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Señor No Answer Today

Posted by Rick · May 2nd, 2004 · 4 Comments

The Unspun Zone™ has been blessed the last week by recurrent visits from Nat Dawson of Florida, better known to several of us who have been responding to his comments on another post as “Señor No Answer Today.”

After reading the conversation there, my wife has repeatedly said that I’m “like a cat with a mouse. Bap! Bap! BapBap!” Señor No Answer Today likes to respond with unsupported comments and emotion; I enjoy replying by juxtaposing his comments against reports from mainstream news sources, Congressional subcommittees and experts in the fields under discussion.

But it occurs to me that perhaps Señor No Answer Today isn’t as stupid as he has appeared. After all, for about two days now, he’s kept me occupied researching and replying to him in an old post, in the comments section. In other words, most of my time and writing has gone into refuting emotional arguments from an apparent nutcase in an area of my blog where most people aren’t reading. This simultaneously prevents me from writing regular blog articles which are read by more people. It also potentially reduces my readership as people hit the main page and don’t see updates, so they don’t return as often.

But I’ve come up with a way to fix that…

Señor No Answer Today keeps trying to draw our discussions to Bill Clinton. Why, I’m not sure. After all, to my recollection, he is a former President who is not currently actively involved in weakening the security of the United States. He was also not the subject of the original post. I have no serious investment in Bill Clinton; no real need to defend him. Hell, I didn’t even vote for him the first time he ran for President. And…well, the rest of what I have to say about that is available by reading the original discussion and what follows.

At any rate, in my responses to Señor No Answer Today, I make every attempt to continue dragging us back to the original topic even as I counter his unsupported claims about Clinton. And that approach affords me ample opportunity to make substantive comments about the current President, George Bush.

In his latest tirade, Señor No Answer Today says,

And as for the ‘great economy’. Puhleeaaaze. It was all based on phony numbers! The ‘boom’ was fueled by lying financial statements and corrupted auditors. Enron, World Comm [sic], Adelphia Communications etc. etc. etc. ALL had their genesis in the feel-good ’90s.

When that doesn’t work (see prior responses in the original conversation), Señor No Answer Today asks,

Can you name ONE action he took to create jobs? You can’t because he didn’t. That is not the function of the Federal Government. The economy creates jobs.

He appears to want to have his cake and eat it, too. He cannot make up his mind about why he doesn’t want to give Clinton credit when credit is due. At the same time, he’s been pretty effective about sticking to talking about Clinton in order to deflect the original conversation, which was about Bush. Somehow, everyone here has been painted as Clinton lovers, although none of us began talking about Clinton until Señor No Answer Today pushed us to counter his mis-statements with facts. Finally, he appears to be setting the stage to deny that the current George Bush is the first President since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs, by saying the President isn’t responsible for jobs. Bush himself disagrees when he tries to take credit for job creation that — even if true — still wouldn’t pull him out of the negative numbers on job creation (see below).

So here’s one that will help us return to talking about Bush, while satisfying Señor No Answer Today’s need to discuss Clinton. MSNBC reports,

Thirty-eight markets enjoyed their strongest growth under Clinton, and nine reached their peak under George H.W. Bush. No markets did best under the current administration.

The flip side was dominated by George W. Bush, with 79 markets registering their lowest job-growth rates during his tenure. Eighteen hit bottom under his father, two did worst under Reagan and one reached its nadir during Clinton’s administration.

Ronald Reagan, incidentally, gets the most credit for job creation, with 53 of 100 markets having their highest-growth rates under his administration.

President Bush’s Business Acumen
Nothing can quite explain the confusion in my mind when I encountered a website that supposedly supports the Bush/Cheney run for President only to find this interesting bio. Closer investigation reveals that it’s a cleverly-done “spoof” site; a parody. The facts, however, can be substantiated by a Google search performed by anyone interested.

After receiving his master’s degree from Harvard, he moved back to Midland to begin a career in the oil business, founding Arbusto Exploration (“arbusto” is Spanish for “bush”). Even though his name and family connections attracted investors, Arbusto consistently lost money and was merged to Spectrum 7 Energy, run by a supporter of Bush’s father. George W. Bush was made CEO. Spectrum 7 soon fell on hard times as well and was in turn merged with Harken Oil and Gas. Harken was highly attracted to the idea of having George W. Bush on board when his father, then Vice President, was preparing a run for the presidency. Part of Bush’s compensation was over 200,000 shares of Harken stock.

Bush profited greatly from the sale of this stock just days before Harken finished a financial quarter with a loss in company value of over $23 million, causing the stock value held by unsuspecting shareholders to plummet. This was a great stroke of luck for Mr. Bush as this sale facilitated his purchase, with others, of the Texas Rangers baseball team whose majority owner was a long-time friend of the Bush family. Mr. Bush’s highly successful tenure as a managing general partner with the Rangers made him a multi-millionaire.

George W. Bush’s greatest accomplishment with the Rangers was the construction of a new team ballpark in Arlington, Texas, the majority of which was funded by taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, the family that owned the land Bush and partners preferred for the project rejected their first offer. So Bush used his business savvy and had the family’s land condemned through the City of Arlington and the family was given a fraction of the land’s worth. They later sued the City of Arlington and were awarded $7.5 million.

Thank goodness he’s in the White House, nu? Incidentally, the rest of the Bush Cheney 2004 website is a fun and interesting read, too. I particularly liked “Meet the Liars” and “The War on Terror.”

This sets up an interesting pattern. One President is in office with a massive improvement in jobs. Then a Bush becomes President and the economy starts to suffer; many jobs are lost. Then another non-Bush President comes along and the economy improves dramatically with a massive improvement in jobs. Then another Bush President comes along and the economy takes a hit with massive job losses. When you couple this with Bush’s business background, I suggest that from here on out, whenever a President is in office and the economy suffers a dramatic setback with job losses, we just call it “a Bush Presidency.” Now there’s a legacy for you!

Next, Señor No Answer Today argues that Clinton made the world a more dangerous place, because, of course, the job of the Presidency is to wage war on other nations if they do things Señor No Answer Today considers dangerous. International law aside, if someone is developing nuclear weapons, you attack. (Well, except for Korea.) Clinton failed to occupy any other countries and thus earns Señor No Answer Today’s scorn.

Señor No Answer Today tell us that Bill Clinton gave nuclear technology to China which has resulted in their rockets now being pointed at our children. Again, as before, Señor No Answer Today provides no evidence for this unsupported statement. And who does Chinese President Jiang Zemin consider “an old friend?” The website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China says,

President Bush is an old friend of the Chinese people. In 1974, shortly after our two countries resumed contact, he went to Beijing and served as the Chief of the US Liaison Office. Whether in public life or as a private citizen, he has always cared about and supported stronger ties between China and the US, and has done a great deal of commendable work to this end. I hope that with the personal involvement and guidance of President Bush, the library that bears his name will become yet another American center for China studies and China-US friendship activities. [Ed. Note: These comments are about the first President Bush, father of the current Bush who is therefore sometimes affectionately denoted “Shrub.”]

In 1999, a bipartisan Senate committee said,

[T]he desire of U.S.companies to take advantage of Asian markets, coupled with lax enforcement of export security by both the Bush and Clinton Administrations, allowed China to obtain U.S. missile technology.

Did the U.S. — in particular, Bill Clinton — help improve Chinese rocket/missile technology? Ben Stavis, Director of the Asian Studies Program at Temple University in Philadelphia says,

The Chinese invented rocket technology over a thousand years ago. They have been orbiting satellites since 1969, thirty years. China’s rockets, as those in the U.S., are primarily used to launch satellites to expand telephone and television service. China also launches satellites for the U.S. corporations and others, on a commercial basis.

It’s hard to imagine they need our help to improve technology that is already so good that we turn to them to launch our satellites.

What they do need is help with communications technology. And they’re getting that from businesses that are continuing — in fact, accelerating the pace of — the sharing of technology with China.

Improvement in communications is critically important for economic modernization in China. It is very difficult to avoid sharing technical insights in multi-national corporate environments that benefit the United States. That children of Chinese military leaders are involved in the telephone business shows that military men place their children in profitable businesses (Chinese style ‘crony capitalism’ ), not military strategy.

We can not avoid the dilemma that improvements in rockets to launch communications satellites will inevitably have spill-over implications for military development. Parenthetically, our development of public, inexpensive GPS technology (even in its degraded civilian format) and off-the-shelf autopilots would seem to have as much relevance to the accuracy of Chinese (and other) missiles as titillating questions of technical reports on rocket reliability linked to launching contracts and campaign contributions.

So corporations have done more to share technology that might help China than Bill Clinton is ever (without any evidence) said to have done.

But whether it’s greedy American corporations — some of Bush’s biggest supporters and closest friends — or Clinton, may not even matter. Congressional testimony given in January 2002 by James Lewis, Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology Policy Center for Strategic & International Studies (prior to this, he was a State Department negotiator in the first Bush Administration, among other things) revealed,

That transfers of U.S. technology to China can damage national security has become a staple of the larger debate over China policy. Critics charge that China improves its military capabilities with U.S. commercial technology. While these charges are widely accepted, they are wrong. Despite the noisy China cases that attracted public attention in the past few years, a close examination suggests that U.S. technology is irrelevant to China’s military modernization[.]

He then went on to discuss the fact that China takes the easier route: They buy the technology from other countries to which the United States military-industrial complex sells it.

He also doesn’t think that trying to prevent China’s acquisition of new technology enhances our security; rather, he thinks it endangers it. This is an independent question that I don’t consider here, since this article aims only at providing actual evidence to back up my counter-claims to Señor No Answer Today’s unfounded, unsupported claims.

And so, lastly, for now, we look at Señor No Answer Today’s claims that the Clinton Administration did nothing about terrorists. He says,

Osama bin Laden trained tens of thousands of terrorists right under Clitnon’s [sic] nose and he what about it? N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

As Bill Press of CNN.Com Inside Politics points out,

The truth, of course, is just the opposite. Given how distracted he was by the Lewinsky scandal, (which was of his own making, but blown out of proportion by his political enemies), it’s amazing Clinton was able to continue governing at all. And during that time, as The Washington Post reveals, he did a great deal to combat terrorism, much of it behind the scenes.

Clinton’s most public response, of course, were the cruise missile attacks of 1998, directed against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and the Sudan, following the terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Operating on limited intelligence — at that time, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tazikistan refused to share information on the terrorists whereabouts inside Afghanistan — U. S. strikes missed bin Laden by only a couple of hours.

Even so, Clinton was accused of only firing missiles in order to divert media attention from the Lewinsky hearings. A longer campaign would have stirred up even more criticism.

So Clinton tried another tack. He sponsored legislation to freeze the financial assets of international organizations suspected of funneling money to bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network — identical to orders given by President Bush this month — but it was killed, on behalf of big banks, by Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas.

Those actions, we knew about. Others, we did not, until recently. Starting in 1998, for example, Clinton gave the CIA a green light to use whatever covert means were necessary to gather information on Osama bin Laden and his followers, and to disrupt and preempt any planned terrorist activities against the United States.

As part of that effort, the CIA, under Clinton, trained and equipped some 60 commandos from Pakistan to enter Afghanistan and capture bin Laden. The operation collapsed when Pakistan experienced a military coup and a new government took over.

In 1998, Clinton also signed a secret agreement with Uzbekistan to begin joint covert operations against Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. U.S. Special Forces have been training there ever since, which is why the Pentagon was immediately able to use Uzbekistan as a staging area for forays into Afghanistan.

Clinton targeted bin Laden even before he moved to Afghanistan. In 1996, his administration brokered an agreement with the government of Sudan to arrest the terrorist leader and turn him over to Saudi Arabia. For 10 weeks, Clinton tried to persuade the Saudis to accept the offer. They refused. With no cooperation from the Saudis, the deal fell apart.

Conclusion: Rohrbacher, Limbaugh, Gingrich are dead wrong when they blame Bill Clinton for September 11. Did Clinton get Osama bin Laden ‘dead or alive?’ No, but he came close, several times — long before tracking down terrorists became a national priority.

It’s time for me to move on. Meanwhile, I hear Bob is still waiting for an answer…

Categories: Blogs & Blogging · Politics-In-General


4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nat Dawson // May 2, 2004 at 11:25 am

    Hey Rick,

    How’s the Bush-bashing going today? Did you get your memo from the DNC to call your local TV station and repeat today’s idiot Liberal slogan? Did you remember to sound as if your entire face was twisted into a mask of hake, with flecks of spittle flying as you mouthed the latest Carville-inspired hate slogan? You know those hacks down at Channel x will only play your interview if you happen to be the most extreme sounding farleftwing fruitcake who has called in.

    Gee, I hate to have to tell you this, Rick, but IT’S NOT WORKING!! Your Bush hate is only turning people off. W is UP in the polls!!!!!

    More Liberal opprobrium, please!!


    Rick, I can see that my presence in your life is going to help you. For you are a woefully uninformed lad.

    If you’re going hold yourself out to the world as a blogger then you’re going to have to learn the difference between editorializing and reporting. If this is an opinion blog then you need to let people opine. If this is a news blog then you need to style and title it differently. See, when you’re writing an opinion, you don’t gum things up by slavering over a whole slew of URLs and so forth. (Let me give you a clue, good buddy. NO ONE even looks at 99% of the sources that you quote.)

    Oh, so, you can “cut and paste”! Wow! What does the posting of other sources, of questionable veracity, do to support your whacked out theories on the world? And your wife’s credentials to call me the mouse to your cat, are ……….? That’s truly hilarious, Rick. I got a lot of laughs out of that one. I can just hear her “Rick, you tell him. Remember, you’re Tony the Tiger. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!””

    Too, too funny!!

    Oh, and about your attempt to excoriate and berate me, your reader, for not “answering a question”. Man, if ever there was an example of the Liberals double standard. I asked YOU to name one major accomplishment of the 8 wasted years of Clinton’s fraudulent “presidency” and you repeatedly failed to acknowledge that you can’t do so. You then try to insult me, a reader, by alleging that I haven’t answered some obscure question allegedly asked by someone that is totally peripheral to this discussion.

    See the double standard there, Rick? You’re accusing me of doing something while you’re practicing what you’re accusing me of!!!

    But don’t worry, Rick. You need a LOT of work but I can help you. You’ve already got the site set up and you’ve obviously already got the big Kerry-size ego going and you’ve already got your source of idiot Socialist mantras by the dozen. And, you know how to cut and paste. The only missing ingredient, Strawman, is that you don’t have much of a working brain.

    I can help you there.

  • 2 Bob // May 2, 2004 at 2:09 pm

    The fact that Mr. Gadaffi was willing to give up his WMD programmes and open facilities to inspection four years ago does not detract from the Bush administration’s achievement in securing Libya’s nuclear disarmament. However, in doing so, Mr. Bush completed a diplomatic game plan initiated by Mr. Clinton. The issue here, however, is not credit. Rather, it is whether Mr. Gadaffi gave up his WMD programmes because Mr. Hussein was toppled, as Mr. Bush now claims. As the record shows, Libyan disarmament did not require a war in Iraq.

    The statement above does not come from anyone who ‘is totally peripheral to this discussion.’ It comes from Martin S. Indyk, Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy which is part of the Brookings Institute.

    The italics were added by me so Gnat could find the good parts.

    Yup, the Clinton administration diplomatically disarmed Libya with the cooperation of the UN. Sanctions and world coalitions also convinced Libya to acknowledge its participation in the Lockerbe, Scotland bombing and forced Libya to pay the families of the victims. AND, just in case Gnat glosses over this part, the bombers themselves were surrendered by Libya to a third country.

    There you have it Gnat, ONE accomplishment that the Clinton administration can take credit for. Disarming a country with WMD without shedding a drop of American blood. You have the ONE answer you were asking for.

    I have refrained, Gnat, from calling the president Shrub, or any other pet name, because I still have respect for the office.

    You sir, need to gain some respect for the posters on this blog. If you’re going to lecture Rick about blogging then you have to accept that others will comment and sometimes challenge your positions.

    Being called ‘totally peripheral to this discussion’ does not upset me as much as your arrogance to think your position is above reproach.

    You can be as conservative and as GOP as you please but you still have to answer for your words.


    I am an undecided voter who COULD be convinced to elect the status quo if that question can be answered. I am NOT going to tolerate being lied to by any political party, or by anyone who blindly follows a poltical party. You, sir, are the latter.

    IF you are capable of independant thought, please ask yourself why are we in Iraq.

    Or perhaps I can phrase it this way. If your ‘daughter’ that Clinton so deeply offended, was going to join the military, would you be able to see her off at the airport with peace of mind if you knew she was heading into combat? Could you sacrifice that precious life for THIS cause?

    So far, your words and logic scream of a high schooler who has discovered blogging. I hope you do well on your SAT and get into a good school because maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn to debate without ridicule, engage with intellect, and think for yourself.

    Gnat, you and your kind are turning into punchlines. It’s too bad since I believe you could have something to offer this discussion and many more like it. You will not be taken seriously until you can turn your hissy fits into logical discussion.

    I don’t expect you to answer me but until you do, I will refer to you as Gnat. You know that little bug that is unseen and unheard and can be so easily ignored.

    The entire atricle can be read here:

  • 3 Nat Dawson // May 2, 2004 at 7:17 pm

    Bob wrote >>So far, your words and logic scream of a high schooler who has discovered blogging. I hope you do well on your SAT and get into a good school because maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn to debate without ridicule, engage with intellect, and think for yourself.

  • 4 Mark // May 2, 2004 at 10:13 pm

    Rick can do much more than cut and paste, Nat. He takes the time to do resarch and backs up his claims with facts — something you could try, if only the facts were there for you!

    Go back to watching Bill O’Liely and the other clowns on Fox, Nat. You can keep up with them. Rick and Bob are so far past what you are able to contribute, it’s actually pretty sad to watch.

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