Michael Tomasky has an excellent column urging Barack Obama to use his Article II powers to adjourn Congress and make some recess appointments.
This raises a question: what's the better approach for beating the House block on recess appointments? Recall that the House has refused to take a proper recess this August, which in turn has forced the Senate to stay in (through the use of pro forma sessions), all of which works because of a Clinton-era DOJ opinion that the Senate must be out for three days to count for the Constitutional definition of a "recess," an opinion which George W. Bush went along with when majority Democrats in the Senate used that tactic in the final two years of his second term. So there are two options: Obama could, as Tomasky suggests, resolve an impasse about the recess in the Senate's favor, which appears to be allowed under Article II. Or, he could just say that the current period is really a month-long recess, pro forma sessions notwithstanding and do an appointment on that basis.
Hmmm...if Obama were really willing to do this, the best path would presumably be to go to Harry Reid and let him choose. No point in further antagonizing the Senate (or at least no point in antagonizing the Democrats in the Senate). If Reid were indifferent, however...I'm not sure which one is better. Probably not much of a difference, as far as I can see.
Either way, it sure seems like a clear winner for Obama to take action against GOP obstruction.