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General News    H4'ed 11/10/13

Review: Andrew Kreig, "Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters"

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"We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."--Karl Rove


  If you want to understand who Andrew Kreig is and what he does, you'd better have lots of time on your hands, because he cannot be summed up in a few words and his opus is at least cross-disciplinary.

  Profession? Add an -s to that: investigative reporter, attorney, author, business strategist, nonprofit executive, et cetera (lecturer, speaker, academic researcher, radio broadcaster). At home on Capitol Hill and hence reality in all of its dimensions, he is headquartered most lately at the Justice Integrity Project--can there be such a thing in this day and age? Unlike so many hypocritical euphemisms floating around in our culture, the DC-based nonpartisan legal reform group fulfills its promise, investigating and exposing power structures the mainstream media cozy up to and flatter. Most lately you'll find on their front page,, a column by former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, objecting to the imprisonment and torture of Legal Schnauzer  reporter/blogger Roger Shuler for publicizing bad news about the son of an ex-governor of Alabama.

  What is the bad news? Just an illicit affair? Kreig's subject matter shows how such events rarely occur outside of a context, and that context is the subject and theme of his electrifying new book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters (Washington, DC: Eagle View). Its 345 pages include twenty-two chapters, an Appendix of reform resources, an ample bibliography, and hundreds of notes rife with sources and URLs, so completely up-to-date that Kreig's preface is dated September 10, 2013, the first book about President Obama's lame-duck second term.

  Progressives will find coverage and uncoverage of issues of deepest concern: besides the full history and latest update on Siegelman's continued imprisonment, there is hitherto-unknown and must-read documentation about Obama, Romney, and a genetic chart of interconnected politicians and operatives that all converge at the axis of "How is that possible?"

Didn't the Abu Ghraib torture occur under extraordinary circumstances that would have driven any compassionate human being to vulgar excesses? What of the abuse of Shuler? The sabotaging of the Boston Marathon by the CIA? The revelation that Romney's religion forbade full participation by African Americans until 1978?

The first chapter ends with a teaser that will keep readers riveted throughout the remaining, mostly unillustrated pages: Should the Romney-Ryan ticket have triumphed? How can such a projection even occur to such a progressive activist (who does reject specific political labeling)?

Well, retrospectives on the Obama administration up to today show that the president's puppet strings are wielded by a covey of elite sponsors, so that the following policies assume a logical context: "undermining New Deal safety nets, retaining relatively low taxes and major tax breaks for the super-wealthy, and otherwise accepting . . . austerity for the general public."

  At the top of the genetic chart, above all of the obscenely corrupt, filthy-wealthy, power-sucking, incestuous hierarchy is a huge platinum beacon that guides all of our actions in today's culture, willy-nilly: the dollar sign, star of our Christmas tree.

  We all stand on the shoulders of giant . . . bank accounts.


  The book is divided into four sections. The first deep-structures Obama and the Bushes after a brief foray into nothingness (Herman Cain) in the opening chapter that unexpectedly yields the book's leitmotif--the hapless pizza mogul was a puppet of the Koch brothers, poorly groomed to step into any elevator shoes--the first of many puppets to dance onto Kreig's stage, though one of the hastiest retreats of them all. Romney and then Romney-Ryan step in to finish the chapter. Most enigmatic principal within this preliminary text is Romney's religion, which upstages all else.

  The second section explores "Romney Henchmen . . ." Karl Rove, David Petraeus, Michael Leavitt, and others. The third delves more deeply into Romney-Ryan, and the fourth raps up by returning to Obama-Biden and where they and we readers go from . . . right here and now.

  Read this book as soon as you can. It's all about you.


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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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