May 1, 2006

Let's impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door

* Neil Young interview. Stream the new album, Living with War, here. The Chicago Tribune on Living with War. excerpt:

"The mix places the singer's guitar and voice on the same plain as Chad Cromwell's drums and Rick Rosas' bass. On about half the songs, Young has to fight to be heard above the instruments, and his voice quivers with conviction. The production befits a garage-rock band lacking both rehearsal time and a recording budget; the trio roars to life as if responding to a starter's pistol, latches on to a sliver of a melody, and then rides it without letup. Several of the songs were written and recorded in a single day, and they sound like it; the unvarnished immediacy is jarring -- and thrilling.

"There is little of the epic ebb and flow that Young conjures from Crazy Horse, the band with whom he records most of his electric rock albums. Even Young's craggy guitar solos aren't much in evidence. In their stead is a furious forward momentum, punctuated by a choir that lends an almost celebratory air to the outraged 'Let's Impeach the President.' Even those who disagree with Young's views ('Let's impeach the president for lying/And leading our country into war/Abusing all the power that we gave him/And shipping all our money out the door') may not be able to deny a performance that rolls like a tidal wave: Call it a punk-gospel anthem.

"Sprinkled among the scorched-earth commentaries ('Restless Consumer,' 'Shock and Awe,' 'Looking for a Leader') are more personal stories that have nothing to do with misguided foreign policy or propagandizing media. Instead, they focus on the war's personal toll ('Families,' 'Roger and Out'). Young sets aside the finger-pointing at album's end, with his choir singing 'America the Beautiful.' It's the sound of human voices trying to drown out the bombs.

* Boston Globe: Bush claims the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office. excerpt:

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
Without court involvement, only Congress can check a president who goes too far. But Bush's fellow Republicans control both chambers, and they have shown limited interest in launching the kind of oversight that could damage their party.

"'The president is daring Congress to act against his positions, and they're not taking action because they don't want to appear to be too critical of the president, given that their own fortunes are tied to his because they are all Republicans,' said Jack Beermann, a Boston University law professor. 'Oversight gets much reduced in a situation where the president and Congress are controlled by the same party.'

Said Golove, the New York University law professor: 'Bush has essentially said that 'We're the executive branch and we're going to carry this law out as we please, and if Congress wants to impeach us, go ahead and try it.'

Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch 'to exercise some self-restraint.' But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.

"'This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy,' Fein said. 'There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power.'"

* Forbes lists 'nuppie' beers. definition of 'nuppie' here.


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