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September 26, 2011

The Fed Is Preparing Its Own AttackWatch

From Zero Hedge:

Two weeks ago, the media's heart went aflutter when it learned that the president had borrowed a page right out of ole' Joe McCarthy's communist witch hunt book with the launch of Attack Watch. The response by everyone, even fans of Obama, was immediate and brutal. . . . [The Federal Reserve,] in a Request for Proposals filed to companies that are Fed vendors, is requesting the creation of a "Social Listening Platform" whose function is to "gather data from various social media outlets and news sources." It will "monitor billions of conversations and generate text analytics based on predefined criteria." The Fed's desired product should be able to "determine the sentiment . . . of a speaker or writer with respect to some topic or document"... "The solution must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube. It should also be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc." Most importantly, the "Listening Platform" should be able to "Handle crisis situations, Continuously monitor conversations, and Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers." Said otherwise, the Fed has just entered the counterespionage era and will be monitoring everything written about it anywhere in the world.

Is this the best use of our tax dollars? How, exactly, does monitoring everything everyone says about the Federal Reserve benefit the taxpayer? I understand they're trying to gauge consumer sentiment, but reaching out to key bloggers and influencers? Why? I don't think propaganda is within the Fed's purview. Just make your measured statements, twiddle your monetary knobs and go away.

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The dirty little secret is, of course, the Fed has already been reaching out to key bloggers and influencers:

Dear Ace:

We at the Federal Reserve have seen the things you have been saying about Mr. Ben Bernanke. While we think your blog is just great, we feel that your statements are unfair in that they cast Mr. Bernanke in a negative light. You should be aware that your statements could have a negative impact on the effect of the Federal Reserve's actions.

When you say that Mr. Bernanke is a dirty little amphibian who is too stupid to be experimenting on the economy and too spineless to stand up to the White House, people might start doubting whether Mr. Bernanke is trying to do what is best for the country. This could damage the efforts of the Federal Reserve.

We think it would be better if you would say that Mr. Bernanke is a good-looking and intelligent man who should be praised, and that his actions are well-crafted to help America though the current crisis.

Also, please note that Mr. Bernanke is taller than he appears on TV and that women are crazy about him. Men admire him and want to be like him.

Other facts are that Mr. Bernanke is a scratch golfer. He bench presses 250 pounds. He is a cigar aficianado, a wine connoisseur, and he prefers painting in the style of the late impressionists. And he once caught a marlin with his bare hands.

We know you care about America as much as we do, and that you will see to it that America knows Mr. Bernanke has a huge penis and that he has America's best interests at heart at all times.

Sincerely,
Ben Bernanke

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posted by rdbrewer at 02:05 PM

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