the president has a surprising amount of power. not only does he sign bills into law, he can also choose to do line vetoes, which allows the president to take out the stuff he doesn't like, and signing statements (I think that's what they're called) where the president can add things he wants to a bill. before president bush, those "rights" of the president (which were never really used due to balance-of-power fears) were rarely exercised. nowadays, however, Bush has done what he can to change laws he doesn't like.
bush has also tried in the past to instate friends of his into positions of power in the government. that is why our currently-democrat-led congress holds those 5-second sessions during the holidays when congress is officially closed - to prevent bush from sneaking a friend of his into a powerful position without congress being there to approve or disapprove of the nominee.
so yea, the president has a lot of power. unfortunately, that means Bush has a lot of power even though he is a lame duck at the moment and can't do much considering his party is in the minority in congress. hopefully the next president will be a bit more cautious and not make the executive branch so powerful because the last time I checked this is a government for the people and by the people. One person isn't allowed to run the show; that's what we call a tyranny or monarchy.
watching way too much CNN and reading way too many newspapers.