Saturday, June 30, 2007

Catch Him Now, He's Falling

Marvel Comics has killed off Captain America. There is some question as to who is responsible. Here are our top 11 guesses:

11. The vast right-wing conspiracy
10. Fox News
9. The Oil Companies
8. Elizabeth Hasselbeck
7. Vince McMahon
6. PowerLine
5. Illegal Immigrants
4. Big Tobacco
3. Barry Bonds
2. Scientologists
1. George W. Bush

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Top 11 Ways Anarchists Plan To Disrupt the 2008 GOP Convention In St. Paul

11. Hijack all shipments of cigars and single malt Scotch to the Twin Cities

10. Have a drunken Irishman lay out the streets in St. Paul so convention goers get lost

9. Harass the finely dressed patrons at Kincaid's by sitting at their tables and saying "I want to buy your women... the little girl... your daughters. Sell them to me. Sell me your children."

8. Put extra chlorine in John Hinderaker's swimming pool

7. Keep ordering pizzas to be delivered to Xcel Energy Center for "Mr. Chimpy McBushHitler"

6. Institute a smoking ban to inconvenience all those cigar chomping fat cats

5. Convince Garrison Keillor to infuse his homespun yarns on government radio with liberal propaganda.

4. Organize a strike of performance artists so that there will be no entertainment options for the delegates

3. Ruin economy by somehow sabotaging vibrant downtown St. Paul nightlife

2. Reserve all the prime tee times at local golf courses

1. Stage a coup against Saint Paul City Council, replace them with a gang of 60s era radicals

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Top 11 Reasons Michael Bloomberg Left The Republican Party

11. The Republican Party just isn’t as billionaire-friendly as it once was

10. Didn’t actually mean to leave the Republican Party – thought he was leaving the Yankee’s bandwagon

9. Republican Presidential primary voters are intimidated by extremely handsome candidates

8. He saw how well leaving the Republican Party worked for Judi Dutcher

7. 9 out of 10 journalists can’t be wrong

6. None of the cool billionaires like Warren Buffett, Peter Lewis, and George Soros are Republicans

5. Realized that he was too smart to be in the party of drooling morons

4. The Republicans are in the pocket of Big Trans Fat

3. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney neglected to warn him that they were going to bring down the Twin Towers

2. Laurie David said she would never go out with him if he remained a Republican

1. Why not? Everyone else is leaving the Republican Party

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Top 11 Turn-offs Missing From Dean Barclay's Profile

11. Fat chicks

10. Uptight people

9. The word "interim"

8. A consistent political ideology

7. People who mock others who are simply looking for love on an internet matchmaking service

6. The Mann Act

5. Media jackals

4. Statutory rape laws

3. The XFL

2. Republicans

1. Women his own age

Top 11 Turn-ons Dean Barclay Left Out of His Profile

Michael Brodkorb at MDE has taken some heat for publishing Dean Barclay's profile. Count those of us at NIGP among those who believe that if you put out embarrasing personal details of your life onto the internet, then you should expect people will mock you for it.

It's not like we want him stoned to death or even arrested. No, the punishment that fits this crime is a good mocking in the form of a top 11 list (or two). Let's get started with the top 11 turn-ons that our former Senator left off his profile:

11. Sex acts involving third parties

10. Time in the steam room with Steve Bosacker

9. Washing cars

8. Campaign finance reform

7. The music of the Starland Vocal Band

6. Pina coladas, walks in the rain, bondage

5. Tax increases

4. Hard core porn so raw it's illegal to send through US Mail

3. Congressional "Franking" privelidge

2. Tyrell's female high school classmates

1. Public humiliation

Friday, June 22, 2007

Top 11 Things Other Than "Gravitas" That Mike Hatch Brings To Blackwell Burke

11. Anger

10. Baggage

9. Bitterness

8. Envy

7. Bile

6. Resentment

5. Vengeance

4. Hot daughters

3. Lori Swanson's private cell number

2. Glen Howatt's private cell number

1. Ethanol expertise

Top 11 Commandments For Driving

The Vatican just released 10 commandments for driving. I like the top eleven commandments provided by reader Henry (with slight editing) better:

11. I am the road you're on; I'll get you out of the land you're leaving. Thou shalt not worship thine cell phone before me.

10. Thou shalt not take the name of the lord in vain, unless some jerk cuts you off.

9. Keep holy thine car's Black Sabbath CD.

8. Honor thy father and mother, unless they are driving unreasonably slow or leave their turn signal on for long stretches of time.

7. Thou shalt not kill engine.

6. Thou shalt not apply taco sauce on chalupa whilst driving.

5. Thou shalt not steal the parking space for which another driver from the other side has been waiting.

4. Thou shalt not have an old "Wellstone!" "Kerry," "What would Wellstone
do?" or "Who would Jesus Bomb?" bumper sticker on thine car.

3. Thou shalt not covet road head from thine neighbor's wife.

2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Lambourghini.

1. "God is my co-pilot" bumper sticker refers to an airplane, not a car.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Touch of Gravitas (or, Go Ahead and Skip This Post)

The Star Tribune allowed some pretty shabby economic analysis on their opinion pages last Tuesday. I will pause while you get over the shock.

Okay, I trust that the smelling salts have now kicked in. The opinion piece purported to show that decreasing taxes did not increase economic growth, as measured by the increase in real GDP. Laughably, it looked at GDP data per decade, and then guessed at the tax policy of each decade. Couldn’t the Star Tribune opinion page find someone to write a commentary who knew how to google for more specific statistics?

Well, we here at NIGP did manage to dig up some more specific data. It is summarized in the following chart (I could only find effective tax rate data for 1979-2004):

The source for the tax data is here, and the source for the GDP data is here.

If the Strib had looked at this data, they would have found that there is indeed a positive correlation between the effective federal tax rate and the growth in GDP, albeit the correlation is a relatively small 0.13. Yes, a naïve look at the data does suggest that as the tax rate goes up, the growth of GDP tends to be higher than when the tax rate goes down. If the Star Tribune had gone this far, their argument would have seemed more persuasive, but let’s take a closer look.

The year of the lowest growth over the 15 year period from 1979-2004 was 1982 (-1.9%), the first full year of the Reagan tax cut. Wow, maybe the moonbats are correct and the tax cuts did have an adverse effect on growth. Alas, no. When we look at the next year, we see that economic growth increased 4.5% and the year after, GDP was up a whopping 7.2%, the strongest economic growth of the period – and all while the tax rate remained low!

Now let’s look at the year 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration and the year with the highest effective federal tax rate of the period, 23.0. That year had a respectable GDP increase of 3.7%, but the next year growth was down to an anemic 0.8%.

Tax cuts do not instantaneously stimulate the economy; they need time to work. If we look at the correlation between the tax rate and the growth of GDP for the NEXT year, we find a stronger, negative correlation of -0.27. Thus when the tax rate goes down, the growth of GDP tends to be lower that year (probably due to the effects of previous poor tax policy), but considerably higher the next year.

Sorry Strib, you can maybe get by with higher taxes for a few years if you have an artificial internet bubble or something, but in the long run, lowering taxes stimulates economic growth. (Learned Foot and his commenters go into some of the other problems with the Star Tribune's analysis.)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Top 11 Reasons Amy Klobuchar Was Voted Funniest Freshman Senator

11. Her hilarious “You might have your husband pussy whipped if …” routine

10. Can recite from memory any Prairie Home Companion monologue

9. Uses a squirting gavel when she presides over the Senate

8. That “Fargo” accent never fails to get a laugh

7. It was either that or “Smartest Freshman Senator”

6. Places Constitution shaped whoopee cushions on all her office chairs

5. Male Senators afraid that if they didn't vote for her she'd castrate them like she has her husband

4. Her dead on Billie Jean King impersonation never fails to bring the Senate down

3. Thought they were voting for funniest peculiar not funniest ha ha

2. She always gets Robert Byrd to fall for the “pull my finger” gag

1. People just seem to laugh every time she's introduced as a Senator

Friday, June 15, 2007

Perhaps She Should Have Some Water

Eddie Money's classic song kind of applies to Paris Hilton:

Media never understood what it’s like for a spoiled rich girl.
Clubbing with the glitterati to do, eat dinner then it‘s time to hurl.
Daddy got so rich so quick that there was no need to understand.
Paris spent every night on her fun, no jobs for her, ’cept for blow and hand.

Gimme Appletini!
‘Cause I know all you common folk wish you could be me.
You want to see me…
Gimme Appletini.
I need an Appletini…

Paris, got lit so fast, she was clubbing it all night one day,
Said, “This party’s lame – it’s way too tame
Get in my Bentley and we‘ll get away.”
She rode late in the night, nearly swerved into a mini-van
Till one day the LAPD caught her ‘cause the sherriff always gets his man.

Gimme Appletini!
‘Cause I know all you common folk wish you could be me.
You want to see me…
Gimme Appletini.

No license no problem!
Driving fast as her car can!
But, Lord, she got no room to run!
Shouldn’t have met a judge appointed by Reagan!
Hey, hey, yeah!

Gimme Appletini!
‘Cause I know all you common folk wish you could be me.
You want to see me…
Gimme Appletini

Can’t you… see that small jail cell
We‘re no longer in the valley?
But they cannot force, I‘m to rich, of course -
Help me, help me mommy
I’m done being a dumb girl, at least ’till July –
Let me pray like poor man pray!
I’m too nice a piece of ass.
I don‘t need to show class, my daddy could hear me say,

“Gimme Appletini!
‘Cause I know all you common folk wish you could be me.
You want to see me…
Gimme Appletini

Gimme Appletini!
‘Cause I know all you common folk wish you could be me.
You want to see me…
Gimme Appletini
Gimme Appletini

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Top 11 Reasons Hugh Hewitt Has Been Banned From The 2007 Minnesota State Fair

11. He was scaring the carnies

10. Governor Schwarzenegger pleaded with Governor Pawlenty to not allow Hugh to embarrass the entire state of California by losing to the Fraters team in trivia again

9. Polaris and Arctic Cat dealers filed joint petition in order to protect their equipment

8. Copyright infringement over his planned adoption of the nickname Fudge Puppy

7. In past years, he spread panic by running through the poultry barn shouting, "Run for your lives! It's the bird flu!"

6. He has a history of trying to put Princess Kay butter sculpture on his pancakes

5. Hugh dressed in a short-sleeve white shirt and a nametag going from booth to booth asking vendors if they knew the Book of Mormon got annoying

4. Fair official who denied the permit for a "Deep Fried Cheetos" booth had been receiving death threats

3. Fair organizers want to avoid any confusion with Peter Billingsley's appearance at the Grandstand

2. People working in the hog barn complained about his smell

1. Honey has taken out a restraining order on Generalissimo Duane

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Presidential Candidates Comment On The Sopranos

11. Hillary Clinton - Tony Soprano is not a role model like Murphy Brown

10. John McCain - As a maverick, I liked the ending and I think Paris Hilton is innocent too

9. Mitt Romney - The Sopranos is on past my bedtime, so I don't watch it

8. John Edwards - There clearly are two Americas: those who work hard, play by the rules and want a good conclusion to The Sopranos and the rich barons who pass off the last episode is quality TV

7. Bill Richardson said something incoherent

6. Joe Biden - Some Italian Americans are clean and articulate

5. Mike Huckabee/Tommy Thompson - No one gives a crap about our opinions anyway

4. Barak Obama - Tony Soprano commits violence but there is another kind of violence too, the foisting of this finale upon the American public

3. Ron Paul - On my planet we don't watch HBO

2. Rudy Guiliani - I put guys like Tony Soprano in prison

1. Fred Thompson - My TV character put guys like Tony in prison

Nothing To See Here, Move Along

Many readers have already requested our thoughts on the finale of "The Soprano's." I guess that's to be expected given our enlightened musings regarding pop culture and the strong emphasis we place on television.

While I find that HBO does fine work, I never could justify watching "The Soprano's." I have seen the first two Godfather films, and since no mafia theme is likely to measure up to them, I'd prefer to skip that genre entirely.

For those who still need a fix, my prediction is that Learned Foot will be singing Sopranos all day.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Not Quite the Right Fit

It has been reported that this blog was very close to landing the services of reassigned Star Tribune columnist James Lileks. Those reports were accurate; we very, very nearly had a done deal. Here is the transcript of Lileks’ job interview with the Nihilist in Golf Pants:

NIGP: Thanks for coming in James, may I call you James?

LILEKS: Yes, by all means, Mr. Nihilist in Golf Pants.

NIGP: You can just call me the Nihilist. So, I understand that you have been working at the Star Tribune for the past decade and would now like to explore opportunities in the new media?

LILEKS: Yes, Nihilist, that is correct.

NIGP: What made you interested in applying here at Nihilist in Golf Pants?

LILEKS: Well, your top 11 lists are legendary, but then there are also the live blogs, the fake interviews, the gambling tips, and the college hockey coverage. Plus, there’s the fact that you won City Pages Right Wing Blog of the Year, back when that award meant something. I’m sick of working somewhere that never wins awards. But most of all, I would love the opportunity to work with JB.

NIGP: Fair enough. You are known for your sense of design. Would you make any changes to the design of this blog?

LILEKS: Perish the thought! I wouldn’t change a thing! The minimalist title bar: NIHILIST IN GOLF PANTS. That says it all. The classic right column with the City Pages award logo, the vanity quotes and the blog roll. It is as familiar and comforting as a can of Campbell’s Soup. And then there is the 1940s noir evoking background. Could the background be anymore black? The answer is no, the background could not be anymore black.

NIGP: Astute, very astute. But I must admit that I am bothered by your history with the Star Tribune. How do I know you’re not an agent provocateur sent here to undermine this blog?

LILEKS: I would like to point out that while I took pride in working for the Star Tribune as a whole, I rarely found myself in agreement with the stands take by the editorial voice of …


LILEKS: [tstartled] Why, why, no. I don’t even live in that district.

NIGP: [eying him suspiciously] Okay, I’ll take your word for it – for now. Tell me your thoughts on Paris Hilton.

LILEKS: Well, there is no arguing with the location, with the Eiffel tower practically in your backyard. But I must say that I prefer the architecture of the Hotel De Ville with it’s view of Ile de la Cite …

NIGP: No, no, I mean the celebrity Paris Hilton.

LILEKS: Who would name their kid after a hotel? I don’t know anything about this person.

NIGP: Hmmmmm … Well, I guess Sisyphus can get you up to speed. You can attend his lecture on her case next week at the Humphrey Institute.

That reminds me, would you object to language in your contract barring you from contributing your best material to the Kool-Aid Report?

LILEKS: I refuse to read moronic letters to the editor, and I don’t do poop, so no objection.

NIGP: Excellent. A few more quick questions: Everton or Arsenal?

LILEKS: Arsenal, of course.

NIGP: Notre Dame or Marquette?

LILEKS: The Golden Domers, not the Golden Rainbow Warriors, or whatever they are calling themselves nowadays.

NIGP: [nodding] Very good, very good. There is the matter of salary. It says here that you are looking for $94,000 per year. Is that correct?

LILEKS: Yes, indeed. I have a family to raise.

NIGP: That is a little more than I’d like to pay, but what the hell, it’s only money! Welcome aboard James!

LILEKS: It is indeed an honor, Nihilist. I can’t wait to get going on my first five or six posts for tomorrow!

NIGP: Whoa, whoa, whoa, there James. Did you say you intended to post five or six time per day?

LILEKS: Of course, some days maybe even more.

NIGP: We have a strict rule here – one post a day, if that. Posting more just dilutes the brand. I’m afraid that’s a deal breaker for us.

LILEKS: I couldn’t possibly write that little. Damn, I guess I’ll have to take the job at that lame Star Tribune website.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton’s Top 11 Complaints About Jail

11. No one to videotape sleazy sexual encounters

10. “All my neighbors are, like, poor”

9. It’s impossible to make a shiv out of a mattress spring without breaking a nail

8. Inmates required to wear underwear

7. “The rats are bigger than my dog”

6. “None of the guards are datable”

5. “The chef is not as good as my personal chef, Anatole”

4. “Orange is, like so not my color”

3. “Big Bertha hates me for like no reason”

2. Appletinis taste terrible when the gin is made in a toilet

1. “That semi-cute guy I made out with turned out to be a chick”

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Top 11 Reasons Larry And Laurie David Are Separating

11. Lack of global warming in their bedroom

10. Larry tired of Laurie's requests that he role play as a SUV driving coal baron and "strip mine me"

9. Two words: Angelina Jolie

8. Laurie is a total bitch

7. Laurie hated the 5th season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as much as the rest of us

6. After touring with Sheryl Crow Laurie began to adopt her bathroom habits

5. Laurie tired of being asked why she isn't as hot as Cheryl Hines

4. Instead of an anniversary gift, Larry bought her carbon offsets

3. Larry wanted to drive a car with some power

2. They both realized that they were rich enough to get much hotter spouses

1. They ran out of things to be enraged at together

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Top 11 Other Criticismns Barack Obama Has Of The Bush Administration Besides Doing Nothing to Defuse A “QUIET RIOT” Among Blacks

11. Failed to eliminate the RATTs from the Democratic Congressional Caucus

10. Could not curtail KISSes between former Presidents and current Presidential candidates

9. Did not increase the minimum wage for THE CARPENTERS

8. Allowed the use of IRON MAIDENs in Guantanamo

7. RUSHing to judgement in Iraq

6. Not eliminating the METALLICA and other POISONs from our drinking water

5. Failure to protect endangered SCORPIONS

4. Arrested no one for mailing ANTHRAX

3. Have not funded research into alternative sources of AC/DC

2. Insufficient compassion for BLACK WIDOWs

1. Did not offer enough subsidies for turning KORN into ethanol

Friday, June 01, 2007

Top 11 Theme Songs For Hillary's Presidenial Campaign

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton considers having a campaign theme song important. It is rumored that she had something to do with Bill choosing Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" as the theme for one of his campaigns. And now she has a poll prominently displayed on the front page of her own campaign's web site asking supporters to vote on her 2008 theme song. The choices include five that her staff picked:

Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall - I've never heard this song

Rock This Country - Shania Twain - Shania's Canadian; which country is she referencing?

Beautiful Day - U2 - The eventual winner, I'm sure

Get Ready - The Temptations - It's important to keep Bill from the temptations

I'm a Believer - Smash Mouth - Did Mickey Dolenz refuse the rights to the original

Additionally, shrill Hill is considering five other songs that were suggested by lowly internet supporters:

Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
Ain't No Stopping Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
You and I - Celine Dion
The Best - Tina Turner

No offense to Hillary's campaign, but I've compiled a top 11 list that I like better than any of the above:

11. Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
10. Things'll Be Different When I'm In Charge - MJ Hibbert & The Validators
9. Gimme The Finga - Black Sheep
8. Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette
7. Head Like A Hole - Nine Inch Nails
6. Freaks In Charge - Superchunk
5. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
4. Not Ready To Make Nice - The Dixie Chicks
3. Fat Bottom Girls - Queen
2. Billy's Got His Beer Goggles On - Neal McCoy
1. The Bitch Is Back - Elton John