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President Obama, “Are You In?”

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 25, 2011 7:57 AM |

Information is everything.

Regular readers of Sense on Cents are well aware of my having written that statement on many an occasion. Those on Wall Street who gain early access to critical information have a decided advantage. Those in Washington who gain the upper hand in controlling the flow of information are also at a decided advantage.

As these realities become ever more prevalent, Americans and people worldwide are working harder and digging deeper to attain unbridled access to information in order to determine the truth and promote transparency. With major media outlets often failing us in these pursuits, where do we turn for this information? The internet.

Against this backdrop, I am not surprised to see political powers in Washington accept and embrace the reality of the power of the information superhighway and put an ‘eye in the sky’ in order to monitor the traffic. To what do I allude? 

Reports recently released to the Huffington Post by the White House indicate, White House Beefs Up Online Rapid Response,

The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.

Hmmm, interesting. Sounds very engaging. Is the White House looking to merely monitor the internet traffic or actually influence the flow of information and traffic online?

“This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response,” read an internal memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, provided to The Huffington Post. “For the last two years, Jesse has often worn two hats working in new media and serving as the White House’s liaison with the progressive media and online community. Starting this week, Jesse will take on the second role full time working on outreach, strategy and response.”

The post is a new one for this White House. Rapid response has been the purview of the Democratic National Committee (and will continue to be). Lee’s hire, however, suggests that a portion of it will now be handled from within the administration. It also signals that the White House will be adopting a more aggressive engagement in the online world in the months ahead.

Well, there is our answer. “More aggressive engagement.” Nothing lost in translation with that statement. I love it. I will allow others to define Sense on Cents as progressive or not, I define myself as one who simply has a deep appreciation for the pursuit of truth, transparency, and integrity. Can we assume that Mr. Lee and the White House would care for a similar pursuit of these prized virtues? I hope so.

While others may care to score political points or paint an unflattering picture of the current administration by comparing and contrasting the relationships highlighted by the following photos, I care to utilize them merely as a hook in order to bring attention to far more important questions for the readers of Sense on Cents.


Jesse, can you ask President Obama the following questions which have impacted and enraged citizens across our great nation?

1. Is he with us in the fight to return the approximately $100 BILLION of our fellow Americans’ funds which three plus years after the auction-rate securities market (yes, those ARS which Wall Street marketed as cash surrogates) totally froze remain trapped in that nightmare?

President Obama,ARE YOU IN“?

2. Is President Obama at all concerned that the multiple thousand page financial regulatory reform package barely makes mention of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, that is, Wall Street’s self-regulator? Is he with us in bringing attention and exposure to that reality and then addressing the accompanying issues? What do you think? Will he be with us on this issue?

President Obama, “ARE YOU IN“?

3. Jesse, aside from the issues encompassing FINRA, a lot of readers are increasingly concerned about the topic of regulatory capture or as those of who love the ‘sense on cents’ would define the Wall Street-Washington incest. There is a lot of stench in this one and we could truly use a strong disinfectant. Do you think you might be able to check if the President is with us on this one?

President Obama, “ARE YOU IN”?

Jesse, I could go on to a whole host of other topics which infuriate the American public and have resulted in a real sense of disenfranchisement. These topics include the rampant abuses on the mortgage foreclosure front, whether Wall Street violated the Racketeering Act, and so much more. But you know what, I am sure you are going to be busy in your new role, so I do not want to take up too much of your time today. But write me. This internet thing is awesome.

One last question, though. Aside from whether President Obama “is in” on the aforementioned issues, can we count on you, Jesse, to join our efforts in the pursuit of truth, transparency, and integrity while navigating the economic landscape?

“Are you in, Jesse”?

One last point. If you or anybody else there at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are concerned I am being overly aggressive in my overtures to the President, I am a registered Independent and yesterday I painted House Speaker Boehner and Senators Kyl and Sessions as charlatans for blocking proposed whistleblower protections.

Sense on Cents is an equal opportunity purveyor and promoter of the truth.

Comments, questions, constructive criticisms encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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