Trump and trees

On today’s walk in the local woods, I found this unexpected piece of political art. Stick-Trump is saying “bye”. The stick-kids are asking where their family might be. Who made this and left it here?

Trump and trees 1

Italian Populism, Trump’s voters, Germany’s Home Office, and Neo-Nazis in Russia : 4 links I liked

Italian Populism, Trump's voters, Germany's Home Office, and Neo-Nazis in Russia : 4 links I liked 2

A retired “general”, a symbolism that is borrowed from France’s Yellow Vests – what could possibly go wrong? Meet Italy’s latest populist craze, the Orange Jackets.

Germany’s Home Secretary said in an interview that the AfD wants to destroy the state and put this interview on the Home Office’s website. Now the FCC ruled that he was not allowed to do that. But the ruling does not say that Seehofer’s claim is factually incorrect. Like in previous cases, the judges upheld a kind of two-bodies-theory. As a politician, Seehofer was free to make this statement, but as a minister he was not allowed to use his official platform for distributing it.

Over at the Quantiative Peace, Joshua Zingher looks at Trump’s base. The bottom line? Trump’s 2020 path to the presidency is narrow. May he stray from it.

Why are German Nazis training in Russia“? That is a bit of a rhetorical question, but the article has at least some answers.

Bonus track: German IR theory-building kit (thread)

Greece going to the polls, the invention of Essex, and fake Trump supporters: 3 links I liked

Greece going to the polls, the invention of Essex, and fake Trump supporters: 3 links I liked 3

Greece is going to the polls this coming Sunday. Zoe Alipranti thinks she knows who is going to win

The invention of Essex: how a county became a caricature” is an excellent feature about the political economy of one (seriously under-appreciated) county.

Some Trump supporters are actually stock-photo/video models. Are you surprised?

Mad Christian Democrats, the AfD’s internal conflicts, useless US polls, and the Wellcome Monitor: four links I liked

Mad Christian Democrats, the AfD's internal conflicts, useless US polls, and the Wellcome Monitor: four links I liked 4

On a very slow news day, two third-tier politicians for the centre-right CDU phantasise over future coalitions with the “moderates/liberals” within the AfD (where would they find them?). Ah yes, they also want to re-unite “the National” and “the Social”, which, by the lego-like greatness of the German language, becomes the “National-Social”.

James F. Downes has an interesting long read on Alternative for Germany’s internal/inter-regional conflicts. It chimes with my own recent article on the development of the AfD and the normalisation of right-wing populism in Germany. Somewhat surprisingly, these contradictions are still not harming the party.

Sorry to disappoint: Brendan Nyhan explains why the current polls showing that Trump is trailing various Democrats are useless.

People in rich & healthy countries stop believing in vaccinations. In the so-called developing world, vaccinations are still trusted. Find these and other fascinating findings in the latest Wellcome Monitor

Trump, Wallace & Gromit, and maximizing a function R: three links I liked

Trump, Wallace & Gromit, and maximizing a function R: three links I liked 5

It is a warm but grey and gloomy weekend in Germany, so here are three links I enjoyed:

In case you were wondering whether Trump is a) evil, b) senile or c) a master strategist: here is a piece arguing that c) is unlikely, though a) and b) could easily be true at the same time.

This is surprisingly accurate: academic life told through Wallace & Gromit gifs

When I needed to maximise a two-variable function over a given range of input values, I found this brief tutorial helpful.

Bonus: a pic of Gromit:

gromit photo
Photo by VGB.Studios Trump, Wallace & Gromit, and maximizing a function R: three links I liked 6

Trump, Blair, Shaggy: It wasn’t me

Trump, Blair, Shaggy: It wasn't me 7

This morning, I came across an outrageously funny a moderately amusing video involving Shaggy’s early 2000s classic, some seriously revamped lyrics, and the man himself (btw, is this blond-hairing an act of cultural appropriation?). Cheap laughs, and the almost heart-warming idea that the FBI could end this, and everything would go back to normal. And yes, they manage to squeeze a lot of legalese into these lyrics.

Which then reminded me (yes, I’m old enough to remember both the outrage over Iraq and the euphoria of Blair coming to power in 1997) of a cartoon video featuring Tony Blair, Michael Howard, and other politicians of the day, happily dancing to the same song (“I was told that there were weapons hidden underneath the sand”). I tried to google it, but it is gone, a victim of the death of flash.

What is it about this song and wildly unpopular politicians? Is there something about this song that could be coaxed into a paper (“Pseudo-Rap as Liberalism. A Conceptual Sketch and Some Applications”)? Most certainly not, so let’s just post the latest video.

Trump, R, and the French right: five links I liked

Interview with Diário de Notícias on the Nationalist International (or not)

Does the European Radical Right present a united front vis-a-vis the European Union, and is there a Trump effect that could further the cause of the Radical Right in Europe? I don’t think so (and here is an automated English translation).

All the Political Science wisdom on the Trump victory /presidency in one single blog post. Or two, perhaps 

The one and only Philip Schrodt has written what I think is the perfect seven-take-home-messages rant on that election and it’s likely outcomes. Skip all the self-flagellation/yes-but posts and read this instead:

Then again, there is one thing that does not get enough coverage in there, and that is the whole polling/prediction disaster. So you should read this, too:

There. Your Sunday sorted out.