The effect you describe is very common.
It may be due to a slight accumulation of die fill ("grease", "mint
gunk") in these particular design elements on the die face.
It could also be due to a slightly weak strike. If the strike is
just a tad weak, the most peripheral design elements are the ones
that are usually affected.
--- In email@example.com
> Has anybody else gotten a very poorly struck obverse where the LI
> Liberty is missing, and, the E of We and the end T of Trust of In
> We Trust is missing?
> This was purchased directly fr. the US Mint.
> Thanks one and all.