NOT READ IT!!!! HOLY OUTRAGE BATMAN!

        JOHN IS A INDEED A BETTER COMEDIAN THAN YOURS TRULY. I THOUGHT YOU WERE BEING SERIOUS THERE FOR A SEC. OH WAIT? YOU WERE BEING SERIOUS? EITHER WAY, IT'S COMEDY GOLD.

        January 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • jean2009

        John as per usual doesn't know what he is talking about. The Senate bill passed Dec, 31st. The bill was posted on the Congressional Printing Office website on 1/1/2013 and the House approved the Senate bill without changes on 1/3/2013....plenty of time to read 153 + 1 blank page.

        January 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • December 2012

        WELL, TO BE FAIR, I DECIDED TO LOOK IT UP.

        IT IS NOT THE HOUSE THAT VOTED QUICKLY BUT THE SENATE! IT IS NOT SURPRISING THEY VOTED QUICKLY IN THE SENATE SINCE IT IS A SENATE BILL THAT THEY HAVE LONG NEGOTIATED AND ANTICIPATED BECAUSE OF THE INEPTNESS OF THE LOWER HOUSE. NOT SURPRISING AT ALL THAT IT PASSED QUICKLY AND WITH OVERWHELMING MAJORITY IN THE UPPER CHAMBER.

        WHAT HAYSTUPID IS COMPLAINING ABOUT IS THE 'SUNLIGHT BEFORE SIGNING' PROMISE WHICH I MUST CONTEND, IF YOU DID NOT KNOW WHAT HAS TRANSPIRED ON THIS HOTLY TRACKED MESS WITHIN 24 HOURS THEN YOU MUST HAVE BEEN LIVING IN A CAVE AND NO SUNLIGHT WILL EVER REACH YOU.

        January 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • jean2009

        Did you ever do the math to find out how many trillion it would cost us over 10 years not to have passed the health insurance legislation? Thought not!

        The saving to Medicare Part B alone over a 10 year period is estimated to be $575 billion. and part B Medicare is just one part of the cost savings. Consider that the uninsured costs an insured family of 4 up to $1000 more in added insurance premium each year...I imagine your $4 trillion would be a drop in the bucket in camparison to the money saved by having the legislation in place.
        Source – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
        Source -The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation "Health Policy-Health Insurance Coverage"

        January 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
      • NAM VET

        EVERYONE THAT SUPPORTS OB WILL BE A LOSSER–THAT IS A GIVEN YOU JUST HAVN'T WOKE UP YET. HE WILL SUBVERT US INTO HIS OWN VISION FROM HIS WET DREAMS. ONE DAY YOU WILL WIND UP WITH SPOUGH ALL OVER YOUR FACE AND WONDER HOW IT GOT GOT THERE.

        January 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Caramon

      THE REPUBLITARD OUTRAGE IS SOOOOOO FAKE. COME ON, WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE ALL WEARING OBAMA T-SHIRTS. YOU ARE ALL JUST HOPING HE WOULD SIGN IT WITH THE AUTOPEN.

      Actually, that would be kinda cool. The shirt could be worth lots in the future as long as the President didn't sign too many. Limited signature edition.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • NAM VET

        THE ONLY LIMITATION OF THS PRESIDENT IS HIS OWN IMAGINATION. THE PHOTO PIC ON THIS TOPIC WAS FOR HIS GIRLS IN HOLLYWOOD. SOUNDS A LOT LIKE JFK ALL OVER AGAIN. JUST SAYING. SORRY 1ST LADY.

        January 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
      • jean2009

        I have a couple of those shirts wonder if he would sign mine. Campaign worker should count.

        January 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  13. Philip Pacha

    The word is 'courier'. The word 'currier' describes someone who curries, like a person working on a horse's coat.

    January 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  14. jean2009

    Thomas Jefferson used a primitive version of the autopen in 1804.....good grief this is the digital age. People can spend cash online without signing their name.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • DEcember 2012

      NOWADAYS, PEOPLE GET DIRTY LOOKS FOR SIGNING A CHECK. SOME OF THE KIDS HERE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF ONE.

      January 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • NAM VET

      NOT SURE HOW TO THE JEF WOULD HAVE DONE THAT BUT CONGRESS DOES IT TO VOTE ON BILLS WHEN THEY ARE NOT ON THE FLOOR,BUT SUCKING UP A VODKA MARTINI ELSEWHERE.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  15. jean2009

    Anyone who wishes to read the legislation can find it in pdf format online.google – "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" pdf digital format online from the Congressional Printing Office. The President or any member of congress could read it on their laptop, ipad, tablet, or whatever...I really wonder how haystupid and jerry even make it to this website.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • haystupid

      Iin your haste to insult ,acting like your childish president who showed you that insults are always the right way to go. My comment was , obama said that any new bill would not be signed for 7 days so that the public would have a chance to read it. The congress voted on this 3 minutes after they got the bill that was voer 125 pages, so they are all speed readers i am to belive. I repeated what the CBO said, so you are saying they are 100% wrong on their findings? Forced health care will cost 3 times the amount your president told you it would . As for the middle class not being hit by the tax hike , another lie, everyones taxes are going up , so whats your point, you didnt really talk about mine . MY point is , obama doesnt tell the truth , yet you guys just eat it up. Im sure you will be a big fan of the american Aljazeera TV channel, and im sure you are a big fan of al gore. so how do you feel about him selling out to a region thats only source of income is oil? To a company that always was the first to spew osama binladens hate for america. What a slap in the face of all the familys of 911.

      January 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • jerry

        obama blew his wad....he has alienated his own party over the negotiations back in 2011 and the recent ones, he could not resist a last moment jab as he boarded OUR air force one...which aggravated many in his own party. Boehner tried in good faith to work with obama in 2011 and 2012 negations and was stabbed in the back more than once (check Bob Woodward's book on the 2011 negs.)...so now both parties know obama is useless...a narcissistic power hungry amateur, and will act accordingly. The game is over for the marxist. Thank God.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
      • jean2009

        @haystupid... I didn't pick your name, you did...word of advice if you don't want to be perceived as a clown don't name yourself BOZO.

        This is the digital age. The Senate bill was passed on Dec. 31st, the House made no changes when they approved the Senate bill...The PDF of the bill was online on New Year's Day, yesterday was Dec. 3rd plenty of time to read 153 pages. Plus, where is your credible source that the President stated 7 days? Just because you read something online or heard it on Fox doesn't mean it was ever stated by the President.

        This is the digital age why would anyone in Congress need 7 days to read a bill? You're reading the bill before it is signed would not be the people who need to read the bill.....that would be members of Congress. Speed readers, I imagine many of them are, The bill is not new legislation it is mainly a long list of previous passed bills that will have slight changes to their wording; a sentence here and a paragraph there. Your statement alone proves you didn't bother to find the bill online to see what was in it...rather all you have done is waste your time whining over something you can't change.

        Also FYI-The president will be sworn in on January 17th, and will be in office until the 3rd Thursday of January, 2017 ....you can whine and cry all you want that is not going to change. So knock yourself out having a private pitty party. .

        Now, let us go on to the rest of your lame rant. The last I check the Constitution grants to everyone both the freedom of speech and religion.You are currently posting on a network that has offices all over the world; it is an international news organization. The same can be said for the BBC, and many other American, and world news organizations. We actually have a rather large so called world news organization, owned by an Australian, which has probably done more to harm this country than anythingan Al Jazeera English channel ever could.

        And final take you are not being forced to buy health insurance...but if you are really as stupid as your name go ahead and don't buy insurance... just be ready to pay the penalty tax for not being covered, and wind up getting nothing for your money but a tax payment..

        January 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • jean2009

        Waiting on the moderator.

        January 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • jerry

      you are one sick sick lady...I guess lady, maybe not. You cant be bothered by facts can you? Your boy's power reach is over...sad day for you marxists...

      January 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
      • jean2009

        Dream on moron.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • jean2009

        Chevy tripled it sells for Volts in 2012, and sold more Volts than it did Caprice's.

        January 5, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • NAM VET

      JUST LIKE YOU DID SUPID LADY–IT WAS ALL AFTER THE EVENT--YOU MUST VOTE AND THEN READ IT,THAT IS
      HOW THE DEMS DO THINGS.-–JUST SAYING---

      January 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  16. brent nelson@Automotive Car Parts

    nice peace of information share by this .

    January 4, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  17. judy

    republicans should be happy the president did not return to Washington costing the tax payers more money on a plane trip. Instead they have once again turned some small thing into a big deal. It doesn't matter how many times you explain that the first family pays for their own lodging when they vacation. Apparently the repos still don't get it. It is really scary that these people vote. I guess they don't know how to look the bill up on line or they would have read it.

    January 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • steveo

      In your haste to chastise "repos" it would have served you well to understand folks who complained were talking about the travel by AF 1 costs and not lodging costs! BTW He did come back to DC, and that is what drove the complaints.

      January 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • jean2009

        And you, and they would have complained just as much had he not returned.

        January 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • steveo

        No argument here! My point is folks were not complaining about lodging as Judy suggested! I am not defending the complains just pointing out what the complians were about, travel and not lodging!!

        January 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • jean2009

        Hey! We gave him a plane so he could travel...it isn't called Air Force One for nothing.

        January 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • steveo

        Jean,

        Again, no argument here. Presidents of both partys travel via AF-1, Marine-1 and any other -1! Part of the job!

        January 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Caramon

      In truth Judy, I see nothing wrong in the President taking a vacation with his family. I may not necessarily agree with his policies but do not deny that he works hard. It is a known fact that people focus better when they have time to relax. Nor do I feel it is necessary to chastise him, for returning to Washington to deal with the fiscal cliff issue. It was the responsible thing to do. Yes, it does cost money. But in this case, he did the right thing.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        Hay,...I mean, HEY Caramon, you just might be considered too reasonable with that statement and it seems some aren't interested no matter how right you are on that point. Happy New Year.

        January 5, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • jean2009

        I think judy was pointing out all the senseless whining, from the right-wing nuts, about his travel back to D.C. for the fiscal cliff stalemate (I do think the man had a right to spend Christmas Day with his family)....and they would have complained even more had he come back again just to sign the legislation.

        A.) I feel he did the right thing by coming back for the fiscal cliff stalemate, but would myself have thought it wasteful had he came back only to sign the legislation. Especially when it could have been signed by autopen.
        B.) I know many members of the GOP understand the president is going to travel as part of his job and he is entitled to a vacation, and he has been provided many means of travel just to safely be able to do so...but it seems far too many on the right will complain pointlessly no matter which course he takes.
        C.) Also, I wasn't indicting everyone on the right with my comment. Look at abcdguy's posts which open this dialog. There is the typical probelm.

        January 5, 2013 at 10:16 am |
      • Caramon

        Thanks Cynthia. Happy New Year to you too. I just don't see the necessity of disagreeing just for the purpose of disagreeing. I don't generally agree with the policies of the current administration. It doesn't mean I will disagree with everything. Nor do I agree always with the Republicans. I call it as I see it.

        January 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • NAM VET

      JUDY JUDY JUDY THE TRIP BACK WAS ON OUR DIME -HE WAS ON THE JOB DOING WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE STAYED FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU ARE PAYING FOR THAT TRIP BACK WITH ALL OF US-WAKE UP LADY-----

      January 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  18. judy

    thank goodness we are getting more women in the senate and congress. Hope fully they can counter act some of the men. Just look at the guys who post here. Example jean and December both always make valid arguments and jerry and hay stupid are just idiots.

    January 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Kool-Aid Police

      Their arguments are valid because they match yours, right?

      January 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • steveo

      Sorry Judy but nobody "ALWAYS" do anything!
      "counter act the guys"? Really? Some are just as bad as the guys!

      January 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • NAM VET

      JUDY JUDY JUDY–WE HAVE AN EQUALITY IN STUPIDITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOME IN CONGREES. BUT MEN ARE
      NOT AS STUPID AS PELOSI AND MOST MEN ARE NOT AS STUOID AS REID–GUSSS THAT MAKES US PRETTY MUCH
      EQUAL ON YOUR NOISE.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
      • jean2009

        I'm going to stick with Reid and Pelosi...When it comes to "reliable concerned citizens" Nam Flake is not a sensible option.

        January 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Marie

    Judy, I could argue that you make no valid arguments, and that even if Republicans back up their arguments with facts you think the facts are incorrect and ignore them. Of course you like jean and December's arguments- most people do think that policies that they agree with are valid

    January 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • DEcember 2012

      I think we all go overboard a lot in these comments, I certainly am guilty of it. I don't really agree with judy on everything and I am sure she feels the same way. It is just the partisanship has reached toxic levels so we cling to notion of ally or foe more than we reasonably should so I can't blame anyone for such tendencies. I think we can all be a little more mindful and respectful of each others differences going forward. I know it is difficult because we like to win arguments, but I will try. I would most likely fail more than succeed but I won't stop trying.

      January 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • NAM VET

        SO YOU ARE GOING TO WORK HARDER TO DISAGREE –DID I READ YOU RIGHT ----

        January 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Caramon

      "most people do think that policies that they agree with are valid." What one chooses to believe is the only possible truth.

      Actually I would agree that December would do well in Congress. We may not agree on many things, but we have been able to discuss issues and have come to some consensus.

      Hey December, what happened to the caps?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        I figured I should try something different with the new year and all. :)

        Plus I got new reading glasses and oh man, was it tough to read with the caps on. I'm sorry I put you all through that.

        January 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Caramon

        No doubt it will be different. But I think we can get used to it.

        January 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
      • Steveo

        I'm sorry I put you all through that.

        No sweat December. To me it was like your calling card. Kinda like the beards on the Duck Dynasty dudes! I have to get use to the smaller letters now!

        January 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
      • jean2009

        As one who is facing catarac surgery, and who currently reads with industrial strength tri-focals I understand.

        January 5, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • NAM VET

        SO YOU WOULD BE IN FAVOR OF DISSAGREEING MOSTLY.-?????????????

        January 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • NAM VET

        ALL TALK AND NO SHOW IN DEEDS IS FRUITLESS--JUST A WAST OF TIME AND MOINEY. THERE I N LIES THE PROB..
        FOLKS-WHAT ARE "WE GOING TO DO TO SOLVE IT. IT IS ALWAYS IN OUR LAPS WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS. ELECTIONS ARE NOT TIMELY ENOUGH TO SOLVE IT–WE NEED SOME OTHER CHECKS AND BALANCES THAT WILL BE TIMELY--–WE NEED A REALIABE WATCH DOG OF CONCERNED CITIZENS WITH POWER TO GET RESULTS RIGHT
        AWAY–NO NEXT WEEK BUT IMMEDIATLY---BUT ALAS I DON'T BELIEVE ANY 3 OF US WOULD WOULD AGREE

        January 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        The problem is the lack of understanding of reality and getting stuck with blind ideology. While the deficits and debt are a problem, the real issues at hand are economic growth and jobs. Neither party has moved on these issues and have entrenched themselves on where they their ideologies clash. There is a need to cut spending to eliminate the waste and fraud in the system but there is also a need for spending to further economic growth and investment. Once we achieve growth and stability then the money will roll in so our debts can get paid, and there should be a greater commitment to paying those debts.

        Can we trust the next Congress to do the right thing? We don't have much of a choice so we can only hope they figure these things out. Does the President need to lead them to the right path? Only if they want to be led, maybe there is some willingness this time. If they do not trust Obama to lead them to handle budget matters that they themselves struggle with, then hopefully he can hire someone for Treasury that can. Hopefully, someone who has good ideas for promoting economic growth.

        The elections are over. For some, they have two years to show why they are there. Are they for promoting economic growth or are they simply there to fight for blind ideology? When they think about the guy on the street who is unemployed, unable to find work, fast losing hope or has given up; the question that should be in their minds is how they can help get that guy and millions like him to be productive members of society again, spending money on their communities and growing the economy.

        January 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • steveo

      @December. I am in 100% agreement wiht you, Sir! Quite sure I am not the only one!

      January 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  20. jean2009

    The final electoral college vote was presented to Congress today. The news couldn't have been better Romney lost.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Frank Marshall Davis

      hmmm, I think we already knew that. Thank You Captain Obvious.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Marie

      Why do they wait so long? I think that when Romney lost all of the swing states everybody knew this.

      January 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
      • jean2009

        They wait around until January so that old geezer Frank and the Nam Flake can be sore all over again.

        January 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • NAM VET

      I THINK WE NEW THAT THE MORNING AFTER. WHY WAS TH E-COLLEGE CONFUSSED AND HAD TO PUT IN THEIR
      2 CENTS OF CONFIRMATION.------

      January 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • NAM VET

      WE ALL KNOW THAT MITT LOST THE GAME BUT THE COUNTRY LOST AS WELL. WE GET MORE OF THR SAME OF OB AS THE LAST 4 YRS. THAT IS NO VICTORY FOR AMERICA. IF YOU THINK THAT IS GOOD --GOD HELP US ALL AS
      OB SHOT GUNS HIS WAY THRU ANOTHER CHAOTIC TERM.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  21. NAM VET

    OK EVERY ONE IS EXCUSED FOR LATE LUNCH AND CAN GO HOME AFTER FOR THE GOOD TIMES. IT'S BEEN FUN
    FOLKS -----TALK TO YOU ALL AGAIN------

    January 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  22. Bill in STL

    Hmmm as long as theintentions of the president are being carried out.... what difference does it make .... autopen is fine in this situation.. the only danger I see is the ptential for mis-use and I am sure that they have that covered.

    January 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Cynthia L.

      I agree on this one, Bill. And, I'm sure it was signed with plenty of witnesses around for good measure.

      January 6, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • NAM VET

      YOU ARE TO TRUSTING--YOU GOT TO BE A LIBERAL. OR MAYBE SOMETHING WORSE.–JUST SAYING.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Mope NAM-Vet .. I am a conservative... With the proper precautions I don't see the harm.

      January 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  23. loramacantoch

    Hi,
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    January 6, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  24. Souptwins

    http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-joint-resolution/15?q=HJR+15

    Here's the link for HJR 15. It's real. What are your thought and why is CNN not reporting it?

    January 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • jean2009

      Why should CNN report some conspiracy theory myth? Here we are with a divided congress that can't pass anything without a monumental fight.

      HELLO! What universe have you dropped in from to think they could undo Article 22... Presidential term limits? Doing that would take a 2/3 majority of both houses, plus 51 states to ratify the bill.

      Just because you read some idiot on a blog doesn't make it real.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
      • NAM VET

        MAY NOT BE SO SIMPLE BUT TO GET IT ON THE STATE BALLOTS AND FEDERAL BALLOTS FOR US TO SPEAK BIG TIME TO THOSE FOLKS COULD NOT BE IGNORED BY ANY OF THEM–JUST SAYING THERE ARE WAYS TO GET OUR
        WISHES HEARD------

        January 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • souptwins

        The "idiot blog" you're talking about is the official website of the US Congress. This bill is a Joint Resolution introduced on Friday. I'm NOT a conspiracist and do not affiliate with any such groups. This is a real resolution. Whether it passes or not remains to be seen but to ignore it is just foolish.

        January 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        They can introduce all kinds of resolutions they want, whoever they are, it ain't happening.

        January 6, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
      • souptwins

        Apparently there have been similar bills introduced several times in the last 20 or so years and none in the past have seen the light of day. It's my hope that the rigorous requirements for amending the constitution would make sure this doesn't pass. I would however, also caution against complacency when it comes ideas that previously might have seemed beyond possibility. We frogs have to be diligent in noticing the water getting gradually hotter until it's too late.

        January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • jean2009

        Rep. Serrano (D. NY,) has proposed the legislation to overturn the 22 amendment (Presidential term limits) many times regardless of which part is in the White House. It proposed it in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005,2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
        Steny Hoyer (D. MD) has proposed the same repeal legislation 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005. Every member of congress would have a better chance of in unison passing a kidney stone than this dead on arrival bill.

        January 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Steveo

        Apparently Serrano likes seeing his name in print!

        January 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • jean2009

      Maybe you should read "Bill to Repeal Term Limits" at snopes.
      Good luck with passing that!

      January 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • NAM VET

        I BELIVE WE THE PEOPLE HAVE MORE TO DECIDE THE ISSUE THAN SNOOPY THE DOG DOES.

        January 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • NAM VET

      CNN HAS ALWAYS BEN FAVORABLE TO ONLY OB AND ALL OTHER S THEY TREAT AS BAD SEED ORPHANS--
      CNN IS NOT HONEST IN REPORTING FACTS THAT THEY CAN SUPPORT–THAT IS WHY THEY ARE LOOSING PROFTS
      AND VIEWERS. IF IT WERE NOT FOR OB SPENDING OUR TAX DOLLARS TO PROP THEN UP THEY WOULD BE NEXT IN LINE FOR A TAKE OVER BY MUSLIM INVESTORS TO BROADCAST IN AMERICA. AS GORE DID WITH HIS HOLDINGS
      TO FORGO THE "13" TAX SCAM.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        Do your complaining on the Fox Entertainment News comment section --if you can find it.

        January 7, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • souptwins

        Cynthia- You make no sense. The guy is saying CNN has a problem with their reporting. Why would you complain to another network about that– regardless of which one it is. People throw out Fox News as if that ends all discussion. We're talking about CNN not Fox. People should expect more fair and balanced news from ALL media.

        January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • jean2009

        Troll moron!

        January 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  25. NAM VET

    THE HEADING FOR THIS ARTCILE IS THE POWER OF THE "AUTO PEN". --AS IN THE PEN IS MIGHTYOR THAN THE SWORD-THE AUTO PEN JUST GIVES THE PRESIDENT A GOOD REASON TO PLAY GOLF OR FIDDLE WHILE THE NATION BURNS. HE IS A LAZY CUSS AND THERE IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION FOR HIS TIME AWAY FROM BEING ON
    THE JOB. 24-7 IS WHAT HE IS PAID TO DO AS WITH OUR TROOPS AND IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR MNGT. AS WELL.

    January 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  26. Marie

    Of course CNN is bias toward Obama. Hence why some people call it the Commie News Network

    January 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • DEcember 2012

      How mature. Did you learn that from Allen West?

      January 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Cynthia L.

      Gee Marie, you could go over to Fox Entertainment News to do your blah-blah-blah instead. Wait,...they don't have a comment section. And, you call CNN commies. What a hoot.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • jean2009

      And FOX = Facts Omitted Xtra

      January 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  27. Dave Harris

    All kinds of things these days are signed electronically. Signing with pen and paper is not a religion. The toothless hillbillies and old people who think the black president is an illegal alien may not have heard of it, but so what?

    January 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • jean2009

      Thomas Jefferson was using an autopen in 1804.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • jerry

        yes and he was also sleeping with one of your soul sisters...maybe you are related to Jefferson...you're goofy enough.

        January 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
      • jean2009

        No, the southern half of my Revolutionary War ancestors were British Loyalist.

        January 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      It is not how he signed but what he signed. A increase in middle class taxes.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  28. Kool-Aid Police

    After all that John Kerry press now it turns out that he isn't even going anywhere, Hagel is going to be the Sec Def. CNN can't you get anything right?

    January 7, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • jean2009

      WHAT! Do you even bother to read?
      John Kerry – Secretary of State (he is replacing Hilary Clinton)
      Chuck Hagle – Secretary of Defense (he is replacing Gen. Petraeus)

      January 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  29. Kool-Aid Police

    Nancy Pelosi : “There should be — this is a conversation where there should be no doubt. In fact, if I were president, I would use the 14th Amendment, which says that the United States will always be paying … I would just go do it, right. But the Congress has incurred much of this debt. So what are we saying? We incurred it, but we’re not going to pay it? If you want to say we’re not going to do it so much in the future, well, that’s another thing, but you can’t say I’m not paying my past debts.” -- The scariest part of this statement is "If I were President".

    January 7, 2013 at 8:13 am |
  30. Kool-Aid Police

    The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar.

    But the man eventually found the family.

    “The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,” Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

    The woman then shot him five times, but he survived, Chapman said. He said the woman ran out of bullets but threatened to shoot the intruder if he moved.

    Chapman said they found him on the ground saying, “Help me. I’m close to dying.” Slater was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center for treatment. Chapman said Slater was shot in the face and neck…

    Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri learned from Chapman late Friday night that slater has been placed on a ventilator and suffers from punctured lungs, a punctured liver and a punctured stomach.

    He said if Slater survives the night, doctors will try to operate in the morning to repair the damage.

    Chapman said Slater has four exit wounds.

    The woman’s husband was short and succinct on the subject.

    “My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner,” Donnie Herman said.

    He said he’s thankful for his family’s safety.

    “Her life is saved, and her kids’ life is saved, and that’s all I’d like to say,” Herman said.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • steveo

      Sounds hero-like to me!

      January 7, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • jerry

      unfortunately the guy survived and the taxpayer will have to pay for his treatment...and then he will probably file a legal action against her. She should have had an assault rifle and taken his head off...end of problem.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
      • steveo

        You have a point there! There is the threat of a lawsuit and he will most likely will find a lawyer sleazy enough to take the case!

        January 8, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  31. judy

    anyone notice that Nam Vet is getting wackier on each post . I think he is going through some kind of personal crisis. Or just plane loosing his marbles. Think you need to see a doctor Nam

    January 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • jerry

      you are the butch queen of idiocy...who do you think you are kidding...answer: yourself. ahhaha

      January 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
  32. judy

    marie is really Howard in drag that's why we haven't heard from him

    January 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • jean2009

      I think Howard is Nam Vet when he is totally off his meds.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm |